Section 810.13 Cave vandalism and
(1) DEFINITIONS - As used in this act:
(a) "Cave" means any void, cavity, recess, or system of
interconnecting passages which naturally occurs beneath the surface
of the earth or within a cliff or ledge, including natural
subsurface water and drainage systems but not including any mine,
tunnel, aqueduct, or other manmade excavation, and which is large
enough to permit a person to enter. The word "cave" includes any
cavern, natural pit, or sinkhole, which is an extension of an
entrance to a cave.
(b) "Cave life" means any life form, which is indigenous to a cave
or to a cave ecosystem.
(c) "Gate" means any structure or device located to limit or
prohibits access or entry to a cave.
(d) "Owner" means a person who owns title to land where a cave is
located, including a person who holds a leasehold estate in such
land; the state or any of its agencies, departments, boards,
bureaus, commissions, or authorities; or any county, municipality,
or other political subdivision of the state.
(e) "Person" means any individual, partnership, firm, association,
trust, corporation, or other legal entity.
(f) "Sinkhole" means a closed topographic depression or basin,
generally draining underground, including, but not restricted to, a
doline, limesink, or sink.
(g) "Speleogen" means an erosional feature of a cave boundary,
including, but not restricted to, anastomoses, scallops, rills,
flutes, spongework, or pendants.
(h) "Speleothem" means a natural mineral formation or deposit
occurring in a cave, including, but not restricted to, a stalagmite,
stalactite, helictite, anthodite, gypsum flower, gypsum needle,
angel hair, soda straw, drapery, bacon, cave pearl, popcorn (coral),
rimstone dam, column, or flowstone. Speleothems are commonly
composed of calcite, epsomite, gypsum, aragonite, celestite, or
other similar minerals.
(2) VANDALISM - It is unlawful for any person, without the
prior written permission of the owner, to:
(a) Break, break off, crack, carve upon, write upon, 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, or sedimentary deposits. This paragraph does not
prohibit minimal disturbance or removal for scientific inquiry.
(b) Break, force, tamper with, or otherwise disturb a lock, gate,
door, or other obstruction designed to control or prevent access to
a 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.
(3) CAVE LIFE - It is unlawful to remove, kill, harm, or
otherwise disturb any naturally occurring organism within a cave,
except for safety or health reasons. The provisions of this
subsection do not prohibit minimal disturbance or removal of
organisms for scientific inquiry.
(4) POLLUTION AND LITTERING - It is unlawful to store in a
cave any chemical or other material, which may be detrimental or
hazardous to the cave, to the mineral, deposits therein, to the cave
life therein, to the waters of the state, or to persons using such
cave for any purposes. It is also unlawful to dump, litter, dispose
of, or otherwise place any refuse, garbage, dead animal, sewage,
trash, or other similar waste materials in a cave. This subsection
shall not apply to activity, which is regulated pursuant to s.
373.106, regarding the intentional introduction of water into an
underground formation, or chapter 377, regarding the injection of
fluids into subsurface formations in connection with oil or gas
(5) SALE OF SPELEOTHEMS - It is unlawful for any person to
sell or offer for sale any speleothems in this state or to transport
them for sale outside this state.
(6) PENALTIES - Any person who violates subsection (2),
subsection (3), subsection (4), or subsection (5) is guilty of a
misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s.
775.082 or s.775.083.
History. --ss. 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, Ch. 80-356; s. 486, Ch. 81-259.