Oregon Caves park to grow

  • Limestone "chandeliers" in Oregon Caves Nat'l Monument

    Ore. State Hwy. Dept. photo
  Oregon Caves National Monument is known for its crystal pools and delicate mineral deposits, yet at 480 acres, it's tiny. The final version of a new management plan, however, calls for expanding the monument by seven times - to 3,400 acres - a notion first discussed in the 1930s. "It's difficult to manage a natural system in a park that's one-half the size of Central Park in New York City," says Oregon Caves superintendent Craig Ackerman. The rectangle-shaped monument was created in 1909, before the area's network of caves was well understood. The expansion, Ackerman says, would include the upper reaches of the Lake Creek watershed, where the Siskiyou National Forest currently permits logging, grazing and off-road vehicles. Barry Snitkin of the nonprofit Siskiyou Project in Cave Junction, Ore., says a larger monument will protect the remaining old-growth forest that rings the monument. "It's an area that grows some huge trees," Snitkin says.


The proposed new boundary is outlined in the Oregon Caves National Monument General Management Plan and Environmental Impact Statement. For a copy of the two-volume document, contact the Oregon Caves National Monument, 19000 Caves Highway, Cave Junction, OR 97523 (541/592-2100).





*Dustin Solberg


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