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 ( 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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September 2016
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University of South Florida Library
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University of South Florida
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All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
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K26-05299 ( USFLDC DOI )
k26.5299 ( USFLDC Handle )

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Robert A. Holt PO Box 625, Cobleskill, NY 12043 E xecutive Director Phone: 518 231 5420 E mail: September 2016 Welcome to Convention 2016 I want to thank everyone that has sent in their re gistration for the 2016 National Caves Association Convention!! I understand that not everyone is able to attend but they sure are going to miss a great convention. We have seminars planned that will help us prepare for a disaster, help us in our struggles for the best retail shop and how to deal with social media! We also have a pre convention trip planned to visit Bluespring Caverns and a post convention trip to Marengo Cave. (See related story in CT) Wed. of the convention takes us to Indiana Caverns and Squire Boone Caverns. Four caves in five days is a learning experience all of its own. Round Table and a Cracker Barrel are also planned. I know round table is one of my favorites because I learn so much on what the other caves are doing. Entertainment is al so planned with square dancing and BUT my favorite thing and when I learn the most is when we all get to mingle and talk. I have never belonged to an organization that is as great as this one. Caves helping other caves and the friend ships that have grown out of this wonderful group of people. Indiana is about as mid west as you can get so if your cave is in Missouri, Kentucky, Tennessee or Virginia you are just not that far away! Call Bob, get that registration form in and plan on coming to convention. The early bird 2016 conv ention attendees please do not hesitate to e mail me with any questions. I have received several questions already and I believe we have been able to make their trip to Indiana much easier. I did get a question on what to wear. wait a day, it will change. hard to predict in September. All four of the Indiana your cave tours. There is a pretty big possibility of rain. The biggest t hing you need to plan for is T C ome dressed in Bring your cave pin to exchange !! everyone real soon Claudia Yund t 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) 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 Patty Perlaky Interim D IRECTOR EMERITUS Steve Runkle Cave of the Winds, CO Ph: 719 685 5444


A cave of secrets beneath the desert N ASA scientists who search for life on other planets. A towering stone pillar emerged in my headlamp like a petrified cake dripping icing. Above it, another speleothem tapered downward, a swollen drop of water glinting at its tip. the cave management specialist at Carl sbad Caverns National Park We were exploring Left Hand Tunnel only by scientists and permitted tours. said as he disappeared into a narrow side passage. After carefully crawling over a sturdy lattice of bone like formations, I saw him pointing to a series of pearly, tomato sized spheres in varying stages of inflation clinging to the wall. wall, leaving a thin skin, and gases from chemical reactions trapped underneath gently inflate them. The impossibly delicate balloons underscore that C arlsbad is a living cave system still in a state of formation after 250 million years. Horrocks has been a cave management specialist with the US National Parks Service for the last 24 years, and traces his passion for caving back to a Missouri rock quarry he visited with his father when two teenagers emerged from a hole and said they had been exploring a cave that goes a ll the way in, but Dad wisely said no. So I went to the library and aided cartography from Brigham Young University in 1992, Horrocks became the cave management specialist at Timpanogos Cave National Monument Great Basin National Park and Wind Cave National Park During this time he also studied related caving disciplines including geology, palaeontology and archaeology, working with experts in the fields. Throughout his career, he assisted with research and surveying projects at Carlsbad Caverns, hoping to one d ay secure a permanent position. Finally, in early 2016, he did. started, so I pieced together as many disciplines used during cave exploration and like time capsules offering clues from the formation of the planet to the beginning of Now, he uses his many areas of expertise to monitor and minimize human impact on this vast cave system, while ensuring that the 407,000 tourists who visit the park annually enjoy their experience. Carlsbad Caverns Rod Horrocks, Cave Management Specialist The park's caves are completely devoid of sunlight (Credit: Dennis Macdonald/Getty) The Carlsbad Caverns became an established National Park in 1930 (Credit: Steve Larese )


