Cave Talk

Cave Talk

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Cave Talk
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Cave Talk
National Cave Association
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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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May 2016
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University of South Florida Library
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University of South Florida
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K26-05297 ( USFLDC DOI )
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Robert A. Holt PO Box 625, Cobleskill, NY 12043 E xecutive Director Phone: 518 231 5420 E mail: May 2016 Message Greetings, H ard to believe May is already here and soon we will be celebrating Memorial Day weekend! While some parts of the country are seeing record high temps and drought; others are seeing record rains and yet some places winter is still hanging on with snow and ice forcing closure of Cave of the Winds in Colorado just a couple days ago on April 29. for mobile users. Check it out on This is your LAST CHANCE! You may participate by using this link: Thank You! Bob Holt Carlsbad Caverns to be featured on postage stamp C arlsbad Caverns will be featured on a postage stamp in honor of the National Park The Carlsbad Current Argus reports t hat the stamp will be released on June 2 and formally introduced at a ceremony at the World Stamp Show NY 2 01 6. Each of the National Parks depicted on the stamps will also have their own dedication ceremony. Carlsbad is the fifth of 16 total National Park Forever Stamp images to be revealed. Other featured national parks include Acadia National Park, A rches National Park, Assateague Island National Seashore and Bandelier National Monument. 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 Photo : Courtesy of the United States Postal Service


Bat quilts made by Emily Davis O ver the years know Emily Davis ( her license plate reads OLD BAT) who with her husband Mike Warner own and operate Speleobooks which is located at their home here in upstate New York just a short distance from my home and the NCA office I have known Emily for a good number of years and I have always been amazed at her many abilities and talents she possesses. If you have a project and need help she will get done and done right! She has worked tirelessly with the NSS and the c aving community locally and around the world I remember well my days at Howe Caverns when Emily would organize the local Grotto to assist in an annual cave clean up. After a pot luck meal, Emily would assign tasks to the Grotto members who brought in thei r brushes, buckets and vacuum cleaners They would go into the cave and rid the place of algae growth, d ust and lint on the formations and sometimes coins and junk brought in by the tourists. When Emily is not traveling around the country or the world on a cave mapping excursion, she is at home here fulfilling orders for her business Speleobooks. Recently Emily and Mike have been helping a caving friend clean out her home after the passing of her husband. Emily has boxes of cave memorabilia that the husband collected over the years and is placing the items on Ebay in hopes to generate some added income for her friend. In 2011, our Schoharie Valley was hit hard by Hurricane Irene. It was called the 500 year flood when the Schoharie Creek rose with upwards of 8 feet of water in our local village s which devastated homes and businesses Residents not only had t o clean out their homes, but many of them operated one or more businesses that also had to be gutted and dried out before reconstruction. Emily and Mike were one of the lucky ones as their property is located miles away and up on a hill. feeding the residents and volunteers lunch every day. of the instrumentalists and hard working volunteers found in the kitchen or organizing the need for food. She made sure the freezers were packed with donated casseroles and worked with local grocery and convenience stores who would regularly donate milk, b read, etc Today these residents look back and are very appreciative of the many peopl e like Emily who fed them daily and certainly through all this, new lasting friendships were made I could fill this entire edition of Cave Talk and then some with all accomplishments in her life ; however, I need to move on to the subject matter of this article. Quilting has always been a big deal here in our Valley which probably goes back to our first German Palatine settlers in the early 1700 s In recent years we have seen several new groups of folks making quilts many of them being themed. In fact, w copied and painted on boards and hung on barns throughout our county creating this great new drive about trail to tour. Emily found her current love of making quilts by sitting in on a g Cavers nearly 2000 people attending this gathering she found that perhaps she could find something here to make it a positive event for herself and others. She met with a group of folks who were quilters. backside and patching it up in a quilt pattern. One lady in the OTR Hardly anyone ever does the projects Emily wanted to change th at thinking and make the projects a reality. She finished her quilted sweater and proudly wears it today and she also got the group to finish their various works of art. Emily Davis, renowned caver and quilter Emily sewing one of her quilt blocks in her home studio in upstate New York


