Welcome to Little Rock Grotto!
LRG is an internal organization of the National Speleological Society (NSS). We are Arkansas cavers who not only cave recreationally, we also actively participate in cave conservation and study.
If you are interested in caving and wish to learn more, please contact us or come visit one of our monthly meetings!
LRG’s position on WNS is concurrent with the policies of its parent organization, the NSS. We encourage members to educate themselves about this issue, comply with current NSS guidelines regarding disinfection of gear, and respect cave closures.
News and Updates:
Voting for 2010 officers is complete, with all nominated parties running unopposed. Relevant changes: Mike Patton will take over as grotto Chair, and Kayla New will assume the position of Secretary. Both seem eager to contribute; we're lucky to have such enthusiastic volunteers.
On another note, The January 2010 newsletter is on the horizon (submission deadline is tomorrow), Blake Sasse gave a wonderful presentation on Arkansas bats at the December grotto meeting, and LRG members have been up to all manner of interesting things. At the January meeting, Jeff Bartlett is planning to present a slideshow of photos from his November trip to Lechuguilla Cave in NM, so hopefully the projector will cooperate!
The fourth Arkansas Underground of 2009 is now available and has been distributed by email. Some excerpts will be added to the Newsletter page, but if you were supposed to receive this and missed out, contact Chad.
Hey there. Come here often? Okay, okay, it's been a while since I added a news blurb.
Most of the news-worthy events, unfortunately, have involved cave closures. The Buffalo National River caves are closed (we think). The US Forest Service caves are closed. Some caves in Devil's Den State Park are closed. You get the idea. Since it might be years before White Nose Syndrome reaches us, and more years until the affliction has been controlled -- or run its course -- our options are now very limited in terms of caves to visit, and will likely continue to be so for the forseeable future.
The July newsletter has been distributed via email. If you didn't get an email, contact Jeff and complain. Appropriate excerpts will be posted to the newsletter portion of this website shortly.
The USFWS has updated their recommended decontamination procedures, and changed the link used to find these. You can view the new changes here. The most notable change involves ropes and harnesses; the new protocol recommends: "This equipment should be dedicated to one cave or not used at all."
We've added some informative links regarding White Nose Syndrome (WNS) to the contacts page. It's recommended that all active cavers take a look at these links, especially in regard to proper cleaning of gear. If you're planning to go caving in a state currently affected by WNS, it's important to be especially careful.
Long time without updates, I know. AACS has come and gone, and the April 2009 newsletter is out today. Flowers are blooming, leaves are appearing, water levels are up, and our typical caving activities are in full swing. It's hard to believe tomorrow will be the fourth meeting of this young year, already; if you're looking to join us underground this spring or summer, come to a meeting and introduce yourself.
Now that 2009 is here, it's time to pay your LRG annual dues! Please remember that Shaun is our new treasurer, so talk to him at an upcoming meeting or send him an email. Recently grotto funds have been used to purchase some loaner helmets and renew our Flickr "pro" account.
Spring is just around the corner and lots of trips are coming up. Wet trips this time of year will likely be short, so we don't turn into icicles on the way out, and there is still some time left for ridgewalking before the leaves come back. If you'd like to know what's on the agenda, swing by a meeting or get in touch with us!
The January 2009 edition of the LRG newsletter, Arkansas Underground, has arrived! Check your inbox. If you should have received one but for some reason did not, e-mail Chad. Thanks to everyone who contributed photos or trip reports, and the next issue will be scheduled for a late March release.
Officer positions for 2009 have been decided. The only returning incumbent is Dewayne Agin! Jared Sickles replaces Bryan Signorelli as VP, and Mike Carter replaces Jeff Bartlett as MAL. Aly Signorelli and Shaun Baker remain, but have swapped tasks, with Aly now acting as Secretary and Shaun as Treasurer.
We have renewed our Flickr "pro" account for another two years. If you'd like to contribute to the photo gallery and don't know how, email Chad for instructions.
Well, AACS weekend has come and gone, which means it's officially fall. Leaf-off is here!
Nominations for 2009 officer positions were made at our last grotto meeting, and we will vote at our next grotto meeting (December 4). If you are a dues-paying member in good standing and wish to vote, either come to the meeting or submit an absentee vote via email to Dewayne Agin.
Two bits of news! First, Fancy Pants 2008 had a great turnout and photos have been posted to our flickr site. Second, another issue of Arkansas Underground has been published. If you didn't receive the email announcing the issue and you think you should have (or want to be added to the list), contact us.
Okay, even more congratulations are in order. Jeff Bartlett was also the recipient of an Honorable Mention at this year's convention, for his entry to the Cartography Salon. I think that's all of it. Not a bad showing for Little Rock Grotto this year. Next year: Merit Awards.
For those who were not able to make it to the August grotto meeting, some of the photos from Mike's slide show have been added to our flickr site. You can find the set here. I didn't realize how much I wanted to go caving in the French Alps until I saw Mike's photos... these are definitely worth a look!
