Wind Cave National Park
Infobox_protected_area | name = Wind Cave National Park
iucn_category = II
locator_x = 109
locator_y = 52
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)
January 9, 1903
visitation_num = 591,049
visitation_year = 2006
National Park Service
Wind Cave National Park is a
United States national parkconvert|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 caveto be designated a national park anywhere in the world. The cave is notable for its displays of the calciteformation 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 Hoellochcave in Switzerlandon 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 prairiein the United States.
Early discovery and exploration
The Lakota people, Indigenous People who live in the
Black Hillsof South Dakota, spoke of a hole that blew air, a place they consider sacredas the site where The Lakota first emerged from the underworld where they lived before the demiurgecreation 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
windrushing 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 pressureon 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
MiningCompany to find goldin 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.
Wind Cave National Park protects a
diverse ecosystemwith eastern and western plant and animal species. Some of the more visible animals include elk(also called "wapiti"), bison, black-footed ferrets, pronghorn antelopeand 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 Mountainsin Utahand 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.
* [http://www.nps.gov/wica 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
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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
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