Cave Talk

Cave Talk

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Cave Talk
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Cave Talk
National Cave Association
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Karst ( lcsh )
Resource management ( local )
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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March 2017
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Robert A. Holt PO Box 625, Cobleskill, NY 12043 E xecutive Director Phone: 518 231 5420 E mail: March 2016 Message From The Executive Director Greetings already welcomed visitors through out the winter; while some of you may not have thought about unlocking that key in the door yet! Those of you who are open, I hope you are finding a great start for the first quarter of 2016. y our officers and directors for our annual m id winter meeting. We have a full agenda planned for our two days we are together. Our Insurance Committee will also be meeting and we will have a full report of our activities and actions in the April edition of C ave Talk. In the meantime sit back and enj oy this edition filled with some super information that you might just be able to apply to your business in the retail arena. Thank you to those of you who have tak en the time to tell your story on the successes of your gift shops and more. And a special thank you goes out to Claudia Yundt who spends loads of time tracking down those of you who have and will continue to write articles for CT. If you have a retail story to tell please contact Claudia S he will be more th an happy to add you to her list. award for your story submission just like Jeff Campbell from Fantastic Caverns did last year. Our members continue to be featured in articles pub lished in Souvenirs, Gifts & Novelties magazine. We have the latest in this edition of C ave Talk Thank you to those of you who have taken the time to fill out and return your Cave Information Sheet for 2016. Our Regional Directors have been contacting th eir respective caves. I know some of you are not open yet, however, we need to maintain the most current information on your cave in our database. If you have not done this task, please contact your Regional Director ASAP. Bob Holt Executive Director OFFICERS President : Patty Perlaky Raccoon Mt. Caverns, TN Ph: 423 821 9403 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) Denise Bell Seneca Caverns, OH Ph: 419 483 6711 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 ) Tim Lacy DeSoto Caverns Park AL Ph: 256 378 7252 D IRECTOR EMERITUS Steve Runkle Cave of the Winds, CO Ph: 719 685 5444


Carlsbad Caverns National Park Hires Rod Horrocks As Cave Management Specialist Rod Horrocks, a 24 year veteran of the National Park Service (NPS) has been name d Cave Management Specialist of Carlsbad Caverns National Park in southeastern New Mexico, according to Doug Neighbor, Superintendent. Horrocks will assume his new position on February 24, 2016. Horrocks most recently served as Cave Management Specialist at Wind Cave National Park, a position he has held since 1999. other positions with the NPS include Physical Scientist/ Cave Manage ment Specialist at Timpanogos Cave National Monument for seven years, followed by a two and a half year assi gnment at Great Basin National Park in 1996. diverse skills and in depth knowledge of resource management issues and his dedication to cave conservation makes him an excellent choice for this said Neighbor. In 1992, Horrocks earned a of Science Degree in computer aided cartography from Brigham Young University. Horrocks specializes in digital cave cartography, lighting design, tour route development, restoration, paleontological field work, and fossil pre paration and curation. He has been a member of the National Speleological Society (NSS) for 33 years. He was awarded the Certificate of Merit by the NSS and was the Chairman of the Cave Conservation and Management Section for 11 year s, Chairman of the Timpanogos Grotto for 10 years, and for the past three years the Chairman of the Survey and Cartography Section. Horrocks was also edi tor of the cave management newsletter Inside Earth for six years and the Underground News newsletter for 15 years. He has had 36 cave and karst related articles published in newsletters, magazines, books, and conference proceedings; including seven peer reviewed journal articles. When not at work, Horrocks enjoys making cave maps and spending time with his wife of 28 years and his two children. Rod is a great friend of the NCA and we look forward to a continue d working relationship with him as he assumes his new post at Carlsbad. Congratulations Rod! Luray Caverns Instrument In A Cave The largest musical instrument is located in one of the most unlikely places deep underground. Sitting atop a pedestal, the Great Stalacpipe Organ looks like a normal church organ, but instead of metal pipes, it uses stalactites around the cave to produce it's haunting, melodic sound. View Here: at the world s largest musical instrument


