The Texas caver

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The Texas caver

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Title:
The Texas caver
Series Title:
The Texas Caver
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Texas Speleological Association
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Texas Speleological Association
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English

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Regional Speleology ( local )
Technical Speleology ( local )
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United States

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General Note:
Another Successful Cave Day sponsored by the Texas Cave Conservancy! / Donna Mosesmann, TCC Director -- From The Editor / Mark Alman-Editor, The Texas Caver -- Government Canyon Karst Survey Project Report / Marvin Miller, Project Director -- Texas Cave Management Association T-Shirt Design Contest / Linda Palit, TCMA Chair -- Texas Speleological Association Spring Convention Wrap Up / Kara Dittmer, TCA Vice Chair -- Sierra la Gavia, Coahuila Trip Report / Peter Sprouse -- Texas Cave Conservancy Announces Acquisition of Avery Ranch Cave / Donna Mosesmann, TCC Director -- Wimberley Valley Watershed Association Purchases Jacob's Well Spring to Become Jacob's Well Natural Area -- TCR 2006 at Honey Creek Ranch, October 20th-22nd, Announcement / Allan Cobb, TCR Guru -- TCC Wins Prestigious NSS 2006 Conservation -Cave Management Award! / Mike Walsh, Texas Cave Conservancy President -- Boyette's Ohlrich Ranch Caves Trip Report / Travis Scott
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Open Access - Permission by Publisher
Original Version:
Vol. 52, no. 3 (July-September 2006)
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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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K26-04786 ( USFLDC DOI )
k26.4786 ( USFLDC Handle )
19951 ( karstportal - original NodeID )
0040-4233 ( ISSN )

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!"# # through old dry passage. We passed a porcupine and found the end of the main passage. We then turned around and explored a parallel passage that lead to a sizeable room with a hole in the middle of the floor. The hole leads to a very tight crawl and into another room that Anna expl ored. She found a digable hole in the floor that l ead downward and had airflow. The rear of portions of the cave showed signs of frequent flooding all the way to the ceiling. It turns out the cave is about 400' long and is a significant recharge feature with promise of deeper extent. Return trips will be set up to work on the dig. Subsequent research revealed that the cave had already been named Ohlrich Ranch Cave. After caving, the owner let us clean up at the ranch headquarters. He took us on a tour of the house "built in the 1890's", and the neighboring house that was "the house before the 1890's house". These houses were in almost pristine shape, hand built, and amazingly crafted. I have found throughout the years that cavers tend get to see more of Texas, it's history and beauty, than most Texans ever do. Editor -A HUGE thanks to Travis Scott for all of his submissions and excellent photos this year! Check out more of Travis' excellent photography at http:// oztotl.com/TAphotos.html. Brian and Geary at the entrance. Below: Anna checking out the lower levels. # $# # The Texas Caver JulySeptember 2006 Vol. 52, Number 3 ISSN 0040-4233 The Texas Caver is a quarterly publication of the Texas Speleological Association (TSA), an internal organization of the National Speleological Society All material copyrighted 2006 by the Texas Speleological Association, unless otherwise stated. Subscriptions are included with TSA membership, which is $20/year for individuals and $30/year for families. Libraries, institutions, and out-of-state subscribers may receive The Texas Caver for $20/year. Student subscriptions are $15/year. Submissions, correspondence, and corrections should be sent to the Editor: The Texas Caver c/o Mark Alman 1312 Paula Lane, Mesquite, TX 75149 texascavers@yahoo.com Subscriptions, dues, and membership info should be sent to the TSA: The Texas Speleological Association Post Office Box 8026 Austin, TX 78713-8026 www.cavetexas.org The opinions and methods expressed in this publication are solely those of the respective authors, and do necessarily reflect the views of the editors, the TSA, or the NSS. SUBMISSIONS: Articles, announcements, artwork, photos, and material for publication are ALWAYS welcomed. And may be sent at anytime. All submissions must be submitted to the Editor in electronic form, either via email or CD-ROM.. NO EXCEPTIONS! The editor reserves the right to edit inappropriate material, errors in spelling, grammar, or punctuation, and to edit for clarity. In the event of significant changes the author (s) will be given an opportunity to review changes prior to publication. EXCHANGES: The Texas Speleological Association will exchange newsletters with other organizations at the TSA's discretion. Contact the Texas Caver editor for further information. MAILING: The editor is not responsible for lost or misdirected newsletters caused by failure to notify editor in writing of address changes. Cover Photo by Travis Scott, "Canyon Under the Glass Mountains' Allan Blevins in 400' Cave" took First Place at the 2006 TSA Convention in May. Back Cover photo by Travis Scott Thank God for Helmets" Marlena Cobb in Stowers Cave' took Second place at the 2006 TSA Convention, as well! 2006 Texas Speleological Association Officers Chair: John Brooks chairman@cavetexas.org Vice-Chair: Kara Dittmer vicechairman@cavetexas.org Secretary: Andy Gluesenkamp secretary@cavetexas.org Treasurer: Michael Cicherski treasurer@cavetexas.org Conservation Committee Chair: Jacqui Bills Thomas conservation@cavetexas.org Publications Committee Chairman The Texas Caver Editor: Mark Alman publications@cavetexas.org or texascavers@yahoo.com TSA Activities Newsletter: Jerry Atkinson jerryatkin@aol.com The Texas Speleological Association is a not-forprofit organization that supports cave exploration and studies in and around the state of Texas. It is comprised of both independent members and local grottos. The TSA is an internal organization of the National Speleological Society and represents the greater caving community in Texas. The organization holds business meetings 3 times a year, organizes an annu al convention for Texas cavers, and sponsors ca ving projects throughout the state.

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!" Table of Contents Another Successful Cave Day sponsored by the Texas Cave Conservancy! 4 Submitted by Donna Mosesmann, TCC Director From The Editor 4 By Mark AlmanEditor, The Texas Caver Government Canyon Karst Survey Project Report 5 Submitted by Marvin Miller, Project Director Texas Cave Management Association T-Shirt Design Contest 6 Submitted by Linda Palit, TCMA Chair Texas Speleological Association Sprin g Convention Wrap Up 7 Submitted by Kara Dittmer, TCA Vice Chair. Sierra la Gavia, Coahuila Trip Report 8 Submitted by Peter Sprouse Texas Cave Conservancy Announces Acquisition of Avery Ranch Cave Submitted by Donna Mosesmann, TCC Director 12 Wimberley Valley Watershed Association Purchases Jacob 's Well Spring to Become Jacob's Well Natural Area 13 TCR 2006 at Honey Creek Ranch, Octo ber 20th-22nd, Announcement 14 Submitted by Allan Cobb, TCR Guru TCC Wins Prestigious NSS 2006 Cons ervation Cave Management Award! 15 Submitted by Mike Walsh, Texa s Cave Conser vancy President Boyette's & Ohlrich Ranch Cave s Trip Report 18 Submitted by Travis Scott #$" Boyette's & Ohlrich Ranch Caves Submitted by: Travis Scott June 10th, 2006 Participants: Anna Beach, Allan Cobb, Fritz Holts, Brian Riordan, Geary Schindel, Travis Scott Looking up the pit entrance. A few months before the 2006 TSA Spring Convention held at John Knox Ranch, I received an email from Fritz Holts about a cave near John Knox. We talked about finding the land owner and going caving on the Sunday of the convention. As the convention date drew nearer, I hadn't been able to track down the land owner. So in stead of caving on that Sunday, I went and located the property. Sure enough, the next day I got in contact with the owners. They were excited and wanted us to come visit the cave soon as they were about to put the property up for sale, so we planned a day trip to vi sit the cave. In the mean time, Geary came up with anot her lead nearby that we could couple with Boyette's to make the long drive (at least for me) more worth it. We all arrived at th e property and met the owner who was very nice and accommodating. We rigged the cave, dropped down the entrance pit, skipped the mid levels of the cave, and headed for the lake room. The owner had showed us photos of the lake taken in the '60s when it was about 4' deep and looked pretty nice. When we arrived, it was empty ex Anna in the Dry Lake Room. cept for 4-8" of mud/sludge that emitted a foul odor when disturbed. After no takers on making some mud angels, we began taking some photos. The cave is short and sweet, but the air wa s stale. After a while the headaches began and we decided to move on to the more promising lead Geary had. So we climbed out and de-rigged the cave, to ld the land owner thank you and headed south. The lead was located on a nice large ranch near New Braunfels. The entrance was in a large sinkhole near a large dry creek and it was obvious that the cave was a major recharge featur e. After hearing the land owners say several times that the cave doesn't go anywhere and only one of us will fit at a time, most all of us were in the cave blasting through virgin passage. That is until we came to a piece of flagging that was once used for a survey station, bummer... The cave is hands and knees crawling on a dirt floor

