BLUE RIDGE GROTTO of the NSS
Meeting via “Zoom” June 19, 2020 at 7:04p
Susan Burr David Socky Trish Geiger Lynn Ott
Lauren Appel Mary Sue Socky John Fox Nick Schmalenberger
*Sharron Smith Bob Gulden Jeff Huffman Meredith Weberg
* denotes Guest.
Jeff Huffman (on vacation) dropped in briefly to say “Hi” and vote on future meetings.
Sharron Smith had audio problems, was finally able to join meeting.
Treasury Report – Trish Geiger, Treasurer 6/16/2020 (Trish mailed donations and bought a book of stamps)
Cave Bucks - 0
Conservation - 0
Equipment – 133.87
General - 3,006.03
Newsletter – finally got out the June issue. Thanks for the articles and photos!
Membership: two inquiries about BRG. Sharron Smith made the meeting.
ROCKS - (D. Socky): trip to Lowmoor Cave, got 400’ of survey. Owner has given permission to resume caving in Lowmoor Cave. Contact Dave Socky 540-529-1591 for access info.
Safety & Techniques – Nothing
Membership Proposals: none at this time
· Donations for 2020 – were sent out. Thank you, Trish.
· Replacement for Randy Michael on the Rescue Roster: any volunteers? NO. There was a short discussion on changes in cave rescue protocol; large rescue callouts may be on the wane. In the future, SPAR (Small Party Assisted Rescue) may be more appropriate. Per Lynn Ott: Gene Harrison would like to set up a SPAR course for BRG cavers in the future.
· Do we wish to resume our monthly meetings at Jersey Lily’s? They have re-opened.
o BRG is scheduled to resume meetings at JL’s July 17, 2020.
o Requirements: Min. of 7, max. of 20 to the room. Wear masks unless you are eating.
o Please Do Not come to meeting if you are sick, have a fever, etc.
Discussion. Some want to resume meetings; others are very cautious, from “maybe in Aug/Sept” to “I’ll attend meetings once there is a vaccine”. Voting on future meetings (including email votes):
YES = 8 NO = 8. If everyone who said YES will show, we will resume BRG meetings at Jersey Lily’s on July 17, 2020. In the meantime, MSSocky will re-send the grotto email requesting everyone’s input on future meetings.
New Business (cont.)
· NSS Statement on Caving (see newsletter for Geary Schindel’s statement)
· Caves are slowly re-opening for those who want to go caving.
· Of upmost importance is – RESPECT CAVE OWNERS! Call ahead first to secure permission, and respect the owner’s wishes (group size, where to park, etc.) If the cave owner says No, thank them, leave, and go elsewhere.
· If possible, visit an open cave on NSS or cave conservancy property.
· Most of the area Show Caves are re-opening.
· Caves on VA, WV State and Federal lands remain CLOSED to all caving (science & recreation).
· Upcoming – NSS 2020 Virtual Convention, July 27-31. It’s FREE! See https://nsscon2020.org
· SCCI has purchased Cyclops Cave, VA. A management plan is being worked out. They do need additional donations to finish paying off the loan.
· WVCC now manages Norman Cave WV, which will be open to responsible cavers.
· WVCC now owns Lost Cave, WV. Cave will be open for non-commercial visitation. There are some warnings:
o Stay on marked trail from parking to the cave entrance. Do not ‘bushwhack’.
o DO NOT hike, climb, go up hill beyond cave entrance! The adjoining private property owner has two sharpshooter ranges on the hill; stay away or you could get hurt.
· (VA Cave Board/Marian) The Supreme Court has made a decision regarding Atlantic Coast Pipeline crossing the Appalachian Trail and overruled the earlier decision of the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals. A link to a news article is below.
· Tomorrow 6/20/2020, from 2p to 5p, The Virginia Cave Board is doing an online "Symposium on Caves" with the New Market, Virginia, Library. See www.vacaveweek.com for details and to sign up. Space is limited! (M Weberg)
· The BRG file cabinets are being purged of extra stuff. 35 years of…newsletters, stuff.
· Please submit written cave trip reports to the secretary. Thanks!
Meeting adjourned 7:28p, followed by talk time, discussion time, and asking Bob Gulden if he had brought ice cream for everybody. We were also able to chat with Sharron Smith and enjoyed hearing of her Radford U. caving experiences.
Minutes Submitted by
Mary Sue Socky