GROTTO LIAISON AGREEMENT
SECTION I: PARTIES
This agreement is entered into by:
The INDIANA KARST CONSERVANCY, INC. (hereafter referred to as the IKC), a non-profit corporation organized under the laws of the State of Indiana, and having a mailing address of P.O. Box 2401, Indianapolis, IN 46206-2401
The____________________________________________ GROTTO (hereafter referred to as the Grotto), an internal organization chartered by the National Speleological Society, Inc., having the mailing address of _____________________________________________________
SECTION II: PURPOSE
The IKC and the Grotto share mutual goals concerning cave conservation and are committed to protecting the geological, biological, archaeological, historical, and cultural resources of caves and other karst. In the interest of providing reasonable access to suitable caves in which responsible visitors may develop an informed appreciation for the caves and karst, the IKC and the Grotto wish to cooperate in the manner outlined in this agreement.
SECTION III: DEFINITIONS
The following terms are defined as:
Grotto Liaison – A person appointed by the Grotto to coordinate access for their Grotto’s members to the caves classified as Liaison Accessible.
Cave Patron – The person appointed by the IKC who is responsible for overseeing the management and stewardship of their designated cave. The Patron is the primary contact for any access or management question related to that cave.
Liaison Agreement Coordinator - A person appointed by the IKC to handle the details of this agreement and to coordinate the annual reporting between the Grotto Liaison and the Cave Patrons. This position is responsible for distribution and collection of keys, Release and Waiver of Liability forms and Management Plans where applicable. The Liaison Agreement Coordinator also monitors the status of the Agreements and sees to it that the original signed copies of the Liaison Agreement are given to the Secretary to be maintained as a part of the official corporate files.
Liaison Accessible - Caves that require only minimal restrictions to protect the cave and its resources. Access to these caves may be arranged by contacting either the Grotto Liaison or the designated Cave Patron.
Patron-only Accessible - Caves that require special access restrictions to protect a particular resource or facilitate visitation logistics; or caves that have had specific restrictions requested by the owner such that administration of such stipulations requires access to be arranged through a single contact. Visitation to Patron-only Accessible caves may only be arranged by contacting the designated Cave Patron.
SECTION IV: IKC RESPONSIBILITIES AND OBLIGATION TO THE GROTTO
The IKC will provide the Grotto a complete list of caves managed by the IKC and identify each cave's designated Cave Patron. Furthermore, the IKC will furnish information on each cave's access status.
The IKC managed cave list will be attached as Appendix A, and will be amended as required (as outlined under Section VIII). The IKC, for each cave it manages that is classified as Liaison Accessible, will see that the Grotto Liaison is provided with the following materials:
The Cave Patrons or Liaison Agreement Coordinator will, in a timely manner, inform the Grotto Liaison of changes to the above and provide the Liaison with the necessary revised materials.
SECTION V: THE GROTTO’S RESPONSIBILITIES AND OBLIGATIONS TO THE IKC
The Grotto will appoint a responsible individual to serve as their Grotto Liaison. That individual must be a member in good standing of the IKC. Changes in this appointment should be forwarded to the Liaison Agreement Coordinator in a timely manner.
The Grotto will, to the best of its ability, see that their selected Grotto Liaison fulfills the responsibilities expected and administer in good faith the policies and guidelines established in the following section. Responsibilities of the Grotto Liaison not specifically covered should be consistent with the goals of the IKC or, in some cases, be clarified by the Liaison Agreement Coordinator or the IKC Executive Board. The Grotto will appoint a new Grotto Liaison should their present Liaison not be performing the expected duties in a satisfactory manner.
SECTION VI: GROTTO LIAISON POLICIES AND GUIDELINES
The following policies and guidelines are set forth to outline the duties and responsibilities of the Grotto Liaison to avoid ambiguities that might lead to misunderstanding between the two parties. It should be remembered that the Liaison is acting as a representative of the IKC and, as such, should always promote conservation and safety. The Grotto Liaison system was implemented to minimize the inconveniences of access for responsible cavers. However, the Liaison's actions should never compromise the primary goals of the IKC, that being to protect the resources of the caves it manages and to reduce the chance of injury.
SECTION VII: DURATION OF THIS AGREEMENT
The duration of this Agreement is for five years unless it is superseded by a new agreement as outlined under Paragraph 1, Section VIII, or a new Grotto Liaison is appointed, or it is terminated by cancellation as outlined under Section IX. The Liaison Agreement Coordinator is responsible for monitoring the various Liaison Agreements and for notifying the IKC President far enough in advance of the expiration of any Agreement(s) so that the President can give the Grotto(s) at least 30 days notice of the expiration of their Liaison Agreement(s).
SECTION VIII: AMENDING THIS AGREEMENT
Amending this Agreement will be performed by the signing of a new Agreement by the highest officer of each organization. This will automatically terminate the previous Agreement. The IKC Executive Board must approve any amendment. The Grotto will have thirty days after notification to sign the new Agreement or to cite specific objections for consideration by the IKC Board; otherwise the Agreement may be terminated. The IKC President may grant extensions for good cause.
Amending the Managed Caves List (Appendix A) will require IKC Executive Board approval. The amended list will be forwarded to the highest officer of the Grotto and to the Grotto Liaison and becomes effective upon receipt.
Amending/revising the Cave Trip Log (Appendix B) will be the responsibility of the Liaison Agreement Coordinator. Any changes must still meet the minimum requirements stated in Section VI. The Liaison Agreement Coordinator may also accept alternative documentation that meets those minimum requirements.
SECTION IX: TERMINATION OF THIS AGREEMENT
This Agreement may be terminated by either party if the other party fails to fulfill its responsibilities and obligations as described in this Agreement. The process of termination shall consist of the initiator giving thirty days written advance notice to the other party explaining the reasons for termination. The second party should then try to rectify the problem and respond within the thirty days. Should the problem not be resolved to the satisfaction of the first party after the allotted time, a final written termination notice may be sent, after which this Agreement is null and void.
Termination of this Letter of Agreement is automatic upon the dissolution of either party.
The IKC Executive Board will consider termination of this Agreement if the Grotto fails to maintain its charter with the NSS.
All keys, Release and Waiver of Liability forms, Cave Trip Logs and similar materials must be returned to the Liaison Agreement Coordinator upon termination of this Agreement.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, the parties hereto execute this Letter of Agreement this _____ day of ___________, _____.
Liaisons and visitation overview by cave (46k PDF file). Please refer to the individual cave management plans for complete access requirements.