Cave Conservationist

The Newsletter of Cave Conservation and Management

Volume 14 No. 1 February 1, 1995

Published by the NSS Section on Cave Conservation and Management


Featured in this issue: World Wide Web, Caver Behavior Codes, Bolts in Caves, 1995 National Cave Management Symposium, Guadalupe Ranger District, TCMA, Recreational Caving Fees, Lint Camp at Wind/Jewel.

Table of Contents


The following is the source text for the WWW Events Listing for Conservation Related events.


<!doctype html public "-//IETF//DTD HTML//EN"><HTML><HEAD>

<TITLE>Cave Conservation and Management Calendar</TITLE>

<NEXTID N="1"></HEAD><BODY><H1>Cave Conservation and Management Calendar</H1><P>

<B>April 2 - 5, 1995: </B> 5th Conference on Sinkholes and the Engineering/Environmental Impacts of Karst, Gatlinburg, Tennessee. Contact: B.F. Beck, P.E. LaMoreaux &amp; Associates, Inc., Box 4412, Oak Ridge, TN 37831-4412. <P>

<B>April 15, 1995:</B> Fourth Annual Cave Clean-up, Wyandotte Cave, RR1, Box 85, Leavenworth, IN 47137. Cleanup begins at 9am and ends at 5pm. There is a limit of 40 participants. Contact: Roger Gleitz (812)738-2782. <P>

<B>April 23, 1995:</B> Under the Earth Day VI. Contact Keith Dunlap, c/o the Indiana karst Conservancy, P.O. Box 2401, Indianapolis, IN 46206, (317)882-5420. <P>

<B>May 8-12, 1995:</B> Lint Camp at Jewel Cave and Wind Cave, South Dakota. If interested in this year's Lint Camp, or in

another one around the same time next year, people should contact:

Kathy Petty, Phone: 303-278-8448 (H) or 303-236-9404, ext. 24 (W) OR Sandy Kramer, 239 Norse Street, Golden, Colorado 80401. This should be done by April 14 for this year's camp.<P>

<B>July 17-21, 1995:</B> <A HREF="http://sfbox.vt.edu:10021/B/balister/nss95.html" >NSS Convention, Blacksburg, Virginia.</A> Contact: Carol Tiderman, 7600 Pindell School Road,, Fulton,

MD 20759. (410)792-0742. For information on the Conservation

and Management Session, or to volunteer to give a paper, contact

George Huppert, 1830 Green Bay St., La Crosse, WI 54601. ph.

(608)787-0499. <P>

<B>July 31-August 5, 1995:</B> Tropical Karst Processes and Environmental

Changes and Conservation Symposium, Havana, Cuba. Contact: Mrs.

Zosima Lopez Ruiz, P.C.O. Intern. Conf. Center, Palacio de las

Convenciones, Ap. 16046, La Habana, Cuba

<P><B>September 11-14, 1995:</B> Karst Waters and Environmental

Impact Symposium, Antalya, Turkey. Contact: Prof. Dr. Gultekin

Gunay, P.O. Box 357, Kizilay, 06420, Ankara, Turkey. FAX: +90(312)235-2862.

<P><B>October 25-28, 1995:</B> XII National Cave Management Symposium,

Spring Mill State Park, Mitchell, Indiana. Contact: Larry Mullins,

(812)275-5987 (days) or Keith Dunlap (317)882-5420 (evenings).

<P><B>August 1996: </B> World Coastal Karst Environments Symposium.

During the 28th IGC in The Hague, Netherlands. Details to beAnnounced.<P>

<B>August 3-9, 1996: </B> NSS Convention, Salida, Colorado<P>

<B>June 23-27, 1997:</B> NSS Convention, Sullivan, Missouri.<P>

<B>August 6-20, 1997: </B> 12th International Congress of Speleology,Switzerland.<P>

Send information on other events to be included in this calendar

to <A HREF="mailto: rstitt@wingedseed.com" >Rob Stitt</A>. IncludeE-Mail addresses or Web pages whenever possible.<P>

Return to <A HREF="http://www.halcyon.com/samara/nssccms/welcome.html" >Cave Conservation and Management Section </A>Home Page.</BODY>

</HTML>

The Cave Conservationist is the official publication of the Conservation and Management Section of the National Speleological Society. Distribution is free to members of the Section. Section membership costs $5 annually and should be mailed to the Secretary. (A membership form for your convenience is included on page 17.) Additional complimentary copies are distributed on a temporary basis at the discretion of the Section to NSS members, internal organizations, cave owners, and others involved in cave conservation projects. Opinions expressed are not necessarily those of the either the Section or the NSS and should be attributed to the author or, in the case of uncredited articles, to the Editor.

SUBMISSIONS: Articles and other Cave Conservationist correspondence should be sent to the Editor. Submissions on computer disks should be made with 3.5" IBM compatible diskettes, . Microsoft Word, Word Perfect 5.0-3, or Wordstar 3.3 compatibility, or straight ASCII format is preferred. Do not format materials for multiple columns! Diskettes will not be returned unless requested. Arrangements may be made for transmission via modem; call or write the publisher for details. Or send an E-Mail message, or your article, to the Publisher via the Internet to rstitt@wingedseed.com. Note: if you send diskettes or articles to the Publisher, be sure to notify the Editor that you have done so, and send him a hard copy.

Copyright 1995 NSS Conservation and Management Section, except as noted. Internal organizations of the National Speleological Society may reprint any item first appearing in the Cave Conservationist so long as proper credit is given and a copy of the newsletter containing the material is mailed to the Editor. Other organizations should contact the Editor.

Printed by members of the D.C. Grotto and the Potomac Speleological Society.

Cover illustration is by Rob Stitt. This is the raw text file that when read by a World Wide Web browser appears on your computer screen as a formatted upcoming events listing. See the Notes from the Chairman column for more details.


NATIONAL SPELEOLOGICAL SOCIETY

Conservation & Management Section

Officers

 

Chairman and Publisher:Rob Stitt

1417 9th Ave. West

Seattle, WA 98119

(206) 283-2283 rstitt@wingedseed.com

 

 

Editor and Vice-Chairman:Jay R. Jorden,

 

1518 Devon Circle

Dallas, TX 78217-1205

(214)398-9272 jjorden@mcimail.com

 

 

Secretary-Treasurer:Evelyn Bradshaw,

10826 Leavells Road

Fredericksburg, VA 22407-1261

(703)898-9288 c/o kshaw@logicon.com

 

 

Directors at Large:Mel Park

1541 Peabody Ave.

Memphis, TN 38104

(901)272-9393 mpark@utmem1.utmem.edu

 

 

George N. Huppert

1830 Green Bay St.

La Crosse, WI 54601

(608)787-0499

 

 


Table of Contents

Table of Contents

Notes from the Chairman

MINIMAL IMPACT CAVING CODE-INTERIM 1994

CODE OF ETHICS AND CONSERVATION

NSS Policy For Cave Conservation

CLIMBING IN CAVES, AGAIN!

BOLT REMOVAL SETS PRECEDENT

1995 National Cave Management Symposium

1995 Management Symposium Call for Papers

Cave Permits-Guadalupe Ranger District

Oil and Gas Leasing Comments

Youth Program at Carlsbad Caverns NP

TCMA Meeting Notes-Fall 1994

TCMA Meeting Notes-Winter 1995

BLM Pay for Caving Initiative

Danger, Will Robinson, Danger: Intruder Alert

Danger to Your Freedom; Hard on Your Wallet

Lint Camp at Wind and Jewel Caves


Notes from the Chairman

I thought I didn't have enough stuff for an issue, but I stuck it all in and here we are, a full issue. And lots of important things happening:

First of all, our World Wide Web page is now up on the Internet! You can access it at:

http://www.halcyon.com/samara/nssccms/

If you don't know what that means, then I recommend that you get one of the myriads of books (many containing software) and get hooked up to the Internet. (This assumes that you have a computer.) Or you can get onto the World Wide Web via Prodigy, America Online, Compuserve (coming soon) Delphi, or other Online Providers.

For those of you who don't have, and/or don't want to have, a computer-don't worry, the print media won't abandon you yet. That may come eventually, but for the foreseeable future we will be printing this publication. However, if you have a computer and an Internet connection, you will be able to get the information much sooner. This issue, for example, will be up on the Web within an hour after I print the copy to go to the printer. You won't get it in your mailbox for up to 4 weeks later, depending on volunteers and the U.S. mails.

I had planned to include in this issue a discussion of cave conservation standards. I downloaded the Australian standards from the Internet, and they are included here along with a copy of the NSS Conservation Policy . The issue is: should the NSS upgrade or expand its Conservation Policy to become more comprehensive, like the Australian one. Bearing in mind that with the entry of a lot of new cavers into the NSS, the standards may have lower some, and there may be many members who would oppose a broader standard. OK, I haven't had time to write a detailed discussion. So let's get your comments. Send them to me via the Internet, or via the U.S. Mail, and we'll include them in the next issue and pass them on to the new NSS Conservation Chairman (yes, Al Krause is retiring, as soon as a successor can be found).

Al has sent out some information to Jay on the lack of response to the BLM on theCaving for Pay issue. This has been a fast moving issue and we missed it here in print (but it has been on the Internet).

The BLM in New Mexico is proposing to start charging for recreational caving on BLM lands. It could be that that's a good idea, but it may not go over well with cavers and NSS members. The NSS BOG has appointed a committee to look into this, and presumably will be taking an NSS position, but in the meantime, the BLM wants to hear from cavers, and it hasn't gotten much response. The deadline is April 15, so you need to get something in right away. See the article for a discussion of this. I'll try to post more information on the WEB.

Finally, the Jewel-Wind Lint Camp will be coming up in early May. It's a good way to help the Park Service take cave of two of its caves and get in a short vacation away from the dull grind. See "Lint Camp at Wind and Jewel Caves," later in this document..

Rob Stitt


Australian Speleological Federation

MINIMAL IMPACT CAVING CODE-INTERIM 1994

Australian Speleological Federation (Inc.)

"What we have now is all there will ever be-Conserve Australia's Caves"

Introduction

The need for a Minimal Impact Caving Code (MICC) has evolved over many years as cavers have realised the impact that they have on caves. That impact is so diverse and varied that it has become necessary to devise a caving code that ensures that cavers are aware of the measures that are necessary to reduce their impact on caves.

To those of you who have just become Australian Speleological Federation (Inc.) (ASF) members it is important that you understand that a MICC IS necessary because cavers are one of the major sources of damage to caves. Read the MICC carefully and apply it to all of your caving-it will not completely stop cavers damaging caves but it will certainly reduce their impact on the cave environment. This MICC was devised by cavers FOR CAVES-please assist the Caves of Australia by using these simple MIC techniques.

This MICC should be used in conjunction with the ASF Code of Ethics .

General

This code is divided into two sections. One relating to the exploration of a newly discovered cave or section of cave and the other relating to general cave visitation .

The following practices may fall into both sections and may be modified depending on the type of cave being visited. It should be stated that we are discussing here a code which will ensure that cavers have a minimal impact on the cave they are visiting. In many instances the practices may not apply as the impact that cavers have, may be minuscule, compared to the impact of flooding of the entire cave, for example. These practices are generally intended to apply in caves where cavers are likely to have a detrimental impact on the cave purely by entering the cave.

In-cave marking refers to the use of a variety of materials to define tracks, routes and barricades in a cave. These measures should be taken to protect sensitive areas, confine caver foot damage, make cavers aware that a sensitive (it may be an unobvious cave animals' territory) area exists.

THERE ARE NO EXCEPTIONS TO THIS CODE-SURVEYORS, PHOTOGRAPHERS, SCIENTISTS, EXPLORER'S ETC. ARE ALL SUBJECT TO THIS CODE.

General Cave Visitation

  1. Remember EVERY caving trip has an impact. Is this trip into this cave necessary? If it is just for recreation, is there another cave that is less vulnerable to damage that can be visited? Make this assessment depending on the purpose of your visit, the size and experience of the proposed party, and IF THE TRIP IS LIKELY to damage the cave.
  2. Where possible the party leader should have visited the cave previously and hence should be aware of sensitive features of the cave, the best anchor points, and generally reduce the need for unnecessary exploration.
  3. Cave slowly. You will see and enjoy more, and there will be less chance of damage to the cave and to yourself. This especially applies when you are tired and exiting a cave.
  4. If there are beginners on a trip, make sure that they are close to an experienced caver, so that the experienced caver can help them when required, e.g. in difficult sections. Ensure that the party caves at the pace of the slowest caver.
  5. Keep your party size small-4 is a good party size.
  6. Cave as a team-help each other through the cave. Don't split up unless impact is reduced by doing so.
  7. Constantly watch your head placement AND that of your party members. Let them know before they are likely to do any damage.
  8. Keep caving packs as small as possible or don't use them in sensitive caves or extensions.
  9. Ensure that party members don't wander about the cave unnecessarily.
  10. Stay on all marked or obvious paths. If no paths are marked or none is obvious-define ONE!
  11. Learn to recognise cave deposits or features that may be damaged by walking or crawling on them.
    Examples are:- Drip Holes, Stream Sediments, Paleo soils, Soil Cones, Crusts, Flowstone, Cave Pearls, Asphodilites, Bone material, Potential Archaeological sites, Cave Fauna, Coffee & Cream, Tree Roots
  12. Take care in the placement of hands and feet throughout a cave.
  13. Wash your caving overalls and boots regularly so that the spread of bacteria and fungi are minimised.
  14. If a site is obviously being degraded examine the site carefully to determine if an alternative route is possible. Any alternative route MUST not cause the same or greater degradation than the currently used route. If an alternative is available suggest the alternative route to the appropriate management authority and report the degradation.
  15. Carry in-cave marking materials while caving and restore any missing markers. Tape off sensitive areas you believe are being damaged and report the damage to the appropriate management authority.
  16. If it is necessary to walk on flowstone in a cave remove any muddied boots and or clothing before proceeding OR DON'T PROCEED! Sometimes it is better to assess the situation and return at a later date with the appropriate equipment.
  17. Treat the cave biota with respect, watch out for them, and avoid damaging them and their "traps", webs, etc. Also avoid directly lighting cave biota if possible.
  18. If bone material is found on existing or proposed tracks it should be moved off the track to a safer location if at all possible. Collection should only be undertaken with appropriate permission.
  19. If you eat food in a cave ensure that small food fragments are not dropped as this may impact the cave biota. One way is to carry a plastic bag to eat over and catch the food fragments. This can then be folded up and removed from the cave.
  20. Ensure that all foreign matter is removed from caves. This includes human waste. If long trips are to be made into a cave ensure that containers for the removal of liquid and solid waste are included on the trip inventory.
  21. When rigging caves with artificial anchors, e.g. traces, tapes, rope etc., ensure that minimal damage occurs to the anchor site by protecting the site. For example protect frequently used anchors, e.g. trees, with carpet, packs, cloth, etc. Bolts should only be used where natural anchors are inappropriate.
  22. CAVE SOFTLY!

