Procedures and Criteria
NSS Grotto Conservation Award
Conservation and Management
Section of the National Speleological Society
The Conservation and Management Section of the National Speleological Society
presents the Grotto Conservation Award annually. It is given to an NSS Grotto that has
made a significant contribution towards conservation or management of cave or
karst resources with the intent to recognize the best and most effective NSS Grotto in the NSS. This award
recognizes contemporary Grotto operation and achievement. The award consists of
a certificate, $100 check, and the Grotto’s name on the Grotto Conservation
Award plaque in the NSS office. The
Grotto Conservation Award is presented only to NSS Grottos in good
standing; whereas any NSS affiliated
organization may be nominated for the Group Conservation Award.
Committee Chair and Members
The chair, committee members, and judges shall be the same as those of
the Section’s Group Conservation Award.
The Grotto Conservation Award shall be presented at the NSS Convention awards
banquet by the Section Award Committee Chair or the Chairman’s designee. An appropriate representative of the
recipient organization shall be notified prior to the convention to encourage a
representative to be present to receive the award. The NSS Awards Committee
Chair shall also be notified for presentation format purposes. The Awards
Committee Chair may choose to have this award be a surprise for the audience.
All Grottos affiliated with the NSS are eligible to
be nominated for this award.
Nominations may be made by anyone. Self nominations are acceptable.
Nominations shall be made in writing and sent electronically to the Award
Committee Chair. The Chair shall set a deadline for nominations sufficiently
prior to the NSS Convention to
allow adequate time for proper consideration of all nominees. This
deadline shall be coordinated with the NSS
Awards Committee deadline. A call for nominations shall be maintained at appropriate places on the
NSS Internet site and the NSS News shall be
asked to publish a call for nominations annually. All NSS grottos and
groups are encouraged to provide additional promotion of the award.
The potential award recipient should have institutionalized accepted
cave conservation and cave management practices within its activities. Cave activities, projects, meetings, and
other events should be conducted in a manner that reflects a strong
conservation ethic and contemporary cave management methodology. Its leaders
and members should be proactive cave conservationists. The potential award
recipient should be an exemplary model for all NSS internal
organizations and committees to emulate.
Consideration is also given for specific cave conservation and
management projects. Some examples are listed below; this list should not be
and restoring karst and cave habit for troglobites and cave adapted life,
gating, fencing, and posting of caves and cave properties,
- Repairing and
maintaining of gates and helping other organizations to do the same,
- Conducting or
supporting cave restoration such as removing graffiti and trash, repairing
and reattaching broken speleothems, damaged cave floors, removing
inappropriate artificial fill, and cleaning speleothems or other cave
- Doing karst
land cleanups such as removing debris and trash from sinkholes and
cave protection laws and assisting authorities with the apprehension and
prosecution of cave vandals,
- Working to
establish and strengthen laws and regulations that protect and conserve
caves and karst lands,
- Actively working to decrease the sale
public officials to appropriate land use in karst areas,
inappropriate land use in karst areas,
and supporting cave conservancies and preserves,
wealth and resources for cave conservation and management,
- Assisting landowners
with the protection and conservation of karst resources,
cavers to become proactive conservationists,
educational outreach such as cave conservation presentations and
publications aimed at the general public,
- Encouraging show cave owners and
managers to take every practical opportunity to aid the public in
understanding caves and the importance of their conservation,
- Assisting private cave owners by
providing historical and biological knowledge about their cave and helping
them protect it and the surrounding property from damage during cave
visits and from inappropriate land use,
The judges shall devise a system to assign value to the various
components of the nominee’s activities. The system may use points or some other
means to weigh the accomplishments and activities by year. The following example describes the weighting
required to be given to activities by year for each nominee.
- All points
for conservation merit and activities earned in the last year are evaluated
at full value.
- All points
for conservation merit and activities earned in the period of one to two
years prior to the award are evaluated at 75% of full value.
- All points
for conservation merit and activities earned prior to two years and not
more than five years are evaluated at 50%.
consideration is to be given to any accomplishments or other activities
more than five years in the past.
consideration is to be given to any accomplishments or other activities of
previous award recipients prior to the date the grotto previously received
this award or the Group Conservation Award.
- The judges
may give some consideration, at their discretion, to the size and wealth
of the Grotto. For example, favorable consideration may be given to a
small Grotto that makes extraordinary efforts and considerable sacrifices
versus a large Grotto with a similar level of cave conservation
accomplishments that required little sacrifice.
Nominations for the 2005 Grotto Conservation Award should be sent to:
John M. Wilson
Awards Committee Chair, Conservation and Management Section
The approximate deadline for the 2005 award is 1 June 2005. This date may change.