WHAT IS VOLUNTEER VALUE?

Cavers give more time, labor, and expertise, spend more of their own money, and are recognized for more project persistence than any other land using group in America. We have coined a name for all this donated effort -Volunteer Value. Cavers give significantly to the protection, exploration, scientific investigation, conservation, and preservation of cave and karst resources.

But how do we calculate Volunteer Value? Why should cavers even try to document Volunteer Value? By calculating and recording our Volunteer Value, we can quantify the benefits that cavers provide to public land managers and private landowners. By assigning dollar values and adding up the sums, we are creating documentation that can be used for grant application processes, cave management proposals, and karst protection battles.

Volunteer value worksheets: for cave projects everywhere
In order to calculate Volunteer Value, three simple forms have been created for recording caver contributions. These generic worksheets are designed to fill out in the field and can be used for documenting in-kind volunteer labor, expertise, and contributions for any cave project. Suggested dollar values can be assigned, or specific values can be assigned for specialized skills.

These forms can be used to document Volunteer Value for all cave projects-survey, cartography, inventory, science, administration, restoration, clean-up, and conservation-in-cave work as well as preparation and documentation. Volunteer Value represents huge contributions to caves on private, state, and federal lands.

In order to calculate Volunteer Value, three simple forms have been designed for recording caver contributions. These generic forms follow the guidelines set forth in the agreement and should be used for documenting in-kind volunteer labor, expertise, and contributions for any cave project. These forms can be used to document Volunteer Value for all cave projects, anywhere—Volunteer Value represents huge contributions to caves on private, state, and federal lands. The forms will facilitate design of a national database to handle volunteer information that will be included in proposed NSS Annual Reports. Copies of the forms are included here. Copies can be requested from werks@zianet.com or may be accessed electronically at the NSS Cave Conservation & Management Section Web Site,

In the future, a national database will be designed to handle volunteer information for inclusion in proposed NSS Annual Reports, funding applications, and cave protection. If you have expertise and interest in database projects, please contact Jim Werker and Val Hildreth-Werker, NSS Conservation Division, werks@zianet.com

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