Cave Talk

Cave Talk

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Cave Talk
Series Title:
Cave Talk
National Cave Association
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Karst ( lcsh )
Resource management
serial ( sobekcm )


Cave Talk is a publication of the National Caves Association, a non-profit trade association founded in 1965 by a small group of private show cave owners. These initial members sought to bring together show cave owners and operators from across the United States to promote the show cave industry to the public, to share information and ideas, and to lobby for legislation favorable to the show cave industry.
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April 2017
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University of South Florida Library
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University of South Florida
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K26-05290 ( USFLDC DOI )
k26.5290 ( USFLDC Handle )

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Robert A. Holt PO Box 625, Cobleskill, NY 12043 E xecutive Director Phone: 518 231 5420 E mail: April 2017 Message from the President A very big welcome two new members, Spook Cave, Iowa the contact person is Paula Rasmussen and Mammoth Cave National Park, Kentucky the contact person is Bruce Powell. (Read more in this issue) As you may know, the Board of Directors met in St. Louis at the beginning of March for the mid winter meeting. Several topics were discussed, some of which were new members, National Caves Day, national advertising campaign and a recommendation by the finance committee to adjust the dues structure We learned from Brad Wuest that the UIS (International Union of Speleology) approached ISCA (International Show Caves Association) requesting support for their request to the United Nations for 2021 to be the International Year of Caves and Karst ISCA is also approaching the United Nations for an International Day of Caves and Karst, requesting June 6th. Brad Wuest and Dr. George Veni (Executive Director of the National Cave and Karst Research Institute) will be heading to New York on March 31st to me et with United States representative of UNESCO Executive Committee to request support. We will keep you updated on this. In the meantime, periodically people have mentioned the need for a National Caves Day. The NCA Board supports the ISCA and UIS initia tives and would like everyone to mark their calendars for June 6th National Caves and Karst Day Several inexpensive promotional ideas were discussed, including donating tickets to media outlets for promotional announcements, caves and karst trivia, pro moting the day on social media and educational projects for schools. We do not need an Act of Congress we can simply declare the day! Several of our cave members have told us they are already planning and promoting to celebrate National Caves and Karst Day on June 6, 2017, The Finance Committee noted that there is $4000 in cash reserve for the National Advertising Campaign ; 2K for 2015 and 2K for 2016 which was approved previously. The Board of Directors approved the Finance to take $ 2500 from the Year Ending 2016 p rofit and have it available for the marketing campaign making a to tal of $6500 available in 2017 should we decide to spend all or part of it. It was also discussed that we will need substantial funds to do any mean ingful advertising on a national level. Membership d ues were reviewed and it was noted that we have not had an increase since 2007. The dues structure has the A and B category caves paying a higher percentage based on attendance than the larger caves. T he Finance Committee recommended c hanges to the dues structure which were approved by the Board the dues for A and B caves stay the same for 2018, with modest increases for the C, D, and E caves (to OFFICERS President : Patty Perlaky Cave Without A Name, TX Ph: 830 537 4212 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 Past President : Steve Rawlings Mercer Caverns, CA Ph: 209 728 2101 REGIONAL DIRECTORS Region One : (CT, DE, ME, MA, NH, NJ, NY, PA, RI, VT) Rob Arey Polar Caves Park NH Ph: 603 536 1888 Region Two : (MD, VA, WV, KY) Eric Helton Diamond Caverns, KY Ph: 270 749 2233 Region Three : (IL, IN, MI, OH) Claudia Yundt Squire Boone Caverns, IN Ph: 812 732 4382 Region Four : (AR, IA, KS, MO, NE) Dennis Boyer War Eagle Cavern, AR Ph: 479 789 2909 Region Five : (MN, MT, ND, SD, WI) Tom Hagen Rushmore Cave, SD Ph: 60 5 255 4467 Region Six : (CA, ID, NV, OR, WA, AK, HI, Barbados, Bermuda) Matt Doyle Lake Shasta Caverns, CA Ph: 800 795 CAVE Region Seven : (AZ, CO, NM, UT, WY) Steve Beckley Glenwood Caverns, CO Ph: 970 945 4CAV Region Eight : (LA, OK, TX) Ed Mayfield Caverns of Sonora, TX Ph: 325 387 3105 Region Nine : (AL, FL, GA, MS, NC, SC, TN ) Lisa McClung Lost Sea, TN Ph: 423 337 6616 D IRECTOR AT LARGE Denise Bell Seneca Caverns, OH Ph: 419 483 6711 D IRECTOR EMERITUS Steve Runkle Cave of the Winds, CO Ph: 719 685 5444


