Meetings

The Tennessee Cave Survey holds two meetings each year.

2017 Tennessee Cave Survey Fall Business Meeting
Saturday, September 30, 2017 at 9:00am - 2:00pm CDT
Robert and Gloria Bell Hall
Tennessee Tech University
W 7th Street
Cookeville, Tennessee 38501
Coordinates: 36.171375,-85.504490
Google Map: Link
Facebook Event: TCS Meeting

This is the building which sits on the south side of The Quad. It also goes by the shortened name Bell Hall, Nursing and Health Services Building, or just Nursing Building. Parking will be on the south side of Bell Hall. We will be meeting in room 282 which is an auditorium. NO food and drinks are allowed in the auditorium.

Previous TN Cave Survey Meetings
2017/04/29Spring Presentation MeetingJack Daniels Distillery, Lynchburg, TN
2016/10/01Fall Business MeetingTennessee Tech University, Cookville, TN
2016/04/30Spring Presentation MeetingUniversity of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN
2015/09/26Fall Business MeetingTennessee Tech University, Cookville, TN
2015/04/04Spring MeetingUniversity of the South, Sewanee, TN
2014/09/27Fall Business MeetingTennessee Tech University, Cookville, TN
2014/03/29Spring Presentation MeetingUniversity of the South, Sewanee, TN
2013/09/28Fall Business MeetingTennessee Tech University, Cookville, TN
2013/04/06Spring Meeting
2012/09/29Fall Business Meeting
2012/05/26Spring Meeting [Canceled}
2011/10/01Fall Business Meeting
2011/04/30Spring Meeting
2010/09/25Fall Business Meeting
2010/05/01Spring Meeting
2009/09/19Fall Business Meeting
2009/04/04Spring MeetingSewanee, TN
2008/09/27Fall Business Meeting
2008/04/05Spring Meeting
2007/09/22Fall Business Meeting
2007/04/21Spring Meeting
2006/09/30Fall Business Meeting
2006/04/29Spring Meeting (TAG Survey Meeting)
2005/09/24Fall Business Meeting
2005/04/30Spring Meeting
2004/09/25Fall Business Meeting


Meeting Minutes

2017/09/30 TCS Fall Business Meeting, Cookeville, TN

NOTE: The PDF files in the 2017 Data CD are defective. If you use the PDF files, want a new CD, please contact Gerald Moni and a new, corrected CD will either be mailed to you or given to you in person.

Chuck called the meeting to order.

Secretary/Treasurer Alexis Pryor read the minutes from the spring presentation meeting, and reported the treasury at $6,173.58. Alexis reiterated that she would be retiring from her position at this meeting, and that someone would need to be elected to replace her.

Next Co-Chairman W TN Gerald Moni reported the new cave count as 10,420, with 235 caves over 1 mile. Gerald continued with an explanation of GPS files that are loaded onto Dropbox.

Co-Chairman E TN Bruce Zerr stated that things were quiet as usual in his area. He also stated that he would be retiring as officer at this meeting.

Mapbook Director John Smyre stated he has 2,039 maps completed, with 38 new and 260 edited since the spring. He stated that almost all maps are uploaded to Dropbox, and that he seeks out raw data/sketches for references, and wants to load them to Dropbox too.

Bibliography Files Director Ben Miller continues to scan paper files.

Narrative Files Director Kristen Bobo continues to field check and edit cave information.

Director at Large W TN Emily Davis stated she is open to ideas for W TN info to present at meetings, and that she has been receiving more calls with leads, due to meeting minutes being uploaded to the website (thanks Stan!).

IT Person Stan White says we have not been hacked! Please send any photos or otherwise that you would like to see on the website.

Data Files Director Chris Oliver was not present, but sent word through Chuck Sutherland that he will be retiring from his position.

Tennessee Caver magazine Editor Candice Eagle presented her first issue, which was very well received! She said to please send her feedback about the magazine, and to please send her submissions any time of year to her home or email address.

Meeting Director Chuck Sutherland asked TCS members to help him find meeting venues for the Spring Presentation meetings. He needs places that can hold around 120 people. Please help him! Especially those of you who state you want the meeting closer to your home (Nashville, etc.).

Director at Large E TN Chris Kerr stated nothing was happening in his area.

OLD BUSINESS Dropbox – Chuck stated that he was unsure about the process/future of the Dropbox idea, due to the extreme monthly cost for what we would need. He stated he will be pursuing the Alabama Survey process to see if it’s something we can adopt. John Smyre stated that we need a dedicated server if we are putting the data online. MUCH BACK AND FORTH ENSUED...Gerald wants to stick with the original TCS data format of WGS 84 (degree/minute/second), and Chuck, Jason Duke, and many others argued to update the data format to decimal degrees, because it’s more accurate. Jason Duke is a professor of GIS, President of the TN Geographic Council, and advocated for the change. Chuck stated that the conversions would be too much to deal with for now, but that it’s something to work towards for the future.

Jerell Killian did not have any updates for the Land of 10,000 Caves license plates.

ANNOUNCEMENTS
Julianne Ramsey – Nunley Cave – 2 entrances on her property, and going to blast open historical entrance, please come help on Sunday!

Kelly Smallwood – Save Haggard Cave in Marion County – GoFundMe started by Brad Long raised over 14K in 11 days! The cave will be donated to the NSS and a plan for conservation is being drafted.

Anne Elmore – welcome back Marion O. Smith, who decided to let a cave formation fall on his head.

Ken Pasternack – November 4 graffiti removal party at Buffalo Cave

Bruce Zerr – September NSS News – Jewell Cave article

ELECTIONS
Secretary/Treasurer – Alexis Pryor retiring; Nominations: Kim Fedrick (9 votes), Kyle Lassiter (23 votes), Kelly Smallwood (14 votes)
Co-Chairman W – Gerald Moni – retained by acclamation
Co-Chairman E – Bruce Zerr (retiring); Nominations: JP McLendon (acclamation), Ken Pasternack (declined nomination)
Mapbook Director – John Smyre – retained by acclamation
Bibliography Files Director – Ben Miller – retained by acclamation
Narrative Files Director – Kristen Bobo – retained by acclamation
Director at Large W TN – Emily Davis – retained by acclamation
Director at Large E TN – Chris Kerr – retained by acclamation
Data Files Officer – Chris Oliver retiring – Nominations: Chuck Sutherland (acclamation); co- officers Kyle Lassiter and Jon Zetterberg
Meeting Director – Chuck Sutherland – retained by acclamation
IT Developer – volunteer position – retained by Stan White
Tennessee Caver magazine – volunteer position – retained by Candice Eagle

PRESENTATIONS
Ben Miller – Karst Springs Initiative
Jon Zetterberg presented A Very Spatial Caving Presentation

2017/04/29 TCS Spring Presentation Meeting, Jack Daniels Distillery, Lynchburg, TN
Meeting Director Chuck Sutherland called the meeting to order at 9am, and Co-Chairman E TN Gerald Moni gave the current cave count.

