The monthly newsletter of
Springfield Plateau Grotto of the NSS
Volume 2, number 1 January, 2007
Edited by Jason L. Hardinger
Membership contact information: Please visit spgcavers.org for membership packet
download or contact our treasurer, Roy Gold - firstname.lastname@example.org.
Come one, come all, to the first annual SPG Winter Party! It will
be held at the Deerfield Inn, which is located just west of the
intersection of US-65 and Battlefield Road in southeast
Springfield, Saturday, February 3rd, between 6 and 10 pm. If
you're going, and you haven't contacted Bonnie Howard by
phone, Bonnie Curnock (email@example.com), Charity Gramm
(firstname.lastname@example.org) or Jon Beard (email@example.com),
please do so, letting us know that you're planning to attend, what
guest(s) you're bringing if any, what finger food item you plan to
bring and what item, if any, you're contributing to the auction.
The party begins at 6pm with food and conversation, then later,
Certificates of Appreciation will be presented in an awards
ceremony, followed by a benefit auction. This is a great
opportunity for camaraderie and cave talk. See you there!
Membership Dues are due this month! See application attachment in my email.
Minutes of the January 10th, 2007 Business Meeting:
Respectfully submitted by Jason L. Hardinger, NSS #50170RE
The meeting was called to order at 7:04pm by President Jonathan B. Beard. There were 19
members and 3 guests present.
Vice-President’s report –Jack Rosenkoetter gave a presentation using member participation
on essential caving equipment.
Secretary’s report – Jon asked for a motion to accept the minutes as printed in the
December issue of “Passages”. Jack so motioned, Bonnie Curnock seconded, all were in
Treasurer’s report – Roy Gold reported that as of January 10, 2007 the total balance of
the treasury was $1602.27. Income from dues was $128.00. $90.00 was given to Paul
Nevatt for the electricity bill at Breakdown Cave, $28.23 was spent for a stamp and
membership cards. The Speleothem Restoration Fund balance is $1000.00. Roy explained
that he has a 2006 year-end report that should be included in Passages. He had
membership renewal forms and stated that 2007 dues are now due.
MSS report – Jon stated that the next MSS meeting will be January 20th in Rolla at the
DNR building at 1pm. There will be programs at 10am and 11 am by Amber Spohn and Ben
Editor’s report – Jon reported that Ron is almost done with Issue #4, 2006 of
Subterranean Journeys. The deadline for article submission for Issue #1, 2007 will be
March 1, 2007.
Newsletter report – Jason Hardinger asked if everyone received their December
Website report – Jon reported that Dr. Gouzie has a new essay on speleogenisis on the
website. Photos of our cave trips thru December are also there.
Librarian report – Jon announced that Eric and Charity had brought many new donations for
the library to the meeting.
SPG logo items – Eric Hertzler obtained a quote for patches of $2 each for 6 colors for
99-199 patches. Charlie Rey has found a local source for t-shirts and possibly patches. 3
color t-shirts: $5.50ea for 50 or $6.50ea for 36. 4 color t-shirts: $6.50ea for 50 or
$7.50ea for 36. 6 color shirts would be about $15ea. Jon asked if everyone was interested
in buying SPG t-shirts. Jack discussed keeping some shirts in stock for future sales. Jack
also asked if we should sell the shirts at cost or make a profit on them to cover the carrying
costs. Roy stated that we would need to get pre-payment for the shirts to cover the cost
of the order. Jon asked if those interested could bring money for their shirts to the next
meeting. Jon talked to Roy about getting SPG business cards made to give to landowners.
Missouri the Cave State license plates – Jon stated that we are still have only about 100
people signed up for the Cave State license plates, we need at least 200 to make this
happen. Jon explained that there is a $15 license fee plus $25 of which half goes to MCKC
and half goes to the Missouri Caves Association.
SPG Banquet and Auction – Bonnie Howard stated the event would be held on Saturday,
February 3rd from 6pm to 10pm. Bonnie showed items already donated. Donation forms
were available at the meeting and they will be emailed to members. Please email Bonnie or
Jon and let them know what you will be donating.
Ken Thompson Collection – Jerry Vineyard spoke about the Dr. Kenneth C. Thompson
Memorial Karst Watershed Collection. The Watershed Committee of the Ozarks has
obtained and is entrusted with the late Dr. Thompson’s collection of cave files, sinkhole
reports, his rock and mineral collection, books, journals and maps. The enormous amount of
material has been inventoried and a steering committee has been established with the task
of determining how the information will be used and accessed by the public. Jerry also
reported of the possibility that the MSS cave files at Jefferson City may be moved to
Springfield, integrated with the Ken Thompson Collection, and will be built upon as new
information becomes available.
