Cave Talk

Cave Talk

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Cave Talk
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Cave Talk
George Veni ( suggested by )
National Cave Association
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Resource Management ( local )
serial ( sobekcm )
United States


General Note:
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.
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(May 2013)
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See Extended description for more information.

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University of South Florida Library
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University of South Florida
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K26-00891 ( USFLDC DOI )
k26.891 ( USFLDC Handle )
19407 ( karstportal - original NodeID )

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Robert A. Holt PO Box 625, Cobleskill, NY 12043 E xecutive Director Phone: 573 836 2256 E mail: May 2013 Message from the President Spring is in the air and I hope everyone is prepared for the upcoming busy summ er season. Thanks again to all who have contributed to this edition, again it is jammed packed full of useful, interesting material. Just a couple of updates: 1. Work is now progressing on developing a brand new NCA website. 2. We are in the final stages of f inishing the form for the new Economic Impact Study by James Petrick of Texas A&M. This will also include a section on visitor per capita spending analysis (as in our older NCA surveys). Be ready to participate in the survey when it is complete. 3. More dis cussion and research is ongoing on the Alpha R adiation program. Look for a more complete update in the upcoming months. 4. Everything is shaping up for a great convention this fall in Missouri. As of April 16 th 25 vendors have been signed up for the vendor show. 5. Consider becoming a member of the NCA Buyers Group. This group discusses all sorts of interesting questions concerning retail via e mail ranging from best choice of mugs to lanterns used (on lantern tours). Be sure to check out a section in each C ave Talk from this group. Contact Claudia if you would like to join. th Flowers were sent to the funeral from the NCA. Our thoughts and prayers are with you Bob. That is it for now. KMF (Keep Moving Forward), Greg Beckler NCA President Thank You NCA Family extending words of comfort during the passing of my mother, Patricia J. Holt on April 20. The floral arrangement sent on behalf of the NCA Family was just be autiful. Mom & Dad, my sister and aunt thoroughly enjoyed meeting many of you at the Branson Convention in 2009 and cherished the time spent with you and often commented on the true sense of family among our show cave members. Your kindness has made such a difference in helping us get through this, and we hope you know how much you mean to us. May God Bless You All. Most Sincerely, Bob Holt & Fami ly OFFICERS President : Greg Beckler N atural Stone Bridge & Cave s NY Ph: 518 494 2283 Vice President : Steve Rawlings Mercer Caverns, CA Ph: 209 728 2101 Secretary Treasurer : Bob Holt Mercer Caverns, CA Ph: 573 836 2256 Past President : Eric Evans Ohio Caverns, OH Ph: 937 465 4017 REGIONAL DIRECTORS Region One : (CT, DE, ME, MA, NH, NJ, NY, PA, RI, VT) Rob Arey Polar Caves Park NH Ph: 603 536 1888 Region Two : (MD, VA, WV, KY) Rho Lansden Lost River Cave & Valley, KY Ph: 540 743 6551 Region Three : (IL, IN, MI, OH) Claudia Yundt Squire Boone Caverns, IN Ph: 812 732 4382 Region Four : (AR, IA, KS, MO, NE) Steve Thompson Bridal Cave, MO steve@brid Ph: 573 346 2676 Region Five : (MN, MT, ND, SD, WI) Joe Klimczak Cave of the Mounds, WI Ph: 608 437 3038 Region Six : (CA, ID, NV, OR, WA, AK, HI, Barbados, Bermuda) Matt Doyle Lake Shasta Caverns, CA Ph: 800 795 CAVE Region Seven : (AZ, CO, NM, UT, WY) Steve Runkle Cave of the Winds, CO Ph: 719 685 5444 Region Eight : (LA, OK, TX) Ed Mayfield Caverns of Sonora, TX Ph: 325 387 3105 Region Nine : (AL, FL, GA, MS, NC, SC, TN,) Patty Perlaky Raccoon Mt. Caverns, TN Ph: 423 821 9403


