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Mid-Appalachian Region of
the National Speleological Society


February 25, 2006

The meeting was called to order by MAR Chair, Bob Gulden at 1:25 PM at the home of Jay Herbein, Harrisburg, PA.

Secretary's Report:
Baltimore Grotto made a motion to accept the 2005 Business Meeting minutes as published in the April 2005 Breakdown. Nittany Grotto seconded the motion. Motion passed.

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. Material can be in hardcopy or sent electronically to

George Bange 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

2005 Spring Field Meet:
The event was hosted by Nittany Grotto at Rupert Cave in Mifflin County. The write up of the event can be found in the August 2005 Breakdown.

2005 Fall Field Meet:
The event was hosted by Pennsylvania Inner-Earth Grotto at Lincoln Cavern in Huntingdon County. The write up of the event can be found in the January 2006 Breakdown.

MAR Web Site:
The MAR webmaster, Christopher Catherman, continues to keep the website up and running. The listserv is up and going and continues to get new members. Christopher reported there is an occasional problem with messages being "bounced". If anyone experiences this problem, send messages directly to Christopher for posting. Electronic versions of the Breakdown can be found on the MAR web site.

Nature Conservancy:
Rocky Gleason, an inventory ecologist with the Pennsylvania Heritage Program, reported on the ongoing inventory of cave invertebrate taking place in Mifflin County. An update of cave invertebrate is starting Lancaster County.

MAR Bulletins:
Will White reported there is little progress on the bulletins for the Mid-Susquehanna Valley, commonly referred to as CCLUM (Clinton, Columbia, Lycoming, Union, and Montour counties), Huntingdon County or the Kooken/Tyrone Area.

Pennsylvania Cave Database:
Keith Wheeland gave a report on the 1,604 items listed on the cave database. [Entries in the database, included commercial caves, gated caves, mines and "fictional" caves]

Pennsylvania Game Commission:
Dale Ibberson continues to be the liaison between the MAR and the PA Game Commission. Dale reported that Brad Myers is the new contact for Shofer Cave. Mike Spencer reported he has been in contact with the area biologist and together they are working on an access plan for the cave.

No report.

MAR Incorporation:
Keith Wheeland reviewed the proposed changes to the 2005 draft version of the MAR Bylaws drafted by the MAR Incorporation committee.

After the review there was a motion by Baltimore Grotto and seconded by Greater Allentown Grotto (GAG) to change the wording under Article IV to read: Membership in the MAR shall be comprised of NSS Internal Organizations (I/O)(Chapters aka Grottos, State Surveys, and Sections) located within the region that decide to become members. This motion was passed.

Franklin County Grotto (FCG) made a motion, seconded by Nittany Grotto, to change the wording under Article IV to read: Individuals residing within the region may become non-voting members by registering as a participant at the MAR field meet. This motion was passed.

GAG made a motion which was seconded by FCG, to clarify how I/Os become members of the MAR. The motion passed to include the following addition to the bylaws:

    A. I/Os indicate their willingness to become members of MAR by attending a Regional Business Meeting.

    B. I/Os that fail to attend two consecutive Regional Business Meetings will be considered inactive, and thus not be counted in the totals for deciding a quorum. A valid proxy is considered attending.

Article V - Regional Council: The governing body of the Region shall be a Regional Council. The Regional Council shall consist of the officers of the Region, representatives from member I/Os, and regional members not affiliated with any I/O. Each member I/O is entitled to two votes. I/Os may be represented by proxy.

    A. Proxies must be in writing and indicate (1) the name of the holder of the proxy, (2) the I/O for which the proxy is sent, and (3) the meeting date. Proxies may be restricted to a particular topic or may be general in nature.

    B. A person may represent only one proxy per meeting.

Baltimore Grotto made the motion, seconded by GAG, to change the wording under Article VI, under Executive Committee, to read: The slate of candidates, with secret ballot, shall be given to all voting members present at the Regional Business Meeting. The ballots shall be counted on the same day.

The latest 2006 draft version of the MAR Bylaws, including the proposed changes, can by found [as an attachment at the bottom of this page]. At the 2007 MAR Business Meeting there will be a vote on accepting the proposed changes.

2005 Spring Field Meet:
The Spring MAR Field meet will be hosted by Franklin County Grotto May 5-7 at the American Legion Picnic Grounds, Williamson, PA. FCG is looking for cave trip leaders. Flyers were available at the meeting. More information can be found on the MAR web site [at].

2006 Fall Field Meet:
Bald Eagle Grotto is hosting the event in honor or their 20th anniversary. The event will be October 6-8 in Bellefonte, PA.

2007 Spring Field Meet:
No grottos were interested in hosting the event.

2007 Fall Field Meet:
Philly Grotto is hosting the event in honor of their 60th anniversary. Tentative plans are to hold the event at the OTR site [near Elkins, WV] October 12-14 as a joint VAR/MAR.

New Business:

Jay Herbein acknowledged Steve Taylor, of Philly Grotto. Currently Steve is down in Biloxi, Mississippi involved in the cleanup of Hurricane Katrina.

Bette White made a motion, seconded by Baltimore Grotto, to increase the number of Breakdowns given to subscribers. Everyone currently with one or more Breakdown left to be delivered to them would receive three extra Breakdown issues.

Also, for 2006 ONLY, all field meet registrants would get (3) three extra Breakdowns per meet. The proposal was made due to excess funds in the MAR Breakdown treasury. The motion passed.

Amos Mincin reported on the NSS Youth Groups. There are three areas in the US with regional youth coordinators. Allen Maddox, of Philly Grotto, is a regional coordinator. More information on youth/scout caving can be found on the NSS web site.

Stony Creek Valley:
Dale Ibberson gave a brief history of Stony Valley, a 44,373 roadless wilderness area in Central Pennsylvania. Thirty two years ago the area was saved from development but is currently threatened by a proposed expansion of Fort Indiantown Gap military range. York Grotto made a motion, seconded by Baltimore Grotto, to sign the MAR as a supporting organization in the efforts to save Stony Valley. The motion passed.

Upcoming Events:
The Spring VAR is April 28th 30th at Grand Caverns, VA.

The Baltimore Grotto Swine and Dine, at Friars Hole, WV, is May 26th - 29th.

There is a clean up of Donaldson's Cave, Berkeley County, WV, June 10th.

The NSS Convention is August 7-11th in Bellingham, WA. Check the NSS website for more information.

Meeting adjourned at 3:00 PM.
The next MAR Business meeting is February 24, 2007

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
  • Seven Valleys Grotto
  • Buffalo Valley Grotto
  • Central Jersey Grotto
  • Bald eagle Grotto

MAR Constitution and Bylaws    (Draft Revision 2006)

Click "Here" for the February 25, 2006 minutes of the PCC Meeting (Winter) that took place immediately after the MAR Business Meeting.

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