I'm new here and just trying to get the word out about a new Landowner Incentive Program designed to improve habitat for cave and karst dwelling organisms.
The program is TN specific, but eligibility is statewide in TN. Any private landowner is eligible and the targeted strategies include but are not limited to: sinkhole cleanups, restoration of vegetative buffers around sinkholes, springs and streams, livestock management, forest management, installation of alternative septic systems, forest management, fencing, and cave gates. Pretty well any technique that improves habitat for known rare or threatened cave species can be covered by TNLIP for Caves.
The one major catch to this program is that it is funded by the USFWS so all projects must benefit identified rare or threatened organisms.
If you have questions about the program or if you know landowners who may be interested please feel free to contact me: Cory Holliday The TN Chapter of The Nature Conservancy 2021 21st Ave. S. Ste. C400 Nashville, TN 37212 615.383.9909 firstname.lastname@example.org
Cory, Do you have a caver's volunteer working group assisting you? If not, it would be good to establish one.
Cavers are generally reluctant to help TNC in my area (not TN) because although we have many common goals, it has been my experience that once we help, we then are then banned from the cave along with the general public. That's a win-lose, instead of the win-win of TNC using cavers as an ongoing, knowledgeable and enthusiastic volunteer corps.
Hi Cory, your work reputation precedes you. Actually the news has been out for quite some time concerning the Landowner Incentive Program.
Here's a snippet and link to an article at Tennessee.Gov
TWRA RECEIVES GRANT TO WORK WITH LANDOWNERS TO CONSERVE AT-RISK SPECIES
The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency (TWRA) will receive $849,510 to continue a large-scale landowner incentive program in nine ecologically distinct provinces, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has announced.
Thanks for the responses. We seem to have a small group of caving volunteers that are dedicated and always willing to help. I'm really hopeful that over time I can improve our image and vastly increase our volunteer base, but it takes a lot of time to build trust. We really depend on cavers for a lot of help. I'm a firm believer in the "none of us is as smart as all of us" approach.
Lynn, thanks for the link. Although we've never met, I've heard a lot of good things and if there is ever anything I can do, don't hesitate to ask.
Best wishes to all and please keep our LIP program in mind when you see dirty sinkholes, untreated wastewater, fencing and buffer needs, etc.