Mind Blowing Musical Experience In Cave Without A Name Alcvin Ryuzen Ramos, left, and Christopher Bernetche z of the musical group Kazemon perform at the Cave Without a Name near Boerne Texas. By Hector Saldaa Houston Chronicle April 2, 2013 BOERNE Near the end of a winding path deep down in the Cave Without a Name, where the passage narrows and the jutting rock requires visitors to stoop, a sign warns: "Watch your head." Heed those words, especially when music is promised. That's because on select weekend nights when musicians create primordial sounds an d variants of New Age music inside the living cavern's natural domed auditorium, the Throne Room your mind just might be blown. "I use (the cave) like an echo pedal," says musician Rudi Harst, a regular performer here for 15 years. "You're in the womb o f Mother Earth, lyrically. You have to duck under that last wall. Metaphorically, you're going back into the womb." There is no cellphone service here, some 80 feet below the surface of a 167 acre ranch. The lighting is dim, and when visitors are quiet, t he only sounds are lightly dripping water and pebbles crunching beneath their shoes. Take a look: Peek inside Cave Without a Name "It's not sensory deprivation. It's sensory explosion, Harst says about the experience. Cave music is a rare treat, but it is gaining attention with the PBS television program "Bluegrass Underground: Live From the Volcano Room at Cumberland Caverns," re corded in Tennessee, and the 1920s vibe "Simple Sounds Concert Series" at Longhorn Caverns State Park in Marble Falls. Cave Without a Name is less well known and off the path. The natural landmark is owned and operated by Tom Summers, a retired Houston businessman who splits his time between the city and the Hill Country. He's seen audiences lef t breathless after performances. "It does something to you," Summers says. "It happens to a lot of people."


He explains: "All your other stimuli are nonexistent, and you're left with you and nature's creation. That's one way to look at it. Where is the dividing line between nature and spiritual? I don't want to get too deep, but it runs together somewhere down there." Actually, getting deep is what br ings out the curious. "I've never been to a concert in a cave," James Funk says before a recent performance by Canadian duo Kazemon. "This is just incredible." Guide Lesa Sowell reminds concertgoers that Cave Without a Name is a living cave and that the walls are not to be touched, though it's doubtful bootleggers were as careful when operating an underground still here during Prohibition. The acoustics are phenomenal, imparting a rich reverb and subtle echo. Cymbals swell like ocean waves; low notes from a wooden Japanese flute sound like a dinosaur's call; throat singing rings like a haunted, ancient cry. Some musicians call the cave, which can accommodate about 200 people, a sacred space that creates a healing sound. "This is absolutely the most incredible place I've ever played," Kazemon's Alcvin Ryuzen Ramos tells his audience. "It's one of the greatest exper iences of my life. "Where we come from is a mystery, and we want to go there." Summers, a cancer survivor, ponders those mysteries every time he's inside his cavern, which he bought 14 years ago. He says owning the place has changed his life. "There are more questions than answers down here," he says. Healing music practitioners Jodi Roberts and Cornell Kinderknecht have performed at Cave Without a Name for eight years, and they treat the experience as a sacred one. "To actually go into Mother Earth and play inside of her is a really big deal, Roberts says. They often turn off all the lights and perform in total darkness. "It's going down into the depths of the planet that we live on," she says. "Everything becomes different because we're playing i n a cave. It goes beyond just playing music. We're going to the sacred center. It's as much the venue as the music." After the Kazemon concert, first timer Funk describes the experience as spiritual. "It brought the best out of my heart," he says. "I can 't explain it." Thanks to Tom Summers for sharing this great story! Natural Bridge Caverns Virginia After several years of absence, we are pleased to have this wonderful natural wonder back into the NCA family! be happy to hear from anyone of you and we look forward to their participation and we certainly hope to see them at our annual gatherings Welcome back Natural Bridge Caverns Virginia! People watch a performance by a musical group called "Kazemon" at the Cave Without A Name near Boerne on Saturda y, March, 2, 2013. A bat rests on a wall inside cave Without A Name near Boerne, Texas


Squire Boone Caverns is pleased to announce the new addition of Squire Boone Caverns Zipline Adventures. The opening weekend was April 6 and it was a huge success! a wonderful time. to thank all our National Caves Association friends for all their advice! The do s and don ts you told us about were invaluable and worth much more than our NCA dues!! A huge Thank You to Les Turilli Jr. at Meramec Caverns, Cave of the Winds and Howe Caverns. Thank You for putting up with my questions and being so willing to help us out! The zipline is a little different then most. The zipline is an all canopy zipline. Once you go up to the first zip you will not come out of the trees until you are completely finished. There are 6 zips total and a challenge bridge. The highest is 50 feet (in the top of a beautiful oak tree) and the longest zip will be 360 feet. The zipline follows the hillside right behind our main cabin. When the leaves are on the trees you will be able to hear the screams but you won t b e able to see them. They are already planning on adding a dual race zipline for next year. We are very excited about this new addition and our county is even more excited then we are! We will be reporting on our zipline and hopefully bringing along the key person who is doing it all to this years convention. If you do not attend the conventions regularly you are missing out. It s things like the zipline that make it worth while. The cave convention is like a family re union and this big family excepts new family members very easily. Just the exchange of ideas and the thoughtful advice you get from the other caves that have, been there, done that is priceless. A huge Thank You to my cave family and all the guidance y ou have given us on this project! Claudia Yundt Squire Boone Cavern


