´╗┐JUNE 2016
SOAR 5-Year Plan
 
After going through a multi-phase planning process, the Board of Directors adopted an ambitious 5-year plan to guide SCCi to the next level. The goals for the next 5 years are:
 
  • Achieve Land Trust Alliance Accreditation
  • Recruit Volunteer Chief Scientist
  • Establish a Stewardship Endowment Fund of 2.5 million dollars/Strategic Acquisition Fund of 1 million dollars
  • Acquire 5 Targeted Caves
  • Increase awareness of SCCi through community and media events
  • Build an Education/Outreach Center
 
To achieve these goals, SCCi will need to break new ground in how we operate, fundraise and engage members. If you are interested in being part of this bold new future, fill out the Volunteer Survey linked in the righthand column.
Protecting Our Cultural Resources
 
Article ImageSCCi recently undertook a project to protect signficant Cherokee syllabary at Howards Waterfall Cave. By gating a side passage inside the cave, SCCi was able to prevent further graffiti damage to this archaeological resource.
 
With funding from the Eastern Band of Cherokee and the US Fish and Wildlife Service, SCCi was able to construct a bat friendly gate that will provide access for research and education purposes. Kristin Bobo constructed the gate. A number of volunteers are responsible for the successful completion of the project. A huge thank you goes out to Steve Davis for his leadership and volunteers David, Laura and Spencer Crisp, Jack Durham, Ryan Gardner, Chris Morrison, Bob Roth, and Steve Vaughn.
 
Online Permit System Goes Live 
 
SCCi is rolling out an online permit system. The system has been designed to make the permitting process as convenient and transparent as possible while helping SCCi responsibly manage preserve access. Online permits are available for caving, hiking a preserve and camping (where allowed). Stephens Gap has been successfully implementing online permits with very few user problems.
 
Preserves that currently require permits will continue to roll out this summer. All preserves will require permits beginning January 1, 2017. Preserves that do not currently require a permit will be placed on 'automatic' which means as soon as your electronically sign the release, the system will issue a permit. It is possible to do this from any internet connected computer, tablet or smartphone.
 
Visit permits.scci.org and give the system a try. If you have any suggestions or problems send an email to onlinepermits@scci.org.
 
Bats Beer & Bluegrass 
 
Article ImageBats Beer & Bluegrass is SCCi's first concert fundraiser. On September 24, local bluegrass favorite, Barefoot Nellie and Company will be performing at Fricks Cave Preserve. Dinner packages will be available with Tennessee's #1 Farm to Table restaurant 212 Market providing the catering. The concert will end at dark so attendees can watch the Fricks bat flight.
 
 
The key to a successful Bats Beer & Bluegrass is sponsorships. Sponsorships for this event range from $250 - $5,000. If you own a business or work for a business that would like to support the work of the largest land conservancy dedicated solely to cave conservation, click here for details about Bats Beer & Bluegrass sponsorship. We have $4,000 in commitments toward our $10,000 sponsorship goal. Help us get all the way there!
 
We want to send out an early thank you to ET Davis (Fricks Preserve Manger) for hosting this event and Amber Lehmann, SCCi Marketing Manger for pulling together what was just a thought at the Membership Appreciation Day. If you want to volunteer for the event, please email Amber Lehmann at amber.lehmann@scci.org
 
Ticket sales and more information will be announced via email, on SCCi.org and on SCCi's Facebook page. All proceeds benefit SCCi's Stewardship Endowment Fund.
 
Supporting Acquisitions 
 
New acquisitions are exciting for any land conservancy. It is our goal to keep donors and members informed as much as possible about the acquisition process. However, the process is delicate. By publicizing potential acquisitions, we risk increasing the number and price of offers received by the seller. We keep the acquisition process confidential to ensure SCCi can acquire caves at the lowest cost possible.
 
You can be a part of acquiring new preserves by:
 
1) Become a Sustaining Member, or increase your monthly contribution. Sustaining Members help SCCi pay for acquisitions, stewardship, and ongoing expenses. 
 
2) Donate to the Stewardship Endowment Fund. This fund is the long-term investment in the stewardship of SCCi preserves. By ensuring these expenses are covered, SCCi frees resources for acquisitions.  
 
3) Buy A Piece of the Cave. By 'buying' a piece of a cave, you help SCCi pay off debt from previous acquisitions.
 
4) Donate to the Strategic Acquisition Fund. This is a revolving loan fund that funds future acquisitions.
 
If you are aware of a property for sale (or one that will soon be) that contains cave(s), please send an email to acquisitions@scci.org. You can also participate in acquisitions by being a part of the Acquisitions committee.
 
Leadership Change 
 
At last month's Annual Members' meeting, Ron Miller stepped down as Chair at the end of his term. The board thanked Ron for his 4 years of successful service as Chair.
 
A search committee was formed to identify the next Chair. Until that time, Vice-Chair for Conservation Tom Whitehurst and Vice-Chair for Outreach Brian Krebs will assume the Chair's duties. Operations will continue as normal under the Executive Director's leadership.
 
In This Edition
Volunteer Survey 
 
When SCCi was small, knowing everyone's talents and interests was easy. Now with 1,000+ members, we need your help. Please take brief volunteers skills and interest survey.
 
 
When an opportunity arises (and there are many), we can reach out to those people who have shown an interest in that specific volunteer work.
 
You Can't Take It With You 
 
Did you know there was a way to support SCCi after you're gone? The Valhalla Society is made up of people just like you that have made SCCi a part of their estate planning.
 
It can be as simple as making SCCi a beneficiary for all or part of your insurance policy or including SCCi in your will. 
 
If you would like to talk about your options and ways you can support SCCi through legacy giving, please call Ray at 423-671-9671 Ex 101 or send an email to legacy@scci.org.
 
Grotto Talks 
 
Would you like to have SCCi's Executive Director speak at your next grotto meeting? Send an email to marketing@scci.org and let's get you on the schedule!
 

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Address postal inquiries to:
Southeastern Cave Conservancy, Inc.
PO Box 250
Signal Mountain, TN 37377-0250

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