New Cave or Extension Explorations

  1. The existing microbiology of the new cave, both fungi, bacteria, and a world of protozoa, will almost certainly be irreversibly contaminated on the first trip into the cave! If you consider cave microbiology has not been investigated in the area of this new cave, if cave microbiologists are available, then please consider including them on initial explorations so that they may collect uncontaminated samples.
  2. Do not enter the new area if you do not have the equipment required to undertake the minimal activities. Surveying equipment and in-cave markers.
  3. The minimal activity should be in-cave marking and surveying. Not purely exploration.
  4. Ensure that all alternative routes are examined, by completing the cave survey, prior to crossing sensitive areas. It may not be necessary to enter some areas as they can be by-passed.
  5. Having determined that a sensitive area is to be crossed it should ALWAYS be marked. Reduce future damage by defining a distinct, minimal width track.
  6. Discuss in-cave marking within the party and ensure that all ideas are evaluated before marking is undertaken.
  7. CAVE SOFTLY!

CODE OF ETHICS AND CONSERVATION

AUSTRALIAN SPELEOLOGICAL FEDERATION INC.

Adopted 1992 P.O. BOX 388 BROADWAY 2007

1. Introduction

1.1 Recognising their primary aim of protecting the caves and karst of Australasia, cavers will actively promote cave conservation and sound management practices through example, education, advice and training.

1.2 This code establishes a minimum standard of caving practice.

1.3 Higher standards may be required by management authorities for particular caves or karst regions, in which case those standards will be adhered to.

2. Toward Landowners and Management Authorities

2.1 Landowners, tourist guides and any person representing a management authority will be treated with courtesy and respect.

2.2 All caving parties must have specific or tacit approval from the landowner and/or management authority before entering any property or reserve, must follow only agreed routes and must not visit forbidden areas.

2.3 The prevailing procedures regarding gates on properties and reserves will be followed, and care taken to cause no damage to stock, crops, equipment or landscape features. In short, leave as found.

2.4 All parties will be as self sufficient as possible and will not presume on the good will of landowners and/or management authorities for water, supplies or assistance.

2.5 Where the cave entrance has been blocked by the landowner and/or management authority, it will be re-blocked after use, or, with the landowner and/or management authority's permission more appropriate protection installed unless the landowner and/or management authority otherwise instructs.

2.6 No gate will be installed at or in a cave unless approved by the landowner and/or management authority and arrangements are made for key security. Any gate must have an accompanying sign giving reasons for gating and access conditions unless the landowner and/or management authority otherwise instructs.

2.7 No cave excavation, including the use of explosives, will be undertaken without the permission of the landowner and/or management authority and/or management authority and the society committee, and only after an assessment of the environmental effect.

3. Toward Caves

3.1 Camping will not occur in a cave, unless absolutely necessary to achieve a specific speleological or conservation objective.

3.2 Caving activity must be conducted in a manner responsible to the cave environment, taking particular care to avoid damage to speleothems, sediments, biota and other natural phenomena. The maximum size of any party should be limited to that which provides the best quality of experience or achieves specific aims.

3.3 Cave entrances and passages should not be excavated/enlarged, including the use of explosives, water levels in sumps should not be modified and stream flows should not be diverted, until all possible effects are assessed and the appropriate permission gained. Any modification must be the minimum required.

3.4 Established marked routes must be used, single tracks should be followed and care taken to avoid needless deposition of mud. Mud-throwing or modeling is unacceptable.

3.5 All human introduced wastes must be removed from the cave and disposed of properly.

3.6 Cavers will not smoke in any cave.

3.7 Caves must not be disfigured by unnecessary marking (including `direction arrows'). Entrance tags and survey marks should be small and inconspicuous.

3.8 Disturbance should not be caused to any biotic community. No disturbance should be caused to maternity or over-wintering roosts of bats. Collection of specimens will be kept to the minimum required for study purposes only.

3.9 The technique, agent and justification for air or water flow-tracing experiments should be chosen to minimise environmental impact and must be approved by the relevant authorities and the society committee.

3.10 Explosives should not be used inside a cave or at the entrance unless absolutely necessary, and then only with the permission of the landowner and/or management authority and the society committee, and only after an assessment of the environmental impact.

4. General

4.1 Recognised codes for minimum impact camping will be observed with particular emphasis on complete removal of rubbish and, wherever possible, avoidance of camping on karst catchment areas.

4.2 Reports on speleological work and caving activities are to be honest and accurate, avoiding sensationalism or exaggeration.

4.3 Any published work must acknowledge other people's contributions to the work, either as clubs or individuals, published work or personal communication.

4.4 Consideration should be given before publishing an article disclosing a cave's location, as to its intended audience, the wishes of the landowner and/or management authority, and the subsequent effect on the cave.

4.5 When visiting an area frequented by another society, the club or party will co-operate fully with that society.

4.6 Disputes will be conducted in a restrained and responsible manner.


NSS Policy For Cave Conservation

From NSS Board of Governors Manual

The National Speleological Society believes: That caves have unique scientific, recreational, and scenic values; That these values are endangered by both carelessness and intentional vandalism; That these values, once gone, cannot be recovered; and that the responsibility for protecting caves must be assumed by those who study and enjoy them.

Accordingly, the intention of the Society is to work for the preservation of caves with a realistic policy supported by effective programs for: the encouragement of selfdiscipline among cavers; education and research concerning the causes and prevention of cave damage; and special projects, including cooperation with other groups similarly dedicated to the conservation of natural areas. Specifically:

All contents of a cave-formations, life, and loose deposits-are significant for its enjoyment and interpretation. Therefore, caving parties should leave a cave as they find it. They should provide means for the removal of waste; limit marking to a few, small and removable signs as are needed for surveys; and, especially, exercise extreme care not to accidentally break or soil formations, disturb life forms or unnecessarily increase the number of disfiguring paths through an area.

Scientific collection is professional, selective and minimal. The collecting of mineral or biological material for display purposes, including previously broken or dead specimens, is never justified, as it encourages others to collect and destroys the interest of the cave.

The Society encourages projects such as: establishing cave preserves; placing entrance gates where appropriate; opposing the sale of speleothems; supporting effective protective measures; cleaning and restoring overused caves; cooperating with private cave owners by providing knowledge about their cave and assisting them in protecting their cave and property from damage during cave visits; and encouraging commercial cave owners to make use of their opportunity to aid the public in understanding caves and the importance of their conservation.

Where there is reason to believe that publication of cave locations will lead to vandalism before adequate protection can be established, the Society will oppose such publication.

It is the duty of every Society member to take personal responsibility for spreading a consciousness of the cave conservation problem to each potential user of caves. Without this, the beauty and value of our caves will not long remain with us.

December 1960


CLIMBING IN CAVES, AGAIN!

CLIMBERS GUIDE TO PHRANANG BAY THAILAND

Reprinted from the Oregon Speleograph, December, 1994

Larry King writes: "The most recent issue of Rock & Ice (Nov.Dec., 1994) has a very good conservationoriented article on caving (p.43). Unfortunately, the accompanying climber's guidebook to PhraNang Bay, Thailand on p. 85 features routes placed directly over cave formations, and is sure to raise concerns from cave conservationists."

Larry included a copy of the guide by Will Hair. The cover photo is a climber (Heinz Zak on Siamese Twins), climbing a massive stalactite mass hanging from a cave roof. Other photos depict climbing routes across cave roofs on flooded tower karst in PhraNang Bay. The following are highlights from different routes in the guide: "climb up the right side of a large stalactite", "follow the bolts on the left side of the stalactite", "follow the line of bolts up the right side of the stalactite formation", "a bouldery start off the sand leads up into a column of stalactites", " A wild Climb! Scramble up to a ledge, then lean out to a hanging stalactite and clip a threaded sling. Swing onto the stalactite, then climb through more stalactites", "then step right onto a bulge covered with blobs of rock that resemble cauliflower". A copy of the guide is in the [Oregon] Grotto Library for anyone wishing to view it.

