As it was mentioned in the introduction and explained briefly in the mineralogical section, there are strict limitations on the tactics of realization of expeditions and methods of mineralogical research. These limitations are not at all fixed legislatively, and the only hope of the preservation of interesting caves lies in the conscience and self-discipline of investigators. Taking into account the great interest in the caves among speleological and geological circles, we would like to use this opportunity to present once more a list of rules for visitors of caves, especially geologists. Breaking with tradition, we cite only those rules which relate to the safety of the cave but not to the safety of visitors.
(1) There is nothing wrong with accepting the following motto of the American speleologists "Don't take anything away from the cave except photos, and don't leave anything behind except your own traces," although even traces are not so good. In any case, the removal of trash is necessary with one exception. Some caves (including ones in the far regions of Cupp-Coutunn) are inaccessible for study without an underground camp,which creates the problem of toilets. The Americans have unsuccessfully tried all methods to organize facilities in their unique Lechuguilla Cave. All attempts to take away buckets or to dry them first in place and then take them away had turned into a complete fiasco. Our practice indicates that after a two-week camp for five persons, the toilet buried in a large clay massif containing organic matter is completely decomposed after 5 to 7 years. In this case, it is possible to plan the admissible sizes, duration, and periodically of the organization of underground camp.
(2) About traces. Dirty traces on the clear speleothems in beautiful parts of caves are absolutely inadmissible, not to mention crashing and trampling down any interesting forms. Clearly visible paths should be organized directly during the earliest visits to vulnerable places, and it is not recommended to stray from these paths. If there is an interesting mineralogical object in a path, it should be collected and stored near the path. Naturally, not only the floor should be cleared. If one must crawl and this passage is to be used further as the lane,in some cases it is necessary to remove from the ceiling those speleothems which will be anyway broken by heads. Of course, this does not excuse vandalism, and the laying of the lane as of "trace of minimal damage" is possible only with the understanding of its necessity.
(3) About light and heat. The above mentioned observations and recommendations about the using of light and kitchen are of course related namely to Cupp-Coutunn. Nevertheless, in any case it is desirable to carry out observations and work out a "heat politics". If there are groups, which research a cave seriously, they may have already prepared calculations and quotes on the feasibility of camps.
(4) About reservoirs. The cave reservoirs are extremely vulnerable in three positions at the same time. If it is a small lake in dry place, it is usually beautiful , and any dirt (dust from hands, soap) will never be removed from the lake. If it is a large lake, unique fauna may live there, and this fauna may be poisoned by just one spoon of detergent. For these reasons,the reservoirs cocmmand the same respect as the most delicate of crystals.
(5) About excavations. If a pass is to be excavated into a new part of the cave or into a new cave, it must be considered that such a process may sharply change the system of air circulation and, consequently, the microclimate of the cave. It is imperative to estimate the possibility of the draining of beautiful halls, and if such a possibility is real, it is necessary to take all measures on the hermetization of excavations. Sometimes it is enough to put up a simple fabric screen, held in place by a few stones.
(6) About mineral and rock samples. The discussion of this question has no precedent in speleological literature. It is considered that the speleologists do not have to take away any samples at all, and special expeditions should be organized for mineralogical investigations, where skilled specialists determine where and how to remove samples,and to which the speleologists may not have the slightest relation. In my opinion , this ostrich politics is incorrect in principle, yielding to nothing except additional damage to caves. Integral and open politics is more than necessary here. I believe three conditions concerning the removal of samples simultaneously implemented. First, the sample may represent a pure analytical material, being collected from the freely lying detritus, or it may be an element collected during the excavation of the pass or during the clearing of the path. Second, the fate of the sample should be determined. If it is an analytical sample, it is necessary to know in advance what must be proven or disproven with the help of this sample, i.e., it is best to collect only a particular sample for a particular idea. If it is a unique aggregate collected from the path or something of this kind, it is possible to take it away only for a specially prepared place in a large collection. There are two ideas here. The removal may be excused only if enough free access to the sample for its study will be provided, as well as a guarantee that it will keep out of the slops pit or destruction. Both of these conditions may be fulfilled only in large special collections, moreover, in their general expositions and not in store-rooms. Finally, the sample may be taken away only if there is a complete guarantee of its transportation to its place locality. This usually means a carefully thought-out scheme of transportation to the exit in the unpackaged form and a no less carefully planned packaging for further transportation. In a broader context, the question about the removal of samples is the particular case question of the diagnostics of cave minerals which is worth special regard . The methods of diagnostics of minerals and admixtures used in the mineralogy of caves are divided into three categories. The field luminiscent methods are the most interesting, safe for caves and unlimited in application. Unfortunately, these methods are nearly unused in our country because of the absence of equipment. They have become leading methods in international practice, and the International Speleological Union provides a large program on perfecting of equipment and compilation of the atlases of determinations. Shopov, the leader of the program, proposed even an extremely curious method of fixation of luminiscent peculiarities with the help of obvious photographic equipment, but the deciphering of results is possible now only in his laboratory in Sofia.