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!"# # Avery Ranch Cave visitors A fourth grant was obtaine d from the Bubble Cave Conservancy for the purpos e of building an outdoor shower for use by visiting cavers at the TCC Head quarters. Thanks to their support our muddy caver friends will be more headquarters friendly. The TCC is asked to design a cave preserve at the Buzz's Old Gold Cave site. The site design and map is approved by the City of Austin and the cave preserve development was started the following year. The TCC headquarters serves as host for a four day planning session of the National Cave Rescue Association. The TCC Headquarters, the trail system and CAVE DAY all make the acqui sition of grants easier. 2006 This year the TCC efforts really started coming together! On March 3, the TCC was given ownership of the Avery Ranch Cave. Work is currently underway to install decking, lights and a sound system. This highly decorated small one room cave is well suited for the TCC public education efforts. The public will not be charged for visitation. Avery Ranch Cave is the first cave "owned' by the Texas Cave Conservancy. On May 16, the TCC was given our second cave, Dies Ranch Treasure Cave. This cave is a good vertical training site and will be us ed both by cavers and by the local fire departments. In addition, this cave will be used for public visitation on CAVE DAY. Work is currently underway to clean up & landscape the site and make the necessary improvements for vertical training. These two projects will require a great deal of work and volunteer effort in order to ready them for public use. The TCC has obtained the management of six additional caves in the same development as the Dies Ranch Cave. One of the caves is B.A.B.E. Pit, a good cave with bad air (high levels of CO2). The Texas Cave Conservancy has acquired a CO2 meter and will use this site to study different methods for air improvement. As part of our efforts to reach cave owners we have developed two post cards to be given out at public events in West Texas. Many people are cave owners or know cave owners in West Texas. Upon contact and invitation, we get TCC Associates out to give the owner information on their cave. In 2006 and beyond, we, as a trailblazing conservation organization hope to continue to grow, protect and preserve the local cave envir onments with support from the caving community and the general public. Cavers are "the cave experts" and ge nuinely care about caves. Cavers should continue to seek cave related grants, land management contracts and public support in our cave protection efforts. In addition to conservation, the Texas Cave Conservancy remains committed to the recreational use, not abuse, of caves where appropriate. The Texas Cave Cons ervancy was awarded the 2006 National Speleological Society Cave Conservation Cave Management Award at the NSS Banquet, August 11, 2006, in Bellingham, Washington. The Texas Cave Conservancy was represented by over twenty-five Associates from around the country at the TCC banquet table. Thank-you's go out to all of the 200 TCC Associates around the country that helped us to receive this, the nations highest caver conservation award. Look for even greater things in our future. Submitted by Mike Walsh and Gordon Birkhimer. $# # From the Editor... Well, it's been a great spring and summer with a LOT of caving activity in the Lone Star State occurring. What with the TSA Convention (see the Convention Wrap-Up on page 7), all of the many projects going on throughout the State, the LIDAR project going on at Kickapoo Caverns, and the ongoing Robber Baron project, and TCC's national NSS award, caving is in the news and there is plenty of caving going on and numerous opportunities to get underground. The Fall and Winter appear to be just as busy. There are the upcoming TSA Elections (please, please, nominate someone or have someone nominate you!) and the Texas Cavers Reunion in October. See pg. 14. The Elections, especially, are a good chance to help reinvigorate the TSA. This is your opportunity to help set a new tone for the TSA that involves more energy and support for the offi cers, projects and fellow cavers and less back-biting, infighting, gossiping, and ill will. None of this helps promote caving and cave conservation in the State and only takes away from it. Remember: We're all in this cave together and before uttering anything negative, ask yourself the following: Do my actions/words be nefit caving in Texas? If they are not constructive, don't utter them. Being a relative newbie to the TSA, I have seen and heard a lot of conflict and all this serves to do is drive dedicated people away from the TSA. If you're a constructive caver, come join us and help rebuild the TSA. If you're one of the destructive forces, well, ... New Cavers Arrive in the State Congratulations go out to Travis and Amanda Scott! Their new daughter, Harper Renee Scott was born on July 10th at 8:06 am weighing 6.5 lbs and 19 inches long. Also, future congratulations go out to Andy and Leah Gluesenkamp who are expecting. Another Successful Cave Day sponsored by the TCC! Saturday April 15th marked another successful presentation of Texas Cave Conservancy's twice a year "Cave Day". This spring, it was an offi cial part of a regional environmental promotion called Austin Nature Day. Over 300 participants enjoyed the beauty and pleasure of an excellent outdoor expe rience in Cedar Park's Westside Cave Preserve. Self guided hikes took visitors over about 3 miles of wooded trails. They were able to view many of the area's cave sites where the entrances are usually gated and fenced. Cavers from all ove r the state and local volunteers manned four stations in the Preserve. The cavers dispensed conservation in formation including maps, brochures, demonstrations, a nd lectures. An interactive children's presentation f eatured conversations with fictional cave critters, Ricky and Rebecca. They represented the endangered Rhadine persephone found in some of these caves. This gave the kids information from a bug's point of view. At another station, cave rs helped visitors get underground by climbing down a ladder inside one of the cave entrances. Over 100 people decided to try this activity. Further down the tr ail, about 75 hikers took advantage of the opportunity to get "on rope" and experienced climbing and using the gear and skills that are frequently needed in a cave. The weather was very cooperative this year. Ice water was furnished at several points along the trails. It was a pleasant and informative day for all concerned. Plans are underw ay to make it even better next fall. Many, many thanks to all who drove a great distance and worked so hard to help put on this important educational event. Cavers interested in helping next fall, please contact Donna Mosesmann, event coordinator, by email at dogmos1@hotmail.com

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!" Government Canyon Karst Survey 22nd April 2006 and 27th & 28th May 2006 Submitted by: Marvin Miller Trip participants: Justin Fell, Mica Fell Justin and Mica were the only participants on this trip. My intention was to go hiking with my family after organizing the project workday. I sent Justin and Mica north to Area 12 to look for some features that had been recorded in 2001, including a "possible cave" feature 12-4. GPS data had not been recorded for the feature but its location in a drainage just off the Sendero Balcones trail seemed to make it an easy find. Justin and Mica never found the sought after feature but did find two other feat ures which they named K1 and K2. K2 is a hole in the side of a ravine with cool air flow. K1 is a sink just up the hill. The team recorded GPS coordinates for K2, which, when plotted, showed that they had vent ured too far along the trail and ended up in Area 16 instead of Area 12. But they did find two promising features. 27 & 28 May 2006 Trip participants: Rick Corbell, Bob Cowell, Steve Gutting, Marvin Miller, Drew Rutherford, Ron Rutherford Saturday Activities Once again, my Saturday morning activities were going to involve organi zing the project and then going on a family hike. The hike, however, was going to consist of leading a dig team to Dancing Rattler Cave, just off of the Far Reaches Trail. Diane Dismukes, TPWD Resource Specialist for this area (replacing George Kegley), was going to join the project for the first time. She wa s especially interested in this trip because we were going to start several exploratory digs in endangered species caves. The digs had been on hold for awhile. The exploration in Dancing Rattler seemed to hold the most promise so I decided to work on that one first. One area of interest is in the entrance sink, which was dug from a surface sink into the cave several years ago. The evidence inside the cave indicates that passage might continue on the other side of the sink, so my intention is to dig that side down to the current passage level and see if we can find another hole. Unfo rtunately, no one else showed up Saturday morning so I took Diane and the family up the trail and showed them the entrance to Dancing Rattler Cave and the two related caves nearby Dancing Fern and Hackberry Sink. It was good for Diane to see what the cave entrances look like and the kind of digs we sometimes do to open them up. Dancing Fern had good airflow coming out of the entrance. As we were heading back down the trail we met Rick Corbell coming up, carrying a bucket full of digging tools. I took him back up to the cave and he dug a good bit of dirt out by himself over the next few hours. Sunday Activities On Sunday I was joined by Ron and his son Drew (8), Bob, and Steve. I read Rick's note describing his accomplishments of the day before and decided we would head back up to Dancing Rattler. Bob and Steve concen trated on the sinkhole dig and Ron, Drew, and I entered the cave. I wanted to survey the side passage that heads west through a squeeze just inside the entrance. First the passage had to be enlarged a bit to allow Ron to pass. We surveyed into the low room beyond and then Drew and I proceeded past another very tight spot into the larger room on the other side. Once again Ron had to work awhile on the tight spot. While he was doing this, Drew helped me survey this area of the cave. Drew is 8 years old and did a great job holding the tape on the survey stations and the light for me to sight instruments on. #$" Bill Larson on first rappel at Dies Ranch Treasure Cave graphic area the best way to send a non-competitive message is to actively support each other on good projects. On Saturday, April 16, the TCC hosted the first CAVE DAY, a cave related event open to the public. CAVE DAY is a community education activity designed to improve public awareness of the importance of caves, cave life and the aquifer as it relates to area caves. Over 250 members of the Cedar Park community attended Cave Day despite ra in, possible hail, and the threat of tornados. The event is now held two times per year with an average atte ndance of over 350 visitors. The TCC took the opportunity during Cave Day to introduce Ricky & Rebecca Rhadine persephone(beetle) to the public. These cartoon ch aracters were created in order to reach young children in the Austin area regarding the importance of pr otecting our precious cave resources. These rare and endangered species are found in only fifty caves in the world. This material is presented to the public at CAVE DAY and other events. We have made a recording of the voices of Ricky & Rebecca Rhadine persephone to be used to introduce these rare insects in a fu n, friendly and memorable way to visitors at Mushroom Cave. With grant assistance from one of our Associates which helped to cover the costs associated with construction, the TCC was able to convert the 500 square foot garage of the Headquarters into a multifunctional meeting room and party place. The TCC web site was developed and launched with the official web address of www.texascaves.org This allows us to keep both th e TCC Associates and the public informed of our curre nt conservation efforts and cave related activities. The TCC assisted in bringing the Texas Highway Department, and the owner of a $10,000,000 cave property, together with the City of Cedar Park and the U. S. Fish & Wildlife for discussions concerning the use of the property. When the 50-year management agreement is signed, the City of Cedar Park will have a new public access site. Hike a nd bike trails, educational signage, and even a new cave related nature center are to be authorized in the agreement. 2005 The TCC obtained a $ 5000 grant in order to develop Avery Ranch Cave as an educational show cave. A high quality rock stairway leading down into the main room of Avery Ranch Cave has been installed by the TCC. The metal deck is now in the cave and we are estimating completion of all construction in August of 2006. A second grant was obtained to develop cave related brochures and other materials for the bi-annual event CAVE DAY. These material s are currently in design. A third grant was obtained to assist in the development of a fivemile trail system in the Westside Cave Preserve. The wood mulch trails, cave name signs and the informational signage at each cave will greatly assist in the TCC public education efforts. In addition, this will provide the City of Cedar Park with a new and unique tourist attraction. The public will be allowed to hike the trail and obtain information on the discovery, contents and the importance of each of the caves.

