Illinois Natural History Survey - University of Illinois

The Illinois Cave Protection Act


 (525 ILCS 5/1)
    Sec. 1.  This Act shall be known  and  may  be  cited  as  the  Cave
Protection Act.
(Source: P.A. 84-140.)

    (525 ILCS 5/2)
    Sec. 2.  As used in this Act, the following terms have the following
meanings, unless the context otherwise requires:
    "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.
    "Cave resource" means any  cave  and  its  contents,  together  with
associated topographic and hydrological features.
    "Commercial  cave"  means  any  cave  utilized  by the owner for the
purpose of exhibition to the general public as  a  profit  or  nonprofit
enterprise, wherein a fee is collected for entry.
    "Cultural resource" means any historic or prehistoric human remains,
artifacts, constructions or evidence thereof.
    "Department" means the Department of Natural Resources.
    "Director" means the Director of the Department.
    "Gate"  means  any  structure or device located to limit or prohibit
access or entry into any cave.
    "Natural resource" means any material occurring naturally  in  caves
including,  but  not  limited  to,  animal  life,  whether vertebrate or
invertebrate, plant life, paleontological deposits, sediments, minerals,
speleogens, speleothems, water and other natural resources.
    "Owner" means a person who owns  title  to  land  where  a  cave  is
    "Person"  means  any  individual,  partnership,  firm,  association,
trust, corporation or other legal entity.
    "Sinkhole" means a closed topographic depression or basin, generally
draining underground, including, but not restricted to, a doline, uvala,
blind valley, or sink.
    "Speleogen"  means  the  surrounding  natural material or bedrock in
which a cave is formed, including walls, floors and ceiling and  similar
related structural and geological components.
    "Speleothem"  means a natural mineral formation or deposit occurring
in a cave.
(Source: P.A. 89-445, eff. 2-7-96.)

    (525 ILCS 5/3)
    Sec. 3.  The Department  may  take  special  actions  as  necessary,
consistent with the purposes of this Act, including but not limited to:
    (1)  employment of cave resources management personnel;
    (2)  appointment  of  volunteer  cave  management and administrative
    (3)  providing cave owners with technical assistance and  management
    (4)  entering  into  volunteer management agreements with individual
persons, members and associations of the caving community;
    (5)  initiating a comprehensive inventory of cave resources;
    (6)  adopt rules in  accordance  with  the  Illinois  Administrative
Procedure Act to further the purposes of this Act;
    (7)  issuance of grants from appropriated funds.
(Source: P.A. 84-140.)

    (525 ILCS 5/4)
    Sec. 4.  The Director may also appoint an advisory council  composed
of  individuals,  members  of  organized caving groups or the scientific
community for the purpose of developing  regulations  pursuant  to  this
Act, reviewing management plans for cave resources on public land, or to
otherwise  provide  advice  and  assistance  as  deemed necessary by the
Department in furthering the purposes of this Act.
(Source: P.A. 84-140.)

    (525 ILCS 5/5)
    Sec. 5.  Owners of land shall not be  liable  for  injuries,  mental
harm  or  death sustained by persons using their land, including but not
limited to cave resources, for recreational, educational  or  scientific
purposes.   By  granting permission for entry or use, the owner does not
    (a)  extend any assurance  that  the  premises  are  safe  for  such
purposes, or
    (b)  constitute  to  the permittee the legal status of an invitee or
licensee to whom a duty of care is owed, or
    (c)  assume responsibility for or incur liability for any injury  to
person or property caused by an act or omission of a permittee except as
provided in this Section.
    This  Act  shall  not limit the liability which otherwise exists for
(1) willful or malicious failure to guard or warn  against  a  dangerous
condition,  use  or  natural  structure; or (2) failure to guard or warn
against a dangerous manmade structure, fixture or activity; or  (3)  for
injury  suffered  in  any  case  where permission to enter for the above
purpose was granted for a consideration.
    Nothing in this  Section  creates  a  duty  of  care  or  ground  of
liability for injury to person or property.
(Source: P.A. 84-140.)

    (525 ILCS 5/6)
    Sec. 6.  It shall be unlawful for any person,  without  the  express
written permission of the land owner, to:
    (a)  Willfully  or  knowingly  break,  break off, crack, carve upon,
write, burn, mark upon, remove,  or  in  any  manner  destroy,  disturb,
deface,  mar,  or  harm the surfaces of any cave or any natural material
which may be  found  therein,  whether  attached  or  broken,  including
speleothems, speleogens and sedimentary deposits.
    (b)  Break,  force,  tamper with, or otherwise disturb a lock, gate,
door or other obstruction designed to control or prevent access  to  any
cave, even though entrance thereto may not be gained.
    (c)  Remove,  deface  or  tamper  with a sign stating that a cave is
posted or citing provisions of this Act.
    (d)  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.
    (e)  Burn  within  any  cave or sinkhole any material which produces
any smoke or gas which is harmful to any  organism  in  any  cave.  This
Section  shall  specifically  exempt  acetylene gas emissions created by
carbide lamps used as a source of light by persons using the cave.
    (f)  Kill, injure, disturb or  otherwise  interfere  with  any  cave
life, including any cave roosting bat, or interfere with or obstruct the
free movement of any cave resource into or out of any cave, or enter any
cave  with the intention of killing, injuring, disturbing or interfering
with life forms therein.
    (g)  Remove any natural or cultural resources found within any cave.
(Source: P.A. 91-357, eff. 7-29-99.)

    (525 ILCS 5/7)
    Sec. 7.  Any person who violates any provision of this Act shall  be
guilty of a Class A misdemeanor.
(Source: P.A. 84-140.)



This page is maintained by Steve Taylor. The Cave Protection Act 
was transcribed from other sources, and thus may contain errors.
Please refer to the appropriate legal documents for the 'official' copy of this Act.
Please email with comments and corrections.
This page created 12 January 1988, last modified 16 September 2003.

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