A method moderate in the degree of destruction is a remarkably widespread express-analysis with staining methods. In the majority of cases, it is enough to treat a small part of the surface with further removal of traces. In general, the method should not be used immediately, because the entire express-laboratory is heavy, and the full diagnostic cycle is long and complex; moreover, a large amount of samples is needed. At the same time, if one knows a cave's general features, one can propose possible models and plan a minimum program which can be realized during the following visit. Frequently, the stone material is not needed for thinking, and it is enough to carry out one or two determinations of ions in water drops from speleothems. It should also be carried out on location, because the solutions are often absolutely unstable, and they may be strongly changed during one week or some minutes. Staining methods reveal one problem. The light sources used in the caves are of various nonstandard spectral composition. Hence, "seeing is not believing", and for comparison, it is necessary to use the colored control tables specially adopted for own lantern.
Destructive diagnostics, carried out with the removal of the sample, has to be applied in extreme cases if results are not obtained by the above described methods. Such a necessity has took place only in some dozens of cases in our practice.
On the whole, one can describe the recommended approach to diagnostics as the principle of the prediction of the result, using indirect data and theoretical modelling with verification by a minimum amount of samples at the place.
(7) About secrecy. Speleologists all over the world are obliged to struggle actively for the protection of interesting caves, though the direct aims of military actions may vary. First, these actions are directed against an obvious vandalism that is a major problem; second, they are directed against mining projects, as in the case of Cupp-Coutunn; third, against ill conceived commercial projects in caves (mainly in the USA) fourth, against cattle-breeders, who regard caves as natural traps for rams (in England). Strange as it may seem, the most widespread and universal weapon is a primitive secrecy. Under our conditions, when there is no legislation on the protection of caves, depredation prospers, though recently its center has changed from open vandalism to unadvertent savage tourism. In this case, the protection of caves may be only in the conservation of the most interesting parts until better times. In some caves and particularly, in the Cupp-Coutunn System, these times have already appeared on the horizon, but not yet in other caves. Nevertheless, even in the Cupp-Coutunn System, the most interesting places have to be kept in a strong management of conservation. The passes in the caves are not marked on maps, and in some cases the survey of the pass is not carried out. The passes are closed by artificial blockages opened only during visits by an expedition. Naturally, all these measures will not be necessary after the appearance of serious guarantees of protection; until those times, the preservation of caves is upon the consciences of investigators, and secrecy is the best way.
This category should also include a summary of ideas about the limits of permissible collaboration with local powers and local speleologists. Those and others, as a rule, are very interested to obtain information about new caves and their parts, and they have a right to do so. At the same time,unfortunately, there is no guarantee that none of these groups has questionable intentions. My colleagues and I support open politics but only partly opened information, and we have never regretted it. We always inform about all our finds, we submit maps where all our finds are marked, though we do not indicate the passes. Further information temporarily remains with us if there are no guarantees of preservation legally supported and in material forms. In many cases, our position meets with understanding. It is only true under the condition that we can prove that we are not going to organize ourselves any commercial projects in the caves. It means that it has to be in full mutual understanding and in good relationships with local powers. It was mentioned above that the mutual suspiciousity of local powers and of local and visiting speleologists had saved the Geophyzicheskaya Cave. When the cave was saved, the relationships between different sides of the conflict were normalized. This has happened in many cases. Finally, action taken out of a sense of conscience, considering our own measure of responsibility for the fate of caves, it will be always compensated. Good or bad relationships are temporary, but natural phenomena are not repairable.
Remarking once more upon the parallel with the Lechuguilla Cave, we notice that its investigators had the same problem, which gave birth to some conflicts between the speleologists and the administration of the national park, where the cave is located, The administration desired to organize an excursion complex. Only when the federal law concerning the special status of the "Virgin Cave" for Lechuguilla with the direct interdiction of any technical operation in the cave has been forced through the US Congress, common language was immediately found, and nobody protested against the strict regulation by the park administration of all investigations and visits to the cave, as well as against granting full information to the scientific center of the park.