Robert A. Holt PO Box 625, Cobleskill, NY 12043 E xecutive Director Phone: 518 231 5420 E mail: firstname.lastname@example.org www.cavern.com May 2017 Message from the Convention Coordinator Convention 2017 Hannibal, Missouri Did the trend of "busiest spring break ever" continue into this year? Hope everyone feels like, based on spring break business, making their convention room reserva tions now because summer will be too busy! Linda, Julie and the staff at Mark Twain are working very hard to be sure we all have a memorable time there. Headquarters will be the Quality Inn & Suites right in Hannibal. The cave is minutes away. The best way to be sure you get a room is to call the hotel directly. The number is 573 221 4001. The arrival date is Monday, September 18 (unless you are a board or committee member), departing Friday, Septemb er 22. There will not be a vendor show this year. CONVENTION REGISTRATION INFO WILL BE SENT OUT IN JUNE See everyone there! Happy season! Susan Berdeaux Convention Coordinator OFFICERS President : Patty Perlaky Cave Without A Name, TX Ph: 830 537 4212 email@example.com Vice President : John Graves Luray Caverns, VA Ph: 540 743 6551 john.graves@luraycaverns. com Secretary Treasurer : Bob Holt Mercer Caverns, CA Ph: 518 231 5420 firstname.lastname@example.org Past President : Steve Rawlings Mercer Caverns, CA Ph: 209 728 2101 email@example.com REGIONAL DIRECTORS Region One : (CT, DE, ME, MA, NH, NJ, NY, PA, RI, VT) Rob Arey Polar Caves Park, NH firstname.lastname@example.org Ph: 603 536 1888 Region Two : (MD, VA, WV, KY) Eric Helton Diamond Caverns, KY email@example.com Ph: 270 749 2233 Region Three : (IL, IN, MI, OH) Claudia Yundt Squire Boone Caverns, IN firstname.lastname@example.org Ph: 812 732 4382 Region Four : (AR, IA, KS, MO, NE) Dennis Boyer War Eagle Cavern, AR email@example.com Ph: 479 789 2909 Region Five : (MN, MT, ND, SD, WI) Tom Hagen Rushmore Cave, SD firstname.lastname@example.org Ph: 605 255 4467 Region Six : (CA, ID, NV, OR, WA, AK, HI, Barbados, Bermuda) Matt Doyle Lake Shasta Caverns, CA email@example.com Ph: 800 795 CAVE Region Seven : (AZ, CO, NM, UT, WY) Steve Beckley Glenwood Caverns, CO firstname.lastname@example.org Ph: 970 945 4CAV Region Eight : (LA, OK, TX) Ed Mayfield Caverns of Sonora, TX email@example.com Ph: 325 387 3105 Region Nine : (AL, FL, GA, MS, NC, SC, TN ) Lisa McClung Lost Sea, TN firstname.lastname@example.org Ph: 423 337 6616 D IRECTOR AT LARGE Denise Bell Seneca Caverns, OH email@example.com Ph: 419 483 6711 D IRECTOR EMERITUS Steve Runkle Cave of the Winds, CO firstname.lastname@example.org Ph: 719 685 5444
G reetings from New Mexico One of the good things about the NCA is the office last week of April found me making flight arrangements to Albuquerque for a funeral of a dear friend. I have been coming out here quite often for the past 40 plus years and consider Albuq uerque my second home. just over a week. In this issue you will read an interesting story about Fox Cave (not an NCA member) which is located three and a half hours south of Albuquerque via I 25 and then US 380 East near Lincoln and west of Roswell. Just east of Albuquerque on I 40 through Tijeras Canyon is the home of retired cavers Blaze and Jeannie Cunningham. I had the pleasure of driving up to see them and we enjoyed lunch together Mother N ature was not kind over the recent w eekend sending a wintry storm our way. While Albuquerque which completely melted in 24 hours They shook their heads They are busy working as local volunteers for the sign committee for the NSS convention being held just outside Albuquerque in Rio Rancho this summer They send their best to you all. This past year I have had the pleasure in having conversations with a gentleman named Shane Ortega who se company is Ortega National Parks T hey are a family run company with 7 generations of hospitality and customer service experience. In addition to running several national parks and state parks concessions, they Yippee Yi Yo, and the Thunderbird Bar and Grill on The Plaza in Santa Fe, NM. Concessions they operate that are familiar to the NCA are located at Carlsbad Caverns, Mammoth Cave, and Colossal Cave Shane and I had hoped to have lunch in Santa Fe, however our sch edules did not permit on this visit He said he enjoys caves very much! prevented me from getting down to Carlsbad to see you. catch you on a future visit. Bob Holt Executive Director WNS Report Over the last month, WNS has been confirmed in: Nebraska several dozen dead bats were found in Cass County. Affected bats included little brown, NLEB and tricolored bats. Martha's Vineyard an NLEB tested positive this was a first on the island Minnesota confirmed in 6 counties Texas the fungus was found among tricolored, cave myotis and Townsend's big eared bats, but no signs of the disease have been detected. Missouri bat populations continue to decline, especially NLEB. I a survey in 2015, 2684 were counted; this year that number was down to 7. During a survey in Alberta, over 200 little brown myotis bats were found in a cave in Alberta's Boreal Forest, further north tha n their normal range. Patty Perlaky WNS Chair
