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Mid-Appalachian Region of
the National Speleological Society


February 22, 2003

The meeting was called to order by MAR Chair, Bob Gulden at 1:40 PM at the home of Jay Herbein, Harrisburg, PA.

Secretary's Report:
Keith Wheeland made a correction to the minutes under the Hosting a MAR section. He and Bette White updated the guidelines. Carol Tiderman and Hope Uhl originally wrote the guidelines. With the correction the Meeting Minutes of the 2002 meeting were approved as amended.

Treasurer's Report:
The Treasurer's Report was read by treasurer Bette White. Printed copies were distributed.

MAR Breakdown:
Send any articles for publication to Karen Bange.

2002 Spring Field Meet:
Seven Valleys hosted the event in McVeytown May 3-5th. 183 adults attended, there were 2 vendors, the meal was catered, the PCC breakfast made $360. An $880 profit was made with 50% going to the MAR and 25% each going to MAKC and PCC.

George Bange made a final comment for future consideration: the MAR should discuss the best approach to cave trip sign-ups at a MAR event.

2002 Fall Field Meet:
Philly Grotto and Commander Cody hosted the Fall MAR meet in Glengary, WV in September. 134 people attended. Mike Mostardi prepared the spaghetti feast for the banquet. A new gate on Silars Cave was installed over the weekend. The event broke even.

MAR Web Site:
The MAR webmaster, Christopher Catherman, has moved to Maine for graduate studies at University of Maine. He will continue to maintain the site. Web address is

MAR 50th Anniversary (2003):
The 50th anniversary will be in conjunction with the Fall MAR field meet. The event will be at Peipers Cave. Ed and Kim Kehs are hosting the event with Greater Allentown Grotto’s support. There will be primitive camping. Help cleaning up the site would be appreciated. Anyone interested in helping should contact Ed Kehs.

MAR Bulletins:
Will White reported the following:

    CCLUM (Clinton, Columbia, Lycoming, Union, and Montour counties):
    Nothing new to report.

    Huntingdon County:
    Bulletin is status quo

Will reported on a publication of Kooken and Tytoona in the works. This publication will focus on the geological aspects of the area.

The MAR thanked Gordon Birkhimer and John Pearson for the reprints of the MAR Bulletins.

Pennsylvania Cave Database:
Keith Wheeland reported, there are 1,580 entries in the database, including commercial caves, gated caves, mines and 11 fictional caves. Of those, 955 are caves.

Cave Conservancy Reports:
Pat Minick reported that the access is the same; the land is owned by the South Hampton Township. As of December 2002 the water level in the cave was up to the ladder.

There was discussion on cave diving in Tytoona. There are specific regulations involved with any dives in Tytoona. See attached article titled Tytoona Cave Diving Guidelines.

Keith Wheeland reported a new gate has been installed on McAlisterville Cave. There was a write up in the local papers about the gate and cave conservation.

Keith also reported that Sharer Cave is gated. The access policy was published in the January 2003 Breakdown.

Ed Kehs reported that Carpenter Cave in Northampton County is being regated by Greater Allentown Grotto.

Dale Ibberson continues to be the liaison between the MAR and the Game Commission.

Kim Metzgar reported MAKC has a lease on Hesston Cave in Huntingdon County. The first year of the lease MAKC will focus on project work.

MAKC is also in the process of obtaining a lease on a second cave. The management plan needs to be worked out before the lease can be announced.

MAR Incorporation:
Copies of the MAR Article of Incorporation were attached to the agenda. The Article of Incorporation still needs to be reviewed by a lawyer. Anyone with input or changes to the Article of Incorporation should contact Bob Gulden.

2003 Spring Field Meet:
The Spring MAR Field meet will be May 9-11 at the TRA site in Dailey, WV. The pre-registration cost is $17 per person not $16 as published in the last Breakdown. No dogs will be allowed.

2003 Fall Field Meet:
See the MAR 50th anniversary report above.

Bat Moratorium:
Nittany Grotto made a proposal for uniform cave closure dates in Pennsylvania. The proposal was published in the January 2003 Breakdown. Nittany Grotto made a motion to accept the proposal, this was seconded by Seven Valleys Grotto. Discussion followed on several issues related to changing the current dates of cave closures; how disturbance of the bats during swarming could effect their selection of hibernaculum, that the proposal is voluntary and open to landowner discretion, there has been a noted increase in bat populations with the current cave closure dates in place, if the MAR even has the power to impose the motion, how the proposed date change could effect grottos and MAR field meets, what constitutes “disturbance” of the bats, how is other cave life effected by traffic in caves, and the MAR taking a proactive stance prior to the possibility of the Game Commission intervening.

Baltimore Grotto made a motion to postpone Nittany Grotto’s motion indefinitely. Huntingdon County Cave Hunters seconded the motion. A vote was taken and the motion to postpone the motion passed.

Chris Sanders encouraged individual grotto discussion and list serve discussion on the topic.

Pennsylvania Cave Conservancy (PCC):
Meeting to follow the MAR Business Meeting.

New Business:
Dale Ibberson introduced Sarah Good a new York Grotto member.

Keith Wheeland is looking to hand off the job of maintaining the MAR address list. Anyone interested in taking on the duty contact Keith.

Kim Kehs announced she is not going to chair a 2006 Pennsylvania Convention. Anyone interested in pursuing this endeavor should contact Carol Tiderman.

Mike Mostardi reported on an individual who contacted, and joined, Commander Cody Caving Club and is also involved in cave for pay group adventures. The individual is Russ Teeney from the Ligonier Camp and Conference Center. Grottos are encouraged to be aware of this kind of activity and to not share cave information with cave for pay groups.

Keith Wheeland reported on a new grotto in Indiana, PA. The grotto has applied for a charter with the NSS. The grotto is Pennsylvania Inter-earth Grotto (PIG).

2004 Spring Field Meet:
York Grotto tentatively agreed to host this field meet.

2004 Fall Field Meet:
Buffalo Valley Grotto has tentatively agreed to host this field meet.

Meeting adjourned at 3:45 PM.

Respectfully submitted,
Karen Bange
MAR Recording Secretary

Representatives at the meeting:

  • Baltimore Grotto
  • York Grotto
  • Nittany Grotto
  • Greater Allentown Grotto
  • Franklin County Grotto
  • Philly Grotto
  • Commander Cody Caving Club
  • Huntingdon County Cave Hunters
  • Mid Atlantic Karst Conservancy (MAKC)
  • Seven Valleys Grotto
  • Buffalo Valley Grotto
  • Bald Eagle Grotto

Tytoona Cave Diving Guidelines    (Revised August 2002)

Click "Here" for the February 22, 2003 minutes of the PCC Meeting (Winter) that took place immediately after the MAR Business Meeting.

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