• Photo of the steep natural entrance of Carlsbad Caverns

    Carlsbad Caverns

    National Park New Mexico

There are park alerts in effect.
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  • Cave Lighting Project

    We are undergoing a year-long lighting project in the cavern. Please be aware of caution tape along pathways inside the cave and use due care.

  • Scenic Loop Road Closed

    The 9-mile scenic Loop Road (Desert Drive) is closed due to weather damage. The road will reopen as soon as repairs are done. This scenic road does not affect road access to the visitor center or the cave.

Park Planning

The National Park Service prepares a variety of planning and environmental documents to help guide it in managing park resources. These documents can range from site-specific impact analyses on facility locations to broader park-wide plans for future use and management of a park. The Planning, Environment and Public Comment site contains all of the currently active plans and environmental documents for the National Park Service.

Carlsbad Caverns National Park produces a number of planning documents in the course of careful deliberations about park management issues. The following are planning and other associated documents the park has completed in the last few years.

Wastewater System Rehabilitation FONSI – June 2007 [567k PDF]

Wastewater System Rehabilitation EA – March 2007 [1278k PDF]

Reconstruction of Visitor Center Parking Areas and Rehabilitation of Walnut Canyon Entrance Road EA – January 2007 [1363k PDF]

Cave and Karst Management Plan EA – 2006 [1852k PDF]

Rattlesnake Springs Management Plan Scoping Notice – 2006

Fire Management Plan FONSI – 2005 [2604k PDF]

Fire Management Plan EA – 2005 [3006k PDF]

Fire Management Plan – 2005 [1550k PDF]

Carlsbad Cavern Resource Protection Implementation Plan and EA – 2002 [1881k PDF]



Glossary of Terms

Environmental Impact Statement (EIS): An EIS is prepared when a proposed action or alternatives have the potential for significant effect on the human environment.

Environmental Assessment (EA): An EA is prepared to determine whether the impact of a proposed action or alternatives could be significant.

Record of Decision (ROD): The document that is prepared to substantiate a decision based on an EIS. It includes a statement of the decision made, a detailed discussion of decision rationale, and the reasons for not adopting all mitigation measures analyzed, if applicable.

Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI): A determination based on an EA and other factors in the public planning record for a proposal that, if implemented, would have no significant impact on the human environment.

Scoping: The procedure by which an agency identifies important issues and determines the extent of analysis necessary for an informed decision on a proposed action. Scoping, an integral part of environmental analysis, includes early involvement of interested and affected public, as well as internal and external agency contacts. Although formal scoping occurs for a specific time period, we welcome your comments on projects while we are in the process of preparing plans.

Did You Know?

The Hall of Giants in Carlsbad Cavern.

The 120 caves of Carlsbad Caverns National Park were carved out not by running water and streams like many limestone caves in the world, rather these caves were dissolved by very aggressive sulfuric acid.