Author Topic: Responsible cavers  (Read 15053 times)

Online PeteHall

  • Global Moderator
  • forum hero
  • *****
  • Posts: 1087
Re: Responsible cavers
« Reply #75 on: June 13, 2016, 09:43:49 am »
this looks  prety good , i wonder weather bca can  do it's own ?

http://caves.org/brochure/Guide_to_Resp_Caving_2016.pdf
They just did:
http://british-caving.org.uk/wiki3/lib/exe/fetch.php?media=conservation_access:micg.pdf

Mike

and at 6 pages, the BCA guide is far more likely to be read in full, than the 26 pages from the NSS!
The distance between stupidity and genius is measured only by success.

Offline Ed

  • menacing presence
  • **
  • Posts: 191
Re: Responsible cavers
« Reply #76 on: June 13, 2016, 12:44:06 pm »
Should there not be a Responsible Landowner initiative as well? With some sort of Don't put tyres, barbed wire, dead sheep, old vehicles, diesel oil, farmyard waste etc. Into holes. And try not to festoon hedges in general with fragments of black polythene.


There is. It is called The Environmental Protection Act 1990 Part 2. and Animal By-Products (Enforcement) (England) Regulations 2013

It is just not enforced against farmers as much as it should be

Offline Alex

  • forum hero
  • *****
  • Posts: 4066
  • BRCC, UWFRA.
Re: Responsible cavers
« Reply #77 on: June 13, 2016, 12:55:56 pm »
Yeh I know of at least one location where a farmer has done this recently i.e. Logan hole. The entrance was lidded, there was no way those 3 or 4 sheep fell down there on their own!
Anything I say is represents my own opinion and not that of a any club/organisation that I am a member of (unless its good of course)

Offline pwhole

  • forum hero
  • *****
  • Posts: 1926
  • TSG, DCA, PDMHS
    • Phil Wolstenholme website
Re: Responsible cavers
« Reply #78 on: June 13, 2016, 02:14:19 pm »
Indeed - I went up to a small hole I'd found last year to attempt to pull out a rock that would hopefully give further access, only to find three small pairs of furry white hind legs poking out of it - they'd been stuffed in there like a cork in a bottle. Needless to say I was rather peeved about this, not least as it was on land that I thought would be managed more respectfully, let's say. We had permission to check shaft-tops, so we weren't breaking any rules. But it's their land, so stomping over and complaining wouldn't have had the desired effect, even though it's a SSSI. So we'll just have to wait until next year until they've hopefully rotted away, and I can try again. But it does make the 'Guardians of the Environment' angle a bit harder to swallow when you find stuff like this.

Some of the tales I've heard about dumping in shafts and opencuts on Dirtlow Rake in Castleton, and Moss Rake in Bradwell in the 70s and 80s don't bear thinking about in terms of cave/mine/water pollution downstream. Most of those incidents would ultimately have ended up in the River Derwent - or are still possibly stuck in sediments in the Peak-Speedwell system. This little find stunk particularly badly.
« Last Edit: June 13, 2016, 02:23:05 pm by pwhole »

Offline Clive G

  • menacing presence
  • **
  • Posts: 219
  • a flowstone wall a few metres to one side . . .
    • Clive Gardener Profile
Re: Responsible cavers
« Reply #79 on: June 13, 2016, 09:01:28 pm »
Indeed - I went up to a small hole I'd found last year to attempt to pull out a rock that would hopefully give further access, only to find three small pairs of furry white hind legs poking out of it - they'd been stuffed in there like a cork in a bottle . . .

The farmers do it to keep out badgers and foxes from making a sett and breeding!

And if you do end up with a badger in residence inside your dig, that is how and whereby the name for Ogof Ffw arose!


Offline AR

  • Black shadow
  • forum hero
  • *****
  • Posts: 1244
  • PDMHS, ATAC, ANHMS
Re: Responsible cavers
« Reply #80 on: June 13, 2016, 09:22:24 pm »
So we'll just have to wait until next year until they've hopefully rotted away, and I can try again.

