The Federal Cave Resources Protection Act of 1988 [16 U.S.C. 4301 - 4309]

BE IT ENACTED BY THE SENATE AND THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA IN CONGRESS ASSEMBLED,

SEC. 1 SHORT TITLE. This Act may be referred to as the "Federal Cave Resources Protection Act of 1988."

SEC. 2. FINDINGS, PURPOSES, AND POLICY.

SEC. 3. DEFINITIONS.

For purposes of this Act:

Sec. 4. MANAGEMENT ACTIONS.

Sec. 5. CONFIDENTIALITY OF INFORMATION CONCERNING NATURE AND LOCATION OF SIGNIFICANT CAVES.

Sec. 6. COLLECTION AND REMOVAL FROM FEDERAL CAVES.

Sec. 7. PROHIBITED ACTS AND CRIMINAL PENALTIES.

Sec. 8. CIVIL PENALTIES.

Sec. 9. MISCELLANEOUS PROVISIONS.

Sec. 10. SAVINGS PROVISIONS.

[Code of Federal Regulations]
[Title 36, Volume 2]
[Revised as of July 1, 2001]
From the U.S. Government Printing Office via GPO Access
[CITE: 36CFR290]

[Page 359-361]
 
              TITLE 36--PARKS, FORESTS, AND PUBLIC PROPERTY
 
          CHAPTER II--FOREST SERVICE, DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
 
PART 290--CAVE RESOURCES MANAGEMENT--Table of Contents


Sec.
290.1  Purpose and scope.
290.2  Definitions.
290.3  Nomination, evaluation, and designation of significant caves.
290.4  Confidentiality of cave location information.
290.5  Collection of information.

    Authority: 16 U.S.C. 4301-4309; 102 Stat. 4546.

    Source: 59 FR 31152, June 17, 1994, unless otherwise noted.

Sec. 290.1  Purpose and scope.

    The rules of this part implement the requirements of the Federal 
Cave Resources Protection Act (16 U.S.C. 4301-4309), hereafter referred 
to as the "Act". The rules apply to cave management on National Forest 
System lands. These rules, in conjunction with rules in part 261 of this 
chapter, provide the basis for identifying and managing significant 
caves on National Forest System lands in accordance with the Act. 
National Forest System lands will be managed in a manner which, to the 
extent practical, protects and maintains significant cave resources in 
accordance with the policies outlined in the Forest Service Directive 
System and the management direction contained in the individual forest 
plans.

Sec. 290.2  Definitions.

    For the purposes of this part, the terms listed in this section have 
the following meaning:
    Authorized officer means the Forest Service employee delegated the 
authority to perform the duties described in this part.
    Cave means any naturally occurring void, cavity, recess, or system 
of interconnected passages beneath the surface of the earth or within a 
cliff or ledge and which is large enough to permit a person to enter, 
whether the entrance is excavated or naturally formed. Such term shall 
include any natural pit, sinkhole, or other opening which is an 
extension of a cave entrance or which is an integral part of the cave.
    Cave resources mean any materials or substances occurring in caves 
including, but not limited to, biotic, cultural, mineralogic, 
paleontologic, geologic, and hydrologic resources.
    National Forest System lands means all national forest lands 
reserved or withdrawn from the public domain, acquired through purchase, 
exchange, or donation, national grasslands and land utilization 
projects, and other lands, waters, or interests administered by the 
Forest Service.
    Secretary means the Secretary of Agriculture.
    Significant cave means a cave located on National Forest System 
lands that has been determined to meet the criteria in Sec. 290.3 (c) or 
(d) and has been designated in accordance with Sec. 290.3(e).

Sec. 290.3  Nomination, evaluation, and designation of significant 
          caves.

