By Katie Halter
Before tunnel and trail construction began at Kartchner Caverns State Park, a development team spent years monitoring the cave’s natural microclimate and inhabitants, while also researching other tour caves. This research culminated in a careful development process, using baseline data and lessons learned from other tour caves to minimize impact. One aspect of this process was the future mitigation of lint build-up, both along tour trails and deeper in the cave. The development team put systems in place in order to prevent a large-scale lint problem: systems to prevent lint, to manage lint, and to clean up lint. After 20 years of tours, lint is not a large-scale problem. The natural resources team continues to host regular lint removal events that are open to the public, keeping certain restrictions and techniques in mind.