Time for a spot of maggot-bombing, old chap....
Dirty old mines need love too....

Offline Amata

  • forum hero
  • *****
  • Posts: 1805
    • Sunguramy Photography
Re: Responsible cavers
« Reply #81 on: July 09, 2016, 04:47:38 am »
BCA will already have a database of all members: being a member does not mean that someone is responsible because any Tom, Dick or Harry can gain a green card simply by coughing up the moolah; however, if a BCA member had completed some kind of conservation induction then a tick could be put on the BCA register and landowners could check on their phones for the person's name.
So maybe being American I am not helpful here, but I want to try to answer the question as it is something I have thought about as it is a debate here as well. The "Gold Standard" is NSS membership. I agree - I find national organization membership as a RC vs not RC status is ludicrous. I know of plenty of people with NSS membership who scoop other's projects, tresspass onto private property that landowners have asked us to stay off of, ignored the few rare survey tape lines marking paths.

So no. I don't think coughing up money to join some organization means a good Responsible Caver.

In fact, most surveys and such won't let you have access here without current NSS membership. Heck, I let it lasp for a few days because I missed the renewal notice, and was kicked out of the Alabama Cave Survey last year because I was no longer an NSS member, despite having contributed many new finds and surveys since being an ACS member from 2012.  :wall:

I find there is more security in someone being a part of something like SKTF (SERA - our extended caving region - Karst Task Force) which organizes cleanups. Or in the SCCi (Southeastern Cave Conservancy), giving extra above and beyond to protect caves and educate landowners and government. Or a caver who is in a rescue organization is probably going to be a safer caver and responsible.

Since the question posed is not a "should we or not" debate, and looking from a landowner wants to look someone up perspective, I guess the best would be if someone is in above-and-beyond organizations, is on dig / survey crew, shows up for karst cleanups, etc, that gets listed in the bca database that you said exists already. Also, Most organizations (at least here) keep track of volunteer work for grants and funding, so why not have those lists of who shows up reported back to the existing database? Or perhaps people can self-report, and if there is issue then of course it can be checked. This way people can "brag" about their good works, and are likely to report "hey I showed up to xyz sinkhole cleanup" or such. I would think it could be an easy database report form implementation with a date, organization, and single sentence describing the volunteer work.
Sunguramy, my cave photography and blog website

Online Badlad

  • Administrator
  • forum hero
  • *****
  • Posts: 1862
Re: Responsible cavers
« Reply #82 on: July 09, 2016, 03:32:43 pm »
An interesting thread this and many good points made.

Worth repeating that it is the inclusion of the words "responsible caver" in the BCA constitution which sparked the OP.  The constitution is fairly dated and this phrase may well have been carried over from the original NCA constitution that ran before.  It is impossible to define in the way the OP wishes but I think the intention or spirit is fairly clear.  This whole section of the BCA constitution is up for review (as I understand) and replacing it with something similar to that proposed by Clive G in this thread would seem sensible.

Just to ponder on a few of the difficulties in determining who is responsible enough to enter certain caves consider this;

It will be difficult to use the BCA database for anything much more than listing members.  The main part of the problem seems to be that it relies on club secretaries to give details of CIMs and getting them to list other qualifications relating to responsibility would be problematic.  Just trying to find the age demographic of the BCA membership has proved impossible.

Although qualifications are a good indication we all know that a driving license can take a heap of instruction, two tests and can still produce incredibly bad drivers.  No reason to suggest that caving qualifications would be any different.

I have friends who are incredibly experienced cavers, some who help with cave clean ups but they are not in a club or members of BCA.  On paper they may not be considered 'responsible cavers'.  Conversely I know cavers, who are highly regarded (even an American super star), where if their actions were more widely known they would not be allowed near a fragile environment, but I very much doubt that any Access Body or landowner would refuse them entry to their caves.

