Originally published on Wed November 26, 2014 11:32 am
High ozone levels aren’t healthy for people, especially the very young, elderly or sick. But the pollution is bad for plants, too, and researchers at Mammoth Cave National Park are trying to determine its effects on the park’s flora.
Originally published on Fri November 14, 2014 2:24 pm
Mammoth Cave National Park is planning an increase in the amount of fees visitors would pay for cave tours, camping, and picnic shelters.
Park Superintendent Sarah Craighead announced the proposed fee increases Friday afternoon. Under the plan, the cost of most cave tours would increase by $1-$2 dollars, with camping fees climbing to $5 from the current rate of $2.
The cost of reservable picnic shelters would jump $25.
Those interested in commenting on the proposed changes can do so until December 5.
Craighead says the proposed fee increases would result in an additional $350,000 a year that the park would reinvest in projects.
“Our highest priority right now is to complete the renovations of the Mammoth Cave Hotel. The fees are also used to pay for the cave guides who do the tours, and for a variety of operational costs, like cleaning the campground," the Barren County native said.
Eighty percent of the fees collected at Mammoth Cave are used to pay for facilities and services at the park, with the other 20 percent used support projects at national parks that don’t charge entrance fees.
Originally published on Tue August 19, 2014 2:22 pm
A researcher at Mammoth Cave National Park is fearful that a fungal disease is set to kill large numbers of bats in the region.
White Nose Syndrome was first discovered at the park in south-central Kentucky last year, and has impacted at least six of the eight bat species found inside the cave. Rick Toomey, director of the Mammoth Cave International Center for Science and Learning, says researchers at the park are expecting a spike in White Nose cases.
“Unfortunately we’re expecting potentially our next big milestone this year, when we may start seeing fairly large population drops, or possibly finding bats dying of white nose at the park.”
Watch: WKU Public Radio photojournalist Abbey Oldham recently produced a video exploring the potential impact of White Nose Syndrome on the bat populations at Mammoth Cave, and what the park is doing to combat the fungus:
Toomey says an estimated 6.5 million bats in North America have died due to White Nose Syndrome, although he believes the actual number could be much higher. Great Smokey Mountains National Park in Tennessee has recently seen a surge in bat deaths due to White Nose Syndrome—deaths Toomey says haven’t shown up yet in official estimates.
The first confirmed case of a fatal bat disease has been found in Mammoth Cave National Park. White Nose Syndrome is a fungal disease that has killed millions of bats across North America. Nearly all infected bats die, and so far scientists haven’t been able to stop the spread of the fungus.
Mammoth Cave in Kentucky has become the first national park to be powered entirely with alternative fuel. That’s what the executive director of the Kentucky clean fuels coalition told state lawmakers in Frankfort Wednesday.
Mammoth Cave National Park is offering two free cave tours later this month in recognition of National Park Week.
Visitors must pick up tickets for the free tours of the Discovery and Mammoth Passage caves, which are being given April 21-29. Park Superintendent Patrick Reed says outdoor activities benefitnot only physical and mental health, but "it's just plain fun."