Cave Gating Workshop

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Cave Gating Workshop

Postby tncaver » Aug 18, 2009 5:47 pm

This is listed in the EVENTS section on the main NSS webpage. This is your opportunity to learn welding and help protect
bats while keeping cavers out of Missouri caves for an undetermined number of years.

http://www.utexas.edu/tmm/sponsored_sit ... iffapp.htm
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Re: Cave Gating Workshop

Postby wyandottecaver » Aug 18, 2009 7:03 pm

yes, financed by our friends in the USFWS and State agencies and facilitated by our other friends Bat Conservation International and ACCA......
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Re: Cave Gating Workshop

Postby graveleye » Aug 19, 2009 7:57 am

man if they had that workshop at a cave, then that's about clever as all get-out.
Volunteers who pay you $150 to help gate a cave. What a racket that could be.... hmmmm :question:

/scandalous ideas forming...
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Re: Cave Gating Workshop

Postby Anonymous_Coward » Aug 19, 2009 12:11 pm

One would hope that at a workshop like this they would at least discuss the myriad of good reasons for NOT gating a cave. But, I have never been to this workshop, so cannot say. I would consider going if it was only one week. Two weeks is a huge time commitment. Is the entrance so large it will require two weeks to gate?
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Re: Cave Gating Workshop

Postby tncaver » Aug 19, 2009 1:50 pm

jaa45993 wrote:One would hope that at a workshop like this they would at least discuss the myriad of good reasons for NOT gating a cave. But, I have never been to this workshop, so cannot say. I would consider going if it was only one week. Two weeks is a huge time commitment. Is the entrance so large it will require two weeks to gate?


I suggest reading the link before forming an opinion. There are two entrances. I also think the link mentioned that there used to be bats in the cave and problems with locals. Not gating the cave doesn't seem to be an option. But it is not the gating of this
ONE cave that will result from these workshops and that is what worries me.
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Re: Cave Gating Workshop

Postby NZcaver » Aug 19, 2009 2:48 pm

tncaver wrote: But it is not the gating of this ONE cave that will result from these workshops and that is what worries me.

So you're saying that a bunch of people working on a gating project is OK, but turning it into a workshop might encourage otherwise-normal people to embark on some big cave-gating crusade?

I'm skeptical, but certainly anything is possible.
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Re: Cave Gating Workshop

Postby tncaver » Aug 19, 2009 3:04 pm

NZcaver wrote:
tncaver wrote: But it is not the gating of this ONE cave that will result from these workshops and that is what worries me.

So you're saying that a bunch of people working on a gating project is OK, but turning it into a workshop might encourage otherwise-normal people to embark on some big cave-gating crusade?

I'm skeptical, but certainly anything is possible.


I never said gating the specific cave mentioned in the workshop link was ok or not ok. I suggested everyone read the EVENTS link and come to their own conclusion.

A certain person from my state went to a cave gating workshop a few years ago. Now that person
states that she has gated 50 caves. I can't verify the number, but I know of several of my state's best caves that are now
more or less permanently gated and inaccessible. Granted, some needed gating, but IMHO, not all. One is so far in the boonies and protected by natural as well as other man made obstacles,that gating seemed totally unjustified IMHO. On top of that, the landowner was PO'd when he received a bill for something that was supposed to be free.

Hopefully every attendee to the cave gating workshop won't become another cave gate welder. But, NZ, are you naive enough to think these workshops do not promote gating caves? :doh: Private message sent.
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Re: Cave Gating Workshop

Postby NZcaver » Aug 19, 2009 4:01 pm

tncaver wrote:Hopefully every attendee to the cave gating workshop won't become another cave gate welder. But, NZ, are you naive enough to think these workshops do not promote gating caves? :doh: Private message sent.

No. :doh: But I do hope they at least do what Andy suggested earlier. Private message sent back.

jaa45993 wrote:One would hope that at a workshop like this they would at least discuss the myriad of good reasons for NOT gating a cave.
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Re: Cave Gating Workshop

Postby wyandottecaver » Aug 19, 2009 4:04 pm

Why hold a cave gating workshop? primarily to teach people how to do it right. Why do so many people need to know this? Because more and more folks are following the ACCA cave gate for pay career path. Need to seal those mines? need to "protect" those caves? put a lock on them...or worse build a gate that isn't a gate at all but a permanent bat friendly wall. When you or your organization makes money gating caves then any reason is a good reason.

