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 1965 Celebrating Our 50th Year 2015 July 2015 NEW BROCHURE DEBUTS If you haven't received your supply of our newly designed brochure... you will be shortly! Just in time for the 4th of July holiday, this patriotic looking piece was designed by Gary Berdeaux of Graphi x Berdeaux, Inc. During our Mid Winter Board of Directors meeting, discussio n was had about rebranding the brochure so it no longer said "Directory" on the cover. Thanks to Tom Hagen who suggested the catch phrase "Go Deep" which he previously used on Rushmore Cave brochure s The Board liked the idea and Gary went to work where he also includ ed "Dis cover America's Best Show Caves. We hope you like the new design as it is geared to drive people to cavern.com for more information See the digital version: http://cavern.com/2015 NCA Brochure 1.pdf OFFICERS President : Steve Rawlings Mercer Caverns, CA Ph: 209 728 2101 email@example.com Vice President : Patty Perlaky Raccoon Mt. Caverns, TN Ph: 423 821 9403 firstname.lastname@example.org Secretary Treasurer : Bob Holt Mercer Caverns, CA Ph: 518 231 5420 email@example.com Past President : Greg Beckler N atural Stone Bridge & Caves, NY Ph: 518 494 2283 firstname.lastname@example.org et REGIONAL DIRECTORS Region One : (CT, DE, ME, MA, NH, NJ, NY, PA, RI, VT) Rob Arey Polar Caves Park NH email@example.com Ph: 603 536 1888 Region Two : (MD, VA, WV, KY) John Graves Luray Caverns, VA john.graves@luraycaverns. com Ph: 540 743 6551 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: 60 5 255 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 ) Tim Lacy DeSoto Caverns Park AL firstname.lastname@example.org Ph: 256 378 7252 Director s at Large Steve Runkle Cave of the Winds, CO email@example.com Ph: 719 685 5444 Aaron Ginn Sierra Nevada Recreation, CA a sginn @caverntours.com Ph: 209 736 2708
Taking to the Air, Underground I am looking at an app on my smart phone. The view is of the McCloud Arm of Shasta Lake, but 500 feet above where I am currently standing. It is a live feed of what the camera on our Quadcopter. Even though I am gathering video and stills for marketing For the past several years quadcopters, or commonly referred to as drones, have been to taking to the skies in greater numbers. Technological advancements in the RC (R emote Control) world have allowed for lightweight cameras and integrated flight control systems to be placed on board. All making for easier flight control and the ability to obtain a ne w perspective of what surrounds you every day. Today, RC quadcopters range in size from the palm of your hand to 8 foot in diameter. The cameras can film in 1080p at 60 frames per second with tilt control and you can even have a predestined flight path by GPS. The controls are easy enough for my 10 year old son to succes sfully manage. Quadcopters and Lake Shasta Caverns 2 years ago, I was approached by a gentlemen that had a startup business in Northern California that included taking aerial video and stills. After about an hour of his demonstration, from set up to seein g the video on my computer, we discussed prices for his services. It was far less expensive than renting a helicopter from the local airport and I could see exactly what was being filmed on his iPad, which gave me more control of what I wanted to capture. After he left I was consumed by curiosity in how much these quadcopters cost. Eventually I realized that for the cost of 2.5 hours of flight time, the caverns could purchase their own and give us far more flexibility of use. Fast forward to the present now we have accumulated close to 100 hours of raw videos and dozens of still aerials. Our first experience was actually for operations and maintenance. The use of high altitude aerials allowed us to map and catalogue our low lake level roads. Prior to these new videos and stills we had to utilize black and white satellite images from 1977. We were also able to use multiple method of camera control that was able to give us greater depth and details of the several miles of road that were carved into the red shoreline of Shasta Lake. This first flight enabled us to become familiar with the copters abilities. We gradually became more comfortable to start flying over the water and eventually perfected the controls to bring inside the cave. Admittedly, I was nervous the first few minutes of flight in the cave, more so than over the water. That feeling faded extremely fast due to the live view on my smartphone. I was seeing a new perspective of a cave that I have worked in for over 14 years. I was explor ing the same cave but in a new view. I was enthralled by the high angle shots, close ups of formations inaccessible due to them being 80 feet from the ground and finding nooks and crannies never before seen. For
