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Chapter 20     Entire Code
‹ Chapter 19  |  Chapter 20A › Printer Friendly Versions
Chapter 20  |  Article 20 - 7A  |  Section 1

1 - ORGANIZATION AND ADMINISTRATION

1A - REAL ESTATE MANAGEMENT AND PRO

2 - WILDLIFE RESOURCES

2A - VOLUNTARY WILDLIFE CHECK-OFF P

2B - WILDLIFE ENDOWMENT FUND

2C - INTERSTATE WILDLIFE VIOLATOR C

3 - FORESTS AND WILDLIFE AREAS

3A - SKIING RESPONSIBILITY ACT

3B - WHITEWATER RESPONSIBILITY ACT

4 - EQUESTRIAN ACTIVITIES RESPONSIB

4A - SKIN AND SCUBA DIVING

5 - PARKS AND RECREATION

5A - WATER POLLUTION CONTROL ACT

5B - NATURAL STREAMS PRESERVATION A

5C - WEST VIRGINIA WATER DEVELOPMEN

5D - DAM CONTROL ACT

5E - HAZARDOUS WASTE MANAGEMENT ACT

5F - SOLID WASTE MANAGEMENT ACT

5G - HAZARDOUS WASTE EMERGENCY RESP

5H - WEST VIRGINIA UNDERGROUND STOR

5I - WATER POLLUTION CONTROL REVOLV

5J - MEDICAL WASTE ACT

5K - COMMERCIAL INFECTIOUS MEDICAL

5L - RESERVED FOR FUTURE USE

5M - WEST VIRGINIA GROUNDWATER PROT

5N - SOLID WASTE LANDFILL CLOSURE A

6 - WEST VIRGINIA SURFACE COAL MINI

6A - LIMITATIONS ON SURFACE MINING

6B - INTERSTATE MINING COMPACT

6C - ABANDONED MINE RECLAMATION ACT

6D - SURFACE MINING AND RECLAMATION

7 - LAW ENFORCEMENT, MOTORBOATING,

7A - CAVE PROTECTION
    20 - 7 A- 1
    20 - 7 A- 2
    20 - 7 A- 3
    20 - 7 A- 4
    20 - 7 A- 5
    20 - 7 A- 6

8 - GENERAL AND MISCELLANEOUS PROVI

9 - BOAT DOCK AND MARINA SAFETY REQ

10 - COMMERCIAL HAZARDOUS WASTE MA

10A - HAZARDOUS WASTE FACILITY SIT

11 - WEST VIRGINIA RECYCLING PROGR

12 - CONSERVATION AND PRESERVATION

13 - WEST VIRGINIA STREAM PARTNERS

14 - HATFIELD-MCCOY REGIONAL RECRE

15 - ATV RESPONSIBILITY ACT

16 - NONPROFIT ADVENTURE AND RECRE

WVC 20- CHAPTER 20. NATURAL RESOURCES.
WVC 20 - 7 A- ARTICLE 7A. CAVE PROTECTION.

WVC 20 - 7 A- 1 §20-7A-1. Definitions.
Unless the context in which used clearly requires a different meaning, as used in this article:

(a) "Cave" means any naturally occurring subterranean cavity. The word "cave" includes or is synonymous with cavern, pit, pothole, well, sinkhole and grotto.

(b) "Commercial cave" means any cave with improved trails and lighting 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.

(c) "Gate" means any structure or device located to limit or prohibit access or entry to any cave.

(d) "Person or persons" means any individual, partnership, firm, association, trust or corporation.

(e) "Speleothem" means a natural mineral formation or deposit occurring in a cave. This includes or is synonymous with stalagmites, stalactites, helictites, anthodites, gypsum flowers, needles, angel's hair, soda straws, draperies, bacon, cave pearls, popcorn (coral), rimstone dams, columns, palettes, flowstone, et cetera. Speleothems are commonly composed of calcite, epsomite, gypsum, aragonite, celestite and other similar minerals.

(f) "Owner" means a person who owns title to land where a cave is located, including a person who owns title to a leasehold estate in such land.

WVC 20 - 7 A- 2 §20-7A-2. Vandalism; penalties.
It is unlawful for any person, without express, prior, written permission of the owner, to willfully or knowingly:

(a) Break, break off, crack, carve upon, write, burn or otherwise mark upon, remove, or in any manner destroy, disturb, deface, mar or harm the surfaces of any cave or any natural material therein, including speleothems;

(b) Disturb or alter in any manner the natural condition of any cave;

(c) 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.

Any person violating a provision of this section shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, and, upon conviction thereof, shall be fined not less than one hundred fifty dollars nor more than five hundred dollars, and in addition thereto, may be imprisoned in the county jail for not less than ten days nor more than six months.

