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Why are there no entries for caves in the Geographic Names Information System database?

Geographic Names Information System (GNIS) entries for caves are in the database but cannot be retrieved on the public website. In response to the 1988 National Cave Management Resources Act, Department of the Interior Regulation 43 (CFR Subtitle A, Part 37) forbids the release of information regarding the location of all caves on Federal lands.

Currently, the GNIS database is not able to distinguish between caves on Federal lands and caves that are not on Federal lands, so no features classified as “cave” can be retrieved on the GNIS database website. 

Information regarding the location of caves in GNIS can be requested in writing from the office of the Secretary of the Interior. Each request will be analyzed on a case-by-case basis. Mail requests to: 

U.S. Department of the Interior, Secretary of the Interior
1849 C Street NW
Washington, D.C.  20240

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