those of you who have ever filmed a qualit y video in a cave and had the joyful experience of dragging a boom, or crane, through the cave can appreciate the simplicity of just a quadcopter and remote. We have now captured the fall colors of our trees, mapped roads, planned development of certain areas, shot commercials and continuously update lake views and levels on Facebook and Youtube. The multitude of uses we have found for this tool have certainly made the purchase worth it. Matthew Doyle General Manager Lake Shasta Caverns To view one of the videos made by Lake Shasta Caverns, click on this link: https://youtu.be/19ZdmZWrB98 Ortega National Parks Selected to Negotiate Colossal Cave Mountain Park Operational Contract Ortega National Parks has won the bid to negotiate a contractual agreement with Pima County for the operation, rehabilitation and future development of a historic show cave and other activities located within a nature park attraction in Pima County. Following a standard Request for Proposal process, the selection committee has announced that Ortega National Parks, LLC was chosen to move forward in the contract process for park operat ions. The final operational agreement is subject to approval by the Pima County Board of Supervisors and may go before them in early July. The initial term for the contract will be for ten years with the option to extend for an additional twenty five year s. Ortega National Parks, LLC, is headquartered in Santa Fe, NM. Mr. Armand Ortega and his family are well known retailers and Indian Traders throughout Arizona, and he got his start in retail in e brings tremendous experience and operates park concessions at Carlsbad Caverns National Park, Acadia National Park, Death Valley National Park, Gateway National Recreation Area, Golden Volcanoes Na tional Park, Muir Woods National Monument, and White Sands National Monument. For more information visit www.ortegaparks.com Owned by Pima County, the more than 2,400 acres known as Colossal Cave Mountain Park co mprises desert, mountain and riparian habitats in a transitional Sonoran Chihuahuan biome. It is home to the historic cave as well as part of the Arizona Trail and La Posta Quemada Ranch. The current operating agreement for Colossal Cave Mountain Park exp ires in August of this year. For more information visit www.colossalcave.org Tom Moulton Director Pima County Economic Development and Tourism Department
WNS Report New Locations: Wisconsin: Was only in Grant County in 2014, now in Crawford, Richland, Dane and Door counties. Illinois: No win 11 counties Oklahoma: fungus was found on 3 bats in one cave, but the disease is not present yet Arkansas: WNS has spread to Franklin and Searcy counties, the fungus has been found in Garland and Polk counties. Alabama: WNS has been found in Sauta Cave, home to an estimated 250,000 to 400,000 endangered gray bats. No deaths from WNS have been reported from t here so far. And now for the great research news: Rhodococcus rhodochrous (found in soils), to prevent ripening of bananas. A researcher noticed the lack of mold growth on the bananas treated with the bacterium, and reasoned that maybe it could slow the progression of white nose syndrome. The scientists grew the bacterium on cobalt, which produces VOCs that act in very low concentrations. The V OCs create an environment that prevents the Pd fungus from growing. Working with the USFS, they collected 300 infected bats from Missouri and Kentucky. Bats were sedated and placed in coolers containing the bacterium for 24 to 48 hours, then placed in a cave for hibernation. 150 of the healthiest bats were released at Mark Twain Cave (see newspaper article and BCI Press Release) on May 19 th The next step will be to isolate the chemical that stops the fungus from growing (several chemicals are created in the reaction). Publicity: A June 15 th article in the Columbus Dispatch the USFS has extended an order prohibiting anyone from entering mines or tunnels in Wayne National F orest, the article On the same day, the one com ment in the comment section noted the article is misleading, that transmission is bat to bat and that preventive policies are in place. Patty Perlaky WNS Chair Bats Treated for WNS Released Near Hannibal, Missouri Thanks to Linda Coleberd of Mark Twain Cave for Sharing t his Story f rom the Hannibal Courier Post New research conducted on bats from Northeast Missouri hopes to curb the spread of white nose syndrome. Scientists released treated bats in celebratory fashion on the cave grounds, signaling a potential breakthrough in the fight against WNS. On a chilly day in January, Kirsten Alvey Mudd made a grim and heartbreaking discovery a mass grave one mile south of Hannibal. The victims bats, not humans comprised the first mass morta lity event in Missouri caused by a killer that has so far claimed more than 5.7 million bat lives: white nose syndrome (WNS) Choked up, Alvey Mudd executive director of the Missouri Bat Census recalled the remains of bats at the Mark Twain Cave complex had commingled into a large pile of fur and bones, making a death count nearly impossible to realize. said to a group of scientists and bat enthusiasts at Cave Hollow Winery Tuesday, May 19.
