NSS Convention update on caving in the area

NSS Conventions, regional caving events, local caving events. Please spell out event initials for new members.

Moderator: Moderators

Re: NSS Convention update on caving in the area

Postby Evan G » Mar 11, 2011 12:46 pm

2011 National Speleological Society Convention Public Scoping Comments Due by April 8, 2011
Link to page

Release Date: Mar 10, 2011

US Forest Service
Rocky Mountain Region
White River National Forest

Contact: Mike Kenealy, 970-xxx-xxxx (office) Link to page for phone number

Pat Thrasher, 970-xxx-xxxx (office) or 970-xxx-xxxx (cell) Link to page for phone number


Glenwood Springs, Colorado – The Forest Service is seeking public input on a proposal to issue a short term permit allowingthe National Speleological Society (NSS) to conduct guided trips to specific caves as part of their national convention to be held in Glenwood Springs during the week of July 16th through 24th, 2011. The number of caves, participants and trips would be limited to less than 17 caves and no more than 2 trips per day to any cave (other than Fulford Cave which would have up to 4 trips) and no more than 8 people per trip. NSS has also requested to be authorized to conduct a geology field trip via bus on existing roads. A complete copy of the scoping document can be obtained at http://www.fs.usda.gov/goto/whiteriver/projects. Scroll down to “Forest Projects” and click on the link “VIEW A LISTING OF ALL PROJECTS”.

The NSS is a non-profit organization dedicated to the scientific study of caves and karsts; protecting caves and their natural contents through conservation, ownership, stewardship, and public education; and promoting responsible cave exploration and fellowship among those interested in caves.

For additional information contact Mike Kenealy, Natural Resource Specialist, at (970) xxx-xxxx Link to page for phone number
. If you believe you have pertinent information that could affect the terms and conditions of the proposal please submit your comments. Comments must be submitted in writing and will be accepted through April 8, 2011. All comments must be submitted via mail, fax, e-mail or in person (Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., excluding holidays) to: Scott Fitzwilliams, Forest Supervisor, c/o Mike Kenealy, 900 Grand Ave., Glenwood Springs, CO. 81601; FAX (970) xxx-xxxx Link to page for phone number
. Electronic comments must be submitted in a format such as an email message, plain text (.txt), rich text format (.rtf), or Word (.doc) to wrnf_scoping_comments@fs.fed.us.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is an equal opportunity provider and employer.

Link to page
Evan G
NSS Hall Of Fame Poster
 
Posts: 1128
Joined: Mar 12, 2006 2:52 pm
Location: Breckenridge, CO
Name: EEG
NSS #: 28685
Primary Grotto Affiliation: NRMG
  

Re: NSS Convention update on caving in the area

Postby NZcaver » Jun 7, 2011 9:48 pm

Evan G wrote:2011 National Speleological Society Convention Public Scoping Comments Due by April 8, 2011
Link to page

So what happened with all this? Anybody know if there will be local caving trips during convention? It's getting close to crunch time...
User avatar
NZcaver
Global Moderator
 
Posts: 6342
Joined: Sep 7, 2005 2:05 am
Location: Anchorage, Alaska
Name: Jansen
NSS #: 50665RL
  

Re: NSS Convention update on caving in the area

Postby speleo » Jun 7, 2011 9:57 pm

Too close for me. I cancelled my Glennwood reservations today. I do wish everyone a good time there.
:sad:
speleo
Frequent Poster
 
Posts: 59
Joined: Dec 5, 2006 10:26 am
  

Re: NSS Convention update on caving in the area

Postby caverdan » Jun 8, 2011 7:35 am

Yes there will be cave trips offered at convention. :cavingrocks: :cave softly:

We will have loaner gear available and a decon station set up for everyone.
Member: Colorado Madrats, SoCoMoGro,CWSG.
caverdan
NSS Hall Of Fame Poster
 
Posts: 659
Joined: Nov 24, 2006 9:39 pm
Location: Colorado Springs
NSS #: 40262
  

Re: NSS Convention update on caving in the area

Postby Evan G » Jun 9, 2011 4:38 pm

Update: According to Richard R. and NSS 2011 Convention in Colorado a couple of minutes ago on Facebook :

NSS 2011 Convention in Colorado wrote:At this afternoon’s Colorado White Nose Syndrome ad-hoc committee conference call, we received word from the USFS Region 2 office in Golden that participants of the NSS Convention will be permitted to visit selected caves in the White River National Forest during the convention. All visitors and gear will need to undergo the usual vigorous decontamination under this special use permit.


Richard R. wrote:Some great news for cavers participating at this summer's NSS Convention in Glenwood Springs, Colorado - the White River National Forest is allowing participants to visit selected caves during the convention (decon will be required). We received word this afternoon at the Colorado White Nose Syndrome ad-hoc committee conference call from Peter McDonald at the USFS Region 2 office in Golden.