This climbing guide shows a lack of conservation ethic both with the perpetrators of these routes and Rock & Ice Magazine for publishing and promoting such activities. Cavers once thought that they and climbers shared a common love for nature and worked hard to preserve special places. This climbing activity is not only unethical, but causes permanent damage to fragile cave entrances. By promoting the activity it makes it appear to be acceptable, when in fact on Federal lands in the United States it is in most cases illegal!

A review of the USDA Forest Service Code of Federal Regulations, 36 CFR, Part 261Prohibitions (Subpart A), shows the illegality of this activity:

First the definitions:

Cave means any naturally occurring void, cavity, recess, or system of interconnected passages beneath the surface of the earth or within a cliff or ledge and which is large enough to permit a person to enter, whether the entrance is excavated or naturally formed. Such term shall include any natural pit, sinkhole, or other opening which is an extension of a cave entrance or which is an integral part of the cave.

Cave resources mean any materials or substances occurring in caves including, but not limited to, biotic, cultural, mineralogic, paleontologic, geologic, and hydrologic resources.

Damaging means to injure, mutilate, deface, destroy, cut, chop, girdle, dig, excavate, kill or in way harm or disturb.

The following are prohibited:

261.8 Fish and Wildlife. (e) Curtail the free movement of any animal or plant life into or out of a cave, except as authorized to protect a cave resource.

261.9 Property. (a) Damaging any natural feature or other property of the United States.

261.9 Property. (g) Digging in, excavating, disturbing, injuring destroying, or in any way damaging any prehistoric, historic, or archaeological resource, structure, site, artifact, or property.

261.9 Property . (j) Excavating, damaging, or removing any cave resource from a cave without a special use authorization, or removing any cave resource for commercial purposes.

Any activity which damages a cave environment such as building trails, camping, concentrated use, climbing on cave walls, disturbing endemic plants and wildlife, or disturbing archaeological sites, is clearly illegal. Climbing in cave entrances falls into this category as evidenced by caves in the Bend area.

The question of establishing climbing routes in caves entrances is of great conservation importance, and one quickly coming to the front. Cavers are urged to write Rock & Ice to express disgust in their lack of conservation sensitivity: Rock & Ice, P.O. Box 3595, Boulder, CO 80307.

From the Oregon Speleograph, December, 1994


BOLT REMOVAL SETS PRECEDENT

By Larry King

The recent removal of bolts and restoration work done at Derrick Cave, while by most standards would be considered modest, sets an important managerial and conservation precedent. The Bureau of Land Management is the first Central Oregon land management agency to taken a stand against climbing in caves, prohibited the activity, and removed climbing paraphernalia. Credit goes to Trish Lindaman and other staff members of the Lakeview, Oregon, BLM office. Even though a precedent has been set, the problem is not solved. Climbing in caves is increasing both in Oregon, and probably in other parts of the country as well. Cavers are encouraged to remain vigilant and report cave climbing activity to the ACCA, the NSS Conservation Chairman, and local authorities .

Climbers last spring agreed to a selfimposed moratorium against placement of any new bolts in Central Oregon caves, while an interagency USFS, BLM committee determined interim guidelines for management of cave resources. It appears this moratorium has been violated.

Twentysix new (or previously overlooked) bolts have been found in Pictograph Cave, bringing the current total to around seventyfive bolts. Cavers are encouraged to write, requesting the removal of bolts from Pictograph Cave, to: Sharon Netherton, Prineville District BLM, P.O. Box 550, Prineville, OR 97754.

A serious conservation challenge is presented by climbing in caves of the Fort Rock Ranger District, including Skeleton, Hidden Forest and Charcoal Number One. With Deschutes County experiencing a population boom, the caves are suffering from increased human impact of all types. Meanwhile, the ranger district is dealing with drastic budget cuts and the USFS enforcement personnel are stretched impossibly thin. Sport climber' s recent interest in lava tubes has evoked protest from area cavers and stimulated debate over the impact, legality and ethics of the sport. Cavers are encouraged to direct their comments and suggestions to: Bill Queen, Fort Rock Ranger District, 1230 N. E. 3rd, Bend, OR 97701


1995 National Cave Management Symposium

FIRST NOTICE - PLEASE POST

1995 NATIONAL CAVE

MANAGEMENT SYMPOSIUM Xll

October 25 28,1995

Spring Mill State Park, Mitchell, Indiana

HOSTS:

Hoosier National Forest

US Fish & Wildlife Service, Bloomington Office

Indiana Department of Natural Resources

Indiana Karst Conservancy, Inc.

Dear Prospective Participant:

This letter is to announce details of the 1995 National Cave Management Symposium ant to solicit your participation. The biennial symposium is intended to be the premier forum for people of diverse backgrounds, professions, and interests to gather and advance efforts towards appropriate and sensitive management of caves and cave resources. Discussions and the sharing of new techniques, common problems, and the successes and failures of attempted solutions are the goals of the symposium, both through formal presentation sessions and through informal exchanges and networking with other participants. Attendees will include representatives of federal land managing agencies, state agencies, commercial cave operators, private cave owners, private land holding and managing organizations, cave related researchers, and cavers. The theme for the 1995 National Cave Management Symposium will be "Quality Cave Management Involves Everyone" and will emphasize the importance of cooperative efforts in dealing with cave management issues.

The setting for the 1995 symposium is the rustic Spring Mill Inn situated in Spring Mill State Park near Mitchell, Indiana. Centrally located in southern Indiana's karst region, Spring Mill State Park is known for its beautiful combination of oldgrowth and virgin woods, outstanding karst geology, and numerous multimile cave systems. Central to the park is the restored pioneer village complete with working grist mill powered by water from one of the caves.

The symposium will run Wednesday morning through Saturday noon. In addition to the traditional paper presentations, several panel discussions and other special events are being planned. Thursday's agenda will be completely dedicated to field trips emphasizing examples of Hoosier National Forest cave management activities, the Indiana DNR cave management practices including Wyandotte Cave, the Lost River Drainage Basin, and problems with urbanization and road construction in karst areas. Optional field activities are also being planned for Tuesday and Saturday afternoons for those with extra time wishing to extend their learning experience.

WHO SHOULD ATTEND

The National Cave Management Symposium will benefit anyone involved in management and protection of caves or related natural resources. This would include Federal and State public land managers, Federal agency personnel involved with the implementation of the Federal Cave Resource Protection Act, biologists responsible for endangered species and other nongame wildlife, private land trust organization resource managers, cave scientists, natural resource educators and students, transportation and urban planners in karst regions, commercial cave owners and managers, private cave owners, and cavers.

REGISTRATION

The registration fee will be $100 with a discount of $20 if preregistered before August 31, 1995. A student discount is available at 50% of the above fees. The registration will include all scheduled activities, session program/schedule, symposium proceedings, field trip guidebook, field trip transportation, field trip box lunch, Wednesday evening's reception, and Friday evening's banquet. Day passes will also be available.

ACCOMMODATIONS

The symposium and related activities will be held at the Spring Mill Inn located five miles east of Mitchell, Indiana in Spring Mill State Park. The entire Inn (73 rooms) has been reserved for participants (room rates are $4656). Overflow housing is available in nearby Mitchell and Bedford. Spring Mill State Park also has a beautiful modern campground just minutes from the Inn with full RV hookups as well as primitive camping areas.

