Conservation Report for April 7, 2001
Conservation Division
Jim C. Werker & Val Hildreth-Werker, Division Chiefs
PO Box 1018, Tijeras, NM 87059-1018

Vision 2000 for the NSS Conservation Division: Heighten awareness of the importance of cave and karst conservation by reaching a greater diversity of audiences throughout the US.
Mission: During 2001 through 2005, develop programs to strengthen public knowledge about the benefits of cave and karst protection.

  • Interface with other cave and conservation organizations/agencies/associations/institutes to provide cave/karst conservation outreach programs to landowners, land managing agencies, commercial cave interpreters, educators, and the public. Promote awareness and conservation of karst landforms.
  • Strengthen and extend common knowledge among cavers to include multiple aspects of cave/karst protection, preservation, and ethics.


  • The Conservation Division Website is being created by Elizabeth Rousseau. It links from the NSS Home Page through Learn About Caves. As the site is developed, many links will be added between the Conservation Division Website and Rob Stitt's Cave Conservation & Management site.
  • To better meet the needs of the caving community during the run of the IMAX film, Journey into Amazing Caves, Elizabeth is launching the Conservation Division Website with information for grottos and NSS members on interfacing with IMAX theaters and media. Initially, this conservation site will focus on providing materials that grottos can use in action plans for IMAX demands and ramifications. Our long-term goal is to serve cavers and non-cavers with information concerning cave and karst ecology/protection, while developing a resource for conservation/restoration methods. The site, now under construction, will be well-organized and will provide easy links to exemplary cave/karst conservation information.
  • An NSS Display was created by Leisa Eidson, a graphic arts professional and long-time member of the TAG caving community. Leisa, Jim, and Val collaborated in development of a portable, museum-quality display on the goals and activities of the NSS. Leisa committed hundreds of extra hours on short notice to finish this display for its debut at the Smithsonian. The exhibit is designed and fabricated to facilitate easy transport and set-up. Additional units will supplement the initial exhibit as time and funds allow. We recognize and thank Pat Bingham for taking the lead on setting up the display at the Smithsonian.
  • The NSS Conservation Division and the Education Division are collaborating to develop NSS outreach materials on the benefits of karst and cave protection. Chuck Acklin, Education Division Chief, along with Jim and Val, Conservation Chiefs will coordinate efforts.
  • We are interfacing with Carol A. Hill, President of UIS Commission on Cave Mineralogy. Thomas Lera has agreed to be the [Interim] Chairman of the Working Group on Speleothem Protection. Tom has also agreed to serve the NSS Conservation Committee as the NSS Liason for International Speleothem Protection.

Conservation Committee
Jim C. Werker & Val Hildreth-Werker, Co-Chairs
PO Box 1018, Tijeras, NM 87059-1018

We have scheduled and coordinated Conservation presentations/discussions with the 2001
NSS Convention. The Restoration Workshop will be on Monday morning, the NSS Conservation & Management Section meeting at noon on Monday, and the Conservation & Management Session on Monday afternoon. The afternoon session will start with a panel and interactive discussion on Cave Wilderness, coordinated by Pat Seiser. Later in the week, we will coordinate a half-day seminar for federal and state agency land managers and another half-day closed meeting for the new Conservation Team. Submit abstracts for any of these sessions to Val before April 20, 2001

Jim Kennedy of BCI has agreed to update our
NSS Bats Need Friends brochure. He will start from the draft created by Eugene Vale. The new brochure will be a joint NSS/BCI project focusing on general conservation facts about bats.

Jo Schaper has agreed to revise two NSS brochures. The Future of the Underground and The Fragile Underground will both be updated. Eventually, these and other brochures and fact-sheets will be placed on the Conservation Division website as downloadable PDF files so grottos or individuals can print as needed.

