ISS Meeting

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Minutes of the 14 April 2012 meeting of the Indiana Speleological Survey
Rand E Vous Inn, Corydon, IN

Board Members: Gary Roberson, Rand Heazlitt Brad Barcom, Nick Benton, John Benton, Shane Myles, & Dave Everton
members: Tim Pride, Dayton Boyd, Richard "Fig" Newton, & Justin Hinrichs

The meeting was started around 8:35, preceded earlier in the day by a shorter than usual cave trip to Geeding's Dome in Binkley. Rand was thanked for hosting the meeting and for supplying the pleasant weather to meet outside on the deck.

Minutes from the last meeting on 10 Dec 2012 were briefly discussed, and those present accepted them as prepared and posted on the website.

Old Business: none

Treasurer Report
Dave is still acting as group Treasurer; as of the meeting, we have $292.91 in a Paypal account and $171.59 in the checking account. A $700 grant was also awarded by the Cleveland Grotto Science Fund since the last meeting, which is the third one that we have received from them.
Major purchases: with funds made available by the Cleveland Grotto, we purchased a new hammer drill, protective case, and accessories.
2012 dues are due; amount is $10 per year and can be paid in person or online using the ISS website through PayPal.

New Business
Applying for various grants was discussed. Funds from grants could be used with purchasing materials for scaling poles, equipment rentals, group gear, and survey equipment, to name a few. Nick Benton suggested looking into the possibility of a grant through the new REI store in Indianapolis which provides grants to conservation and outdoor recreational groups. Brad Barcom volunteered to research this possibility.

Dave mentioned it would be beneficial for the group to have a central location for photos. A Facebook page may be the easiest way to accomplish this, although Brad Barcom expressed concerns that Facebook reduces the image quality, and may not be the best solution. Other elements of the Facebook page were discussed, and Nick Benton volunteered to create and monitor the account. It is important to make sure the Facebook account is open and welcoming to all cavers, but not necessarily for the purposes of recruitment or to attract new cavers. It should be noted on the page that ISS trips in the Binkley Cave system are generally very hearty and physically demanding, which are typically not ideal for those seeking easier/shorter recreational cave trips. Some cavers store their photos on Flickr accounts, and a possible solution to a central hub for photos would be to link these sites to the Facebook page.

Entrance Ownership/Management
One of the long term goals of the group is to have long-term or permanent access to cave entrances within the Binkley complex. Currently, the group is in good standing with the current landowners of the various entrances, thanks to trusting and hospitable owners, expectedly from the result of years of responsible and respectful caving practices. With this being said, there are many unforeseen variables such as new owners, and commercial development in upcoming years which may limit or halt access to certain entrances. Brad Barcom had earlier expressed personal interest in the Baelz entrance, although the current landowner has made it clear he is not at all interested in selling any of his land. Fig Newton noted that Mr. Baelz is now aware there is interest in ownership of the entrance, and if for whatever reason he changes his mind, he will know to contact the ISS if he changes his stance on the matter. Other entrances of interest for ownership/easements may include Guy Stover, the main entrance, Davidson Cave, and Miller Cave.

The meeting was adjourned at 9:45 and everyone was thanked for attending. There was no discussion on when to hold the next meeting (we stated in our Bylaws there would be two per year), so we will decide the next meeting at a later date.

Respectfully submitted by Secretary Nick Benton