Nutty Putty Cave




















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2009 APPROVED CAVE MANAGEMENT PLAN
NOTE: Each Nutty Putty Cave trip participant must read and agree to comply with the most current Nutty Putty Cave Management Plan.

EXHIBIT “B”

Management Plan for State Trust Owned Caves
March 2009

PLAN CONTENTS

RETURN TO NUTTY PUTTY CAVE MAIN PAGE

tems in RED and followed by a red * have been modified, and they are clarified at the end of this document.

INTRODUCTION

Nutty Putty Cave has been one of the best-known and most-visited, undeveloped caves in Utah. People regularly visit the cave from the nearby Wasatch Front communities, other various parts of the State of Utah, and even from outside the state. Visiting groups range in size from solo cavers to large scout, social, and school groups. It has been historically visited by experienced cavers and unescorted, poorly- equipped novices. People have routinely camped on the property near the cave entrance and around the hill.

The State of Utah, acting through and by the School and Institutional Trust Lands Administration (“SITLA”), owns and manages the property that includes Nutty Putty Cave and other karst features for its trust beneficiaries, the primary one being the School Trust. The subject parcel where the caves are located is school trust land. Most school trust lands were granted to the State of Utah by the United States at statehood, with additional ones being acquired since statehood. The mandate of SITLA is to manage trust properties for the beneficiaries and not for the general public or welfare of the state. SITLA collects revenues for its beneficiaries by permitting and leasing the surface and mineral estate. SITLA occasionally sells trust lands. When SITLA sells lands, the proceeds go into a permanent trust fund. This property, where the caves are located, was originally acquired for it potential future mineral development (primarily limestone and possibly other minerals). It is uncertain when that will occur in the future.

Managing Nutty Putty Cave for public enjoyment is not the purpose of SITLA. However, the organization is willing to allow the Cave Group and its associated caving groups to address the management of Nutty Putty Cave, to improve safety and cave conservation, and associated resource protection. SITLA, through a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Timpanogos Grotto of the National Speleological Society (“Cave Group”) allows the Cave Group to manage the affected caves pursuant to the terms of the MOU and this management plan, both of which may be terminated by SITLA. SITLA designates the Cave Access Manager and communicates to management issues as the need arises.

The managing group through the Cave Access Manager will provide SITLA with an annual report and written and verbal updates of activities at the caves.

Safety in and around the cave is a serious concern. Management and caving practices in Nutty Putty Cave, and other SITLA owned caves, must meet the overall safety and cave conservation practices of present caving standards to assure the long-term access, education, and research opportunities of responsible organizations and groups. The determined method for achieving this goal is to limit access to the cave to those who are properly prepared in terms of leadership, training, and equipment.

SITLA’s interest in the cave is to improve safety and resource protection by implementing a management plan that will promote and increase cave safety and promote resource protection without cost to the State of Utah. SITLA retains the right to closing the cave permanently if a management plan is unsuccessful. Therefore, management of the cave is designed to change the present trends to avoid complete closure of the cave.

WARNING

Caving is a hazardous activity and involves the risk of serious injury or death. A commitment to safe caving practices, a thorough understanding of the equipment used and mastery of safe caving techniques can greatly reduce, but will never eliminate, the risks inherent of the sport. Visitors to the SITLA caves assume the risk of injury or death by electing to visit one any one of the caves or surrounding properties.

PURPOSE OF THE MANAGEMENT PLAN

The purpose of a management plan is to describe what is on a property and how it should be managed. A plan is not a static document that once written is placed on the shelf and forgotten. It is a document that is to be used and continually referenced. The Cave Group must follow the plan. If there is a need to amend the plan, it should be done only after only after careful, complete, and thorough analysis of the proposed changes or additions. The management plan is an operating manual for cave safety and preservation.

If the management plan is the basis for a management agreement with a third party, then the changes must also be approved by the third party.