Co-Chairman W TN, Bruce Zerr said it remains quiet as usual in his area.

The Secretary/Treasury report was given by Alexis Pryor.

Mapbook Director John Smyre stated 24 new maps completed + 100 smaller files uploaded to Dropbox.

Bibliography Files Director Ben Miller was not present to report.

Narrative Files Director Kristen Bobo continues to check cave points and update as needed.

Director at Large E TN Chris Kerr was not present to report.

Director at Large W TN Emily Davis was not present to report.

IT manager, Stan White, encouraged members to send to him any info they would like to see added to the website.

The new Tennessee Caver Editor, Candice Eagle said she can receive magazine submissions at TennEagle@gmail.com, or contributions can be sent by mail.

The business was quick as we went right into an amazing morning of presentations by TCS members Kelly Smallwood (Motlow Cave Survey), Sid Jones (Fluviokarst), Jon Zettenberg (2017 Lidar Initiative), Cory Holliday (Regional model to predict Gray Bat migration) and Hali Steinmann (Surveying Pennington caves in Savage Gulf).

2016/10/01 TCS Fall Business Meeting, Cookeville, TN
Meeting Director Chuck Sutherland called the meeting to order and asked me (Alexis Pryor) to present as Secretary/Treasurer. I read the minutes from the spring meeting and stated the treasury report. As Editor of the Tennessee Caver magazine, I also stated that the present 2016 issue would be my last, and I resigned from the position. Candice Eagle volunteered to take over, and will present her first issue in 2017. I also reminded the crowd that I would not be seeking re-election as Secretary/Treasurer when my term is up fall 2017.

Next Co-Chairman E TN Gerald Moni stated 159 new caves this year to bring our total count to 10,309, with 228 caves being over 1 mile. Gerald asked that if you want a new cave or report info to appear in the new data, get your information in early (months before the meeting, not weeks before). He asked to keep looking at the list of caves that need correcting, especially in E TN. He also mentioned a new folder on the data disc with cave articles.

Bruze Zerr, Co-Chairman W, said it was quiet as usual in his area. He did speak about some other things though. He stated that he moved to TN in 1976 and was surveying caves back then, but it was 1986 before he was ever invited to come to a TCS meeting. His point was that we need YOUNG BLOOD in the survey, and YOUNG, INTERESTED people to take over positions, so PLEASE invite your young grotto members to TCS meetings, especially ones that map!

Mapbook Director John Smyre reported that we are at 1,989 maps with 77 new maps added this past year. He gave kudos to Ben Miller for all of his mapping efforts. John has 91 newly scanned and touched up maps, and also stated he is tired of looking at maps. He requests that large map files please be sent to him via snail mail on DISC as he has a dial-up internet connection at home and large downloads time out on him.

Bibliography Files Director Ben Miller reported continuing to sketch maps and reviewed the info regarding his request to the National Karst Institute. The board of governors at the NKI became concerned with online information in the form of scanned grotto newsletters, because of the sensitive cave information they (may have) contained...but that so much of that information is still relevant. With a letter of request to release grotto newspapers, Ben could have access to this useful information from the NKI.

Narrative Files Director Kristen Bobo stated continuing to field check and correct when she is not in KY doing research at Mammoth Cave.

Director at Large E TN Chris Kerr emailed an update to Chuck...he spoke about gate breaches in E Fork, which have since been repaired.

Director at Large W TN Emily Davis stated continuing to field check as well, with Gerald Moni, as often as possible.

Our website developer Stan White was present and encouraged TCS members to send info to him to add to the website, including photos.

Meeting Director Chuck Sutherland invited members to go caving with the Upper Cumberland Grotto after lunch, with trips to Doomsday Pit and Capshaw Cave. Chuck also stated that he continues to digitize cave maps with georeferences, and discussed how one can view them on your smart phone. Digital Files Director Chris Oliver stated he didn’t realize people used his DIG program, but by a showing of hands, it was clear that people DO use it.

NEW BUSINESS

Chuck began with his proposal of a TCS Dropbox account, for $150/year. This account would be for our proprietary data and had unlimited storage. Users (aka current TCS members) would be given a unique username and password for access. Dropbox is HIPPA secure, and is set up so that updates can be made instantaneously, and the updates are also traceable as to whom has made them. Howards Kalnitz of the KY Cave Survey was present and spoke about their use of Dropbox and how great it has been for their needs. A TCS member readily volunteered to fund the first year.

Gerald stated that not just anybody should be allowed to make updates, and it was agreed that geology, etc. would need to be reviewed first and that only certain permissions would be given to limited people to make these updates.

Stan White, Cory Holliday, Clinton Elmore and Mike Rogers spoke opinions on the issue. Emily Davis voiced the need for a standardized procedure for sharing permissions to outside organizations (TDOT, TDEC, environmental firms, etc.).

Ric Finch noted that cave science could also be “attached” to cave files in Dropbox. Teeter Pelfrey suggested a rise in membership after the files are accessed in this way. Thany Mann reminded us about crooked members and people in general willing to share information they have pledged not to; Chuck stated that he periodically checks bit torrent for signs of the cave survey data appearing, and has never seen instance of it.

Comments continued from Joelle Marlin and Sid Jones.

Chuck moved to vote on whether or not to obtain this Dropbox account, and a majority easily ruled in favor.

Emily Davis will be forming a committee with Chuck, Cory, and (Jeff???) regarding developing official sharing procedure. Data given to an outside organization would be at a cost, and would contain a buffer area of caves (they would receive only limited information only about caves in the specific area of request), and a confidentiality agreement would be signed. An idea of $50 per search and $50 per cave was suggested. Emily will also come to a decision regarding liability issues and data reciprocation.

Scott Engel reminded us that sharing data is actually HELPING to protect our caves.

John Hoffelt stated that a technical staff may be needed for sharing this data.Either way, everyone agreed that a vetting procedure will continue to be in place for all TCS data, regardless of who the recipient is.

Brian Ham volunteered as a liaison between TDEC and Emily’s committee.

With that said, Chuck closed all comments on this issue and moved on to other new business.

Cory Holliday followed through with the 10,000 caves license plate request, and is in the state of final approval. Within the next 12 months, art will be requested, and will perhaps be set up as an art contest. Cory gently reminded everyone that 1,000 PRE-ORDERS will be needed to fulfill the request to have these license plates made!

Announcements
Kelly Smallwood stated that SWG was hosting NSS BOG members October 28-30, and that today (Oct 1) TN Parks and Greenways was giving presentations at Devilstep Hollow.

Anne Elmore stated that the 2019 NSS convention would be taking place in Cookeville in the 2nd week of July, and that camping would potentially be at the Cookeville fairgrounds, possibly Hyder Burks for the banquet dinner.

We ended the meeting with presentations Kelly Smallwood, Cory Holliday, and Chuck Sutherland. Lunch this year is at SATCO!

