The TCMA Passages is the member newsletter of the
Texas Cave Management Association, a Conservancy of
the National Speleological Society.
2014 TCMA director elections: results in early December by Linda Palit, TCMA Nominations Committee chair Plans are in place for the 2014 TCMA director elections. Directors make key decisions that determine the course our organization takes, and they serve on the committees that do the work the cave conservancy requires. TCMA members elect the directors, and the Due to unforeseen problems with the online evoting system we have used before, this elec tion will use paper ballots that will be distribut ed in early October with a deadline for returns to be announced soon. All current members will receive ballots via the mail address they The next Open House event for Robber Baron Cave is coming up on Saturday, Nov. 1, 2014! This is a great event for the public to visit and learn about a wild cave and also a great fundrais ing opportunity for TCMA. Many volun teers are needed to make this happen and we would love to have your help either in the cave or on the surface. Ill be helping to organize the volunteers this souvenir photographs, running the registra tion process, selling T-shirts, selling conces supplied TCMA on their membership application or renewal. The TCMA Secretary will announce the election results in early December 2014. Candidates, who have all submitted state ments, are: Pam Campbell, Michael Cicher ski, Galen Falgout, Jim Crash Kennedy and Gregg Williams. Please carefully consider these candidates, and Make sure your membership is current, and remember to vote. Candidates will speak to the membership at the TCMA Members Meeting at the Texas Cavers Reunion (TCR) on the week end of October 11. [See candidates statements, page 3] FALL 2014 VOL. 15, NO. 1 TCMA preserve reports: Robber Baron open house Nov. 1 by Evelynn Roth Mitchell sions, distributing and collecting gear and, of course, a crew of volunteers to camp out in the cave and make sure our visitors dont wander off on their own. The in-cave volunteers must have their own gear. Again, there is a need for many volunteers, and if there is a particular job you would like to do please e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org If you are just interested in helping and dont care what you do, let me know that, too. Thanks, everyone! [See more preserve reports in our next issue!] Inside Passages Presidents perspective Page 2 Shop online ... and help TCMA! Page 2 TCMA candidate bios/platforms Page 3 Watch for our year-end Passages issue!
TCMA Passages Page 2 Presidents perspective by John Brooks Cavers and non-cavers frequently ask me about the Texas Cave Management Association. They see the stickers on my truck or visit a preserve and wonder what it is all about. The simple answer can be found in the TCMAs mission statement: TCMA exists to acquire, conserve, and manage caves, and to promote research and education re garding caves and karst while providing responsible access to our preserves. The organization is many things to many people. A more simple explanation is that the organization creates an opportunity for Texas cavers to acquire, own and manage our own caves. As some cavers Caves for Texas Cavers. and dedication to our organization by volunteers: members, preserve managers, committee chairs and directors are all volunteers. The work of our organization is done because of a shared passion for cave conservation. That means there are a lot of people to thank for our successes. Contributions of each of these cavers are why the TCMA is such a great organization. Sure, the TCMA has a few challenges to overcome, that is to be expected of an all-volunteer organiza tion. But our ability to manage cave preserves and our ability to raise funds to acquire new preserves would not be possible without the dedication of volunteers who do the work required to keep this organization on track. Accomplishments this year include: vention auction. & Punkin Cave Preserve. Our acquisition committee has looked at several properties with caves. Although none met our cri teria for acquisition, we continue to seek out new potential new preserves. in several of our caves, and new passage is being found on a regular basis. Our board has grown to represent the entire state with directors coming from across the length and breadth of Texas. The TCMA was awarded a LIP Grant to install a new bat-friendly gate on Ezells Cave. The grant will cover 50 percent of the cost, and the remainder will be funded by donations and a TCMA fund raising effort. So whats next? The board of directors, our committee chairs and preserve managers are working to streamline the workings and governance of our organization. an accredited land trust by adopting the Land Trust Alliances policies and procedures. The board, committee chairs and preserve manag ers are meeting in early September to revisit our strategic plan that was created several years ago. we set for this organization several years ago. Our acquisition committee is active and is continu ally looking for our next preserve. The efforts of our many members and volunteers have allowed us to accomplish great things this of protecting and preserving Texas Caves for Texas Cavers. If you would like to be involved, the TCMA would way for you to contribute to the best cave conser vancy in Texas. Shop online ... and help preserve caves! By Bennett Lee We recently started two different Amazon programs that allow you to donate to the TCMA when you purchase from Amazon. Best of all, these financial contributions cost you nothingAmazon will give part of its own profits to the TCMA! These contributions help the TCMA pay for the ongoing costs of maintaining our preserves and caves, like the recent fence repair at Ezells or the new roof on the Deep and Punkin cabin. Amazon Affiliate http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/redirect-home/tcma-20 With the Amazon Affiliate program, Amazon pays the TCMA about 5 percent of your order just for clicking our link to Am azon and then purchasing. It doesnt cost you anything to contributeAmazon pays the TCMA out of Amazons own profits. Heres all you have to do: [See Online, page 4]