COSPONSORS

The Organizing Committee solicits agencies/organizations who wish to help support the symposium by becoming cosponsors. The allows the registration fee to be kept low so costs will not be an overriding factor for some participants to attend. To obtain cosponsor status, a minimum donation of $200 is required, but this includes one full registration. All cosponsors will be recognized as such in the program and proceedings.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Additional information will be included in later mailings and with the preregistration packets. If you would like to be on our mailing list, or for any questions, suggestions, or comments, please contact one of the following:

Keith Dunlap

Indiana Karst Conservancy

PO Box 2401

Indianapolis, IN 46206

(317) 2422505 (days)

(317) 8825420 (evenings)

Larry Mullins

Hoosier National Forest

608 W Commerce Street

Brownstown, IN 47220

(812) 3582675 (days)


CALL FOR PAPERS PLEASE POST

1995 NATIONAL CAVE

MANAGEMENT SYMPOSIUM Xll

October 25 28, 1995

Spring Mill State Park, Mitchell, Indiana

HOSTS:

Hoosier National Forest

US Fish & Wildlife Service, Bloomington Office

Indiana Department of Natural Resources

Indiana Karst Conservancy, Inc.

This is the call for papers to be presented at the 1995 National Cave Management Symposium to be held at Spring Mill State Park, Mitchell, Indiana. This event provides an excellent opportunity to share techniques, solution to problems, and other information related to cave management and protection. The theme for the 1995 NCMS is "Quality Cave Management Involves Everyone", so special emphasis on cooperative efforts by agencies, organizations, and individuals would be appreciated.

The following topics are presented as suggestions for interesting and informative symposium papers: proactive cave management plans emphasizing successes and problems; Federal Cave Resource Protection Act implementation activities and progress; land trust and private cave management group projects and activities; archeology, paleontology, geology, hydrology, and biology related to cave and resource management; restoration techniques; organizing volunteers for cave management projects; tips for successful cooperative agency/ organization projects and case studies; new development in caves gates and other access management techniques; visitation monitoring; impact monitoring; commercial cave trail and lighting advances; cave education programs; endangered species monitoring and protection; transportation and urban construction in karst areas, and water quality issues in karst regions.

The above list is by no means complete. Basically any presentation that provides useful cave conservation and management information to the symposium attendees should be submitted. In addition to the oral presentation, all papers will also be published in symposium proceedings which will serve as an excellent resource and reference for attendees and others involved in cave management.

SYMPOSIUM PAPER TIMELINE

  • November 1, 1994-Call for papers announced
  • July 15, 1995-Deadline to submit draft abstracts/presentation proposals
  • August 1, 1995-Notification of paper acceptance, draft schedule sent to presenters
  • September 1, 1995-Final abstracts due
  • September 15, 1995-Program and paper schedule mailed to all preregistrants
  • October 2528, 1995-Symposium presentations
  • December 1, 1995-Deadline for papers to be submitted for inclusion in proceedings
  • July 1, 1996-Proceedings ready for distribution

Each presentation will be allotted 20 minutes with an additional 5 minutes reserved for questions and answers. These time limitations will be strictly enforced. The papers will be categorized and presented with similar topics in sessions of three or four presentations. The Session Committee invites and encourages volunteer session coordinators to organize and solicit papers that can be presented together.

In addition to session presentations, other special presentations and panel discussions are being planned. Your suggestions of topics would be appreciated. There will also be an area available for displays and posters for those wishing to set up an exhibit for the duration of the symposium. Contact the organizing committee for additional details.

For details and questions on this call for papers and presentation topics, contact:

Bruce Bowman

Indiana Karst Conservancy

PO Box 2401

Indianapolis, IN 46206

(317) 2764098 (days)

(317) 5396935 (evenings)

For other details on the symposium, contact:

Keith Dunlap

Indiana Karst Conservancy

PO Box 2401

Indianapolis, IN 46206

(317) 2422505 (days)

(317) 88~5420 (evenings)

Hank Huffman

Indiana Dept. of Natural Resources

402 W Washington St., Room 267

Indianapolis, IN 46204

(317) 2324052 (days)

(812) 87~9645 (evenings)

Larry Mullins

Hoosier National Forest

608 W Commerce Street

Brownstown, IN 47220

(812) 3582675 (days)


Cave Permits-Guadalupe Ranger District

USDA

Forest Service

Guadalupe Ranger District

Federal Building, Rm. 159

Carlsbad, NM 88220

505-885-4181

Reply to: 2350

Date: January 30, 1995

Subject: Cave Permit Issuance Procedures

This letter is intended to notify interested parties that the Guadalupe Ranger District is changing the method in which we will issue permits for cave trips. We feel that the following administrative changes are needed to handle the present workload and the amount of time that it is now being spent coordinating permit issuance.

Beginning the week of February 5, 1995, you will need to call 505-981-2416 (the Guadalupe Administrative Site) Wednesday or Friday between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. to obtain trip permits.

Permits will no longer be mailed. Instead, permits will be sealed in envelopes with the applicant's name typed across the front and placed for pickup in a lock box located on the south end of the administrative office. At the time that you apply for the permit, you will be given the combination to the lock. The administrative office is located on Road 137, 3.5 miles past the Forest Service boundary.

We realize this change may be difficult, but it is needed so that our folks can spend more time in the field managing and protecting some of this country's most fragile and unique cave resources.

If you have questions, please feel free to contact Cave Resource Manager, Michael Baskerville, at 505-885-4181 between the hours of 7:45 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Sincerely,

John L. Conner

District Manager


Oil and Gas Leasing Comments

USDA Forest Service

Guadalupe Ranger District

Federal Building, Rm 159

Carlsbad, NM 88220

505-885-4181

Reply to: 2820

Date: January 31, 1995

Subject: Oil and Gas Leasing Analysis

The Lincoln National Forest is asking for comments relating to a request received from the Bureau of Land Management (BLM). This request is a consent for the leasing of oil and gas rights on a section of the Guadalupe Ranger District. Before granting that consent, we are analyzing the environmental effects of leasing on the Forest environment. This action was prompted from an expression of interest from industry.

This analysis applies to the following area located some 14 miles north of State Route 137: All National Forest system land described below, aggregating approximately 46,000 acres, is located in Otero County, NM as follows:

T. 22 S., R. 18 E., NMPM Sections: 1-3, 11-12, 13-14, 24.

T. 22 S., R. 19 E., NMPM Sections: 1-30, 32-36.

T. 22 S., R. 20 E., NMPM Sections: 4-11, 13-16.

This area contains about 160 acres of private land located in NW 1/4 of Section 1, T. 22 S., R.19E., and is not a part of this analysis.

According to the Lincoln National Forest Management Plan, the Forest is directed to provide energy and minerals exploration and development while demanding practices that are conducted in an environmentally sound manner. Such practices will integrate with other resources to manage the entire ecological resource. To accomplish this, the Forest Service has been given consent authority for all BLM oil and gas leases on National Forest System lands. Before granting that consent, we are analyzing the environmental effects of leasing on the Forest environment.

Although most of the Guadalupe Ranger District has been leased for exploration, no producing wells have been established. In the 60s and 70s, a half dozen unsuccessful holes were drilled in the vicinity of the lease area under analysis. Since then, there has been no exploration activities. In the past ten years, the Forest has received only one application for a permit to drill

(APD). As a condition for granting a permit to drill, a site specific environmental analysis will be conducted addressing such items as pads, roads, and pipelines, and will be subject to public notification. The analysis will also require an Archaeological Clearance, a Biological Assessment and Evaluation and a Noxious Weed Assessment.

In highly sensitive areas such as caves/karst occurrence zones, cultural resources sites and threatened, endangered and sensitive species habitat areas, evaluations will be performed and special stipulations developed to protect and/or mitigate any adverse impacts on the resource.

The proposed oil and gas lease area is located more than 17 miles north of the Forest's high cave concentration area in the southern portion of the District. As an extra precaution, the District is considering using strict cave protection stipulations similar to the BLM standards that were developed for their Carlsbad Resources Area. These cave stipulations will apply to all future oil and gas leases on the entire Guadalupe Ranger District.

