Talk:Russell Cave National Monument

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Entrances to Russell Cave[edit]

It is clear that Russell Cave has multiple entrances. However, I have checked several sources and have been unable to substantiate the names (Pig Entrance and Canoe Entrance) and also whether or not these entrances lie within the National Monument site or exterior to it. If the original author has a reference for this information, please return the information to the article with reference.

Leeannedy 23:20, 29 October 2006 (UTC)

the cave entrances all almost lead to different trails in the cave but there is one that really caught my eye and i dont know what it is called but it leads to an old mining ground which in my world is awsome they let u dig and if you find any jewls u get to keep them i think that russell cave is awsome and ever since my first visit i visit there every year it is so much fun!!!

Note: I believe this person is confusing nearby Raccoon Mountain Caverns with Russell Cave. Raccoon Mountain Caverns is open to the public and does have a gemstone mine.

Larry E. Matthews 18:45, 10 September 2007 (UTC)

Can you please provide more information and references regarding your experiences at Russell Cave National Monument? Please remember to sign your posts with four tildes. Leeannedy 15:38, 3 December 2006 (UTC)

In April, 2007, the National Speleological Society published a new book, "Caves of Chattanooga", written by Larry E. Matthews. This book has nine chapters and each chapter focuses on a different cave in the greater Chattanooga area. Chapter 8, "Russell Cave National Monument", has a detailed map of the cave on pages 143-145.

This map shows all the entrances to the cave:

No. 1 - Main Entrance

No. 2 - Pig Entrance

No. 3, 4, and 5 - Canoe Entrances

No. 6 - Picnic Entrance

Larry E. Matthews 18:45, 10 September 2007 (UTC)

Peccary - Were they contemporaneous with prehistoric Americans?[edit]

The section on "Biology" states that peccaries were hunted in this area by the early inhabitants of Russell Cave. I have never seen any published papers that substantiate that peccaries were still in this area when prehistoric man arrived.

Modern peccaries live in the desert southwest (javelina) and other varieties live in Central and South America. Clearly, the modern peccaries prefer warmer climates.

Peccary fossils are common in this area from the Plesitocene, but seem to coincide with warmer, interglacial periods.

Larry E. Matthews 18:46, 10 September 2007 (UTC)

Larry, thanks for your interest in the Russell Cave National Monument article. According to Fifty Years of Southeastern Archaeology: Selected Works of John W. Griffin, a now-extinct species of peccary was killed on at least one occasion by early inhabitants in the Early Archaic period (page 153). By the Middle Archaic period, the peccary was extinct in the region (page 154). Thanks for your question, however. I will work to improve the referencing. This was my first major article and the referencing was somewhat lacking. Leeannedy 20:15, 10 September 2007 (UTC)

Thank you for the prompt response to my question. That is very interesting and informative to know. My compliments to you on this very interesting and informative article on Russell Cave.

Larry E. Matthews 15:59, 13 September 2007 (UTC)

Fair use rationale for Image:North Alabama Birding Trail Logo.gif[edit]

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BetacommandBot (talk) 17:30, 2 January 2008 (UTC)

Access To Russell Cave[edit]

For many years, access to Russell Cave was allowed to qualified cave explorers. Now, the cave is closed to all exploration.

The rational given by the National Park Service is that this cave contains rare, endangered cave life. And, the cave does indeed contain some rare, very small animals. However, casual exploration of the cave is in no way harmful to these animals. This cave serves as a giant "sewer" for this valley, and all types of garbage dumped by the local inhabitants into the creeks and roadside ditches wash into the cave and through it. Are they worried about that? That sounds more harmful to endangered species, to me.

This is the same, lame excuse given by the National Park Service in many locations, to keep qualified cave explorers out of caves on Park Service land. They seem to forget that these caves belong to the PUBLIC, not to them. Some of the Rangers at Russell Cave National Park, in the past, were expert cave explorers, and they allowed exploration of the cave by people who were qualified and properly equiped. This should be the policy today, here at Russell Cave and in ALL National Park caves, where exploration will not damage the caves or their contents.

The rational behind the current policy is apparently that it is much easier to say "NO" to everybody, rather than see who is qualifed and issue permits. I ran into this same problem at Great Smoky Mountains National Park this past year. I was conducting historical research on past commercial caves in the area and needed access to Gregorys Cave in the Cades Cove area. It took over nine (9) months of seemingly endless emails, before I finally got into the cave to conduct research and take photographs.

There needs to be a better policy for access to caves in the National Park System.

Larry E. Matthews (talk) 15:45, 27 May 2008 (UTC)