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!"# # TCC Wins NSS Conservation Cave Management Award! The Texas Cave Conservancy was awarded the 2006 National Speleological Societ y Group Cave Conservation Cave Management Award at the NSS Banquet, August 11, 2006, in Bellingham, Washington. The Texas Cave Conservancy was represented at the NSS Banquet by over fifty Associates from around the country. Thanks goes out to all of the 200 TCC Associates in Texas and around th e country that helped us to receive this, the nations highest caver conservation award TCC Board Members at the NSS Banquet. Gordon Birkhimer, Donna Mosesmann, Mike Walsh, Cat Kennedy, Gary Napper. Steve Gutting in Texas. On October 13, 1994, several cavers, including Bob Finger, Sandi Moerbe, Stan Moerbe, Gary Napper, Jack Ralph, Mike Wals h, Mike Warton and others, gathered in New Braunfels, Texas to create the Texas Cave Conservancy. The follo wing is a brief history of some of our group's cave management and cave conservation efforts over the past five years. 2001 The TCC signed an agreement with the Lumberman's Investment Corporation and the City of Cedar Park, Texas to manage the thirty-two Westside Preserve caves, including Buttercup Creek Cave and Marigold Cave. Since that time, TCC management has grown to include over fortyfive cave preserves with more than one hundred twenty-five caves. 2002 The TCC obtained a contract to manage the Hidden Glenn Cave Preserve s in Round Rock, Texas. The TCC enhanced the Hidden Glenn Cave Preserve with trails and a high quali ty entrance sign. The TCC worked to build hiking trails in the Westside Preserve. Currently there are over five miles of hiking trails with more to come. TCC celebrated moving into their new headquarters in Cedar Park, Texas. The hous e along with three smallendangered species caves and 4.25 acres assist in our public education efforts. In addition to having a campground on the property, the house also serves as a home for the TCC Library and Meeting Room. The TCC obtained a contract to manage the 109acre Discovery Well track in Cedar Park, Texas. Also in that year, the TCC started fire ant control activities at the Big Tree Cave and the Chaos Cave Preserves. Later that year, the City of Cedar Pa rk requested assistance in developing cave-preserve regulations for the Westside Preserve. The TCC produced the regulations and the City of Cedar Park implemented them as a city ordinance. 2004 The Texas Cave Management Association bought two significant caves Pumpkin Cave and Deep Cave in Edwards County, Texas. The TCC assisted the TCMA with the purchase by providing a significant monthly contribution to th e TCMA. This donation will continue to be made until the TCMA mortgage is paid in full. When cave conservancies overlap in a geo $# # When Ron made it through the second tight spot I put him right to work again. At the south end of the north-south trending passage that we were in, another room could be seen through a hole between a breakdown block and the ceiling. While Ron worked on that dig, Drew and I finish ed the survey at the north end. At that end the passage also continued but the floor came up sharply to about 30 cm from the ceiling and a few nubbins of rock projected from the floor to keep me from scooting ahead. I could get far enough in to see a few meters of passa ge that looked passable to a corner. I wanted a look ar ound the corner. Drew could have made it but kind of thought he wanted someone else to try it first. It looked like floor and ceiling were coming together so it wasn't too promising, but this cave had surprised me before. Ron's lead looked like it had a lot more promise. When he yelled that he had broken through, I hoped for the best, but all he found was one low room with no continuation. Howeve r, he did find another crawling lead at that end of the cave that I had somehow overlooked before. Rocks projecting from the floor made that a dig lead also. Drew went and got Ron's hammer while Ron took a break. I made short wo rk of the obstructions at my lead and slithered on in. At the corner the passage did continue low but was blocked by walls of columns. However, the cave did surprise me again it went down! I was looking down almost a 2-meter drop. There wasn't enough room at the top to pull my legs out of the crawl and down the drop. About half-a-meter down there was a large shel f projection. Bracing myself on this I was able to get my head far enough down the hole to see what looke d like continuing passage, but I didn't want to go do wn the hole head first. I backed out to where I could sit up, where we had stopped the survey, and took a break. Then I went into the passage feet first, feeling blindly for the necessary turns and voids. At the drop I was able to kneel down on the projecting shelf. Then I had just enough room to maneuver my feet over to where they were off of the shelf and over the hole. Another few cm of leg length and I don't think I would have been able to accomplish this. From there I squirmed around to a sitting position and let myself down to the passage below. Drew had come to the top of the drop after me and I instructed him to stay where he was. I went ahead in a passage not quite walking height and somewhat cluttered with breakdown and formation growth. After about 15 meters the passage went back up almost to the previous level of the cave and then I suddenly found myself looking into a nice-siz ed room with at least one nice column in it. The room was at least 2 meters in height, 3 to 4 meters wide and at least 5 to 6 meters long. I didn't go any farther, preferring to save some of the excitement of discovery for another trip. We didn't have time to survey down into this room and I guess I wanted to keep alive the possi bility that the cave might continue a Schroedinger's box kind of thing. The airflow situation was promising I could feel it in the crawl above the drop. I went back to Drew and we both negotiated back to where we had e nded the survey. I started sketching back toward Ron's new room, and when I got there, we did two survey shots to finish it off. I glanced at the lead he ha d found and it is a good lead. Most of the airflow from th is part of the cave seemed to be coming from the northward lead, however. Ron and Drew left the cave while I finished the sketch. We had surveyed 23.6 meters of cave in 9 stations. The cave now has 78 meters of survey and is currently surveyed to 3.2 me ters deep. When I got back to the entrance I saw that Bob and Steve had dug out a lot of dirt and dispatched a large root that had been in the way. However, the floor of the sink on that end had not yet been dug down to the level of the existing passage. Another several hours of digging should get us there. We packed up and headed down the trail. TCMA T-Shirt Contest The TCMA is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year1! Help us celebrate this historic milestone by designing a commemorative T-shirt. The winning shirt will be pr inted and available for purchase. Gil Ediger and Chris Vreeland will be the judges, and prizes for th e winning entries will be awarded at the TCR in October. Send entries to Linda Palit, 4019 Ramsgate Street, San Antonio, TX 78230 or email her at lkpalit@sbcglobal.net.

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!" TSA Convention Wrap-Up Thanks to all the speakers, organizers, vendors, auctioneers, workers, helpers and TSA members who helped to make the convention a wonderful event! Keep it up The TSA as an organization is only as strong as the membership makes it by joining the organization, by participating in TSA meetings, by showing up to convention, by speaking out, by sharing your trip reports and pictures with the Texas Caver edito r, and by having a great time caving and enjoying the fellowship of your fellow cavers. Thank you for your s upport, and we'll see you next year at Convention! In the meantime, think about attending our next busin ess meeting at TCR. Vice Chair Kara Dittmer Kara gittin' ready for the Auction. Photo by Butch Fralia TCMA Auction Items. Photo by Preston Forsythel Jacobs Well after the TSA Convention Photo by Rick Corbell #$" TCR 2006 at Honey Creek Ranch, October 20th-22nd! Howdy Y'all, It is that time of the year to announce the location and date for TCR 2006. The 29th Annual TCR will be on the weekend of October 20-22. We are returning to Honey Creek Ranch for all of our fun and festivities. We will have some trips into Honey Creek Cave for those who feel the need to get underground as well as many fun and exciting things above ground. For the latest information about TCR 2006, visit the website at www.oztotl.com/tcr. Start making your plans to attend and help make this the best TCR ever! All cavers are invited to attend so don't be left out. A few general rules and fine print: Please remember to bring your own reusable eating utensils to the Grand Feast and to come prepared to take your garbage home. Well behaved dogs, friends, and family members are welcome, in that order, those that may tend to be obnoxious should be left elsewhere. Port-a-Potties will be provided. As a convenience to cavers and in support of the Texas Region of the NSS, the TSA will be collecting dues for the 2006 membership year. If you are not a TSA member, th is is a very good opportunity to join and to show your support for the organization that cares a bout cavers and caving in Texas. The TEXAS CAVER, and the many caving Projects are obvious bene fits provided to you and other cavers by the TSA. The TSA provides many other benefits that aren't so obvious--please join and support the TSA. Vendors of caving equipment and publications will be set up. The TCR staff is not in the police business. That means everyone should police themselves and those in their clan. In other words.....you are responsible for the behavior of your children and your guests. Using Common Sense and Common Courtesy is the best policy. Remember, this is primarily a caver event. People who will contribute to the general craziness are encouraged to attend, those who will detract are discouraged. See y'all there... Allan Cobb Honey Creek Ranch is located 30 miles north of San Antonio almost to the north end of Park Road 31. It may be re ached by traveling west on State Highway 46, 8 miles west of the intersection of State Highway 46 and US Highway 281 or by traveling eastward on State Highway 46, 13 miles east of Boerne.