Please return all comments to this office within 30 days of the date of this letter. Questions concerning this project should be directed to either Richard Carlson of my staff or myself at 505-885-4181.

Thank you for your continued interest in the Lincoln National Forest.

Sincerely,

John L. Conner

District Ranger


Youth Program at Carlsbad Caverns NP

News Release
National Park Service
by Bob Crisman
505-785-2251, ext. 322
January 31, 1995

SIERRA CLUB INNER CITY YOUTH PROGRAM TO HELP CARLSBAD CAVERNS NP AS WELL AS YOUTH

The El Paso Regional Group of the Sierra Club has an Inner City Outings Program that helps not only inner city youth, but also will be helping Carlsbad Caverns National Park (CCNP) and other similar park and wilderness areas.

The youth and their adult leaders volunteer their time to do conservation service projects. Working in groups consisting of eight youths, paired one on one with eight adults, the volunteers will be working with the CCNP cave resources office to help restore natural conditions in parts of Carlsbad Cavern altered over the years by lack of care in development of the cavern for visitor use, as well as inappropriate use by some visitors. The work will involve removal of discarded construction debris, removal of trash and lint, washing tracked mud and boot marks off natural flowstone formations, cleaning up loose emery chips along trails, and algae removal around lights.

Leading the Sierra Club sponsored youths during work at Carlsbad Cavern will be Sondra Denny. Before moving to El Paso, Denny worked with the Carlsbad, NM volunteers known as the Carlsbat Cavers who were recently recognized for donating over 2,500 hours doing similar work at the park.


TCMA Meeting Notes-Fall 1994

by Jay Jorden

Saturday, 22 October 1994

The Texas Cave Management Association Inc.'s Board of Directors approved revised and restated bylaws for the organization, accepted the resignation of one trustee and handled other important matters at its fall meeting on Saturday, Oct. 27, 1994. Present at the meeting near Pedernales Falls State Park were directors Noble Stidham, Rune Burnett, Ron Ralph and Jay Jorden. Also present were Secretary Carolyn Biegert as well as Walter Feaster, project manager at 0-9 Water Well and Amazing Maze Cave. Others present were Bill Russell, Jim Wolff, Bill Sawyer, Gralin Coffin and Bruce Anderson. Those absent included Mike Warton, executive director; Carl Ponebshek, board president; Jack Ralph, the treasurer; and Lee Jay Graves. Ron ran the meeting in the absence of Carl, who had had a medical emergency.

The minutes of the Sept. 4 meeting at Government Canyon were unanimously approved after a motion by R. Burnett, s/J. Jorden.

Also, m/Jorden, s/Burnett to approve minutes of the Aug. 13 meeting at Caverns of Sonora. The motion carried unanimously.

There was no executive director's report. Old business included the status of the lawn mower used at Whirlpool. Ron said that the mower was currently at Gill Ediger's house in Austin. It needs a new battery and, possibly, new spark plugs. Also, the mower is missing a blade (not a good diagnosis.) Bill said the cave preserve's surface vegetation is recovering from a fire earlier in the year. On the revised and restated bylaws drafted by attorney Steve Gillis at Gardere & Wynne in Dallas, Jay reviewed major points. Directors and officers had previously received draft copies, which were also printed in the TCMA Activities Newsletter. He then moved adoption of the bylaws. S/Burnett. Approved unanimously.

Secondly, Jay read the proposed "Resolutions by the unanimous consent of the directors." Its major points included repealing the previous draft bylaws, adopting the revised and restated ones and setting forth the terms of the Board of Directors, to be expanded to nine members. Jay moved the resolutions for adoption. S/Russell.

The resolutions passed unanimously.

On new business, Bill Russell mentioned some grant proposals and said he would pursue them. One proposal related to fire ant control. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has studied the problem but other research is necessary. Dr. William Elliott has done work in the area. Jay reviewed some recent correspondence with the TCMA insurance carrier in which Mike Warton had also been involved.

On the treasurer's report, Jay related a recent conversation with Jack Ralph. Business had kept the treasurer from preparing a financial statement, but he was interested in helping update the mailing list. Noble said he wants a current mailing list and believes the organization should keep up with its dues. He said he would be willing to do the work if necessary.

Ron directed the secretary to write the treasurer for a financial statement and current dues information.

Board members had a consensus in favor of keeping the TCMA membership in the Center for Nonprofit Management, which aided in its recent legal review. Rune mentioned operation of caves for the city of Austin. Walter said he had talked with Steve Hartman on the previous Wednesday concerning 0-9 Water Well and the renewal of the TCMA management contract at the cave, which is on University of Texas System land. Walter said the pact would be drafted and sent to lawyers with the UT System in Midland.

Rune needed some property descriptions and file information on the various TCMA assets. Bill discussed contributions to TCMA. Jim Wolff said he was considering whether to keep his status as Whirlpool project manager. Bill suggested the idea of drawing on the UT Grotto members as a resource for work at the project. A committee including Bill was created to look into this idea of ``appointing'' interested club members to be managers or associate managers at the site. Ideally, they would be TCMA members and one person at the grotto would be in a position of responsibility. Jim discussed trash disposal at the site. A metal can has been added at Whirlpool. Currently involved in helping Jim at the cave are Doug Allen, Bill Russell, Carl and Lee Jay. Jim and Bill said they would attend a UT Grotto meeting for information in this area.

Bruce said TCMA needs to actively pursue grant funds. Jim was nominated to fill one of the two new directors' slots under the expanded board through the revised bylaws. The next directors' meeting was set for the winter Board of Governor's meeting of the Texas Speleological Association unless called sooner.

Sunday, 23 October 1994

At a meeting of the 1994 National Speleological Society Convention Committee early Sunday, members voted to award the $500 honorarium from the NSS to an endowment fund toward a permanent site for the Texas Cavers' Reunion (TCR). The concept was that the TCR, held in the early fall, has been renting or borrowing sites. But over the years, it has become an established group with long-term needs. Another, similar organization -- the West Virginia Old Timers' Reunion -- has in recent years purchased its own site which is used for the Labor Day weekend, multi-day event. Such a site for TCR might also include a cave which could be preserved and managed for cavers. The convention honorarium funds would be placed in the TCMA account until the endowment for the honorarium can be established. The motion passed unanimously.

Following that meeting, TCMA directors at a membership meeting were told that the NSS Convention Committee funds were to be transferred to the management group's account. Nine people were present for the start of the membership meeting. It was moved and seconded that TCMA accept the $500 check to hold in trust until an endowment fund can be established for the future TCR site. M/Anderson, s/Burnett.

The TCMA membership list was again discussed. Good photographs are needed for the TCMA brochure. Jim had a bring-to-date discussion on Whirlpool and Lost Oasis caves. He also discussed city of Austin caves and said children were at risk in some of them because of gating and other problems. Bruce said that Whirlpool should be better utilized. He recalled the spaghetti dinner under the bridge and the TSA winter meeting there were successful. Such gatherings also enable project work to be done.

Bill Sawyer, Jim and Jay are on a Cave Acquisition Subcommittee. Job descriptions are needed for a grant writing and other positions. Meetings at least quarterly should be set up. Bruce said a game plan is needed to go after grant funds. Job descriptions are needed. The organization also needs project dates.

For any correction to these minutes, please write the secretary, Carolyn Biegert at TCMA, P.O. Box 202853, Austin, TX 78720-2853.

Her telephone number is (512) 458-9606.


TCMA Meeting Notes-Winter 1995

by Jay Jorden

Sunday, 19 February 1995

Convening during the Texas Speleological Association's winter Board of Governor's meeting in Campwood, directors forming a quorum of Texas Cave Management Association were present. They were Carl Ponebshek, president, of San Antonio; Bill Russell and Jim Wolff, both of Austin; Noble Stidham of Lubbock; Bill Sawyer of Sonora; and Jay Jorden of Dallas. Secretary Carolyn Biegert of Austin was also present, along with Gary Napper of Austin as a visitor. The meeting convened at about 7:30 a.m.

