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16. FEDERAL CAVE RESOURCES PROTECTION ACT OF

1988

[As amended through December 31, 1996, P.L. 104-333]

16. FEDERAL CAVE RESOURCES PROTECTION ACT OF

1988

(Public Law 100_691; November 18, 1988; 16 U.S.C. 4301 through 4309)

AN ACT To protect cave resources on Federal lands, and for other purposes.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, SECTION 1. (16 U.S.C. 4301 note] SHORT TITLE.

This Act may be referred to as the “Federal Cave Resources Protection Act of 1988”. SEC. 2. (16 U.S.C. 4301) FINDINGS, PURPOSES, AND POLICY. (a) FINDINGS.—The Congress finds and declares that,

(1) significant caves on Federal lands are an invaluable and irreplaceable part of the Nation's natural heritage; and

(2) in some instances, these significant caves are threatened due to improper use, increased recreational demand, urban spread, and a lack of specific statutory protection. (b) PURPOSES.—The purposes of this Act are

(1) to secure, protect, and preserve significant caves on Federal lands for the perpetual use, enjoyment, and benefit of all people; and

(2) to foster increased cooperation and exchange of information between governmental authorities and those who utilize caves located on Federal lands for scientific, education, or recreational purposes.

(c) POLICY.—It is the policy of the United States that Federal lands be managed in a manner which protects and maintains, to the extent practical, significant caves. SEC. 3. (16 U.S.C. 4302] DEFINITIONS. For purposes of this Act:

(1) CAVE.-The term "cave" means any naturally occurring void, cavity, recess, or system of interconnected passages which occurs beneath the surface of the earth or within a cliff or ledge (including any cave resource therein, but not including any vug, mine, tunnel, aqueduct, or other manmade excavation) and which is large enough to permit an individual to enter, whether or not the entrance is naturally formed or manmade. Such term shall include any natural pit, sinkhole, or other feature which is an extension of the entrance.

(2) FEDERAL LANDS.—The term “Federal lands” means lands the fee title to which is owned by the United States and administered by the Secretary of Agriculture or the Secretary of the Interior.

(3) INDIAN LANDS.—The term "Indian lands” means lands of Indian tribes or Indian individuals which are either held in trust by the United States for the benefit of an Indian tribe or subject to a restriction against alienation imposed by the United States.

(4) INDIAN TRIBE.—The term “Indian tribe” means any Indian tribe, band, nation, or other organized group or community of Indians, including any Alaska Native village or regional or village corporation as

defined in, or established pursuant to, the Alaska Native Claims settlement 1 Act (43 U.S.C. 1601 et seq.).

(5) CAVE RESOURCE.—The term "cave resource” includes any material or substance occurring naturally in caves on Federal lands, such as animal life, plant life, paleontological deposits, sediments, minerals, speleogens, and speleothems.

(6) SECRETARY.—The term “Secretary” means the Secretary of Agriculture or the Secretary of the Interior, as appropriate.

(7) SPELEOTHEM.—The term “speleothem” means any natural mineral formation or deposit occurring in a cave or lava tube, including but not limited to any stalactite, stalagmite, helictite, cave flower, flowstone, concretion, drapery, rimstone, or formation of clay or mud.

(8) SPELEOGEN.—The term “speleogen” means relief features on the walls, ceiling, and floor of any cave or lava tube which are part of the surrounding bedrock, including but not limited to anastomoses, scallops, meander niches, petromorphs and rock pendants in solution caves and similar features

unique to volcanic caves. SEC. 4. (16 U.S.C. 4303) MANAGEMENT ACTIONS.

(a) REGULATIONS.—Not later than nine months after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Secretary shall issue such regulations as he deems necessary to achieve the purposes of this Act. Regulations shall include, but not be limited to, criteria for the identification of significant caves. The Secretaries shall cooperate and consult with one another in preparation of the regulations. To the extent practical, regulations promulgated by the respective Secretaries should be similar.

(b) IN GENERAL.— The Secretary shall take such actions as may be necessary to further the purposes of this Act. Those actions shail include (but need not be limited to

(1) identification of significant caves on Federal lands:

(A) The Secretary shall prepare an initial list of significant caves for lands under his jurisdiction not later than one year after the publication of final regulations using the significance criteria defined in such regulations. Such a list shall be developed after consultation with appropriate private sector interests, including cavers.

(B) The initial list of significant caves shall be updated periodically, after consultation with appropriate private sector interests, including cavers. The Secretary shall pre

1 In paragraph (4), the term "settlement” in the “Alaska Native Claims settlement Act” should be capitalized.

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