Texas Speleological Association - Home Page

Cave Vandalism Page

Below is the Law regarding Cave Vandalism in Texas

The original Statute can be found at
http://www.statutes.legis.state.tx.us/Docs/NR/pdf/NR.201.pdf

It has been further suggested that the laws in this block may be applied:

Texas Penal Code:

28.03 Criminal Mischief.

IF the damage is over $500 it is a class B misdemeanor ($2,000 fine and up to 180 days.)

Section 28.08, Graffiti

This includes spray painting and markers, and this law was specifically made for people who "tag" locations. It is automatically a class B for ANY amount of damage.  If the damage is over $500, then it is a class A (up to $4,000 fine and up to one year in jail).

Be aware that under subsection D of the graffiti statute, it can be a felony if it happened at a location when EDUCATIONAL PROGRAMS take place.

Also charge them with Criminal Trespass, another Class B misdemeanor.

Natural Resources Code

TITLE 10. CAVES
CHAPTER 201. CAVERN PROTECTION
SUBCHAPTER A. GENERAL PROVISIONS

Sec. 201.001. Policy.

It is declared to be the public policy and in the public interest of the State of Texas to protect and preserve all caves on or under any of the land in the State of Texas, including tidelands, submerged land, and the bed of the sea within the jurisdiction of the State of Texas.

Sec. 201.002. Definitions.

In this chapter:

(1) "Cave" means any naturally occurring subterranean cavity, and includes or is synonymous with cavern, pit, pothole, well, sinkhole, and grotto.
(2) "Gate" means any structure, lock, door, or device located to limit or prohibit access or entry to any cave.
(3) "Speleothem" means a natural mineral formation or deposit occurring in a cave, and 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, plettes, flowstone, or other similar crystalline mineral formations commonly composed of calcite, epsomite, gypsum, aragonite, celestite, and other similar minerals and formations.
(4) "Owner" means a person who owns title to land on which a cave is located, including a person who owns title to a leasehold estate in the land.

SUBCHAPTER B. PERMITS

Sec. 201.011. Permit Required.

No person may excavate, remove, destroy, injure, alter in any significant manner, or deface any part of a cave owned by the State of Texas, unless he first obtains a permit under Section 201.012 of this code.

Sec. 201.012. Issuance of Permit.

The General Land Office may issue a permit under this subsection if the person seeking the permit furnishes the following information:

(1) a detailed statement giving the reasons and objectives for the excavation, removal, or alteration and the benefits expected to be obtained from the contemplated work;
(2) data and results of any completed excavation;
(3) the prior written permission from the state agency which manages the site of the proposed excavation;
(4) a sworn statement that he will carry the permit while exercising the privileges granted; and
(5) any other reasonable information which the General Land Office may prescribe.

Sec. 201.013. Revocation.

The General Land Office may for good cause revoke any permit issued under Section 201.012 of this code.

Sec. 201.014. Penalties

(a) A person who violates Section 201.011 of this code is guilty of a Class B misdemeanor.
(b) A person who violates Section 201.012 of this code is guilty of a Class C misdemeanor and the permit shall be revoked.

SUBCHAPTER C. PROHIBITIONS

Sec. 201.041. Vandalism.

(a) A person may not, without express, prior, written permission of the owner, wilfully or knowingly:
(1) 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 in a cave, including speleothems;
(2) disturb or alter in any manner the natural condition of any cave; or
(3) 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 to the cave may not be gained.
(b) A person who violates a provision of this section is guilty of a Class A misdemeanor, unless he has previously been convicted of violating this section, in which case he is guilty of a felony of the third degree.

Sec. 201.042. Sale of Speleothems.

(a) A person may not sell or offer for sale any speleothems in this state, or export them for sale outside the state, without written permission from the owner of the cave from which the speleothems were removed.
(b) A person who violates this section is guilty of a Class B misdemeanor.