Mammoth Cave Seeks Public Input and Sees Highest Tourism in a Decade

By Michael Gossum | 

MAMMOTH CAVE, Ky. — Despite budget cuts and weather that's not normal for this time of year, Mammoth Cave National Park is hosting several tourists from all over the country.

"We're here on vacation. We've all been to the old man's cave that's up there and we heard this is the biggest one, so we came to experience that," said Diane Dziewatkoski, a tourist from Ohio.

"We've had a lot of rain here this summer, but surprisingly our visitation is very high. In fact, we saw the highest June in the last ten years and a very busy fourth of July weekend. So, visitation has actually been great," said Park Superintendent Sarah Craighead.

While the park is seeing great numbers in terms of visitors, they're also asking for your help.

They are preparing a foundation document that Craighead says involves revisiting the park's core mission.

"It's to look at what the significance of the park is, what are the most important stories we should be telling here, what the threats and opportunities are. That helps us build other planning documents from the foundation document," said Craighead.

Stories are a big part of what they want to share at the park.

"Stories that we should share with the American public, there are a lot of things to talk about Mammoth Cave as you can imagine, the geology, the hydrology, but also the human history. So, what are those most important things we should be telling the American public," said Craighead.

The idea is, this foundation document will answer the question why do we care about this place?

The public comment period started on July 15th and runs through July 29th, to comment you can go through the National Park Service's website at the link below.

Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
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