The mission of the NSS Conservation Division is to develop and implement a comprehensive cave conservation program in order to protect as much of the cave and karst resources in the United States as possible. Our first concerns are promoting greater public awareness of the value and relevance of these resources in everyday lives, and passage of protective legislation. Many U.S. cave and karst resources are threatened by vandalism, inappropriate land use, misguided waste disposal, and careless caving, enabled by a widespread lack of public knowledge on the importance of speleological resources.

The Cave Conservation Division of the National Speleological Society is made of the Conservation Committee and its subcommittees, as well as the Cave Vandalism Deterrence Reward Commission, and the Mammoth Cave Restoration Committee.


The purpose of the conservation Committee is to further the protection of caves and their natural contents. Working toward that goal, the Committee promotes NSS involvement in public education on the value of cave resources, speleological research on conservation problems, passage of legislation to protect caves, development of cave management plans and restoration of caves damaged by vandalism and excessive visitation. The Conservation Committee works directly with NSS members, other NSS internal organizations, public and private landowners, and other conservation groups involved in managing and protecting caves and cave dependent flora and fauna. The organization of the Conservation Committee varies in keeping with the scope of current issues and projects.

Although the staff of the Conservation Committee is directly involved in a number of projects, its primary function is to assist the membership in cave conservation activities. NSS Members and internal organizations initiate many projects independently. We encourage you to let us know about your activities and experiences and to ask for our cooperation when needed. We want to let the NSS membership know what you're doing and the lessons you've learned. One of the benefits of being part of the NSS is that by joining with others, we can draw on a pool of strength and experience to help solve our common problems.

If you are able to share your time and skills to work for cave conservation, please contact our Committee co-chairmen, Jim Werker and Val Hildreth-Werker.

Pages and their contents © Copyright 2001-2004 by the Conservation Division of the National Speleological Society, except where otherwise noted.