National Park encompasses 119 known caves, but only the main Carlsbad Cavern is open to non permit, daily public visitation. dramatic LED lighting that showcases its soaring formations (which resemble a cross between a Gaudi cathedral and the skeleton of some e normous Middle Earth beast), his main focus is to help ensure that the other park caves are kept as natural as possible. They provide a living laboratory for scientists from many different fields, who are studying a range of topics from climate change to l ife on other planets. For instance, Horrocks coordinates with biologists studying bats in order to combat white nose syndrome, a fungal infection that has decimated several species of bats in the eastern United States. By obtaining a baseline in healthy caves, scientists can monitor for harmful chan ges. With the Zika virus expected to reach tail bats emerging nightly during the summer to feast on insects, including mosquitos are a critical resource. He also aids Nasa scientists who are researching mineral eating bacteria here in their search for life on other planets and moons. Caves are completely devoid of sunlight and organic material, so extremophiles that survive in caves by eating elements such as sulphur may of fer clues to how life could survive elsewhere in the universe. Studying bacteria that feed on petrochemicals could also be helpful in cleaning oil spills. e are on par with the Mariana life down here and how it survives without al uses for these bacteria and yet to be discovered lifeforms that could potentially help cure diseases. told me as we wound our are one of the last places left on Earth for exploration, and who knows how the science conducted down here will Steve Larese BBC Travel Thanks to John Graves for suggesting sharing this great story with you. LED lighting is used to showcase the caverns' soaring formations (Credit: Chad Ehlers/Getty ) Horrocks has been a cave management specialist for 24 years (Credit: Steve Larese) The caves provide a living laboratory for scientists (Credit: Matt Anderson/Getty)


National Park Service 100 th Anniversary \ Jewel Cave National Monument Left: A time capsule was assembled for placement inside the visitor center, within the exhibits ... to be opened on August 25, 2066. Several items of interest, including visitor stats, park store products, historic images, publications, badges, etc. are included. Superintendent B onnie Schwartz shared her thoughts about the NPS Centennial and what she hopes for in 50 years. Engaging the crowd and especially reaching out to the next generation of park visitors, it's easy to say ... Right : If you look closely at the image, Centennial Coordinator Riley Hays is holding a historic picture from 1972. A dedication ceremony for the visitor center took place in this exact spot, 44 years ago. The audience was gracious enough to pose for the camera. Maybe in 50 years, another picture can be taken from this vantage point? Carlsbad Caverns National Park Left : As we start our second century, it is nice to look back on the first 100 years of the National Park Service and thank those that came before for what they did to give us this legacy. Stephen Mather was the first director of the NPS and, as this bronze plaque set into our bat flight amphitheater says, "There will never come an end to the good he has done." Below : U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) held a new citizen swearing in ceremon y this morning presided over Judge Robert Brack. Congratulations new US citizens! Carlsbad Caverns was happy to host the event on the National Park Service's 100th birthday!


Wind Cave National Park We had a fantastic time at our birthday celebration. Happy Birthday National Park Service! Here at Wind Cave National Park, we served cake and ice cream in the visitor center lobby. At 7 p.m. we had a special evening program planned in the Elk Mountain Campground Amphitheater (with more cake and ice cream to follow that program!) and free tours through Sunday. your next 100 years NPS members!! Happy to have you in the NCA family!! Lost River Caverns PA memorabilia featured in movie Some of our Cave memorabilia (1930 vintage postcard and two bumper Movie. The movie is scheduled to be released in 2017 and is currently filming in NYC. Some of our generic merchandise may also be used in some scenes. The book Wonderstruck, by Brian Selznick, has won many awards and makes for a great read. http://www.scholastic .com/wonderstruck/ Now doing full cave tours Les and Judy Turilli report that Meramec Caverns is now fully operational with tours throughout the cave. This has been quite the ordeal for the Turilli family with the closure of the cave on March 10 when the Environmental Protection Agency discovered traces of trichloroethy lene vapors that probably came from a landfill in Sullivan, about four miles away from the caverns. The cave partially reopened on June 10 with tours in the front and upper portions of the cave only. On August 6 they were granted a clean bill of health and tours resumed in the lower portions of the cave. We are happy to hear this news! Les and Judy will be at convention where you will hear their story first hand.


