bplist00__WebMainResource_ _WebResourceTextEncodingName_WebResourceData^WebResourceURL_WebResourceMIMETypeUUTF-8O_eNear Normal Grotto

November 1996 NearNormal News



The recent North American Bat Symposium at Illinois Wesleyan University inBloomington couldn't have come at a better time! Hot on the heels of thecompletion of our successful gating project at the BlackBall Mine, comes aninternational conference of bat scientists, who are told all about the NNG, andour project is held up as a perfect example of how government, industry, andcitizen volunteer groups can form partnerships and get things done toeveryone's mutual benefit. And about fifty of them went on a field trip to seethe results of the project after the conference ended. I suppose we can beexcused if we do a little chest-puffing, especially NNG President JohnMarquart, who built the bridges that brought these various agencies together.

Well, the cold wind is starting to blow, and that means that we'll be havingfewer trips to go on for the next few months. A weekend at Mammoth Cave shouldprovide a break in the monotony! A firm date should be available soon for ourworking weekend at THE cave. The MAMMOTH cave. Let's try to get a bunch of uson the bandwagon!

This meeting we will elect our officers for the next year. The currentofficers have been renominated for another term. At the last meeting, the floorwas opened for further nominations, but since none were made, we will not sendballots in the newsletter this time around. We must also make plans for ourpublic meeting in January. I understand that the president has talked toIllinois Wesleyan biologist Tom Griffiths about possibly giving his "Batsin Illinois" presentation. If he agrees, we will have an excellent programto promote.

I saw a rather sad thing today. Each month, the NSS sends grotto secretarieslistings of address changes, new members, and members who have been dropped orreinstated. On the list of members who have been dropped was the name of ArminKrueger. Odd. Of course, since he's no longer with us, they would have to drophim from the list of active members, but I had never even thought about ituntil I scanned the list. It rather rang the final chime for me. Good-bye,Armin. I'll see you in the cave.

I was interested in the results of the survey that Beth did which solicitedopinions from the members about the content and timing of our meetings. Therewere good ideas offered along with constructive criticism, and the feeling thatI got was that, although we may need a bit of fine-tuning here and there,overall things are in pretty good shape. On the question of the desired lengthof the business part of the meetings, six voted for 45 minutes, seven for onehour. The members taking part in the survey unanimously agreed that it isuseful to have a meeting agenda handed out so that we have an order to followand can take notes. The post-meeting program length vote was rather evenlysplit between 45 minutes and one hour. Seven thought that we should have aprogram of some kind each meeting, while five voted for every other meeting.When asked "Who should present the programs?", members said that itshould be about 70% by members, and 30% outside speakers, which is aboutpercentage that we are doing. The content of the programs should be 30% onscience/education, 45% on caving skills/equipment and 22% on trip reports. Somespecific suggestions made for programs were: contact with other grottos, moreprograms on caving skills and equipment, cave surveying, photography, slides,movies, humorous, strictly social, first aid, educational. The one suggestionout of all of these that struck me was, "strictly social". In thehustle and bustle of getting the meeting started more or less on time, and gettingthrough the program, and then running out to Tobin's for pizza, I find thatoften I just don't have enough time to talk to all the people that I want totalk with, and it's hard to talk to someone at the other end of the table andstuff pizza in your mouth at the same time. I think it'd be a fine idea to justnot have a program sometime, and allow some time to chat, make plans for trips,or whatever, before we screech off to Tobin's. Maybe display some pictures orequipment or something. But I usually get home after meeting night, thinkingthat I wanted to talk to somebody about something, but just never had time.

I see that our new members include a biologist (Granger Ridout) and ageologist (Paul Osman). Welcome! We're building a fine resume', methinks. Ourtrack record is now public, and another project is in the offing. As Johnmentions in his article, Bill Glass believes that parts of the Zimmerman mineshould also be gated. We can do that. Of course we can.



JOHN MARQUART reports on the North American Bat Symposium.

DON BROUSSARD relays his problems being a diabetic caver.

ANDY WADDINGTON discusses excluding people from caving trips.