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!"# # Wimberley Valley Watershed Association Purchases Jacob's Well Spring to Become Jacob's Well Natural Area Great news for the Wimberley area and all of Central Texas! Jacob's Well, A Natural Wonder in Wimberley The Wimberley Valley Watershed Association (WVWA) has purchased J acob's Well, one of the outstanding natural springs in the Texas Hill Country and entire nation. Th e WVWA in unifying the properties around the spring has christened it the Jacob's Well Natural Area. Jacob's Well is believed to be the longest u nderwater cave in Texas and the primary source of water to the Cypress Creek which flows downstream through the city of Woodcreek and Wimberley, through the famous Blue Hole swimming area and into the Blanco River. "This is the first time si nce the 1800s that Jacob's Well and the surrounding properties has been united in one single owne rship," Dr. Patrick Cox said, President of the WVWA. "If water is the very life blood of our community then Jacob's Well is the heart of this entire region," Dr. Cox said. The WVWA will begin working immediately to restore and protect the site. "Jacob's Well Natural Area will be utilized for research and environmental education and to serve as a model for how to protect environmentally sensitive areas in the Edwards Aquifer Region," Dr. Cox said. "The WVWA appreciates the help of the members of our organization, our local partners and the Greater Edwards Aquifer Alliance members who have helped us accomplish this acquisition," Dr. Cox stated. The land acquisition is a result of a multi-year effort by the WVWA to protect and consolidate dozens of parcels previous owned privately. Now the unified fifty-acre parcel know as the Jacob's Well Natural Area will be managed and restored as a nature preserve by the Wimberley Valley Watershed Association. In order to purchase the land, the WVWA obtained a $2 million loan from a private, conservationminded lender to purchase the properties. Within the next two years the goal of the WVWA is to repay the loan and raise additional funds for the management and restoration of Jacob's Well Natural Area. The total current appraised value of WVWA's land is over $3 million. Jacob's Well is a karst spring very similar to Barton Springs or San Marcos Springs and is a perfect place to study and research the health of the aquifer. The WVWA has alre ady established a water quality monitoring station managed by the United States Geological Survey at the spring to study the water quality and quantity of the aquifer. Real-time water quality data from Jacob's Well can be viewed on the web at http://tx.usgs.gov/aquifer/projects/ jacobswell.htm To make a financial contribution to help save Jacob's Well Spring click here to contact Wimberley Valley Watershed A ssociation or call WVWA at 512-847-1582. To send a tax-deductible contribution directly to WVWA, mail to WVWA P.O. Box 2534, Wimberley, TX. 78676. $# # Susan, Charley and Kathleen prepare for the hike. The impetus for this trip was to check out a blowing pit which I'd been shown two months beforehand in the Sierra la Gavia. This mountain range crosses Highway 57 between Monclova and Saltillo. In January 2006 while on a bat research trip for Bat Conservation International, some lads from the Ejido Tuxtepec had shown us a cave in Ca–on Verde a few kilometers north of their villa ge called Cueva del Guano. They also mentioned a blowing pit far up the ridge, which I decided to have a look at while my companions checked out the cave. It was indeed right on top of the ridge, and blowing a lot of air. The entrance to Pozo la Gavia is on top of a ridge With me on the trip were usual suspects Philip Rykwalder and Charley Savvas. Philip's Montana caving buddy Jason Ballensky flew out to join us. Kathleen O'Connor was a relati vely new caver along for her first Mexican pit. Champion rope climber Susan Souby joined us along with veteran caver Rune Burnett, who had volunteered to run chuckwagon for us. We left Buda on 23 March and met up with the rest of our crew in San Antonio at the Taco Cabana. From there we drove to Eagle Pass, near which Rune got a speeding ticket for allegedly doing 87 mph, which seemed unlikely because he was following our truck, moving a lot slower than that. Soon we were across the border and made the short dr ive to La Azufrosa, south of Allende, where we camped by the sulfur springs. Just above the springs is Cueva de La Azufrosa, a fascinating rectilinear maze cave we had been mapping over the past year. Charley pauses on a ledge in Pozo Cokendolpher Sierra la Gavia, Coahuila By Peter Sprouse

PAGE 9

!" The next morning we prepared to enter the cave to try and push two promis ing leads where we had previously stopped due to larg e quantities of bats. We donned histoplasmosis masks and formed two survey teams. Jason, Philip, and Kath leen took a left hand passage to push a stream passage Jean Krejca and I had been in two months before. They mapped a section of walking passage and saw that it continued on smaller, but there were too many bats to proceed. These were the Ghost-faced Bat, Mormoops megalophylla and there are several thousand of them in this cave. They even saw a snake catch a bat in the left hand passage. Meanwhile Charley, Susan a nd I tried to push a lead that went to the right a bit farther than their left hand lead, but we had too many bats too. They were falling off the walls onto the floor of the crawlway where they were in danger of being furry kneepads for us, which wasn't good. So we contented ourselves with cleaning up a bunch of minor side leads. When all were out of the cave, we headed south through Monclova and on to our destination, Tuxtepec, where we obtained permission and arranged porters for the next day. All set, we dr ove up to the foot of the mountain and pitched camp. We built a fire and Rune and Susan served up some great tacos. Rune had brought his full camp kitchen and served us royally the whole trip. Later that eveni ng I drove back down to the Tuxtepec road to wait for Saltillo cavers Monica Ponce and Javier Banda, and after a long wait they arrived. They left her car in the v illage and I drove them up to camp. Saturday morning we packed up for the hike to Pozo la Gavia, leaving Rune to mind camp. Four fellows from the village came up to help us pack gear. Our hike initially took us up the gravelly course of the Ca–on Verde, then we began the steep climb up the ridge itself. We were climbing the spine of a buttress, picking our way through cact us and lechuguilla. From time to time we would stop to enjoy the view of the desert below, where in the distance we could see the #$" Submitted by: Donna Mosesmann TCC Director. The Texas Cave Conservancy (TCC) announces acquisition of Avery Ranch Cave, located near Round Rock, Texas. On March 6, 2006 the Avery Ranch Homeowner's Association transferred ownership of this small, one room cave to the TCC. The Conservancy will be developing this site as an educational show cave, available to cavers and members of the public at no charge. It will become a valuable tool in the TCC's cave related public education efforts. BACKGROUND : On May 2, 2001 contractors, excavating a one meter wide trench for a sewer line at Avery Ranch in Williamson County, cut into the side of a sm all, highly decorated cave. Caver Kimble White was summoned to check out the cave. He found a room twenty five to thirty feet in diameter, up to ei ghteen feet high and filled with formations. The following is Kimble's account of what occurred next: "It was hi t during trenching of a sewer line on May 2, 2001. I was the first to enter and explore it that evening. Hub Bechtol, Brad Sappington, and Kristin White returned with me the next morning and helped map it. We took clean shoes into the cave with us and changed into them after making it past the muddy trench...we used a long piece of bamboo to place the end of the tape at various locations for our su rvey shots so as not to have to climb on the speleothems. To their credit, the developer re-designed the sewer trench and the road it followed to avoid the cave. They gave up three lots on top to protect the cave and had the hatch installed on top to keep the speleothems from drying out. Others who entered the cave in that first week were Sylvia Pope and some others from COA, and Heather Beatty from TCEQ. Mike Warton came out later when I recommended him to the owners for installing the hatch. An interesting anecdote: While Sue Hovorka (Edwards Aquifer expert with the UT Bureau of Economic Geology) was rewriting the TCEQ guidelines for conducting Geologic Assessments in the recharge zone, we took her to a couple of our field sites to help her with some ground level input on the methods involved. We probably walked right over this cave in the process of inspecting several of the previously identified CEFs that are nearby...no sign of it at the surface whatsoever. It's also interesting to note that we are very lucky that the trench intersected the cave where it did. Had it done anything else but just knick the cave then it may not have been salvageable, not to mention the fact that the trencher could have taken a serious fall." Since there was no observable cave life, Avery Ranch Cave became a potential site for an educational show cave. While the TCC is purchasing three endangered sp ecies caves on the 4.25 acres at the TCC Headquarters site, this is the first cave to be owned outright by the conservation organization. Over the next three months, the TCC will install an observation deck inside the cave and make additional improvements. Your support with this effort and others is invited. Please contact Donna Mosesmann, TCC Director 713-777-7339 or dogmos1@hotmail.com, if interested. Texas Cave Conservancy Announces Acquisition of Avery Ranch Cave

PAGE 10

!!" Slope to water in El Tunel. trance was formed in crum bly shale below an oyster bed. It was 10 m long and sl oped down to a pool 3 m across with hundreds of dead and dying bees and some mosquito larvae. It wasn't clear if this was a natural cave or if it had Wind blows up dust as Kathleen enters Pozo la Gavia. been dug, but I went ahead and made a quick survey, and then returned my guides to the village. Then it was time to drive back to the trailhead and await the cave crew. It was a number of hours before their headlamps appeared on the distant hillside. They arrived in several small groups, and all declared it was a fine trip to the bottom of the cave, which involved 4 rope drops to a large, well-decorated passage. Back at camp Rune fixed us another great dinne r, we watched the daily slide show, then it was time for our friends from Saltillo to depart. We watched their taillights diminish across the desert for 30 minutes. Susan in the Pollenturdtotem room in Cueva del Guano. Monday morning we packed up camp and were off by 9:30 or so. Rune's cr ew drove north to Piedras Negras while we made a try at getting to Cueva el Hundido at the south end of th e Sierra la Rata, east of Monclova. At the first ranch they told us we had to check at another ranch, but the guy we needed to talk to wouldn't be there, as he was working. So we went on towards Laredo via the Presa Don Mart’n. At the dam we could see that it was built in a gap in low limestone hills, probably a south east extension of the same range that Cueva de La Azufrosa is in. We tried to find a Cueva del Guano reported by Arnulfo Moreno west of An‡huac, and the locals reported that it did exist, and had bats. They described it as extending into darkness and having snakes, but the ranch where it was is now fenced off with absentee owners. They said we could walk downriver to get to it with a guide, but we lacked time to find one, so after a bit we gave up for now. We headed north through Body Count City and into Texas. !#" Rune at the Grill. trucks glimmering in the morning sun. Philip and Jason got up first (of course), and rigged down the first drop, then came back up to await us. It seemed to be a tectonic cave, which was disc ouraging. The wind was as strong as before and made entry quite dusty. The first drop was 13 m into a linear crack. To the west it went about 20 m, and Kathleen collected an amblypygid off the wall, a possible new species To the east it went the same distance, where Charley found a scorpion and pseudoscorpion, likely new as well. A short second drop led to a lower crawl th at soon pinched despite airflow, which seemed to come from everywhere. While we were in the cave more cavers from Saltillo arrived, Mauricio PŽrezgomez and Isidro Ju‡rez. We wrapped up the survey and hiked down to tour Cueva del Guano. It is locate d on the east flank of Ca–on Verde, not far inside the mouth of the canyon. We shot a bunch of pictures in the sp ectacular lower formation room, known as the Pollenturdtotem Room. Rune treated us to a great spaghe tti and salad dinner, and we watched the slides of the day on the laptop, till people dropped. The next day we decided to tour nearby Pozo Cokendolpher, a great cave we had found on the January trip. This has an impressive pit entrance in a steep arroyo on the west side of the sierra, not far north of where the range plunges under the desert floor. In the ejido we had talked to man who was over 100 years old, and he told us that mining engineers had come from San Antonio, Texas some 50 years before to assess the cave for guano. They had descended the cave on a rope ladder with metal rungs, over 100 m deep, and had much trouble retrie ving gear afterwards. Apparently they never return ed. Leaving Rune at camp again, we drove over in my tr uck and that of Mauricio. I left them all at the end of the road in the desert floor, where you could see the cave entrance area 2 km away. After dropping them off I drove solo down to Ejido la Reata at the south end of the Sierra la Gavia to investigate Isidro traverses over the seco nd pit in Pozo la Gavia rumors of a cave with wate r. I picked up two guides, Felipe and Jorge, and we drove to the synclinal ridge to the south, which appeared to be made of sandstone. They pointed out a hole in a drainage partway up the mountain. As we reached it I saw that the en