Partner in Diamond Caverns Mayo Swan McCarty passes Mayo Swan McCarty, beloved wife, mother, Nana, sister and friend, passed peacefully from this life Wednesday, Aug. 10, 2016. She was born Mary Mitchell Swan Jan. 5, 1934, in Duluth, Minn., the daughter of Mary Lenore Mitchell Swan and William Davis Swan. After gradu ating from Dow Memorial High School in Midland, she attended Bryn Mawr College on a regional scholarship. During that time, she met Laurence "Larry" Reed McCarty, the man with whom she would spend the next 62 years of her life. They married Feb. 3, 1954, i n Midland, and their life together would bring them three beautiful daughters and five remarkable grandchildren. Mayo's heart was filled with love and a call to help others. She was a lifelong member of the Junior League, first in Montclair, N.J. and later in Louisville, Ky. This call to service would motivate her to help others in need for the rest of her life. After surviving a tragic burn in 1983, Mayo became a passionate member and supporter of the Phoenix Society for Burn Survivors, where she forged ma ny lifelong friendships. Her experiences later led her to volunteer for the burn unit of the Jewish Hospital of Louisville where she helped other burn survivors process their trauma and adjust to life after being burned. She drew upon her experience as a s urvivor to bring comfort and support to those in need, and no doubt served as a source of strength for many. Mayo and Larry also shared a love for caving and exploration, a passion that would lead them to travel across the United States and eventually beco me co owners of Diamond Caverns in Park City, Ky. She loved to regale her grandchildren with tales of her subterranean adventures. Her greatest love, though, was for her family. She is survived by her husband, Larry; her brothers, William Davis "Pete" Swan Jr. and Stephen Christopher Swan; her sister, Sarah Elizabeth Swan Bradford; her three daughters, Mary Allison McCarty, Sarah Elizabeth McCarty Solmssen and Amie Allerton McCarty; as well as her five grandchildren, Jared Hawkes Solmssen, Mary Alice York S olmssen, Marguerite Claire Solmssen, Matthew Reed McCarty and Michael Vincent McCarty. She will always be remembered for her radiant smile and her loving, generous spirit that graced everyone in her presence. She was a ray of light in many lives. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in her honor to the Phoenix Society for Burn Survivors at phoenix and condolences sent online at thefuner Cave Spring Park for s ale BUSINESS OPPORTUNITY : Danny Gillespie, owner of Cave Spring Park Van Buren, MO says his cave will soon be offered for sale; 44 acres, 6 buildings, cave, 4 ziplines 2 sheds, pond, gem sluice, fossil quarry, all inventory, pos systems, equipment; everything needed to run a successful business. If you are interested call Kurt Knodell at 573 718 6399. Mayo & Larry McCarty


Pre c onvention & post convention trips to Bluespring & Marengo So you are wondering how far it is to travel to each of these caves? Claudia has the French Lick Resort to Bluespring Cavern is about 45 minute s French Lick Resort to Marengo Cave is about 40 minutes On Monday September 19, y ou will be able to enjoy special tours from 9 until noon at Bluespring Caverns according to Jim Richards Jim also said they plan to serve coffee and a light breakfast. Gordon Smith at Marengo Cave said you will be offered to tour their cave on Friday September 23 and they will have refreshments available all day for your enjoyment. Of course both caves will welcome you before, during and after convention if your schedule does not permit you to visit on the designated day. The 17 th International Congress of Speleology Dear Friends, The 17 th International Congress of Speleology is an event of the International Union of Speleology (UIS) and will be held in Sydney, Australia, on 23 managers, and educators. It happens only once every four years and registration is now open! To register visit but first visit where you will find the Second Circular, a conve nient document for finding information on all of the trip and other options for the congress. Some of you are concerned about the cost of traveling to Australia. Before you decide not to go, please consider this. The Congress will be held during the Austr alian winter (the local weather in Sydney is usually mild at this time), which means the prices for flights to Australia will be at their lowest. Also, look at the Second Circular. Our hosts are making every ef fort l of us at the lowest possible prices. If you have ever wanted to visit Australia, and it is a fabulous place to visit, you will never have another such opportunity to see so much for so little. Also, be sure to register by 31 January 2017 for the lowest r egistration prices. All of the information you need about the Congress is at Please feel free to share and post this message to all who may be interested. George V eni UIS Vice President of Administration Executive Director National Cave and Karst Research Institute B ecause O f C onvention, Our O ctober Edition Of C ave T alk W ill Run A F ew D ays L ate