I berated the ACCA when they gated the cave at Carter Caves in response to a single incident where bats were killed. Despite that cave being one of the most popular and easy for tourists and being a death trap for bats in extreme flooding events they now think its a good idea to attract even more bats away from nearby caves that are good hibernacula to one that will kill bats in a flood. :shrug: but as long as the USFWS was paying the gate builders bills hey why not? plus it made good press for the USFWS and gaters who were "protecting" bats from a one time threat and thus exposing even more of them to a seasonal one.

Some caves do need gates. Most simply dont. Keep in mind that most folks gating a cave have already come up with reasons to deflect criticisim.....but...have the bats in this case declined due to people or loss of habitat? is vandalisim a regular ongoing problem or a sporadic incident. they have not found any artifacts exposed there but suppose they might be below the mud somewhere? Sure lets build a gate....
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Re: Cave Gating Workshop

Postby MUD » Aug 19, 2009 4:54 pm

:big grin: I like cave gates. So long as I have a key! :laughing: I do have a few of them on my keyring. :rofl:
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Re: Cave Gating Workshop

Postby Jeff Bartlett » Aug 19, 2009 5:17 pm

jaa45993 wrote:Is the entrance so large it will require two weeks to gate?

I'm guessing the focus of the workshop is training and not the gating of this specific cave, but like you I don't really have any further details.

While I have mixed feelings about cave gating that vary widely from situation to situation, it would seem to me that more cave "gaters" means more cave gates, and can only imagine that those who finish the workshop will look forward to applying their newly developed skills.
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Re: Cave Gating Workshop

Postby tncaver » Aug 19, 2009 6:05 pm

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Re: Cave Gating Workshop

Postby STLCaver » Aug 20, 2009 8:32 am

As a Missouri caver who lives close to Cliff Cave (the cave being gated) I would like to share my thoughts.
Cliff Cave was the site of one of the worst disasters in US caving. Six people drowned when the cave flooded. One person survived by sticking his head up into a crack and waiting. It was a huge ordeal and just about every caver in Saint Louis was on hand to help with the body recoveries. Cliff Cave is in a highly developed suburb and the park sees a lot of traffic. The cave is widely known about. It was used for years as a place to take newbie’s, but after the incident, I don’t think many STL cavers went there. It is owned and managed by the Saint Louis County Parks department. They have erected a chain link fence in front of the cave to try and keep some kind of control over who was going in there. It has not been effective. The cave has been semi-open, with rangers leading tours into the easy parts of the cave.
Here is my gripe. St. Louis County Parks and Recreation have completely turned their backs on the local caving community, unless there is something for them to be gained. They always seem to pop up when they need a kiosk built or for a National Cave Gating seminar. They have closed the majority of their caves and WILL NOT issue a permit for those caves that previously were open.
Now they are asking local caving clubs to help supplement the gating of Cliff Cave with money. Give me a freaking break! I have no problem with them gating Cliff Cave, it really is a cave that needs a good gate, but to come to the local caving community and ask for money!? Wow. Not only have they figured out a way to get “students” to pay for the privilege to haul steel, they want our money as well! I figured between BCI, St.Louis County Parks, and Missouri Department of Conservation the funds would have been covered.
So just a little review, we pull dead kids out of their cave, they close 90% of the caves, and ignore the cavers, then they want us to help fund them. Sorry, they get enough of my tax dollars to not effectively manage the resource as it is.
As a comparison, I will be helping re-gate a show cave on NPS land this weekend; they are lodging us, and feeding us. Seems as though the NPS unit here in Missouri knows how to treat their volunteers.
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Re: Cave Gating Workshop

Postby Anonymous_Coward » Aug 20, 2009 9:00 am

tncaver wrote:I suggest reading the link before forming an opinion. There are two entrances. I also think the link mentioned that there used to be bats in the cave and problems with locals. Not gating the cave doesn't seem to be an option. But it is not the gating of this
ONE cave that will result from these workshops and that is what worries me.


I DID read the link, and I am not sure what opinion you think I have formed. But thanks for the suggestion.

Still, a responsible cave gating workshop should spread the word to the non-initiated that gating a cave is the LAST RESORT option.
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Re: Cave Gating Workshop

Postby tncaver » Aug 20, 2009 11:23 am

jaa45993 wrote:Still, a responsible cave gating workshop should spread the word to the non-initiated that gating a cave is the LAST RESORT option.


In this instance, the gating of the cave does seem to be a last resort. However, as I stated earlier, these workshops may
lead to more gates that may not be as necessary as this one is. I've seen it in my state and I keep hearing the same from
cavers in other states.
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