White National Wildlife Research Program Leader. But new research conducted on bats from Northeast Missouri hopes to curb the spread of WNS. Scientists released some of those bats in celebratory fashion on the cave grounds, signaling a potential breakthrough in the fight against WNS. Alvey Mudd said she cri ed for 30 minutes after the grim discovery on Jan. 27 with Linda Coleberd, owner of the Mark Twain Cave Complex. Tears of sadness, disbelief and devastation from months ago turned into smiles of fulfillment as about 60 little brown bats flitted into the w aning light Tuesday night. These creatures have a new shot at life, thanks to groundbreaking research by scientists at Georgia State University and Sybill Amelon, a research wildlife biologist with the U.S. Forest Service based in Columbia, Mo. The bats r eleased at Mark Twain Cave were treated with bacteria that researchers hope will act as an inhibitor to the fungus that causes WNS. Oddly, the treatment used on the bats began outside the animal kingdom entirely and in the world of food. Chris Cornelison, a post doctoral research associate at Georgia State University, was studying the use of bacteria to delay the ripening of fruit for industrial purposes. Through a grant from Bat Conservation Inter national Conservation got involved. So did the U.S. Forest Service. And the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Nature Conservancy, Missouri Bat Census and other organizations and individuals dedicated to stop the spread of the epidemic. A team collected infected bats from Hannibal and throughout Northeast Missouri. Sick bats received the bacteria treatment in February and began to show signs of im provement enough for reintroduction into a natural habitat. Cornelison said. Everyone in attendance shared that sense of optimism, acknowledging the large amount of work yet unfinished. A minute disappearing into the trees. Visitors treated the tiny mammals like celebrities, snapping photos as experts like Shauna Marquardt with the U.S. Fi sh and Wildlife Service paraded some of the rehabilitated bats around. Just a short walk from where she made the gruesome discovery five months ag o, Alvey Mudd held her hands to her lips, telling the bats to fly again. WNS has also spread to central and southern Missouri and continues to spread throughout the country as far south as Mississippi, north to beyond the Great Lakes and west to the Kansas /Missouri border. ERIC DUNDON/C OURIER POST Wildlife biologist Sybill Amelon, foreground, reacts as others prepare to reintroduce bats treated for white nose syndrome on the grounds of the Mark Twain Cave Complex
NCA Insurance Column information, news, education and industry hilarity! ELECTRONIC WAIVERS AS MORE CAVES ADD AD VENTURE TOURS & RIDE S Our company, Sierra Nevada Recreation Corporation (Black Chasm Cavern, California Cavern and Moaning Cavern), will most likely move to electronic waivers by the end of this year. We have checked with our general liability carrier, Markel Insurance, regard ing this concept and they are very supportive of the idea. I wanted to share an article that I found that outlined the benefits of electronic waivers from Syracuse University's Sports Law Department. I hope you enjoy the article. Thank you, Heather Ginn We have all heard the warnings that waivers are not worth the paper they are printed on, and while it is true that some courts do not like waivers and will void them if possible, in must be noted that in at least 45 states a well written waiver, sign ed by an adult, is the most effective tool available to sport and recreation providers and their employees against a negligence lawsuit. With the myth of the effectiveness of waivers still around, it is therefore not surprising that some sport and recreati on providers are concerned about the legal impact of online or electronic waivers. For example, if a sport and recreation program allowed to participate in the event, will it carry the same legal weight as off line or traditional paper waivers? The purpose of this article is to try and debunk the myth that online or electronic waivers carry less legal weight than othe r types of waivers. A good example of how the courts view online or electronic waivers is Moore v. Minnesota Baseball Instructional School, 2009 Minn. App. Unpub. LEXIS 299. During a summer baseball