PAGE 11

!!" Slope to water in El Tunel. trance was formed in crum bly shale below an oyster bed. It was 10 m long and sl oped down to a pool 3 m across with hundreds of dead and dying bees and some mosquito larvae. It wasn't clear if this was a natural cave or if it had Wind blows up dust as Kathleen enters Pozo la Gavia. been dug, but I went ahead and made a quick survey, and then returned my guides to the village. Then it was time to drive back to the trailhead and await the cave crew. It was a number of hours before their headlamps appeared on the distant hillside. They arrived in several small groups, and all declared it was a fine trip to the bottom of the cave, which involved 4 rope drops to a large, well-decorated passage. Back at camp Rune fixed us another great dinne r, we watched the daily slide show, then it was time for our friends from Saltillo to depart. We watched their taillights diminish across the desert for 30 minutes. Susan in the Pollenturdtotem room in Cueva del Guano. Monday morning we packed up camp and were off by 9:30 or so. Rune's cr ew drove north to Piedras Negras while we made a try at getting to Cueva el Hundido at the south end of th e Sierra la Rata, east of Monclova. At the first ranch they told us we had to check at another ranch, but the guy we needed to talk to wouldn't be there, as he was working. So we went on towards Laredo via the Presa Don Mart’n. At the dam we could see that it was built in a gap in low limestone hills, probably a south east extension of the same range that Cueva de La Azufrosa is in. We tried to find a Cueva del Guano reported by Arnulfo Moreno west of An‡huac, and the locals reported that it did exist, and had bats. They described it as extending into darkness and having snakes, but the ranch where it was is now fenced off with absentee owners. They said we could walk downriver to get to it with a guide, but we lacked time to find one, so after a bit we gave up for now. We headed north through Body Count City and into Texas. !#" Rune at the Grill. trucks glimmering in the morning sun. Philip and Jason got up first (of course), and rigged down the first drop, then came back up to await us. It seemed to be a tectonic cave, which was disc ouraging. The wind was as strong as before and made entry quite dusty. The first drop was 13 m into a linear crack. To the west it went about 20 m, and Kathleen collected an amblypygid off the wall, a possible new species To the east it went the same distance, where Charley found a scorpion and pseudoscorpion, likely new as well. A short second drop led to a lower crawl th at soon pinched despite airflow, which seemed to come from everywhere. While we were in the cave more cavers from Saltillo arrived, Mauricio PŽrezgomez and Isidro Ju‡rez. We wrapped up the survey and hiked down to tour Cueva del Guano. It is locate d on the east flank of Ca–on Verde, not far inside the mouth of the canyon. We shot a bunch of pictures in the sp ectacular lower formation room, known as the Pollenturdtotem Room. Rune treated us to a great spaghe tti and salad dinner, and we watched the slides of the day on the laptop, till people dropped. The next day we decided to tour nearby Pozo Cokendolpher, a great cave we had found on the January trip. This has an impressive pit entrance in a steep arroyo on the west side of the sierra, not far north of where the range plunges under the desert floor. In the ejido we had talked to man who was over 100 years old, and he told us that mining engineers had come from San Antonio, Texas some 50 years before to assess the cave for guano. They had descended the cave on a rope ladder with metal rungs, over 100 m deep, and had much trouble retrie ving gear afterwards. Apparently they never return ed. Leaving Rune at camp again, we drove over in my tr uck and that of Mauricio. I left them all at the end of the road in the desert floor, where you could see the cave entrance area 2 km away. After dropping them off I drove solo down to Ejido la Reata at the south end of the Sierra la Gavia to investigate Isidro traverses over the seco nd pit in Pozo la Gavia rumors of a cave with wate r. I picked up two guides, Felipe and Jorge, and we drove to the synclinal ridge to the south, which appeared to be made of sandstone. They pointed out a hole in a drainage partway up the mountain. As we reached it I saw that the en

PAGE 12

!" The next morning we prepared to enter the cave to try and push two promis ing leads where we had previously stopped due to larg e quantities of bats. We donned histoplasmosis masks and formed two survey teams. Jason, Philip, and Kath leen took a left hand passage to push a stream passage Jean Krejca and I had been in two months before. They mapped a section of walking passage and saw that it continued on smaller, but there were too many bats to proceed. These were the Ghost-faced Bat, Mormoops megalophylla and there are several thousand of them in this cave. They even saw a snake catch a bat in the left hand passage. Meanwhile Charley, Susan a nd I tried to push a lead that went to the right a bit farther than their left hand lead, but we had too many bats too. They were falling off the walls onto the floor of the crawlway where they were in danger of being furry kneepads for us, which wasn't good. So we contented ourselves with cleaning up a bunch of minor side leads. When all were out of the cave, we headed south through Monclova and on to our destination, Tuxtepec, where we obtained permission and arranged porters for the next day. All set, we dr ove up to the foot of the mountain and pitched camp. We built a fire and Rune and Susan served up some great tacos. Rune had brought his full camp kitchen and served us royally the whole trip. Later that eveni ng I drove back down to the Tuxtepec road to wait for Saltillo cavers Monica Ponce and Javier Banda, and after a long wait they arrived. They left her car in the v illage and I drove them up to camp. Saturday morning we packed up for the hike to Pozo la Gavia, leaving Rune to mind camp. Four fellows from the village came up to help us pack gear. Our hike initially took us up the gravelly course of the Ca–on Verde, then we began the steep climb up the ridge itself. We were climbing the spine of a buttress, picking our way through cact us and lechuguilla. From time to time we would stop to enjoy the view of the desert below, where in the distance we could see the #$" Submitted by: Donna Mosesmann TCC Director. The Texas Cave Conservancy (TCC) announces acquisition of Avery Ranch Cave, located near Round Rock, Texas. On March 6, 2006 the Avery Ranch Homeowner's Association transferred ownership of this small, one room cave to the TCC. The Conservancy will be developing this site as an educational show cave, available to cavers and members of the public at no charge. It will become a valuable tool in the TCC's cave related public education efforts. BACKGROUND : On May 2, 2001 contractors, excavating a one meter wide trench for a sewer line at Avery Ranch in Williamson County, cut into the side of a sm all, highly decorated cave. Caver Kimble White was summoned to check out the cave. He found a room twenty five to thirty feet in diameter, up to ei ghteen feet high and filled with formations. The following is Kimble's account of what occurred next: "It was hi t during trenching of a sewer line on May 2, 2001. I was the first to enter and explore it that evening. Hub Bechtol, Brad Sappington, and Kristin White returned with me the next morning and helped map it. We took clean shoes into the cave with us and changed into them after making it past the muddy trench...we used a long piece of bamboo to place the end of the tape at various locations for our su rvey shots so as not to have to climb on the speleothems. To their credit, the developer re-designed the sewer trench and the road it followed to avoid the cave. They gave up three lots on top to protect the cave and had the hatch installed on top to keep the speleothems from drying out. Others who entered the cave in that first week were Sylvia Pope and some others from COA, and Heather Beatty from TCEQ. Mike Warton came out later when I recommended him to the owners for installing the hatch. An interesting anecdote: While Sue Hovorka (Edwards Aquifer expert with the UT Bureau of Economic Geology) was rewriting the TCEQ guidelines for conducting Geologic Assessments in the recharge zone, we took her to a couple of our field sites to help her with some ground level input on the methods involved. We probably walked right over this cave in the process of inspecting several of the previously identified CEFs that are nearby...no sign of it at the surface whatsoever. It's also interesting to note that we are very lucky that the trench intersected the cave where it did. Had it done anything else but just knick the cave then it may not have been salvageable, not to mention the fact that the trencher could have taken a serious fall." Since there was no observable cave life, Avery Ranch Cave became a potential site for an educational show cave. While the TCC is purchasing three endangered sp ecies caves on the 4.25 acres at the TCC Headquarters site, this is the first cave to be owned outright by the conservation organization. Over the next three months, the TCC will install an observation deck inside the cave and make additional improvements. Your support with this effort and others is invited. Please contact Donna Mosesmann, TCC Director 713-777-7339 or dogmos1@hotmail.com, if interested. Texas Cave Conservancy Announces Acquisition of Avery Ranch Cave