One of s for the OTR was to get them to do projects and auction them off for a special need s such as the NSS office fund. honorable mention in the NSS Fine Arts Salon. Another first project was a wall hanging depicting her husband Mike Warner R a p pelling In Hong Mei Gui Chamber (China). The work was inspired from a photo by Jane Allen taken while M ike was on assignment with the National Geog raphic Magazine in China 2013. Emily said she looked for the right print material that would best represent the rock and formation in the cave. She w on a Merit Award in 2015 at the NSS F ine Arts Salon and this beautiful piece proudly hangs in their home office. is themed quilt. She won a Mer it Award at the NSS Fine Arts Salon. Do you see the water running off the main central pattern o nto the border? Emily has learned many of her quilting techniques by studying under Arlene Vrooman, a local Schoharie woman. Arlene has several qu ilters sewing on a regular basis at her home and is an excellent teacher fabrics from local quilting instructor Arlene Vrooman to her student, Nine squares by members of a caving quilt group, three oth ers and quilt design by Emily. For this Emily won a medal at the International Congress of Speleology in Texas in 2 011. It was purchased by inspired by a wave pattern quilt seen in a shop in 2015 using a supply of orange colored bat fabrics without being reminiscent of Halloween. To the immediate left, is i nspired by a large format bat fabric which Emily wanted to feature in a quilt. She w on second place for an extra large quilt at the Empire Quilt Fest 2016. Rap p elling In Hong Mei Gui Bats G et Weaving


T he quilt t o the left is called aid of the 20 squares that you see 10 were made by her and 10 by other people. This piece will be auctioned as a fund raiser at the 2016 NSS Convention in Ely, Nevada, July 17 23. You have seen the fronts of only a few quilts that Emily has completed. If you understand anyt hing about the making of quilts, you know the back sides may be that of a more simpler pattern used I assure you that this is not the case are all just as beautiful and they all have their own uniqueness in the sewing styles and patterns. I want to thank Emily and Mike for their kind hospitality and having me over to their home to do this interview. It has afforded me the appreciation of what goes in to making these gorgeous pieces of art. If you would like more information on Emi you may contact her at Bob Holt Brida l Cave offers new area employee benefit contest S teve Thompson reports that Bridal Cave add ed an extra incentive to tour the caverns this received complimentary tour tickets for themselves and their families residing at home. This Spring they have made the complimentary tour offer even better. From now until June 30, 2016, every employee that uses their comp tickets to tour Bridal Cave wil l automatically be entered into a drawing to win a 52 INCH HD TV. The winner will be announced on July 1, 2016. Bridal Cave also wins award O ften referred to as the best family attraction at the Lake of the Ozarks and now according to Rural Missouri Magazine's Readers' Choice Awards Bridal Cave can now claim the title of the Best Cave in Missouri, and they even sent them a certificate to prove it. Rural M issouri is based in Jefferson City, and the magazine has a circulation of over 550,000, making it the largest paid circulation monthly publication in the state. Over a 2 month period, the magazine asked their abundance of readers to tell them all about the best eateries, destinations, and activities in Missouri.


Wind Cave celebrates centennial with reunion, music and special events W ind Cave National Park plans to mark this year's Centennial of the National Park Service with a wide variety of special events lasting into December. Created in 1916, the National Park Service preserves unimpaired the natural and cultural resources and values of the National Park System for the enjoyment, education, and inspiration of this and future generations. "The Cente nnial is an opportunity to introduce the National Park Service to the next generation of visitors while reenergizing those who already know and love the parks," said Park Superintendent Vidal Dvila. "We encourage people to participate in these special eve nts and to use this year to find your park." A sampling of events planned for the year includes a mixture of music, gatherings, and youth activities. The park celebrate d National Park Week, April 16 24, with free tours. South Dakota's National Park Treasu rers: Through the Voices of Our Youth, partners area national parks with elementary school classes in Custer and Porcupine to work with Native American songwriter and performer Mr. Sequoia Crosswhite to write an original piece of music about each park area The musical premiere occur red April 19 in Custer, with a later performance in Porcupine. On Saturday, May 21, the park will participate in the National Park Service wide BioBlitz Weekend. The focus of the Wind Cave BioBlitz will be birds, with volunteers focused on recording bird sightings, especially spring migrants.Festivities will include beginner and family bird walks, bird banding demonstrations, live raptors, and a bird box construction workshop. Species data from all BioBlitzes throughout the count ry will be entered into a central "Base Station" and broadcasted on a large screen on the National Mall in Washington, DC. A reunion of former and current employees and friends of the park will occur on Friday and Saturday, July 8 and 9. There will be special events at the park ending with a banquet at the Mueller Center in Hot Springs Saturday night. Everyone is welcome;for d inner reservations, visit The American Solar Challenge is a college competition to design, build, and drive solar powered cars in a cross country time and distance rally event. This year's course will begin in Cuyahoga National Park in Ohio and travel 1,800 miles through 9 national park areas before ending at Wind Cave on Saturday, August 6. The park's celebration will wrap up in December, as the Centennial serves as the theme for this year's Christmas in the Hills celebration. These are just some of the activities planned for the year. For more information, contact the park at 605 745 1130. 70 Years Ago May 2, 1946 These sites: Howe Caverns, New York; Carlsbad Caverns, New Mexico; Mammoth Cave, Kentucky; Wind Cave, South Dakota; and the vast chain of caves in Virginia are all under consideration as a possible military and industrial installation in event of another war, as it is revealed in a United Press release. Military and civilian experts, under supervision of the Army Navy munitions board, have been ordered to explore these caves.