    (a) Nominations for initial and subsequent listings. The authorized 
officer will give governmental agencies and the public, including those 
who utilize caves for scientific, educational, or recreational purposes, 
the opportunity to nominate caves. The authorized officer shall give 
public notice, including a notice published in the Federal Register, 
calling for nominations for the initial listing and setting forth the 
procedures for preparing and submitting the nominations. Nominations for 
subsequent listings will be accepted from governmental agencies and the 
public by the Forest Supervisor where the cave is located as new cave 
discoveries are made. Caves nominated but not approved for designation 
may be renominated as additional documentation or new information 
becomes available.
    (b) Evaluation for initial and subsequent listings. The evaluation 
of the nominations for significant caves will be carried out in 
consultation with individuals and organizations interested in the 
management and use of caves and cave resources, within the limits 
imposed by the confidentiality provisions of Sec. 290.4. Nominations 
shall be evaluated using the criteria in Sec. 290.3 (c) and (d).
    (c) Criteria for significant caves. A significant cave on National 
Forest System lands shall possess one or more of the following features, 
characteristics, or values.

[[Page 360]]

    (1) Biota. The cave provides seasonal or yearlong habitat for 
organisms or animals, or contains species or subspecies of flora or 
fauna native to caves, or are sensitive to disturbance, or are found on 
State or Federal sensitive, threatened, or endangered species lists.
    (2) Cultural. The cave contains historic properties or archeological 
resources (as defined in Parts 800.2 and 296.3 of this chapter 
respectively, or in 16 U.S.C. 470, et seq.), or other features included 
in or eligible for inclusion on the National Register of Historic Places 
because of their research importance for history or prehistory, 
historical associations, or other historical or traditional 
significance.
    (3) Geologic/Mineralogic/Paleontologic. The cave possesses one or 
more of the following features:
    (i) Geologic or mineralogic features that are fragile, represent 
formation processes that are of scientific interest, or that are 
otherwise useful for study.
    (ii) Deposits of sediments or features useful for evaluating past 
events.
    (iii) Paleontologic resources with potential to contribute useful 
educational or scientific information.
    (4) Hydrologic. The cave is a part of a hydrologic system or 
contains water which is important to humans, biota, or development of 
cave resources.
    (5) Recreational. The cave provides or could provide recreational 
opportunities or scenic values.
    (6) Educational or scientific. The cave offers opportunities for 
educational or scientific use; or, the cave is virtually in a pristine 
state, lacking evidence of contemporary human disturbance or impact; or, 
the length, volume, total depth, pit depth, height, or similar 
measurements are notable.
    (d) Specially designated areas. All caves located within special 
management areas, such as Special Geologic Areas, Research Natural 
Areas, or National Monuments, that are designated wholly or in part due 
to the cave resources found therein are determined to be significant.
    (e) Designation and documentation. If the authorized officer 
determines that a cave nominated and evaluated under paragraphs (a) and 
(b) of this section meets one or more of the criteria in paragraph (c) 
of this section, the authorized officer shall designate the cave as 
significant. The authorized officer will notify the nominating party of 
the results of the evaluation and designation. Each forest will retain 
appropriate documentation for all significant caves located within its 
administrative boundaries. At a minimum, this documentation shall 
include a statement of finding signed and dated by the authorized 
officer and the information used to make the determination. This 
documentation will be retained as a permanent record in accordance with 
the confidentiality provision in Sec. 290.4.
    (f) Undiscovered passages. If a cave is determined to be 
significant, its entire extent on federal land, including passages not 
mapped or discovered at the time of the determination, is deemed 
significant. This includes caves that extend from lands managed by any 

other Federal agency into National Forest System lands, as well as caves 
initially believed to be separate for which interconnecting passages are 
discovered after significance is determined.
    (g) Decision final. The decision to designate or not designate a 
cave as significant is made at the sole discretion of the authorized 
officer based upon the criteria in paragraphs (c) and (d) of this 
section and is not subject to further administrative review of appeal 
under Parts 217 or 251.82 of this chapter.

Sec. 290.4  Confidentiality of cave location information.

