NSS members disregarding caving proceedures

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NSS members disregarding caving proceedures

Postby arachiya1 » Feb 5, 2020 6:29 pm

I am a former member of the NSS (I only became a member due to a newly formed grotto needed officers so they paid for it), A tribal Chief and owner of land with a cave. Over the many years, most of Florida's grottos, have members that disregard the rights of the landowners and trespass to access the caves. One, Brooksville Ridge Cave, resulted in the cave being vandalized, but the discoverer was praised for the discovery despite the fact he trespassed, violating the law and NSS policy. I formed a caving group for my tribe, and NSS members were not invited, with one exception. This member is a cave diver and he said he was only an NSS member to have access to the water Filled caves. This individual signed a waiver (which is only required once for Terranaut Corps members) and he was given documents of rules that are very similar to NSS rules, regarding the caves and landowner relationships. Last year, January 2019 (two years after the individual stopped participating), two strangers trespassed onto the tribe's land, one appeared to have a hand gun. They were caught by camera jumping the fence and going around the fence by trespassing onto someone else's property. I had absolutely no idea who these people where until mid year when the NSS member was captured on camera, with these two people, with caving gear, trespassing on the tribe's property. They had no key to the gate, no waivers for the friends, he violated the rules informing his friends where the cave was and they visited the property without him (which he no longer had permission to visit the property anyway) and never submitted plans to visit the property (as required by our policy and rules). A police file was submitted and this member was contacted. He has a record of trespassing to find caves and we had lots of discussion on this subject, yet he disregarded everything I said and assumed it would be alright for him to violate the rules and ignore the no trespassing and trespassers will be shot signs. I offered him three choices for settling. He could pay a fine to the tribe. He could be arrested for trespassing. He could offer a settlement. He did not chose an option and I proceeded to press charges with the police after speaking with the tribal council. Soon after, he and his friends, hired a lawyer to work out a settlement and I was accused of extortion when I am the victim. I reported this to the NSS, sent the photos, members name, etc. and the person who replied, I assumed was a higher ranking member of the NSS. He wasn't and ultimately said the NSS would do nothing to punish this member. This member violated the property as the president of the local NSS Grotto (who ignore requests from the NSS FB member to investigate) Ultimately, the police made it difficult to press charges, the violators offered $1500 as long as their police record was erased and they make no admission to doing anything wrong. This was rejected obviously. The only justice I have is that they have a police record and are forever banned from participation in the tribes caving program or other activities and their friends, families are also forever banned. Because the NSS refuses to do anything to punish this member and enforce their policy of good landowner relationships I am definitely rejecting reconsidering allowing NSS members to come onto our land to aid with the exploration of this cave system.
Does anyone else fell outraged by NSS members trespassing and disregarding established procedures and the NSS not willing to do anything to discipline these members who are going to ruin future cave access for those who do obey the proceedures or am I completely alone in this?
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