Ohio Caverns honored by chamber The staff at Ohio Caverns works together year round to ensure every guest has a wonderful experience. Former Owner Max Evans was a pioneering force in Logan County Tourism, and was instrumental in the creation of the Logan County Visitors Bureau. The Visit or Bureau's annual award is named in his honor. Currently, Max's nephew, Eric Evans, President of the Caverns, and Manager Tim Grissom lead the team in daily operations, which include: cave tours, sales in their gift shop, and maintenance of their 35 acre park, which is complete with a playground, pavilion, and shelter houses perfect for family gatherings. Visitors to the gift shop will discover the largest rock, mineral, and fossil collection in the state. The items are imported from countries all over the world to be sold in the gift shop, making Ohio Caverns a destination in Logan County for unique gifts. The Ohio Caverns is recognized a s an Ohio Natural Landmark, and is a member of both the National Caves Association and the International Show Caves Association. They also have received recognition from the Environmental Protection Agency for their efforts in protecting the groundwater in the area. They pride themselves in being stewards of the natural attraction they manage. As it is a non renewable natural resource, they focus specifically on conservation, protection, and education, so that generations can continue to enjoy the natural b eauty of the caverns. To attract visitors from a wide array of places, the Caverns utilize s a multi faceted marketing strategy. Their marketing plan includes: brochure distribution, billboards, traditional media outlets such as newspapers, and a strong web presence. Part of their presence online can be seen through their active pages on Facebook Twitter, YouTube, Tumblr, and Instagram. In addition, their website offers a feature that allows users to review prices, and make ticket purchases online before stepping f oot on the ground. The Caverns became Chamber members for the connections that the organization provides to its' members. As members, the Ohio Caverns feel more "plugged in" to the community. They feel the networking events that the Chamber provides are very valuable, and allow them to meet new people and introduce them to oppor tunities which help to grow their business. Congratulations to t he team at Ohio Caverns as they were thanked for their 38 years of membership in the Logan County Chamber. Tim Grissom and Eric Evans of Ohio Caverns G r i s s o m a n d E r i c E v a n s o f O h i o C a v e r n s
Terks mark 65 years On Saturday evening April 1, 2017 a surprise 65 th Wedding Anniversary party was held for NCA Honorary Members Harrison and Ginny Terk in their hometown of Cobleskill, NY. Their daughters Kelly and Kristie planned the party. When Terk and Ginny arrived they were greeted by 70 f riends and f amily and soon r ealized this was not an April Fools joke. Family member Bill Cherry gave the following toast: On April 5 th of 1952 two very special people who are near and dear to our hearts were married in Topeka, Kansas. Twenty one year old Airman Harrison Terk w as stationed in Kansas and by great good fortune he met 18 year old Ginny Schoenfeld at a local dance in November of the previous year. joined hands in marriage. Their life together has been a journey of love and commitment to each other and a journey of devotion to their family and to their friends. in the Air Force, or of his long career at Howe Caverns, are always fascinating and entertaining, and you find yourself wishing he would keep spinning yarns. Like any great storyteller, he always leaves you wanting just one more. Ginny has probably heard some of those stories time and time again, but she patiently allows the new listener to enjoy the great old story as it unfolds, and she sometimes inserts a little spark of her own wit and wry sense of humor to the tale, just to keep Harrison on the strai ght and narrow. Harrison, so for 65 years, she has endured the feed bills, the vet visits, the muddy boots, and the always present tack room. Nothing is more important to Harrison and Ginny than their beloved daughters Kelly and Kristie. More than anything else, their children, their grand children, and their great grandchildren are the lights of their lives. They are also deeply connected to the lives of their nieces and nephews, and love of family is the thread that binds them all together. The accomplishments and achievements of the people they love fill Harrison and Ginny with a sense of pride, and joy, and happiness. And now, please stand and join me in raising your glasses to two wonderful people who have helped brighten the lives of everyone in this room. We are so very thankful that the horse loving Airman from New York danced with the pretty girl from Kansas there in the heartland of A merica so many years ago. To Harrison and to Ginny congratulations on your life together and thank you for allowing all of us to be a part of it. We wish you many more years of joy, and happiness, and good health. On behalf of your friends and family, w ho love you very much, we say th Anniversary Terk is a past president of the NCA.