PAGE 13

!"# # Wimberley Valley Watershed Association Purchases Jacob's Well Spring to Become Jacob's Well Natural Area Great news for the Wimberley area and all of Central Texas! Jacob's Well, A Natural Wonder in Wimberley The Wimberley Valley Watershed Association (WVWA) has purchased J acob's Well, one of the outstanding natural springs in the Texas Hill Country and entire nation. Th e WVWA in unifying the properties around the spring has christened it the Jacob's Well Natural Area. Jacob's Well is believed to be the longest u nderwater cave in Texas and the primary source of water to the Cypress Creek which flows downstream through the city of Woodcreek and Wimberley, through the famous Blue Hole swimming area and into the Blanco River. "This is the first time si nce the 1800s that Jacob's Well and the surrounding properties has been united in one single owne rship," Dr. Patrick Cox said, President of the WVWA. "If water is the very life blood of our community then Jacob's Well is the heart of this entire region," Dr. Cox said. The WVWA will begin working immediately to restore and protect the site. "Jacob's Well Natural Area will be utilized for research and environmental education and to serve as a model for how to protect environmentally sensitive areas in the Edwards Aquifer Region," Dr. Cox said. "The WVWA appreciates the help of the members of our organization, our local partners and the Greater Edwards Aquifer Alliance members who have helped us accomplish this acquisition," Dr. Cox stated. The land acquisition is a result of a multi-year effort by the WVWA to protect and consolidate dozens of parcels previous owned privately. Now the unified fifty-acre parcel know as the Jacob's Well Natural Area will be managed and restored as a nature preserve by the Wimberley Valley Watershed Association. In order to purchase the land, the WVWA obtained a $2 million loan from a private, conservationminded lender to purchase the properties. Within the next two years the goal of the WVWA is to repay the loan and raise additional funds for the management and restoration of Jacob's Well Natural Area. The total current appraised value of WVWA's land is over $3 million. Jacob's Well is a karst spring very similar to Barton Springs or San Marcos Springs and is a perfect place to study and research the health of the aquifer. The WVWA has alre ady established a water quality monitoring station managed by the United States Geological Survey at the spring to study the water quality and quantity of the aquifer. Real-time water quality data from Jacob's Well can be viewed on the web at http://tx.usgs.gov/aquifer/projects/ jacobswell.htm To make a financial contribution to help save Jacob's Well Spring click here to contact Wimberley Valley Watershed A ssociation or call WVWA at 512-847-1582. To send a tax-deductible contribution directly to WVWA, mail to WVWA P.O. Box 2534, Wimberley, TX. 78676. $# # Susan, Charley and Kathleen prepare for the hike. The impetus for this trip was to check out a blowing pit which I'd been shown two months beforehand in the Sierra la Gavia. This mountain range crosses Highway 57 between Monclova and Saltillo. In January 2006 while on a bat research trip for Bat Conservation International, some lads from the Ejido Tuxtepec had shown us a cave in Ca–on Verde a few kilometers north of their villa ge called Cueva del Guano. They also mentioned a blowing pit far up the ridge, which I decided to have a look at while my companions checked out the cave. It was indeed right on top of the ridge, and blowing a lot of air. The entrance to Pozo la Gavia is on top of a ridge With me on the trip were usual suspects Philip Rykwalder and Charley Savvas. Philip's Montana caving buddy Jason Ballensky flew out to join us. Kathleen O'Connor was a relati vely new caver along for her first Mexican pit. Champion rope climber Susan Souby joined us along with veteran caver Rune Burnett, who had volunteered to run chuckwagon for us. We left Buda on 23 March and met up with the rest of our crew in San Antonio at the Taco Cabana. From there we drove to Eagle Pass, near which Rune got a speeding ticket for allegedly doing 87 mph, which seemed unlikely because he was following our truck, moving a lot slower than that. Soon we were across the border and made the short dr ive to La Azufrosa, south of Allende, where we camped by the sulfur springs. Just above the springs is Cueva de La Azufrosa, a fascinating rectilinear maze cave we had been mapping over the past year. Charley pauses on a ledge in Pozo Cokendolpher Sierra la Gavia, Coahuila By Peter Sprouse

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!" TSA Convention Wrap-Up Thanks to all the speakers, organizers, vendors, auctioneers, workers, helpers and TSA members who helped to make the convention a wonderful event! Keep it up The TSA as an organization is only as strong as the membership makes it by joining the organization, by participating in TSA meetings, by showing up to convention, by speaking out, by sharing your trip reports and pictures with the Texas Caver edito r, and by having a great time caving and enjoying the fellowship of your fellow cavers. Thank you for your s upport, and we'll see you next year at Convention! In the meantime, think about attending our next busin ess meeting at TCR. Vice Chair Kara Dittmer Kara gittin' ready for the Auction. Photo by Butch Fralia TCMA Auction Items. Photo by Preston Forsythel Jacobs Well after the TSA Convention Photo by Rick Corbell #$" TCR 2006 at Honey Creek Ranch, October 20th-22nd! Howdy Y'all, It is that time of the year to announce the location and date for TCR 2006. The 29th Annual TCR will be on the weekend of October 20-22. We are returning to Honey Creek Ranch for all of our fun and festivities. We will have some trips into Honey Creek Cave for those who feel the need to get underground as well as many fun and exciting things above ground. For the latest information about TCR 2006, visit the website at www.oztotl.com/tcr. Start making your plans to attend and help make this the best TCR ever! All cavers are invited to attend so don't be left out. A few general rules and fine print: Please remember to bring your own reusable eating utensils to the Grand Feast and to come prepared to take your garbage home. Well behaved dogs, friends, and family members are welcome, in that order, those that may tend to be obnoxious should be left elsewhere. Port-a-Potties will be provided. As a convenience to cavers and in support of the Texas Region of the NSS, the TSA will be collecting dues for the 2006 membership year. If you are not a TSA member, th is is a very good opportunity to join and to show your support for the organization that cares a bout cavers and caving in Texas. The TEXAS CAVER, and the many caving Projects are obvious bene fits provided to you and other cavers by the TSA. The TSA provides many other benefits that aren't so obvious--please join and support the TSA. Vendors of caving equipment and publications will be set up. The TCR staff is not in the police business. That means everyone should police themselves and those in their clan. In other words.....you are responsible for the behavior of your children and your guests. Using Common Sense and Common Courtesy is the best policy. Remember, this is primarily a caver event. People who will contribute to the general craziness are encouraged to attend, those who will detract are discouraged. See y'all there... Allan Cobb Honey Creek Ranch is located 30 miles north of San Antonio almost to the north end of Park Road 31. It may be re ached by traveling west on State Highway 46, 8 miles west of the intersection of State Highway 46 and US Highway 281 or by traveling eastward on State Highway 46, 13 miles east of Boerne.

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!"# # TCC Wins NSS Conservation Cave Management Award! The Texas Cave Conservancy was awarded the 2006 National Speleological Societ y Group Cave Conservation Cave Management Award at the NSS Banquet, August 11, 2006, in Bellingham, Washington. The Texas Cave Conservancy was represented at the NSS Banquet by over fifty Associates from around the country. Thanks goes out to all of the 200 TCC Associates in Texas and around th e country that helped us to receive this, the nations highest caver conservation award TCC Board Members at the NSS Banquet. Gordon Birkhimer, Donna Mosesmann, Mike Walsh, Cat Kennedy, Gary Napper. Steve Gutting in Texas. On October 13, 1994, several cavers, including Bob Finger, Sandi Moerbe, Stan Moerbe, Gary Napper, Jack Ralph, Mike Wals h, Mike Warton and others, gathered in New Braunfels, Texas to create the Texas Cave Conservancy. The follo wing is a brief history of some of our group's cave management and cave conservation efforts over the past five years. 2001 The TCC signed an agreement with the Lumberman's Investment Corporation and the City of Cedar Park, Texas to manage the thirty-two Westside Preserve caves, including Buttercup Creek Cave and Marigold Cave. Since that time, TCC management has grown to include over fortyfive cave preserves with more than one hundred twenty-five caves. 2002 The TCC obtained a contract to manage the Hidden Glenn Cave Preserve s in Round Rock, Texas. The TCC enhanced the Hidden Glenn Cave Preserve with trails and a high quali ty entrance sign. The TCC worked to build hiking trails in the Westside Preserve. Currently there are over five miles of hiking trails with more to come. TCC celebrated moving into their new headquarters in Cedar Park, Texas. The hous e along with three smallendangered species caves and 4.25 acres assist in our public education efforts. In addition to having a campground on the property, the house also serves as a home for the TCC Library and Meeting Room. The TCC obtained a contract to manage the 109acre Discovery Well track in Cedar Park, Texas. Also in that year, the TCC started fire ant control activities at the Big Tree Cave and the Chaos Cave Preserves. Later that year, the City of Cedar Pa rk requested assistance in developing cave-preserve regulations for the Westside Preserve. The TCC produced the regulations and the City of Cedar Park implemented them as a city ordinance. 2004 The Texas Cave Management Association bought two significant caves Pumpkin Cave and Deep Cave in Edwards County, Texas. The TCC assisted the TCMA with the purchase by providing a significant monthly contribution to th e TCMA. This donation will continue to be made until the TCMA mortgage is paid in full. When cave conservancies overlap in a geo $# # When Ron made it through the second tight spot I put him right to work again. At the south end of the north-south trending passage that we were in, another room could be seen through a hole between a breakdown block and the ceiling. While Ron worked on that dig, Drew and I finish ed the survey at the north end. At that end the passage also continued but the floor came up sharply to about 30 cm from the ceiling and a few nubbins of rock projected from the floor to keep me from scooting ahead. I could get far enough in to see a few meters of passa ge that looked passable to a corner. I wanted a look ar ound the corner. Drew could have made it but kind of thought he wanted someone else to try it first. It looked like floor and ceiling were coming together so it wasn't too promising, but this cave had surprised me before. Ron's lead looked like it had a lot more promise. When he yelled that he had broken through, I hoped for the best, but all he found was one low room with no continuation. Howeve r, he did find another crawling lead at that end of the cave that I had somehow overlooked before. Rocks projecting from the floor made that a dig lead also. Drew went and got Ron's hammer while Ron took a break. I made short wo rk of the obstructions at my lead and slithered on in. At the corner the passage did continue low but was blocked by walls of columns. However, the cave did surprise me again it went down! I was looking down almost a 2-meter drop. There wasn't enough room at the top to pull my legs out of the crawl and down the drop. About half-a-meter down there was a large shel f projection. Bracing myself on this I was able to get my head far enough down the hole to see what looke d like continuing passage, but I didn't want to go do wn the hole head first. I backed out to where I could sit up, where we had stopped the survey, and took a break. Then I went into the passage feet first, feeling blindly for the necessary turns and voids. At the drop I was able to kneel down on the projecting shelf. Then I had just enough room to maneuver my feet over to where they were off of the shelf and over the hole. Another few cm of leg length and I don't think I would have been able to accomplish this. From there I squirmed around to a sitting position and let myself down to the passage below. Drew had come to the top of the drop after me and I instructed him to stay where he was. I went ahead in a passage not quite walking height and somewhat cluttered with breakdown and formation growth. After about 15 meters the passage went back up almost to the previous level of the cave and then I suddenly found myself looking into a nice-siz ed room with at least one nice column in it. The room was at least 2 meters in height, 3 to 4 meters wide and at least 5 to 6 meters long. I didn't go any farther, preferring to save some of the excitement of discovery for another trip. We didn't have time to survey down into this room and I guess I wanted to keep alive the possi bility that the cave might continue a Schroedinger's box kind of thing. The airflow situation was promising I could feel it in the crawl above the drop. I went back to Drew and we both negotiated back to where we had e nded the survey. I started sketching back toward Ron's new room, and when I got there, we did two survey shots to finish it off. I glanced at the lead he ha d found and it is a good lead. Most of the airflow from th is part of the cave seemed to be coming from the northward lead, however. Ron and Drew left the cave while I finished the sketch. We had surveyed 23.6 meters of cave in 9 stations. The cave now has 78 meters of survey and is currently surveyed to 3.2 me ters deep. When I got back to the entrance I saw that Bob and Steve had dug out a lot of dirt and dispatched a large root that had been in the way. However, the floor of the sink on that end had not yet been dug down to the level of the existing passage. Another several hours of digging should get us there. We packed up and headed down the trail. TCMA T-Shirt Contest The TCMA is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year1! Help us celebrate this historic milestone by designing a commemorative T-shirt. The winning shirt will be pr inted and available for purchase. Gil Ediger and Chris Vreeland will be the judges, and prizes for th e winning entries will be awarded at the TCR in October. Send entries to Linda Palit, 4019 Ramsgate Street, San Antonio, TX 78230 or email her at lkpalit@sbcglobal.net.