2016/04/30 TCS Spring Presentation Meeting, Knoxville, TN
We had 35 attendees at the University of Tennessee campus meeting location. Kudus to the handful who drove from Nashville to make it. There was chatter about the next spring meeting being held in Nashville, but Chuck will keep us posted on that. If you wondered why the meeting was held in Knoxville, it is evidently the center point of our TCS members, and it was a way to encourage E TN TCS members to come.

The spring meeting was called to order by meeting director Chuck Sutherland, and he asked me (Alexis Pryor) to present for Secretary/Treasurer.

Co-Chairman W TN Gerald Moni was not present to report, but in his place, we did remind everyone to turn in new caves, updates, GPS point corrections, and detailed cave entrance descriptions with location of entrances in the field, using the Cave Report Form found on the website OR it's also listed as “TCS form” in the Forms Folder on the narrative files disc. Co-Chairman W TN Bruce Zerr said that he was contacted by a consultant from Harriman, who was looking for caves................

Director at large W TN Emily Davis was not present to report.

Director at large E TN Chris Kerr was not present to report.

Mapbook Director John Smyre was not present to report.

Narrative Files Director Kristen Bobo was not present to report.

Digital Files Director Chris Oliver was not present to report.

Bibliography Files Director Ben Miller sent his report to Chuck, saying that his long-term forever ongoing project to sketch and scan continues. Along with TCS member Andy Zellner, he is in contact with the National Kart Institute regarding access for TCS members.

We had presentations by Adam McLeod, Cory Holliday, Dr. Jan Simek, Dr. Sara Keenan and Dr. Annette Engel.

Lastly, Bruce Zerr gave a cave sketching demonstration and mapped the first quarter of our meeting room.

TCS shirts are ready, so if you ordered one or want to purchase one, we still have some in limited sizes, as well as Ladies’ tank tops!

My last issue of Tennessee Caver magazine is also available to CURRENT TCS members. As it is my last issue, that means that I will be replaced as editor. Candice Eagle had expressed interest a few years ago, and luckily she said she is still keen on taking her for a spin, so as Editor is a volunteer position, Candice has officially volunteered to take over the magazine, so PLEASE continue to take the time to make contributions when she calls for content so we can continue to have a magazine to enjoy!I have also talked with Candice about taking over my position as Secretary/Treasurer next year at election time, and I am not sure I have completely convinced her just yet there, but I still have a year to do so.

2015/09/26 TCS Fall Business Meeting, Cookeville, TN
The meeting was called to order by Chuck Sutherland, and he asked Alexis (Lienhart) Pryor to present for Secretary/Treasurer.

Next, Gerald Moni presented as Co-Chairman West TN, and stated there were 165 new caves turned in this past year. A Jackson County cave was found, reaching over 1 mile! A sandstone pit was also discovered. We now have 227 caves over 1 mile long on the survey. Gerald has been concentrating his efforts in the Grassy Cove area, and as always, encouraged us to please turn in new caves, updates, GPS point corrections, and detailed cave entrance descriptions with location of entrances in the field, using the Cave Report Form found on the website. The cave count for the fall was 10,187.

Co-Chairman East Bruce Zerr said things have been quiet in his neck of the woods.

Narrative Files Director Kristen Bobo said she has been field checking every week.

Chris Kerr, Director at Large East TN provided information on the SERA Winter Business meeting in Knoxville. Chris also discussed the Knox County highway cave mapping project, as well as clean up efforts there.

Joe Douglas, Director at Large West TN stated that Middle Tennessee State University now owns Black Cat Cave, which is a prehistoric burial site.

John Smyre, Mapbook Director stated 1,656 total maps, with 109 maps being added this past year. John encouraged all mappers to turn information in to him in grayscale and at least 600dpi.

IT guy Stan White was not present to report. Members may submit any photos you would like to see on the website to him! His email is listed on the board.

Chuck introduced Alan Coggins, an author who has written the fictional account Escape from Bone Cave. This book was for sale at the meeting.

NEW BUSINESS
Membership continues at $10/year. A motion to raise the Lifetime Membership dues to $150 was made, seconded, and voted for. All members at the meeting had the chance to pay the old rate of $100 that day.

Ben Miller stated that he has been scanning sketched maps as an ongoing project in Putnam, Overton, Pickett, Warren, Cumberland, and other counties. He is doing this as an attempt to make more information about updated maps available to TCS members. An ancillary folder will be created on the mapbook disc to include PDFs with this info…***character recognition software and extracting data. If you would like to speak with Ben further on this, please email him: caverben@yahoo.com

A subcommittee to Mapbooking was voted on and formed, with Matt Tomlinson as the subcommittee chair with Ben Miller. A central depository for survey info was discussed, so that mappers can dump info to be included/updated in the ancillary file.

This topic soon took a turn as, at times, they do, to digital cave data. John Smyre, Chuck, and Jay Manneschmidt all voiced thoughts on this, and a summit for digitizing cave data was to take place, with Chuck presenting a prototype of a relational database at today’s meeting.

Jerell Killian brought up his research on the Land of 10,000 Caves license plate idea. He found that there must be 1,000 pre-orders for this to happen. We would also need a sponsor, for which the Nature Conservancy was brought up as an idea. We would also need a contact in the TN state legislature, as well as, of course, a design! Hopefully Jerell can update us on any further information on the plate. April Moore said that she would research the legality of crowdsourcing with the Nature Conservancy. Teeter Pelfrey said that with the license idea as a FRONT PLATE, none of these hoops would need to be jumped through.

With that, new business moved forward.

I made a motion that was seconded and voted on to waive TCS membership dues for TCS officers.

Bruce Zerr stated that he would like to see a workshop for TCS members on how to sketch maps. This idea was to be a possibility for a break-out session after today’s meeting, as the final presentation, led by Ben Miller.

Bruce Zerr also stated a desire to see a presentation on current cave mapping software.

Elections took place next.

Gerald Moni was re-elected as Co-Chairman West TN.

Bruce Zerr was re-elected as Co-Chairman East TN.

Alexis Pryor was re-elected as Secretary/Treasurer.

Chuck Sutherland was re-elected as Meeting Director.

John Smyre was re-elected as Mapbook Director.

Ben Miller was elected as Bibliography Files Director.

Kristen Bobo was re-elected as Narrative Files Director.

Chris Kerr was re-elected as Director at Large East TN.

Emily Davis was elected as Director at Large West TN.

I volunteered for another round of magazine editing for the Tennessee Caver magazine.

Stan White, who had stated he would be unable to attend the fall meeting, also stated that he would be available to continue as IT Director.

Bruce Zerr stated the need for a new officer position, regarding digital data, and stated he would write a proposal for this for the spring meeting, and everyone agreed that Chris Oliver should take this role…although he was not present to know this.  That happens around here at times. 

Presentations followed, and included Novelist Philip Dale Smith, Matt Tomlinson, Ben Miller, Charles Stephen, and Joe Douglas.

All members present received the opportunity to pre-order TCS shirts in the color of their choice.