HISTORY OF THE PROPERTY

Salt Lake Caver Dale Green discovered Nutty Putty Cave in 1960.  Nearby ranchers directed Green to the top of a nearby hill where a small pit had been found that housed several snakes.  Though the cave location was known to the ranchers, it had yet to be entered.  Green recalled that following a short down climb and a tight belly crawl the cave opened up to a gradually sloping downward passage.  The ground was covered with a soft mud and there were a several pockets of gypsum crystals, much of this is now gone.  A short time later, Green invited several people from the Brigham Young University Outdoor club to visit the cave and its popularity skyrocketed.  By 2005, the cave was receiving nearly 5,000 recreational visits per year!

RESOURCES

Biological

The caves have a small diversity of biota but no research has been conducted.  Those readily identified are not known to be endangered and there is no documented effect by human visitation.

Geological

The Nutty Putty Cave entrance is on nearly level ground in the saddle of a small spur of Rassle Knoll. MF-45 lists the formation as cherty limestone 120-140 ft thick. Very close to the west, is a bed of fossiliferous lime­stone and dolomite 380-400 feet thick; to the east is an extensive bed of Deseret formation. The cherty limestone near the entrance is probably what USGS Prof. Paper 107 (pp. 39-40) referred to as Gardner Dolomite.
The entire area is very fossiliferous; broken and badly weathered crinoid stems and horned coral are abundant. Prof. Paper 107 p.41 has a long list of identified varieties, which indicate the limestone belongs to the upper Mississippian Era.

The Nutty Putty Cave entrance is on nearly level ground in the saddle of a small spur of Blowhole Hill in dipping, cherty limestone known as the Gardner limestone of upper Mississippian age.  The Gardner is the age equivalent of the wide-spread Madison limestone.  This formation covers the area west of Blowhole Hill’s saddle.  The area east of the saddle is the Deseret formation, consisting of limestone, dolomite, and shale.  The entire area is very fossiliferous.  Broken and badly weathered crinoid stems and horned coral are abundant.  U.S.G.S Prof. Paper 107, p.41 has a long list of identified varieties.
Some confusion exists about the exact naming of this hill.  The local ranchers refer to it as “Rassle Knoll” after a memorable event in their history.  The U.S.G.S. Allens Ranch quadrangle lists it as “Blowhole Hill”, although the well-known, almost famous,  Blowhole Cave is actually on another nearby hill referred to on the map as Greeley Hill.  An effort was made to correct the discrepancy during the remapping of the quadrangle but the U.S.G.S. field engineer was uncooperative.

The fourth stage was a calcitic alteration. Zones of red hematite impregnated calcite occur throughout the area. This material, termed by Proctor "Ferruginous Calcite" may be the source of the red color in the "Navajo Blanket" formation in Blowhole Cave (TN 47, P.3). [better: Salt Lake Grotto Tech. Note 47, p. 3.] The calcitic alteration also caused some white to brown calcite and aragonite open space fillings on Wanlass Hill, one of them "large enough for a man to enter". This has not been checked, but no caves are known to the grotto on Wanlass Hill. [I have checked this.  At the base of Wanlass on the south side is a hole ‘large enough to enter” called “Bubbles”.] There are also some calcite-quartz lenses bearing Hydrogen Sulfide on Blowhole Hill. Occurring close to the calcitic stage in time was the last stage, when metallization occurred, and resulted later in the intensive mining activity of the area. (Proctor)

In their original form, several samples of the "nutty putty" have been analyzed, and it appears to be composed of minute rounded particles of Silicon Dioxide, roughly three microns in diameter, and some minor impurities.
Studies have also shown the chert to contain 25% calcite.

  • Hydrological - No research has yet been conducted on the hydrology of the caves.
  • Historical - There are no known historical resources in the caves.

