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Mid-Appalachian Region of
the National Speleological Society


February 27, 1999

The meeting was called to order at 1:45 PM at the home of Jay Herbein, Harrisburg, PA. The meeting started late in order to give everyone ample time to arrive as traffic was backed up due to the closure of I-81.

Baltimore Grotto moved to accept the 1998 minutes as printed. Motion seconded by Pennsylvania Cave Legislation Trust Fund. A vote was taken and motion passed.

Greater Allentown Grotto (GAG) made an amendment to the 1998 minutes to reflect that Bald Eagle Grotto is still functional and in good standing with the NSS. There was a published apology to the Bald Eagle Grotto for the incorrect statement in the 1998 minutes.

Treasurer's Report:
Printed copies were distributed. Because Bette White, the Treasurer, was not present, Keith Wheeland explained the report. A motion was made by Baltimore Grotto to accept the report. Seconded by Pennsylvania Cave Legislation Trust Fund. A vote was taken and the motion passed.

1998 Spring Field Meet:
Hosted by GAG at the Old Dutch Mill Campground. 153 people attended. There was a rope course; Driebilbis and Onyx Caves were open; PCC held their spring meeting. GAG thanked everyone who helped with the event.

1998 Fall Field Meet:
Nittany Grotto had a written report in the last issue of the MAR Breakdown. There were 205 people in attendance, setting a MAR attendance record. A good time was had by all.

MAR Breakdown:
Keith Wheeland will have the next issue out before the Spring MAR field meet. April 10th is the deadline for submissions. Send articles to Keith Wheeland.

Dale Ibberson has blank forms; the cost to file is $150.00. There was no discussion on the issue so dale will pursue the process.

Old Business:

MAR Bulletins:

    CCLUM (Clinton, Columbia, Lycoming, Union, and Montour counties):
    Keith Wheeland read a letter from Keith Christenson reporting that he is working on the bulletin. The area write-up will include 100 site descriptions. The history section is complete, the geology will be written by Wil White, the biospeology section is pending. The bulletin should be about 100 pages with approximately 4 oversize maps.

    Fayette County:
    Kim Metzgar reported that 12 new caves were discovered and mapped; Jim Kennedy is working on the bulletin in Texas; Jay Reich should finish the mapping of Laurel Caverns soon (the survey stands at 3 1/2 miles) and the bulletin should be out this summer.

Hosterman's Pit:
Nothing new.

Hillside Quarry:
Kim Metzgar reported that the battle is finally over after 8 years; the Pennsylvania Environmental Hearing Board sustained an appeal filed by the Chestnut Ridge Conservancy and the Hillside Community Association and threw out the quarry permit granted by the Department of Environmental Protection to Tasman Resources.

Pennsylvania Cave Database:
Nothing new.

Cave Conservation:
Judi Stack reported "The Caves of Pennsylvania" slide show is 99.9% complete; she still needs to write a script for 2 parts. Dale Ibberson and Judi reported that Bernie Smeltzer's cave slides have been identified for the most part; the plan is to put the best of the slides onto video and store the slides. One tray still needs to be identified. It was suggested that the slides be made into an NSS program.

Cave Register:
No report.

Information was made available at the front table for those interested. Information is also available on the internet.

Pennsylvania Game Commission:
Judi Stack is waiting to get the official letter from the PA Game Commission, but it was not ready at the time of this meeting. Apparently the Game Commission is having difficulty dealing with cavers in the southeast area of the state. Once Judi has the official letter she will distribute it to all the grottos in the state. Until this issue is resolved, the policy will remain as written.

Increase in MAR Fees:
Kim Kehs reminded grottos that the $1.00 increase in registration fee at MAR meets goes into effect this year. It is now $5.00.

Pennsylvania Cave Conservancy (PCC):
There will be a meeting after the MAR Business Meeting.

Cave Bucks:
Several grottos in the region participate in Cave Bucks to support various conservancies.

1999 Spring Field Meet:
Commander Cody Caving Club reported they will host the meet in the pan-handle of West Virginia; they will have a spaghetti feast and a live band Saturday night; there will be hiking, caving, canoeing, and possibly passes into a local commerical cave.

1999 Fall Field Meet:
Flyers available at the front table; York Grotto will have a history book available since the meet is in conjunction with their 40th anniversary; the guildbook will have several new unpublished or newly updated cave maps; the banquet will be on site followed by the debut of "The Caves of Pennsylvania" slide show.