equalize percentages) with a very important note th at the additional dues money would be earmarked for the advertising campaign and would not be used for the general budget. The following shows the new dues structure: Schedule of Dues Cave Category 2017 2018 A mount for C ampaign A (up to 40,000 visitors) $400 SAME B (40, 000 to 70,000 visitors) $700 SAME C (70,000 100,000 visitors) $900 $1000 $100 per cave D (10 0,000 200,000 visitors) $1200 $1500 $300 per cave E (over 200,000 visitors) $2000 $ 2500 $500 per cave Remember National (hopefully soon to be International) Caves and Karst Day on June 6th!! I hope everyone has a happy, healthy, prosperous spring and summer! Patty Perlaky President Ohio Caverns launches new video The folks at Ohio Caverns have put together a splendid new promotional video. You may view it here by using this link: Ohio Caverns Video For the mo website. Missouri caves featured in videos According to Steve Thompson, Missouri caves are popular in YouTube and rap videos. Both are a good chuckle! Missouri is Awesome Missouri Anthem Get Well Wishes for Juli e Ramirez of Crystal Lake Cave Debuque, Iowa who rec ent ly spent over a week in the hospital. She is reporting to be on the mend


Cave of the Mounds r s a ward Cave of the Mounds National Natural Landmark was awarded the Governor's Award for Stewardship at the Wisconsin Governor's Council on Tourism conference recently. Joe Klimczak and Ann Wescott accepted the award organizations in the tourism industry that keeps them coming back year recognized are dedicated to great customer service and create Tourism Awards r ecognize individuals, organizations, and businesses for their excellence, dedication, and impact on As a founding member of Travel Green Wisconsin, Cave of the Mounds remains on the forefront of environmental stewardship friendly parking lots to preserving surrounding ground s by planting native prairie and savannah plants. Cave of the Mounds has continually worked to preserve a fragile natural treasure while maintaining a viable business for over 75 years. With its geological wonder below ground and an Environmenta l Education Center above ground, Cave of the Mounds weaves conservation and education into every aspect of its operation. WNS Report Not much going on with WNS right now here is the report: The British Columbia Bat Program is asking for the public to help monitor bats for WNS. Both Washington and Oregon are conducting studies on bat populations. Bats in Geiger Caves, Wisconsin seem to be doing well this winter. The caves, carved into a bluff and used to age beer, are now home to little brown bats, tri color bats and Northern long eared bats. WNS has been detected on three species of bats (tricolored, cave myotis and Townsend's big eared bat) in six counties in north Texas. Bats with WNS have now been found in 30 states and 5 Canadian provinces. Patty Perlaky WNS Chair Governor Scott Walker (left) presents Ann Wescott and Joe Award for Stewardship


