Wind Cave National Park Looking at New Airlock

Wind Cave's Walk-In Entrance

Photo via NPS

Wind Cave National Park is currently asking for comments on an environmental assessment plan to replace the existing revolving door at its walk-in entrance with a new two-door airlock structure.

The existing revolving door was constructed in 1992 in an attempt to restore natural airflow conditions to the cave after a study demonstrated that the unnatural airflow from the man-made walk in entrance was impacting the natural humidity and temperature of the cave.

Despite decreasing the magnitude of the problems, the revolving door was never designed as a true airlock and the problems have continued. A study completed in 2005 demonstrated that as much as 60% of the air flow in the area of the natural entrance can pass through the revolving door.

Wind Cave Airlock Plan

Drawing by Rodney D. Horrocks/NPS

Furthermore, with the increasing deterioration of the revolving door and it’s structure over the past 20 years it is allowing unnatural access to the cave for woodrats and bats.

An informal open house to discuss the plan with park staff is scheduled for Tuesday, February 21st, from 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm at the Wind Cave National Park Visitor Center.

Can’t make it to the meeting? Comments can be submitted until Thursday, March 8th via the website or mailed to Superintendent; Wind Cave National Park; 26611 U.S. Highway 385; Hot Springs, SD 57747-9430.

For more information, including a copy of the environmental assessment plan, check out http://parkplanning.nps.gov/wica.

Wind Cave Seeks Comments on Plan for New Airlock [Wind Cave National Park]

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