NCA Buyers Group Talk Our NCA Buyers Group has been conversing on a regular basis via email and at it appears to have been a very effective way to communicate. Thanks goes to Claudia Yundt who keeps the momentum going and many an idea has been shared and at times problems solve d. Out of this effort has come an idea where the group will offer ways to help you improve your Gift Shop sales and suggest ideas to your staff on what works in other places. It is hoped we will be able to do this on a monthly basis and we w ould like to th ank Vicki Boyer from War Eagle Cavern on Beaver Lake for submitting our first article. War Eagle Cavern On Beaver Lake y item on the shelves, cleaning EVERYTHING on, under, and around them. Look inside those stacks of souvenir cups are there dead bugs in one or two of them?? Empt y those baskets of rocks, rings, key chains, etc. how many broken pieces di d you find? What about dirt? Every day t he customer looks in there L ook at every sign on every display is it still correct? Is it ragged and dirty? Inspect the area around and behind the cash register? Dirty and piled high wit h papers and junk? Your customer is looking right at it! Checked every item in every display for price tags. kn ow the price, and most of the time they will just put it back without bothering to ask. CLEAN AND INSPECT IT ALL floor! REALLY looking at the inventory, think about what is not moving. You obviously thought the items you brought in would sell? N o problem Move the items somewhere el se in the shop, trying to make the display eye catching. The customer has to see it before They can buy it! Add some pizzazz to the display (how about brightly colored material behind and under the items?) Try signage that explains the item (a pr ime motivator is showing or getting love how can this item do that? Maybe a p icture of someone enjoying it?) Think extraordinary crates, or trunks of trees. Try hanging a few items above the shelf. Set the items at weird angles and different heights Speaking of number of items in a display, remember you are not Walmart. It might look better if you creatively displayed half the order at a time, instead of crowding hundreds of the same thing on a shelf. Ge t rid of those odds and ends. When a display is down to three or four items, sales u sually stop. Time to reorder or clear up the space. Put up a sale table and mark those slow items down to your cost. Get your money ba ck as fast a possible so you can put those dollars back to work. On the left is a salt lamp display that we came up with. I needed a table that could hide lots of cords coming to power bars as I wanted all lamps lit. So we made a table by piling up some pallets from our gemstone shipment -I spread a crocheted tablecloth on it and ran the cords from the lamps through the holes and down inside the pallets. Must be working, because we only have a few lamps left in just three weeks. On the right is our plush animal display. The wall is fronting a walkway, so I couldn't put a table in front of the wall. I covered the wall in woodsy looking material and had the guys attach shelf brackets in a scattered pattern. I hung a sign from an antique window shutter and added a leafy tree branch for effect. Each animal sits on their own brack et, and looks like they are running out of the woods right at you. The wall holds a lot of animals and takes up very little room. The display needs to be restocked daily. Vicki


When I place items on my "eternal" sale t you guess right just 38% Happy selling, Vicki Boyer War Eagle Cavern on Beaver Lake PS My best selling item so far this year is a wooden cross bow with rubber tipped arrows from Driftstone Pueblo (618 829 3158, ask for catalog). My first order lasted just two weeks. on We wanted to share some p ictures of our construction that is in progress. The area is called Discovery Village. It will include two new attractions, a new rock, mineral, mining themed building for retail and a new building for food and b everage calle and Treats. O ur grandfather Mr Harry Heidemann was called B ig Daddy and he loved sweets. There will also be a new covered deck area for cave tours to d epart from. This area will over look the famous Natural Bridge. Several themed gardens are planned, a large water feature and lots of landscape. The new additions will be completed in stages starting in May and through the summer. Travis Wuest Natural Bridge Caverns


