This was written back in 1997, back when I used to get in arguments over the size of bonfires. I'm not sure if the TAG bonfire is as large as it used to be or not, but in 1997 I saw two eighteen-wheeler loads of wood being unloaded at Sequoyah Caverns and this page was the result. Please note: I am not anti-TAG Cave-In and present this mostly for historical interest.
Since 1997, I can't say whether the TAG bonfire has gotten any smaller but the TAG Cave-In itself has matured in many ways, not the least of which is that it now provides a major source of funding for many caving and conservation projects, including the beloved Southeastern Cave Conservancy.
Whether or not the fire is still too big, I applaud those who took the vision of the TAG Cave-In as more than just a social event forward.
In any case, here's what I wrote at the time.
- The Dogwood City Grotto is a group of cavers who should be concerned about conserving natural resources.
- Each year at their annual TAG Cave-In party, they demonstrate that commitment.
- The bonfire at TAG in 1997 was estimated to contain 70 tons of trees. It consisted of trees stacked 25 feet high and equally as wide.
- Those trees cost a lot of money to grow, to cut, to transport, and to stack.
- That money could go for good causes like the Southeastern Cave Conservancy.
- Instead that money goes up in smoke that sometimes hangs over the campground like a shroud of death.
- Seventy tons of trees a year over ten years = 700 tons of lumber. How many acres of forest would that be? How many more will burn in the next ten years?
Is a night of glory for a few pyromaniacs worth it? Would people stop coming to the party if the bonfire was a more reasonable size?
I find it fascinating the the guestbook I used to record comments is still functioning as of November 2011!
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