Wind Cave National Park

Wind Cave National Park

Infobox_protected_area | name = Wind Cave National Park
iucn_category = II

caption =
locator_x = 109
locator_y = 52
location = Custer County, South Dakota, USA
nearest_city = Rapid City
lat_degrees = 43
lat_minutes = 34
lat_seconds = 0
lat_direction = N
long_degrees = 103
long_minutes = 29
long_seconds = 0
long_direction = W
area = 28,295 acres (114 km²)
established = January 9, 1903
visitation_num = 591,049
visitation_year = 2006
governing_body = National Park Service

Wind Cave National Park is a United States national park convert|10|mi|km|0|lk=on north of the town of Hot Springs in western South Dakota. Established in 1903 by President Theodore Roosevelt, it was the seventh U.S. National Park and the first cave to be designated a national park anywhere in the world. The cave is notable for its displays of the calcite formation known as boxwork. Approximately 95 percent of the world's boxwork formations are found in Wind Cave. Wind Cave is also known for its frostwork. The cave is also considered a three-dimensional "maze cave". The cave passed Hoelloch cave in Switzerland on February 11th, 2006 to become fourth-longest in the world with convert|119.58|mi|km|2 of explored cave passageways. The cave's current length is 129.55 miles (208.49 km), with an average of four new miles of cave being discovered each year. Above ground, the park includes the largest remaining natural mixed-grass prairie in the United States.

Early discovery and exploration

The Lakota people, Indigenous People who live in the Black Hills of South Dakota, spoke of a hole that blew air, a place they consider sacred as the site where The Lakota first emerged from the underworld where they lived before the demiurge creation of the world.

The first documented discovery of the cave by early explorers was in 1881 by brothers Tom and Jesse Bingham. They heard a sound of wind rushing out from a convert|10|in|cm|0|lk=on|sing=on by convert|14|in|cm|0|sing=on hole in the ground. According to the story, when Tom looked down into the hole, the wind was blowing out so hard that it blew his hat off of his head.

The wind they heard and felt explains the cave's name. The wind moves depending on atmospheric pressure on the surface and inside the cave. When the pressure is higher outside than inside the cave, wind rushes into the entrances; when pressure is higher inside the cave, the wind barrels out of the entrances.

Since the re-discovery of the cave in 1881 by white explorers, few people ventured more than a few feet (meters) into Wind Cave, but it wasn't until the early 1890s, when a 16 year old boy named Alvin McDonald began exploring, that Wind Cave was discovered to extend beyond the original hole.

Alvin McDonald's father, J.D. McDonald, was employed by the South Dakota Mining Company to find gold in the cave, but was ultimately unsuccessful. Instead, an opportunity was discovered to send tours into the cave. These early tours explored the cave by candlelight and by crawling through some sometimes narrow passageways.

Like the nearby Jewel Cave National Monument, currently the second longest cave, Herb and Jan Conn played an important role in cave exploration during the 1960s.

urface resources

Wind Cave National Park protects a diverse ecosystem with eastern and western plant and animal species. Some of the more visible animals include elk (also called "wapiti"), bison, black-footed ferrets, pronghorn antelope and prairie dogs. The Wind Cave bison herd is one of only four free-roaming and genetically pure herds on public lands in North America. The other three herds are in Yellowstone National Park, the Henry Mountains in Utah and on Elk Island in Alberta, Canada. The Wind Cave herd is currently brucellosis-free.

Several roads run through the park and there are convert|30|mi|km|0 of hiking trails, so almost the entire park is accessible. The park had 850,000 visitors in 2003.

External links

* [ National Park Service website - Wind Cave National Park]

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Wind Cave National Park — Wind Cave Nationalpark Wind Cave Nationalpark …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Wind Cave National Park — /wind/ a national park in SW South Dakota. 411/2 sq. mi. (107 sq. km). * * * National park, southwestern South Dakota, U.S. Established in 1903 to preserve limestone caverns and unspoiled prairie grassland in the Black Hills, it covers an area of …   Universalium

  • Wind Cave National Park —   [wɪnd keɪv næʃnl pɑːk], Nationalpark in South Dakota, USA, 114,5 km2, 1903 eingerichtet; Kalksteinhöhlen in den Black Hills; reiche Tierwelt …   Universal-Lexikon

  • Wind Cave National Park — Parc national de Wind Cave Wind Cave Catégorie II de la CMAP (Parc national) …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Wind Cave National Park — Sp Vėjų Olõs nacionãlinis párkas Ap Wind Cave National Park L JAV (P. Dakota) …   Pasaulio vietovardžiai. Internetinė duomenų bazė

  • National Register of Historic Places listings in Wind Cave National Park — This is a list of the National Register of Historic Places listings in Wind Cave National Park. This is intended to be a complete list of the properties and districts on the National Register of Historic Places in Wind Cave National Park, South… …   Wikipedia

  • Wind Cave National Park — Wind′ Cave Na′tional Park′ [[t]wɪnd[/t]] n. geg a national park in SW South Dakota: limestone caverns. 44 sq. mi. (114 sq. km) …   From formal English to slang

  • Wind Cave National Park — noun a national park in South Dakota featuring bison herds and limestone caverns • Instance Hypernyms: ↑national park • Part Holonyms: ↑South Dakota, ↑Coyote State, ↑Mount Rushmore State, ↑SD …   Useful english dictionary

  • Mammoth Cave National Park — Mammoth Cave redirects here. For other uses, see Mammoth Cave (disambiguation). Mammoth Cave National Park IUCN Category II (National Park) The Rotund …   Wikipedia

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