National Caves Association Susan Berdeaux, Coordinator P.O. Box 280 Park City, KY 42160 firstname.lastname@example.org 866-552-2837 (toll free) 270-749-2428 (fax) JUNE 2003 WELCOME The newest member of the NCA is TruittÂ’s Cavern in Missouri. Owners Bryon and Debbie Stewart have worked really hard over the past winter, renovating the gift shop, improving the lighting in the cave and generally getting ready for their first season. Both Bryon and Debbie have worked for Steve Fairchild and Linda Larsen at Moaning Cavern in CA. Some of you may remember Bryon from his past attendance at our annual meetings, which he attended as one of Steve and LindaÂ’s managers. Bryon says TruittÂ’s is a beautiful cave with sparkling, pristine calcite, an active living stream and thriving cave creatures. Hopefully for Debbie, Bryon will be satisfied with just one cave but considering whom his former employer was, we can only hope! Best of luck to them this season. RADON STUDY UPDATE Tom Aley reports that he is making encouraging progress on our radon project. He has monitored approximately 10 caves and has made contact with OSHA, outlining the study. He will continue to keep us advised of further communications with OSHA and of his continued progress. Feel free to contact any board member or member of the Air Quality committee (John Sagendorf, Dick Bell, Bruce Herschend, Les Turilli, Blaze Cunningham and Gary Berdeaux) if you have any questions. INSURANCE REMINDER Jim Richards, Insurance Committee Chair, would like to remind all who participate in the NCA Insurance program to fill out and return the "dreaded" Acord application. Those who have seen it know exactly why he refers to the application as the "dreaded" application! Anyone who needs help filling it out or has questions should contact any member of the Insurance Committee (Jim Richards, Roger Lefebrve, Steve Fairchild, Ann Molosky, John Sagendorf, Steve Rawlings, Brad Wuest, Rod Graves, Gordon Smith) or Miles Shepp or Jennifer Gallagher at AJ Gallagher. Getting these in will help ensure a timely renewal process. IN THE NEWS In early May, a crew from the Â“Tonight Show with Jay LenoÂ” was at Fantastic Caverns MO to film a segment for their Â“Roadside AttractionsÂ” portion of the program. Their star was Kevin Smith, a.k.a. Â“Silent BobÂ”. Steve Thompson said they were very pleasant people to be around and when they were leaving, the producer and writer said some very nice things about the attraction. They thought Fantastic Caverns looked like a National Park. An April 18th article in USA Today listed Natural Bridge Caverns TX as one of AmericaÂ’s Â“Ten Great Places to Get Nature on FilmÂ”. The story gave brief descriptions of each location and said Natural Bridge Caverns Â“offer great subterranean landscape photographic possibilities with dramatic lighting and science-fiction effects already in place.Â” The Wall Street JournalÂ’s Desktop Traveler of April 22 lists several cavernsÂ’ websites, including Steve FairchildÂ’s www.caverntours.com, for those interested in an underground adventure. Mentioned also in the short article were Cave of the Winds CO, Mark Twain MO and Bridal Cave MO.
BOOK REVIEWS BY GARY SOULE Two new soft-cover books have just been released to the public. Gary reports that a total of thirteen currently operating NCA member caves in four different states are featured, many complete with photo. The first book is Â“Minnesota Underground & The Best of the Black HillsÂ” by Doris Green. NCA members mentioned in the book are Mystery Cave and Niagara Cave MN, Beautiful Rushmore Cave, Black Hills Caverns, Jewel Cave Ntl. Monument, Sitting Bull Crystal Cave and Wind Cave Ntl. Park, all SD, and Crystal Cave WI. The book can be ordered through Trails Books, P.O. Box 317, Black Earth WI 53515 for $18.95 plus $4 shipping. The second Book is Â“Mammoth Cave and the Kentucky Cave RegionÂ” by Bob and Judi Thompson. With close to 200 historic black and white photos, it documents the show cave history of the Central Kentucky cave area. The NCA members featured are Hidden River Cave, Diamond Caverns, Mammoth Onyx Cave (now Kentucky Caverns) Lost River Cave and Mammoth Cave Natl. Park To order write Arcadia Publishing, 2 Cumberland St., Charleston, SC 24901 for $19.99 plus shipping. (Ed. note Â– wholesale pricing al so available from Arcadia.) BILLBOARD NEWS Check out Fantastic CavernÂ’s new billboard campaign. What a great partnership!! Discover Card wanted some traffic count numbers when they were making their original decision. The editor will let Steve Thompson tell you all how he computed the numbers, since the editor has a headache trying to figure it out, but he computes, conservatively he says, the number of annual impressions was 909 million cars (3 billion people!!!!) per year!!!! On the down side, we have an article in the June 2 Chicago Tribune with the headline Â“Billboards a growing issue in the Midwest.