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Significant Cave Entrances

The following section summarizes the management objectives and recommended best management practices for significant cave entrances. As these are only brief summaries, you should also check out more detailed information in the Karst Management Handbook for British Columbia.

Management objectives

The following is a summary of the management objectives designed to protect significant cave entrances. Reserves should:

  • Maintain the microclimate around significant cave entrances
  • Maintain stable habitat conditions for any flora or fauna inhabiting the cave entrance or cave
  • Prevent logging debris from entering significant cave entrances
  • Provide a measure of aesthetics/recreational experience for cave entrances with high recreational values.

Recommended best management practices

Run your mouse over the following bullets to assist you in learning about the recommended best management practices.

Leave a minimum two-tree-length reserve extending outward from the mouth of the cave entrance. In the case of a significant entrance contained within a sinkhole, the reserve should extend from the rim or edge of the sinkhole, as defined by the upper break of the slope enclosing the sinkhole.
Leave an adjacent management zone of an appropriate size to protect the reserve from windthrow. See Managing Windthrow.
Leave understorey vegetation along reserve boundaries, and green trees in the opening to help maintain interior microclimatic conditions and inhibit the encroachment of edge species into the reserve.

Figure 3-2: The two-tree-length reserve is based on the average height of the dominant and co-dominant trees at 100 years.

For reserves around entrances of caves known to contain bat hibernacula for a red- or blue-listed species, follow the recommendations in Managing Identified Wildlife: Procedures and Measures.
What practices are recommended for cave entrances that don’t meet the criteria of significant cave entrances?

Use a 20-metre management zone around the entrance, and:

  • Fall and yard away from the cave entrance as much as possible.
  • Remove any slash and debris that falls in or around the cave entrance, provided removal does not cause further disturbance.
  • Retain windfirm non-merchantable trees, advanced regeneration, wildlife trees, and other windfirm vegetation within the management zone.

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