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Postby Cindy Butler » May 31, 2006 9:25 pm

I work full time for a living and got the same email as Buford which was sent to me on the same day it was held. I get home at 7 pm at night which was well after the meeting.

In the recent past I did two talks on the Alachua/Mill Creek sink problem, took survey data for Pete Butt and arranged for the divers to do points in the cave. I picked up the magnet and had it retreaved and took it back to the CDS. I also arranged that the survey data, the points on the cave and sent many contacts to Mr Pruit. I have spoken on the problems to the springs working group (I took a day off for that which cost me money since I didn't have vacation) and two other local organizations. I also did two interviews that resulted in large articles and one TV news cast that brought the preserve problem to the attention of the locals. For that work the CDS gave me a award. All of that was done in the last four months.

I do not hold any grotto or NSS offices because frankly I know my limits and I do not have the time to anything else. Please, let's not get into personal attacks. Cindy Butler

Edited by moderator (SG), after consultation with the original poster. June 1, 7:10
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Postby ken hill » Jun 1, 2006 7:28 pm

Buford and Cindy,

Cheryl Jones was nice enough to send me an email advising where the rocks crossing the stream are. In the past 24 hrs I have made contact with the attorney and resurrected the conservation easement issue with him.

Cindy I have emailed you and Jim Taylor as the MCSMC representatives are the initial parties that I understand must get the ball rolling by making application to Buford, who then brings it to the AVP and then to the BoG. I do not have your personal email Buford.

The thumbnail sketch is that what needs to be done is that the NSS will have to decide who they want to name who they want to write up in the easement naming another group that is not a part of the NSS and will be bound by the easement in the event the NSS goes defunct of is targeted as a litigant and loses the property in a suit. Therefore the easement could and probably should be in the name of the CDS AND the NACD, our friendly competition.

In lieu of this, the alternate named inheritor of the easement could be a conservancy or other not for profit the NSS chooses as long as its written in the site will be used for cave diving activities and scientific study etc.. This is the place where it got hung up the last time within the NSS when it died on the vine in 2005.

The overall goal is to make sure the property has perpetual rights for caving, cave diving and scientific purpose thereby making it a less of a target for litigation and takeover by some future plaintiff. It is also a strong unambiguous statement of the NSS conservation ethic.

Now everyone who I believe is supposed to be in the loop should be.

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Postby Cheryl Jones » Jun 1, 2006 8:48 pm

Thanks Ken for resurrecting the conservation easement idea, and doing the background work to help get the project going again. :wtg: I understand that Buford and Jim Taylor, the Mill Creek Sink Preserve Manager, will be following up.

All's well that ends well. :wink:

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Postby ken hill » Jun 2, 2006 7:58 am

This is a reply (in part) rec'd from the atty that helped us at the time of the last effort to get the conservation easement as well as purchase two CDS properties. I am posting this so the reader who may be unacquainted with the topic has a general understanding of what we are trying to accomplish.

(T)he general idea; the grantee (recipient) of the easement rights has to be independent of the NSS and should not be a subsidiary of the NSS. Likewise, I would not even suggest that we use the NACD because there is a significant risk that in the event of an accident and resulting litigation it is conceivable that all of the NSS/NSS-CDS and NACD could be named as defendants, e.g. NSS is named because it owns the land; the CDS is named because it operates the guide system and the NACD could be named because some of the people involved in the accident could arguably be operating as representatives of, or somehow in the furtherance of NACD activities, e.g. joint NSS-CDS and NACD trash clean-up or scientific dives or (I know training is supposed to be prohibited there) some NACD instructor does take a student into the sink and something goes wrong. My point is the recipient of the easement should be someone who is very remote to the NSS and

I think some type of non-profit nature conservancy unassociated with diving would be better and I think we need to make the easement rights unusable to be terminated by the holder of those rights and restrict their transferability except to another non-profit conservancy type organization and then only with consent of the owner of the property. On the other hand, we would have to carefully reserve the right to access the sink on an on going basis to dive and allow for the construction and maintenance of the cat walk, notwithstanding the arguably adverse impact that might have on the natural state of the sink.

The goal is to preserve the sink and the cave system for its intended use. As a by product a strict easement makes the land value diminish in favor of the conservation ethic. The atty does not think that we will be able to get this done prior to any zoning hearing for WalMart because of the complexity of the task. We can however go in with the statement that we are going to do it etc....

Thanks to all who emailed me re: "the NSS way of doing things." It is within the chain of command and I wish them well running with it. I will help where and how I can. /K
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