View Full Version : Cave Survey Approves Public Dissemination of Cave Locations

05-15-2007, 08:47 AM
From the NSS & Colorado Caving Forums. I find this very interesting. The founder of www.cavesr4all.com is a part of the Colorado Cave Survey of the NSS, so that's likely a big part of this reversal.

Posted: Tue May 15, 2007 7:54 am Post subject:


The Colorado Cave Survey of the National Speleological Society has reversed its earlier position of restricting data regarding cave locations. At the board's regular spring meeting on May 14, the board came out in favor of allowing cave locations to be included in popular public media such as published guides like Lloyd Parris'es 1973 book, "Caves of Colorado" and a Colorado Internet cave location website.

Following a lengthy, sometimes passionate discussion, the Survey soundly rejected a proposal by Front Range Grotto Chair Carl Bern that would have required board members to sign a confidentiality agreement regarding cave location information presented at meetings. Instead, the board approved a lesser requirement that individuals, including board members, who wish to review the Survey's cave files sign an agreement and be approved by the full board. This proposal will now go to the Survey's member grottos for discussion and approval.

Despite the Survey's approval of posting public and privately-owned cave locations to the Internet, the Survey did not indicate an interest in directly supplying location information from their files to websites. However, the Survey's approval of posting of locations online could bring concern to both private and public cave owners and managers in Colorado, who may fear the NSS-chartered organization will supply GPS locations of sensitive caves to anyone who requests the information.

Several board members felt that restriction of cave data is an elitist position by organized cavers and that attempts to restrict the free dissemination of information is a violation of an individual's First Amendment rights, guaranteed by the United States Constitution's Bill of Rights. A few members indicated they would resign their positions rather than sign any confidentiality agreement with the Survey.

Denver caver Donald G. Davis offered an amendment to the Survey constitution that would have allowed the Survey to reject any elected grotto representative who knowingly violates Society, Survey or ethical policies. The motion died without a second.
Richard Rhinehart
Western American Caver
Denver, Colorado

05-15-2007, 12:01 PM
No big surprise, there's a big discussion over what was actually decided on in the meeting. :lol8: