Cave Descriptions & Locations

A Note on Cave Descriptions and Locations:  

An original intention of Missouri Speleology was to publish descriptions of all the known caves in Missouri, as well as to create a venue to publish topical papers related to various aspects of speleology in Missouri.  In 1956, when the MSS was founded there were less than 500 known caves in Missouri.  Over time, as the number of documented caves grew the goal of publishing a description for each cave waned.  

Today, there are over 7,000 documented caves in Missouri.  While issues are still published regularly which describe caves or various aspects of speleology, each issue tends to have a more specific focus than the traditional county-wide issues.  In addition, the MSS maintains a highly detailed database of caves which contains far more comprehensive information on Missouri caves than can be found in Missouri Speleology.   

In 1963 the MSS revised its policy of publishing issues with cave locations.  This policy was published in Volume 5 Number 1. Later,the policy was expanded upon and explained further in Volume 6 Number 2.  Today, we still largely abide by those same policies and do not print cave locations in our publications in order to protect the cave and cave resources and to respect the sanctity of landower relations.  

Unfortunately, once cave locations are released, there's no getting them back and over the years we've seen considerable destruction to Missouri caves and cave resources due to unscrupulous individuals and groups.  Please remember that knowledge of a cave's location does not grant permission to enter it.  If your interest in past issues of Missouri Speleology is to comb through them looking for directions to caves, you'll be largely disappointed.  Our earliest issues may have some very vague locational descriptions but likely not enough to help navigate directly to a cave.  Instead, the best way to learn about where caves are is to contact us and get involved in organized caving through one of our affiliate organizations.  

Cave locations are shared with cooperators for specific purposes. This does not include recreational caving; however, recreational caving and caving with a copacetic purpose is largely distinguished by simply coming away from the trip with some data that contributes to our records or to the cave's well being, including biological observations, cave descriptions, etc. With that in mind, nearly anyone can contribute and cooperate.

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