instructional camp, operated by the Minnesota Baseball Instructional School ( the School), one of the participants, T.J., sustained a permanent eye injury when he was struck by a woodchip thrown by another student. Since the injury happened off the baseball field, during lunch in Moore, filed a claim of negligence against the School on behalf of his insulated it from liability. On appeal to the Court of Appeals of Minnesota, Moore argued that the district court erred in granting summary judgment support of this claim, Moore pointed to the fact that t he School was unable to produce the actual document signed by he exculpatory clause violated public policy. In reviewing, and rejec ontaining the waiver. In support of this conclusion, the court noted that the School was able to produce a document generated from archived enrollment data that indicates T.J. enrolled in the camp. The School was also able to produce a roster of children w medical form was signed and returned to the School, the court concluded that containing the waiver. and therefore was not covered under the waiver, the Court of Appeals he ld that while this may be true, it is not important to the outcome of this case. A plain reading of the document, the Court of Appeals held, showed that the first time the at make up the School. It was not, the court held, limited to the activity of playing baseball; instead, it covered all of the activities encompassed by the School. Therefore, since lunch break activities were part of the School, and T.J. was injured durin g the lunch break, the injury was covered under the exculpatory clause. determine if the document violates public policy, Minnesota co urts must use a two prong test. The first prong examines whether there was a disparity of bargaining power between the parties, generally known as a contract of adhesion. The second prong examines the types of services being offered or provided, taking int o consideration whether it is a public or essential service. While the Court of Appeals found that the waiver clause was part of a take it or leave it agreement and
tional baseball training, was not an educational activity, nor was it a service that was either of great importance to the public, or a practical necessity for some members of the public. Therefore, the court held the exculpatory clause did not violate pub lic policy. The decision by the Court of Appeals of Minnesota in Moore v. Minnesota Baseball Instructional School, 2009 Minn. App. Unpub. LEXIS 299, illustrates some important points that administrators can use to ensure that their organization is better protected. First, keep better records. This is especially true when a camper is injured and needs to go to a hospital. In such cases, the organization should not only have an accident report on file, but it should also anticipate a lawsuit and saved all do cuments and waivers in use at the time of the accident. Second, as the Court of Appeals of Minnesota noted, when creating a waiver or the exculpatory clause, be sure that the language is broad enough to cover all the activities associated with your organiz ation, not just the main activity. For example, if the exculpatory clause only covered baseball, the School would have lost. Finally, if possible, make sure that both the minor and his or her parents sign all forms. Once again, while the legality of the wa iver against the minor in such cases may not stand up in court, a growing number of states that are willing to enforce them against the minor as well as his or her parents. A CHECKLIST FOR WRITING AND USING ONLINE OR ELECTRONIC WAIVERS Before considerin g online or electronic waivers, it is important for the reader to understand how the courts traditionally view waivers in the off line world. Basically, a waiver is a contract in which the sport and recreation participant agrees to relinquish his or her ri ght to sue the service provider in any event the participant is injured due to the providers negligence. When reviewing the legality of waivers, therefore, the courts will apply fundamental contract principals. With the development of the Internet and elec tronic contracts, the courts are using the same basic contract theories they developed for other forms of communication such as telegrams, mail and telephones. In addition to the basic elements of contract law, the