GIS Helps Manage Oregon Caves's Visitor Impact

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GIS Helps Manage Oregon Caves's Visitor Impact

Postby Cheryl Jones » Apr 22, 2008 8:28 am

GIS Plays Growing Role in Monitoring and Limiting the Impact of Visitors to Oregon Caves
By Elizabeth Hale, U.S. Department of the Interior, National Park Service, Oregon Caves National Monument

........But visits by 48,000 people a year to the national monument, located 50 miles south of Grants Pass, Oregon, significantly impact the natural resources in the "Marble Halls of Oregon." Damage can include broken cave formations, darkened and polished rock from touching, and lint deposits. Cave sediments and animal bones also get disturbed.

Geographic information system (GIS) technology is playing a growing role in helping the National Park Service protect the cave and its resources. In the past two years, the most basic GIS layers of the cave—survey station points, survey shots (lines), and cave walls (polygons)—have been the starting point for developing datasets and maps to help visualize the cave's hazardous and fragile areas, protect paleontological resources, manage a growing collection of photos, and develop a new public off-trail caving tour.

The National Park Service at the Oregon Caves National Monument used ESRI's ArcInfo and ArcPad software for its project along with COMPASS, a cave survey management software package. ... caves.html
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