NCA Buyers Talk As I turn my calendar to March, anticipation hits me. Very soon spring break crowds will descend upon our cave and gift There is more to taking out the trash than gathering refuse from waste baskets. Rubbish and junk are also synonymous for trash. It takes a conscious effort to add ress timeworn fixtures, old merchandise, and tired looking displays. When not addressed, they bog down our gift shops, making them unattractive and stale. The first step to reclaiming your gift shop is to start with a walk. It is best to have another pers on accompany you on a walk through. In my experience, two sets of eyes are better than one! Begin at the entrance to the gift shop and stop there. Look at your current layout. Does it provide for the most functional traffic flow? Are there any unnecessary fixtures taking up floor space that could be removed? Do some fixtures nee d to be relocated? Next, take an honest look at the quality and uniformity of the fixtures. Do any fixtures need a new coat of paint or to be touched up with furniture polish? Are any of the fixtures so tall that they create a visual barrier? Are they too short, making it a challenge to shop from them? Once the fixtures have been strategically placed and spruced up, think over the merchandise that would sell best from them. Be sure the inventory matches the size of the fixture. Packing items too tightly on a shelf is overwhelming to the eye and can cause merchandise to be overlooked. On the other hand, a sparsely stocked shelf looks picked over and barren. e off the shelf, clean the surface thoroughly, then reset~ with the goal of creating an eye catching display. You will know your shelf has a good presentation when you walk by it and find yourself considering making a purchase! For merchandise that has bee n around for years, it may be time to write off and donate these items to charity. As you put the finishing touches on your gift shop, of course it is necessary to dust the shelves. Be sure to also look for, and remove, any visual pollution. Unsightly e lectrical cords are a distraction that could be eliminated with a little effort. Before After Whether your gift shop is open year round or you are re opening for the season, take the steps necessary to make your gift shop fresh and presentable. Jody Gertson Talking Rocks Cavern Wind Cave National Park Marc Ohms is the new NCA representative from Wind Cave. He replaces Rod Horrocks who accepted a new appointment at Carlsbad Caverns. Marc is the Physical Science Technician at Wind Cave.


Carlsbad Caverns Elevators Out of Service The Carlsbad Cavern s temporarily out of service since November One of the park's elevators was stalling in a hoist way underground between the surface and the cavern. ThyssenKrupp Elevator America inspected the problem elevator and determ ined the cause of the issue is a broken down component in its 40 year old motor. Since one of the park's two passenger elevators is actually broken, however, wi th only one elevator in service; t here would be no way to evacuate passengers, should a malfunction occur. For now, visitors to the caverns must hike in and out of the cave via the 1.25 mile Natural Entrance trail. The trail is steep and not accessible to wheelchairs and strollers. The staff at the national park is working to accommodate visitors the best they can. "Here at the park we are not charging a fee. We are waiving the fee, so people are getting in for free just because of the inconvenience," said Valerie Gohlke, Carlsbad Caverns Spokeswoman. There are about 400 daily visitors a nd about 380,000 visitors per year at the caverns, which means the elevators are making about 5,000 trips per month. And while the elevators are out of commission, tourists and visitors are making the best of the situation. first, but actually, it worked out very well that I was able to get in the cave without the As for when the elevators will reopen, park engineers say the daunting repa irs will require a crane to lift up the roughly 20 ton passenger motors and the elevators should be back up and running in the summer of 2016. KOB TV 4 Albuquerque, NM Plush and Toys at Caves and Caverns A Success Story Without A Lot of Holes Another Great Story about our members in a recent edition of Souvenirs, Gifts & Novelties C stocked with merchandise that will appeal to younger visitors such as plush, a variety of toys, and rocks and mineral keepsakes designed for children. At Rushmore Cave in Keystone, S.D., April Hagen, business and retail manager, said any local animal plush such as bison, raccoons and coyotes are a hit at the 1,200 square fo friendly height, garners approximately $300,000 annually. Raccoon plush is square foot store, which brings in $150,000 $ 200,000 per year.