Dear Friends, The Canadian government is allocating $330,000 over four years to coordinate efforts to combat White nose Syndrome around the country. This wildlife disease, which has killed more than 5.7 million bats since it appeared in upstate New York in 2006, is now attacking bats in five Canadian provinces, as well as 22 U.S. states. The funding will allow Environment Canada to hire a single person to coordinate all WNS related monitoring, research and recovery activities across Canada. WNS was confirmed in Canada th ree years ago and a national plan was adopted last year, but management and coordination had not been centralized until now. job responding to the threat of this disease with the resources they ha coordinator will certainly streamline those efforts and maximize their impact on this tragic disease. This is a very importan In the United States, that role has been ably filled since 2007 by Jeremy Coleman of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. This announcement by Canadian Environment Minister Peter Kent highlights the need for more funding to address this devastatin g disease in Can ada and the United States. Additional support is critical if scientists and managers are to stop the spread of this disease before it is too late. You can help meet this crucial challenge. Contribute today Warm regards, Andrew Walker Executive Director Do you have a Penny Press? How is your supply of Souvenir Penny Books? Place your order through the NCA office today! We will help you get your order together before the summer crowds hit your gift shop. Remember, the souvenir penny collector books are available for $1.80 each plus shipping. You may order in any quantity. Email Bob at Also, many caves keep a supply of books on or near their penny press (like Squire Boone Caverns does in this photo) as well as at the cash register in the Gift Shop.


White Nose Syndrome Report Additional and New Sites: The disease continues to spread, with additional locations found in Missouri, Georgia, Ohio, and North Carolina. In Vermont, several bat speci es continue to shrink. In Pennsylvania, only 23 out of 10,000 bats survived the winter in Durham Mine, the second largest bat habitat in the state. Half of the survivors had signs of infection. In addition, tri colored bats at two entrances to Fern Cave in Alabama were infected. Fern Cave has the largest documented wintering colony of endangered gray bats in the world (about 1.6 million). The Forest Service Announces: The Forest Service hopes that a tiered, adaptive management approach will help prevent the spread of White Nose Syndrome in the Rocky Mountain region. The adaptive management approach, developed with the help of public input, is divided into three tiers The first tier, which applies when Geomyces Destructans or white nose syndrome has not been found within 250 miles (400 kilometers), allows access to caves, with winter closures of known hibernacula. It also requires cavers to use an online regi stration system for cave access and prohibits use of clothing gear from infected states and Canadian provinces. The second tier comes into effect when the fungus has been confirmed within 250 miles (400 kilometers). It closes all caves, but allows for some specifically targeted caves to be opened. Finally, the third tier is a special case that allows for caves to potentially be open when Geomyces Destructans or white nose syndrome is present, but only if the impacts have been found to be minimal. The Center for Biological Diversity responds: eson, a bat sighted, giving priority to the recreational interests of a small group of people over the survival of western bats, and it ignores all the benefits insect eating bats provide to the rest of us, including farmers who depend on bats to save them millions of dollars in additional costs by containing cr Public Comment Opportunity: The Bureau of Land Management is seeking scoping comments, issues and management actions that should be considered in the BLM Colorado White Nose Syndrome Adaptive Management Strategy and Environmental Assessment to prevent the spread of White Nose Syndrome. Public comments had to be received by April 26, 2013. The BLM plans to complete the preliminary Environmental Assessment in summer 2013. Written comments must be submitted to Bruce Rittenhouse, BLM Colorado State Office, 2850 Youngfield Street, Lakewood, CO 80215. Comments may be submitted in person at the above address from 9 am to 4 pm, Monday through Friday, excluding holidays. Research: Environment Canada announced additional funding for research. 30 infected bats from Vermont and New York were taken to a bunker in Maine to see if they would survive the winter. 9 out of the 30 did survive. The experiment will most likely continue next year. Peter Youngbaer had an article about WNS in the April NSS News in whic h he gives a brief history, detailed research updates, and management and conservation activities. It is a very well written article and anyone interested should read it. Peter Youngbaer had an article about WNS in the April NSS News in which he gives a brief history, detailed research updates, and management and conservation activities. It is a very well written article and anyone interested should read it! Patty Perlacky WNS Committee Chair