DOUG MOORE sings the "Plastic Justrite" song.

MARK TURNER alerts us to another oil spill in Tennessee.

JO SCHAPER describes the Cathedral Cave cleanup.

LOUISE HOSE gives good reasons to remain an NSS member.

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October 23 through 24 brought a rare opportunity to the Bloomington,Illinois area. For the first time a national symposium on bat research methere. Illinois Wesleyan University hosted the 26th Annual North AmericanSymposium on Bat Research held at Jumer's Chateau hotel. Over two hundred ofthe leading experts on bats gave three days of fascinating papers on thefrontiers of bat research. I had the pleasure of attending the whole symposium asdid Kevin Rasmus. Others of our grotto, including Julie Angel, Jim Jacobs, andTonja Fraser, attended parts of special interest.

Our Friend Dan Taylor, from Bat Conservation International (BCI) who did somuch for the Blackball Mine gating project, was there, as was his boss, Dr.Merlin D. Tuttle, Director of BCI. There were too many interesting talks toelaborate on and too many important people to mention, but I would like to pickout three talks in which our grotto got particular mention in a most complimentaryfashion.

Thursday morning Dan and Sheryl Ducummon, Dan's new assistant, talked on"The North American Bats and Mines Project: New Industrial PartnershipsCreate Habitat for Mine-roosting Bats." They emphasized how acollaborative effort by BCI, governmental agencies, industry, and conservationoriented volunteers can accomplish bat habitat protection projects that wouldbe impossible otherwise. They featured the Blackball Mine project as thepremier example and described the role of the Near Normal Grotto in the mostflattering terms. They described how our members promoted the project from itsbeginning and donated about 500 man-hours of work to the erection of the gatesalone. They showed slides of the mine project.

The last talk before lunch on Friday was Merlin Tuttle's "Formation ofNational Bat Conservation Partnership for Natural Resource Managers."Merlin again emphasized the accomplishments that can be realized when acoalition of agencies with volunteers. He used our work at the Blackball Mineas the example of a win-win situation. He said that the payoff of the projectwas 20 to 1. For every dollar spent by BCI to accomplish the project, 20dollars more in cash, donated materials, and labor came into the project fromgovernment (Illinois Dept. of Natural Resources - IDNR), industry (UnimenMining), and volunteers (Near Normal Grotto). Later in a separate program heldfor school teachers on Saturday, Merlin again used the Blackball Mine as apositive example of how people like us help conservation.

Friday evening brought our monthly grotto meeting with an excellent talk byDr. Sam Panno of Illinois Geological Survey on hydrology problems in the karstarea around Waterloo, Illinois. Several attendees of the bat symposium acceptedour invitation to come. One was Jim Kennedy, Bat House Research ProjectCoordinator for BCI. It was interesting to learn what I have been doing wrongsuch that no bats have moved into my bat house in its four years. I learnedthat it is built totally wrong as are most commercially made bat houses andthat I installed it wrong. I bought it at the gift shop at Mammoth Cave on oneof our Cave Restoration Field Camps. If you have a bat house or want to buildone, check BCI's booklet "The Bat House Builder's Handbook" by MerlinD. Tuttle and Donna L. Hensley to do it right. Several of our members havecopies. Unfortunately, Dan Taylor had to fly home Friday evening or we couldhave gotten him to come to our meeting. He has certainly been a good friend tous all.