So although qualifications, memberships, associations, etc can be an indication of responsibility it is almost impossible to be certain.  Perhaps this indicates how the damage at HLIS can occur despite fairly strict access arrangements.  Certainly a better awareness of conservation issues and more discussion can only help.


Offline bograt

  • forum hero
  • *****
  • Posts: 3565
  • Speliodecrepit
Re: Responsible cavers
« Reply #83 on: July 09, 2016, 04:29:34 pm »
I agree with Badlad's last post, membership of a regional or national body does indicate a willingness and ability to access the guidelines for 'responsible' caving, whether the recipient is willing to abide by them is up to them. Unfortunately there is still the tendency  for 'hmm, this stal will look good in my collection', even with 'registered' cavers.
 Education (and even, in extremis, brute force) is the only way forwards.

I recall, many years ago, a quote;--- 'Use the broken stal to smash his teeth in, then point out that the teeth will regrow faster than the stal'...

I suspect these days a more fitting solution would be a few photos on Faceache and a pillory on the gallows of mass media---.
Aim low, achieve your goals, avoid disappointment

Online Fulk

  • forum hero
  • *****
  • Posts: 4211
Re: Responsible cavers
« Reply #84 on: July 09, 2016, 05:32:47 pm »
I guess we’d all like to think that being an official of the CNCC (for example) would indicate that the office-holder was a ‘responsible caver’.

Well, many years ago – probably in the 1960s – some members of the BPC took me (a probationary member) on a through-trip from Lancaster Hole to county Pot. They looked after me (a mere youngster) very well, and pointed out lots of stuff about the cave environment. However, when we reached the vicinity of the Painter’s Palette (a very pretty formation, with a small pool surrounded by coloured stal and partially covered in ‘cave ice’), we became aware of some other cavers approaching us. Since there were only two of them and they seemed to be moving quickly, we stood aside to let them past (in a passage some 4–5 metres wide). However, when they reached us the ‘leader’ said to his pal, ‘This is the Painter’s Palette; it used to be a nice formation before people started to walk over it’ (or words to that effect) – and proceeded to do exactly that. Grabbing a couple of stals, he walked straight through the PP, to be followed by his mate. We were all aghast – more so when one of our party said, as they disappeared down the passage ‘Do you know who that was – it was XXX YYY’ (a CNCC officer).

What an example to set before a neophyte . . . but well, it was a long time ago.

So – just who is a ‘responsible caver’?

(NB the Painter’s Palette has recovered well in the 50 years since this unfortunate incident.)


Painter's Palette by John Forder, on Flickr

Oh wow, I managed to post a picture!! Thanks to Les (I think it was).   :thumbsup:

Offline Alex

  • forum hero
  • *****
  • Posts: 4066
  • BRCC, UWFRA.
Re: Responsible cavers
« Reply #85 on: July 09, 2016, 08:07:38 pm »
Why does anyone need to walk on it, but yes being part of a club has no representation of the individual.
Anything I say is represents my own opinion and not that of a any club/organisation that I am a member of (unless its good of course)

Offline Kenilworth

  • forum star
  • ****
  • Posts: 637
Re: Responsible cavers
« Reply #86 on: July 10, 2016, 02:35:39 pm »
I agree with Badlad's last post, membership of a regional or national body does indicate a willingness and ability to access the guidelines for 'responsible' caving, whether the recipient is willing to abide by them is up to them.

What if the regional or national body doesn't provide guidelines for responsible caving?

Offline bograt

  • forum hero
  • *****
  • Posts: 3565
  • Speliodecrepit
Re: Responsible cavers
« Reply #87 on: July 10, 2016, 04:03:53 pm »
I agree with Badlad's last post, membership of a regional or national body does indicate a willingness and ability to access the guidelines for 'responsible' caving, whether the recipient is willing to abide by them is up to them.

What if the regional or national body doesn't provide guidelines for responsible caving?