Welcome n ew NCA members We welcome Spook Cave located in Mc Gregor, Iowa into membership in the A Cave Category. Paula Rasmussen is the owner and we look forward to working with her. You may reach P aula at 563 873 2144. Should you visit you will e xperience Spook fun underground boat tour! As your boat enters the base of a 90' bluff, your guide explains the discovery, development and history of the natural limestone cave and area. View stalactites and oth er natural formations with plenty of photo opportunities. No walking involved, fully lighted, out of the weather and always 47 degrees. Spook Cave is open every day May 1 October 29, 9 AM to 5:30 PM. The campground offers spacious primitive sites along with full hookups, featuring a shower house, laundry and flush toilets. There is lake swimming with a sand beach, Iowa State stocked trout stream, lake fishing, hiking trails, playgrounds, sand volleyball, game room and gift shop. There are also various style cabins for rent on the grounds offering woodland and lake views. Mammoth Cave National Park Welcome back to our friends at Mammoth Cave National Park in Kentucky. Bruce Powell is Deputy Superintendent will be It is great to back in this organization. I enjoyed attending a couple of NCA conferences some time back and have good memories of meeting with many others in our industr Mammoth Cave National Park was officially dedicated as a national park by 1941. Before that, already many private citizens formed Mammoth Cave National Park Association in 1926 to try to protect the park. It then became a World Heritage Site in 1981 and an International Biosphere Reserve in 1990. Mammoth Cave National Park preserves the cave system and a part of the Green River Valley and rolling hills of south central Kentucky. While cave tours of the 10 miles available in the cave are the park's big attra ction, there is plenty more to do and explore while visiting this beautiful wilderness area, such as hiking, camping, horseback riding, fishing and kayaking (Photos courtesy National Park Service)


new lighting: Caverns shines with 300 new LEDs You can now see America's only ride through cave in a new light. Fantastic Caverns just wrapped up a big project replacing all 300 of it's underground lights with energy saving LEDs. The lights illuminate the formations seen along the route taken by t rams. "The cave is the star. So, anyway, we can showcase that and can bring that to light we like to. It worked out real well,' sai d Kevin Pratt, Maintenance Supervisor at Fantastic Caverns. "We are just really glad we got the chance to do it." The cave wo rked with Ozark Electric and Batteries Plus to install the lights along the tour route. It was no easy job for the cave crew; their job entailed climbing and getting into tight spaces to change the lights. The attraction says the new bulbs will save energy and help it save a lot of money. Replacing their old incandescent lights with the new LED will save the cave close to $7,000 dollars a year on utility bills. Another added benefit is the LEDs put out more light. That's allowing cave guests to see the beau tiful, ancient formations in much better detail. Pratt explained, "There have been a few people that on tour that really get that wow factor when they see it. Seeing it in a whole new light really brings out a good definition" He added, "Ancient history ki nd of meets technology if you will. So, it is really neat. The next phase for the LED project will include all the lights in the visitors center. View the new lighting here on the KY3 TV Report Cave of the Mounds underground glowing egg hunt This is no ordinary egg hunt! Before the special Glow Quest Underground Egg Hunt tour, kids and families will have a chance to decorate themselves with glow in the dark bracelets, face paints, necklaces and more! During the tour kids will discover GLOWING eggs, hunt for all the glowing bunnies and collect rock and fossil treasures along paved, lighted walkways underground. This is a unique way to experience Cave of the Mounds! April 14 16


Texas caves develop passport for visitation Central Texas is well known for its sprawling hills, pristine rivers and all around breathtaking views but, what you may not know that its just as mesmerizing down below caves in Te xas: Inner Space Caverns, Natural Bridge Caverns, Cave Without a Name and Caverns of caves have teamed up to make one EPIC road trip called the Texas Cave Trail Starting this year, when you visit one of the caves on print one Your mission should you choose to accept it awesome) is to take that passport and visit the three other caves in any order within a year to get stamps for each one. Not only will you walk away with an experience unlike any SHIRT at the end of your cave trippi more about your destination Did You Know?


