NSS Outstanding Landowner Award

The award is presented to a cave landowner or land manager whose efforts have been exemplary in supporting cavers and the mission of the NSS; and who has demonstrated a long-term commitment to cave access, conservation, education, and exploration.

Presented annually, this award consists of a plaque and an invitation to attend the annual NSS Convention. The recipient of this award shall be selected by the NSS Landowner Relations Committee with consultation from the NSS Administrative Vice President.

Criteria for the NSS Outstanding Landowner Award:

  1. . The recipient has a long-term history of positive relationships with cavers, including access to their caves and property.
  2. The recipient has a demonstrated history of protecting caves, karst, and all resources that impact these fragile environments.
  3. The recipient will have made contributions to caving through ongoing relations and cooperation with the caving community.

The main nomination letter should be at least two pages long and outline the exemplary accomplishments of the nominee and what makes them a good candidate for the award. It is also helpful to have additional letters of support – each at least a page in length with personal insights to accompany the main nomination letter. As this award is quite competitive, the awards committee needs to understand how this landowner has made a difference for cavers.

Past Recipients

2017         Grant Carey - Colorado (Cave of the Winds)

2018         Jock & Jamie Doggett - Montana

(Sheep Company Cave, Van Hoose Cave, Dry Range Sink, Ellis Canyon Cave) 

2019         Lonnie Carr - Tennessee (Blue Spring Cave)

2020        John Attaway - Tennessee

(Red Trillium Cave, May Apple Cave, Meander Cave, Attaplex Cave)

2021         Ohio Caverns – Ohio

2022         Leslie Hatfield & Ellen Schwartz – New York (Clarksville Cave)