Library additions – Jon stated that Bob Harvey would like to have the book “Cave Minerals
of the World” added to the SPG library.
SPG Committees - Jon will be contacting current members of SPG committees by phone or
email and ask if they would like to continue to serve on those committees. If anyone else is
interested in serving on any of the committees (survey, restoration, management, public
outreach) please contact Jon.
Smallin Cave survey – Bob Taylor reports that he is currently working in Jeff Cave and that
about a mile of passage has been surveyed so far on the project.
Tumbling Creek Cave – Eric Hertzler said that there will be another restoration trip in
March. Eric also announced that 160lbs of aluminum cans were removed from dumps on the
last trip. He donated half of the proceeds of the cans ($48) to SPG and the other half to
Kiesewetter Cave survey – Eric reported that the next trip will be January 19th thru the
21st. There still needs to be a species list compiled and photography can be done if anyone
does not want to survey. There will be camping on the property Friday and Saturday nights.
Saturday’s work will begin after the MSS meeting in Rolla.
Gardenia’s Cave survey – Eric, Charity, and Jon surveyed about 220ft on the last trip,
January 6th. There may be another trip in February.
Cave Management – Charley Young and Roy Gold completed the gate repairs at Watterson
Cave and replaced the lock. They tried to give a key to the people who live in sight of the
cave so they could help watch it but they were not home.
Bill Heim, Bonnie Howard, Bonnie Curnock, and Jack Rosenkoetter
visited Crystal Caverns to check on the broken door. Bill got the damaged door back into
place but the lock is broken. He is looking for a replacement door that will fit exactly.
Future Cave Trips
Rhodes Spring Cave – Leo Thompson and Lawrence Ireland went to check this lead but the
water was too high. A new date will have to be set.
Danforth Cave – Jon stated this cave still needs to be check out.
Jackson Cave – This cave is for sale and it is a known cavefish site.
Breakdown Cave educational trips – Jon Beard will be leading an educational trip for high
school students on Feb. 3rd at 10am. If anyone would like to help please contact Jon.
Doug Gouzie, Eric Hertzler, and Jon Beard discussed the dye-trace being conducted in a
sinkhole near Sequiota Cave. The sediment in Sequiota Cave may be related to this sinkhole.
Charley Rey discussed setting a date to visit 1440 Cave and others in that area to check on
them. A date will be set later.
Jon announced that he had a DVD about the 2007 NSS convention available if anyone
wanted to see it.
Alicia Beard asked what everyone thought about moving the meeting after the meeting to
IHOP since Ziggy’s is closing at 10:00 now. Everyone thought that was a great idea.
Jon asked for a motion to adjourn the meeting, Bonnie Howard made the motion to adjourn,
Jack Rosenkoetter seconded, all were in favor. Meeting adjourned.
Detail of the Treasurer’s Report:
December 13,2006 to January 10, 2007
Beginning Balance: $1592.15
Memberships for 2007 $128.00
Total Income $128.00
Breakdown Electricity Bill $90.00
Stamp/Membership Cards $28.23
Total Expenses $118.23
Ending Balance January 10, 2007 $602.27
Speleothem Restoration Fund
Balance January 10, 2007 $1000.00
Balance January 10, 2007
General Fund and
Speleothem Restoration Fund $1602.27
2006 Year-End Treasurer’s Report:
5/5/06 through 1/8/07
Category Date Description Memo Amount
Donations 5/10/06 Donation/Memberships Talking Rocks Caverns 300.00
Donations 8/28/06 Donation/Memberships 20.00
Total Donations 320.00
Dues 5/5/06 Memberships 2006 460.00
5/10/06 Donation/Memberships 2006 4.00
5/15/06 Memberships 2006 212.00
6/05/06 Memberships 2006 20.00
6/23/06 Memberships 2006 40.00
8/28/06 Donation/Memberships 2006 30.00
12/08/06 Memberships 2006 30.00
1/8/07 Memberships 2006 128.00
Total Membership Dues 924.00
TOTAL INCOME 1244.00
App. Fee 5/24/06 United States Treasury 501(3)(C) application -150.00
Total Application Fee -150.00
Bank Charge 5/5/06 Bank Charge Checks -13.55
10/16/06 Citizens National Bank Safety Deposit Box -25.00
Total Bank Charge -38.55
Electric Bill 12/22/06 Paul Nevatt -90.00
Total Breakdown Cave -90.00
Cave Gate 11/7/06 Jerry’s Key and Lock Lock for Watterson -30.65
Total Cave Gate -30.65
Dues 9/16/06 MCKC 2006 -20.00
Total Dues -20.00
Misc 6/15/06 Midwest Gardens Flowers-Charlie Young -34.31
Total Misc -34.31
Office Supplies1/3/07 Office Depot Stamp/Member Cards -28.23
Total Office Supplies -28.23
Reimbursement5/10/06 Roy Gold Filing fee for non-
Profit status -25.00
5/20/06 Jack Rosenkoetter Locks for cave gates -207.87
11/8/06 Jon Beard Cave restoration equip. - 17.12
Total Reimbursement -249.99
TOTAL EXPENSES -641.73
General Fund 5/5/06 Opening Balance 0.00
Total General Fund 0.00
OVERALL TOTAL 602.27
Speleothem Restoration Fund
5/5/06 through 1/8/07
Category Date Description Memo Amount
Forward 5/4/06 0.00
Donation 12/8/06 Ron Jaeger Speleothem
Total 5/5/06 – 1/8/07 1000.00
TOTAL INFLOWS 1000.00
TOTAL OUTFLOWS 0.00
NET TOTAL 1000.00
Who Went Underground in December: compiled by Jonathan B. Beard
December 3rd—Alicia and Jon Beard visited the entrance environs to Sequiota Cave
(Greene County) to photograph icicles. They were quite surprised to see the cave stream
flowing a bright brick red color due to large quantity of suspended clay.