enforceability of electronic waivers and other electronic contracts are also governed by two additional laws: the Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act (E SIGN), at the national level, and the Uniform Electronic Transactions Act (UETA) at the state level.E SIGN, which was sign ed into law by President Clinton in 2000, is designed to provide legal protection to online or electronic contracts and relating to su ch transaction may not be denied legal effect, validity, or enforceability solely because it is in electronic form; and a contract relating to such transaction may not be denied legal effect, validity, or enforceability solely because an electronic signatu In addition to clarifying the legality of online or electronic contracts, E SIGN also clarifies what constitutes an electronic signature. Under E 15 U.S.C. Â§ 7006 (5). Therefore, when sport and recreatio n providers ask participants to click on or check a box to accept the terms of the waiver, once the participant clicks on the box he or she has accepted the contract or waiver terms and has entered into a legally binding agreement. The benefit of using suc questions concerning whether the user had adequate notice of the terms of the waiver and whether he or she agreed to them. Next, it is important that when using online or electronic waivers s port and recreation administrators always include a statement concerning which jurisdiction or state laws will apply in the case of a lawsuit. The reason this is so important with online or electronic waivers is because you do not want to be defending a la wsuit in an out of state court. A real of state and international businesses if they believe that the business, by operating a website that purpose ly solicits commercial activity from out of state participants over the internet, has sufficient commercial activity within the state to make jurisdiction reasonable. For example, in the case above, what would have happened if the student injured was from Iowa? Without a statement stating that Minnesota courts had jurisdiction over all disputes, the case could have ended up in the Iowa courts and have had a very different outcome. As a final word of caution, it must again be noted that if there is anything misleading or wrong with the waiver, a number of courts will void them and allow the lawsuit to continue. To ensure this does not happen, and to take some of the guess work out of using online or electronic waivers, the following checklist is provided.
The waiver should be clearly titled and descriptive (e.g., Waiver & Release of Liability); The waiver should use clear and easy to understand language; The waiver print size should be at least 10 point; The waiver should not contain any fraudulent st atements; The waiver should clearly and unambiguously state that the signer is releasing the service provider from liability for injuries resulting from the ordinary negligence of the provider; The waiver should contain some statement denoting consider The waiver should specifically identify the parties who are relinquishing their rights and the parties who are protected by the waiver; The waiver should be no longer than one page and all substantive terms should be visible and complete without hyperlinks to additional terms; The user should not be allowed to click on the accept button without being allowed the opportunity to review the entire ag reement; The reader should have the opportunity to read the document at their own pace and should have the ability to browse through and to view all the terms of the agreement; The waiver should have a statement indicating that the signer read the enti re statement Accept/Decline buttons must be at the end of the agreement; The buttons should clearly state Accept/Decline. While most of the guidelines listed above should also be followed when writing any type of waiver, the checklist is designed speci fically to help sport and recreation administrators write online or electronic waivers. Attorney John T. Wolohan firstname.lastname@example.org is a professor of sports law in the Department of Sport Management at Syracuse University. http://www.sportrisk.com/2014/01/electronic waivers revisited/ "You know my cab has been turned into a hearse and now I only transport dead people. So since my passengers are not at risk, do you think it's reasonable