The formal symposium talks ended at 3:00 p.m. on Saturday and it was time toclimax the symposium with a special field trip to the Blackball Mine itself.For several weeks I had been consulting with Dr. Tom Griffiths, bat researchscientist from Illinois Wesleyan University and the main organizer of thesymposium, on such a field trip. Tom thought the idea to be a good one, butwasn't sure how many people would want to stay that late after the symposiumended to go there. As it turned out, the trip was immensely popular and overfifty people drove the 60 miles to see the mine and the gates that we erectedlast summer. It really make a beautiful climax to an already beautifulsymposium and the weather cooperated with dryness and record warmth. We visitedthe gates on the lower mine and went as far into the upper level to see thegate on the main connecting shaft. Don Coons, Kevin Rasmus, and Tonja Frasercame to help out, as did Bill Glass of IDNR and Sheryl Dunummon and Jim Kennedyof BCI. I had the rare honor of giving the personal tour to Merlin Tuttle.Although BCI has a major role in the gating project, Merlin hadn't personallybeen there before. He was most complimentary of cavers in general and ourgrotto in particular. As he told me, "80% of project to protect bats arestarted by cavers". There were loner bats hanging about in the upper mineand Merlin identified each species at a glance. Being exceptionally warm forthis time of year, some bats were still active and members of the grouprecorded their bat calls with instruments that recorded them and fed data intolaptop computers to identify species and the nature of their activities.

I called Dan Taylor a couple days later to talk to him about the symposiumand field trip. He said that everyone thought that it was really good. SherylDucummon and Jim Kennedy had gone back to Jumer's after the field trip and saidthat it was getting excellent comments. Dan also phoned Bill Glass and Billtold him that he definitely wants BCI and our grotto to begin plans for gating partsof the Zimmerman Mine, which also serves as an important hibernaculum. With ourever-increasing renown, there can hardly be any question of the credibility ofthe Near Normal Grotto as a hard working group dedicated to conservation. Beproud. I am.

P.S. The symposium also gave us some interesting prospects for grottoprograms. I invited Tom Griffiths to give his talk "Bats of Illinois"at one of our grotto meetings and he graciously accepted. It would be a goodone for our January (Annual Open House) meeting. We'll look into it. Also, Igot to know Jim Rowell, who studies and maintains the bats at Brookfield Zoo.He expects that he could arrange a special "behind the scenes" tourof the zoo for us on a VIP basis. How would that be for next spring?

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We include thislittle item because many NNG'rs got to visit Cathedral Cave not too long ago,and some may be interested in contacting Jo about the next cleanup. 





Last Saturday was another of the never ending cave cleanups in CathedralCave, Onondaga Cave State Park, Leasburg, Missouri. 10 volunteers brokeconcrete, cut coax size wire, and hauled said human introduced stuff out of thecave. We checked on various epoxied speleothems--those glued with the Akemibrand marble glue are still holding,(including the stalactite, as well as thoseglued with Epon 828. At least one of the mixed pouch epoxies failed--DanHazelton is checking his records to see which one it was. Park naturalistEugene Vale did some powerwashing of the concrete tourist trail in the cave,and an excellent time was had by all except Sahra Marsan's feet. She learnedwhy you *always* break in new leather boots before caving with them. Thanks toall.

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As one of the diabetics who caves, I will add a prejudced viewpoint.

Diabetes is a bad disease to carry underground. I have made a few minormistakes which helped me to remember to always carry a LOT of extra food. Ihave made a few major mistakes which I would not have lived through if I hadnot had the help of close friends. Bill Steele, Logan Mcnatt, Noel Sloanhaveeach saved my life due to my making a stupid mistake with diabetes. Luck hasalso played a part in my staying alive.

I do not recommend to other diabetics that they go underground. the fewdiabetics who were already cavers, I say 'Good Luck!'. Remember the mistakesyou make. If it is not your last one, you need to use the mistake to makeyourself more careful the next time.

If there are some diabetic cavers out there who wish to learn about myfavorite mistakes to learn from please e-mail me directly.

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David London makes good points on the diabetes thread, which are reallyquite applicable to a whole lot of situations where a person is maybe notcapable of safely doing a trip.


> Exclude them ... choice is difficult ... and may be necessary


I have to say that in twenty years caving I cannot recall a single casewhere this has happened. There have been plenty of cases where people havewanted to come on a trip which they have not been suited to, but in almostevery case, giving them a bit more knowledge about the trip, and asking themhow they think they will cope with the particular difficulties, or the length,or whatever, has resulted in them voluntarily opting out, with no loss of faceand no difficult decisions.

