National Caving Organizations

Here are a few links for other cave study or conservation groups who are either active in Missouri, or nationally. More information can be obtained from them on their specific programs and activities. This list is by no means comprehensive.

Missouri Caves and Karst Conservancy. The MCKC is a non-profit organization whose mission is the stewardship of Missouri caves and karst by purchase, lease, and management agreement for private landowners. The organization owns Skaggs Cave, leases Crystal Cave in Barry County and has management agreements with the Ozark Regional Land Trust and private owners on other caves. It is composed primarily of cavers willing to share their cave restoration and management expertise.

National Speleological Society. The NSS is the organizational home of approximately 12,000 speleologists and cavers. They also furnish a fair amount of information suitable for the the general public on their website.

American Cave Conservation Association. The ACCA is a private non-profit group active in cave ecosystems, and cave restoration. Their primary showcase is Hidden River Cave, in downtown Horse Cave, Kentucky. This cave was a show cave in the early 20th century which "died" due to extensive groundwater pollution and became a menace to local health. The ACCA has helped this cave recover to the point that tours are once again possible, and are conducted with an eye towards public education about karst and groundwater.

National Caves Association. The National Caves Association is the trade association of larger private showcaves in the United States. These private caveowners are interested in conserving their caves at the same time ensuring an entertaining and educational cave venue for non-cavers, and a profit for themselves. If you are not a caver, and don't want to become one but enjoy professionally done cave tours, these operators are for you. Several caves offer guided wild cave tours.

The Karst Waters Institute. Karst Waters Institute members are academics and professionals interested in the study of karst and the implementation of best management practices for these ecosystems. They hold professional symposia, and issue publications revealing their results.

Cave Research Foundation. A nationwide group of speleologists and cavers working in cooperation with the National Park Service and other government agencies on their lands. CRF is very active at Mammoth Cave, Kentucky, Carlsbad Caverns, New Mexico, and in the Ozark National Scenic Riverways, Missouri to name a few places.

Many other cave and karst groups exist, and this is not a comprehensive list, merely those with which I have had contact.

2003 Jo Schaper.

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