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Main Annual Business Meeting


Mid-Appalachian Region of
the National Speleological Society


February 27, 2010

The meeting was called to order by MAR Chair, Bob Gulden at 1:35 PM, February 27, 2010, at the home of Jay Herbein, Harrisburg, PA.

A moment of silence was observed at the beginning of the meeting to remember the passing of Dale Ibberson, York Grotto, Bob Keintz, York Grotto, Jack Stellmack, Nittany Grotto. The three long time cavers passed away since the last Business Meeting.

Secretary's Report:
A motion was made to accept the 2009 Business Meeting minutes as published in the April 2009 Breakdown. The motion was seconded. Motion passed.

Treasurer's Report:
The Treasurer's Report was read by treasurer Bette White. Printed copies were distributed. Bette noted there was a loss of $1,786 for the year due in part to the fact there was no Spring MAR field meet, the Fall MAR field meet did not make a profit, and the cost of reprinting MAR Bulletins 5 and 6.

MAR Breakdown:
Send any Breakdown articles for publication to Karen Bange. Material can be in hardcopy or sent electronically to

George Bange maintains the mailing list database for the Breakdown. All changes to mailing addresses and all MAR field meet registrations should be sent to George at George requested people write neatly when registering for MAR field meets as the database is maintained from the registration forms.

George reported there are 25 organizations and 118 individuals (resulting in 1212 credits) currently receiving a Breakdown. George is in the process of converting the current database into an Excel spreadsheet.

2009 Spring Field Meet:
There was no field meet.

2009 Fall Field Meet:
Joel Jacobs reported the event was successful although no profit was made. Due to WNS, it was the first "caveless" MAR. Joel has complied a list of suggestions to help with planning future field meets. This list will be given to Christopher Catherman for posting on the MAR website.

MAR Web Site:
The MAR webmaster, Christopher Catherman, continues to keep the website up and running. Christopher reminded grottos to send MAR field meet information to him in a timely manner for posting on the MAR website. Christopher reported after many man-hours the history of the MAR is nearly complete on the website. The historical information came from Dale Ibberson's files. Please send any corrections or additions to Christopher Catherman.

MAR Bulletins:
Will White reported the completion of the map of Tytoona Cave. With the map completed, completion of the Juniata Valley bulletin is eminent. Progress continues on bulletins for Huntingdon County and the Middle Susquehanna Valley.

Pennsylvania Cave Database:
Keith Wheeland reported contact with Bill Herr, current PA Database Steward, has been lost. Keith has approached Tony Canike about being the Database Steward. The matter of changing Database Steward will be discussed at the next PCC meeting, following this meeting.

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

Pennsylvania Game Commission (PGC):
No report

Kim Metzgar gave an update on MAKC's acquisition of their education center/library in Blairsville, PA. MAKC now houses the extensive collections of Dale Ibberson, Jack Speece, and Jack Stellmack. MAKC is having a grand opening of the Bob and Bev Danielson Library and Cave and Karst Education Center on May 15, 2010.

Kim also reported WNS was found in Hall's Cave. MAKC is going to have their caves open on April 15, 2010.

Anyone interested in helping out Lisa Hall with monitoring cave entrances this Winter for WNS and early Spring can contact Lisa at

MAR Incorporation:
Keith Wheeland reported the MAR is now incorporated. The MAR has paid for an ad to run in the Harrisburg Patriot newspaper stating the incorporation. The MAR is now a non-profit organization but will not pursue the 501(3)c status.

2010 Spring Field Meet:
Will be a joint VAR/MAR event the weekend of May 22, 2010 at the Lewisburg, WV state fairgrounds. This is also the 2012 NSS Convention site. There will be numerous activities planned.   [More information can be found on the VAR's website and in the Field Meets section on the MAR website.]

2010 Fall Field Meet:
No takers [at this time]. Karen Bange will post an email to grottos asking for volunteers.

2011 Spring Field Meet:
Franklin County Grotto will be hosting the event a site near Shade Gap, PA.

2011 Fall Field Meet:
No takers [at this time].

New Business:

Alan Horn is interested in finding funding to study a possible link between WNS and the spraying of pesticides to combat West Nile virus.

The NSS has recently released a press release stating their response to WNS. The NSS also sent a comprehensive letter to Secretary of the Interior, Secretary of Defense, and Secretary of Agriculture stating their views on WNS. Gordon Birkhimer encouraged cavers to send letters to these same individuals in response to the Center for Biodiversity's proposal to close all caves and mines.

The NSS will release their policy on caving May 15, 2010. The NSS is emphatic on cavers practicing decontamination of all gear in between caves even if going back into the same cave.

MAR Business Meeting Site:
Karen Bange made a motion to change the site of MAR Business Meeting. Anyone with information or ideas on a new venue should contact Karen. All submitted information will be reviewed by the officers. The deadline for submitting information is May 1, 2010. Gretchen William seconded the motion, a vote was taken and the motion passed. The change in venue is effectively immediately.

Please Note: the 2011 MAR Business Meeting will not be at the Herbein residence.

MAR Recognition:
The MAR recognized the Herbeins for 45 years of hosting the annual MAR Business Meeting. A donation to the local Humane Society was made in honor Kathy Herbein. Kathy Herbein was also presented with a flower arrangement. Gordon Birkhimer, current NSS President, presented Jay Herbein with a lifetime NSS membership.

[Historical Note: The Herbeins took over hosting the annual MAR Business Meeting in 1965, from its former host of Dr. Ralph Stone, located on Front Street in Harrisburg, PA, who hosted the business meeting during the early years of the organization.]

Cave Rescue Class:
EMU, Harrisburg, VA, March 26-28, 2010

WVASS Spring Meeting:
May 1, 2010 Unus, WV

Baltimore Grotto 25th Swine and Dine:
May 27- 31, Frairs Hole, WV

NSS Convention:
August 2-6, 2010, Essex Junction, Vermont

Meeting adjourned at 3:15 pm.
The next MAR Business meeting is February 26, 2011

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
  • Bucks County Grotto
  • MAKC

Click "Here" for the February 27, 2010 minutes of the PCC Meeting (Winter) that took place immediately after the MAR Business Meeting.

Contact: MAR Webmaster
Last Updated: March '10
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