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Maine Cave Law

Here is the Maine Cave Protection Act that was signed into law on May 9th, 2001. It came after many years of hard work by my father, other students and myself.

Check Maine's Law Out.

A. A person who causes a defacing or damaging act to caves is guilty of a misdemeanor.

a. A person commits defacing or damaging acts in caves if such person knowingly, without the prior written permission of the owner:

1. Breaks, breaks off, cracks, carves upon, writes or otherwise marks upon or in any manner destroys, mutilates, injures, defaces, removes, displaces, mars or harms any natural material found in any cave or cavern; or

2. Kills, harms or disturbs plant or animal life found in any cave, except for safety reasons; or

3. Disturbs or alters the natural condition of such cave or takes into a cave or cavern any aerosol or other type of container containing paints, dyes or other coloring agents; or

4. Store, dump, litter, dispose of or otherwise place any refuse, garbage, dead animal, sewage or toxic substance harmful to cave life or humans in any cave or sinkhole; or

5. Burn within any cave or sinkhole any material which produces any smoke or gas which is harmful to any organism in the cave; or

6. Breaks, forces, tampers with, removes or otherwise disturbs a lock, gate, door, sign or other structure or obstruction designed to prevent entrance to a cave whether or not entrance is gained.

B. A person must obtain the prior written permission of the owner to excavating or removing any archaeological, paleontological, prehistoric, or historic feature of any cave. All field investigations, explorations, or recovery operations undertaken under this section shall be carried out in a manner to ensure that the maximum amount of historic, scientific, archaeologic, and educational information may be recovered and preserved in addition to the physical recovery of objects.

C. Neither the owner of a cave nor his authorized agents, officers, employees or designated representatives acting within the scope of their authority shall be liable for injuries sustained by any person using said cave for recreational or scientific purposes if the prior consent of the owner has been obtained and if no charge has been made for the use of such features and notwithstanding that an inquiry as to the experience or expertise of the individual seeking consent may have been made.

D. As used in this section,
a. "natural material" means stalactites, stalagmites, helictites, anthodites, gypsum flowers or needles, flowstone, draperies, columns, tufa dams, clay or mud formations or concretions or other similar crystalline mineral formations found in any cave or cavern.

b. "Cave" means any naturally occurring void, cavity, recess, sinkhole or system of interconnecting passages beneath the surface of the earth or within a cliff or ledge which is large enough to permit a person to enter, including natural subsurface water and drainage systems, but not including any mine, tunnel or other manmade excavation.

c. Caving is considered to be a recreational or educational activity under Maine's Landowners Liability laws

What it is really saying...

Section A a-1. Protects the formation within the cave from vandals
Section A a-2. Protects the bats and other plants and animals within a cave unless
there are some health problems
Section A a-3. Addresses the major problem with spray painting within caves
Section A a-4. Addresses the problem with trash being left in a cave
Section A a-5. Protects the bats and other animals from smoke poisoning
Section A a-6. Protects the owner?ights to post a cave or protect it with a gate
Section B. Preserves the history of Maine and places it in the hands of the State
Section C. Offers the landowner protection of their property (part of the current law found in the hunting law book)
Section D a. Defines the word natural material
Section D b. Defines what is considered a cave in Maine