US F or the past month or more, USA TODAY 10Best readers have been voting for their favorite American cave from a pool of 20 nominees scattered from coast to coast. Voting has ended, and the winners are in! The top 10 winners in the ca tegory Best Cave are as follows: 1. Kartchner Caverns Benson, AZ 2. Niagara Cave Harmony, MN 3. Fant astic Caverns Springfield, MO 4. Blanchard Spr ings Caverns Mountain View, AR 5. The Lost Sea Sweetwater, T N 6. Ruby Falls Chattanooga, TN 7. DeSoto Caverns Childersburg, AL 8. Carlsbad Caverns Carlsbad, N M 9. Mammoth Cave Mammoth Cave, K Y 10. Glenwood Caverns Glenwood Springs, C O Besides the winners, the following caves were also nominated: Ape Cave Cougar, WA; Cathedral Caverns Woodville, A L ; Caverns of Sonora Sonora, T X ; Jewel Cave Custer, SD; Longhorn Cavern Burnet, T X ; Luray Caverns Luray, V A; Meramec Caverns Stanton, M O; Natural Bridge Caverns San Antonio TX ; Penn's Cave Centre Hall, P A and Wind Cave Hot Springs, S D WNS Report THE BIG NEWS: WNS FOUND IN WASHINGTON STATE On March 11th, hikers found a sick bat near North Bend, Washington (about 30 miles from Seattle). The bat was taken to the Progressive Animal Welfare Society, where it died two days later. The bat was sent to the USGS for testing, which came back positive for WNS. USFWS will be conducting surveillance of the area where the bat was found to determine the extent. The USGS will be testing the DNA of the fungus, which may show its origin. RESEARCH: Scientists at the University of Massachusetts have found that bacteria found on amphibians' skin can protect them from fungal diseases, such as ch ytrid fungus. Rhodococcus, currently being tested to treat WNS, was also found on amphibian skin, which in tests also killed the chytrid fungus. Ontario is installing 20 heated bat boxes throughout the province. The biologist at University of Winnepeg w ho launched the pilot program hopes that by providing a stable temperature (30C), bats will be able to recover from the disease. The new protocols for decontamination of caving equipment have just been posted at : PUBLICITY: 'Batman vs. Superman' cast and crew built bat houses from set ma terial. They were auctioned on eBay beginning March 21st. Patty Perlaky WNS Chairman Kartchner Caverns State Park


