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Carlsbad Caverns National Park: Lechuguilla Cave By Mary Withers Kirkland, Joel Anderson, 2022


© 2023 Anderson Design Group, Inc. All rights reserved. It is a Federal Copyright offense to reproduce this image without permission.

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Always with an eye out for other artists who appreciate vintage poster art and retro design, Anderson Design Group is pleased to announce a collaboration with digital painter Mary Withers Kirkland on this enchanting poster of Lechuguilla Cave. This hidden gem was known until 1986 as a small, fairly insignificant historic site in the park’s backcountry. Small amounts of bat guano were mined from the entrance passages for a year under a mining claim filed in 1914. The historic cave contained a 90-foot (27 m) entrance pit which led to 400 feet (122 m) of dry, dead-end passages. The cave was visited infrequently after mining activities ceased. However, in the 1950s cavers heard wind roaring up from the rubble-choked floor of the cave. Although there was no obvious route, different people concluded that cave passages lay below the rubble. A group of Colorado cavers gained permission from the National Park Service and began digging in 1984. The breakthrough, into large walking passages, occurred on May 26, 1986. What followed has become some of the world’s most exciting cave exploration in one of the finest known caves on the planet. Since 1984, explorers have mapped over 145 miles (233 km) of passages and have pushed the depth of the cave to 1,604 feet (489 m). As of July 2019, Lechuguilla is one of the ten longest caves in the world (one of the four longest in the United States) and the second deepest limestone cave in the country. Cavers, drawn by unexplored passage and never-before-seen beauty, come from around the world to explore and map the cave. Now available as a poster print, canvas, metal sign, mini-canvas, notecard, or postcard, this original National Park vintage-style illustration will look great on any wall. To learn more about the caverns that served as inspiration for this artwork, you can read more about Carlsbad Caverns at the official National Park Service website.

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