network of caves reportedly used by Knights Templar A land near Shifnal in Shropshire, England. Reportedly the Caynton Caves were used by followers of the Knights Templar in the 17th century. Located less than a meter (3.3ft) undergro und, the Caynton Caves look like prompts of the movie Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade However Historic England included neo Norman decoration between columns, one neo Norman doorway with beak heads and a roll molding, decorative quatrefoils and designs abound. Michael Scott, a photographer from Birmingham, traipsed over a field to find it, but if you did was there, you would just walk right past it. according to the BBC He added that the cave was quite cramped, so people who are almost 6ft (1.8m) tall would have to bend in it, it was completely silent. There were few spiders inside, but that was it. It was raining so t he slope down was quite sludgy though inside the cave was It is speculated that the caves have also been visited by pagans and druids and were used for intimate secret ceremonies and rituals by modern day v isitors. The Shropshire Star reports that the owners of the caves closed them to visitors after they found them filled with candles, graffiti, and rubbish. Although the interior carvings include two Templar crosses it seems unlikely that the caves are connected to the Knights Templar (Christian military order that was founded in the first half of the 12th century to protect pilgrims on their way along the dangerous roads that led to the Holy Land.) However, the order was dissolved in 1312, and according to Shropshire History the caves d ate from the Victorian era. Entrance to the caverns year Inside the caves of knights Templar


NCA Insurance Column: The American Health Care Act On March 6, 2017, the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, jointly with the House Ways and Means Committee, released the long awaited Affordable Care Act repeal and replacement legislation. Titled the American Health Care Act w system of advanced tax credits that can be used The details will need to be sorted out over the next couple of weeks, and there are some missing items. Namely, the legis details on how to cover the cost of the new law. However, there are several highlights: 1. Elimination of the expansion of Medicaid. 2. Elimination of cost sharing subsidies. 3. Implementation of state based high risk insurance pools with federal monetary assistance. 4. Elimination of the penalties for both the Individual and Employer mandates. 5. Repeal of the all the taxes implemented as part of the ACA except the Cadillac tax, which was pushed back until 2025. 6. Adjustments to tax f avored accounts like FSAs and HSAs. 7. Changes to the employer reporting requirements. Many of these changes take effective January 1, 2018, while others are deferred until January 1, 2020. draft version leaked earlier in February. The draft employer provided plans. This would have had the effect of implementing a tax in crease on certain employees. It appears ). The publication of these new pieces of legislation is a continuation of the process begu n back in January by both the That begins on March 8 when the Ways and Means committee holds its first hearings on the AHCA. Once the House finalizes the mark ups, the Senate will take over and do their mark ups. When that process concludes, both the House and Senate n eed to approve the final version before it goes to President Trump for signature into law. In need to implement new regulations to conform to the new laws. As more develops, we will keep you posted of all the changes. Radiation education reminder As everyone knows it is no longer a requirement of the NCA membership to comply with the Radiation standards of the NCA. This language was re moved from our Association Bylaws in 2013 by vote of the membership. However, we continue to encourage you to maintain your Alpha Radiation books on your own and continue to educate yourselves and your employees. Thanks to Dr. Stanley and Kay Sides who s ubscribe to the American Scientist, Stan found this article which he thought would be beneficial for your continuing education. Click here to read: Ri sk and Benefit s of Radiation


We would like to take this opportunity to introduce our company to those of you that are not already familiar with us and say how excited we are to continue to be affiliated with the NCA. L. W. Bristol Classics is a thirty year old family owned business located in Northeast Tennessee. We are in fact located less than 5 miles from the entrance to Bristol Caverns and less than 15 miles from the entrance to Appalachian Caverns. We offer an array of products including lapel pins, hiking medallions, key chains, magnets, patches, zipper pulls and Christmas ornaments and take pride in the quality of our products and the customer service we provide. Custom designs for sites like yours are our specialty bu t we do also offer some stock designs that may be a fit for your store as well. You can find our products already at NCA member caves and caverns such as Squire Boone Caverns, Ohio Caverns, Rushmore Cave, Seneca Caverns, Cumberland Caverns, Shenandoah Cav erns and Natural Bridge Caverns among others. We also work with National Park Service cave and cavern sites such as Carlsbad Caverns National Park, Jewel Cave National Monument and Wind Cave National Park. We value the relationships we have built with our existing NCA member customers over the years and look forward to getting to know more of you better in the future. With Summer fast approaching, we would love to work with any of you that have a need for new souvenir items like ours or would like some fre sh ideas for designs custom to your site. With our pins, hiking medallions and patches, we also offer the option to customize the card with which those items are packaged. On those cards, you can include pictures from your site, your logo and text that tel ls a little something about what is important about your cave or cavern. We offer 100 piece minimums on all custom items and provide artwork free of charge with no obligation to buy. For those of you that know us well and need to place reorders, contact B arry, Lynlee or Christi any time to let us know what you need and we can get shipment of those orders scheduled to arrive when you anticipate needing the new inventory. For some of you it may be time to look at adding new designs to your product line so th at returning visitors will have something new to purchase. We also often find that new visitors take home one of each design. We have a new designer on staff who would love the opportunity to put together new ideas for you. If you placed an order at one of the Fall souvenir and gift shows with us, know that we are working diligently to have your orders ready as they were requested. Feel free to visit our website,, for more examples of our products or contact us any time for more informati on. Let us know what we can do for you! Phone: (800) 654 0777 Email: or