Then its up to its members to request (or formulate) them.
Aim low, achieve your goals, avoid disappointment

Offline Pitlamp

  • forum hero
  • *****
  • Posts: 5317
Re: Responsible cavers
« Reply #88 on: July 10, 2016, 04:42:05 pm »
I also agree with much of Badlad's thinking above.

My view is that if the majority of cavers constantly promote an appropriate ethos then this might also help drag along those who would otherwise be less mindful of the need to aim for minimum damage.

Offline Smiley Alan

  • player
  • **
  • Posts: 98
Re: Responsible cavers
« Reply #89 on: July 10, 2016, 08:02:10 pm »



What if the regional or national body doesn't provide guidelines for responsible caving?

Then its up to its members to request (or formulate) them.

 Id like to request  them .

my guess is a  qualifation would be a good  proof .does BCA think that woud  be a bench mark ?

Offline Les W

  • Hard cavin'
  • forum hero
  • *****
  • Posts: 5270
  • Wessex Cave Club, UCET
    • Wessex Cave Club
Re: Responsible cavers
« Reply #90 on: July 10, 2016, 08:40:45 pm »



What if the regional or national body doesn't provide guidelines for responsible caving?

Then its up to its members to request (or formulate) them.

 Id like to request  them .

my guess is a  qualifation would be a good  proof .does BCA think that woud  be a bench mark ?

I'm pretty sure BCA's membership won't think a qualification is a good idea...
I'm a very busy person

Offline NewStuff

  • Vocal proponent of Open Access
  • junky
  • ****
  • Posts: 780
  • www.dddwhcc.com
    • Deep Dark Dirty WetHoles
Re: Responsible cavers
« Reply #91 on: July 10, 2016, 08:49:22 pm »



What if the regional or national body doesn't provide guidelines for responsible caving?

Then its up to its members to request (or formulate) them.

 Id like to request  them .

my guess is a  qualifation would be a good  proof .does BCA think that woud  be a bench mark ?

I'm pretty sure BCA's membership won't think a qualification is a good idea...

As one of them, not a bloody chance. I go underground to escape bureaucracy. In addition, a test is one of the stupidest ideas ever, it will do exactly the opposite and drive people away from the BCA.
Permission? Wassat den?

Offline Kenilworth

  • forum star
  • ****
  • Posts: 637
Re: Responsible cavers
« Reply #92 on: July 10, 2016, 09:26:53 pm »



What if the regional or national body doesn't provide guidelines for responsible caving?

Then its up to its members to request (or formulate) them.

 Id like to request  them .

my guess is a  qualifation would be a good  proof .does BCA think that woud  be a bench mark ?

I'm pretty sure BCA's membership won't think a qualification is a good idea...

My own guess is that BCA is not qualified to provide such guidelines.
At any rate, even if they could, they never will. For BCA, or NSS, to insist on a responsible membership would be to insist on quality over quantity. Responsible caving, in fact, requires that the number of cavers be reduced. And as the constant discussions about growing membership proves, the only way that these organizations measure success is quantitatively.

Offline NewStuff

  • Vocal proponent of Open Access
  • junky
  • ****
  • Posts: 780
  • www.dddwhcc.com
    • Deep Dark Dirty WetHoles
Re: Responsible cavers
« Reply #93 on: July 10, 2016, 10:30:58 pm »



What if the regional or national body doesn't provide guidelines for responsible caving?

Then its up to its members to request (or formulate) them.

 Id like to request  them .

my guess is a  qualifation would be a good  proof .does BCA think that woud  be a bench mark ?

I'm pretty sure BCA's membership won't think a qualification is a good idea...

My own guess is that BCA is not qualified to provide such guidelines.
At any rate, even if they could, they never will. For BCA, or NSS, to insist on a responsible membership would be to insist on quality over quantity. Responsible caving, in fact, requires that the number of cavers be reduced. And as the constant discussions about growing membership proves, the only way that these organizations measure success is quantitatively.

I've told you before. Education. Without it bad things happen, with it places are respected. Respect for places is the first thing people are taught in any club I have been in, havae contact with, hell, even non-club people teach this. Maybe it's different over there.