of us at Lake of the Ozarks are anxiously awaiting your arrival. Interesting business sessions, a larger vendor show, good food, a variety of entertainment and of course the chance to network wit h old friends. Be sure and mark your calendar for October 13 th through the 18 th for this NCA convention at Camden on the Lake in Lake Ozark, Missouri. Hosted by Bridal Cave and Thunder Mountain Park. Know any vendors who you work with that might be interested in a sponsorship or maybe attending the vendor Claudia at Squire Boone Caverns. T he vendor show is CONVENTION 2013 HOTEL INFO Camden on the Lake is an all condo hotel and we will be very comfortable Rates are $109 plus tax, of course, and reservations can be made at your leisure but before September 13. We pretty much have the run of the hotel. For those who are so inclined, the re is a 24 hour fitness center, a full service spa, and a marina with bo at and wave runner rentals. For further info, check out their website Reservations can be made at 573 365 5620. Steve Thompson Susan Berdeaux Host, Bridal Cave & Thunder Mountain Park Convention Committee Chair Insurance Committee Report nner that we planned to hold on April 18 th That dinner and meeting was rescheduled for May 1 st in Luray Virginia at the Mimslyn Inn a nd NCA Membership. y for growth from qualifying show caves that are not currently NCA members. The Insurance Committee made this recommendation to the NCA members to help grow the size of our program which will benefit everyone who participates. Markel Insurance Company has agreed to provide insurance to these show caves at a Non discounted rate. As NCA Members we will continue to receive a special discount on our insurance. The NCA has another very important need and that is to grow our overall membership. There are many show caves around the cou ntry s The NCA caves will see how much savings they could receive if they become an NCA Member. For most the premium savings will be much more than the cost of NCA membership dues! God Bless, Brad Wuest Insurance Committee Chair Camden on the Lake The Perfect Lake of the Ozarks Getaway will be the site of our 2013 NCA Convention.


e 1982 WE N EED YOUR HELP!! NCA Making History Countdown to Our 50 th Anniversary In 2015 the NCA will celebrate our 50 th Anniversary. Steve Rawlings and Bob Holt are heading up the History Committee. We are looking for photographs from conventions and photographs f rom your cave that might include some of our former and current members. The plan is to put together both a commemorative booklet and video for our big celebration. If you have such items that you would like to share, please scan them and send them to St have a means to do that, please send the originals and we will copy them and return them to you. History Committee Chairmen Steve Rawlings Bob Holt Mark Your Calendar! The 13 th Multidisciplinary Conference on Sinkholes and the Engineering and Environmental Impacts of Karst 2013 Carlsbad, New Mexico, May 6 10, 2013 International Congress of Speleology 2013 Brna, Czech Republic, July 21 28, 2013 NSS Convention 2013 Shippensburg, Pennsylvania, August 5 9, 2013 NCA Convention 2013 Host: Bridal Cave, Lake of the Ozarks, Missouri, October 14 18, 2013 National Cave and Karst Management Symposium 2013, Carlsbad, New Mexico, November 4 8, 2013 IGES/SSS 2013, Sevierville & Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, November 5 9, 2013 IAAPA 2013, Orlando, Florida, November 18 22, 2013 Tucson Gem and Mineral Shows 2014, Tucson, Arizona, February 1 16, 2014 NCA Mid Winter Board of Directors Meeting, Renaissance Airport Hotel St. Louis, Missouri, March 3 5 2014 NSS Convention 2014, NSS Headquarters, Huntsville, Alabama, July 14 18, 2014 NCA Convention 2014, Host: Cave of the Winds, Colorado Springs, Colorado, September 29 October 3, 2014 International Show Caves Association Congress 2014, Jenolan Caves, New South Wales, Australia, November 2 8, 2014 IGES/SSS 2014, Sevierville & Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, November 4 8, 2014 IAAPA 2014, Orlando, Florida, November 17 21, 2014 Got News? Please make sure you let Bob Holt know when you have news to share with the membership regarding you and your cave It is the goal of the NCA office to produce more issues of Cave Talk and this can only happen when you help with the sharing of your news. P lease send your articles, photographs to June 2013 Cave Talk Deadline Please have all articles to Bob Holt no later than May 15. Thank you. Luray Caverns Convention 1982: Harrison T erk, Howe Caverns; Les Turilli, Meramec Caverns; Bob Hudson, Meramec Caverns; Rodney Schaeffer, Howe Caverns; Mike Dunlavy, Lincoln Caverns; and Betty Hudson, Meramec Caverns.

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.


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