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KARST FEATURES

Nutty Putty Cave Features

  1. 15 foot climb to the cave entrance
  2. Snake possibility at the cave entrance
  3. Entrance Crawl passage may contain water
  4. 15 foot drop
  5. 30 degree mud slope
  6. 8 foot drop at the bottom of the mud slope
  7. Extremely tight crawl way passages

Blow Hole Cave Features

  1. 45 foot vertical drop

Rabbit Trap Cave Features - CLOSED FOR GOOD

  1. 25 foot vertical drop

Silly Putty Cave Features - CLOSED FOR GOOD

  1. Tight crawlway passages

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ACCESS POLICY

Caving is a hazardous activity and involves the risk of serious injury or death. Visitors to the SITLA caves assume the risk of injury or death by electing to visit one any one of the caves or surrounding properties.

Organizations that manage their own groups access may add additional requirements; however all groups must follow these access requirements.  Leaders of the groups are responsible for checking their organization’s most recent policies, regulations, and standards. Groups from established organizations must prove that their group adheres to its organization’s most recent policies, regulations, and standards before being granted access.  All Boy Scouts of America groups are required to have an approved BSA tour permit. 

Anyone in Nutty Putty Cave or any other nearby SITLA-owned caves who is found not complying with these access requirements will immediately lose their access privileges and may be cited for trespassing.

  • 1) Each participant, their guardian and family, has a responsibility to become informed about issues of cave trip leadership, safety, health, and security while involved in a cave activity. 
  • 2) All groups and individuals must be covered by adequate personal accident and health insurance. Primary insurance coverage for all participating in a cave activity (above and below ground) is the participant’s own insurance.
  • 3) Access application to the cave must be completed 21* days before a planned trip.
  • 4) A maximum of two groups are permitted in the cave at one time. Each group should be organized to function independently by requiring each group having 2 qualified leaders.
  • 5) All groups must adhere to the two-deep leadership policy of having two registered* adult leaders.  
    1. The leaders must be 18 or older.*
    2. The leaders must be constantly present with the group.
    3. One leader must be an experienced caver that is able to navigate all of the obstacles encountered in the cave during their visit.
    4. The leaders are responsible for their group and must realistically plan a trip to not exceed the capability of any member of the group.
    5. Leader must have knowledge of each participant’s preexisting medical conditions that may compromise the participant’s’ safety. 
    6. The leader is responsible for enforcing that no illegal drugs or substance are used during the trip.
    7. The leaders must have current certification* in basic first-aid and CPR. They must comprehensive knowledge of the practices to follow in the event of an accident. 
    8. Leaders must be responsible and willing to terminate a trip if any of the trip requirements are not met, such as, but not limited to, inadequate equipment, inadequately trained participants, lack of insurance, lack of permission slips for minors, or improper hazardous behaviors.*
  • 6) Access to all caves must be limited to the hours of 7 am to 10 pm. Special permission is needed access or be in the caves after these hours. *
  • 7) All groups will be limited to a minimum of 4 and a maximum of 10 persons (including the 2 trip leaders).  Individuals will not be permitted to enter the cave.
  • 8) All participants must be 14 years of age and older unless part of a sponsoring organization states older minimum age requirements. Those under the age of 18 must have a waiver signed by a parent or guardian regardless of whether or not the trip leader is the parent. The original waiver forms must be presented to the Cave Access Manager no later than seven days before a trip and copies carried with the group for the duration the trip. *
  • 9) EVERY member of the group, and their guardian when applicable, must read and
    sign the permit before entering any SITLA cave. All caving participants must understand the access requirements and note their agreement to follow them by signing the Cave Permit. *
  • 10) All caving groups will be limited to 10 persons (including the 2 trip leaders). No more than 2 groups are permitted in the cave at any given time. However, when two groups are in the cave, each group should be organized to function independently by requiring each group to have 2 qualified leaders as defined above (See #5 above).    
  • 11) Each individual group must stay together at all times. 
  • 12) Specific information about the caving trip must be left with a responsible person (the listed emergency contact) back home at time of departure. This should include location and length of time of the trip, expected time of return, list of participants, waivers and medical releases, and whom to contact for each trip member in case of emergency.  The group is highly recommended to have, but not rely on, a cell phone in case of emergency. Always call 911 in the event of an emergency.
  • 13) Groups from established organizations (i.e. Boy Scouts of America, church groups, youth organizations, clubs, societies, agencies, fraternities, etc) must obtain signed legal documentation from their sponsoring institution and provide assurances that their group adheres to its organization’s most recent policies, regulations, and standards.  BSA requires all Scout groups to have an approved tour permit to show their groups are successfully adhering to their set standards. 
  • 14) Every participant in a caving trip must agree, without reservation, to follow all of the specific safety guidelines of their sponsoring organization.  Not only the leaders, but every person on a cave trip should be aware of the necessity to constantly observe the whereabouts and potential problems of other members of the group and be ready to provide any assistance necessary. 
  • 15) Natural and fabricated hazards such as slippery slopes, loose rocks, pits, cold water, complex routes, old ropes, and the possibility of entrance flooding are all dangers to some degree and must be approached with care and judgment. If an accident may still occur in spite of preventive measures, that area must be avoided entirely.  Hazards must be immediately reported the Cave Access Manager.
  • 16) The groups will have proper equipment and dress for caving.  All participants are required to have a helmet, helmet-mounted light, extra dependable light sources, proper boots, and clothing for each member of the group.  A first aid kit and a short 15 ft hand line are strongly recommended for each group.*
  • 17) Recreational-use of drugs or alcohol is prohibited.  Suspected use of drugs or under-aged drinking by groups will be reported immediately to local authorities.  Smoking or any tobacco use in the caves is also prohibited.
  • 18) Weapons and items that appear to be weapons (BB guns, air soft guns, swords, bows, etc) are not allowed in the caves and must kept more that 300 yards from the cave entrance.
  • 19) Fireworks of any form or classification are prohibited in the caves and on SITLA cave property.
  • 20) All cavers entering vertical caves (Blowhole, Rabbit Trap) must have their own vertical caving gear and have proof of successfully learned descending and ascending caving techniques. Proof may be completed course descriptions with instructor signature.
  • 21) Specific information about the caving trip must be left with a responsible person
    back home at time of departure. This should include location and length of time of trip, expected time of return, list of participants, and whom to contact for each trip member in case of emergency. The group is highly recommended to have, but not rely on, a cell phone in case of emergency.*
  • 22) Any group [or individual] wishing to learn about cave rescue (other than self rescues techniques) or pursue that activity as a specialty must do so under the sponsorship and supervision of either the Utah Cave Search & Rescue or Utah County Search & Rescue.*