2015/04/04 TCS Spring Presentation Meeting, Sewanee, TN
We last met on April 4 of this year at our Spring Presentation meeting in Sewanee, TN.
Meeting Director Chuck Sutherland called the meeting to order a few minutes after 9am, and Co-Chairman W TN Gerald Moni updated us with a new cave count, at 10,100 caves, including 78 new ones.
Co-Chairman E TN, Bruce Zerr, says things are still quiet in his area, but that his work on Buffalo Cave gained another ½ mile in just 2 acres, and the cave now has 6 different levels.
Mapbook Director John Smyre was not present when called upon to report.
Director at Large E TN Kris Kerr was not present when called upon to report.
Narrative Files Director Kristen Bobo was not present when called upon to report.
Website Manager Stan White was not present when called upon to report.
Director at Large W TN Joe Douglas reported that he was still doing the things.
As Secretary, I read the minutes and made announcements, and we moved on to new business.
Bruce Zerr said that he wants a data officer to be elected at the fall business meeting.
Jerrell Killian brought up the idea of a Land of 10,000 caves license plate. He believed this could happen with 1,000 people willing to purchase. Jerell said he would accept this idea as a project, and would report back when he had more information.
We moved on to presentations by Joe Douglas, Cory Holliday, and Clinton Elmore.

2014/09/27 TCS Fall Business Meeting, Cookeville, TN
Meeting Director Chuck Sutherland called the meeting to order and called upon Alexis Lienhart as Secretary/Treasurer, to read the minutes.
Next, Co-Chairman E TN, Bruce Zerr, reported that it was still quiet in his neck of the woods.
Co-Chairman W TN, Gerald Moni, reported 231 new caves turned in, for a current count of 10,034 caves. Gerald stated that submissions were 50% higher than in the last few years, primarily due to more people not living on the plateau turning in new caves. Gerald encouraged everyone to continue to use cave report forms to turn in errors in locations or narratives, or regarding any missing fields in the database, and that there is an error report list on the DVD for more information. Gerald then went into a discussion about his new GPS unit, and then after discussing all of its features, recommended that we never purchase one like it.
Mapbook Director, John Smyre, reported 4-500 cave maps that still need to be touched up, and reported 1,871 maps total. He stated he received a new one from 1972 that he was able to restore, for a cave which is over 8 miles long. John gave another shout-out to Ken Oeser and Ben Miller for their mapping efforts this year.
John Hoffelt, who is not calling himself Bibliography Files Director, says someone younger needs to take over the position.
Narrative Files Director Kristen Bobo reported that she is in the field at all times, editing and de-junking the files, as well as updating the information to present street names, etc., and uses property assessment tools from the county to update property addresses.
Director at Large E TN Chris Kerr states he has been working on a Knox Co, E TN cave with the help of TCS member JP McLendon. He reported about a TDOT project on Hwy 33 near his house, and was concerned about local cave impact, especially on cave life. Matt Niemiller, cave critter biologist, checked out the cave and stated that the inhabitants were not endangered species. Chris also reported that the Blowhole Cave SINKHOLE itself is closed until 3/16/15, due to WNS.
Director at Large W TN Joe Douglas asked people to take their GPS out into the field and report accurate cave locations. He stated if the cave you are visiting has information that dates to the 1980’s or before, to please get a new GPS point. Joe reported that Lower Graveyard Bluff Cave has been impacted by highway straightening.
Stan White, our IT person, reported stats about the new website, and encouraged everyone to send him comments, ideas, or any info they would like to see added.
Chuck Sutherland made note of some fun geospatial data on the CD, regarding TN landforms. He said instructions on how to use the discs are on the CD, and that the program GPS Babel (gpsbabel.org) can do your GPS conversions for you. He also mentioned quadrangle info on the discs that may not be usable to you unless you can support KML format.
Old business was discussed next, and the only item on the agenda was whether to raise membership dues.
Jan Simek suggested purposeful fundraisers for specific ideas, instead of raising dues to possibly cover such things in the future.
Joe Douglas made a motion to raise dues to $15, and was seconded by Natalie Pheasant who suggested $10.
Jerell Killian reminded us of times where TCS has made special collections and contributed to causes in the past.
TCS members voted with about a 95% for, and 5% against raising dues. $10 dues will begin at the spring 2015 meeting.
Discussion of raising the lifetime membership by the same percentage ensued, and by the same percentage, the fee would be raised from $120 to $165. Someone stated that a lifetime membership typically = 20 years.
Chuck Sutherland stated that we would vote in the spring about raising this fee, and we moved on to new business.
A PhD student from Minnesota introduced himself, and said he is working with Annette Engle at UT on a project involving microbes in cave walls and rocks, and is taking core samples from walls and ceilings.
A suggestion was made to send meeting reminder postcards only to those without working email addresses, and I will start doing this.
Cory Holliday stated there was an upset landowner issue due to our narrative files containing information on how to trespass on certain properties, to get to caves. Kristen Bobo and Gerald Moni reported that they are presently removing this information from the files, as well as deleting references to explosions. Emily Davis stated that this information is historically part of the narrative and should not be removed, and that the landowners are only upset due to vandalism.
Chuck pulled up the TN tax assessor page and showed us how to look up landowner information and encouraged everyone to make personal connections with the landowners as TCS members, to provide legal and credibility to TCS.
Jay Manneschmidt reported SERA Cave Carnival date as May 8-10, 2015 at E Fork Stables in Jamestown.
Uriah Pryor provided a beautiful walking stick with Indian motif as a doorprize giveaway, and the drawing occurred after the break.
Presentations were given by the following:
Chris Oliver presented on his DIG cd that accompanied the data discs this year. He has won over all of the TCS members with his super user-friendly program! Bruce Zerr stated he would like to table further discussion of the program at the spring meeting, involving a new officer position regarding electronic data. Natalie Pheasant voiced concern about the DIG disc data needing protection, but as it is not connected to the internet, the data is safe.
Next, Jan Simek gave a presentation on a New Early Date for Prehistoric Cave Use in the Eastern Woodlands.
Lastly, Cory Holliday presented a WNS update.