Â” A Michigan senator plans to introduce legislation in the Michigan Senate in October that will put a cap on new billboards. He wants to follow the lead of other states (Maine, Vermont, Hawaii and Alaska), which have banned the erection of new off-premise (free-standing) billboards entirely. HELP WANTED Howe Caverns NY is looking for a full-time retail manager to handle gift, souvenir, clothing, fudge and gem shop purchases. Experience is required for this high-vo lume attraction. Interested parties can email Kara Ulasewicz, Asst. General Manager at email@example.com HOUSEKEEPING Understandably, some of us have had to install Spam filters on our emails. Unfortunately, some filters consider Cave Talk Â“SpamÂ” (!!). If you would like to c ontinue to receive Cave Talk via email, you may need to tweak your filters. In the next couple of weeks, you will be receiving a copy of your listing, as it will appear in the 2004 directory. In the meantime, please check your supply and that of your local attractions, restaurants, hotels, visitorsÂ’ bureaus, etc. The directories are available in any quantity, just supply the coordinator with a shipping address and theyÂ’ll go right out. The hot and heavy travel time (July 4 through mid-August) is upon us and we want those brochures in as many hands as will take them! DonÂ’t forget, the directory distribution is what the major part of our dues pays for Â– make sure you feel like youÂ’re getting your duesÂ’ worth. NEW PUBLICATIONS Outdoor Indiana, published by the Indiana Department of Natural Resources, put out a special issue in May/June. Titled Nineteen Places Every Hoosier Should Visit it has a nice feature article on Wyandotte Cave, with photos. GRANT MONEY The city of Horse Cave, KY has been awarded a $500,000 Community Development Block Grant to fund the renovation of three buildings located next to the American Cave and Karst Museum. The buildings will be used
for additional museum space as well as space for classrooms, offices, a theatre and a research library. Dave Foster, executive director, said construction is expected to start sometime this winter. Â“GREENINGÂ” OF THE PARKS Mammoth Cave National Park is now 100% green fueled. All of the parkÂ’s vehicles and equipment now run on alternative fuels. An ethanol fueling station in the park is key to the conversion. In addition, Mammoth Cave switched from petroleum-based diesel to bio-diesel to operate park tractors, the ferries and grounds keeping equipment. Bio-diesel is a mixture of 80% petroleum based diesel and 20% corn or soy oil. Even used frenchfry oil from restaurants can be refined for use in bio-diesel. Bio-diesel cuts back on sulfur emissions that contribute to poor visibility and acid rain. The goal is not just to Â“greenÂ” the parks but also to use the parks as models for showcasing and interpreting the best environm ental practices and products being developed in this country and around the world. The park was also the host for the Environmental Leadership Workshop held on May 20-22. The conference was well attended by federal, state and private representat ives. Compelling presentations were given that illustrate best environmentally minded management practices. Many of the products and practices illustrated that such policies can actually save money and im prove efficiency. Sounds like good business sense. NEW RELATIONSHIPS Â… the Russians are coming Â… This Spring Western Kentucky University hosted a week-long international karst science research conference. Several representatives from Kunguar Ice Cave near the Russian city of Perm attended with the goal of establishing a Â“Sister CaveÂ” relationship here in Kentucky. The city of Perm has previously established a sister city relationship with Louisville, KY. They thought it only natural to make a similarly beneficial sister cave relationship as a compliment. Diamond Caverns, KY USA and Kunguar Ice Cave, Perm Russia are now sister caves. The relationship is Â“for the exchange of information relating to the operation and preservation of tourist cave operations, the exchange of scientific research information, for the exchange of promotional information and to encourage the exchange of tourism between the two partnersÂ”. Irina L. Burkatskaia (photo left) is the General Director of PermTourist, Hotel & Resort, the company that owns Kunguar Ice Cave. MANY THANKS The editor would like to thank those who send news and tidbits for inclusion in Cave Talk, especially Steve Thompson, Fantastic Caverns MO, Stan Sides, Diamond Caverns KY and Gary Soule, cave person at large. Without their help, Cave Talk would not be as informative as the editor likes to think it is. ItÂ’s certainly much more fun for her to do! Thank you, thank you, thank you. FINAL THOUGHTS Â“Take care of those who work for you and you will float to greatness on their achievements.Â” HSM Burns, president of Shell Oil Â“If you have made mistakesÂ…there is always another chance for youÂ…you may have a fresh start any moment you choose, for this thing we call Â“failureÂ” is not the falling down, but the staying down.Â” Mary Pickford Â“Education is the ability to listen to almost anything without losing your temper or your self-confidence.Â” Robert Frost HAVE A GREAT SEASON!!
Cave Talk is a
publication of the National Caves Association, a non-profit
trade association founded in 1965 by a small group of private
show cave owners. These initial members sought to bring
together show cave owners and operators from across the United
States to promote the show cave industry to the public, to
share information and ideas, and to lobby for legislation
favorable to the show cave industry.