That this can be said is a consequence of two things: if the person inquestion is young or inexperienced, they have never had the chance to believethey might be included in such a trip. At this sort of level, novice cavers arehappy to go on the trips selected for them by the more experienced ones. Justavoid over-ambition by proxy. If the person was older or more experienced, thedesire to go on a trip was *invariably* motivated by knowing something aboutthe rewards of the trip (such as seeing photos of well-decorated bits) withoutappreciating the difficulties. Such people are normally aware of theirlimitations, and quite readily change their mind when given adequateinformation. In future they tend to read the guidebook more thoroughly inadvance !

But I said "in almost every case". There are three cases I recallvividly, in which a caver should have been excluded from a trip, but wasn't:One was a caver who thought that Gingling Hole sounded nice, because of theformations in Fools Paradise. She really wasn't up to the trip, as there aresome hard thrutchy bits, a couple of climbs and one particular pitch-head whichwas rigged to need an exposed step across. However, she wasn't excluded becauseshe wasn't very persuadable, and everyone who might have persuaded her wasleaving it to her boyfriend, who didn't feel able to do so. Result: she had anepic, didn't enjoy the trip and caused delay for everyone else. The eventualfall out was a rift in the club (since healed) and a rift in her relationship(permanent). We were perhaps lucky the consequences were not more serious !

Another was a caver who was very competant, but simply hadn't found outabout the cave - Marble Sink. Now this is a sustained and tight little holewith several pitches which had a very fierce reputation. On arriving at theentrance, this caver looked at it, poked his head in and said "no-one saidit was tight !" He then walked home while everyone else did the trip. Hewas possibly capable of getting down, but hadn't psyched up for it. Everyoneelse had assumed he knew what the cave was all about. As soon as he found out,he excluded himself - but at the expense of much effort walking up in awetsuit.

The third case was a novice, who had succeeded in winding everyone up, andwas clearly not a character we wished to have in the club. He took the advicegiven and came on his first caving trip. Down Link Pot, through the connectionto Pippikin, and immediately back again. For those unfamiliar with the cave -this trip would be an awkward fifty foot ladder pitch, a brief bit of bigpassage, then an interminable low wet crawl, with a couple of very low airspacebits (it was then fairly newly discovered). All done in dry grots (woolies andboilersuit). Then back. Not an enjoyable trip (though safe enough) for thecaving, but everyone except this one person enjoyed it immensely. We have neverseen him since.

The point of these stories is that failure to exclude someone from a tripwhich they really shouldn't be on is pretty much always because that persondidn't possess enough information to exclude themselves. This is invariably badfor that person. It may also be bad for everyone else -depending on the resultyou wanted.


> Include them ... will take more effort but will pay off many times ifyou can do it well.


The best solution to this is to choose appropriate trips. Over time, thecaver will build a sufficient awareness of his or her abilities to be able tochoose for themselves whether they are capable of a given trip and thedifficult decision to exclude someone will never need to be made.

The difficulty in the situation which started this thread is that there isonly one choice of trip, and a number of novices. It faces every universityclub, every October, but usually the majority of novices are of a similar levelof fitness, and are a self-selected group who each believe they will enjoycaving. In this case, one caver has a particular difficulty, and an inabilityto assess that difficulty herself in relation to the proposed trip, because ofher ignorance of caving. This situation can result in the one person having abad time, and potentially endangering everyone else.

In a traditional, non-university club, one would simply take this one personon her own and ensure that there was no feeling of pressure to perform. Afterall - the purpose of such a trip is to find out what caving is like, not toprove that you are as good at it as everyone else. The people mentioned orinvolved in this thread already are proof enough that it is quite possible tobe a caver with this sort of difficulty. We could mention cavers with much moreserious problems than this (blind cavers, wheelchair-bound cave-divers to namea couple - and at least three cavers I know of with artificial limbs).

