Triplicate staff

CAVE JUNCTION, Ore. - Volunteers from Seattle and the Portland, Ore., area, have finished restoration work on the Oregon Caves.

The caves are now cleaner, and work essential for obtaining funding for improving and protecting the cave environment is finished.

andquot;Most of the work we do involves small scale cleaning such as cleaning lint left on formations,andquot; Conservation Chair of Cascade Grotto Hester Mallone said.

The group targeted two sections that will be used as part of a study on cave-adapted life later this year.

The task is not a small one, according to Oregon Caves educational programming and cave tour director Roger Brandt.

andquot;Each year about 50,000 visitors leave behind an assortment of things that include lint and hair,andquot; Brandt said. andquot;The lint from 50,000 people can add up.andquot;

In cleaning up the sections, volunteers uncovered signatures dating from the late 1800s.

Although most of the group left Sunday, two people were briefly snowbound when a winter storm made roads back down the mountains impassable.

The storm left 70 inches of snow in its wake, but that amount has since packed down to about three feet.