KSS Minutes

December 20 2017


Kalnitz, Morris, Vanderhof, Keltner, Forsyth, Brewer, Arpin, Cassidy, Bailey


1) Announcements

- New Karst Hydrologist position at KGS is in the process of being filled

- We should see Missing County Lidar sometime this winter (perhaps early 2018). This will make the entire state complete with Lidar!


2) Reading of previous minutes

Voted and Accepted


3) Treasurers Report

Report from John Cassidy:

Ending balance 12742.03

beginning balance      12571.03

total activity   171


search fee 60

GCG Dues   75

membership 36


51 members  37 life members


Bruce Isaacs new member

4) Committee Reports

A) Data Access Report: -  Sarah Arpin

Report from Sarah Arpin:

4 requests since last month’s mtg, all filled

3 billable commercial requests

1 personal request (St Joe’s Cave in Elizabethtown)

32 Total Requests filled this year - full stats, etc to be reported in January newsletter




B) Database Committee- Kalnitz

1. Cave reporter App to report caves to database

Attached is an updated How-to manual – it has the instructions for downloading and installing what you need, as well as detailed use instructions..

Here is the survey link – remember you have to download the Survey 123 app before you can use it


- HJK reports he has heard the input and will update the App to include a cave description section. Please be patient!


2. Contest Update!

Two People are aggressively adding locations via the Iphone app, and they are neck and neck in the contest:

  • Bruce Issacs 20

  • Christopher Morris 13

There is still lots of time, so go out and find and report new caves!


3. Database Updates

Look for -xxxx locations and add to list

These have grown as we go through old newsletters

- HJK reports he will be updating the file maker database with all new data (from year 2017) and sending out to County coordinators. Let him know if you have a quicker need

- Currently we have:

- 5594 total cave records

- 4985 Caves (note, this has grown since the meeting!)

4. Addition of Bruce Isaacs as Jackson County CoCordinator to Database committee

- Voted and Agreed – Welcome Bruce!


Data Archives

Report from Sarah Arpin:

Publications Archive:

Added pubs from Dayton Underground Grotto, LG Karst Window & Speleofest Guidebooks, WKSS. Sent the following email out today to ESSO Grotto, Blue Grass Grotto, Pune Mountain Grotto, Windy City Grotto, and Cleveland Grotto. Awaiting responses!


5) Old Business:

A) KSS grotto Presentation – Currens

No Updates

B) Newsletter update – Brewer

Report from Josh Brewer:

The KSS Annual Report will be between 75-80 pages.

We have a few pieces we're still working on... but final edits have begun. The Publication Committee's Deadline/Final Copy goal has been set at Dec 29th... but I suspect we'll wrap up before then

C) ESRI Update – Kalnitz

- No updates – this will be a long term project

D) Safeguard data/ Security

- No Updates

5) New Business:

A) Charter  Emergency Response Committee

Report and motion from Mike Keltner and Howard Kalnitz:

On Wednesday, Nov 29th, Mike Keltner, Sarah Arpin, Howard Kalnitz from KSS, and Don Franklin, Area 10 Manager for Kentucky Emergency Management met to discuss how KSS can help Kentucky Emergency groups with the location of caves during SAR efforts.

We introduced ourselves, and Explained how we are different from a caving grotto, and the resources we held. Don is a longtime caver in the Pulaski area, so he knew exactly what we were talking about. After a good discussion, we came up with this plan….


  1. KSS will form an Emergency Response Committee headed by Mike Keltner

    1. The emergency committee will have full access to all data

    2. New members of the committee should be approved by the board  

  2. The committee will form a call down list of members and other board members to respond to requests as needed

  3. We will make a list of committee members available to KYEM Area Managers, and like wise they will give us a list of who can request data from us. ONLY the KYEM Area Managers or the incident specific responsible party, determined by the KYEM Area Manager, will be given data from KSS

  4. Based upon the type of need, KSS will forward as much data as we have to help for that specific event. This can include:

    1. All known cave locations around a specific point, with the buffer distance to be defined by the area manager and the KSS representative

    2. All cave maps, and reports for requested caves

    3. Contacts (as known) for cavers or grottos operating in the area

    4. Any support in mapping that we can assist with

  5. The area managers and/or the incident specific designee will keep control of the data and not distribute it more than the event requires

We talked about KSS setting up a slide show and presenting it at an upcoming area manager meeting, so that we can introduce ourselves and our resources, and how to request data from us.

We need to formalize this committee with Mike at the head at our next board meeting, and have a discussion and vote on it.

Personally, I think this is an excellent use for our data, and would love to move it forward as soon as possible….

This Motion was PASSED with all affirmative votes, and Mike Keltner was voted in as chair of this committee. This committee will have access to all cave data for emergency needs. If you are interested in joining this committee, please contact Mike or I

  • Ken Bailey Volunteered to be part of this committee

B)  KSS awards:

Motion from Josh Brewer

KSS Awards

Beginning in 2018 the KSS will honor the efforts of our members with three new awards at the annual meeting. Any KSS member may nominate any other member, no self nominations allowed. KSS Award Committee will vote on recipients. 


Roger Sperka  Award - awarded to the member(s) who have made the largest contribution to the advancement of the KSS Database including: addition of new location & description data, updating/verifying current data & contributing survey notes, field data, photography's and cave maps.


Explorer Award - awarded to the member(s) who accomplish the most exploration, survey & documentation of a cave or cave system(s) since the last KSS Annual Meeting.  


Service Award - awarded to the member(s) who served the KSS in some capacity. Example from recent past all the work John Cassidy out in on the KSS taxes. 

This Motion was Passed and Josh will have these ready for award by next Annual meeting


C) County Coordinator Survey Initiative

Report from Josh Brewer

June 1-3: Muhlenberg County

Preston & Shari Forsythe & Ronson Elrod host from Browder Ky. Shari & Preston have opened up their home for the event with basement/garage space inside or tent camping outside. Facebook event page will be up soon along with email distributed event invitation. 


D) Annual Meet Info

Report from Josh Brewer:

Sept 14-16 Annual Meeting 

1. Need to contact KGS/UK to reserve space for meeting on 16th  (Jim/Howard?)

2. Reach out to county coordinator's in the area which include: Jim, Howard, Jonathan, John and Bob.



January 17th Go To Meeting….