Carroll Cave Conservancy – Meeting Minutes

25 July 2020

Rick Hines opened the Zoom meeting at 0930.

Attendees –
Rick Hines
Bill Gee
Jeff Page
Jaime Euliss
Marty Griffin
Jay Kennedy
Nick Kennedy
Martin Carmichael
Hou Zhong
Kristin Godfrey
Jim Cooley
Jullie Cottrell
Bob Lerch
Dan Lamping
Seth Colston

Rick Hines called the meeting to order at 1008.

Minutes from last meeting were noted as being posted on the CCC web site. No one had any changes, so they were accepted as written.

Jeff Page presented the treasurer’s report. The current balance is $4228.90. Last year we had about twice that. Most of the payouts went to Troy Fredrick for building the gravel road and the gate. Jeff pointed out that Bill Pfantz’ passing means we will be paying the whole freight on the electric bill – about $350 per year. This is just about offset by the dues we take in.

Rick reported that Troy Frederick should be moving the gate soon. As of last weekend (July 18) it had not yet been done.

Old business – No one had any old business.

News – Passing of three members. Kerry Rowland, Pic Walenta and Bill Pfantz.
Recapped work days. Schoolhouse repair, installing the windbreak, moving the skycrapper.

DJ Hall created and printed a color brochure that can be passed out. There are some printed copies, and we have a PDF file as well. Bill Gee will get the file posted on the CCC web site.

Richard Thompson made a stainless steel cutout plaque to honor contributors. Greg Fry, Ron Jaeger, Chris Danuser. The plaque is in the silo, and needs to be moved down to the cave.

The new gravel road is built. Rick discussed the disconnect between the location of our formal right-of-way access easement vs. the placement of the gravel road. Rusty Clark was very generous in letting us build the road on his side of the fence.

A new rope light was installed in the shaft last year. Bill Gee’s trip report from 11 July says some segments are out. Rick has enough more rope light to replace it when the time comes.

New business –

Election of officers. The election was handled on-line by Jeff Page through a web site called Election Runner. A copy of the election is saved for next time. Cost was $15.00. There is more potential for things like ballot questions and membership polling. By comparison the NSS on-line voting system would have cost around $700.

Election results – Only 17 ballots returned out of 55 sent out. There was only one candidate for each position. All were approved by the voters.

The new officers are:

Jeff Page – President
Jay Kennedy – Vice President
Bill Gee – Secretary
Kristen Godfrey – Treasurer

The site gives reports that show who returned a ballot. It does not show their votes – just whether they returned a ballot. We may want to adjust bylaws to reflect using on-line voting.

Question asked – What are the implications for the at-large board of directors members? Jeff says we will contact all members to verify desire to continue. New members will be added as needed. The new officers will take care of it. Does not have to be done at this meeting. Project managers do not have to be board members, but it seems logical to ask them first.

Rick Hines introduced Kristen Godfrey as the new treasurer. She talked briefly about her qualifications as an accountant. Jeff Page discussed how his duties will transfer to Kristen. For now Jeff will remain access manager.

Rick introduced Jay Kennedy as new vice president. There was some discussion about how to join the CCCNews email list.

Presentations –

Bob Lerch discussed the status of the mapping project. He started by showing historical maps. The current map has 20.43 miles. He showed some of the finished map quads. There are about 20 remaining leads. Most are unpleasant or grim or a long way out. 2 or 3 trips per year, mop-up and resketching. Progress is being made on the quads.

Question was asked about loops. Hoffman says there are not very many, but Bob says there are about 80 loops. The new side passage at Horseshoe Falls generated a loop with about 1% error. Anything under 2% is considered good. Loops are useful for verifying survey accuracy.

Jeff Page reported on membership. 57 currently, 55 at this time last year. 535 people have been members. The low point was about 40 members. Dues bring in about $300 a year.

Jeff Page reported on access. Most people do not join or renew until they want to go on a cave trip. Many of the 535 are one-and-done. He ran through the trip permits. There was an increase in activity over previous years.

Jay Kennedy is the safety and rescue committee chairman. Jay reports that shelving is installed to hold rescue gear in the silo. We have a Sked litter, a spine splint, telephones and wire, and other stuff. Jay is using experience from other organizations, notably British Columbia. Nylon gear should be stored in the cave, or at least in a place cooler than the silo. Jay is working on getting patient PPE gear – safety helmet, etc. Jay thanked Shannon Robinson for helping to establish relationship with MCFPD and also for donating the shelving.

Rick Hines commented that Dan Lamping may work on some training videos for trip leaders and rescue personnel.

Bill Gee gave biology and stream flow project reports. Vona Kuczynska with USFWS thinks she can loan us one or two sonic detectors to help us detect when bats are using the cave and what species they are. Bill Gee is going to contact her for more information.