Break -2:30-2:50 PM

Jay Herbein reviewed some housekeeping rules prior to the break.

New Business:

Masters of the Night:
Karen Bange reported that Bat Conservation International has been touring the country with a 6,000 square foot bat exhibit and the display is coming to Bethlehem, PA from February 13 till May 2, 1999.

Tytoona Cave Fund:
Derek Flaig reminded everyone that the cave fund is till accepting money and donations should be sent to Mike Cullinan or the NSS.

Westmoreland Bulletin (MAR Bulletin #20):
Kim Metzgar brought up for discussion splitting the monies set aside from the sale of the Westmoreland Bulletin (when the bulletin was sold, $2.00 was to be have been set aside for cave conservation efforts). There was some discussion whether this had actually been done. Kim made a motion that the accumulated money be split between MAKC and PCC. Franklin County Grotto seconded the motion. A vote was taken and the motion passed.

Kim then made a clarification to the motion to read that if any money is available, it be split between MAKC and PCC. Pennsylvania Cave Legislation Trust Fund seconded the motion. A second vote was taken and the clarified motion was passed.

Indian Cave:
Dean Snyder, representing Bert Ashbrook, brought to the attention of the MAR that the "Bath Home News", in Bath, PA published a map of Indian Cave taking away Bert's title block and name and taking full credit for the map. Dale Ibberson made a motion to authorize Bert to contact the publisher of the publication to ask them to correct the credits and publish a retraction. Pennsylvania Cave Legislation Trust Fund seconded the motion. A vote was taken and the motion passed.

NSS 2000 Elkins, WV Convention:
Craig Hindman reported for Bob Gulden who is in charge or pre- and post convention trips; anyone interested in helping lead trips, contact Bob.

NSS 1999 Idaho Convention:
Kim Kehs read from a letter sent by Evelyn Bradshaw with a proposal for a meeting at the Idaho Convention. This meeting is for regions across the country to share ideas and problems in their areas.

Cave Signs:
Judi Stack made a motion to allow the purchase of cave signs for posting in places other than caves. York Grotto seconded the motion. A discussion followed reminding everyone that the signs still costs $10 regardless of the posting location. It was agreed upon that the signs would be of use in educating the general public if posted in non-caving locations. A vote was taken and the motion passed.

COG (NSS-Congress of Grottos):
Carol Tilderman stated that Congress of Grottos website and issues can be sent to them in this manner.

Spring 2000 MAR:
No grottos volunteered to host. Kim Kehs asked grottos to consider volunteering. Kim will continue to pursue the issue.

Fall 2000 MAR:
Loyalhanna Grotto tentatively agreed to host. They will confirm this in spring. The event would be in Westmoreland County.

Spring 2001 MAR:
Franklin County Grotto volunteered to host.

Fall 2001 MAR:
Central New Jersey Grotto volunteered to host.

Bat Quilt:
Judi Stack is making a bat quilt to be auctioned at the NSS 2000 Convention. If anyone is interested in making a quilt square, talk to Judi.

Nittany Grotto was complimented by everyone on the fine Fall MAR. 50th Anniversary T-Shirts are still available.

Mapping Programs:
Ed Kehs informed everyone that some new street/topo mapping programs on the market have directions/locations to caves on them.

MAR Business Meeting:
It was noted that this is the 35th Business Meeting to be held at Jay Herbein's home. Everyone thanked Jay and Kathy for their hospitality through the years.

Motion to end the meeting was made by Baltimore Grotto. Seconded by Pennsylvania Cave Legislation Trust Fund. A vote was taken and motion passed.

Meeting adjourned at 3:30 PM

Respectfully submitted,
Karen Bange
MAR Recording Secretary

Representatives at the meeting:

  • Baltimore Grotto
  • Pennsylvania Cave Legislation Trust Fund
  • York Grotto
  • Nittany Grotto
  • Greater Allentown Grotto
  • Central New Jersey Grotto
  • Franklin County Grotto
  • Loyalhanna Grotto
  • Commander Cody Caving Club
  • Philly Grotto
  • Huntingdon County Cave Hunters

Click "Here" for the February 27, 1999 minutes of the PCC Meeting (Winter) that took place immediately after the MAR Business Meeting.

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