Commercial Use Strictly Prohibited
The Southeastern Cave Conservancy, Inc. bans the use of our preserves for any commercial purpose and specifically prohibits any activity where a charge of any type is made. This includes commercial photography/videography/filming conducted for the sale of images.
Use of Drones Strictly Prohibited
Use of drones on, above, or below SCCi preserves is prohibited except under the direct supervision of a preserve manager and for specific survey and/or documentation purposes.
YOU MUST READ, UNDERSTAND AND AGREE TO THE FOLLOWING CONDITIONS FOR YOUR VISIT. READ THE INFORMATION CAREFULLY AS IT MAY AFFECT YOUR LEGAL RIGHTS.
Know The Law
Cave environments are extremely fragile ecosystems and need to be treated with care. All caves are protected under state/federal laws where SCCi owns and leases caves.
It is unlawful to:
- Disturb any geologic formation (stalactites, stalagmites, columns, etc.) or other natural or archaeological material inside a cave;
- Carve or deface any surface of a cave;
- Disturb the natural condition of a cave or leave any trash or other material in a cave;
- Remove, kill, harm or disturb any wildlife within a cave without express permission of the cave owner;
- Enter a cave that is gated or posted no entry;
- Destroy, break, tamper with, or remove a lock, gate or door designed to prevent entrance to a cave or portion of a cave.
Depending on the jurisdiction, violations are misdemeanors or felonies and can result in fines and/or jail time.
Clean Caving Policy
In addition to making caves available for recreational use, SCCi is also has committed to protecting caves and fragile cave ecosystems. The SCCi Board of Directors has instituted a policy requiring clean caving procedures for visiting SCCi caves. If you have any questions, please email email@example.com or call 423-771-9671 Extension 101.
Introduction of foreign substances into caves can have unintended consequences to cave life. In addition to concerns regarding White-nose Syndrome (WNS), some caves have microscopic life that is unique to that cave, and can be decimated by material introduced from other caves.
CLEAN CAVING PROCEDURES
If caving between caves located in White-nose Syndrome positive counties, follow Step 1 through Step 2 below.
If caving from a county that is White-nose Syndrome positive to a county that has no identified cases, Follow Step 1 through Step 3 below.
Refer to the following web page for a list of counties and SCCi caves that have been identified White-nose Syndrome positive.
Any cave located in a county where White-nose Syndrome has been identified should be treated as positive.
Step 1: Get the Dirt Off
Remove as much mud as possible while still at the cave entrance. Place gear in a garbage bag and seal shut. Take home for cleaning.
Step 2: Clean your Gear
Pre-clean submersible gear by hosing it down well. Use a scrub brush and mild soap if necessary to remove all sediment. When water runs clear, machine- or hand-wash with a mild cleanser. For non-submersible gear (such as cameras and other electronic gear), remove all visible mud by wiping with a damp cloth or scrubbing.
Step 3: Disinfect your Gear
Use one of the following methods to disinfect your gear:
Hot Water Bath
Soak gear in hot water that is at least 122°F (50°C) for at least 15 minutes. Top-loading washing machines may be used if the hot water heater temperature is set high enough. Tubs or baths also work, using either hot tap water, or hot tap water supplemented by heated water.
Chemical Solution Bath
Soak your gear for at least 10 minutes in a bath or tub one of the following solutions:
- Lysol I.C. Quaternary Disinfectant Cleaner – use 1 oz. per gallon of water;
- Professional Lysol® Antibacterial All-purpose Cleaner - use 1 oz. per gallon of water;
- Household bleach (6% hypochlorite, or HOCl)- use 1-part bleach per 9 parts water.
Rinse your gear thoroughly after removing it from the bath, being careful not to let it touch any potentially contaminated surfaces. Soft gear and clothing may be run through a washing machine.
The recommended Lysol products are available from janitorial supply stores and online sources; household bleach is widely available at grocery and other retail stores. If you don’t get a lot of silt and clay in your tub, Lysol baths have been demonstrated to be effective for at least a month, even with repeated use (Barton, personal communication, 2011). Bleach solutions can weaken nylon and other materials, and must be discarded within 24 hours, because the diluted bleach breaks down quickly.
For gear that cannot be submersed in water, use one of the following methods:
- Lysol Disinfectant Wipes: Wipe all surfaces. After 10 minutes, wipe dry with a clean cloth or towel.
- Formula 409® Antibacterial All-Purpose Cleaner: Spray at full strength on all surfaces. After 10 minutes, wipe dry with a clean cloth or towel.
Safety Disclaimer: You’re responsible for using any of these methods safely. Be sure to follow manufacturer’s recommendations, label instructions, Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDSs), and common sense.