Today, 04/30/2016, the Chattanooga Times Free Press ran a front page article on SCCi's 25th Anniversary. To read the article visit the Chattanooga Times Free Press. Big thanks to Amber Lehmann, Tripp Lichtefeld and Tom Whitehurst for volunteering to spend the day at Stephens Gap with the writer and photographer.
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In addition to making caves available for recreational use, SCCi is also committed to protecting caves and fragile cave ecosystems. The following clean caving procedures are required when visiting SCCi caves. If you have any questions, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 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.


  • When caving  in WNS positive counties, clean your gear (Steps 1-2 below).
  • When caving between WNS negative counties, clean your gear (Steps 1-2 below).
  • When caving from a county that is WNS positive to a county that has no identified cases, disinfect your gear (Steps 1-3 below).
  • When caving in likely WNS positive counties disinfect your gear (Steps 1-3) going in and, going out, disinfect your gear (Steps 1-3) if visiting WNS negative counties or clean your gear (Steps 1-2 below) if visiting WNS positive counties.

Refer to the following table for the 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.

State County Preserve WNS Positive
Alabama DeKalb Steward Springs YES
  Jackson Fern YES
  Jackson Horse Skull YES
  Jackson Kennamer YES
  Jackson Limrock Blowing YES
  Jackson Neversink YES
  Jackson Stephens Gap YES
  Jackson Tumbling Rock YES
  Jackson Valhalla YES
  Madison Glove Pit YES
  Madison Varnedoe YES
  Shelby Anderson YES
Florida Jackson Hollow Ridge NO
  Marion Jennings NO
Georgia Dade Howards Waterfall YES
  Dade Fox Mountain YES
  Dade Johnsons Crook YES
  Walker Fricks YES
Kentucky Hart Frenchman Knob YES
  Hart Logsdon YES
Tennessee Cocke Rattling LIKELY
  Cumberland Run to the Mill YES
  Fentress Wolf River YES
  Franklin Sinking Cove YES
  Marion Gourdneck YES
  Marion South Pittsburgh YES
  Rutherford Snail Shell LIKELY
  Wayne Holly Creek YES
West Virginia Pocahontas Lobelia YES

For a map of all US counties and their White-nose Syndrome status visit

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.

Non-Submersion Methods 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.

Did you know that the SCCi is celebrating 25 years of conserving caves? 20_years_logo
 It all started in 1991 with a small group of cavers who wanted to create something new; a land conservancy dedicated solely to cave protection and access. 25 years later, their idea has turned into something much bigger than they ever imagined. The Southeastern Cave Conservancy, Inc. (SCCi) is now the largest land conservancy devoted specifically to caves. SCCi owns and leases 170 caves on 30 preserves in 6 states. It has succeeded through the hard work of many individuals, good timing, and patience.
As SCCi continues growing beyond its 25th year, the organization is primed to continue buying significant caves, engaging more people in the mission of cave conservation, and educating our communities about the importance of preserving caves and karst environments. Last year, SCCi acquired Stephens Gap and Johnsons Crook preserves, two significant purchases that cavers and nature lovers alike will enjoy for generations to come. It also hired its first full-time employee, an Executive Director. SCCi is actively engaged with numerous conservation partners, always setting the example for balancing environmental conservation with continued recreational access.
There are many ways to get involved with SCCi and be a part of its next 25 years. Basic membership, sustaining membership, Buy A Piece of the Cave, and other giving opportunities allow SCCi to remain on solid financial footing. Volunteers are regularly needed for special events like cave cleanups and other important functions. The Valhalla Society is a way to give to the SCCi from your estate or life insurance policy and ensure caves are protected even after you are gone.
However you choose to get involved, rest assured you will be part of an organization like no other. For more information, visit or call 423-771-9671 Ex 101.
The Flying Squirrel, a Chattanooga bar and eatery, hosted a fundraiser for the SCCi on Wednesday, April 6.  The concept was simple.  SCCi was to invite as many people as possible to enjoy drinks and dinner, while the Flying Squirrel would give us 10% of their profits for the night.  In addition, a local organization named the Lamp Post Group, would match the total by 10% , totaling 20% of that evening's profits.  SCCi was invited to set up promotional materials inside the restaurant and provide information about our organization.  We had a huge crowd of supporters and interested patrons.  We raised over $1,000 total for that night.  Many thanks to everyone who came out to support us.
The SCCi board of directors invites you to attend the 2016 annual members meeting on May 21, 2016  at John T. Dolberry Tumbling Rock Cave Preserve. The annual meeting will begin at 4 pm CST. The board will hold its quarterly business meeting on the preserve beginning at 1:00 pm CST. Both meetings are open to current SCCi members and their guests.
You and your guests are also invited to a cookout immediately following the annual meeting.
Members are also allowed to enjoy exploring the cave that day.  Members who intend on camping should email that preserve team at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Camping is allowed on Friday and Saturday night. The preserve street address is 3407 County Road 111, Fackler, AL.
If you have questions or need more information, please call 423-771-9671 Ex 101 or send .an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..
SCCi is pleased to invite our members and their guests to the Fricks Cave Member Appreciation Day, February 27th from 9 am - 4 pm.

