Minutes of the Carroll Cave Conservancy
Annual Board & Membership Business Meeting
August 14, 2010
Held at the Camden County Mid-County Fire Protection District Main Station,
In the absence of President Randy Breugger, Vice-President Jeffrey “Spike” Crews called the meeting to order at 10:20 a.m., after a period of socializing and admiring some of Bob Lerch’s map drafts. Twenty-one members and two proud parents were in attendance.
Bill Gee, who filled in as secretary for Amber Spohn at the last meeting, went over those minutes, which he had previously distributed to the membership via the Internet. There were no corrections or amendments.
Treasurer Rick Hines gave the treasurer’s report, covering the last three years.
Crews suggested that, since the election of officers was a year overdue, the election occur immediately. The candidates on the ballot were:
President: Bill Gee, Tony Schmidt
Vice-President: Dan Lamping, Joe Sikorski
Secretary: Jim Cooley
Treasurer: DJ Hall, Jeff Page
Pic Walenta and Jenny Bentz agreed serve as the ad hoc committee to open and count the ballots — this being, after all, women’s work.
Jeff Page, Access Committee Chair, reported on trip permits and cave traffic, offering these statistics on how many people, on average, were visiting the cave via the CCC-controlled shaft entrance per month:
2010 to date: 5
Page noted that traffic into the cave this year, consistent with membership and donations, had really gone down. There have been three survey trips so far this year, one each in January, March and June; two biology trips; one rescue cache replenishment trip; and one restoration trip in February. Marty Griffin made the suggestion that we count trips by their duration.
At the conclusion of Page’s report, Crews was informed that ballot counting was complete. The following officers were elected to exciting, fun-filled two-year terms:
Total votes cast:
President: Bill Gee 37
Vice-President: Joe Sikorski 31
Secretary: Jim Cooley 32
Treasurer: Jeff Page 37
Crews turned the meeting over to Gee at 10:35 a.m. (However, your intrepid secretary-elect, having shrewdly anticipated his imminent elevation to this august role, was already on the job, busily squirreling down notes for these very meeting minutes! Whoa – awesome!) Gee continued with committee reports.
Bob Lerch, Project Manager of the Survey Committee, gave a presentation, supported by Powerpoint slides, declaring that surveyed length of Carroll Cave now stood at 17.65 miles. Lerch stated that he intends to have three “sheets” of the Carroll River and T-Junction survey complete by the 2011 NSS Convention in Colorado. He reported on the discovery of a third watershed way out on the north fork of DL-7, which has been named variously New River or Confusion Creek, and discussed Survey Committee goals, including “a lot to do out in the New River area.” Lerch described the creation of Push Camp, out in DL-7, to support continued survey in these far reaches of the known cave. Lerch then related how, on a trip to Push Camp in July, the survey team discovered that the camp had been obliterated, apparently during a to-the-ceiling flood event, presumably during the May 8-22 time period, when seven inches of rainfall was recorded in the probable recharge area. During this time, Bill Gee’s stream-flow data logger at the ladder recorded a spike of 21 feet. (Gee had previously reported another huge spike of 20+ feet at the ladder in March, 2008, during record rainfalls, which could not be independently verified, although the Jerry’s Cairn camp was subsequently found to have been heavily inundated. Water depth at the ladder data logger runs between 1.05 and 1.20 feet much of the time. Most spikes are two or three feet, with occasional four foot spikes. Thus, two 20+ foot spikes are definitely outlier events.) The July survey team spent a chilly night at Push Camp, as most folks had prepositioned their dry sleeping bags, now probably somewhere under the gravel at Toronto Springs. Lerch described the now-obvious, unambiguous flood potential of the cave as “really eye-opening.”
During discussion of Lerch’s report, Rick Hines mentioned that he has located a mathematician who would like to model cave stream flows, but the fellow needs length and cross-section data. Lerch said he would provide that information. Hines asked if the discrepancy in the radio-location done in DL-7 in December, 2007 and the surveyed cave location at that point had ever been resolved. Lerch said no, the 200-meter variance had not been resolved. Hines suggested that resolving this discrepancy should be an action item.
Terry DeFraities gave the Safety and Rescue Committee report. He said, “There is nothing to report.” DeFraities then described a trip up Thunder River to the waterfall in January to assess rescue challenges, during which a rescue/survival cache was left in “an obvious location” in the Round Room, tethered this time in recognition of the possibility of high-water events. He further said that the committee tries to keep Camden County first-responders oriented to what would be involved in any rescue in the cave, and said that there would likely be another familiarization event for them this winter. He said that the call out list is out of date, and noted that a huge proportion of any rescue would be conducted on the surface – meaning that actual caving would not necessarily be required of most responding cavers. DeFraities reported on the recertification of trip leaders, which occurred after the annual meeting last year, in August, 2009. Crews asked if we could establish a train-the-trainer process to facilitate more frequent trip-leader certifications. DeFraities replied that it would be possible, but that he “prefers to keep training consistent; you don’t want a big group of people certifying trip leaders.” DeFraities stressed the need to follow a common protocol for everyone, taught consistently.
President Gee then declared a ten-minute comfort break, reminding everyone to sign the sign-in sheet during this interim.
Upon return, a much less fidgety membership listened with calm aplomb to Mike Hartley giving the Restoration Committee report. Hartley said that a February trip had done speleothem cleaning by the Water Barrier (of which much, much more remains) and trail marking, and also described the May surface cleanup, during which the famed (notorious?) Hartley Hut met its timely and fiery demise – a profound ecological disaster for species of vermin too numerous to mention. Hartley also said he could himself no longer enter the cave, and would therefore be unable to lead trips in the future.
