Cave Gate questions

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Postby wendy » Dec 17, 2007 11:41 am

tncaver wrote:Dan Straley wrote:
"The forest wants the box gate, but I personally want to know it's the right choice. This particular cave has no bats and never has.. until recently no one ever really caved in it.. A new passage was found, which has expanded the cave much further and exposed and aquifer connection. Bat's could use the cave I guess, but it's very tight for a long distance past the entrance".

Dan,
This confuses me somewhat. If there are no bats and never has been and
few people ever enter the cave, why does the forest service want to gate it?
Is it because recreational cavers might have fun in it due to the recent
extension of the cave? Is having fun while caving outlawed? Is there a
legitimate reason for wanting to gate this cave? And like you, I question
why they want to put such a large gate on such a small entrance.
It's been awhile since you posted to this topic. Has your grotto made a
decision about financing this expensive gate that will in essence keep
your grotto members out even though it is on public land? None of this
makes sense to me.
Looking for answers.
Tncaver


I don't think that the gate is to keep the cavers out. As far as I know the state forest folks and the local cavers have a good relationship, we still get to go caving even if caves are gated.
"Blessed are they who learn from their mistakes. For they shall make, if not necessarily fewer of them, different and more interesting ones."

"It's the good girls who keep diaries; the bad girls never have the time." - Tallulah Bankhead
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Re: Cave Gate questions

Postby tncaver » Jan 1, 2008 9:23 am

Does anyone know how this turned out? Was the gate built? Was the box design used?
Did the grotto foot the bill? Did everyone live happily ever after? We are all left hanging.

I attempted to contact Dan Strayley via email but his last address bounced. After 2004
he was no longer listed in the NSS members manuals. Its as if he disappeared and we
don't know how the story ended. Hopefully it worked out well for everyone and the cave.
Does anyone have any details for the specific cave that Dan mentioned?
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Re: answers

Postby shibumi » Jan 1, 2008 11:14 am

Dan Straley wrote:Hi all, and thanks for the replies.. I'm learning here..

Teresa, Even though Florida is organic limerock and subtropical? from what I know (nothing), the plants here have not seen metals, as it does not exist here naturally. I can't help but to think that the large amount of metal wouldn't pollute the limerock around the entrance.. Please remember that I am only thinking and have no education on this matter. I am very familiar with the roof scenario I explained before. This is what sparked my curiosity on the matter.



Metals occur in almost all soils in some way. Clays are largely aluminosilicates and contain significant aluminum, and
often iron oxides. Limestone clays (clays derived from weathering limestone) tend to contain a lot of iron oxide as well.
Other metals in some trace form comprise most rocks and weathering products (soils), as plant and animal life both
require them.

Some metals in large quantities will inhibit certain types of plant growth, but iron oxide in this situation won't tend to.
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Re: Cave Gate questions

Postby wendy » Jan 1, 2008 1:21 pm

tncaver wrote:Does anyone know how this turned out? Was the gate built? Was the box design used?
Did the grotto foot the bill? Did everyone live happily ever after? We are all left hanging.

I attempted to contact Dan Strayley via email but his last address bounced. After 2004
he was no longer listed in the NSS members manuals. Its as if he disappeared and we
don't know how the story ended. Hopefully it worked out well for everyone and the cave.
Does anyone have any details for the specific cave that Dan mentioned?


I e-mailed him with a link to this thread, so hopefully he will respond. You also misspelled his name, which might be why you missed him in the member's manual.
"Blessed are they who learn from their mistakes. For they shall make, if not necessarily fewer of them, different and more interesting ones."

"It's the good girls who keep diaries; the bad girls never have the time." - Tallulah Bankhead
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Re: Cave Gate questions

Postby tncaver » Jan 1, 2008 1:45 pm

Yep. Bad spelling. I see Dan is also in the 2006 NSS Members Manual.
Hopefully we will hear from him with happy news.
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Re: Cave Gate questions

Postby tncaver » Jan 15, 2008 11:39 am

An email I sent to Dan Straley was returned as non deliverable. So I wrote him a letter (via
US postal service snail mail) almost two weeks ago. So far I have had no reply.
Silence concerning such issues always makes one wonder if the action taken was
legitimate. In this case we do not even know if any action was taken.
:shrug:
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Re: Cave Gate questions

Postby Wormster » Jan 15, 2008 12:46 pm

Gates, grill, gerrrr.....

We've had many a rant on our side of the pond over this topic,

IMO that gate looks like overkill.

If no bats roost, or hibernate in the cave, and, its only local cavers using the cave,

why is the landowner getting his knickers in a twist??

Is he doing this just to be a right royal pain in the b***t?
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Re: Cave Gate questions

Postby ian mckenzie » Jan 15, 2008 1:05 pm

Liability? 'Attractive nuisance' and all that. The Brits gate caves to keep out sheep, so it's no stretch to see US landowners gating to keep out children. Just a thought.
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Re: Cave Gate questions

Postby tncaver » Jan 15, 2008 3:25 pm

The cave in question here may not have been gated. It remains a mystery.
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Re: Cave Gate questions

Postby wendy » Jan 16, 2008 3:05 pm

I beleive that the gate ended up being built by the grotto and how they wanted it done. everything worked out well.
"Blessed are they who learn from their mistakes. For they shall make, if not necessarily fewer of them, different and more interesting ones."