Knight said creating a well organized display is the key to boosting sales. All plush of the same kind are placed together, which makes it easier for shoppers to see all of the choices and make up their minds. Mark Bishop, owner/manager, Niagara Cave, Harmony, Minn., said unicorns are the most popular plush with both girls placed on a large wall display, and are also stacked in an array of bins that is accessible to children. Top Toys In the toy category, rock and mineral themed merchandise is the biggest hit with kids. J ulie Rubel, owner, Crystal Lake Cave, Dubuque, Iowa, said gem sluice bags filled acti re displayed on a barrel against a rustic background inside the 1,700 square Rubel said. Outside near the sluice are some pretend sticks of dyn amite and a mining cart on a railway to make the experience seem more realistic. St eve Thompson, general manager, Thunder Mountain Mining Company, a gift shop located at Bridal Cave in Camdenton, Mo., said the top two sellers in the category of Your Own Gemstones hands The gemstone mining area has a l arge sluice at the entrance of the main building your own gemstones has a large display (over half a ton of gemstones on a 4 by 8 foot table) of the tumbled stone and is highlighted by large LED spotlights that make the gemstones sparkle. The rock and mineral shop has 2,400 square feet and the sportswear and souvenir shop has 800 square feet, which combined bring in more than $500,000 annually. Bishop said cave/mining helmets are popular for kids traffic area at a level on pol icy allows kids to touch and experience the variety of products, giving them the opportunity to make an attachment to the toy. This increases the likelihood of a purchase. The 1,400 square foot store garners $175,000 annually. Niagara Cave also offers a la rge range of items that are made of rock, rock and mineral specimens, fossils and tumbled the light to see close up inside the Bernard Ingram, general manager, Mercer Caverns, Murphys, Calif., said having a large selection of rocks and minerals and a wide price range works well for the 1,200 square foot store, as guests can find something either small or large that dollars, and we also have large mineral specimens ng Lexi Ramirez, assistant manager, Crystal Lake Cave, Dubuque, Iowa. Gem sluice bags filled with sand, gem stones, shark's teeth and fossils are popular at the attraction.


cats, horses concluded. Great job cave folk! NCA Insurance Column information, news, education and industry hilarity! Portable Generators & Safety Portable generators are an important resource during unexpected power outages. However, they also pose certain dangers that must be addressed to ensure safe operation. Some safety tips suggested by the Occupational and Safety Health Administration (OSHA) include: NEVER use portable generators indoors or in garages, basements, or sheds. Generators should always be used outside far far away from any windows, doors, vents, or other building opening. ALWAYS operate and maintain portable generators in accordance with the man ufacturers' recommendations. BEWARE of carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning The CO produced by a running generator is deadly and can kill you in a matter of minutes. ALWAYS have a working CO alarm in your building, because carbon monoxide gas cannot be seen or smelled. Portable generators are internal combustion engines used to generate electricity. They are useful when tempor ary or remote power is needed, and are commonly used during cleanup and recovery efforts following disasters such as hurricanes, tornadoes, etc. This fact sheet discusses specific hazards inherent with the use of generators and also provides helpful inform ation to ensure that workers and others using such equipment remain safe. Hazards Associated with Generators : Shocks and electrocution from improper use of power or accidentally Shock and Electrocution The electricity created by generators has the same hazards as normal utility supplied elect ricity. It also has some additional hazards because generator users often bypass the safety devices (such as circuit breakers) that are built into electrical systems. The following precautions are provided to reduce shock and electrocution attach a generator directly to the electrical system of a structure (home, office, trailer, etc.) unless a qualified electrician has properly installed the generator with a transfer switch. Attaching a generator directly to a buildi ng electrical system wi thout a properly installed transfer switch can energize wiring systems for great distances. This creates generator using the manufactu pronged). Inspect the cords to make sure they are fully intact and not damaged, cut or abraded. Never use frayed or damaged extension cords. Ensure the cords are appropriately rated in watts or a mps for the intended use. Do not use underrated cords replace them with appropriately rated cords that use heavier gauge wires. Do not overload a generator; this can lead to overheating which