Bill Gee then gave the Biology Committee report using slides, reviewing both trip reports and plans for future expeditions. The annual guano measurements and bat census is done at the end of October, but this catches resident bats at a minimum. A discussion of White Nose Syndrome (WNS) followed. Rick Hines stated that the attorney had suggested that we needed a formal protocol. Jim Cooley had prepared a draft, which was passed around for review. Action item: Cooley will send out a revised draft for review after the meeting.
Bill Gee then gave a Stream Flow Report, again using slides. A discussion followed on how to catch stream pulses. Rick Hines talked about the possibility of modeling the cave using a three-dimensional map. Bob Lerch said he will provide the required survey data to Hines after the meeting. Spike Crews outlined several low-tech, labor-intensive methods for measuring stream volumes, citing their advantages and disadvantages. Hines moved to purchase a second rain gauge, and Ben Miller seconded. Crews rose to a point of order, and pointed out that the Board makes those decisions, and that we currently only have four board members, the just-elected officers. The motion was withdrawn. Hines reviewed the By-Laws, which state that the officers will appoint a minimum of three more board members. Gee said he would put out a motion on a second rain gauge, once we have new board members.
Ben Miller than gave a lengthy Dye-Tracing Presentation using Powerpoint slides on the Carroll cave recharge area, which represents part of his master’s thesis at Western Kentucky University, from which he hopes to graduate in December. There is about 60% grassland and 33% deciduous forest in the Carroll cave recharge area as currently delineated. Discovery of New River (Confusion Creek) has done much to integrate the recharge map. Miller also reviewed geochemical work that has been done to identify the chemical signature of each spring at Toronto springs, under different conditions.
The enthusiasms generated by Miller’s presentation prompted President Gee to call another comfort break. Afterward, Rick Hines took a group photo, for the record (and website).
Marty Griffin, Webmaster, reported on the Webpage committee. He said the new website serves as an archive or repository for historical documents relating to Carroll Cave and the Conservancy. Twitter feeds post to the site in real time. It is interlinked to other websites, and programmed on an open-source platform in PHP computer language. The site is hosted by hostek.com. Griffin said he was waiting for a master archivist to come along and bring the historical data up to date. Rick Hines asked if we could post the presentations from today. Ben Miller said he would happily provide his presentation in electronic format for distribution on the web site, but only after he has defended his thesis and published his results in a peer-reviewed academic journal. Hines asked if Member Policies and By-Laws were available on the new site. Griffin replied that he thought they were accessed via a link back to the old site. (Note: They are on the new site now.) Spike Crews asked, if he files a trip report on the site, does it go to Jeff page, Chair of the Access Committee? Griffin confirmed that it did. Page stated he receives trip requests and reports in all different ways.
Rick Hines gave the Landowner Relations Committee report. The lease is paid, and a landowner trip is being scheduled for the first weekend in October. Hines suggested this may become the permanent date for this trip. Hines also said he has been trying to buy the lands the silo sits on, and has made an offer of $8,000 for an acre and easement, with the suggestion that seven more acres be donated as a tax write-off. No response has been made by the landowner or his attorney. The landowner, Chris Danuser, and his attorney, Tom Loraine, may be intending to plat the pasture in which the silo is located and sell lots for housing development.
Terry DeFraities gave the Schoolhouse Report. Next year he thinks we will do the roof, and cited costs for sheet and shingles. The front porch needs to be addressed, too. Bill Copeland reported that he has not talked to the electric company about getting power installed yet. DeFraities mentioned he has not located anyone yet who was interested in rebuilding the doors or windows.
Bob Lerch gave a report on the Missouri Speleological Survey, where he represents the CCC. He noted that MSS gave Ben Miller money for his dye-tracing research. Spike Crews mentioned that the MSS has amendments to the MSS constitution that he would like ratified at the September 18th meeting, which requires action by the CCC. Bill Gee said he would circulate them in electronic format among the Board with an eye toward a timely resolution. Crews also mentioned that the CCC Annual Report to MSS needed to be turned in. Lerch indicated that he has not attended the last two MSS meetings.
Bill Gee opened the floor for a discussion of White Nose Syndrome, the “last item on my list.” It was noted that we have a draft policy (see above) which we be circulated.
Gee then asked if there was any new business.
Rick Hines said that we need to amend our By-Laws to reflect the way the CCC actually does business. Elections this time were not conducted properly (there is no provision for mail-in votes), and the role of treasurer probably needs to be expanded to include membership management – as Treasurer Hines has performed this role for several years. E-mail voting protocols for the Board need to be established, too. Gee asked Hines if he would assemble a By-Laws Revision Committee, to report next year, with the objective of developing the needed amendments. Hines, barely able to contain his excitement, eagerly agreed.
There being no further business, President Gee entertained a motion to adjourn, which proved to be quite popular. The meeting concluded at 2:40 p.m.
Post script: Immediately after the meeting, the new officers convened and solicited Rick Hines, Spike Crews, Dan Lamping, Mike Hartley, and Jim Helwig to serve as Board Members at large. All five individuals agreed, and were thus duly appointed. The Board of Directors of the Carroll Cave Conservancy now has a full complement of nine members.
Respectfully submitted this 19th day of August, Year of Our Lord Two Thousand and Ten,
by your humble & obedient servant,
Jim Cooley, Secretary
Miller, Geri (Ben’s mom)
Miller, Mike (Ben’s dad)
Website webmaster: firstname.lastname@example.org