Meramec Caverns tours on temporary hold T ours at Meramec Caverns have been suspended while they try to reduce levels of a potentially harmful chemical vapor. The Environmental Protection Agency has discovered traces of trichloroethylene vapors, which it says can cause cancer. Trichloroethylene is a solvent used mainly to remove grease from paint rem overs. The EPA says the vapors probably came from a landfill in Sullivan, about four miles away from the caverns. The report also notes a former auto parts facility as a possible contamination source. here were some pollutants in the groundwater there that have dissipated down through our area and o ther areas Each year, the area gets about 100,000 visitors, who primarily come to tour the cave other business to this area Les Roughly 70 people have been laid off because the contamination closure has lost business for the area. Les said the y hope remediation will be completed by July or August at the latest. Meramec suffered property damage and closure to the cave in January due to the heavy flooding in Missouri and now the contamination issue. Les Jr. was interviewed on the local news and you may view it by using this link: chemical vapors close meramec caverns/113119103 The Turilli family knows that their NCA family is keeping them in our thoughts and prayers for a speedy return to business as we all begin our busy time of the year. We will do everything possible to help get word out when the cave reopens. Caverns of Sono ra named business of the y ear C ongratulations to the folks at Caverns of Sonora for being selected as Business of the Year by the Sonora Chamber of Commerce. Pictured left are Louise Ingham Moore, Gerr y Ingham, Ed, Shalayne and Pres ley Mayfield. Remediation work of entranceway to the caverns beg an in earl y April.


NCA Insurance Column : a very rarely thought of risk e xposure W area facing our insureds. As I witnessed countless, yellow school buses com e down the driveway, it dawned on me that cave owners are not immune to exposures involving minors. Yes, this is the time of year for public and private schools flocking to your caves and a host of youth groups seeking the many programs you have to offer w hether it be for a few hours or an overnight weekend experience. The following statistics related to child abuse are staggering! 1 in 4 girls and 1 in 6 boys are abused 10% of school age children are abused 300% increase in peer to peer abuse 80% of abuse does not get reported There is no doubt that being in the insurance business makes us think about losses and tragedies more than others. I events. Just this week a nationally recognized tourist theme park had employees caught in sex stings and child porn. We believe abuse can be prevented. Everyone is responsible for preventing abuse and our cave operations are not immune from the responsib ility of providing young guests with a safe experience. Abuse prevention requires the commitment not only of our public and private schools, religious institutions and youth organizations partners; it requires a commitment by cave owners and starts at the top when dealing with minors. In the next few issues of Cave Talk, I will address some areas where I think you can play a role in providing a safe environment for minors. Regardless of the liability of the above mentioned entities, cave owners can be held liable for negligent acts in not doing certain things to provide for a safe environment. For starters, you need the proper protection in the event of a loss. I suggest you review your current insurance policy to be certain you have specific coverage for Sexual Abuse and Molestation with a limit of at least $1M per Occurrence/Aggregate. I would be sure you have coverage that provides legal defense for innocent employees accused of an alleged abuse event. And lastly, I suggest you make sure your Umbrella Liability policy (everyone should have one) sits above this coverage and provides you with additional limits should your underlying limit become exhausted. As I conclude this article, let me ask the following questions: What type of screening do you conduc t on new and current employees; and volunteers? Are you comfortable with the employee screening and training conducted by your vendors? How are you training employees on abuse identification? Have you implemented a program for reporting and responding t o abuse? Have you ever taken an assessment of your current Minors on Property program? Do you have access to experts to assist you in dealing with allegations of abuse? We know this article will give everyone pause to think about this exposure and things to do to minimize it. That is why we will focus the next few articles on ways to address this exposure at your own cave. In the meantime, If you have questions about your insurance coverage or how you can minimize this risk talk with your insurance broker or give Keith Dobrolinsky a call at 630 417 5918. Keith Dobrolinsky Assurance Agency, Ltd.


Monthly Historical P hoto Lester Benton Dill Meramec Caverns, Missouri few of our long time NCA members who will recall this gentleman from Meramec Caverns, Lester B Dill. Dill is the grandfather of Les Turilli. He opened eatest contribution to the cave might have been his creative promotion, which was essential given some attendance. Word sp read quickly. Over time, Dill gained more freedom to advertise, and he used every available method to get the word out about the cave system. Dill was actually one of the first people to use bumper stickers as a promotional tool to draw in visitors to Mera mec Caverns along with a number of billboards on the nearby highway. Do You Have A Historical Photo To Share? Now that our 50 th I would like to continue this column to include a photo from our member caves. If you have a picture to share, please send me a digital copy that might include people, a building, or cave scene with names and a description. Thanks, Bob Calendar of Ev ents 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, Florida, 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 NCA Convention 2019, Host: Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park, Glenwood Springs, Colorado (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 to June 2016 Cave Talk Deadline Please have all articles to Bob Holt no later than May 15. Thank you


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