2014/03/29 TCS Spring Presentation Meeting, Sewanee, TN
Meeting Director Chuck Sutherland called the meeting to order and asked me to report first as secretary/treasurer, and I read the minutes from our fall meeting.
Next, Co-Chairman W TN, Gerald Moni, reviewed the correct format for submitting cave report forms, and that presently, reports need to be in WGS84 decimal seconds, instead of NAD27. Gerald stated an approximate 40 ft difference in the two, which should significantly increase accuracy of the survey. Discs will be available in the new format at the Fall 2014 meeting. Gerald reported 88 new caves, which brings us to over 9,900 caves! We will easily reach 10K by 2015! If you need help with conversions, please contact Chuck Sutherland.
Next, Co-Chairman E TN, Bruce Zerr, reported that it has been a quiet half year, and that he lost his grad student. TVA hired a caver/geologist consultant from CA to look into re-activating the Breeder reactor at Oak Ridge, which is a modular sized nuclear reactor. Bruce stated Buffalo Cave has reached 4.819 miles on the survey.
Mapbook Director John Smyre re-articulated his idea about having a map display of some sort at a science center, perhaps, or, hopefully, as part of an endowment. He stated again that he needs maps in resolution of 600dpi, or as a .jpg file. He gave kudos to TCS member Ben Miller for his prolific mapping in the past 6 months. John also brought up the point of raising TCS dues to create revenue for such an endowment, and others voiced thoughts on scholarships, etc. This subject has been flagged for further discussion at the Fall 2014 Business meeting.
Narrative Files Director Kristen Bobo was not present to report.
Director at Large W TN Joe Douglas spoke about a drilling project around Snail Shell Cave (but not the cave, proper) that included drilling into the voids below the system. He stated this does not affect downstream caves. Gerald Moni included that there are 80-90 wells of 60-80ft each that are being monitored for HVAC purposes, and that caves in developing areas need constant monitoring.
Director at Large E TN Chris Kerr was not present to report.
Stan White, IT person, was not present to report, but the new website address was given (http://www.subworks.com/tcs). Please email Stan with any suggestions or photos about the website.
Candice Eagle announced SERA May 1-3, 2013 in Crossville, TN.
A editor of the Tennessee Caver magazine, at the last meeting, I expressed my concern over rising printing costs for the publication, and to my surprise, those present stated they would be willing to PAY for the publication in the future…if it meant choosing between that and having to cut the content size…and…I tell ya, that just warmed my heart! :D But I will continue to assess the situation as I put together the 2015 magazine, and I will report in the spring about my feelings, and we can make some decisions then, if we need to. ☺
We have the 2014 Tennessee Caver available for free – for now! – to members, right down here, so if you didn’t make the fall meeting, please pick up your copy. We still have coloring books available too, so if you have kids, or if you’re man enough to color, pick some up. :D
As always, if you did not receive your meeting reminder postcard, please check your address with me, or correct it on the sheet. If you want your personal information blacked out from the shared list, please let me know.
And on the note of mailings, I know that mail happens. But I got a pretty funny return this year that I brought as a rather extreme example of mail NOT happening…
Excluding new members from this meeting, we have
And on to more fun things – BAT HOUSES! TCS member Jonathan Thurman has built bat houses as standards dictate by Bat Conservancy International, and they are available for purchase for $25. (Talk about bat house giveaway at intermission.)
Presentations were next:
Will Coleman (Senior at Sewanee); Re-discovery of long-lost Nickajack Cave isopod (with Kirk Zigler)
Joe Douglas; Was it really in the Civil War? Examining Chronology of Saltpeter Mining in Select TN Caves.
Linnea Carer; Nesticus populations and location.
Annette Eagel; Microbial diversity of caves from the Midwest Paleozoic valley & ridge.

2013/09/28 TCS Fall Business Meeting, Cookeville, TN
After Meeting Director Chuck Sutherland called the meeting to order, Co-Chairman W TN Gerald Moni took the meeting by the reins and reported 9,841 caves as the current count. He talked about Clinton Elmore’s find, Arctic Rift, which had already made it onto the long cave list at 10,000 feet. As always, Gerald reminded everyone to use cave report forms to turn in new finds, and stated that the amount of duplicate submissions is worsening and said that even Marion had duplicated…so we know it’s not just Gerald making all this up. ☺
As at every meeting, Gerald stated the format he prefers for lat/long, and I’ll spare you, because he’ll go over it again…(annual decimal second debate)…
Co-Chairman E TN Bruce Zerr said that things were quiet in his neck of the woods…but that he knew of a masters student at the Oak Ridge reservation drilling core samples from flowstones for paleopollen climate research, which *I* think sounds particularly interesting…so Maybe we can ask him to present at our next meeting??? ☺
Chuck called on me next as Secretary/Treasurer, and I reported the last meeting’s minutes and treasury.
Chuck reported next about emergency 911 responders in Cumberland & Fentress counties having cave entrance data, pointing out that our bylaws state that no government entity should have access to our data. Someone mentioned that Barr’s book was digitized by the state, and perhaps that’s how they have the data.
Ric Finch suggested someone go and speak to the 911 people as a diplomat for TCS. – did this ever happen??
Gerald said information is given to pipeliners and road workers, which we can all understand…but there is potential for misuse, even in that system…like in all systems.
Chuck stated that the meeting needed to move forward, and the next thing we did was decide to NOT form a new committee at this time for digitizing data for online access and password protection. I think we all agreed it’s our Mount Everest, and we’re having too much fun partying at base camp for now. Everyone knows by now you can come to the meetings and purchase the data, or buy from myself or Gerald throughout the year.
Map Director John Smyre reported 274 maps completed, and talked about the future of maps in layering techniques and quality. John also asked us to keep our ears open for an office he could use because his work for TCS is beginning to take up a lot of space. – John, any success in scoring an office?
Bibliography Director John Hoffelt reported about the extensive time consumption of the position and asked us to help preserve TCS by forwarding newspaper clippings to him to file. A big debate followed about 501(c)3 organizations and bibliography use, and an ad Hoc committee was formed by John & Joe Douglas to further explore the issue.
Narrative files Director Kristen Bobo reported same as usual as she continues to edit files and update them as new reports are turned in.
Director at Large E TN Chris Kerr & Director at Large W TN Joe Douglas both reported asking people to turn in caves. MAP/FIND/REPORT!
After officer reports, Chuck tabled last spring’s motion to vote for a 2-year election cycle and change the bylaws by a 2/3 majority rule. There was a motion to accept, and the change was opened for discussion. When we voted, the final count was 43 FOR, 6 OPPOSED, and the motion passed.
As meeting director, Chuck took the liberty to do his presentation in the middle of the meeting…which was probably a good thing because he showed us how to use the data discs that we sell.
Elections were next, and were as follows:
Gerald Moni was re-elected as Co-Chairman W TN
Bruce Zerr was re-elected Co-Chairman E TN
I was re-elected as Secretary/Treasurer.
Chuck Sutherland was re-elected as Meeting Director
John Smyre was not re-elected, per se, but he now heads the bibliography committee with Joe Douglas.
Kristen Bobo was re-elected as Narrative Files Director.
Chris Kerr was re-elected Director at Large E TN.
Joe Douglas was re-elected Director at Large W TN
I volunteered to continue to publish the Tennessee Caver magazine.
Lastly, Stan White volunteered to take over the website, and re-launch it. The new website is here: (http://www.subworks.com/tcs/) where you can find forms and lots of other very exciting information. Stan worked really hard on the website and it looks great. ☺

Announcements were next, and Chris Kerr spoke about a gate issue at Xanadu.
Scott Engle let everyone know that the Journal of Cave & Karst Studies, published by the NSS, is available online…if you’re not a lifetime NSS member, you will not receive it.
Mat Niemiller showed his new guidebook on critters in TAG, and had it for sale at the meeting.
Candice Eagle spoke about possible locations for SERA, as the E TN Grotto is hosting this year.
Presentations were next, and we had some great ones, and even a special guest who was able to take us back in time, along with Bruce Zerr’s presentation on Buffalo Cave.