"It's the good girls who keep diaries; the bad girls never have the time." - Tallulah Bankhead
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Re: Cave Gate questions

Postby Jeff Bartlett » Jan 17, 2008 5:01 pm

Wormster wrote:why is the landowner getting his knickers in a twist??
Is he doing this just to be a right royal pain in the b***t?


remember, too, that in our highly litigous country, a lot of landowners have liability concerns and fear that they might be held responsible and/or sued should someone be injured while on their property.

often, grottos choose to step in and offer to construct a gate in exchange for continued access, when the alternative would be a skittish landowner sealing off the cave permanently.
"Although it pains me to say it, in this case Jeff is right. Plan accordingly." --Andy Armstrong
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Re: Cave Gate questions

Postby tncaver » Jan 17, 2008 6:14 pm

Read this entire thread and you will realize that this was not a private landowner who
requested that the grotto build and pay for a gate according to Dan Straley, the initiator of
this thread. A government agency requested this gate for a cave in a state forest
on public land and Dan mentioned that the cave had no bats and was seldom visited.
Also that the government agency wanted the grotto to pay for it and provide the labor.
Very unusual.
If Wendy is correct that the grotto did built the gate, it would be interesting to know who
funded it and what the visitation policy is. Unfortunately Dan Straley (who posted a year ago)
has not graced us with any further information.
It would be very interesting to know if building a gate on this cave (which is near a gated bat
cave) has attracted bats where there were non before. This is possible. I have dug open
caves that had no previous entrance and later bats were taking up residence. A plus
for digging open caves I would say. :waving:
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Re: Cave Gate questions

Postby TomTurner » Jan 17, 2008 11:32 pm

Hello all,
I know a bit about the gate in question and will try to address some of the questions.

There is a cave on State Forest land that until recently was considered an insignificant “nerd hole” with maybe 100’ of tiny passage and a very discouraging entrance. Cavers, following a nice flow of air, pushed through an area of breakdown and onto the ledge of a 30’ not free-climable drop. Returning with rope, cable ladder, and survey gear, the nerd hole opened up to a really nice lower level of paralleling fissure passages. The lowest portion of the cave makes an aquifer connection with some - as of yet- unidentified and uncollected trogs observed in the pools. The almost fully articulated skeleton of a bobcat and other mammals are exposed in the lower level’s clayey floors. The cave was extended to a length of 798 feet and almost makes a connection to the other nearby cave with the “bat gate” on it that was the subject at start of this topic.

Realizing the significance of the find, employees of the Division of Forestry were desirous to protect the resource from vandals, and flashlighters from hurting themselves (a very real possibility at the pit). Wishing to do the “right thing” for their caves they hired the “premier cave gater” in the country to build the first box style gate. Upon discovery of this second cave they contacted the builder of the first gate to construct this one as well. Unavailable to do the work, their protégé was suggested and contacted to do the work. A number of assembly dates were postponed and now the protégé has vanished much like Dan Straley to this thread. The Division of Forestry was going to supply the materials; the Tampa Bay Area Grotto was going to pay for the gater’s fees. I think Dan’s beef was whether there was a need for such a large box style bat gate at a cave that has never had a significant bat population, but that was the suggestion of the “pros”.

A gate is still going to be put on the cave, but it will be a much lower profile, and hopefully bat friendly gate. The gate is going to be built by TBAG using the DOF’s materials. The grotto saves some money and gets brownie points, the DOF gets a downsized gate, and everybody, well most everybody, is happy. There will be those that believe a cave on public land shouldn’t be gated, and I wish that could be true, but the reality is that any cave here in central Fl. will be stripped of anything of interest as soon as its location becomes known. Another topic here on the Conservation Forum illustrates the problem we deal with. Caves 30,000 Years Gone in a Snap.
viewtopic.php?f=15&t=5468

Thank you for your interest tncaver and others. Hope to see some of y’all at Convention.
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Re: Cave Gate questions

Postby tncaver » Jan 18, 2008 8:02 am

Thanks for all the information Tom. After the new gate goes up hopefully in a couple of years
you will let us all know if any bats take up residence in the cave. I really hate to see gates on
caves, but sometimes it just has to be. Fortunately this cave is neither user friendly nor
at the top of caver's priority list for recreation. I certainly hope there will be a biological
inventory of the cave's inhabitants after the installation of the gate.
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Re: Cave Gate questions

Postby Dan Straley » Jan 22, 2008 8:21 pm

Hi Guys! I'm back! I did get your letter tncaver, thanks for the interest. I suffered a burglary in September where I lost my old computer and everything in it. I had not been back to use these discussion boards since that burglary occurred. I have been trying to update my new computer with all things I lost. Sorry for leaving you guys hanging.

I guess Tom has done a very good job of updating this group. We are excited that we will now be able to put that gate money towards cave acquisitions!

Later,

Dan
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