Access to caves is becoming more difficult for many reasons. Around 1998, J. C. Fisher of Tri-State Grotto observed that the best way to insure access to caves is for the cavers to buy or lease the entrances. He started a program, called Cave Bucks, to collect money for acquiring caves.
Soon afterwards, the DC Grotto adopted the Cave Bucks program and set up a restricted fund to accept donations toward the purchase or lease of caves. Donations to the Fund will not be used for any purpose other than buying or leasing caves. The Fund will not be used for such things as constructing cave gates or fences, clean-up projects, access roads, etc. The suggested donation is $1.00 per cave trip; donations are accepted at each Grotto meeting.
As of March, 2008, the Grotto's Cave Bucks Fund had donated over $1,100 toward the purchase or lease of several caves in West Virginia.
J. C. Fisher's original idea was that incoming money immediately be transferred to one of the existing cave conservancies to use for their ongoing programs. However, the Grotto's Executive Committee felt that it was better to hold on to the money and wait for a conservancy to request a grant for an appropriate project. At their September 2003 meeting, the Grotto's Executive Committee approved the Cave Bucks grant policy described below.
Any non-profit organization may apply to receive Funds from the Cave Bucks Fund by submitting a written request that includes the following:
Requests for Cave Bucks funds should be sent to the DC Grotto Treasurer, Bob Hoke, 6304 Kaybro St., Laurel MD 20707. E-mail requests are acceptable and can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org. Each request will be reviewed by the DC Grotto Executive Committee, and the EC will make the final decision about the request.