    (a) Information disclosure. No Forest Service employee shall 
disclose any information that could be used to determine the location of 
a significant cave or a cave nominated for designation, unless the 
authorized officer determines that disclosure will further the purposes 
of the Act and will not create a substantial risk of harm, theft, or 
destruction to cave resources.
    (b) Requesting confidential information. Notwithstanding paragraph 
(a) of this section, the authorized officer may make confidential cave 
information available to Federal or State governmental agencies, bona 
fide educational or research institutes, or individuals or

[[Page 361]]

organizations assisting the land management agencies with cave 
management activities. To request confidential cave information, such 
entities shall make a written request to the authorized officer which 
includes the following:
    (1) Name, address, and telephone number of the individual 
responsible for the security of the information received;
    (2) A legal description of the area for which the information is 
sought;
    (3) A statement of the purpose for which the information is sought; 
and,
    (4) Written assurances that the requesting party will maintain the 
confidentiality of the information and protect the cave and its 
resources.
    (c) Decision final. The decision to permit or deny access to 
confidential cave information is made at the sole discretion of the 
authorized officer and is not subject to further administrative review 
or appeal under 5 U.S.C. 552 or parts 217 or 251.82 of this chapter.

Sec. 290.5  Collection of information.

    The collection of information contained in this rule represents new 
information requirements as defined in 5 CFR part 1320, Controlling 
Paperwork Burdens on the Public. In accordance with those rules and the 
Paperwork Reduction Act of 1980 as amended (44 U.S.C. 3507), the Forest 
Service has received approval by the Office of Management and Budget to 
collect cave nomination information under clearance number 0596-0123 and 
confidential information under 0596-0122. The information provided for 
the cave nominations will be used to determine which caves will be 
listed as "significant" and the information in the requests to obtain 
confidential cave information will be used to decide whether to grant 
access to this information. Response to the call for cave nominations is 
voluntary. No action may be taken against a person for refusing to 
supply the information requested. Response to the information 
requirements for obtaining confidential cave information is required to 
obtain a benefit in accordance with section 5 of the Federal Cave 
Resources Protection Act of 1988 (16 U.S.C. 4304).
[Code of Federal Regulations]
[Title 43, Volume 1, Parts 1 to 199]
[Revised as of October 1, 2000]
From the U.S. Government Printing Office via GPO Access
[CITE: 43CFR37]

[Page 519-522]
 
                    TITLE 43--PUBLIC LANDS: INTERIOR
 
PART 37--CAVE MANAGEMENT

                   Subpart A--Cave Management--General

Sec.
37.1  Purpose.
37.2  Policy.
37.3  Authority.
37.4  Definitions.
37.5  Collection of information.

                       Subpart B--Cave Designation

37.11  Nomination, evaluation, and designation of significant caves.
37.12  Confidentiality of cave location information.

    Authority: 16 U.S.C. 4301-4309; 43 U.S.C. 1740.

[[Page 520]]


    Source: 58 FR 51554, Oct. 1, 1993, unless otherwise noted.

                   Subpart A--Cave Management--General

Sec. 37.1  Purpose.

    The purpose of this part is to provide the basis for identifying and 
managing significant caves on Federal lands administered by the 
Secretary of the Interior.

Sec. 37.2  Policy.

    It is the policy of the Secretary that Federal lands be managed in a 
manner which, to the extent practical, protects and maintains 
significant caves and cave resources. The type and degree of protection 
will be determined through the agency resource management planning 
process with full public participation.

Sec. 37.3  Authority.

    Section 4 of the Federal Cave Resources Protection Act of 1988 (102 
Stat. 4546; 16 U.S.C. 4301) authorizes the Secretary to issue 
regulations providing for the identification of significant caves. 
Section 5 authorizes the Secretary to withhold information concerning 
the location of significant caves under certain circumstances.

Sec. 37.4  Definitions.