Workshop: Grotte de Han New Dramatic Effect of the Light in Han sur Lesse (Belgium) from 16 to 18 November 2017 One in every four years Cave Lighting organizes informative events in different show caves in Europe. We last met in Switzerland in March 2013, where the specialist audience had the opportunity to visit the Hllgrotten Caves near Baar (Canton of Zug) and t o inspect the electrical installation and the lighting system. This year we would like to suggest you visiting one of the biggest situated in the Ardennes in Belgium. Apart from other projects, the Ledification of the cave has been one of our biggest challenges. The Cave Lighting team has been busy installing the new LED system of the show cave for the last four years, taking place in several construction phases. Four sections of the cave already show themselves in a new light and comply with state of the art technology. In 2018 the last construction phase will take place, and one of the most sophisticated show cave projects in Europe will be completed by then. t beautiful and biggest show caves in Europe. Thanks to the new lighting, the chambers seem to be even more impressive. The beauty of the dripstones and the immense chambers, which have been formed by the river Lesse that is flowing through the cave, make the Cave of Han unique in its dimensions. Over the last four years the Cave Lighting team has managed to change the illumination system of this three kilometer long show cave to LED technology. Not only has the cave been outfitted with state of the art tec hnology, but it was completely redesigned in the process, creating amazing light and sound events. Because of the many different guided tours offered as well as the high demands of the visitors, we had to cope with lots of challenges. We cordially invite you to take part in our workshop in Grotte de Han! We do not only want to present the new illumination and the modern control system of the show cave, but in particular, we would like to: present Grotte de Han as a holistic business model offer experts of the field access to Belgian show caves through a unique feature. offer a platform for exchanging experiences and opinions bring together show cave operators, managers and owners Important information for those interested i n the workshop: When: 16 18 November 2017 Where: Han sur Lesse, Belgium Detailed information concerning the workshop will be published in a second circular at the end of April. This circular will also include particulars as to the program flow, event costs, logistics and organizational issues Attention !!! Due to the hunting s eason the hotels in Han sur Lesse have to be booked in good time. So, if you are interested in participating in the workshop described above, please contact us now by e mail or by telephone so that we can make a provisional (non binding) booking for you. Please send your application to one of the following addresses: Cave Lighting: Anna Toplak at Grotte de Han: Ewa Krywko ekrywko@grotte de You can also contact us by phone under the following number: +49 1717228201 We are looking forward to receiving your application. Your Cave Lighting Team


Monthly Historical Photograph The Proctor Men of Shenandoah Caverns Feeling N ostalgic Pictured are Dan Proctor (left) She nandoah Caverns General Manager in 1957 and Joe Proctor (right) General Manager, in 2017. Runs in the family proud of his newly remodeled caverns lobby in 1957. Now, 60 just as proud to maintain its distinctive look and Calendar of Event s National Cave & K arst 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) 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 o f your news. Please send your articles, photographs t o May 2017 Cave Talk Deadline Please have all articles to Bob Holt no later than April 15. Thank you


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