Fox Cave a unique roadside attraction in New Mexico cliff dwellings and caves for centuries. While the Land of Enchantment still offers a cave hotel and, of course, the adventure of exploring Carlsbad Caverns National Park most people means they miss out on unique experiences like viewing fossils in situ. However, at Fox Cave you can do that and This one of a kind roadside attraction first opened in the According to New Mexican lore, Billy the Kid used it as a hideout. And Geronimo supposedly camped here. Look up and you might be able to spy the telltale soot on the roof, created by the fires that once blazed in this cave, as people sheltered here. Pay cl oser attention still and see if you can spot the fossils still embedded in the walls of the cave. distracted by the many items displayed here, from sparkling geodes to turquoise jewelry, Native American pottery, and alien kitsch. The salt lamp display is especially relaxing. unexpected treasures hiding inside Fox Cave, where exhibits include whale vertebrae and saber tooth tiger bones. Outside, the photo ops are boundless. Not so little green alien
Kids and adults love the chance to hunt for gems at the flume mine at Fox Cave Bob & Bob Caving Supplies Sad News being shared by the National Speleological Society (NSS) Facebook page: After 45 years of selling caving supplies, Bob Liebman is sad to announce that the time has come to close down the store, Bob & Bob Caving Supplies. He sincerely thanks all his customers over the years for their friendship and loyal support. He truly misse s being out there in the caver community. Bob's inventory has been acquired by Speleobooks and On Rope 1 for liquidation to pay medical bills, which may easily reach six figures. Bob is "very grateful and humbled by the d onations cavers have made to my med ical support fund, and thanks to everyone for their generosity and collection can be found at http://speleob ooks.secure Liebman Medical Most items are online at this time. On Rope 1 has graciously purchased the items they normally carry at their store for additional stock, and is in the process of listing other items in a special section of t heir website: http://onrope1.com/bob and bob liquidation sale/ It will take a couple of weeks before it will all be listed online, so please check back on occasion as items are getting lis ted daily. Many items will be available in a special section at Convention as well and at fire sale prices. There is a go fund me page for Bob: https://www.gofundme.com/bob liebman medical needs Alternatively, in avoid donation fees, contributions may be sent directly to Bob's business address, Box 441 Lewisburg, WV, 24901. Alternatively, they can be sent to his brother, Bill Liebm an, at 3342 Back Mountain Road, Cass, WV, 24976.