Learn about caving from the experts The all new fourth edition of CAVING BASICS, edited by caving experts Dean Wiseman and Curt Harler, is the selling caving primer. Available in August 2016, its 272 pages offer specialties, ranging from cave safety and caving lights to cave geology and land owner relations. Whether you are considering your first trip underground, are getting back into the sport after a long absence, or are an experienced caver who is looking for a subject specific review, CAVING BASICS is the book for you. Much has changed. T he entire world of LED lighting has brightened evolved. Science has moved forward. Issues like White Nose Syndrome legal forms to protect property owners who have a cave on their land. Caves are one of the final frontiers and provide a unique opportunity to explore and enjoy the planet. But caves are also unique and delicate environments which need to be protected and preserved. This book is meant for the beginning and early experience caver, to give ideas and insight into caves and caving. Using this book, one can maximize the enjoyment and the sustainability of this true adventure sport. For a review copy contact: For more information or author interview contact: Michelle Vaughn, Bookstore Manager Curt Harler The National Speleological Society (NSS) 12936 Falling Water, Strongsville, OH 44136 6001 Pulaski Pike, Huntsville, AL 35810 440 238 4556 (256) 852 1300 WNS Report DNA tests suggest that the Washington State WNS was probably caused by a fungal strain from the Eastern U.S. Georgia State University will be testing a spray using the bacteria that keeps bananas fresh in Black Diamond Tunnel, near Calhoun, GA. This is the largest tricolor hibernation Site in GA. They will be using an adapted medic al nebulizer set to spray periodically, like and odor sanitizing dispenser. In research on P. Fluorescens, a bacteria naturally found on bats, it was found that bats exposed to P. Destructans, then had an application of P. Fluorescens, had reduced severit y and increased survival from WNS. However, bacterial treatment prior to pathogen exposure worsened the severity and had no affect on survival, so timong of the application is important. A new bat species has been found in Minnesota it was netted at an Army National Guard Training Site in Arden Hills. Too heavy for a small brown, too small for a big brown, it turned out to be an evening bat. Evening bats are typically found further to the south and east. Patty Perlaky WNS Chair


Throwback Thursday photos from Moaning Cavern Check out these T hrowback Thursday photos from Moaning Cavern Do you remember Bonkers and Butthead? These goats lived at Moaning Cavern in the late 1980 s and were lo ved by the crew and the visitors to the cave. It was always a surprise for guests to find goats greeting them in the parking lot and on the rare occasion to find the goats warming themselves on the hood of visitors' cars when they return ed from a cave tour Those were the days! Lincoln Caverns blacklight tour Ann Dunlavy reports that o ne of the best things they did this summer is added a Blacklight Tour. We tried this a few evenings t his summer and it was awesome. We p lan on doing it every Wednesday evening next summer. We p urchased inexpensive handheld blacklights and gave every two people a blacklight and a flashlight Did each room in the cave with both lights on (for interpretive portion), then with blacklights. I t was i ncredibly beautiful! Dr. Will White, which many of you know, does a staff training with us every spring and he always uses a blacklight on the white flows tone pictured, but this year he used it here and there throughout both caves and we knew it would be a hit with visitors. All tickets are pre sold on our website. Glenwood Caverns has a new adventure vehicle This is our newest form of transportation up and down the mountain! It's our new Adventure Vehicle that holds up to 35 guests. Pretty cool, huh?