2013/04/06 TCS Meeting Notes, Spring Presentation Meeting, Sewanee, TN
Meeting Director Chuck Sutherland called the meeting to order and Co-Chairman E TN Bruce Zerr called upon me to update for Secretary/Treasurer & the Tennessee Caver magazine.
Next, Co-Chairman W TN Gerald Moni reported 62 new caves and 1 new cave over a mile that Clinton Elmore is mapping. There were 222 long caves (over 1 mile). Gerald also stated that new caves are dropping off the survey, due to so many corrections on point locations. Gerald urged everyone to continue to turn in new caves & corrections on the cave report forms, which can be printed off the website anytime.
Bruce Zerr and Chuck Sutherland went into the ongoing debate for online data that could possibly be password protected. ****I have in my notes that a committee was to be formed for this -- did this happen? (Chuck)
Bruce spoke about the Oak Ridge Reservation, regarding White Nose, as well as the caves & blowholes of the Southern Black Hills. He also updated on Jewell & Wind Cave, and spoke about the survey progress, as well as some ideas about the geography of the area and the potential of a lot more cave in the system. He gave us a few giggles about the difference between the miseries & the mini-miseries scenic tour, where instead of just an ear-scraping crawl, you might see a cricket as you scrape along. Cory Holliday mentioned the possibility of a research permit, as the caves are on forest service land.
Mapbook Director John Smyre reported "same"... and to continue to send hi-res maps his way.
Bibliography Director John Hoffelt was not present to report.
Narrative Files Director Kristen Bobo reported that she is continuing to edit the files & update as corrections are turned in.
Director at Large E TN, Chris Kerr, was not present to report.
Director at Large W TN, Joe Douglas, was present, but I don’t have notes of his report. Not sure what happened there!
Chuck Sutherland called upon TCS members for any further reporting, and he updated Kirk Zigler as our new Sewanee contact.
Julianne Ramsey updated on Nunley Cave.
Mike Costello updated on SCCI & reported about the 5% donation to SCCI from Kroger when the Kroger Cares card is used.

Presentations were next:
Corey Holliday presented on WNS distribution from 2010-2013. He discussed observations made, signs of WNS, behaviors of infected bats, and the mortality rate. An exciting update on the artificial cave project is included in the Tennessee Caver magazine, so be sure to check it out! Cory stressed the need for assistance from cavers to continue to cave softly, volunteer, be a citizen scientist & advocate & even install bat houses. *****And now I'm interested -- how many of us have bat houses on our properties? I am going to do some research & get one set on at my house. Cory said that tricolor & gray bats seem to be the most affected by WNS & that woodland bats, rafinesques & VA long-eared bats have not been showing signs of infection.
The next presenter was Anne Elmore, who had put together an amazing video of Gerald Moni caving through the years...from his days on rope to his days of "doing the hard part"..
Colin Dunn presented a case study on the management of Coleman Cave, which is an endangered species habitat & an archaeological site, presently undergoing C14 testing.
Ben Miller presented a mapping effort of almost a mile of pits in TN.
Lastly Joe Douglas presented on Barr Cave & investigating cultural resources.


2012/09/29 TCS Fall Meeting Minutes, Cookeville, TN
Meeting Director Chuck Sutherland called the meeting to order and Co-Chairman E TN Bruce Zerr called upon me to update for Secretary/Treasurer & the Tennessee Caver magazine.

Next, Co-Chairman W TN Gerald Moni reported 62 new caves and 1 new cave over a mile that Clinton Elmore is mapping. There were 222 long caves (over 1 mile). Gerald also stated that new caves are dropping off the survey, due to so many corrections on point locations. Gerald urged everyone to continue to turn in new caves & corrections on the cave report forms, which can be printed off the website anytime.

Bruce Zerr and Chuck Sutherland went into the ongoing debate for online data that could possibly be password protected. ****I have in my notes that a committee was to be formed for this -- did this happen? (Chuck)

Bruce spoke about the Oak Ridge Reservation, regarding White Nose, as well as the caves & blowholes of the Southern Black Hills. He also updated on Jewell & Wind Cave, and spoke about the survey progress, as well as some ideas about the geography of the area and the potential of a lot more cave in the system. He gave us a few giggles about the difference between the miseries & the mini-miseries scenic tour, where instead of just an ear-scraping crawl, you might see a cricket as you scrape along. Cory Holliday mentioned the possibility of a research permit, as the caves are on forest service land.

Mapbook Director John Smyre reported "same"... and to continue to send hi-res maps his way.

Bibliography Director John Hoffelt was not present to report.

Narrative Files Director Kristen Bobo reported that she is continuing to edit the files & update as corrections are turned in.

Director at Large E TN, Chris Kerr, was not present to report.

Director at Large W TN, Joe Douglas, was present, but I don’t have notes of his report. Not sure what happened there!

Chuck Sutherland called upon TCS members for any further reporting, and he updated Kirk Zigler as our new Sewanee contact.

Julianne Ramsey updated on Nunley Cave.

Mike Costello updated on SCCI & reported about the 5% donation to SCCI from Kroger when the Kroger Cares card is used.

Presentations were next:

Corey Holliday presented on WNS distribution from 2010-2013. He discussed observations made, signs of WNS, behaviors of infected bats, and the mortality rate. An exciting update on the artificial cave project is included in the Tennessee Caver magazine, so be sure to check it out! Cory stressed the need for assistance from cavers to continue to cave softly, volunteer, be a citizen scientist & advocate & even install bat houses. *****And now I'm interested -- how many of us have bat houses on our properties? I am going to do some research & get one set on at my house. Cory said that tricolor & gray bats seem to be the most affected by WNS & that woodland bats, rafinesques & VA long-eared bats have not been showing signs of infection.

The next presenter was Anne Elmore, who had put together an amazing video of Gerald Moni caving through the years...from his days on rope to his days of "doing the hard part"..

Colin Dunn presented a case study on the management of Coleman Cave, which is an endangered species habitat & an archaeological site, presently undergoing C14 testing.

Ben Miller presented a mapping effort of almost a mile of pits in TN.

Lastly Joe Douglas presented on Barr Cave & investigating cultural resources.

After the meeting adjourned, I got to talking with Ron Johnston & we realized we might be long lost cousins. :)

The bulk of our meeting attendees ended up at Mi Casa for our bi-annual gorging of burritos & cerveza & I'm sure after today's meeting, we'll head to El Tap.

