Jewel Caves National Monument

About the Park

Jewel Cave National Monument, located in the southwestern Black Hills of South Dakota, protects one of the world’s longest caves and last remaining frontiers. Exploration of the cave is ongoing, and studies indicate that most of its passages remain undiscovered. The Monument also protects 1,274 acres of ponderosa pine forest.

Jewel Cave National Monument

Emissions Profile

Jewel Cave National Monument used 2008 as the baseline year for comparison as it developed its long-term greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reduction goals. In 2008, GHG emissions at Jewel Cave totaled 417 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (MTCO2E). This is roughly equal to the emissions generated by 35 average U.S. households each year. The largest emissions sector for Jewel Cave National Monument is purchased electricity, which contributed 270 MTCO2E to 2008’s emissions totals. A significant amount of electricity is used to power the cave tour lighting system and cave elevators.

The figure below shows our baseline emissions in 2008 broken down into sectors


Jewel Cave National Monument has developed the following sustainability goals to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and waste, and to increase public and staff awareness:

• Reduce GHG emissions by 3% (12.5 MTCO2E) by September 30, 2016. This will be accomplished primarily by pursuing installation of efficient LED lighting in the cave, and by addressing findings of a visitor center energy audit. The Monument will also research the feasibility of regenerative drive cave elevators, and will encourage employee carpooling.

• Reduce landfilled waste by 5% (1.5 short tons) by September 30, 2016. This will be accomplished by increasing recycling availability and awareness, encouraging reuse of materials, and removing employees from mailing lists.

• Increase public awareness of sustainability, climate change, and Jewel Cave’s greening efforts. This will be accomplished by including related articles in the park newspaper, creating a sustainability page on the park web site, and providing educational programming to school groups.

• Ensure that all employees receive annual Environmental Management System (EMS) and Environmental Purchasing (EP) training. This will be accomplished by developing and providing EMS and EP training, keeping accurate training records, and distributing green products lists to purchasers.

To learn more about Jewel Cave National Monument’s sustainability strategies, read the FY2013 Modified Environmental Management System (MEMS) / Climate Friendly Park (CFP) Plan!