Throughout the year, Fricks Cave is closed to protect endangered bats and salamanders that live in the cave. On this ONE DAY ONLY, while the bachelor colony of bats is not present, the SCCi will open the cave to show our appreciation for our members. After exploring the cave, please join us around the fire for hot food and announcement of the winners of the 2nd Annual SCCi Photo and Video Contest!
This event is only open to current SCCi members and their guests.
Registration is closed for 2016. Looking forward to seeing everyone there!
9:00 AM - 4:00 PM: Cave open for visitation, assuming summer gray bat colony has not yet returned.
Note: SCCi Clean Caving Procedures will be strictly enforced! Fricks is a stream cave, please dress accordingly.
12:00 PM - 4:00 PM: Hot food will be available until supplies run out. Winners of the 2nd Annual SCCi Photo and Video Contest will be announced in the afternoon.
Camping on Friday night the 26th is available on the preserve. Signs will be posted directing you to campsites. For more information on camping or caving at Fricks Cave contact the preserve management team at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or by calling ET Davis at 423-667-9946.
Email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Call us at (423) 771-9671 Ext 101

deepest depthsjpg


How deep will you go for the caves you love?


At the Southeastern Cave Conservancy, we’re in the business of preserving the most significant caves in the Southeast.  We work tirelessly to balance protecting these environments with providing access to cavers, hikers, and nature lovers.


And it’s working!


SCCi now protects over 170 caves on 30 preserves in 6 states across the Southeast. Over the past 24 years, thousands of people have financially supported SCCi  to acquire and protect these amazing places.  All of these people dug deep to support SCCi, and the protection of caves.

Sloshing through waist-deep water, belly crawling through mud, rappelling  hundreds of feet down a vertical shaft, or just enjoying a hike on an SCCi preserve - these are all things we love.  Will you Go Deep for the places and activities you love?

Our 2015 Go Deep Campaign is a call to SCCi’s most important supporters – a call to reach down and go deep by making a gift of any size dedicated to protecting the caves of the Southeast.

We would love you to share the SCCi places and people that are special to you using social media. Tag your photos and tweets with #GoDeep.

Every member of our staff and board has committed to joining the campaign, because we love the caves of the Southeast too! All Go Deep Campaign donors who give at least $30 (number of SCCi preserves – so far) will receive an SCCi bandana.


Go Deep for SCCi so that we can Go Deep for caves.


Use the secure form below to make your donation today

or call 423-771-9671 Ext 101

We have a lot of great items available for our silent auction on December 5th in Chattanooga! Check back often to find out about even more items! If you haven't bought tickets for the Christmas Party, get yours today!

Stunning Cave Photographs, Folk Art, Handmade Jewelry, Cave-Themed Quilts and more...



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ET Davis and Sara Keys recently shared information on recreational caving and conservation with Ranger Nick on the Georgia Farm Monitor show. The show will air Nov 22 at 11pm and Nov 26 at 6pm on RFD-TV (DISH 231 and DirecTV 345) or you can watch it here. Big thanks to the Fricks Cave Preserve Management Team for making this happen.
SCCi is happy to announce the 3rd Annual Christmas Party will be held December 5th, 2015 at The Chattanoogan Hotel in Chattanooga, TN. Past years have been a great time to visit with other cavers, celebrate SCCi’s accomplishments and take home some great made-by-caver crafts at the silent auction.
Buddy Lane will give a presentation on the discovery, exploration and history of caving at Run To The Mill Cave.
Tickets are $40 and includes dinner. Cash bar available. Space is limited so make your reservations today.