Administrative History of Jewel Cave National Monument

For the National Park Service (NPS), HRA completed A Small Cave No More: An Administrative History of Jewel Cave National Monument, South Dakota. This detailed history tells the story of how the U.S. Forest Service and the National Park Service have managed Jewel Cave National Monument over the past 100 years. Under NPS management, the known extent of the cave has increased to over 200 miles through all-volunteer exploration efforts, making Jewel Cave the world’s third-longest cave system. HRA’s report examines the complexities of managing a cave that is continually increasing in size, including belowground and aboveground resource management, development of visitor infrastructure, and the struggle to keep up with public demand for tours of the cave.

HRA historians conducted 18 in-person oral histories for the project. Historians also conducted research in NPS administrative files at Jewel Cave headquarters in Custer, South Dakota, and at the National Archives and Records Administration facility in Kansas City, Missouri. In addition to the full report, HRA historians wrote two short articles for the NPS to post on the Jewel Cave National Monument website.

Link to full report: