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To help bats hibernate, Great Smoky Mountains NP crew clears natural rockfall blocking cave

In the summer of 2019, the near-silence of a secluded, mossy hollow in Great Smoky Mountains National Park was disturbed by the sound of rock drills and hammers.

Half inside a cave, a team of wildlife technicians and trail crew members were moving a pile of debris blocking the entrance. For eight hours the six-person crew shoveled “a dump truck of rocks” and boulders by hand to clear out a narrow passage to a massive cave.

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