TCMA Passages Page 3 TCMA candidate bios and platform statements Pam Campbell I am a third-year caver and member of the Bexar Grotto, where I currently serve as the treasurer. In my three years of caving experience, I have been very active in the caving community. I thoroughly enjoy exploring caves and getting that rush from climbing and squeezing through passages. I ac tively participate in sur vey trips and tank hauls plus, I also lend my time to Robber Baron Cave Preserve projects. I am the Chuck Stuehm Award recipient for 2013 and still enjoy guiding and encouraging new members. Michael Cicherski I have been caving since the mid-1980s. Most of my caving has been in Texas, but I have spent time in New Mexico, Montana, and Kentucky as well as being a part of the 1997 Sistema Huautla project. Currently, I am serving as project manager on two projects in the Texas Hill Country. I was Treasurer for the 15th International Convention of Speleol ogy in partnership with my wife Melissa. I have served as the treasurer for the TSA and as 2015 treasurer for The Texas Chapter of the Explorers Club. Finally, I am an NSS Fellow. If elected to a director position, I will continue to push for an adoption of Accounting Operating Prac tices and Procedures for the TCMA. Galen Falgout I was born and raised in south ern Louisiana. I have lived in Austin, Texas since 2003. I started caving in 2009. Im a mechanic by trade and an explorer by hobby. In running for the TCMA board, Id like to see some more young blood with fresh ideas brought into this organization. I would like to see our membership ing a TCMA member. Jim Crash Kennedy I am hoping to be reelected to the TCMA board this election. I am a cave biologist, having spent 18 years working for Bat Conservation International. Last year I started my own company, Kennedy Above/Under Ground LLC, where I continue to work on karst (and bat) management. I am a past president of the Texas Speleological Association and still sit on the board of the Texas Speleological Survey. I am deeply interested in cave conservation and management on a global scale, and currently chair the steering committee (representing the National Speleological Society) for the biennial National Cave and Karst Management Sympo sium. I am a very active caver, coordinating and participating in digging, survey, and exploration projects all across Texas and Mexico. I am a Fel low and Life Member of the NSS, and spent four years on the instructional staff of the National Cave Rescue Commission. I have served two previous non-consecutive terms as TCMA director. I am the TCMA Preserve Commit tee chair, with my emphasis on assisting the many preserve managers, improving our standards, and developing management plans for our properties. Oh, and at the TSA Spring Convention you might also see me helping raise money for the TCMA at our annual auction! Gregg Williams I am a lifetime Texas resident and member of the Bexar Grotto. I have been an an avid outdoorsman with an eye for conservation for many years. My dedication to the caving com munity and the region, coupled with my drive to further the caving community and its relations with landowners and the general public, means I will do the best job possible representing the TCMA in all aspects. I feel grateful to be part of such a diverse and tal ented caving community and am looking forward to becoming involved in the workings of the TCMA. Upon my election to the Board of Directors, I would like to work toward see ing new caves purchased, promoting good landowner relations, and developing new and future projects to their fullest potential.
TCMA Passages Page 4 Online shopping can help save caves! [continued from page 2] Texas Cave Management Association a 501(c)3 nonprofit since 1986 Visit us on the web! http://www.tcmacaves.org/ Board of Directors John Brooks, president Bennett Lee, vice president Saj Zappitello, secretary Michael Cicherski, treasurer Bill Bentley Jay Jorden Jim Crash Kennedy R.D. Milhollin Linda Palit Denise Prendergast Ron Ralph Ann Scott Matt Turner Committee Chairs Acquisitions Travis Scott Archives Ann Scott Budget Ron Ralph Communications Jay Jorden Database Ron Ralph Finance Michael Cicherski TCMA Board of Directors meeting at J.J. Pickle Campus, UT Austin, 2013 Fundraising Linda Palit (interim) Insurance Michael Cicherski Membership Bennett Lee Nominations Linda Palit Organization/Procedures R.D. Milhollin Preserves Management Jim Kennedy Preserve Managers Deep and Punkin Don Arburn Ezells Cave Ron Ralph Godwin Ranch Andrea Croskey Lost Oasis Chris Vreeland Robber Baron Joe Mitchell Rolling Oaks Ellie Watson UT Lands (Amazing Maze, O-9 Well) David Ochel Whirlpool Matt Turner TCMA: http://www.tcmacaves.org/ Butch Fralia, webmaster Passages editor Jay Jorden Associate editor R.D. Milhollin 1. On the TCMA website (www.tcmacaves.org), click the Amazon link in the header. 2. Buy whatever you were planning to buy from Amazon. Be sure you pay for the items during that session (do not close your browser and continue the purchase later). 3. Voil! Amazon automatically contributes about 5% of your order to the TCMA at no cost to you. Thats all you have to do: click the link and buy. Couldnt be easier! Amazon Smile http://smile.amazon.com I want to be very clear that Amazon Smile is different than Amazon Affiliate. It contributes only 0.5% of your purchase to the TCMA and unfortunately cannot be used with Amazon Affiliate. Clicking the Amazon link on the TCMA website contributes 10x more than Amazon Smile, so we would really appreci ate you using the link on our website instead. However, if you want to contribute via Amazon Smile, we appreciate your generosity there, too! Visit http://smile. amazon.com, sign in, and Amazon will ask which charity you wish to contribute to. Select Texas Cave Management Association Inc and Amazon will donate 0.5 percent of your purchases to support the TCMA. The advantage of Amazon Smile is that once you have signed up for Amazon Smile, Amazon will remind you to use Amazon Smile when you first visit the site. In contrast, with the Amazon Affiliate program you must remember to click Amazon link on the TCMA website each time you purchase from Amazon, but it does contribute 10x more. So there you have it! Two easy ways to contribute to the TCMA at no cost to you. Setup Amazon Smile to contribute to Texas Cave Management Association Inc, or even better contribute 10x more by clicking the Amazon link at www. tcmacaves.org. Thanks for your continued support! Daniel Ramirez at D&P Preserve