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KEY/LOCK/TRIP REPORT DEPOSIT & ACCESS FEE
NOTICE: The following section is now obsolete due to the electronic reservations system. The original approved text is shared here, while the new policy is contained in the addendum at the end of this page.

Key Deposit, Maintenance Fee, Trip Report and Return Envelope

Two checks and one return postage paid envelope are required

Key Deposit: A key deposit of $75.00 is required to cover the cost of replacing the key and lock. In the event that the key is not returned or lost in the mail.

Lock and Gate Maintenance: A separate $10.00 is required for lock and gate maintenance is required. The maintenance fee will be waved for established organizations that are involved with the maintenance of the caves and cave gates.

Return Envelope: Enclose a self addressed postage affixed return envelope MUST be enclosed for the Access Manager to return your $75.00. Choose the type of postage that will assure you of getting your returned check. Checks will be returned within 7 days after a Trip Report and the key are returned. The Access Manager is not responsible for undelivered mail.

 

TRIP REPORT & KEY RETURN

NOTICE: The following section is now obsolete due to the electronic reservations system. The original approved text is shared here, while the new policy is contained in the addendum at the end of this page.

Each group entering Nutty Putty is required to submit a written report and return the gate key to the Cave Access Manager within 7 days after their trip. After receipt of the report and the key the groups deposit will be returned.