    (a) Authorized officer means the agency employee delegated the 
authority to perform the duties described in this part.
    (b) Cave means any naturally occurring void, cavity, recess, or 
system of interconnected passages beneath the surface of the earth or 
within a cliff or ledge, including any cave resource therein, and which 
is large enough to permit a person to enter, whether the entrance is 
excavated or naturally formed. Such term shall include any natural pit, 
sinkhole, or other feature that is an extension of a cave entrance or 
which is an integral part of the cave.
    (c) Cave resources means any materials or substances occurring in 
caves on Federal lands, including, but not limited to, biotic, cultural, 
mineralogic, paleontologic, geologic, and hydrologic resources.
    (d) Federal lands, as defined in the Federal Cave Resources 
Protection Act, means lands the fee title to which is owned by the 
United States and administered by the Secretary of the Interior.
    (e) Secretary means the Secretary of the Interior.
    (f) Significant cave means a cave located on Federal lands that has 
been determined to meet the criteria in Sec. 37.11(c).

Sec. 37.5  Collection of information.

    (a) The collections of information contained in this part have been 
approved by the Office of Management and Budget under 44 U.S.C. 3501 et 
seq. and assigned clearance numbers 1004-0165 (cave nominations) and 
1004-0166 (confidential information). The information provided for the 
cave nominations will be used to determine which caves will be listed as 
"significant" and the information in the requests to obtain 
confidential cave information will be used to decide whether to grant 
access to this information. Response to the call for cave nominations is 
voluntary. No action may be taken against a person for refusing to 
supply the information requested. Response to the information 
requirements for obtaining confidential cave information is required to 
obtain a benefit in accordance with Section 5 of the Federal Cave 
Resources Protection Act of 1988 (102 Stat. 4546; 16 U.S.C. 4301).
    (b) The public reporting burden is estimated to average 3 hours per 
response for the cave nomination and one-half hour per response for the 
confidential cave information request. The estimated response time for 
both of the information burdens includes time for reviewing 
instructions, searching existing data sources, gathering and maintaining 
the data needed, and completing and reviewing the collection of 
information. Send comments regarding this burden estimate or any other 
aspect of this collection of information, including suggestions for 
reducing the burden, to Bureau of Land Management Clearance Officer, WO-
873, Mail

[[Page 521]]

Stop 401 LS, 1849 C Street NW., Washington, DC 20240; and the Office of 
Management and Budget, Paperwork Reduction Project 1004-0165/6, 
Washington, D.C. 20503.

                       Subpart B--Cave Designation

Sec. 37.11  Nomination, evaluation, and designation of significant 
          caves.

    (a) Nominations for initial and subsequent listings. The authorized 
officer will give governmental agencies and the public, including those 
who utilize caves for scientific, educational, and recreational 
purposes, the opportunity to nominate potential significant caves. The 
authorized officer will give public notice, including a notice published 
in the Federal Register, calling for nominations for the initial 
listing, including procedures for preparing and submitting the 
nominations. Nominations for subsequent listings will be accepted from 
governmental agencies and the public by the agency that manages the land 
where the cave is located as new cave discoveries are made or as new 
information becomes available. Nominations not approved for designation 
during the listing process may be resubmitted if better documentation or 
new information becomes available.
    (b) Evaluation for initial and subsequent listings. The evaluation 
of the nominations for significant caves will be carried out in 
consultation with individuals and organizations interested in the 
management and use of cave resources, within the limits imposed by the 
confidentiality provisions of Sec. 37.12 of this part. Nominations will 
be evaluated using the criteria in Sec. 37.11(c).
    (c) Criteria for significant caves. A significant cave on Federal 
lands shall possess one or more of the following features, 
characteristics, or values.
    (1) Biota. The cave provides seasonal or yearlong habitat for 
organisms or animals, or contains species or subspecies of flora or 
fauna that are native to caves, or are sensitive to disturbance, or are 
found on State or Federal sensitive, threatened, or endangered species 
lists.
    (2) Cultural. The cave contains historic properties or 
archaeological resources (as described in 36 CFR 60.4 and 43 CFR 7.3) or 
other features that are included in or eligible for inclusion in the 
National Register of Historic Places because of their research 
importance for history or prehistory, historical associations, or other 
historical or traditional significance.
    (3) Geologic/Mineralogic/Paleontologic. The cave possesses one or 
more of the following features:
    (i) Geologic or mineralogic features that are fragile, or that 
exhibit interesting formation processes, or that are otherwise useful 
for study.
    (ii) Deposits of sediments or features useful for evaluating past 
events.
    (iii) Paleontologic resources with potential to contribute useful 
educational and scientific information.
    (4) Hydrologic. The cave is a part of a hydrologic system or 
contains water that is important to humans, biota, or development of 
cave resources.
    (5) Recreational. The cave provides or could provide recreational 
opportunities or scenic values.
    (6) Educational or Scientific. The cave offers opportunities for 
educational or scientific use; or, the cave is virtually in a pristine 
state, lacking evidence of contemporary human disturbance or impact; or, 
the length, volume, total depth, pit depth, height, or similar 
measurements are notable.
    (d) National Park Service policy. The policy of the National Park 
Service, pursuant to its Organic Act of 1916 (16 U.S.C. 1, et seq.) and 
Management Policies (Chapter 4:20, Dec. 1988), is that all caves are 
afforded protection and will be managed in compliance with approved 
resource management plans. Accordingly, all caves on National Park 
Service-administered lands are deemed to fall within the definition of 
"significant cave."
    (e) Special management areas. Within special management areas that 
are designated wholly or in part due to cave resources found therein, 
all caves within the so-designated special management area shall be 
determined to be significant.
    (f) Designation and documentation. If the authorized officer 
determines that a cave nominated and evaluated under paragraphs (a) and 
(b) of this section meets one or more of the criteria in paragraph (c), 
the authorized officer