It would appear that additional congratulations are in order: we've received word from a fellow caver that Bryan Signorelli is the recipient of two Honorable Mentions (green ribbons) for his contributions to the Cover Art Salon as editor of Arkansas Underground. The winning issues were Volume 17, No. 6 (May 2006, featuring a photo by Andy Andrews) and Volume 18, No. 2 (Mar-Dec 2007, featuring a photo by Jeff Bartlett).
Congratulations are in order: our very own Dewayne Agin has been selected as a Fellow of the National Speleological Society, officially making him the first active LRG member to receive this recognition. Here's to a couple more decades as LRG prez, old man!
May 12? I haven't updated this page since May 12? If the NSS website contest still existed, I would lose all over again. A lot has been going on, no matter how crushing the heat outside is. Mike went caving in France. Jeff went caving in Kentucky. Aly and Bryan got married. The cave files survived a lightning attack. We've continued to work several Arkansas cave surveys, with more good stuff on the horizon. Want to be a part of it? Get in touch with us or come to a meeting.
Dr. David Thomas, Lyon College Professor and LRG member, has posted a series of photos to our flickr account from the cave microbiology project he's been working on; Definitely worth checking out. We've also added several photo sets showing what else we've been up to the last few months.
The Jan-Apr 2008 issue of Arkansas Underground is now available, with excerpts soon to be posted on the newsletter page. This is by far our largest issue to date, ringing in at a novelesque 64 pages.
Of course, this means that our backlog of newsletter material is completely empty, so your contributions are needed. If you're going caving, consider designating someone to write a trip report.
OK, it's spring now - I can tell, I have poison ivy. There are lots of trips coming up soon, so check in at a meeting for a recap of what you've missed and what's on the horizon. We'll also have a 1:600 plot of the working Chinn Springs map for display at the next meeting. Only 34% of the existing survey has been drawn, but it's still impressive at 90" wide x 42" high. Check with us for upcoming survey dates.
Added another map to the projects page. Newsletter soon!
Here we are in the dead of winter, with little caving to be had; let's face it, Arkansans are a bit delicate when it comes to cold weather. LRG folks do manage to stay busy, and January has seen multiple ridgewalks.
For those of us otherwise preoccupied, however, winter is cartography season, and some exciting things are happening to that end. Two more recently completed maps have been added to the projects page, and we're working on setting up a password-protected page to update grotto members and other surveyors on the status of everyone's favorite 6 miles of cave. Stay tuned.
One of our smaller cartography projects (name withheld at land owner's request) is now complete, and the map has been delivered to the land owner. we've added a link to the map on our projects page. Thanks to everyone who helped with what turned out to be a unique survey.
Just a quick reminder - a new year is upon us, and as such the LRG membership roster has been wiped clean. Annual dues are $10, and should be brought to a meeting or mailed to us and addressed to treasurer Aly Bowen. Please note that we are no longer accepting checks.
The new issue of Arkansas Underground is out - check your email. If you're supposed to get a copy and didn't, or would like to request one, contact Bryan.
In other news, officer re-elections were held at tonight's meeting. Bryan Signorelli unseated incumbent Mike Patton for the position of Vice Dewayne, and Jeff Bartlett replaces Brandon Waggoner as member-at- large. When approached for comment, Bryan inexplicably responded "read my lips: no new taxes."
Today, the new website is officially live and replaces the old site on the caves.org server. Internet Explorer 6 users will see a slightly less attractive variant of each page, sans transparency, but it should work, and is 100% functional in IE7 & Mozilla 2. If you see anything awry, have a negative experience in another browser, or would just like to make a suggestion, you can contact Chad. In addition, if you periodically have news that you'd like to see posted here, e-mail me and I'll add it as soon as I can. Currently, selected newsletter articles from the archive are yet to be linked, and our projects page is under construction; check back for updates.
We have recently established a Flickr "pro" account in order to facilitate the uploading, sharing, and printing of our caving photos. Login and password information will be available to all LRG members, and we encourage everyone to take advantage of this service. If you should lose the account info or have any questions, you may contact Chad Holderfield.
Congratulations to Bryan Signorelli and Jeff Bartlett for their winning entry in Swaygo's Pack in Action Contest! The winning photo was taken during a survey trip to IHTC and illustrates the "ear dip" portion near the entrance of the cave that we've all grown so fond of. As winners, the pair will be dividing a pile of swag headlined by a free Swaygo pack. It's a nice bonus for all the tight, wet belly crawling performed while advancing the ongoing survey. Be sure to look for Jeff's ugly mug in upcoming Swaygo promotions.
Nominations have been made for 2008 LRG Officers. If you were absent from the November meeting and wish to make a nomination, please contact Dewayne Agin. Voting will take place at our next grotto meeting on Thursday, December 6; all are encouraged to attend.
Thanks to everyone who participated in this year's annual Fancy Pants trip. As usual, the outfits were ridiculous and everyone had a good time. Projection equipment willing, we will have a slide show to share at the upcoming meeting, and will post images to the site's gallery shortly thereafter...