An award winning science project conducted inside Bridal Cave Recently one of our staff members, River Wise, conducted a science project that we featured in our blog about The First Ever Biological Inventory of Bridal Cave We weren't the only ones that found this to be an intriguing sub ject. River was recognized for his outstanding study of our popular Lake of the Ozarks scenic attraction with an impressive award! The project was titled "Biological Inventory of the Invertebrate Fauna of Bridal Cave." The Science Research Class at Camdenton High School, where River attends as a junior, had been discussing the fact that a biological inventory would be an interesting subject. River immediately thought of us as the perfect place for this cla ss project to happen. Ten invertebrate were found as well as an invasive species, Oxidus gracillis, more commonly know as the Greenhouse Millipede. In the previous blog published last November, we shared a few photos of some of the other creatures that w ere discovered. These findings were presented in detail at the Ozarks Science and Engineering Fair at Missouri State University in Springfield, MO this past April 4 6, 2017. Over 20 projects in a variety of categories in the Senior Division were represented. There were three in the zoology division. We are extremely proud to announce that River won second place in the competition in the zoology division. His efforts were very impressive and the findings are incredibly exciting. We are look ing forward to getting a closer look at the final study to learn all about the diverse biology that exists in the unique ecosystem inside Bridal Cave. River is the son of Jamie Reid, a tour supervisor here at Bridal Cave & Thunder Mountain Park Please join all of us in congratulating River on this impressive accomplishment. Be sure to ask him plenty of questions about the amazing creatures he discovered inside America's most scenic cave tour if you happen to run into him this summer! Steve Thompson Bridal C ave This cartoon looks like it has NSS origins, however, it was found in predecessor River's award winning science project inside Bridal Cave
First ever cavefish discovered in Europe evolved super fast The pale coloured loach, shown above, is thought to have diverged from surface fish as glaciers from the last ice age receded some 16,000 to 20,000 years ago. ion is Jasminca Behrmann Godel at the University of Konstanz in cave life compared with loaches from surface locations nearby, including a pale body colouration, much sm aller eyes, plus It shows that adaptation to these subterranean habitats can be fast, and just a few thousand years might be enough for a fish to adapt to cave life, says Behrmann Strange Fish ur cave diver. He was exploring a hard to reach water filled cave labyrinth called the Danube Aach System in southern Germany, which ultimately empties into the River Rhine. Kreiselmaier is a friend of Behrmann Godel and sent her film and photographs of th e strange fish he spotted. Kreiselmaier says the section inhabited by the fish is notoriously difficult to reach, accessible only in dry spells when the takes an hour, and So far, Kreiselmaier has brought back five live specimens for Behrmann appearance and genetics with surface fish caught upstream and downstream from the cave, we found evidence that the Moreover, knowledge of local geology enabled the birth of the new li neage to be dated. The cave system had been sealed for hundreds of thousands of years, but an opening called the Aach spring made it accessible when Alpine glaciers retreated northward around 16,000 to 20,000 years ago. This allowed surface loaches to ente r the system for the first time, and they have followed their own evolutionary trajectory since.
lack scales. Most obviously, they have lost the dark brown blotches typical of surface loaches. Cave Hotspots Aviv University in Israel, who studies how cavefish navigate chemosensors to help them identify food in sediment, so these fish will need to be further studied to figure these Most known cavefish are found in North America and China, and un always have expected that cavefish should occur in the cave hotspots in Europe says Jrg Freyhof at the Lei bniz Institute of Freshwater Ecology and Inland Fisheries in Berlin But discovering the cavefish in Germany was a surprise, says Behrmann Godel, because cave systems are far richer in life further south in the Balkans, where hundreds of subterranean specie s including weird salamanders have been discovered but no cavefish so far. Dinaric karst Janez Mulec underground ecosystems is becoming more complex, indicat ing that there are often enough nutrients to sustain complex he says. Andy Coghlan New Scientist Daily News Journal reference: Current Biology DOI: 10.1016/j.cub.2017.02.048 Read more: Hunt is on for deepest caves more than 2km underground ; Meet the weird amphibian that rules the underworld R ural Missouri awards F or the 16th year, Rural Missouri Magazine has tallied the votes from their readers and compiled their 2017 