December 9th—Eric Hertzler was assisted by LOG members Bryan Cook and Ken
Long in the survey of Hartwig’s Paradise and upper passage beyond in Kiesewetter Cave
(Pulaski County). A second team of Bill Gee (KCAG) and Jason Hardinger (SPG) assisted Jay
Kennedy (KCAG) in the survey of a passage leading to the 87 Room. Nearly 300 feet was
mapped, bringing the total survey thus far to 1578.5 feet.
December 10th—Jon Beard and Roy Gold assisted Bob Taylor in continuing survey
work in the Smallin Cave (Christian County) system, this time working on the Jeff entrance
side of the system. Beginning at the Connection Crawl, they surveyed north and east to the
largest of a number of offset dome rooms characterizing the Jeff section of the cave.
Several photographs were taken of cave passage, close-ups of biota that included a bristly
cave crayfish, an adult grotto salamander, pickerel frog, and fungi growing on a large rotting
tree trunk washed in by storm water.
Also on December 10th—Bob Harvey (SPG) and Luis Godoy guided 8 North Americans
on a photographic outing in Rio Frio Cave near St. Augustine in Belize. The cave is about
1/3 mile long and about 120 feet in diameter – a large tunnel – with a perennial stream
running through it. Due to abnormally heavy rains, the stream was flowing at more than 20
times its usual volume. The rains also created a steady flow of water onto a massive
flowstone, cascading from there onto usually dry but extensive rimstone terraces and also
as a series of 15 foot high waterfalls.
December 12th—Diane Kelsay, Bob Harvey (SPG) and Luis Godoy guided 8 North
Americans on a photographic outing to St. Herman’s Cave in St. Hermans Blue Hole
National Park in Belize. This cave has a set of concrete steps at the entrance sinkhole and a
marked trail for the first half-mile of the cave. Due to ongoing rains and high water, most
of the group contented themselves with photography at the cave entrance where they
found at least 10 large colonies of webworms dangling from the ceiling. Some of the group,
led by Bob and Luis, traversed through a flooded trail just inside the entrance and
continued for about ¼ mile into the cave where they photographed a large column. Waist
deep water (clear and rising) and a strong current dissuaded the group from venturing
December 14th—SPG member Melvin Johnson of the Springfield-Greene Co. Park
Board led a canoe trip into Sequiota Cave (Greene County) to study the brick red silted
cave stream. With Melvin were Waylon Cavinder, Matt Forir and Kara Warren also of the
Park Board, Dave Gaunt of MSU, Jess Heugel and Wes Johnson of the Springfield News-
Leader and Matt Keener and Mike Kromrey of the Watershed Committee of the Ozarks.
What they found was a new 10-18” silt deposit in the main stream channel, fed by an input
into the eastern tributary stream. The spill is ongoing and has lasted the entire month. As
a result, it represents a threat to aquatic species including the bristly cave crayfish. It is
suspected that the source may be due to a natural collapse or subsidence event or perhaps a
broken water main. Latest word is that a sinkhole AND a broken water main has caused the
siltation of the cave stream.
Also on December 14th—Lawrence Ireland and Leo Thompson visited Rhodes Spring
Cave (Douglas County) to see if Lawrence could crawl into the cave and check it out.
However, the volume of water was up too high and the entrance was partially sanded in. A
future trip is planned to try again.