Unfortunately, the format of the start of the university year makes thismuch more difficult. The experienced cavers are fully stretched looking aftermore novices than it is really comfortable to have on a trip. They can dolittle else if the continuity of the club is to be ensured. It is far too busya time, both academically and speleologically to suddenly go off and learn awhole raft of new medical knowledge. University clubs are, by their verynature, just at the edge of what they can do in safety at the start of theyear. It all gets easier as the initial flush of new members is thinned out bythe actual experience (hopefully not too much :-)

One can hope that the novices are progressed sufficiently slowly through theeasier grades that there are trips available in a few weeks time which arestill easy enough, whilst leaving a bit more time for individual attention. Ihope you can make members welcome within the group, even if they have not yetstarted caving. When they do, they are much more likely to tell you that thereis a problem if they are on familiar terms. Far better than waiting until acrisis develops.

I hope that nothing I have said on this thread can be interpreted as beingan exhortation to tell anyone that they must not go caving. As always, the bestapproach is to dispel ignorance and let people realise their own limitations,so they can then either accept them or overcome them, as they see fit.

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hosel@micro.wcmo.edu(Louise Hose) 




My first reaction to Devon's question about why he should stay a member ofthe NSS is to think, this man must have never been to a convention. Afterattending an NSS convention, I think, we all better understand what the NSSdoes for us and the caves and why we are members. Dave Luckins recently saidthat once a person attends two conventions, they're members for life. I suspectthat's pretty much true. So, Devon, if you question why you're a member Isuggest you try to attend a convention. As for Devon's specific comments:


o They support cave research.


Yes, we do. I assume that is why most professional North Americanspeleologists and karst researchers are members. There is only a little moneygiven directly to research projects but the annual convention and the Journalprovide forums for presenting research. The upcoming joint publication on caveand karst protection with the American Geological Institute is another NSSeffort. And, because the NSS is this unique mixture of amateur andprofessionals, a lot of amateurs become professional speleologists and karstresearchers as a direct result of our membership in the NSS. (I did.)


o They purchase caves for protection.


Actually, not quite. The NSS accepts caves as gifts/berequests and thenprovides for their management.


o They spend a lot of time making publications that I consider to be a majorwaste of trees


The NSS NEWS that you never read is going through a big change and I amoptimistic. Try reading the last issue and you might be very pleasantlysurprised. I think Dave Bunnell is going to do great things with theNews.....and I'm the first to say it's needed.


THE JOURNAL OF CAVE AND KARST STUDIES (formerly the NSS Bulletin) has alsochanged. Check out the recently mailed Belize issue and see if you really wantto stop receiving it. The MEMBERS MANUAL has been my link to friends and fellowcavers for over 25 years. I carry it everywhere. It's a great resource when acar breaks down in some lonely place. It also helps organize mostAmerican-based expeditions. AMERICAN CAVING ACCIDENTS. This publication is a majortool of education for caving safety. I study it each year and look forward tothe re-vitalization I expect to see thanks to the efforts of Bill Putnam andFred Wefer.


o They do absolutely nothing for me personally.


I actually doubt that that statement is true. But, I don't know yourinvolvement in caving. I do know that the NSS has done a tremendous amount forme, personally. Any contributions or impacts I make to caving worldwide partlyattest to the worth of the NSS.


o The politics involved are so amazingly thick that I actually get pissedoff if I pay any attention at all.


This certainly can be true. I wonder how one comes to know the politics ofthe NSS better than the work of the NSS. Must be hanging with the wrong group!(It has been my recent experience that sometimes the folks who complain themost about "politics" in caving are the ones pulling the mostpolitical shenanigans!)


o The NSS "feels" like a dinosaur to me


I never felt a dinosaur. Can't comment except that I don't "feel"like a dinosaur.


o They act as a central point of publishing for books.


My observation is that the publications of the NSS generally give betterinformation than privately published books. The immense popularity of On Ropeand the excitement over Cave Minerals of the World, 2nd Edition demonstratetheir value. I expect to be proud to be a member of the organization thatpublishes Cave Minerals next year.


o They are a good starting point for people wanting to know how to get started.But does anyone really use this resource?


