SCCi Makes Chattanooga Front Page

Today, 04/30/2016, the Chattanooga Times Free Press ran a front page article on SCCi’s 25th Anniversary. To read the article visit the Chattanooga Times Free Press. Big thanks to Amber Lehmann, Tripp Lichtefeld and Tom Whitehurst for volunteering to spend the day at Stephens Gap with the writer and photographer.

Times Free Press Screen Shot

SCCi Celebrates 25 Years!

Did you know that the SCCi is celebrating 25 years of conserving caves? 20_years_logo It all started in 1991 with a small group of cavers who wanted to create something new; a land conservancy dedicated solely to cave protection and access. 25 years later, their idea has turned into something much bigger than they ever imagined. The Southeastern Cave Conservancy, Inc. (SCCi) is now the largest land conservancy devoted specifically to caves. SCCi owns and leases 170 caves on 30 preserves in 6 states. It has succeeded through the hard work of many individuals, good timing, and patience.

As SCCi continues growing beyond its 25th year, the organization is primed to continue buying significant caves, engaging more people in the mission of cave conservation, and educating our communities about the importance of preserving caves and karst environments. Last year, SCCi acquired Stephens Gap and Johnsons Crook preserves, two significant purchases that cavers and nature lovers alike will enjoy for generations to come. It also hired its first full-time employee, an Executive Director. SCCi is actively engaged with numerous conservation partners, always setting the example for balancing environmental conservation with continued recreational access.

There are many ways to get involved with SCCi and be a part of its next 25 years. Basic membership, sustaining membership, Buy A Piece of the Cave, and other giving opportunities allow SCCi to remain on solid financial footing. Volunteers are regularly needed for special events like cave cleanups and other important functions. The Valhalla Society is a way to give to the SCCi from your estate or life insurance policy and ensure caves are protected even after you are gone.

However you choose to get involved, rest assured you will be part of an organization like no other. For more information, visit www.scci.org or call 423-771-9671 Ex 101.

Successful Fundraiser at Chattanooga Bar & Eatery

The Flying Squirrel, a Chattanooga bar and eatery, hosted a fundraiser for the SCCi on Wednesday, April 6.  The concept was simple.  SCCi was to invite as many people as possible to enjoy drinks and dinner, while the Flying Squirrel would give us 10% of their profits for the night.  In addition, a local organization named the Lamp Post Group, would match the total by 10% , totaling 20% of that evening’s profits.  SCCi was invited to set up promotional materials inside the restaurant and provide information about our organization.  We had a huge crowd of supporters and interested patrons.  We raised over $1,000 total for that night.  Many thanks to everyone who came out to support us.

SCCi on TV (Watch the Video)

ET Davis and Sara Keys recently shared information on recreational caving and conservation with Ranger Nick on the Georgia Farm Monitor show. The show will air Nov 22 at 11pm and Nov 26 at 6pm on RFD-TV (DISH 231 and DirecTV 345) or you can watch it here. Big thanks to the Fricks Cave Preserve Management Team for making this happen.

2015 John Van Swearingen IV Stewardship Award

MarkOThe SCCi, in cooperation with the Huntsville Grotto, is proud to announce Mark Ostrander as the 2015 John Van Swearingen IV Stewardship Award!

Mark is known for his service to the sport of caving and conservation of cave preserves. He has served as the SCCi Kennamer Cave Preserve manager for six years. From maintaining the parking area to marking preserve boundaries, Mark’s service knows no season. Mark is a truly an ambassador for the Kennamer Cave Preserve working with caving groups to make the most of their trips. He is currently working with first responders to use Kennamer Cave for a mock cave rescue while ensuring the preserve is protected from any lasting damage. Also, Mark has led and attended  cave cleanup projects over the years including Kennamer Cave, Devil’s Den and Cathedral Caverns.

The John Van Swearingen Stewardship Award was conceived by the Huntsville Grotto in honor of long-time member, conservationist, cave steward, and SCCi Director, JV, who passed away in 2001. It is presented annually at the TAG Fall Cave In. JV served for many years as the Fern Cave Access Coordinator, providing stewardship of the Fern Cave system and preserve for both the US Fish and Wildlife Service and the SCCi.

The purpose of the award is to meaningfully recognize the stewardship efforts of an individual, a group of individuals, or an organization that has provided significant stewardship activities for one or more caves, cave preserves, or karst properties, personally conducted over an extended period of time. The award, sponsored by the Huntsville Grotto and the SCCi, is also intended to promote long-term cave conservation and stewardship activities, and to encourage and thank those individuals and organizations who perform them.