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Mid-Appalachian Region of
the National Speleological Society


February 28, 2004

The meeting was called to order by MAR Chair, Bob Gulden at 1:35 PM at the home of Jay Herbein, Harrisburg, PA.

Secretary's Report:
Baltimore Grotto made a motion to accept the 2003 Business Meeting minutes as published in the April 2003 Breakdown. Nittany Grotto seconded the motion.

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. There was a discussion on electronic posting of the Breakdown. General consensus is to continue with a hardcopy mailing and to also post a PDF file of the Breakdown on the MAR website.

George Bange now maintains the MAR mailing list database for the Breakdown. All changes to mailing addresses and all MAR field meet registrations should be sent to George at

2003 Spring Field Meet:
Bob Gulden reported the event was extremely wet. 41 persons registered for the MAR only and 32 registrants registered as both MAR and VAR attendees.

2003 Fall Field Meet:
This event was wet also. A write up of the event was published in the January 2004 Breakdown.

MAR Web Site:
The MAR webmaster, Christopher Catherman, reported there have been numerous updates and new sections added to the site in the past six months. The listserv is up and going and continues to get new members. There are 53 listserv members as of the meeting.

MAR Bulletins:
Will White reported the following:

    CCLUM (Clinton, Columbia, Lycoming, Union, and Montour counties):
    Keith Christenson is living in the States now and is starting to piece together the final layout of the long awaited CCLUM Bulletin.

    Huntingdon County:
    Will spoke to Garrett Czmor recently and Garrett reported that the Huntingdon County Bulletin is slated to be published this year.

    Bryan Crowell has the Kooken map inked and the bulletin for Kooken Cave is partially constructed.

Will reported that if all goes well, there should be 3 new MAR Bulletins published this year.

Pennsylvania Cave Database:
Keith Wheeland reported, there are 1,587 entries in the database, including commercial caves, gated caves, mines and 11 fictional caves.

The Daily Collegian (The Penn State University Campus Paper) published an article about J4 Cave on February 14th. The article was about the fact that J4 is currently closed to spelunkers.

Pennsylvania Game Commission:
Dale Ibberson continues to be the liaison between the MAR and the PA Game Commission. There is a new contact person with the Game Commission. Everything else is status quo.

Kerry Speelman gave an update on the activities of MAKC. Harlansburg Cave has been gated, cleaned up and MAKC is in the process of resurveying the cave.

There is a possible lease pending on a plot of land containing a number of caves in Western PA. If the lease goes through MAKC's insurance premium will increase dramatically. Membership is encouraged to help off set the cost. Membership currently stands at 253; an all time high.

MAR Incorporation:
Copies of the MAR Article of Incorporation were attached to the agenda. There was a discussion regarding whether the MAR has the proper systems and processes in place to address the proposed changes to the structure of the MAR. An ad-hoc committee was formed to review the bylaws of the MAR and the changes necessary in order for the Articles of Incorporation to be compatible with the bylaws. The committee (Bob Gulden, Keith Wheeland, Bette White and Will White) will report back at the next MAR Business Meeting (February 2005).

Several typos were pointed out and will be corrected. Under the fourth article the principal office will be changed to read Resident Agent.

2004 Spring Field Meet:
The Spring MAR Field meet will be May 14-16 and hosted by York Grotto at Raystown Lake. The Saturday night banquet will be chili and Alan Horn has lined up a guest speaker. Keith Christenson will speak on Bats, Bones, Bugs and Bootie- Caving in the Caribbean. Flyers were available at the meeting.

2004 Fall Field Meet:
Buffalo Valley Grotto is hosting the event October 1-3 at Woodward Cave. Flyers will be published in an upcoming Breakdown.

2005 Spring Field Meet:
To be hosted by Nittany Grotto and Seven Valleys Grotto in conjunction with Steve Shawver and Carrie Shafer's wedding. The event will be at Rupert Cave in McVeytown in late April or early May.

2005 Fall Field Meet:
Pennsylvania Inner-Earth Grotto (PIG) will host the event in Huntingdon County.

2006 Spring Field Meet:
Franklin County Grotto is considering hosting the event in honor of their 25th anniversary.

2006 NSS Convention:
Carol Tiderman reported Fred Grady is spearheading a committee to host the 2006 convention in the Shippensburg area of Southcentral Pennsylvania.

New Business:

Cleversburg Sink Caves:
Ken Jones reported that South Hampton Township officials do not want the responsibility of determining who is capable of going into the caves. They have contacted Franklin County Grotto (FCG) in regards to managing the cave. FCG anticipates in the next 30 to 60 days the policy will be finalized and put into place. Grottos will be contacted regarding the access policy and cave management. Currently none of the keys work on the cave gate as the township put a lock of their own on the cave. New keys will be distributed by FCG when the policy goes into place.

Ken also reported on Valley Quarry in the Williamson area. The quarry wants a management policy and Franklin County Grotto is working with the head geologist from Valley Quarry to develop a management plan. This is a sensitive undertaking as another quarry is looking into starting up quarry operations in the St. Thomas area forcing competition between the two quarries.

Keith Wheeland has been approached by an individual about the status of several caves in the Lancaster area. If anyone has information on Mummau, Mt Joy, Lisburn and/or North and West York Caves, please contact Keith.

Keith Wheeland also announced that as of last month the South Jersey Grotto is officially inactive.

Upcoming Events:
The Spring VAR is April 23 25th at Grand Caverns. There should be lots of caving opportunity along with clean ups.
The annual Bowden Cave Clean Up is scheduled for May 8th.
NSS Convention is July 12 16th in Michigan.

Several people had items for sale at the meeting including: bulletins, t-shirts, bumper stickers, windshield shades and cave signs.

Meeting adjourned at 3:15 PM.
The next MAR Business meeting is February 26, 2005

Respectfully submitted,
Karen Bange
MAR Recording Secretary

Representatives at the MAR meeting:

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

Click "Here" for the February 28, 2004 minutes of the PCC Meeting (Winter) that took place immediately after the MAR Business Meeting.

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