Wind Cave to Build Airlock for Walk-In Entrance
Contact: Tom Farrell, 605-745-1130
WIND CAVE NATIONAL PARK, SD – The revolving door at the Walk-In Entrance to Wind Cave will be replaced with a small airlock structure this winter as a result of a recently completed environmental assessment. The National Park Service Midwest Regional Director Michael T. Reynoldssigned the Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) for an environmental assessment written to build the small structure.
"This new structure will allow us to eliminate air leakage around the Walk-In Entrance and restore the original airflow pattern through the nearby Natural Entrance," said park superintendent Vidal Davila. "Construction will start this fall and will be funded by revenue generated from cave tour fees."
The existing revolving door was constructed in 1992 and after twenty-one years has deteriorated to the point where there are numerous air leaks.These air leaks disrupt the cave's temperature and humidity and allow unnatural access for small animals into the cave. The new structure will create a two-door airlock system and be able to accommodate a tour of 40 people.
For more information, including an on-line copy of the FONSI, visit http://parkplanning.nps.gov/wica. Printed copies of the FONSI will be available for review during the month of July at the Custer, Hot Springs, and Rapid City public libraries and at the park visitor center.
Did You Know?
Fire is an important factor in protecting the prairie. Historically, fires burned across the prairie every 4 to 7 years. Fires burn the small trees that would otherwise march across the prairie and turn the grasslands to forest.