In introductory remarks, Carl said that TCMA membership is growing among the Bexar Grotto, with that club's current chairman among new members. San Antonio members are also checking out several caves, including at least one belonging to an education institution and more just outside of town. With new ordinances and regulations regarding the Edwards Aquifer on the horizon, opportunities are good for TCMA involvement. A number of other cavers are either getting involved or continuing participation in projects. Kurt Menking is working at Bracken Bat Cave.

Bill Russell said the Shady Hollow Cave gate in Austin has been breached, showing color copies of photos depicting the vandalism. He brought members up to date on ownership of the cave, which blows air. He said he would check into the current management status. He also mentioned a cave that he and other TCMA members visited the previous day on the High Heaven Ranch.

In old business, m/J. Wolff, s/B. Russell to approve the treasurer's reports from April through December 1994; the treasurer's report for fiscal 1994; and the report for January 1995. The motions passed. Carl then discussed funds for the Buttercup monitoring grant, the work for which was subcontracted to Mike Warton and Associates. He said he was in the process of checking with Mike on progress of monitoring and status of the funds. In his report to the board, Treasurer Bruce Anderson says TCMA is to receive quarterly reports and pay fees to Mike for this service. Remaining monies for the quarter are then to be relieved into the general account. This was relieved one time in 1994, with a balance remaining of $876 in the fund. An additional $1,272 has also been received.

The cave preserve has been the site of community service by some youths convicted of various offenses, Carl said. He said he would report back to the board on the monitoring status.

Regarding a $500 honorarium being held by TCMA toward a conservation and long-term land use fund for the Texas Cavers' Reunion [please see meeting notes for October 1994], Jay said he has begun a plan to set up what will effectively be an endowment fund. He is trying to enlist the aid of the Center for Nonprofit Management in Dallas for this effort, since it doubtless has earlier experience with such needs. Jay also said he would write the Richmond Area Speleological Society concerning its grant, originally for a brochure directed at bat cave owners. Because of changes in personnel at Bat Conservation International Inc. in Austin and other projects, not all of the $750 in the fund has been utilized for a bat publication, work for which was envisioned in 1987 or so. The funds could possibly be consolidated toward others for more immediate needs, with the idea of eventually finishing the brochure. Also, there was an earlier $120 amount for cave management, available about 1990. Some directors expressed interest in eventually seeing a bat publication, perhaps after contact with Dr. Bill Elliott, Jackie Belmont and others in the field.

On the updated TCMA brochure, Noble said all text has been written and needs a final edit, along with inclusion of some good photographs. He said about four photos are needed. Jay said he would contact a professional cave photographer for possible help in the area. M/J. Jorden, s/J. Wolff to approve $32 for the treasurer's expenses in mailing financial statements as well as dues renewals. The motion passed.

As part of the treasurer's report, Bruce also wrote that TCMA received an anonymous $500 donation in January. The organization collected $475 in dues money in fiscal 1994, with operating expenses of $1,104.17. An aggressive membership drive is needed in order to boost dues for 1995. Determination of the Buttercup Monitoring Grant will be beneficial for operating capital, Bruce wrote.

As part of the financial discussion, Jim urged that adequate funding be provided for new management projects.

Bill Russell outlined a number of possible cave projects -- either as outright acquisitions, conservation easements or management sites -- for TCMA. M/J. Wolff, s/J. Jorden that Bill press forward with his investigations.

As part of TCMA's activities, Bill said the list of advisory board members should be updated and good contact kept with these resources.

Jim, in his report on Whirlpool and Lost Oasis caves and management progress, detailed problems with the Whirlpool gate. He said it was necessary to cut another access hole to the lock, with Gill Ediger using a torch. A new lock has been installed after the key to the old one was lost and there were problems with the device. Jim said Nico M. Hauwert, a hydrologist with the Barton Springs-Edwards Aquifer Conservation District, is the new manager at Whirlpool, assuming day-to-day operations there. He is also the contact for access to the cave. M/B. Russell that Nico be confirmed in this position. The motion was seconded by Jay and approved. A new trash can is needed at the cave. Jim mentioned that the Austin Parks and Recreation Department had earlier said it would furnish a picnic table and trash pickup. Bill Russell volunteered to talk with the park department about putting in the table, but that TCMA would likely have to purchase a new trash container. He said he would handle that purchase. A larger challenge is long-term repairs of the Whirlpool gate, with a bid needed for that work. Mike Warton, who built the original gate, is to be contacted. Jim said all trips into Whirlpool must be supervised by a TCMA-affiliated person. He said the cave has become popular, with birthday parties and other events held at the cave. An interpretive center and better signage was discussed. Good signs that include the new TCMA address and phone number are needed both at Whirlpool and Lost Oasis.

Discussion followed of a possible scientific project at one of the caves, with one that could involve DNA research. A grant checklist is needed.

Carl said he planned to tender his resignation as board president, but added after some discussion that it would become effective at the TCMA membership meeting. He appointed Jay as interim president. Carl wants to continue his work as a director. M/J. Wolff to make nominations for the positions of president and vice-president in advance of the membership meeting. The formal election would be discussed at the next board meeting. M/J. Wolff, s/J. Jorden to set elections for officers.

T-shirts and bumper stickers for TCMA were discussed. The concessionaire at Longhorn Caverns has expressed interest in using the logo that has also been utilized for some TSA symbolic devices. Bill Sawyer said he would check with some commercial caves about the possibility of carrying TCMA materials. Bill's fax is (915) 387-6508.

One board resolution was that TCMA approach the TSA about sponsoring its next function.

The next TCMA board meeting was tentatively scheduled for about 10 a.m. on Sunday, March 26, at Jay's property in Williamson County.

The meeting was adjourned about 11 a.m.

For any additions or deletions to these meeting notes, please write the secretary, Carolyn Biegert at TCMA, P.O. Box 202853, Austin, TX 78720-2853. Her telephone number is (512) 458-9606.


BLM Policy Proposal for Fees To Go Caving

As received by Dave Belski from the BLM

[For more information submitted by Val Hildreth on April 5--April 15 Response Deadline!!!!]

Fees for permit to enter BLM "special areas" caves where, Special Recreation permits will be required.

State: New Mexico

District: Roswell

Resource Areas: Roswell and Carlsbad

List of caves.

Crystal Cave

Jarnigan No. 2 Cave (sic) Crocket Cave (sic) Lost Cave Doc Brito Cave Little Manhole Cave Endless Cave McKittrick Cave Fort Stanton Cave Sand Cave Wind Cave Torgac Cave Algerita Blossom Cave (ABC)

1. Direct and Indirect cost to the Government.

The direct cost to the government would be for signing at each cave and a volunteer self-service pay station at caves which are checked on a weekly basis. There would be an additional workload for on-board personnel to collect fees at cave sites where there are self-service pay tubes. There would be an additional workload by on-board personnel associated with processing the permits, receiving and accounting for money derived from the fee collection and tracking volunteer hours. Additional equipment such as locks, lock boxes, money bags, will be needed for the collection process.

The indirect costs to the government would be administrative staff time to supervise accounting, reporting, and auditing functions. It could take the recreation planner an additional 5-10 minutes to derive the additional information at the time the permit is issued.

2. Benefits to the recipient.

There will be less "no shows" for people who obtain a free permit and cancel the date assigned to them to enter the cave. There could be a (sic) increase of volunteer time from the caving community on BLM projects, to obtain waivers of fees to enter the caves. Funding from permits would provide funding for work projects associated with the caves. In a pay-as-you-go society, the cavers will know that their support for the program, through fees, will go directly into the management of caves, through the 1230 and 1231 accounts. Of the amount collected, 15 percent will be immediately available to the collecting Resource Area to be used in the cave program.