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!" Government Canyon Karst Survey 22nd April 2006 and 27th & 28th May 2006 Submitted by: Marvin Miller Trip participants: Justin Fell, Mica Fell Justin and Mica were the only participants on this trip. My intention was to go hiking with my family after organizing the project workday. I sent Justin and Mica north to Area 12 to look for some features that had been recorded in 2001, including a "possible cave" feature 12-4. GPS data had not been recorded for the feature but its location in a drainage just off the Sendero Balcones trail seemed to make it an easy find. Justin and Mica never found the sought after feature but did find two other feat ures which they named K1 and K2. K2 is a hole in the side of a ravine with cool air flow. K1 is a sink just up the hill. The team recorded GPS coordinates for K2, which, when plotted, showed that they had vent ured too far along the trail and ended up in Area 16 instead of Area 12. But they did find two promising features. 27 & 28 May 2006 Trip participants: Rick Corbell, Bob Cowell, Steve Gutting, Marvin Miller, Drew Rutherford, Ron Rutherford Saturday Activities Once again, my Saturday morning activities were going to involve organi zing the project and then going on a family hike. The hike, however, was going to consist of leading a dig team to Dancing Rattler Cave, just off of the Far Reaches Trail. Diane Dismukes, TPWD Resource Specialist for this area (replacing George Kegley), was going to join the project for the first time. She wa s especially interested in this trip because we were going to start several exploratory digs in endangered species caves. The digs had been on hold for awhile. The exploration in Dancing Rattler seemed to hold the most promise so I decided to work on that one first. One area of interest is in the entrance sink, which was dug from a surface sink into the cave several years ago. The evidence inside the cave indicates that passage might continue on the other side of the sink, so my intention is to dig that side down to the current passage level and see if we can find another hole. Unfo rtunately, no one else showed up Saturday morning so I took Diane and the family up the trail and showed them the entrance to Dancing Rattler Cave and the two related caves nearby Dancing Fern and Hackberry Sink. It was good for Diane to see what the cave entrances look like and the kind of digs we sometimes do to open them up. Dancing Fern had good airflow coming out of the entrance. As we were heading back down the trail we met Rick Corbell coming up, carrying a bucket full of digging tools. I took him back up to the cave and he dug a good bit of dirt out by himself over the next few hours. Sunday Activities On Sunday I was joined by Ron and his son Drew (8), Bob, and Steve. I read Rick's note describing his accomplishments of the day before and decided we would head back up to Dancing Rattler. Bob and Steve concen trated on the sinkhole dig and Ron, Drew, and I entered the cave. I wanted to survey the side passage that heads west through a squeeze just inside the entrance. First the passage had to be enlarged a bit to allow Ron to pass. We surveyed into the low room beyond and then Drew and I proceeded past another very tight spot into the larger room on the other side. Once again Ron had to work awhile on the tight spot. While he was doing this, Drew helped me survey this area of the cave. Drew is 8 years old and did a great job holding the tape on the survey stations and the light for me to sight instruments on. #$" Bill Larson on first rappel at Dies Ranch Treasure Cave graphic area the best way to send a non-competitive message is to actively support each other on good projects. On Saturday, April 16, the TCC hosted the first CAVE DAY, a cave related event open to the public. CAVE DAY is a community education activity designed to improve public awareness of the importance of caves, cave life and the aquifer as it relates to area caves. Over 250 members of the Cedar Park community attended Cave Day despite ra in, possible hail, and the threat of tornados. The event is now held two times per year with an average atte ndance of over 350 visitors. The TCC took the opportunity during Cave Day to introduce Ricky & Rebecca Rhadine persephone(beetle) to the public. These cartoon ch aracters were created in order to reach young children in the Austin area regarding the importance of pr otecting our precious cave resources. These rare and endangered species are found in only fifty caves in the world. This material is presented to the public at CAVE DAY and other events. We have made a recording of the voices of Ricky & Rebecca Rhadine persephone to be used to introduce these rare insects in a fu n, friendly and memorable way to visitors at Mushroom Cave. With grant assistance from one of our Associates which helped to cover the costs associated with construction, the TCC was able to convert the 500 square foot garage of the Headquarters into a multifunctional meeting room and party place. The TCC web site was developed and launched with the official web address of www.texascaves.org This allows us to keep both th e TCC Associates and the public informed of our curre nt conservation efforts and cave related activities. The TCC assisted in bringing the Texas Highway Department, and the owner of a $10,000,000 cave property, together with the City of Cedar Park and the U. S. Fish & Wildlife for discussions concerning the use of the property. When the 50-year management agreement is signed, the City of Cedar Park will have a new public access site. Hike a nd bike trails, educational signage, and even a new cave related nature center are to be authorized in the agreement. 2005 The TCC obtained a $ 5000 grant in order to develop Avery Ranch Cave as an educational show cave. A high quality rock stairway leading down into the main room of Avery Ranch Cave has been installed by the TCC. The metal deck is now in the cave and we are estimating completion of all construction in August of 2006. A second grant was obtained to develop cave related brochures and other materials for the bi-annual event CAVE DAY. These material s are currently in design. A third grant was obtained to assist in the development of a fivemile trail system in the Westside Cave Preserve. The wood mulch trails, cave name signs and the informational signage at each cave will greatly assist in the TCC public education efforts. In addition, this will provide the City of Cedar Park with a new and unique tourist attraction. The public will be allowed to hike the trail and obtain information on the discovery, contents and the importance of each of the caves.

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!"# # Avery Ranch Cave visitors A fourth grant was obtaine d from the Bubble Cave Conservancy for the purpos e of building an outdoor shower for use by visiting cavers at the TCC Head quarters. Thanks to their support our muddy caver friends will be more headquarters friendly. The TCC is asked to design a cave preserve at the Buzz's Old Gold Cave site. The site design and map is approved by the City of Austin and the cave preserve development was started the following year. The TCC headquarters serves as host for a four day planning session of the National Cave Rescue Association. The TCC Headquarters, the trail system and CAVE DAY all make the acqui sition of grants easier. 2006 This year the TCC efforts really started coming together! On March 3, the TCC was given ownership of the Avery Ranch Cave. Work is currently underway to install decking, lights and a sound system. This highly decorated small one room cave is well suited for the TCC public education efforts. The public will not be charged for visitation. Avery Ranch Cave is the first cave "owned' by the Texas Cave Conservancy. On May 16, the TCC was given our second cave, Dies Ranch Treasure Cave. This cave is a good vertical training site and will be us ed both by cavers and by the local fire departments. In addition, this cave will be used for public visitation on CAVE DAY. Work is currently underway to clean up & landscape the site and make the necessary improvements for vertical training. These two projects will require a great deal of work and volunteer effort in order to ready them for public use. The TCC has obtained the management of six additional caves in the same development as the Dies Ranch Cave. One of the caves is B.A.B.E. Pit, a good cave with bad air (high levels of CO2). The Texas Cave Conservancy has acquired a CO2 meter and will use this site to study different methods for air improvement. As part of our efforts to reach cave owners we have developed two post cards to be given out at public events in West Texas. Many people are cave owners or know cave owners in West Texas. Upon contact and invitation, we get TCC Associates out to give the owner information on their cave. In 2006 and beyond, we, as a trailblazing conservation organization hope to continue to grow, protect and preserve the local cave envir onments with support from the caving community and the general public. Cavers are "the cave experts" and ge nuinely care about caves. Cavers should continue to seek cave related grants, land management contracts and public support in our cave protection efforts. In addition to conservation, the Texas Cave Conservancy remains committed to the recreational use, not abuse, of caves where appropriate. The Texas Cave Cons ervancy was awarded the 2006 National Speleological Society Cave Conservation Cave Management Award at the NSS Banquet, August 11, 2006, in Bellingham, Washington. The Texas Cave Conservancy was represented by over twenty-five Associates from around the country at the TCC banquet table. Thank-you's go out to all of the 200 TCC Associates around the country that helped us to receive this, the nations highest caver conservation award. Look for even greater things in our future. Submitted by Mike Walsh and Gordon Birkhimer. $# # From the Editor... Well, it's been a great spring and summer with a LOT of caving activity in the Lone Star State occurring. What with the TSA Convention (see the Convention Wrap-Up on page 7), all of the many projects going on throughout the State, the LIDAR project going on at Kickapoo Caverns, and the ongoing Robber Baron project, and TCC's national NSS award, caving is in the news and there is plenty of caving going on and numerous opportunities to get underground. The Fall and Winter appear to be just as busy. There are the upcoming TSA Elections (please, please, nominate someone or have someone nominate you!) and the Texas Cavers Reunion in October. See pg. 14. The Elections, especially, are a good chance to help reinvigorate the TSA. This is your opportunity to help set a new tone for the TSA that involves more energy and support for the offi cers, projects and fellow cavers and less back-biting, infighting, gossiping, and ill will. None of this helps promote caving and cave conservation in the State and only takes away from it. Remember: We're all in this cave together and before uttering anything negative, ask yourself the following: Do my actions/words be nefit caving in Texas? If they are not constructive, don't utter them. Being a relative newbie to the TSA, I have seen and heard a lot of conflict and all this serves to do is drive dedicated people away from the TSA. If you're a constructive caver, come join us and help rebuild the TSA. If you're one of the destructive forces, well, ... New Cavers Arrive in the State Congratulations go out to Travis and Amanda Scott! Their new daughter, Harper Renee Scott was born on July 10th at 8:06 am weighing 6.5 lbs and 19 inches long. Also, future congratulations go out to Andy and Leah Gluesenkamp who are expecting. Another Successful Cave Day sponsored by the TCC! Saturday April 15th marked another successful presentation of Texas Cave Conservancy's twice a year "Cave Day". This spring, it was an offi cial part of a regional environmental promotion called Austin Nature Day. Over 300 participants enjoyed the beauty and pleasure of an excellent outdoor expe rience in Cedar Park's Westside Cave Preserve. Self guided hikes took visitors over about 3 miles of wooded trails. They were able to view many of the area's cave sites where the entrances are usually gated and fenced. Cavers from all ove r the state and local volunteers manned four stations in the Preserve. The cavers dispensed conservation in formation including maps, brochures, demonstrations, a nd lectures. An interactive children's presentation f eatured conversations with fictional cave critters, Ricky and Rebecca. They represented the endangered Rhadine persephone found in some of these caves. This gave the kids information from a bug's point of view. At another station, cave rs helped visitors get underground by climbing down a ladder inside one of the cave entrances. Over 100 people decided to try this activity. Further down the tr ail, about 75 hikers took advantage of the opportunity to get "on rope" and experienced climbing and using the gear and skills that are frequently needed in a cave. The weather was very cooperative this year. Ice water was furnished at several points along the trails. It was a pleasant and informative day for all concerned. Plans are underw ay to make it even better next fall. Many, many thanks to all who drove a great distance and worked so hard to help put on this important educational event. Cavers interested in helping next fall, please contact Donna Mosesmann, event coordinator, by email at dogmos1@hotmail.com