Conservation and Restoration continues in the reviewing and editing process. Because more than thirty authors have submitted material, this is an extended process. Jim Werker and Val Hildreth-Werker, editors for this manual, are working with Executive VP Ray Keeler, the NSS Special Publications Committee, various reviewers, authors, and photographers to produce a quality NSS publication.

Seminars & Workshops

  • We are developing presentation material kits for Conservation Team members. Kits will include modular slide shows and CDs, hand-out masters, transparencies, brochures, booklets, and posters on the benefits of karst and cave protection. We have received commitments from a dozen NSS cavers across the country who will participate in this team by conducting seminars and presentations in their geographic areas. Most of these members already are booking frequent presentations. The new Conservation Team modules will supplement their current materials and the team will facilitate collaboration and information-sharing across the country. Other NSS Members have offered their consultation and expertise in material collection and development. We are partnering with cave and conservation organizations throughout the country for information, images, and materials.
  • We continue to interact with national contacts in the federal agencies. Jim and Val will be representing the NSS as guest speakers during the April BLM Cave Management Workshop in Carlsbad, NM. We update regularly with Zelda Chapman Bailey of the USGS, appointed as the Interim NPS Director of the National Cave and Karst Research Institute-she will be unable to attend the April 7 BOG meeting in Albuquerque but has arranged her schedule to include the NSS Convention in Kentucky. Ron Kerbo has spoken with us about contributing to NPS seminars and workshops. We continue to coordinate with Forest Service personnel, Jim Miller and Jerry Trout nationally, and have spoken with others about scheduling seminars in several FS Districts. This year, we are again planning joint seminars for federal and state agency land managers during the 2001 Convention and NCKM Symposium-these events will include the agency coordinators listed above as well as Bob Currie of the US Fish and Wildlife Service.

NCKMS 2001 in Arizona
The 15th National Cave & Karst Management Symposium will be held in
Tucson, Arizona, October 16-19, 2001. Plans are progressing. Contact Jerry Trout, USFS National Coordinator for Cave Resources, if you can provide assistance. It has been several years since this Symposium was held in the Southwest and the first time in the state of Arizona. This is the forum for communicating your ideas to improve cave management-particularly those who live in the Southwest. Submit abstracts for papers and sessions to Tom Strong (520) 795-2001 Early abstract submissions are encouraged. Direct your information requests to Jerry Trout, US Forest Service, Federal Building, 300 W. Congress, Tucson, AZ 85701 phone: (520) 670-4552. The 2001 Symposium schedule and other information is listed on the NSS website. Click on Events.

Conservation Issue of NSS NEWS
The March 2001 Conservation Issue of the
NSS News is complete. Articles and updates for this issue were solicited and edited by Jim and Val. Working with us on this issue, Dave Bunnell was great. Included are essays on media and caves, discussions on underground wilderness, articles on innovative approaches to cave management, and summaries of conservation activities. We invite your comments on the issue.

Multiple Concerns and Communications
Every week we receive US and international correspondence on various cave and karst conservation and protection issues. We send support letters as necessary and keep logs of these e-mails and phone calls.

New Subcommittees Established

  • Elizabeth Rousseau is designing and coordinating the Conservation Division Website.
  • David Anderson has agreed to link a Volunteer Value Database to the NSS Website, if other obligations permit him the time.
  • Leisa Eidson is serving as the NSS Conservation Graphics Coordinator.
  • David Jagnow has agreed to coordinate Conservation Fund Raising and Save the Caves.
  • Tom Lera of Washington, D.C. is serving as the NSS Liaison for International Speleothem Protection.

Resource Preservation Committee
Val Hildreth-Werker & Jim Werker, Co-Chairs
PO Box 1018, Tijeras, NM 87059-1018

Conservation Team

  • Conservation Team kits are being developed. Kits will include modular slide shows and CDs, hand-out masters, transparencies, brochures, booklets, and posters on the benefits of karst and cave protection.
  • NSS members have agreed to participate in the Conservation Team. Names include: Aimee Beveridge, Elizabeth Rousseau, Al Collier, Bill Elliott, Susan Herpin, Hillary Lambert Hopper, David Joaquim, Kriste Lindberg, Julie Schenck, Roland Vinyard, Carol Zokaites, Jim Werker, Val Hildreth-Werker. We have scheduled a team meeting during Convention.