You bet! Thousands of us. We are also the folks that government agencies andprivate landowners in the U.S rely on. We are the only organization that hassuccessfully (despite the politics) balanced exploration, science, andconservation for 50 years. There are other organizations that try to findniches as cave preservationists or cave scientists and some do good work. But,I believe, all the successful ones in the U.S. anchor themselves on the NSS. Idon't know of any other group concerned with wild areas that better understandthat you have to balance recreational use (and true exploration), research, andpreservation interests. Most groups can only advocate for one interest. The NSSis remarkable because it has always stood as a viable advocate for all theseinterests.

You say you know of leaner, more successful organizations. Maybe there are afew. But, there are very few. We only have two paid staff members and no paidofficers. I think if all the facts are known, it would be very difficult tofind another organization with only two staff members who does (andaccomplishes) so much.

The NSS is a national organization. While our members network does have astrong international presence (this Digest started with American cavers whoknew each other through their NSS membership...think about that when you callus dinosaurs), we mostly work on American issues. If you don't like ourpublications, we probably don't offer a lot to cavers outside North America. That'snot our goal. But, I believe the NSS is critically important to North Americancaves, cavers, and caving. American cavers all need to belong. And, when theSociety goes off in the wrong direction, get involved and steer it right. Putyour time in the barrel. That's what I did when I got pissed off enough toconsider quitting the NSS. It's been a rewarding experience.

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(Nashville, Tennessee)



Details are sketchy at the moment, but apparently Colonial has had yetanother problem with a pipeline in Tennessee...this time near the Middle Forkof the Stones River near Murfreesboro, Rutherford County Tennessee..

They have mobilized a response team and have called in drill rigs to do somehard rock drilling in order to "locate pockets of product"..

Early reports indicate that they had a break in their diesel fuel productline and that much of it wound up in a sinkhole... Video shot from a helicopterfor the 10 pm news on Channel 4 news here in Nastyville showed newly carveddirt roads near a stream along a stretch of 765Kv powerlines, but not muchelse...

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Regarding the wordsto "Plastic Justrite" I'll have a go from memory. My recollection isthat the song was on one of the early cave ballad recordings, sung by BarbMcLeod. I do not know if Barb wrote the words. Intrestingly, Tom Leher, whowrote "Plastic Jesus" some thirty years ago, just received a platinumrecord this year for one of his albums published in the 50's. - Doug Moore, NSs15244 


PLASTIC JUSTRITE(To the tune of "Plastic Jesus")


Justrite's got a new device,

superior performance, economical price,

construction unexcelled in quality.

It has an unadjustable water drip,

a styrofoam felt and a plastic tip,

and other blessings of technology.




Plastic Justrite, plastic Justrite,

melted on the front of my hard hat.

Should've known better than to go and trust you,

if I ever get out I'm goin' to bust you,

underneath my Jeep I'll squash you flat.


Sittin' in a cave as black as midnight,

'cause I got a brand new plastic Justright,

melted on the front of my hard hat.

The lamp was fine, it was workin' OK,

I was truckin' down a virgin passageway,

when it belched and melted out, and that was that.




Like I said, it may not be perfect - but it should be close.


Doug Moore - NSS 15244

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September 27, 1996


Called to order at 7:10pm by President John Marquart. Present: David S.Carson, Angela Carson, Randy Wahlfeldt, Dan Wahlfeldt, Tonja Fraser, MarkValentine, Brian Valentine, Richard Bell, Len Storm, Lara Storm, Chris Dinesen,Kevin Rasmus, Marty Jacobs, Jim Jacobs, Brian R. Braye, Tim Sickbert, NormRogers, Beth Reinke.


OFFICER REPORTS: The minutes of previous meetings were approved as printedin the Near Normal News. The treasury report was read by Vice President BethReinke in place of Julie Angel, who was absent.


OLD BUSINESS: A survey was handed out to members for them to comment on whatthey like about our meetings, and changes that they would like to see. Resultsat the next meeting. Jim handed out the proposed "Common Adventurer"statement (adapted from the ISU Outdoor Program), which, if adopted, must besigned by all members and guests.