Key will duplication will be handled as a trespassing offense.

VIOLATIONS

The Cave Access Manager has the right to refuse any permit request for any reason. Violation of any rules disbars trip leaders and their groups from entering SITLA caves in the future. *

EXPLORATION RULES

Each group is responsible for ‘no trace’ behaviors.  Take only pictures, leave only footprints.

Cave features, soils, and fossils are not to be changed, broken, or removed from the cave.

Without special written permission of the cave owner obtained through the Cave Access Manager, no digging or excavating in the cave will be allowed except when needed to assist in an emergency cave rescue.

In the event of a new discovery, the Cave Access Manager must be notified before entering any new area in the cave.   

Sanitation is a personal responsibility.  No urinating or defecating in any of the caves is allowed.  Group sanitation is the responsibility of the group leader. 

Eating meals is not permitted in the cave. *

All new exploration will be map-as-you-go. No blasting with high or low explosives, or any material generally interpreted as an explosive, may be done unless the individual is properly licensed and has explicit, written permission of the land owners through the Cave Access Manager. Results of exploration trips will be conveyed to the land owners through the Cave Access Manager.

Discovery teams may name new areas, but names deemed inappropriate or distasteful, or named after living people, will not be accepted.

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PUBLICITY POLICY

Publicity of any of the Utah School and Institutional Trust Lands Administration (“SITLA”) caves should not to be publicized in magazines or newspapers of general circulation nor on radio or television without the express permission of SITLA. Caver's publications like The Utah Caver and the NSS News may contain information on the latest discoveries. Some grotto publications may also have information, but again, these have limited circulation and are not to give exact locations to the general public.

ANNUAL CAVE CLEAN-UP
Annual Cave Clean-up activities will be planned with the agencies and organizations interested in maintaining the Nutty Putty Cave.
SURFACE MANAGEMENT
  1. No camping is allowed on the property or in the cave at any time.  All trips must be out of the cave and off the property by the midnight curfew.
  2. Vehicles are not permitted to drive within 50 feet of the entrance to any of the cave. Except in the case of Search and Rescue, medical operations, and approved maintenance projects.
SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH

Scientific research is encouraged.  Research will be permitted only with the written approval of the land owner through the Cave Access Manager. 

FUTURE PLANS

A new sign should be posted on the property.

END OF 2009 CAVE MANAGEMENT PLAN

ADDENDUM
The following is a list of items that the Cave Management Team has modified in the approved Cave Management Plan. The following are approved and in force...

ACCESS POLICY 3 - 21 days has been reduced to 14 days for non-TimpGrotto groups and 5 days for TimpGrotto groups. This reduction in time is due to the new streamlined reservation process.

ACCESS POLICY 5 - modified to read, “All groups must adhere to the two-deep leadership policy of having two adult leaders.” The word “registered” was dropped because it did not specifically address any particular registration.

ACCESS POLICY 5A - modified to read, “The leaders must be 18 or older (BSA requires the trip leader to be 21 or older).” Added to ensure that BSA groups realize that a trip leader over 21 must be with the group.

ACCESS POLICY 5G - modified to read “The leaders must have basic first-aid and CPR knowledge.” The change was made to reflect the fact that the majority of experienced cavers in the state worthy of being Trip Leaders, do not have any certifications in first-aid and CPR. Boy Scout leaders are still required to obtain the credential to satisfy BSA Tour permit requirements for caving.

ACCESS POLICY 5H - modified to read “Leaders must be responsible and willing to terminate a trip if any of the trip requirements are not met, such as, but not limited to, inadequate equipment, inadequately trained participants, lack of insurance, lack of permission slips for minors, or improper hazardous behaviors.”

ACCESS POLICY 6 - modified to read  “Access to all caves must be limited to the hours of 7 am to midnight.  Special permission from the Cave Access Manager is needed to be in the caves or on the property after these hours.”