2011/10/01 TCS Fall Business Meeting, Cookeville, TN
Meeting Director Jerell Killian opened the meeting with a welcome and called on Co-Chairman East TN, Bruce Zerr to begin officer reports.
Bruce stated it had been quiet, but that he, along with Mike Russell and Tom Loring, had surveyed 18,000 ft. and expected 2 miles to add to the survey for Buffalo Cave.
Co-Chairman West TN , Gerald Moni, reported 168 new caves, bringing the count to 9,610. He said we lost 80 caves, due to mergers. The CD & Mapbook were updated , along with a file explanation, and as always, he urged everyone to send corrections to him on cave report forms.
I reported next with a reading of the minutes and treasury report .
Jerell announced that it would be his last year as Meeting Director and there was a collective sadness in the group.
Mapbook Director, John Smyre, reported adding 150 maps in the past year, bringing the total to 1,650. Including the number of maps he touched up and re-submitted, the number of maps he actually completed was 375. John reminded us to send map scans at 600dpi.
Bibliography Files Director, John Hoffelt, reported that he was still collecting stuff.
Narrative Files Director, Kristen Bobo, reported that she was field-checking narratives.
This brought up a discussion about the best GPS units, and Garman’s high sensitivity was debated against Magellan’s SD cards and raster graphics. This went on for awhile until Jerell called on Director at Large East TN Jack Thomison, who said to expect a surge in surveys, due to Laurie Adams, an East TN mapper.
Director at Large West TN, Ron Zawislak, was not present to report.
IT Specialist, Lynn Roebuck, was not present to report.

OLD BUSINESS
1. A lifetime membership option was tabled, and was voted on unanimously. The lifetime membership fee is $120.
2. John Hutchison asked for survey data to be sent his way so that he could complete maps.
3. Daniel Nolfi is the grad student who completed his thesis on cave management in national parks, with a case study on GSMNP. It is a rather interesting and in-depth study, and definitely worth the read. (Online info: http://digitalcommons.wku.edu/theses/1053/)

NEW BUSINESS
1. UT WNS researcher & TCS member Tom Ingersoll was working on bat population models.
2. Corey Holliday announced a free WNS for cavers workshop in November, and a TN Bat Working Group meeting scheduled for February.
3. SERA was scheduled for February 11 in Guntersville Lake St. Park, AL.
4. Elections:
- Co-Chairman W TN, Gerald Moni, was re-elected
- Co-Chairman E TN, Bruce Zerr, was re-elected.
- I was re-elected as Secretary/Treasurer.
- Meeting Director Jerell Killian stepped down and nominated Chuck Sutherland, who was elected.
- Map Book Director, John Smyre, was re-elected.
- Bibliography Files Director, John Hoffelt, was re-elected.
- Narrative Files Director, Kristen Bobo, was re-elected.
- Director at Large East TN, Jack Thomison, was re-elected.
- Director at Large West TN, Ron Zawislak, was not present at the meeting, and Ken Oeser was elected into the position.
- I was re-elected as the Editor of TN Caver.
- IT Specialist, Lynn Roebuck, was re-elected.

The voting ended with that, and we were auctioned off for another year of hard work. ☺
Jerell Killian gave us a break from our business, and when we reconvened, Joe Douglas presented on Mississippian Use of Prehistoric Caves, Anne Elmore reported on buffoonery and kayak caving, and Spencer Hoover updated us on his extensive cave database.
After that, half of us went for cerveza and queso, and the other half went caving.

2011/04/30 TCS Spring Presentation Meeting
Director at Large East TN, Jack Thomison, opened the meeting in Jerell’s place, and got right down to business by calling on officers for reports.
Co-Chairman East TN, Bruce Zerr, began with discussion of a lifetime membership option that would be voted on in the fall. The cost for this membership would be $100. Bruce also discussed caves on an Oak Ridge reservation, found by a TVA archaeologist. Jack Thomison mentioned a masters student whose thesis is on proactive cave management and may present to the Great Smoky Mountains Park.
Co-Chairman West TN, Gerald Moni, reported 114 new caves. He had been checking known points for cave clusters and finding new caves in the process. Gerald urged everyone to continue to send updated cave info and corrected errors to him on cave report forms.
I reported next with reading of the minutes and a treasury report. The 2011 TN Caver was also made available.
No other officers were present at the meeting for reports.
A card was passed around for Jason Richards who was and still is serving overseas.
There was no old business on the table, and there was no new business brought to the table, so we went ahead with presentations by Mike Russell, Julie Schenck Brown, Corey Holliday, Mike Rogers, Clinton Elmore, and Philip Rykwalder.
After presentations ended, most everyone headed to Mi Casa for cerveza & burritos.

2010/09/25 TCS Fall Business Meeting
Jerell opened the meeting by reminding everyone about a benefit for Laurel Falls that he & Rosie would be attending later, and got straight down to business, turning the floor to Co-Chairman West, Jack Thomison.
Jack began with requesting officer reports.
Co-Chairman East, Gerald Moni, was first with a total cave count of 9,517, with 178 new caves, 2/3 of these new caves being over 1 mile. Gerald stated that the data CD and mapbook DVD had been updated with these new narrative files. Gerald asked that if anyone ever needs a paper copy of narratives, or anything else from now on, to please give him notice in advance of the meeting. Gerald also discussed a file format: Topo_TCS.tpo …this can be used in the National Geographic topo program. Gerald reminded everyone that he planned to go to El Tapatio after the meeting and that everyone should come join him! A campout at Blue Springs Cove was planned for tonight, mostly to celebrate Marion O. Smith’s birthday. Gerald stated he’d been spending a lot of time in the Cove, field-checking caves. Gerald also asked everyone to be more descriptive with cave entrances and not to use trees as landmarks, as sometimes the ID isn’t correct and it gets confusing. Jack Thomison stated nothing to report.
Bibliography files director, John Hoffelt, stated ongoing collection of stuff.
Narrative files director, Marion O. Smith, said he was elected without being at the meeting last fall and has done nothing and will continue do nothing, and really doesn’t want to hold office. Mapbooks director, John Smyre, states 1,500 maps are scanned to the updated DVD. He has touched up, re-scanned, & corrected the rotation of over 600 maps and has invested around 1,500 hours of work into this. John said that copying and reduction accounts for a lot of the poor quality of maps. John stated that all versions of maps, whether computer-generated, colored, or hand-drawn, are retained and preserved. John reviewed map submission guidelines and stated that only about ¼ of maps submitted contain the appropriate items that need to be on maps. John states the goal of this project is to improve digital copies from scanned maps for preservation and future recovery. John stated he cleans all of the maps up with a software program, as opposed to cleaning by hand and re-scanning. John solicited maps that are not included on the DVD, or maps of better quality of maps already on the DVD that can be donated or loaned for scanning. John thanked everyone for their contributions thus far. Director at Large East TN, Chris Kerr, was not present to report.
Director at Large West TN, Ron Zawislak, reported that an Espee Cave map may be finished within 2-3 years!
Jack asked for committee reports and Jason Richards reported from the nerdhole committee. He states he continues to scan Grades 1-3 & 5 maps, and is up to Davidson County, alphabetically…and that anyone willing to can help. It would require picking up a county from Gerald and returning it when finished. Jack asked if there were any other committees, and Secretary Alexis Lienhart had no others recorded, aside from the nerdhole.
Jack moved to elections.
Co-Chairman East: Gerald Moni, was re-elected, unopposed.
Co-Chairman West: Bruce Zerr was nominated and was elected.
Meeting Director: Jerell Killian was re-elected, unopposed.
Secretary/Treasurer: Alexis Lienhart was re-elected, unopposed.
Narrative Files Director: Kristem Bobo was nominated and elected.
Director at Large East: Jack Thomison was nominated and elected.
Director at Large West: Ron Zawislak was re-elected, unopposed.
Mapbook Director: John Smyre was re-elected, unopposed.
Bibliography Director: John Hoffelt was re-elected, unopposed.
Non-official positions were reviewed: IT Specialist, Lynn Roebuck; Tennessee Caver Editor, Alexis Lienhart.
A short break was given before presentations began.
Joe Douglass started us out with a presentation on Cheeks Stand Cave, and its history and archaeology. Joe also detailed the legend of Elijah Cheek. Because of Joe’s findings from radiocarbon dating river cane in the cave, Cheeks Stand Cave is now 13th on the Deep Cave Use List.
Jason Richards presented on his continuing mapping of Cow Crap Cave and its new connection found to Military Spring Cave, dropping Military Spring from the cave list, and detailed new findings at Lichen Home Cave Spring and Jay Creek Cave.
Bruce Zerr presented on surveys at Buffalo Cove, having added 1,300 more feet to Fern Camp Cave. He found 24 Saltpeter vats and a footprint atop a vat 11 “ long.
This ended the presentations and Jack said it was time to go to El Tap, which Gerald quickly echoed and we all filed out for this season’s round of cerveza & burritos.