Best of Rural Missouri Readers' Choice contest Bridal Cave won 1 st Place for Wedding Destination category. discovered the unspoiled beauty that lies beneath Thunder Mountain. The underground chapel in Bridal Cave is home to one of the most unique wedding spots in America. Since the first wedding in 1949, the cool chapel has been the nuptial spot for nearly 3,600 weddings. won Runner Up for Flea Market category. What started as a swap meet on the grou for pigeon racers has turned into what organizers say is the largest flea market and swap meet in the Midwest. More than 30,000 attended in 2016, and if the addition of 500 more parking spaces and 50 new vendor spots are any indication, it will be even bigger in 2017. Swapping Days are held in March, June and October
NCA Insurance Column: Employment related lawsuits can cost your b usiness!! An employer is three times more likely to be sued by a prospective, current, or former employee than to experience a fire. These lawsuits are not only expensive, they are also stressful, distractive for your management team, and can quickly erode producti vity and employee morale. How expensive are these claims? According to the law firm of Murphy Austin Adams Schoenfield LLP, here are average court costs and legal fees when: Average court costs and legal fees when settled out of court: $10,000 to $50,000 Average court costs and legal fees when the case is dismissed: $10,000 to $15,000 Average court costs and legal fees when the case goes to trial: $150,000 to $200,000 Who are the targets of these lawsuits? t. Every employer, regardless of size, can be the target of legal action. Insurance industry data shows that mid size business, those with at least 15 but no more than 250 employees, are sued frequently by current and past employees. Over 40% of employee lawsuits are brought against private companies with less than 100 employees. These employees can often file a lawsuit without bearing any of the cost or risk involved. The cost of EPLI insurance is a fraction of what you will pay if you end up on the los ing side in a lawsuit. EPLI premiums will vary depending on a number of factors: The number of employees The amount of coverage purchased Whether your company has anti discrimination and anti harassment human resource policies policy in place Whether your company has had any EEOC complaints or lawsuits filed against it in the past Employment Practices Liability Insurance will easily pay for itself if you are sued even once. Pro Insurance Services Glenwood Caverns Haunted Mine Drop getting closer to completion Caverns owners Steve & Jeanne Beckley recently took a ride down to the bottom of the Haunted Mine Drop the ir newest adventure we have been re p orting about. S tay tuned to future issues of Cave Talk for more progress updates!
Monthly Historical Photograph Fantastic Caverns once known as Percy Cave Thanks to Jeff Campbell of Fantastic Caverns who sent along this ad vertisement in the Springfield Republican dated October 5, 1887 announcing the Electric Light Opening of Fantastic Caverns (Percy Cave). They had been giving tours for 20 years at that point and they were one of the first business/residence in the Springfield area to have incandescent bulbs. Got News? Please make sure you let Bob Holt know when you have news to share with the membership regarding you and your cave. It is the goal of the NCA office to continue producing monthly issues of Cave Talk and this can only happen when you help with the sharing of your news. Please send your articles, photographs t o email@example.com June 2017 Cave Talk Deadline Please have all articles to Bob Holt no later than May 15. Thank you Calendar of Events National Cave & Karst Day June 6, 2017 NSS Convention 201 7 Rio Rancho, New Mexico June 19 23, 2017 The 17 th International Congress of Speleology (UIS), Sydney, Australia, July 23 29, 2017 NCA Convention 2017, Host: Mark Twain Cav e, Hannibal, Missouri, September 18 21, 2017 Geology Gem, Fossil and Mineral Show. Cave House Museum of Mining & Geology, Cobleskill, New York, September 30 & October 1, 2017 National Cave and Karst Management Symposium Eureka Springs, Arkansas, October 16 20, 2017 Smok y Mountain Gift Show 2017 Sevie rville, Pigeon Forge & Gatlinburg, Tennessee, (Dates TBD) IAAPA 2017, Orlando, Florida, November 14 17, 2017 Tucson Gem and Mineral Shows 201 8 Tucson, Arizona, January 27 February 1 1 201 8 NCA Mid Winter Board of Directors Meeting, Renaissance Airport Hotel, St. Louis, Missouri, February 2 6 28 201 8 The Sinkhole Conference, Shepherdstown, West Virginia, April 2 6, 2018 NSS Convention 201 8, Whitefish, Montana, July 29 August 4, 2018 NCA Convention 2018, Host: Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park, Glenwood Springs, Colorado, September 24 28, 2018 ISCA 8 th Congress 2018, Genga, Italy, October (Dates TBD) Smok y Mountain Gift Show 2018 Gatlinburg, Tennessee, (Dates TBD) IAAPA 201 8 Orlando, Florida, November 11 16, 2018 NCA Convention 2019, Host: Ruby Falls, Chattanooga Tennessee, (Dates TBD)