December 16th—Bonnie Curnock, Bill Heim, Bonnie Howard and Jack Rosenkoetter
visited Crystal Caverns in Barry County where Bill Heim repaired the vandalized door to the
cave. They also saw much of the cave, giving Bonnie C. the opportunity to see the former
show cave. No new vandalism was noted in the cave despite the damage to the door.
Also on December 16th—Roy Gold and Bob Taylor continued the dig at a possible new
cave for Stone County. They dug a few feet deeper and may have found what appears to be
the beginning of horizontal cave passage going north and west from the open joint.
December 17th—Jon Beard, Charley Rey and friend Anita Baughman visited
Watterson Cave in Wright County. The lock on the gate had been cut by vandals, but
otherwise the gate was in good shape. They climbed down into the cave and found no
vandalism. Photographs were taken of the cave including its bizarre “soda mites”. They
descended into the unmapped lower level and explored about 250 feet of that level before
climbing back out.
Also on December 17th—Charity Gramm, Eric Hertzler and Ron Martin briefly visited
Sequiota Cave (Greene County) to see that after at least two weeks, bright brick red silt is
still being carried by the cave stream into Long Lake outside.
Also on December 17th—Diane Kelsay, Bob Harvey (SPG) and Luis Godoy went on an
inspection visit to a cave in Belize discovered in 1986. Bols Museum Cave (gated) begins
with a 15-foot vertical drop and then travels some 100 feet with several side chambers and
passages. After continuing downward on a steep incline about 40 feet to a “main chamber”
the ceiling is 40-50 feet high with numerous active speleothems. Several of the passages
had been artificially terminated by the Maya using piles of limestone rubble. The main
feature of the cave was numerous alcoves full of a great variety of Mayan artifacts. There
were also skeletal remains of at least two individuals.
December 18th—Diane Kelsay, Bob Harvey (SPG) and Luis Godoy found and made a
small incursion into Crystal Cave in St. Hermans Blue Hole National Park in Belize. The
group set out to see whether the cave was as special as reported and to assess damage
from previous caving. Crystal Cave is an amazing large cave with a huge entrance room (well
over 150 feet across, 120 feet deep, and at least 500 feet long) containing many layers of
breakdown and rapidly building speleothems including a 30+-foot column. Much of the floor
was littered with ceramic materials left behind from Mayan ceremonial use including some
engulfed by active speleothems. There are reports of human remains further back in the
reportedly long cave. This cave is unmapped – perhaps a future opportunity for SPG.
December 21st—Charley Young retrieved the lock box from Watterson Cave to
make improvements to make the next lock more difficult for vandals to damage.
December 23rd—Jon Beard, Roy Gold and Bob Taylor continued the dig at a possible
new cave in Stone County. The pit is now over 12 feet deep, and horizontal passage was
encountered, but it, too, will need digging (3 inches air over clay floor).
December 28th—Roy Gold and visiting son Duncan Gold, Charley Young and Sarah
Young visited Lowell Cave and Little Smittle Cave in Wright County. First, Charley showed
everyone a possible new cave for the files. Then, they went as far as the start of the
watercrawl and also climbed up into the upper canyon passage in Lowell, then later went to
the end of Little Smittle Cave not far away. They endured temperatures of 58 degrees and
crawled on their hands and knees in mud and water.
December 30th—Jon Beard, Roy Gold, Charley Young and Jeff Young spent the last
Saturday in 2006 photographing several breakout dome rooms and other features in Fry
Creek Cave in Wright County. The cave is developed just beneath the Northview shale,
which is an effective aquiclude, and thus, the cave has zero speleothems. There were 106
pipistrelles found plus an epigean crayfish and a rove beetle in the 4,500-foot main passage.
There is a string someone laid down along the entire length of the main passage. At least
three pipistrelles were using the string in two rooms to perch from.
Thanks to Bonnie Curnock, Roy Gold, Jason Hardinger, Bob Harvey, Eric Hertzler,
Melvin Johnson, Bob Taylor, Leo Thompson and Charley Young for their report contributions.
Jonathan B. Beard
Upcoming SPG Schedule:
Jan. 20 MSS meeting in Rolla. Contact Tom Morton firstname.lastname@example.org.
Feb. 3 Breakdown Cave educational trip. Please contact Jon Beard
email@example.com if you would like to help with the tour.
Feb. 3 SPG banquet at the Deerfield Inn (Battlefield & US65) 6pm to 10pm.
Contact Bonnie Howard firstname.lastname@example.org.
Feb. 14 SPG business meeting. 7:00pm at the Library Station on North Kansas
Expressway, Springfield, MO.
Cherokee Firearms Co.
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Springfield, MO parts and accessories
(417)868-8083 Cleaning and repair
8-4 Mon-Fri Petzl headlamps
NSS Member Pelican cases
Keeping Tradition alive