Seth Colston mentioned other kinds of bat detectors. Question asked about whether we have a species list and any data from Dr. Ashley’s students. We do not have a species list, and we do not have the data from Dr. Ashley and his students.

Dan Lamping reported that the Cave Database has about 130 biology records related to Carroll Cave. It appears there are around 30 or 40 species in the cave. Some of them are things like dire wolf and human remains. The Missouri Cave Database is a central repository. Ken Grush has done an excellent job collecting data from disparate sources.

Bill Gee gave stream flow presentation. There were no major floods in 2019. One flood went to 8 feet at the ladder, another to 3 feet, and everything else was less than that.

Bill Gee talked about the web site. It is working well. Very little maintenance is required.

Bob Lerch is our MSS representative now.

Rick Hines talked about landowner relations. He showed a map of landowners with a line plot of the cave over it. Briefly discussed GIS systems. The map he showed was from the Camden County GIS system along with an overlay of the cave line plot.

Rick talked with Pemberton about access and grafitti cleanup. Pemberton is concerned about liability and so will not permit anyone to go on his property. The conversation was much more friendly than in past years. Rick made an offer to take over the natural entrance so as to relieve Pemberton of the liability. Pemberton turned him down.

Rick did point out that Missouri law gives a sportsman’s exception, but the issue of “attractive nuisance” is still a problem.

Having a second key for the hatch locks would be a good thing.

Moving the gate from the road is in progress.

Landowner trip is on the calendar for 10th of October. Two trips are planned, one for 10:00am and the other for 2:00pm.

Fund raising – SPG did an auction, raised some funds but have not yet made an official donation. We should find some other funding sources because our dues income is just about enough to pay for the electric bill.

Other surface projects – We may need a standing committee for this. Club house, campground improvements, electrical work etc.

Discussion around cave maps – How widely should they be distributed?
Bob Lerch commented – Distribution to CCC members should be done. That is one of the reasons they do the maps. Public distribution is more difficult question. Maybe for display? Anything on the web site can be screen captured.
Dan Lamping thinks the maps should be accessible to CCC members, but public availability of a work in progress can lead to problems.
Dan has a line plot of the cave printed on Tyvek. It will be in the silo. We should have maps for trip leaders that can be loaded onto a smart phone.
Martin Carmichael – Perhaps use low-res (800×600) files for public availability.
Rick – A GIS system can allow a custom map to be generated for each trip. Not just quads.
No decision was reached. The new officers and board of directors will take it up.

Discussion about doing more radio locates to fine-tune the map. The other existing radio locates are not solid data, so they should be redone. Bob Lerch says more locates are good, but they need to be solid so that the associated map adjustments only have to be done once.

Rick Hines discussed GIS systems and how CCC might use them. He used Gigapan for some years, but it may not exist anymore. Rick is now learning GIS systems such as ArcGIS and QGIS. ArcGIS is expensive, QGIS is free. Rick is comparing. There are some GIS users and experts in CCC – Dan Lamping, Marty Griffin and Spike Crews. It might be possible to get a grant to use ArcGIS from ESRI. Rick has requested an application and will continue to followup. Spike is going to geo-reference the map quads so they can be imported to GIS.

If the data were in GIS, then (for example) a trip leader could download only that part of the cave they will be visiting.

There are some YouTube videos on how GIS can be used for cave maps.

Dan Lamping will get the Roos cave radio from Earl Hancock.

Discussion around drilling another shaft, possibly near DL7. Main reason would be for safety of downstream trips, and also to facilite survey trips in DL7. Dr. Worsey is still interested in participating. Jim Stamper says he can drill the necessary holes. The idea is to drill a central hole and some smaller holes surrounding. Then lower explosives and open the hole from the bottom up. Greg Fry is willing to donate an acre to the cause.

It would be a lot of work, though less than the original shaft. The reasons to do it are not compelling.

Bob Lerch thinks it is not necessary. He thinks we should concentrate on other things – campground improvements.

Jim Cooley thinks it would be nice to have a ten inch hole that can be used for supply, resupply, communications and remove trash. It would still be high cost and some effort. Jim Stamper could drill a hole in a day if needed for an emergency.

Campground improvement – We have a stack of 2×6 in the schoolhouse. We need to get moved out. We might be able to build a shelter house at the campground using that old lumber.

Electrical work – Bill Gee discussed what has happened with Tim Delk and EmpoweredKC.

Discussion about moving our lumber out of the schoolhouse.

Jeff Page introduced himself. Goals for next few years – Campground improvements. Access or ownership of natural entrance. Continued viability of the organization.

Jeff Page adjourned the meeting at 1230.

Submitted by Bill Gee – Secretary