The National Park Service seeking input from the public

Cave Junction, Ore.- The National Park Service is asking for community input on how to best utilize the Oregon Cave National Monument and Preserve.

“We’re taking in all the comments, looking at the angles from the public, but also analyzing all the environmental factors and cultural factors to make sure we aren’t missing anything,” Oregon Cave specialist Jason Walz said.

Back in December 2014, Congress passed an act that would expanded the area from 480 acres to 4,070 acres.

“The preserve and the monument are both designed to protect the Oregon Caves,” Walz said.

While the agency plans to upgrade some of its infrastructure, including trails, a campground, roads, and water lines, leaders want to make sure they hear all their options.

“We got a lot of comments from horseback riders, from folks that were interested in timber managements, we got some comments from bicyclist, we got people that are interested in protecting caves if there are other caves that we can find in the preserve,” said Walz.

The agency is also considering a bike loop and possibly adding tours.

“We try to consider all the options, then we develop at least two alternatives, one of them being not doing anything,” said Walz.

No matter what the park service decides, Walz says just having a preserve around the caves will ensure it’s around for future generations.

“That gives me a sense of fulfillment that we are protecting something for the public that people will be able to come and their children will be bale to come and hopefully that will continue as long as possible,” he said.

The agency is taking public comment until July 2. To find more information or to provide a comment, click here.

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