ACCESS POLICY 8 - modified to read, “All participants must be 14 years of age and older unless accompanied by parent or guardian. NOTE: Some sponsoring organizations impose older minimum age requirements.  Those under the age of 18 must have a waiver and medical release form signed by a parent or guardian, regardless of whether or not the trip leader is the parent. The original signed waiver and medical release forms must be secured 7 days before the trip and left with the tour group’s listed emergency contact, and copies must carried with the group for the duration the trip.”

ACCESS POLICY 9 - modified to read - “EVERY member of the group, and their guardian, when applicable, must read and sign the permit before entering any SITLA cave. All caving participants must understand the access requirements and acknowledge their agreement to follow them by signing the Cave Access Permit. Compliance with obtaining any and all permissions, waivers, and medical releases will be the responsibility of the tour leader and NOT the responsibility of either SITLA, the Cave Access Manager, or the Cave Management Group.” The change reflects the online reservation process and the Trip Leaders responsibilities in securing the permit, signed waivers, and permission slips.

ACCESS POLICY 16 - The word “boots” has been changed to “footwear” since many seasoned cavers prefer not to wear boots in this cave.

ACCESS POLICY 21 - REMOVED - ACCIDENTALLY DUPLICATED

ACCESS POLICY 22 - modified to read “Any group [or individual] wishing to learn about cave rescue (other than self rescue techniques), or pursue that activity as a specialty, must do so under the sponsorship and supervision of either the Utah Cave Search & Rescue or Utah County Search & Rescue. Rescue trainings are prohibited at SITLA caves without specific written approval from the cave owners by way of the Cave Access Manager.”

KEY/LOCK/TRIP REPORT & ACCESS FEE

LOCK/TRIP REPORT DEPOSIT: A key/lock/trip report deposit of $25.00 is required to cover the cost of replacing lock and/or any damage caused by the group. This will be billed in the event the locks are lost or damaged as a result of the visit. The deposit will also be billed if the online trip report is not completed by the Tour Leader within 7 days after the trip. The Trip Report is the primary alert system for hazards in or around the cave that require immediate attention by the Cave Management Group. The deposit will be received either as a check or credit card.

CAVE ACCESS FEE: The Cave Access Fee is now waived and the expenses for cave maintenance and operation expenses are being covered by private donations.

ELECTRONIC METHOD - RECOMMENDED METHOD

MAIL METHOD - ALTERNATE METHOD

  • One $25 check and one return postage paid envelope are required to be submitted to the Cave Access Manager 14 days prior to your trip. 
    • Return Envelope - Enclose a self addressed postage affixed return envelope for the Cave Access Manager to return your $25.00 deposit.  Choose the type of postage that will assure you of getting your returned check.  Deposit checks will be return mailed within 7 days after the Trip Report is received and the access keys are returned.  The Cave Access Manager is not responsible for undelivered mail.
  • NOTE: If the mail method is used, all other online reservations, forms, and approvals for the trip must still be completed. The mail method provides an option for those applicants who prefer not to share their credit card info online.
TRIP REPORT

Each group entering the SITLA owned caves in this management plan is required to submit a written online Trip Report to the Cave Access Manager within 7 days after their trip.  After receipt of the Trip Report is received, the group’s deposit will be returned.

VIOLATIONS - modified to read “The Cave Access Manager has the right to refuse any permit request for any reason. Violation of any rules disbars trip leaders and their groups from entering SITLA caves in the future. Appeals can be submitted to the Cave Access Manager and reviewed by the Cave Management Group, but the cave is privately owned and the access rights are reserved by the land owners (SITLA) and delegated to the sole discretion of the Cave Access Manager.”

EXPLORATION RULES - Eating - modified to read “Eating snacks in the cave is permitted, but please eat all of your main meals before and after you access the cave. Make sure that all crumbs, wrappers, and food debris are not left behind in the cave.”

Please also refer to the added Cave Management Team’s responsibilities.