Conservation Grants Subcommittee
Albert A. Krause,
NSS 7617, Coordinator
1721 SW 76th Terrace,
Gainesville, FL 32607-3418
(352) 332-2276 W (352) 392-7396
(352) 392-3044

Grants Awarded

  • Awarded grant of $500 to the Indiana Karst Conservancy for purchase of a karst ground water flow demonstration model to use in public outreach programs and workshops.
  • Other grant applications are being reviewed and I encourage submissions be sent to me before April 1 for this fiscal year.

Conservation Task Force Subcommittee
Jo Schaper, Coordinator
46 Cedar Drive, Pacific, MO 63069
271 8380

  • NSS Conservation Task Forces are sub-units of the NSS, designed to furnish a not-for-profit mechanism to NSS members to address threats to caves and karst. CTFs usually focus on regional, ongoing issues. A CTF is formed under the NSS umbrella for members in common cause where caver-citizen activity, by study, stewardship, publicity, etc., can help landowners, managers, or other authorities protect cave and karst resources. The CTF division of the NSS stands ready to lend assistance with advice, networking, and other help to any group of conservation-oriented cavers who care about the future of the underground.
  • Reactivation of the Cumberland Plateau CTF in the Spencer Mountain Cave System of East Central Tennessee to investigate a new sewage facility that threatens the caves and karst of the area. The NSS provided legal assistance, etc., for documentation of the threats.
  • Central Oregon CTF is leading the fight in the Deschutes National Forest over an Environmental Assessment pitting the needs of the caves and their archeological resources with the desires of the rock climbing community who have been petitioning the National Forest to keep the Road 18 Bend area caves open to climbing and bolting. The revised Road 18 Caves Environmental Assessment is due in 2001.
  • Germany Valley CTF is monitoring the threat from limestone mining at Hellhole, an extensive West Virginia cave that is home to approximately one-quarter of the world's population of Virginia Big Eared Bats.
  • Klamath Mountains CTF reports much activity but little progress with karst protection concerns in the Klamath National Forest and the protection of paleo resouces at Oregon Caves National Monument, NPS. This CTF is also working for resource management of a cave rescued from onyx miners on Shasta Trinity National Forest in northern California.
  • Sloans Valley CTF continues to actively pursue landfill mitigation, Kick 66, the Intermodal Transit Park, and Off Road Vehicle proposals. See the March 2001 NSS News.
  • Teton CTF continues alive, well, and active, according to its director.
  • Pennsylvania Cave Legislation CTF, long a project of Judi Stack (who coordinated and quilted the beautiful bat quilt raffled at last year's convention) will disband-she has become discouraged with the receptivity of the legislature.
  • Xanadu Cave CTF is organizing to segue to an NSS Conservancy.
  • Lost River Conservation Association and Hawaii Caves round out the current roster of NSS Conservation Task Forces.

NSS Cave Vandalism Deterrence Reward Commission
Jay Jorden, Chair
11201 CR 132,
Celina, TX 75009-2527

Members: Gale Beach ; George Huppert ; Thomas Rea ; John Wilson

The commission seeks to review all successful prosecutions of cave vandals with an eye toward publicizing the Society's conservation goals and rewarding diligence in individuals who work toward those goals. The commission has received no solid proposals for rewards or information on the prosecution and conviction of cave vandals.

Mammoth Cave Restoration Committee

Norm Rogers, Co-Chair Karen Dennis, Co-Chair
3122 N. Isabell PO Box 340547
Peoria, IL 61604 Beavercreek, OH 45434-0547
(937) 237-0647

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