to make me pay an additional insurance bonus in case they are involved in an accident?" Contact Us: If you have any comments, questions or suggestions for the NCA Insurance Column Heather Ginn Insurance Committee email@example.com 50th Anniversary Convention Plans are underway for the biggest celebration marking our 50 Years! During the month of July you will be receiving an email notice directing you to the NCA website where you will find the Agenda and other Preliminary Convention Materials and ways you will be able to Register Also keep watch for a Postal Mail ing which will include much of the same information along with colorful brochures from our Wisconsin hosts showing us what their area has to offer. Have You Reserved Your Hotel Room? House on the Rock Resort will be the headquarters, with Cave of the Mounds serving as our gracious hosts. Our NCA room block is open and we have the entire resort reserved. Make your reservations now so you will be assured a room at the resort, instead of a substitute motel. We anticipate a larger attendance due to our anniversary. The dates are September 21 25. The number at the resort is 608 588 7000 ... Don't delay! Visit the site: https://www. thehouseontherock.com/
Congratulations to the Wuest Family at Natural Bridge Caverns The Wuest family was honored as an iconic Texas family at the recent Frost Bank Family Businesses of San Antonio event. Congratulations and thank you for making Natural Bridge Caverns the attraction that it is today! Pictured are Brad, Joye and Travis Wuest. Certified Tourism Executive Bestowed on Mayfield Ed Mayfield of Caverns of Sonora recently earned his certification as a Certified Tourism Executive (CTE) by the Texas Travel and Tourism Association's Travel & Tourism College. Congratulations Ed! Wind Cave National Park Measures Rain Water With all the rain we've been getting, there's a lot of water going into the ground. In the cave, we measure the rate of drips. By comparing the increase of drips to the precipitation on the surface, we can figure out how long it takes for water to filter through the rock ab ove. Areas of the cave that react quickly to rain events are more susceptible to contamination, as the water has not had time to filter. Fun fact: The parking lot drainage system is specially designed to prevent oils and other car byproducts from reaching the cave
From Deep Down In The Archives... The First NCA Meeting 50 Years Ago The organizational meeting of the National Caves Association was held in Branson, Missouri in October 1965. Jack Herschend of Marvel Cave was elected first president. NSS Convention 2015, Waynesville, Missouri July 13 17, 2015 NCA Convention 2015, (50 th Anniversary) Host: Cave of the Mounds, Blue Mounds, Wisconsin, September 21 25, 2015 NCKRI The Sinkhole Conference, Rochester, Minnesota, October 5 9, 2015 ISCA 2015, Germany & Austria, October 17 24, 2015 N ational Cave & Karst Management Symposium 2015, Cave City, Kentucky, October 19 23, 2015 IGES/SSS 2015, Sevierville, Tennessee, November 3 6 201 5 & Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, November 4 8 201 5 Smokey Mountain Gift Show 2015, Gatlinburg, Tennessee, November 4 7, 2015 IAAPA 2015, Orlando, Florida, November 16 20, 2015 Tucson Gem and Mineral Shows 2016, Tucson, Arizona, January 30 February 14, 2015 NCA Mid Winter Board of Directors Meeting, Renaissance Airport Hotel, St. Louis, Missouri, February 22 24, 2016 NCKRI Deep Karst Conference 2016, Carlsbad, New Mexico, April 11 14, 2016 NSS Convention 2016, Ely, Nevada, July 17 23, 2016 NCA Convention 2016, Host: Squire Boone Caverns, French Lick, Indiana, September 19 23, 2016 IAAPA 2016, Orlando, Florida, November 8 11, 2016 Tucson Gem and Mineral Shows 2017, Tucson, Arizona, January 28 February 12, 2017 NCA Convention 2017, Host: Mark Twain Cav e, Hannibal, Missouri (Dates TBD ) IAAPA 2017, Orlando, Florida, November 14 17, 2017 Got News? Please make sure you let Bob Holt know when you have news to share with the membership regarding you and your cave. It is the goal of the NCA office to produce more issues of Cave Talk and this can only happen when you help with the sharing of your news. P lease send your articles, photographs to firstname.lastname@example.org August 2015 Cave Talk Deadline Please have all articles to Bob Holt no later than July 15. Thank you