Affiliate of the month Hello NCA! We hope everyone is having a safe, fun, wonderful, and prosperous summer. Let us first start out by saying how fortunate we feel to be an affiliate member of the NCA. We value the many relationships we have made and want to say thank you for your support throughout the years. For those who may not be familiar with Village Originals, we are a family owned and operated business established in 1973. Village Originals is the ultimate source for gemstone jewelry, rocks, minerals, and fossils. Over the years, our company has built a rock solid (pardon the pun) reputation as the industry leader by offering the very best selection, quality, and pricing for our customers. We pride ourselves on providing merchandise for all, from a browsing customer to an avid collector. completely natural and beautiful cut base and druze pieces are available in different qualities and an array of sizes starting at under one po und. The polished edges of each piece add a distinct finished touch you have to see. Look for our new catalog this month at the NCA vendor show, Las Vegas Souvenir and Resort Gift Show, and in November at the Smoky Mountain Gift Show. You will notice som e exciting additions to our popular reclaimed wood display designs, new lines of gemstone jewelry, LED/USB salt and selenite lamps, and much, much more! We look forward to another year of providing you with the amazing products and pricing you have come t o expect from Village Originals. Thank you again! Tony and Gwynne Village Originals 2003 Viscount Row Orlando, FL 32809 407 855 4004


International Gift Exposition in the Smokies Sevierville Convention Center: November 1 4 Pigeon Forge LeConte Center: November 2 5 Register & Enter to WIN 3 Nights FREE Lodging! Register Now Annual caves dinner and cracker barrel at Tennessee gift show The 8th Annual Caves Dinner and Cracker Barrel will be held on Wed. Nov. 2nd This Resort in Pigeon Forge. A mixer with bar & appetizers will begin at 6:00 and dinner will be served at 7:00. There will be a complimentary shuttle available to take you from both shows to RiverStone Resort and back. (Shuttles leave both convention centers at 5:45pm.) RiverStone is in Pigeon Forge and traffic is pretty bad so please take advantage of the ially from Sevierville! Keep your evening free and enjoy discovered at the show. Also share with the group how your cave shops did this yea you introduced this year and any other ideas for increasing retail per capita spending at your cave. There will be lots of time for networking and a cracker barrel! The sponsors of the dinner will be providing goody bag s for all attendees but they will not be present at the dinner. Please be sure to stop by the booths of the sponsors to thank them for the dinner and samples. If you are planning on attending the FREE NCA networking dinner on Wednesday evening, please e mail, call or RSVP to Claudia by Oct. 20 th mail or phone number. Please contact Claudia at m 888 934 1804 or give her the RSVP before you leave the convention!!


Monthly Historical Photograph Natural Bridge Caverns Clara and Harry Heidemann are pictured here during the developmen t of the ir are the grandparents of Brad & Travis Wuest. Clara was one time president of the NCA. Do You Have A Historical Photo To Share? Now that our 50 th photo from our member caves. If you hav e 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 Events NCA Convention 2016, Host: Squire Boone Caverns, French Lick, Indiana, September 19 22 2016 The Third Annual Texas Hydro Geo Workshop Cave Without A Name. Boerne, Texas, September 30 October 2, 2016 Smok y Mountain Gift Show 201 6 Sevierville, Tennessee, November 1 4, 2016; Pigeon Forge & Gatlinburg, Tennessee, November 2 5, 2016 ISCA Conference 2016. Oman, November 6 12, 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 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 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: Ruby Falls, Chattanooga, Tennessee, (Dates TBD) 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: 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 October 2016 Cave Talk Deadline Please have all articles to Bob Holt no later than September 15. Thank you B ecause O f C onvention, Our O ctober Edition Of C ave T alk W ill Run A F ew D ays L ate


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