Forest Service Plans to Clean and Gate Blue Crystal Cave

April 30, 2011
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Photo by ell brown

The U.S. Forest Service is requesting comments on a plan to install gates and clean Blue Crystal Cave which is located in Vanocker Canyon, just south of Sturgis, South Dakota.

Blue Crystal Cave once provided quality habitat for a wide variety of bat species, although populations have been in decline, likely due to increased human traffic.

The Forest Service would like to install bat-friendly gates at the entrances to the cave, clean up the trash, soot and graffiti in hopes to improve the habitat for bats and to protect the cave.

The gate would assist with the enforcement of cave closures by the Forest Service. Aside from Wonderland Cave, all caves and abandoned mines residing in the Black Hills National Forest are closed for at least one year due to White-nose Syndrome. Despite the closures, people are still visiting the cave.

Once the threat of White-nose Syndrome has passed and the closures have lifted, Blue Crystal Cave would once again be open to people.

To have your comments heard, contact send an email to [email protected] or send a letter to Jackie Groce, Natural Resource Planner, Northern Hills Ranger District, 2014 N. Main St., Spearfish, SD 57783.

Forest Service Plans to Clean and Close Blue Crystal Cave [U.S. Forest Service]

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