Conservationheader MSM Spelunkers Home
Compiled by Rob Tayloe

When underground, please try to keep the following in mind:

  1. When in a stream passage, keep in mind that there may be critters [salamanders and many others] that may be difficult to see, but nevertheless need us to steer clear of them. For this reason, try to go as slowly as possible through water passages, looking for tracks and the individuals themselves. When such a critter is encountered try best to warn others in your group of its location, and if necessary, place the critter in a safer area so it won't get trampled.
  2. When walking through a passage, try best to keep muddy hands (and even non- muddy ones) from touching the walls, formations, in just any place to keep your momentum and balance. Please try best to place hands in a location where the mud that gets left behind is seen as little as possible. It may not seem like much, but your mud, and the mud of others does add up. It is quite amazing that just a little mud can really ruin what was once a very white formation...
  3. Likewise, keep in mind where your body is in relation to the rest of the cave. In otherwords, try to keep your body as far away as possible from soda straws, bacon, etc. that may be just dangling above ya.
  4. Take all the stuff that you brought into the cave back out with you. This means making sure that all those little things, like food, candy wrappers, batteries, film, etc. are packaged properly and can't get lost as ya travel along the cave. Besides being unsightful, quite a few things are toxic to the cave critters.
  5. If you encounter bats, keep your conversation to a low, but do NOT whisper. Also, refrain from shining lights on them - would you like to be disturbed when sleeping by a bright light??? Didn't think so... If a bat is flying around the same passage as you, don't panic, just stay as close to the walls and floor as you can till he/she leaves. A bat, when it is in an area its familiar with, will not always use its sonar to detect obstacles.
  6. Remember that the cave you are visiting is the home to the critters that live there,many of which can't just get up and leave if the neighborhood goes to hell. They die. There is a very delicate balance involved in a cave system, it does not take much to screw it up. For a long time.
  7. Do whatever ya can to leave the cave as you found it, if not better. So that the next person (who may be yourself) that visits the cave can enjoy the cave as much as you did. This includes keeping an eye out for other's trash, spent batteries, etc. and taking it out with you.

All the above is written with the intent to reinforce the conservation that you all are already aware of. It is not meant as a lecture or sermon, just a reminder. Lastly, keep in mind that your actions bear a direct link to not just yourself, but also to this Club as a whole. In other words, when caving in other areas, there will be other cavers that will be "judging" how well you act and compose yourself.

MSM Spelunkers Club