NEW BUSINESS: Larry Byrd brought etchings which had been made of theBlackBall Mine area. The artist's name was not immediately available. Heunderstood that we could reproduce these for sale to supplement the grottotreasury. The membership seemed to think it was a good idea, but proposed thatwe get a clear statement from the artist as to our rights and responsibilitiesin the matter before proceding. John Marquart noted that articles and graphicsfrom the Near Normal News had again been included in the Speleo Digest. Thegrotto voted to agree in principle to contribute to a memorial to ArminKrueger, subject to approval of the details.


PLANNED TRIPS AND ANNOUNCEMENTS: Brian Valentine gave us his new address:7150 N. Terra Vista Dr., Apt. 1007, Peoria, IL 61614. He and his bride wereable to visit a number of caves on their honeymoon such as Meramec Caverns,Onondaga, Fischer and Bat Caves. Tonja Fraser reported that she still carriedbruises from the Wayne's Lost trip, but she is ready to go back! Chris Dinesenseconded that emotion. Tim Sickbert and Tim Shaffer stayed over that night anddropped Shaft Cave. Norm Rogers announced a weekend cleanup camp at MammothCave in January, but details were not yet available. The North American BatSymposium will be hosted by Illinois Wesleyan University at Jumer's inBloomington, IL, October 23-26, and will include a saturday field trip toBlackBall to view our handywork. Grotto members may attend a limited number ofpresentations without charge. There will be cave trips on Saturday, November 2around Waterloo, IL followed by an Illinois Speleological Survey Meeting onSunday.


NEXT MEETING: Friday, October 25. Program: Dr. Sam Panno of the IllinoisState Geological Survey will present a program on the geology of southernIllinois around Waterloo. Beth will send out meeting reminder postcards.

The meeting was then adjourned and the members reassembled at the UpperLimits Climbing Gym. All had a great time!


Respectfully submitted,

Jim Jacobs, secretary

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Called to order at 7:10 by President John R. Marquart. Present: TonjaFraser, Tim Sickbert, Kevin Rasmus, Len Storm, Lara Storm, Beth Reinke, JohnWalther, Paul Osman, Rick Toosy, Julie Angel, Jim Angel, Sam Panno, Jim Jacobs,Dan Wahlfeldt, Randy Wahlfeldt, Rich Bell.


OFFICER REPORTS. The reports of the Treasurer and the Secretary were readand approved.


OLD BUSINESS. Results of the Member Survey which had been handed out at thelast meeting were discussed.


NEW BUSINESS. John Walther presented, and asked members to sign a petitionto save the ISU Outdoor Program, which is threatened by budget cuts. Newmembers Chris Dinesen of the Illinois Dept. of Natural Resources, GrangerRidout, a biologists from Murray State University, Murray Kentucky, and Paul Osman,a geologist with the Illinois Dept. of Natural Resources were welcomed. Thecurrent sitting officers were renominated for office in 1997. The floor wasopened, but no other nominations were made. We will vote next meeting.Nominations may also be made at that time. Jim J. announced that a new grotto,the Sub-Urban Chicago Grotto (#408) had been recently formed by Gary Gibula,Steve Petruniak and Kevin Prather.


TRIP REPORTS. Tonja reported on a trip to Illinois Caverns, as did JohnWalther. Lara talked about her mapping trip in southern Illinois with Phil Mossand the Illinois Speleological Survey.


ANNOUNCEMENTS. John M. reported on the North American Bat Conference, andnoted that there would be a field trip at the conclusion of the conference (tomorrowafternoon). NNG'rs were encouraged to go to act as guides. The IllinoisSpeleological Survey meeting will be Nov. 3, with cave trips on the 2nd. Thedeadline for NNN article submission was set at Nov. 8. There will be a weekendcleanup at Mammoth Cave in January. The dates are yet to be determined. Tonjawill be taking a trip to Illinois Caverns on Nov. 3. Kevin Rasmus will go toSullivan Cave (IN) on the 10th. The next meeting will be on Nov. 22. Adjourned.


Dr. Sam Panno, a geologist with the Illinois State Geological Surveypresented a wonderful program on hydrology studies in karst areas of southernIllinois.

Respectfully submitted,

Jim Jacobs, secretary

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