:bat sticker: :bat sticker: :bat sticker:
Evan G
NSS Hall Of Fame Poster
 
Posts: 1128
Joined: Mar 12, 2006 2:52 pm
Location: Breckenridge, CO
Name: EEG
NSS #: 28685
Primary Grotto Affiliation: NRMG
  

Re: NSS Convention update on caving in the area

Postby Cheryl Jones » Jun 9, 2011 8:21 pm

:clap: :banana_yay:
Thanks to the Convention committee members who pursued this so doggedly, and and to the USFS folks for listening, understanding, and being willing to negotiate a reasonable outcome.
User avatar
Cheryl Jones
Global Moderator
 
Posts: 2469
Joined: Sep 2, 2005 11:53 pm
Location: Virginia
Name: Cheryl Jones
NSS #: 14479 FE OS
Primary Grotto Affiliation: BATS
  

Re: NSS Convention update on caving in the area

Postby Colorado Carl » Jun 10, 2011 1:00 pm

Guess I'll post this anyway. I received official notification this morning that an Exemption to the Emergency Closure Order has been approved by USFS Region 2. The permit for caving during the convention is now being processed by the White River National Forest.

There will be caving on US Forest Service land offered as part of the 2011 NSS Convention.

More details will be posted here on June 17th. Check the Convention website for an overview of plans for handling caving trips and WNS decontamination. Please, please, please comply with the WNS protocols we have agreed to in order to obtain an exemption to the Emergency Closure Order. Let's show everyone who will be scrutinizing us just how responsible NSS cavers are.

Carl
Cave trips coordinator for the 2011 NSS Convention
Colorado Carl
Infrequent Poster
 
Posts: 16
Joined: May 17, 2007 1:48 pm
  

Re: NSS Convention update on caving in the area

Postby Evan G » Jun 10, 2011 1:22 pm

Colorado Carl wrote:Guess I'll post this anyway. I received official notification this morning that an Exemption to the Emergency Closure Order has been approved by USFS Region 2. The permit for caving during the convention is now being processed by the White River National Forest.

There will be caving on US Forest Service land offered as part of the 2011 NSS Convention.

More details will be posted here on June 17th. Check the Convention website for an overview of plans for handling caving trips and WNS decontamination. Please, please, please comply with the WNS protocols we have agreed to in order to obtain an exemption to the Emergency Closure Order. Let's show everyone who will be scrutinizing us just how responsible NSS cavers are.

Carl
Cave trips coordinator for the 2011 NSS Convention


Hey Carl!

What caves will be opened to the NSS convention? Or will that be on the update June 17th?

Thanks Evan
Evan G
NSS Hall Of Fame Poster
 
Posts: 1128
Joined: Mar 12, 2006 2:52 pm
Location: Breckenridge, CO
Name: EEG
NSS #: 28685
Primary Grotto Affiliation: NRMG
  

Re: NSS Convention update on caving in the area

Postby Extremeophile » Jun 10, 2011 1:27 pm

Evan G wrote:Hey Carl!

What caves will be opened to the NSS convention? Or will that be on the update June 17th?

Thanks Evan


I hate to break it to you, but I don't think it will include the caves on your bucket list. :sadbanana:
User avatar
Extremeophile
NSS Hall Of Fame Poster
 
Posts: 761
Joined: Dec 7, 2009 7:37 pm
Location: Littleton, CO
Name: Derek Bristol
NSS #: 34941
Primary Grotto Affiliation: Colorado Grotto
  

Re: NSS Convention update on caving in the area

Postby caverdan » Jun 11, 2011 8:57 am

It doesn't matter which caves are open.......the important part is how much snow will be melted before the convention. :rofl:
Mother Nature is the true gate keeper of our high alpine caves. :big grin:
Member: Colorado Madrats, SoCoMoGro,CWSG.
caverdan
NSS Hall Of Fame Poster
 
Posts: 659
Joined: Nov 24, 2006 9:39 pm
Location: Colorado Springs
NSS #: 40262
  

Re: NSS Convention update on caving in the area

Postby Evan G » Jun 12, 2011 9:18 am

Forest Service eases cave restrictions for convention

Ban aims to protect bats from disease

Scott Condon
The Aspen Times
Post Independent
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado

Org. art.: http://www.postindependent.com/ARTICLE/ ... 7/1001/RSS

What would a convention of cavers be without caves?

The U.S. Forest Service granted special permission Friday for the National Speleological Society to visit 17 caves in the White River National Forest during its conference July 18-21 in Glenwood Springs.

The caves and old mines in the White River and other national forests throughout the five-state Rocky Mountain Region have been off limits since July to prevent the spread of white nose syndrome. The disease has killed more than 1 million bats in the eastern half of the U.S. in the last three years. It hasn't been detected in Colorado yet.

The NSS sought an exemption from the closure during its convention. The organization submitted a long list of caves it wanted to visit. Forest Service staff worked with the organization to “whittle it down,” said Mike Kenealy, recreation special-uses coordinator for the White River.

The Forest Service will allow access only to caves where there is no evidence of bat use such as hibernation or maternity roosting, he said.

That will eliminate use of some of the most spectacular caves surrounding the Roaring Fork Valley. “Most of the long-chambered caves that cavers like to go in are also liked by bats,” Kenealy said.