3. Comparable Recreation Fees Charged by Other Federal and Non- Federal Public Agencies within New Mexico and Bordering States.

Carlsbad Caverns National Park charges $8.00 per minor and $12.00 per adult dor a ranger guided tour of Spider, Slaughter and Ogle Caves. Because of the changes in the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) The U. S. Forest Service is in the beginnings stages of looking into charging for cave entry.

4. Economic and Administrative Feasibility of Fee Collection.

The average number of cave permits issued within the District is 500 permits per fiscal year. The effect of a fee permit may reduce this number of permits per year within the District. Cavers may use other caves to ply their activity. This may help reduce wear and tear on the caves, thus letting the cave animals reclaim traveled portions of the caves. Collection would be done by the administrative staff within the Resource Areas. In cases where a fee pay tube is located at the cave, fees will be collected by a resource person who regularly works the area. In the case of Fort Stanton Cave the administrative and maintenance people from Valley of Fires Recreation Area will collect the fees. The fees will be administered with 1230 and 1231 funds from Valley of Fires Recreation Area. Outdoor Recreation Planners at each Resource Area will facilitate the paperwork for the application and permit process. Existing administrative personnel will collect the fees from the public and complete the accounting process. Overall revenue potential for fee collection could be a minimum $4,950 if 250 permits are maintained for the fiscal year. Of the above amount, 15 percent of the fees collected will be immediately available to the Resource Area collecting the fees. The above figure is derived as follows:

250 permits times $5.00 per application fee = $1,200

250 Permits times $3.00 per participant times an average of 5 people per permit = $3,750

TOTAL PROJECTED REVENUE $4,950

Caves which require a BLM authorized trip leader to lead the caving trip (such as Torgac Cave) will be charged a flat fee of $30.00 per trip. There may be some reduction of revenues due to Friends groups, educational, scientific and volunteers groups exempt from fees. If an individual volunteers five hours on a BLM authorized work project, the daily use fee will be waived for that individual for one day of caving.

5. Public policy or interest served.

The cave use within the District is mainly from New Mexico, the surrounding states of Texas, Colorado and Arizona. A small portion of the visitors range from all over the United States and foreign countries. The cost of the permit system will be borne by the special interest caving groups and independent cavers. The existing services include maintained roads to the caves and cave gates at each managed cave which prevent unauthorized access to the caves.

6. Other pertinent factors.

Fee collection will achieve better protection fo the caves through improvement or replacement of old cave gates for increased security. Locks and equipment can be purchased through the permit fees. Small research projects and cost share agreements can be funded. The fee system may spread the visitor use out to other areas and lessen the impact on the caves which are intensively managed.

Field recommendation on implementation of entrance fees:

Entrance Fee Recommended/Not Recommended: RECOMMENDED

Implementation Date:

Entrance Fee: $3.00

Application Fee: $5.00

Rationale: Based upon the legislative criteria summary noted above, it is in the government's best interest to charge fees for caving for caves listed as "special areas" and Special Recreation Management Areas (SRMA).

Signed Tony L. Ferguson for Roswell District Manager 11/15/94
William C. Calkins, New Mexico State Director
12/20/94


Danger, Will Robinson, Danger: Intruder Alert

submitted by Albert A. Krause. [Editor's Note: The following is a concatenation of electronic mail, primarily from Al on the week of March 6, but with other input, on pay-for-caving proposals on federal lands.]

?The U.S. Bureau of Land Management has to date received just five letters as public input on the so-called "Pay to Cave" proposal in the Carlsbad-Roswell, New Mexico area!

Without more public input, cavers would have to pay for all cave entry permits in that area of southeastern New Mexico. It was also pointed out that once something works for one area, others will not be far behind. Thus far, many of the letters have come from BLM employees who do not support Pay to Cave ideas.

The communications go on to warn that if cavers don't act fast by writing to their congressional representatives or to the appropriate BLM districts, just to get a permit to cave in the BLM caves of southeastern New Mexico would cost money. Cavers worry that this could set a dangerous precedent on all Federal lands.

Those with a copy of the proposal or other information are encouraged to share, either through this publication or on the appropriate Internet or other electronic mail forums. Local grottos are encouraged to pass around petitions. In other words: Help!

Note: the DEADLINE for public comment is April 15! Sign the online Petition!


Danger to Your Freedom; Hard on Your Wallet

Write your federal government and congressman/woman! Letters should go to the below list. The District Manager is directly responsible, with copies to the State Director and to the Lands Recreation Manager in Carlsbad. I still think letters to the New Mexico Congressional Delegation are important (or to your own congress people). Letters from Congress make an agency take note! Other addresses are included below:

Leslie Cone, District Manager
Roswell District Office
Bureau of Land Management
1717 West 2nd Street
Roswell, New Mexico 88201-2019

William C. Calkins, State Director
Bureau of Land Management
P.O. Box 27115
Santa Fe, NM 87505

Gary Bowers, Lands Recreation and Cultural Team Leader
Bureau of Land Management
P.O. Box 1778 Carlsbad, NM 88202

Senator Pete Domenici
434
Senate Dirkson Office Building
Washington
, DC 20510-3101

Senator Jeff Bingaman
524 Senate Hart Building
Washington, DC 20510-3101

Congressman Joe Skeen
1007
Longworth House Office Building
Washington
, DC 20510-3102

Congressman Bill Richardson
332
Cannon House Office Building
Washington
, DC 20515-3103

Congressman Bruce Vento
2304
Rayburn House Office Building
Washington
, DC 20515-2304

Editor Carlsbad Current_Argus
620
South Main
Carlsbad, NM 88220


Lint Camp at Wind and Jewel Caves

A Lint Camp will be held at Wind and Jewel Caves this spring. The dates are May 8-12, 1995. If interested in this year's Lint Camp, or in another one around the same time next year, people should contact:

Kathy Petty Phone: 303-278-8448 (H)
303-236-9404, ext. 24 (W)

OR

Sandy Kramer
239
Norse Street
Golden, Colorado 80401

This should be done by April 14 for this year's camp.

Publisher's Note: This is an excellent opportunity to help the National Park Service manage their resources. It should be looked upon as an opportunity to help manage a resource and not as a chance to see some of the cave. You'll probably be working near the tourist trails (that's where the lint comes from) and it will be hard work. But as the Federal government funding is reduced in order to reduce the deficit, the Federal management agencies will have to increasingly rely on volunteers to maintain the resources. It'll be just like the old days, when what cave management was done was generally done by caver volunteers. The difference now is that we have made the agencies aware of their responsibilities, and have helped them learn how to do it. We also have lots of trained cavers working in the agencies, so they know how to get the job done-they just don't have the resources available in-house. In this particular case, we are helping to maintain the show cave portion of the caves, not the portion of the cave that is wild. But they are intimately connected and assistance in the show cave section will ultimately benefit the wild sections.

If you are not already a member of the Conservation and Management Section of the National Speleological Society, you are invited to join. Dues are $5.00 a year, payable to the NSS Cons/Mgmt Section. Members receive the newsletter regularly and are entitled to vote at the annual meeting.


Yes, I would like to join the Conservation/Management Section. Here are

my dues in the amount of $________ (dues of $5/year may be prepaid for up

to three years).

 

Name___________________________________ NSS No.________

___

 

Address_________________________________________

______

 

City__________________________ State_____________ ZIP_________________

___

 

Please send this form with check/money order to the

Secretary-Treasurer:

Evelyn Bradshaw, 10826 Leavells Road, Fredericksburg, VA

22407-1261.

 

 


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