Minutes from the 8/29/15 CCC Meeting

Carroll Cave Conservancy Annual Meeting 2015

-Estimated this to be roughly the 15th annual meeting



I.                   Committee Reports

A.                  Treasurer’s Report – Jeff Page-

8/29/15- Dues collected prior to NSS convention: $835

Notable Operating Expenses prior to NSS convention: (Onset Computers $516 data logger service)

Ending Balance on June 30, 2014: $7003, Ending Balance on June 30, 2015: $6938

July transactions related to NSS: expense of approx $100 for printing of permits/waivers, $100 for portable toilets. Income of $500 from Jim Helwig

Bank balance of August 24, 2015: $7266

Discussion: Bob Lerch was approved to spend money on survey equipment last year. He has yet to spend the money. Led into discussion about annual budgeting.

  1. Establishment of annual budgets

Idea has been brought forward to agree on an annual budgeted amount of money per chair position (allocations). This would allow chairs to spend money up to the allocated amount without having to bring the board together for a vote. If the money to be spent surpassed allocated funds, a motion would have to be brought up and approved by the Board. To spend this money the chair would make the invoice out to the CCC and tax exempt paperwork would be supplied. To make simpler, have the vendor call Jeff Page or Bob Lerch to purchase with CCC debit card. Further discussion by the board before a decision is made.

B.                  Access and Membership Report – Jeff Page

Current membership:54           Trips in 2014: 9 trips, 46 people

Trips in 2015 (prior NSS): 11 trips, 73 people    People visiting during NSS: 174 (includes repeats)

1.                  Carroll River closure period

No maternity bats found in colony location prior to NSS Convention. Proposed change for Carroll River closure to be March 1st to July 15th. Dates would be a guideline not a hard rule, this will allow for more observations to be made about the current maternity situation in the cave.

C.                  Biology Report – Bill Gee

Nearly same as year prior, population of fish, isopods, and insects remain stable while a diminishing bat count has been noticed. Many bio trips were made including 2 trips during the NSS convention with Dr. Ashley. Bill Gee hopes in the future to find a microbiologist to help with research as well as to go downstream thunder and look at bio. It was interestingly noted that there seems to be no sightings of amphipods in the cave.

D.                 Hydrology Report – Bill Gee

During the second half of 2014, the batteries in gauges died and had to be replaced in early 2015. No major events in first half of 2014 noted. In 2015, 3 major events where Thunder River spiked 20’- 3 times in 4 weeks! As Thunder River has been known, spikes took about 1 day to reach max levels and up to 3 days to drop to normal levels. UL2 had 14’ spikes during the same events. Carroll River was noted to rise 3 1/2’ to 4’, as usual spikes here go up and down in a couple days. During the first days of convention, it was Thunder Lake not Thunder falls, by Tuesday there was a 1’ ripple where the Falls are, by Wednesday Falls were full force, by Friday Thunder River was approx. 6” higher than normal. Discussion was had about where the water comes from, such as local conduits and possible backflows. Hines suggested placing a gauge down below the falls and before DR1 to measure stream height in lower Thunder River.

E.                  Restoration Report – D. J. Hall

No Report

F.                  Survey Report – Bob Lerch

Drafting has proceeded on 6 of 11 sheets with 3 completed.

106,471.3 feet is current distance with 3531 stations, average shot length 30.2’

Still some leads, most grim, one promising lead

G.                  Webpage Report – Marty Griffin

Contact Marty with any comments about the website

Next year we will pay $114 to protect the domain name for 10 years


H.                 Silo/Schoolhouse Reports – Rick Hines

LED lights were strung down the ladder at convention

I.                    Safety/Rescue Report – Need to appoint new Project Chair

Written policy will be updated soon, more appointed trainers to allow for more trip leaders and more training dates. All should have access to the safety materials and maybe even non trip leaders should take the training to know what to do in emergency situations. Members discussed a train-the-trainer approach in which a trip leader can provide training and report names to the Board for documentation purposes. A list of current Trip Leaders will be developed.

J.                    MSS – Krista Bartel

MSS is having a vote this next meeting about removing the need to pay dues to be a member of the MSS. The Missouri Speleology publication will become a separate subscription cost; anyone can purchase specific copies or specific years. This will cut down cost of printing and hopefully help with backlog issues. Grottos and Organization dues will still be paid and will still have directors to have votes and discussions. The next MSS meeting to be held on the weekend of September 25-27 with trips to caves in the City of Perryville and Berome Moore. Free camping, tons of caves. The camp and Sunday meeting is at the Berome Moore pavilion. Contact Krista Bartel or Dan Lamping if you need directions or details.

K.                  Other Reports

Rick Hines made his annual call to the Pembertons with no response.

II.                NSS Convention Wrap-Up

A.                  200-250 trip participants

People loved Carroll Cave, anything from the trunk passage to the mud to the formations. Many comments made on how impressive the cave was with having nearly as much mud as breathtaking formations! Many were profoundly appreciative of the help to make this cave an option as many noted how rare it was to have a project cave of this magnitude open during convention, not just during pre and post camps. Lots of smiles all around!

B.                  Paradise Passage closure?

4 trips were made during convention, comments on how it is near impossible to enter without damage to the pools and formations. The pools prior to azure pools are muddy, as seen in recent Bunnell photographs. Maybe rather than closure, just make this a less emphasized location saving it for special trips or a reward trip for deserving individuals and not novice trips. Possible idea discussed to require boots to be taken off upon entering and requiring aqua socks or even clean clothes on these special trips to be carried in. Maybe we should contact someone with extensive experience in restoration to get ideas on what can be done if anything to restore this area. John Beard’s name was brought up, maybe send him pictures for his advice.

III.             Awards

A.                 Lifetime Membership for Jim Helwig

Despite original guess of a Master’s Thesis, Jim actually used his study of Carroll Cave to write his bachelor’s thesis. Upon receiving his gift from the CCC at this meeting, Jim took time to tell us a bit of his history!

Jim Helwig mentioned completing numerous trips into Carroll Cave over the years, he remembers one trip lasting approximately 16-18 hours during a very cold day in January. The group emerged from the cave with the sunlight shining down. Quickly getting into dry clothes and back into vehicles, they headed off towards Rt. 66 immediately with no rest. On this trip, due to his exhaustion and the Carroll beat down, Jim started having hallucinations! He was really “toasted”. Jim mentioned that he stuck with his study of aviation despite the Airforce not being an option due to his eyesight, and got his pilot’s license. It was a classmate that got him into geology. One interesting trip in Carroll, Jim found a bone and shipped it off to be identified. A letter later came in the mail identifying the bone as a human humerus bone! He is now retired but still active researching NW Arkansas hydrology. He wants us to remember that our observations are vital to science and discussed what is known as Citizen Science. We can experience and record vital data through our observations, similar to how the Audubon Society has used birdwatcher’s notes over the years to know what goes on. Our observations provide “granularity” to the current understanding of scientific phenomena. Thanks to Jim for sharing with us your insight and story!

IV.              2016 Officer Elections

A.                 Need to nominate candidates

Need a nomination committee (2-3 people) to find nominees for next year’s election!!!

V.                 Old Business

Talked about windows and doors for the schoolhouse, building the 2nd floor, and possibility of a schoolhouse work weekend with grilled food and open invite. We plan to get a fall 2016 date on the schedule soon for the 2nd floor addition.


Oh, and sometime during the meeting we also completed the yearly photo with the projector in strobe mode.   J

VI.              Adjourn


Submitted by Krista Bartel and Bob Lerch