WVC 20 - 7 A- 3 §20-7A-3. Sale of speleothems unlawful; penalties.
It is unlawful to sell or offer for sale any speleothems in this state, or to export them for sale outside the state. A person who violates any of the provisions of this section shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, and, upon conviction thereof, shall be fined not less than one hundred fifty dollars nor more than five hundred dollars and in addition thereto, may be imprisoned in the county jail for not less than ten days nor more than six months.

WVC 20 - 7 A- 4 §20-7A-4. Biological policy; penalties for violation.
It is unlawful to remove, kill, harm or disturb any plant or animal life found within any cave: Provided, That scientific collecting permits may be obtained from the director as provided in section fifty, article two of this chapter. Gates employed at the entrance or at any point within any cave shall be of open construction to allow free and unimpeded passage of air, insects, bats and aquatic fauna. A person who violates any provision of this section shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, and, upon conviction thereof, shall be fined not less than two hundred dollars nor more than five hundred dollars and in addition thereto, may be imprisoned in the county jail for not less than fifteen days nor more than six months.

WVC 20 - 7 A- 5 §20-7A-5. Archaeology; permits for excavation; how obtained; prohibitions; penalties.
(a) No person may excavate, remove, destroy, injure or deface any historic or prehistoric ruins, burial grounds, archaeological or paleontological site including saltpeter workings, relics or inscriptions, fossilized footprints, bones or any other such features which may be found in any cave.

(b) Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (a) of this section, a permit to excavate or remove archaeological, paleontological, prehistoric and historic features may be obtained from the director of natural resources. Such permit shall be issued for a period of two years and may be renewed at expiration. It is not transferable but this does not preclude persons from working under the direct supervision of the person holding the permit.

A person applying for such a permit must:

(1) Provide a detailed statement to the director of natural resources giving the reasons and objectives for excavation or removal and the benefits expected to be obtained from the contemplated work.

(2) Provide data and results of any completed excavation, study or collection at the first of each calendar year.

(3) Obtain the prior written permission of the director of natural resources if the site of the proposed excavation is on state-owned lands and prior written permission of the owner if the site of such proposed excavation is on privately owned land.

(4) Carry the permit while exercising the privileges granted.

A person who violates any provision of subsection (a) of this section shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, and, upon conviction thereof, shall be fined not less than one hundred dollars nor more than five hundred dollars, and may be imprisoned in the county jail for not less than ten days nor more than six months. A person who violates any of the provisions of subsection (b) of this section shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, and, upon conviction thereof, shall be fined not less than one hundred dollars nor more than five hundred dollars, and the permit herein authorized shall be revoked.

WVC 20 - 7 A- 6 §20-7A-6. Liability of owners and agents.
(a) Neither the owner of a cave nor his authorized agents acting within the scope of their authority are liable for injuries sustained by any person using such features for recreational or scientific purpose if the prior consent of the owner has been obtained and if no charge has been made for the use of such features.

(b) An owner of a commercial cave is not liable for an injury sustained by a spectator who has paid to view the cave, unless such injury is sustained as a result of such owner's negligence in connection with the providing and maintaining of trails, stairs, electrical wires or other modifications, and such negligence is the proximate cause of the injury.

Note: WV Code updated with legislation passed through the 2013 1st Special Session
The WV Code Online is an unofficial copy of the annotated WV Code, provided as a convenience. It has NOT been edited for publication, and is not in any way official or authoritative.


Recent legislation affecting the Code

Citation Year/Session Short Title
§20 - 2 - 64 - (Amended Code)
SENATE BILL - 403
PASSED - Regular Session

SB403 ENR  (Uploaded - 03/25/2014)
Regulating importation and possession of certain injurious aquatic species
§20 - 2 - 28 - (Amended Code)
HOUSE BILL - 4301
PASSED - Regular Session

hb4301 ENR  (Uploaded - 03/25/2014)
Allowing limited reciprocal use of hunting and fishing licenses with the Commonwealth of Kentucky
§20 - 2 - 37 - (Amended Code)
HOUSE BILL - 4431
PASSED - Regular Session

hb4431 ENR  (Uploaded - 03/25/2014)
Clarifying that persons who possess firearms, hunting dogs or other indicia of hunting do not necessarily need to have a hunting license
§20 - 9 - 3 - (Amended Code)
§20 - 9 - 4 - (Amended Code)
HOUSE BILL - 203
PASSED - 2nd Special Session

hb203 ENR  (Uploaded - 05/28/2014)
Relating to boat dock and marina safety
Note: WV Code updated with legislation passed through the 2013 1st Special Session
The WV Code Online is an unofficial copy of the annotated WV Code, provided as a convenience. It has NOT been edited for publication, and is not in any way official or authoritative.
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