From Bill Putnam, SCCi Acquisitions Chairman:New Management at Tumbling Rock Cave
In the unlikely event that you haven’t already heard, the SCCi is pleased to announce the acquisition of Tumbling Rock Cave, Alabama, by way of a lease/purchase agreement. Management of the preserve will be handled by a separate non-profit corporation now being established, and will begin on January 1, 2008.
This very special acquisition is the culmination of more than two years of extensive efforts by SCCi member Jay Clark and others.
We expect to have the cave open for visitation primarily on weekends – probably from Friday afternoon until Sunday evening. Access during the week will be possible by special arrangement. See the SCCi web site at www.scci.org
for more details as the opening date approaches.
We hope you can appreciate that this particular acquisition involves some very substantial expenses for the Conservancy. Expenses for the first year are expected to be more than $20,000. The present owners have charged a small fee for many years. Our lease and purchase is not free, and we have other expenses of operation in addition to the monthly lease/purchase payment. We will therefore need to continue to collect a small amount from each adult visitor in order to offset some of the expense required to obtain and manage the cave.
Beginning January 1, adult visitors will be asked to make a donation when they visit the cave. Regular members of the SCCi will be asked to make a $7 donation. SCCi Sustaining Members will not be asked to make a donation, as they already donate to the SCCi each month, and the SCCi uses a portion of those donated funds to support the Tumbling Rock Cave Preserve. Non-members age 18 and over will be asked to make a $10 donation. Visitors under the age of 18 will not be asked to donate, as they are our guests, however they must be accompanied by an adult.
Membership in the SCCi is open to all persons interested in Southeastern caves and caving. See www.scci.org/membership
for more information on becoming an SCCi member.
Visitors entering the cave will be expected to have appropriate caving equipment (helmet, boots, and headlamp) and to follow standard cave safety and conservation practices as promoted by the NSS.
We are planning some exciting changes and improvements at the preserve in the very near future. We will be creating a campground on the premises, and we hope to be able to host special caving events there from time to time.
Managing Tumbling Rock will be a big project, and we are already in need of volunteers to serve as weekend preserve managers. We do not plan to have a resident cave manager or caretaker. We are seeking volunteers for weekend duty at the cave, and these volunteers will be able to stay at the house by the cave for the weekend. There are no plans at this time for guided trips, cave guides, or other similar activities. There will be very few changes at first, with the most noticeable being the requirement that visitors have appropriate caving safety equipment.
The overall preserve manager will be Jay Clark, who will report directly to the Board of Directors of the non-profit corporation running the preserve. Jay is actively soliciting cavers to serve with him as preserve managers. If you are interested, please contact Jay by email at email@example.com Any suggestions that you have concerning management of the preserve will also be appreciated and considered.
It is important that we project a very favorable impression to the landowners and local community. Too many caving areas have been closed to the all of us because of abuse by cavers or other visitors. We do not want that to occur here. In order to ensure that things go well and our lease progresses into the purchase phase, so that we may obtain full ownership of the property, it is important that visitors continue to observe a few common sense rules:
1. When visiting the preserve, please do not change clothes in public. Changing rooms are available and must be used. While you might like to see yourself naked in public, our neighbors do not.
2. No using the bathroom in the cave, or at any place other than the facilities we have provided outside.
3. Please do not consume any alcoholic beverage or drugs of any type in the cave or on the preserve.
4. Please respect and be considerate of our neighbors, other visitors, and the cave environment by refraining from littering, touching artifacts, damaging formations, molesting wildlife, or otherwise disturbing the peace and serenity of the cave and the preserve.
Visitors will also be expected to have appropriate caving equipment (helmet, headlamp, and boots) and to follow standard caving safety and conservation practices, as promoted by the NSS.
We hope that all of you are as excited about this acquisition as we have been. Please help us with developing the preserve by continuing to support the Conservancy, by volunteering to help on the preserve and by helping us work toward full ownership of the property.
The SCCi extends special thanks to Nathan Williams for his superb photographs, which he allowed us to use at TAG, and to Pat Kambesis for allowing us to use a scaled-down version of her very fine map of Tumbling Rock on the Tumbling Rock Cave T-shirts.
Additional details will be posted before the end of the month. If you have any questions regarding Tumbling Rock Cave, you may contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please ignore or disregard any rumors you may hear about the management arrangements. Official announcements will be posted here and on TAG-Net as January 1 approaches.
Bill Putnam, SCCi Acquisitions Chairman, email@example.com
Jay Clark, tumbling Rock Cave Preserve Manager, firstname.lastname@example.org
Bill Putnam, NSS 21117LF