SCCi Partners with Georgia-Alabama Land Trust to Create New Cave Preserve

 GALT Logo        Little Nicka Cave          SCCi Logo

The Georgia-Alabama Land Trust (GALT) and Southeastern Cave Conservancy, Inc. (SCCi) are partnering to create the largest cave preserve in Georgia. The Charles B. Henson Cave Preserve at Rising Fawn will include approximately 1,300 acres of land that has been acquired by Georgia-Alabama Land Trust over a three year period in the failed subdivision known as the Preserve at Rising Fawn in Dade County.  The “Preserve“ is located in the unique and threatened landscape of Johnson’s Crook, a deep horseshoe-shaped cove with high bluffs in the Lookout Mountain ridge.

Many of the slopes of Johnson’s Crook are underlain by limestone bedrock, in which more than 30 known caves have formed. These caves are important habitat for many types of cave-dwelling species, and also have in the past been popular among recreational caving enthusiasts for their varied challenges and remarkable beauty.

According to GALT Executive Director Katherine Eddins, “Partnering with SCCi is a natural fit for this property given its extensive cave system.”

Ron Miller, SCCi Chair, adds: “We are very excited to work with GALT in managing one of Georgia’s most significant cave areas.  We are also honored that this cave preserve is being named in memory of longtime SCCi member and benefactor Chuck Henson. Johnson’s Crook and its many caves held a special place in Chuck’s heart, and he worked tirelessly in the last years of his life to save this exceptional landscape. “

The Georgia-Alabama Land Trust, accredited by the Land Trust Accreditation Commission, is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, founded in 1994 by conservation-minded individuals in response to rapid development and encroachment of natural areas, farms and woodlands. It is now the largest private lands conservation organization in the Southeast, protecting over 268,000 acres of land with 775 voluntary conservation easements.

The Southeastern Cave Conservancy, Inc. (SCCi) is a 501(c) (3) nonprofit organization founded in 1991 that protects cave and karst resources in the southeastern U.S. through management, conservation and education. The largest nonprofit in the U.S. dedicated to cave conservation, SCCi owns and/or manages 30 preserves containing over 140 caves in six southeastern states.

For more information, visit http://www.scci.org/preserves/johnsons-crook-cave/

 

Access Changed to Kennamer Preserve

SCCi works hard to maintain good working relationships with our neighboring land owners to ensure preserve visitors have access to SCCi preserves and disturbances are kept to a minimum for our neighbors. Due to recent ongoing incidents, the landowner who owns the road to the Kennamer Cave Preserve has installed a locked gate to provide more controlled access to his lands.

Visitors to the Kennemar Cave Preserve must now request the gate code from the preserve manager by sending an email to kennamer@scci.org. Please check with the preserve manager before visiting in the event the gate code is changed.

For more information visit http://www.scci.org/preserves/kennamer-cave/.

The SCCi Buys Stephens Gap!

Stephens Gap Cave Alabama

Stephens Gap Cave, photo by Alan Cressler

Stephens Gap is one of the most beloved caves in the southeast, with a beautiful pit that cavers love and a huge walk-in entrance that draws hikers, photographers, and outdoor enthusiasts. The SCCi is very excited to announce that we now own this fantastic cave! Located in the heart of Jackson County, AL, the Stephens Gap Callahan Cave Preserve is our 30th cave preserve! By purchasing this beautiful cave, the SCCi will ensure that it’s protected and preserved for future generations of cavers, hikers, and photographers. This purchase was not cheap. We need to raise $150,000 to cover the land costs, closing costs, and the funding needed to care for the cave in to the future. If you enjoy visiting Stephens Gap, or would like to visit it in the future, please join us in establishing our newest, and likely one of our most popular, preserves! Thank you for your support.

Help us preserve and protect this beautiful cave! 
Details coming soon about how you can buy your own honorary piece of this beautiful cave.

Ticket Sales for Christmas Party are LIVE!

TheChattanooganHotelTicket sales for the 2nd Annual SCCi Christmas Party are LIVE! 

This year’s event will be held at The Chattanoogan Hotel, a lovely venue in downtown Chattanooga, Tennessee on December 13th starting at 6:00pm. Guests will be treated to a special presentation by Jennifer Pinkley who will describe the early years of discovery and exploration in the 1960s and share a wide variety of historic photos and maps. Steve Pitts will then discuss more recent activities in the cave including information about the remapping project. The evening will also include Buffet Dinner, Cash Bar and Silent Auction.  Tickets are $40 each and may be purchased by following this link.

For guests wishing to stay the evening hotel rooms are available for a special rate of $99/night. These may be purchased directly from the Chattanoogan (www.chattanooganhotel.com or 800-619-0018). Please mention the SCCi Christmas Party and make your reservation by November 15th to ensure the discounted rate.

For more information about the event follow this link to the event page. Make sure you check back often as we will be updating the list of items included in the Silent Auction.

Though we have chosen to hold this year’s event at an indoor location we encourage you to visit Tumbling Rock Cave to see the Christmas Tree in a Cave. The Christmas Tree will be decorated on November 22nd and lit every Saturday through the Holiday Season. Tumbling Rock, Inc invites you to join them for the lighting of the tree and Smokey the Kitty Anti-Vandalism Rally on November 22nd. Email tumblingrock@scci.org for more information.

SCCi Takes a Huge Step Forward in Expanding its Cave Acquisition Capacity

This month, the Southeastern Cave Conservancy has taken a huge step forward in our efforts to expand our cave acquisition capacity! As we have reported previously, in early 2013 the SCCi board of directors approved a strategic plan for 2013-2015. The strategic plan set an ambitious goal  – to double and eventually triple the number of caves that SCCi protects each year. In order to achieve that goal, the board recognized that SCCi must ramp up our game with respect to the plans, policies, and procedures that foundations and other major conservation donors expect, and also do a better job serving our growing membership. After much discussion, the board concluded that a key step in our ability to successfully implement the plan was to obtain professional administrative support services for SCCi. At our March 2014 board meeting, we welcomed Sage Morgan to fill this part-time contracted position.

We are confident that Sage has the right skills to help SCCi move forward with our strategic plan. Not only is she already assisting with SCCi’s day-to-day operations by doing things like dramatically improving our ability to keep current with the recurring credit-card donations from our nearly 500 sustaining members, she is also assisting each of SCCi’s volunteer-based committees in completing the many tasks that they are charged with as part of implementing our strategic plan.

Please join me and the SCCi board in welcoming Sage to SCCi. If you would like to contact her, she may be reached at sage.morgan@scci.org.

Ron Miller
Chair

The following is a message from Sage:

Hello! I would like to take a moment to express how honored I am to be a part of the growth of this truly grassroots organization. I am inspired by the ability of this “For Cavers, By Cavers” group of volunteers to drive this organization for the past 20+ years. I look forward to helping SCCi move to the next level. My virtual door is always open. Please feel free to call or email at any time. Thank you!

Sage:)