Fort Stanton Cave Study Project Receives Award
The Fort Stanton Cave Study Project, which works to enhance the understanding of New Mexico’s Fort Stanton-Snowy River Cave system, recently was the recipient of the first Conversation Leadership Award given by the Conservation Lands Foundation.
The award “recognizes outstanding leadership to advance the protection of the National Conservation Lands through visionary, innovative and strategic projects.”
The Fort Stanton Cave Study Project, which informally began in 1965, is involved in the detailed scientific study of Fort Stanton Cave including its survey and exploration, biology, hydrology (water studies), geology, precision survey and cartography.
Over the years, the many members and volunteers of the project have made some very important discoveries. One of the newest was the breakthrough into the Snowy River in 2001 after many years of digging. Snowy River is a large diameter passage with a bright white crystal calcite formation covering floor. It is currently about 8 kilometres (5 miles) long and no end has yet been found.
The discovery of Snowy River led to the designation of the Fort Stanton-Snowy River Cave National Conservation Area in 2009, adding more than 25,000 acres to Fort Stanton-Snowy River Cave National Conservation Area.