Two popular caves that will remain off limits during the convention are Hubbard's Cave and Groaning Cave, both outside Glenwood Springs, according to Kenealy.

Many of the caves that the NSS will be allowed to visit are smaller, shallower caves. The visits must be guided. The number of trips will be limited, as will the number of cavers on each trip.

The NSS website says trips will have a maximum of eight participants, including the trip leader. Local cavers will serve as leaders.

The Bureau of Land Management will decide early next week whether to grant a special-use permit for access to three caves on land it manages, spokesman David Boyd said. In addition, the BLM is considering enacting access restrictions such as those already in place on national forests in the Rocky Mountains. There is no BLM ban currently in place. However, large groups like the NSS must get a special use permit for access.

The spectacular caves at Glenwood Caverns, which are privately owned, will also be available to the cavers.


cont: http://www.postindependent.com/ARTICLE/ ... 7/1001/RSS

:formations: :formations: :formations: :formations: :formations: :formations:
Evan G
NSS Hall Of Fame Poster
 
Posts: 1128
Joined: Mar 12, 2006 2:52 pm
Location: Breckenridge, CO
Name: EEG
NSS #: 28685
Primary Grotto Affiliation: NRMG
  

Re: NSS Convention update on caving in the area

Postby Colorado Carl » Jun 12, 2011 12:15 pm

The article above summarizes some of the major issues we faced and the process. It fails to mention the WNS decontamination plan which is central to obtaining the Exemption to the Emergency Closure Order and having caving during the convention. At one point in this very long process the tide was against getting any access to caves on USFS land. That changed when we got some key people from different agencies to take a good hard look at our decon plan. There is a long list of people to be thanked for getting us this far through the process. The permitting process for caving during the Convention has also been useful in building relationships with the key players who will influence what direction the Colorado WNS response takes in the future.

While the overlap between caves popular with bats and popular with people means we will not be running trips to caves like Groaning, there will be good cave trips at Convention. It is true that there will be no self-led trips. With regard to caving on USFS land, much of it will happen in the Lime Creek area. Don't be put off by the reporter's mention of "smaller, shallower caves" we will have some classic examples of alpine karst and both vertical and horizontal caves.

Keep checking the 2011 Convention webpage for information on cave trips. As more details become available, I will get them posted there. Specifically, I hope to have a big update on the 17th.


Carl
Cave trips coordinator for the 2011 Convention
Colorado Carl
Infrequent Poster
 
Posts: 16
Joined: May 17, 2007 1:48 pm
  

Re: NSS Convention update on caving in the area

Postby Colorado Carl » Jun 17, 2011 12:39 pm

Updated information on cave trips has been posted: http://nss2011.com/daytime-activities/wild-cave-trips/

Carl
Cave trips coordinator for the 2011 NSS Convention
Colorado Carl
Infrequent Poster
 
Posts: 16
Joined: May 17, 2007 1:48 pm
  

Re: NSS Convention update on caving in the area

Postby Colorado Carl » Jul 7, 2011 12:16 am

***There will be trips to non-commercial caves at Convention!***

Our friends at the Center for Biological Diversity are suing the BLM over granting the 2011 Convention access to caves that are currently open to the public:

http://www.biologicaldiversity.org/news/press_releases/2011/white-nose-syndrome-07-06-2011.html

I don't fully understand it, since these caves are currently open to the public, and NSS cavers following the WNS decontamination plan for the Convention are less likely to spread WNS than John Q. Public. Nevertheless, we are only planning trips to two BLM caves, plus a non-cave-entry viewing for a geology field trip to a third. So whatever happens, there will still be caving at Convention. We have obtained Convention access to USFS caves that are currently under a blanket closure order by formulating a good plan for preventing the spread of WNS and decontamination of caving gear.

It should be apparent now. There will be plenty of scrutiny of our caving activities at Convention. Please take a look at the links below to make sure you are familiar with the plans and protocols:
http://nss2011.com/daytime-activities/wild-cave-trips/
http://www.fws.gov/whitenosesyndrome/pdf/WNSDecon_Cavers_v012511.pdf

Carl
Cave trips coordinator for the 2011 NSS Convention
Colorado Carl
Infrequent Poster
 
Posts: 16
Joined: May 17, 2007 1:48 pm
  

Re: NSS Convention update on caving in the area

Postby Colorado Carl » Jul 15, 2011 3:24 pm

Bert Ashbrook, an NSS member and attorney representing the Society in this matter just informed me: "The Judge just denied the Center for Biological Diversity's motion for summary judgment, on the merits, in an oral opinion issued after about an hour of argument."

The BLM permit should be issued without further complication. Thanks to everyone who helped respond to this last minute fire drill.

Carl
Cave trips coordinator for the 2011 NSS Convention

Time for a dancing banana smiley: :banana:
Colorado Carl
Infrequent Poster
 
Posts: 16
Joined: May 17, 2007 1:48 pm
  

PreviousNext

Return to Caver Events

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users

cron