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VCA Information

The Vermont Cavers’ Association, Grotto 394 of the National Speleological Society, is an organization composed of cavers and other individuals interested in conserving, locating, exploring and researching caves in Vermont.

Membership in the Association is open to any interested person. Membership costs $8 per year or $20 for three years for individuals, and $12 per year or $30 for three years for a family membership. If you’re interested in joining the VCA, please contact us by e-mail to attend our next meeting, or download our updated membership form and mail it to the treasurer: VCA membership form.

For upcoming events information, please check the feed on the right or visit our Facebook Page

Vermont Caving Notices

Caving During COVID-19: Daily (sometimes hourly) it seems, we are being bombarded with information, rules and guidance on how we should be reacting to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. In addition to federal, state and local directives, the National Speleological Society (NSS) has called for a moratorium on caving and visiting the NSS Preserves (caves.org). Caving events are being cancelled or postponed. Many Vermont caves would typically reopen following the bat hibernation season on or after May 1, 2020. Given the latest federal, state and local guidelines and restrictions with respect to such issues as hygiene, social distancing, and limitations on unnecessary travel, caving becomes essentially impossible in the near term. Note in particular that Vermont caves do not allow effective social distancing, and caving alone is never safe.

As the COVID-19 requirements and guidelines are changing on a daily basis, we will not reference them here, as anything we’d include would be soon outdated. Ignorance of the latest guidance in the time of the internet is no excuse.

Do not act in such a way as to increase the likelihood that you will place any additional burden on local EMS and medical infrastructure. This is particularly so in the rural communities in which our caves are located. A cave rescue could expose dozens of medical staff, your fellow cavers (and their families) to unnecessary potential risks. In short, be safe and be smart.


WNS: White Nose Syndrome, a fungal infection, has killed tens of thousands of bats in the Northeast, including most Vermont cave populations. For the most up-to-date information on WNS, go to www.whitenosesyndrome.org. The primary vector is bat-to-bat, but there is a slim chance of careless human transmission. To eliminate that risk and avoid contributing to the spread of WNS, please refer to the most recent protocols for cleaning and disinfecting of cave clothing and gear. Thank you for your cooperation.


Morris Cave Alert: Morris Cave is a WNS-affected cave. Cavers should refrain from any visitation during the hibernation season (Oct-Apr) to protect surviving bats from disturbance. After hibernation, cavers should adhere to the USFWS cleaning and decontamination protocols to avoid the slim possibility of spreading WNS to unaffected caves. Thank you for helping protect our bats!

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Also check our Facebook page for updates on activities, meetings, newsletters, and more: https://www.facebook.com/Vermont-Cavers-Association-167782646611139/

 


Besides regular meetings, the Association sponsors caving trips both in Vermont and to other distant locations. These trips are announced in the Association’s newsletter, which is released quarterly. Other activities include workshops in vertical skills and cave rescue techniques, cave clean-up trips, and so on based on members’ interest.