s (GFCIs), especially where electrical equipment is used in or around wet or damp locations. GFCIs shut off power when an electrical current is detected outside normal paths. GFCIs and extension cords with built in GFCI protection can be purchased at hardw are stores, do it yourself centers, and other locations that sell electrical equipment. Regardless of GFCI use, electrical equipment used in wet and damp locations ed and the grounding not use it in the rain or wet conditions. If needed, protect a generator with a canopy. Never manipulate a generato water. Equipment must be thoroughly dried out and properly evaluated before using. Power off and do not use any electrical equipment that has strange odors or begins smoking. Carbon Monoxide Poisoning Carbon monoxide (CO) is a colorless, odorless, toxic gas. Many people have died from or in enclosed spaces such as garages, crawl spaces, and basements. NOTE: Open windows and doors may NOT prevent CO from all sides and a poisoning dizziness, headaches, nausea tiredness get to fresh air immediately and seek medical attention. Do not re enter the area until it is determined to be safe by trained and properly equipped personnel. Fire Hazards Generators become hot while running and remain hot for long periods after they are stopped. Generator e and other generator fuels should be stored and transported in approved containers that are generating devices (such as the generator it self, water heaters, cigarettes, lighters, and matches). Do not smoke around store generator fuels in your home. Store fuels away from living areas. Noise and Vibration Hazards area A lawyer in Charlotte, NC purchased a box of very rare and expensive cigars, then insured them against fire among other things. Wit hin a month, having smoked his entire stockpile of these great cigars and without yet having made even his first premium payment on the policy, the lawyer filed a claim w ith the insurance company. In his claim, the lawyer stated the cigars were lost "in a series of small fires." The insurance company refused to pay, citing the obvious reason: that the man had consumed the cigars in the normal fashion. The lawyer sued....and won! In delivering the ruling the judge agreed with the insurance company that the c laim was frivolous. The judge stated nevertheless, that the lawyer held a policy from the company in which it had warranted that the cigars were insurable and also guaranteed that it would insure them against fire, without defining what is considered to be "unacceptable fire," and was obligated to pay the claim. Rather than endure lengthy and costly appeal process, the insurance company accepted the ruling and paid $15,000.00 to the lawyer for his loss of the rare c igars lo st in the "fires. But... After th e lawyer cashed the check, the insurance company had him arrested on 24 counts of ARSON! With his own insurance claim and testimony from the previous case used against him, the lawyer was convicted of intentionally burning his insured property and was sent enced to 24 months in jail and a $24,000.00 fine. Contact Us: If you have any comments, questions or suggestions for the NCA Insurance Column Heather Ginn Insurance Committee Does Your Cave Have A Short Video We May Use ? We are looking for good quality video with audio describing /touring your cave that we might feature on the NCA website in rotation with other caves. Video should not be more than 8 10 minutes in length and must have a hyperlink Contact Bo b if you are able to provide.


WNS Report NEW LOCATIONS: WNS has been found on a dead bat in Boone County, Arkansas, making it the 12th county in Arkansas with confirmed WNS. LITIGATION: The Center for Biological Diversity has filed a notice of intent to sue the USFWS for authoring "logging and widespread destruction of hab itat for the Northern Long Eared Bat." RESEARCH: Researchers from Massey University in New Zealand found that big browns survive WNS better than little browns possibly because big browns tend to have more fat stores, lower metabolic rates and drier hibern ation sites. Scientists (from John Hopkins School of Medicine, John Hopkins School of Public Health, University of Arkansas and University of California School of Medicine) have studied cold presses, terpeneless orange oil (CPT) against P. destructans. A ll P. destructans isolates (at 15 C and 4 C) were completely inhibited by 100% CPT at one month incubation. Complete inhibition persisted up to six months following a single exposure of CPT. In addition, CPT showed no significant effect against a variety of other organisms, including filamentous fungi, bacteria and aerobic actinomycetes. Since it is relatively non toxic, the possibility exists it could be used as a pre treatment to eradicate P. destructans from bat habitats. Research funded by the USGS and NIH looked at mass bat deaths in literature from 1790 to the present. Prior to 2000, intentional hunting by humans (for consumption, killed as pests, etc.) was the leading cause of mass deaths of bats. After 2000, wind turbines and white nose syndrome are the leading causes. Also, no convincing evidence was found of bats regularly dying in large proportions due to bacterial or viral diseases. Regarding the final rules of the USFWS about the NLEB THreatened Status: (This seems to contradict what the ab ove study found.) This was on Winston's Environmental Law Update Blog: Activities within the white nose syndrome zone not involving purposeful take or prohibited types of incidental take are not prohibited under the § 4(d) rule. Specifically, incidental take from the operation of utility scale wind energy turbines is not prohibited. USFWS concluded in the Federal Register wind energy development has led to significant declines in this species, nor is there evidence that regulating the incidental gement practices to protect other bat species, USFWS found that prohibiting incidental take of the northern long eared bat from wind energy projects is not Winston & Strawn LLP Mary E. Wall Elise C. Scott and Stephanie B. Sebor Patty Perlaky WNS Chair ISCA President Has Request My friends at Postojna Cave are in the running for the European Business Awards. Please click on this link to watch the short video about them. Public V ote therefore you are kindly invited to watch a presentation video this is the most visited show cave in Europe. After the video please cast your vote for them. You will then get an email to confir m and finaliz e your vote. Brad Wues t ISCA President