Anyway... You seem hell bent on killing caving for the majority, given this and previous posts. What's your issues with "normal" cavers?
Permission? Wassat den?

Offline mikem

  • forum hero
  • *****
  • Posts: 3597
  • Mendip Caving Group
Re: Responsible cavers
« Reply #94 on: July 11, 2016, 07:11:08 pm »
I would argue that there has never been much respect for anything - the Brits are reknown for their "do what's best for me" attitude...

Mike

Offline Kenilworth

  • forum star
  • ****
  • Posts: 637
Re: Responsible cavers
« Reply #95 on: July 12, 2016, 01:12:44 am »
I would argue that there has never been much respect for anything - the Brits are reknown for their "do what's best for me" attitude...

Mike

Mike is exactly right. Not just Brits of course.

Quote
I've told you before. Education. Without it bad things happen, with it places are respected. Respect for places is the first thing people are taught in any club I have been in, havae contact with, hell, even non-club people teach this. Maybe it's different over there.

Anyway... You seem hell bent on killing caving for the majority, given this and previous posts. What's your issues with "normal" cavers? 

The "respect" taught by cavers and caving clubs is little more than rationalization designed to obscure the fact that caving, as practiced by the majority, is careless, damaging, disrespectful and ignorant. Education sounds nice, and is a good goal. But there are hopelessly few qualified teachers, and those who understand the natural economy of caving would almost certainly prefer cessation to education. To promote both responsible caving and a national recreational caving club is an impossibility.

Killing caving for the majority? Absolutely. My issue with "normal" cavers? The same as my issue with most "normal" people. Their complete divorce from nature has made them careless and parasitic and unable to think, or converse, about their responsibility toward the Earth.


Online droid

  • forum hero
  • *****
  • Posts: 2330
  • WMRG
Re: Responsible cavers
« Reply #96 on: July 12, 2016, 04:53:34 am »
Most people that adopt this approach would put *themselves* in the group that was 'allowed' to go caving.

Who makes the decision though?
No longer 'Exceptionally antagonistic' 'Deliberately inflammatory'

Offline Kenilworth

  • forum star
  • ****
  • Posts: 637
Re: Responsible cavers
« Reply #97 on: July 12, 2016, 11:46:35 am »
As I've repeatedly said, everyone will always be allowed to go caving. But no one should be encouraged to. There should not exist clubs that make it easy for careless or ignorant people to hurt the things that they do not know or care about.

Online royfellows

  • forum hero
  • *****
  • Posts: 1252
    • mineexplorer.com
Re: Responsible cavers
« Reply #98 on: July 12, 2016, 12:35:17 pm »
As I've repeatedly said, everyone will always be allowed to go caving. But no one should be encouraged to. There should not exist clubs that make it easy for careless or ignorant people to hurt the things that they do not know or care about.

That's very kind, but haven't you moved the goalposts a bit from this?

I can't tell if you're serious.

When I was first beginning to survey caves I wrote a letter to one of the most respected and well-know cavers in the US (I was at that time unaware of his status). I asked him, in my ignorance, what I could do to become a responsible caver and thus gain the trust of landowners. I wanted access badly, see. He said, "The way to be a responsible caver (whatever that is) is to use good sense and be good to people."

That's about as good a definition as you'll get, and there is no possible vetting process.
My avatar is a poor likeness.

Offline NewStuff

  • Vocal proponent of Open Access
  • junky
  • ****
  • Posts: 780
  • www.dddwhcc.com
    • Deep Dark Dirty WetHoles
Re: Responsible cavers
« Reply #99 on: July 12, 2016, 10:04:50 pm »
Kenilworth, let me make sure I am understanding this. We are to encourage dwindling numbers of cavers, and helpkill the pastime off when we all peg it from old age?

Gotcha.

You are insane or a troll, very possibly both.
Permission? Wassat den?

 

Main Menu

Forum Home Help Search