[[Page 522]]

will designate the cave as significant. The authorized officer will 
designate all caves identified in paragraphs (d) and (e) of this section 
to be significant. The authorized officer will notify the nominating 
party of the results of the evaluation and designation. Each agency 
Field Office will retain appropriate documentation for all significant 
caves located within its administrative boundaries. At a minimum, 
documentation shall include a statement of finding signed and dated by 
the authorized officer, and the information used to make the 
determination. This documentation will be retained as a permanent record 
in accordance with the confidentiality provision in Sec. 37.12 of this 
part.
    (g) Decision final. Decisions to designate or not designate a cave 
as significant are made at the sole discretion of the authorized officer 
and are not subject to further administrative review or appeal under 43 
CFR part 4.
    (h) If a cave is determined to be significant, its entire extent, 
including passages not mapped or discovered at the time of the 
determination, is deemed significant. This includes caves that extend 
from lands managed by any Federal agency into lands managed by one or 
more other bureaus or agencies of the Department of the Interior, as 
well as caves initially believed to be separate for which 
interconnecting passages are discovered after significance is 
determined.

Sec. 37.12  Confidentiality of cave location information.

    (a) Information disclosure. No Department of the Interior employee 
shall disclose information that could be used to determine the location 
of any significant cave or cave under consideration for determination, 
unless the authorized officer determines that disclosure will further 
the purposes of the Act and will not create a substantial risk to cave 
resources of harm, theft, or destruction.
    (b) Requesting confidential information. Notwithstanding paragraph 
(a) of this section, the authorized officer may make confidential cave 
information available to a Federal or State governmental agency, bona 
fide educational or research institute, or individual or organization 
assisting the land managing agency with cave management activities. To 
request confidential cave information, such entities shall make a 
written request to the authorized officer that includes the following:
    (1) Name, address, and telephone number of the individual 
responsible for the security of the information received.
    (2) A legal description of the area for which the information is 
sought.
    (3) A statement of the purpose for which the information is sought, 
and
    (4) Written assurances that the requesting party will maintain the 
confidentiality of the information and protect the cave and its 
resources.
    (c) Decision final. Decisions to permit or deny access to 
confidential cave information are made at the sole discretion of the 
authorized officer and are not subject to further administrative review 
or appeal under 5 U.S.C. 552 or 43 CFR parts 2 or 4.