Affiliate of the Month Mazes and Caves A Marvelous Match Everyone knows that caves and caverns offer amazing glimpses into inner earth where novices and spelunkers can marvel at stalactites and stalagmites. But when cave exploration is combined with a brain teasing human maze challenge, the fun and learning is doubled. In recent years, three iconic cave destinations in the US have opened an Adventure Park in Glenwood Springs, Colorado. The Fort WhereAmI maze (left) captures the flavor of the Wild West in this log maze featuring a lookout tower with the Rocky Mountains as the dramatic backdrop. A log cabin does triple duty as the ticket window, maze entrance, and exit. on the National Register of Historic Places and Prospector Pet Maze was designed to provide a high energy outdoor activity to contrast with the gentle pace and glittering shapes inside the dark cave. The 4,800 square foot maze is a labyrinth of twists and turns that create confusion and surprises around ev ery corner, a light hearted nod to what cave explorers may have experienced when they discovered a new cavern. Set adjacent to a grassy pasture and near manicured lawns, the maze site provides visitors with plenty of space to relax or have a picnic after r acing through the maze. Also opening in 2013, the at Natural Bridge Caverns (left) north of San Antonio integrates local history and character goes back more tha n five generations and that rugged and rustic style is captured in the design. The maze structure has three different viewing platforms that are topped by distressed metal roofs to capture a historic feel as well as provide weather protection. Elevated dec ks allow spectators to watch their family and friends try to navigate their way through the maze. An open air bridge also crosses over the top of the maze for an additional birds eye perspective. Mystical cave tours and energetic maze challenges have proved to be a dynamic duo for the maze at Natural Bridges Giuttari, Attractions Manager for Natural Bridge Caverns ized to highlight a particular theme from natural history and wildlife to cultural motifs. Best of all, human mazes can be operated i n all kinds of weather so there is always something fun for visitors to do, even if rain or conditions impact other attract ions. And the only energy required to operate a maze is the human energy of children and adults racing through the twists and turns. For more information about a customized human maze, visit Greg Gallavan P.O. Box 1274 Winter Park, CO 80482 Email: Phone: (970) 531 533 4


Monthly Historical Photo Ruby Falls, Chattanooga, TN Jack Steiner is pictured outside the entrance building to Ruby Falls when he was being introduced as the new General Manager in 1978. Jack and his wife Mo were active NCA members. Do You Have A Historical Photo To Share? Now that our 50 th continue this column to include a photo from our member cave s If you have a picture to share, p lease send me a digital copy that might include people, a building, or cave scene with names and a description. Thanks, Bob NCA Mid Winter Board of Directors Meeting, Renaissance Airport Hotel, St. Louis, Missouri, February 2 9 March 2 2016 NCKRI DeepKarst 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 Smok y Mountain Gift Show 201 6 Sevierville, Tennessee, November 1 4, 2016; Pigeon Forge & Gatlinburg, Tennessee, November 2 5, 2016 IAAPA 2016, Orlando, Flor ida, November 15 18 2016 Tucson Gem and Mineral Shows 2017, Tucson, Arizona, January 28 February 12, 2017 NCA Mid Winter Board of Directors Meeting, Renaissance Airport Hotel, St. Louis, Missouri, February 2 6 March 1 201 7 NSS Convention 201 7 Rio Rancho, New Mexico (Dates TBD) NCA Convention 2017, Host: Mark Twain Cav e, Hannibal, Missouri (Dates TBD ) 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 NSS Convention 201 8, Montana, (Location & Dates TBD) NCA Convention 2018 Host: Racoon Mountain Caverns, Chattanooga, Tennessee, (Dates TBD) Smok y Mountain Gift Show 2018 Gatlinburg, Tennessee, (Dates TBD) IAAPA 201 8 Orlando, Florida, November 11 16, 2018 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 to April 2016 Cave Talk Deadline Please have all articles to Bob Holt no later than M arch 15. Thank you


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