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!" Table of Contents Another Successful Cave Day sponsored by the Texas Cave Conservancy! 4 Submitted by Donna Mosesmann, TCC Director From The Editor 4 By Mark AlmanEditor, The Texas Caver Government Canyon Karst Survey Project Report 5 Submitted by Marvin Miller, Project Director Texas Cave Management Association T-Shirt Design Contest 6 Submitted by Linda Palit, TCMA Chair Texas Speleological Association Sprin g Convention Wrap Up 7 Submitted by Kara Dittmer, TCA Vice Chair. Sierra la Gavia, Coahuila Trip Report 8 Submitted by Peter Sprouse Texas Cave Conservancy Announces Acquisition of Avery Ranch Cave Submitted by Donna Mosesmann, TCC Director 12 Wimberley Valley Watershed Association Purchases Jacob 's Well Spring to Become Jacob's Well Natural Area 13 TCR 2006 at Honey Creek Ranch, Octo ber 20th-22nd, Announcement 14 Submitted by Allan Cobb, TCR Guru TCC Wins Prestigious NSS 2006 Cons ervation Cave Management Award! 15 Submitted by Mike Walsh, Texa s Cave Conser vancy President Boyette's & Ohlrich Ranch Cave s Trip Report 18 Submitted by Travis Scott #$" Boyette's & Ohlrich Ranch Caves Submitted by: Travis Scott June 10th, 2006 Participants: Anna Beach, Allan Cobb, Fritz Holts, Brian Riordan, Geary Schindel, Travis Scott Looking up the pit entrance. A few months before the 2006 TSA Spring Convention held at John Knox Ranch, I received an email from Fritz Holts about a cave near John Knox. We talked about finding the land owner and going caving on the Sunday of the convention. As the convention date drew nearer, I hadn't been able to track down the land owner. So in stead of caving on that Sunday, I went and located the property. Sure enough, the next day I got in contact with the owners. They were excited and wanted us to come visit the cave soon as they were about to put the property up for sale, so we planned a day trip to vi sit the cave. In the mean time, Geary came up with anot her lead nearby that we could couple with Boyette's to make the long drive (at least for me) more worth it. We all arrived at th e property and met the owner who was very nice and accommodating. We rigged the cave, dropped down the entrance pit, skipped the mid levels of the cave, and headed for the lake room. The owner had showed us photos of the lake taken in the '60s when it was about 4' deep and looked pretty nice. When we arrived, it was empty ex Anna in the Dry Lake Room. cept for 4-8" of mud/sludge that emitted a foul odor when disturbed. After no takers on making some mud angels, we began taking some photos. The cave is short and sweet, but the air wa s stale. After a while the headaches began and we decided to move on to the more promising lead Geary had. So we climbed out and de-rigged the cave, to ld the land owner thank you and headed south. The lead was located on a nice large ranch near New Braunfels. The entrance was in a large sinkhole near a large dry creek and it was obvious that the cave was a major recharge featur e. After hearing the land owners say several times that the cave doesn't go anywhere and only one of us will fit at a time, most all of us were in the cave blasting through virgin passage. That is until we came to a piece of flagging that was once used for a survey station, bummer... The cave is hands and knees crawling on a dirt floor

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!"# # through old dry passage. We passed a porcupine and found the end of the main passage. We then turned around and explored a parallel passage that lead to a sizeable room with a hole in the middle of the floor. The hole leads to a very tight crawl and into another room that Anna expl ored. She found a digable hole in the floor that l ead downward and had airflow. The rear of portions of the cave showed signs of frequent flooding all the way to the ceiling. It turns out the cave is about 400' long and is a significant recharge feature with promise of deeper extent. Return trips will be set up to work on the dig. Subsequent research revealed that the cave had already been named Ohlrich Ranch Cave. After caving, the owner let us clean up at the ranch headquarters. He took us on a tour of the house "built in the 1890's", and the neighboring house that was "the house before the 1890's house". These houses were in almost pristine shape, hand built, and amazingly crafted. I have found throughout the years that cavers tend get to see more of Texas, it's history and beauty, than most Texans ever do. Editor -A HUGE thanks to Travis Scott for all of his submissions and excellent photos this year! Check out more of Travis' excellent photography at http:// oztotl.com/TAphotos.html. Brian and Geary at the entrance. Below: Anna checking out the lower levels. # $# # The Texas Caver JulySeptember 2006 Vol. 52, Number 3 ISSN 0040-4233 The Texas Caver is a quarterly publication of the Texas Speleological Association (TSA), an internal organization of the National Speleological Society All material copyrighted 2006 by the Texas Speleological Association, unless otherwise stated. Subscriptions are included with TSA membership, which is $20/year for individuals and $30/year for families. Libraries, institutions, and out-of-state subscribers may receive The Texas Caver for $20/year. Student subscriptions are $15/year. Submissions, correspondence, and corrections should be sent to the Editor: The Texas Caver c/o Mark Alman 1312 Paula Lane, Mesquite, TX 75149 texascavers@yahoo.com Subscriptions, dues, and membership info should be sent to the TSA: The Texas Speleological Association Post Office Box 8026 Austin, TX 78713-8026 www.cavetexas.org The opinions and methods expressed in this publication are solely those of the respective authors, and do necessarily reflect the views of the editors, the TSA, or the NSS. SUBMISSIONS: Articles, announcements, artwork, photos, and material for publication are ALWAYS welcomed. And may be sent at anytime. All submissions must be submitted to the Editor in electronic form, either via email or CD-ROM.. NO EXCEPTIONS! The editor reserves the right to edit inappropriate material, errors in spelling, grammar, or punctuation, and to edit for clarity. In the event of significant changes the author (s) will be given an opportunity to review changes prior to publication. EXCHANGES: The Texas Speleological Association will exchange newsletters with other organizations at the TSA's discretion. Contact the Texas Caver editor for further information. MAILING: The editor is not responsible for lost or misdirected newsletters caused by failure to notify editor in writing of address changes. Cover Photo by Travis Scott, "Canyon Under the Glass Mountains' Allan Blevins in 400' Cave" took First Place at the 2006 TSA Convention in May. Back Cover photo by Travis Scott Thank God for Helmets" Marlena Cobb in Stowers Cave' took Second place at the 2006 TSA Convention, as well! 2006 Texas Speleological Association Officers Chair: John Brooks chairman@cavetexas.org Vice-Chair: Kara Dittmer vicechairman@cavetexas.org Secretary: Andy Gluesenkamp secretary@cavetexas.org Treasurer: Michael Cicherski treasurer@cavetexas.org Conservation Committee Chair: Jacqui Bills Thomas conservation@cavetexas.org Publications Committee Chairman The Texas Caver Editor: Mark Alman publications@cavetexas.org or texascavers@yahoo.com TSA Activities Newsletter: Jerry Atkinson jerryatkin@aol.com The Texas Speleological Association is a not-forprofit organization that supports cave exploration and studies in and around the state of Texas. It is comprised of both independent members and local grottos. The TSA is an internal organization of the National Speleological Society and represents the greater caving community in Texas. The organization holds business meetings 3 times a year, organizes an annu al convention for Texas cavers, and sponsors ca ving projects throughout the state.

PAGE 20

!" #$"


Description
Another Successful Cave Day sponsored by the Texas Cave
Conservancy! / Donna Mosesmann, TCC Director --
From The Editor / Mark Alman-Editor, The Texas Caver --
Government Canyon Karst Survey Project Report / Marvin
Miller, Project Director --
Texas Cave Management Association T-Shirt Design
Contest / Linda Palit, TCMA Chair --
Texas Speleological Association Spring Convention Wrap
Up / Kara Dittmer, TCA Vice Chair --
Sierra la Gavia, Coahuila Trip Report / Peter Sprouse
--
Texas Cave Conservancy Announces Acquisition of Avery
Ranch Cave / Donna Mosesmann, TCC Director --
Wimberley Valley Watershed Association Purchases
Jacob's Well Spring to Become Jacob's Well Natural Area --
TCR 2006 at Honey Creek Ranch, October 20th-22nd,
Announcement / Allan Cobb, TCR Guru --
TCC Wins Prestigious NSS 2006 Conservation -Cave
Management Award! / Mike Walsh, Texas Cave Conservancy
President --
Boyette's & Ohlrich Ranch Caves Trip Report /
Travis Scott


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