2010/05/01 TCS Spring Meeting
After Jerell called the meeting to order, our Co-Chairman West, Gerald Moni, reported that we’re at over 9,500 caves and that he’d been ridgewalking a lot in Overton & White counties.
Co-chairman East, Jack Thomison, reported that not much was happening out his way.
Former Secretary/Treasurer, Anne Elmore, read the minutes from the September 9, 2009 fall business meeting and reminded everyone to keep up the coordinate checking.
Narrative Files Director, Marion O Smith, said not much was happening with the narrative files.
Director at Large East TN, Chris Kerr, had nothing to report.
Director at Large West TN, Ron Zawislak, Bibliography File Director, John Hoffelft, & website specialist, Lynn Roebuck were not present to report.
Jack asked for committee reports and Jason Richards gave a report from the nerd-hole committee. He said 600 maps would be scanned by March 2011, in medium to high resolution, and that presently he was working on Cumberland County Grade I & II maps. …at least I think that’s what all of that translated to.
Next, Ric Finch announced the date for the Big Bone Cave gating – May 10. He thanked TCS for our contributions collected at the last fall meeting and solicited for labor for the project, which was a week away. Anne updated us with plans for removal of the old gate. Kristen Bobo would begin the gate-building the following Monday.
Jerell took the floor and discussed a recent, tragic incident of a police officer falling into Hilham pit, and the need for communication between search and rescue and the caving community…and that there needs to be policy in place to offer information to rescue efforts and officers of the law in an official way. Jack thought this was a good idea. Gerald cautioned against organizations wanting ALL of our cave data, but agreed that cavers should be contacted to assist with these rescues. He reminded us that search & rescue teams could be confused by the cave numbering system, and that even if they had the info in hand, they’d probably need a knowledgeable caver to interpret it…giving the list itself would do no good. Gerald and Jerell talked about a few troubling rescues with tangled and rotten rope. Jack wrapped the discussion up by just stating that search & rescue teams need cave rescue training and everyone seemed to agree.
Spencer Hoover talked about his 30-year experience in emergency work, and that the local fire departments seem to want to control cave rescue. He suggested giving out caver contact #’s, as opposed to cave point locations, and just going to local fire departments to talk about vertical cave rescues. Jack suggested that cavers volunteer and join the rescue squad. Spencer then told us he was running for Sheriff. ? …and suggested we compile a list of volunteers for a call list to give to fire departments. Jack mentioned forming a committee for this, but Jason Richards reminded us that we’re not a manpower organization. Jack said that TARS (TN Assoc of Rescue Squads) should know to contact cavers, and said it was time to move on.
New business:
Anne announced that the Blue Spring Cave Book was available for purchase, and that Bill Walters could still sign an autograph. Sale on the NSS website was mentioned, and that at a book-signing in Sparta, over 100 people came and 35 books were sold to non-cavers.
We were also reminded that there were still a few copies of the Big Bone Cave book available.
Jerell said it was time to begin presentations, and we certainly had a full morning of information.
Jason Richards started us out with a Google Maps interactive presentation on sump cave diving.
Joe Douglas was next with a presentation of Hubble Post Office Cave and the paleo-discoveries therein.
John Smyre presented on guidelines for submitting maps for TCS publication.
Chris Kerr presented on the recognition of stratigraphic & structural controls in recent cave surveys in Fentress County.
Lastly, Spencer Hoover presented his deconstructed, interactive TCS cave list, and stated that he was about 40% done.
Jerell brought the meeting to a close and said it was time to eat! …and we all adjourned, many of us straight to Mi Casa for cerveza & burritos!


2009/04/04 TCS Spring Meeting - Sewanee, TN
Jerell Killiam opened the spring meeting. Gerald Moni announced 100 new caves and he is still field checking the data and coordinates and making any necessary changes to the TCS records. He had CD made for purchase ($10) that has the old TCS information on it including everything to date. This allows those interested in electronics info as well as paper info to purchase either. The fall meeting will have updates.
John Smyre announced the availability of his book on Big Bone Cave being free to TCS members.
Secretary Anne Elmore read the minutes from the fall 2008 meeting; they were approved. She suggested that renewals be for 2 or more years at a time. Dealing with $6 fees is time consuming and she wanted more money than this.
John Holfelt said he is unable to continue his Bibliography job in the future and suggests that these need to be kept updated at each local level.
The Committee to discuss the TCS information to be distributed to Tennessee Parks & Greenways group be allowed. Cory Holliday of the Nature Conservancy will use this info for # of caves and topo's to give to Developers. He wants tto lisy cave density and # of caves on the topographic maps in given areas. The motion was made by John Holfelt to allow The Nature Conservancy to release the # of caves for topo overlay only; motion was passed by the group.
Alexis asked for caving articles to submitted to the TCS Newsletter and one will be published for the fall 2009 meeting.
Joe Douglas gave a presentation on Marble Hall in Hawkins County
Mabry Harden had a powerpoint show of the Cave Diving Projects in Tennessee for 2008
Jody Bailey gave his pumped up version of the upcoming SERA Cave Carnival, including 5K run, Win Your Weight in Beer, lots of beads & drinking will be involved.
Gerald Moni announced that the highlight of the day will be lunch and it was decided to meet at the usual Mexican Restaurant, even though there is a For Sale sign. Someone suggested we warn them of our arrival. Meeting adjourned.