From Rick Hines, president of the Carroll Cave Conservancy:

On December 28, 2018, the Carroll Cave Conservancy became the owner of six acres of land around the back door entrance, a 40-foot easement from the back door entrance to the road, and cave rights under 479 acres! We purchased three acres for $6,000 but the remainder was donated by Chris Danuser. The purchase was funded by a donation of $6,000 by caver Ron Jaeger. Part of the agreement requires us to construct a fence around our six acres which will cost around $3,000 of which Danuser is paying $1,500.

Jeff Page and I traveled to Lake Ozark, MO for the closing that was proceeded by five hours of negotiation and editing of documents before the signing with attorney Tom Loraine. We had to call in the surveyor, Lonny Allen, to help sort out some of the legal descriptions. There was also a problem that morning with Rusty Clark, the owner of an option to buy the land that included the six acres. I had talked with Rusty the day before and was confident he would work with us. Rusty and his wife came in and signed a release for the six acres but required that it be fenced by April 1, 2019.

I am very grateful for the Danuser and Jaeger donations and we should think of a more formal way to acknowledge their donations. I would like to thank Jeff Page and Bill Gee that have worked with me over the past few months reviewing documents and planning our approach. I would also thank Tom Lorraine for all the effort he and his staff expended. Also, I much appreciate the help and advice I received from Tom Aley over the many years that we have spent discussing how to protect and secure Carroll Cave in perpetuity. Tom Aley is working with Tom Loraine, to help Loraine establish a rationale for the value for the Danuser donation. Thanks also to attorneys (and cavers involved with MCKC) Bill Kacerovskis and Peter Chulick for helping me and Tom Loraine better understand the legal process involved with cave land ownership.

This is a major milestone for the CCC but I also see it as the beginning of a process to expand our ownership of Carroll Cave. With this precedent, we can now approach other landowners over Carroll and encourage them to donate cave rights so that they too can claim a tax-deductible donation.

Rick Hines