Page 2 of 3 FirstFirst 123 LastLast
Results 21 to 40 of 42

Thread: Using Caves as shelter

  1. #21
    Senior Member kyratshooter's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    KY bluegrass region-the center of the universe
    Posts
    9,869

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by hikermor View Post
    I googled again with the same results, but I did run across this interesting piece which details NPS policy on caves. There is not a mumbling word concerning camping in caves or rock shelters. https://pubs.usgs.gov/sir/2008/5023/pdf/01pate.pdf

    There is a significant point here. Regulations governing conduct on federal lands depend upon democratically processed laws which in due course lead to explicit regulations. There regs are what the smiling, friendly rangers enforce and not just something they think is a good idea (even if it is a good idea). Been there, done that. As an NPS archaeologist, at one time i held a federal law enforcement commission. A high point in my career ws giving extended testimony is an antiquities case which resulted in what for a very long time was the largest ever fine levied against a perpetrator. So I am glad to see those who plunder sites and otherwise violate valid regs get their just desserts.

    But you can't just make assertions about "rules.' They must be grounded in legislation passed by Congress and signed into law. There are limits on the Feds, as there should be. Ungrounded assertions about what is or is not forbidden don't help matters. I suspect that this is where a lot of discussion about law enforcement overreach stems from.

    Show me the legislation (actually, don't bother - I am now retired) or show it to any current federal officer and they will perform. Barring that,no deal
    For a guy that does not care you sure are insistent!

    I am sure that the rules for recreational cave parks like Carlsbad and Mammoth and other financial tourist resources are cave specific and allow all kinds of programs. I also read the caves and karst protection acts.

    I love the part of that Act that makes it illegal to tell someone where a newly discovered cave is located. That is a pretty far reaching control.

    But as well as the geology laws there are also the ARPA laws and the other antiquities acts and the endangered species acts and taken together they managed to close all the caves on State and Federal land other than the big tourist traps you have referenced for the years 2009-2010 and for all I know they may still be closed.

    ARPA also makes it illegal to disturb any archaeological resources on Federal land so even scuffing your shoes on the floor of a cave not open to public tours can have consequences and ARPA authority also covers private land except for surface finds and is inclusive of the US and territories.

    And there are specific regulations covering the wilderness and recreational areas from nearly the Alabama border in the south to Lake Erie in the north, so my mistake if I missed and exemption for other areas which I do not normally frequent.

    Sorry about that.
    If you didn't bring jerky what did I just eat?


  2. #22

    Default

    I regret to say that you are misinformed. ARPA applies only to federal and Indian reservation lands - I just checked to be sure. Again, it says nothing against camping in a rock shelter or within a cave, which is what we are discussing in this thread. Caves are very sensitive environments, and I agree with you that they should be handled with care and respect - alert to their potential for both natural and cultural values.

    Some caves are loaded with sensitive material and should be approached with utmost care. Others are bare and perfect for camping. Some present hazards, like loose rocks in the ceiling. Like any potential campsite, the prudent camper will check for hazards (widowmakers, for instance). The very best campsites are the high, open, airy rock shelters that are very common in the Four Corners region. Many do contain very significant arch sites, but not all. They do make very fine camps = good protection from weather, well ventilated, and with a nice view. Throw down yoiu bag on the soft sandy floor and camp is made. Not all caves will necessarily be that nice so YMMV.

    BTW, there is one piece of Federal legislation that does have broad application to lands beyond Federal ownership -Native Merican Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA). Under NAGPRA, anyone finding human remains, irrespective of the land ownership, first informs the county coroner, who determines if it is a crime scene or prehistoric material. If prehistoric, the nearest likely descendants are contacted and a course of action id developed - it may or may not involve scientific study.

    You mentioned that merely scuffing your feet while on a site might get you in trouble. Not necessarily. Your intent is the issue here. no one gets charged for just walking across an archaeological site. If you are grinding your heels in, attempting to dig up stuff, that's another matter.

    This is of concern to me because you seem to have a fairly vague understanding of regulations that govern conduct on public lands. While endangered species and arch sites, etc. are protected, and some activities are prohibited, we all do have the freedom to enjoy and use these lands. Informed users treat these lands with respect and care.

  3. #23
    Administrator Rick's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Central Indiana
    Posts
    56,821

    Default

    I think you are being a bit too literal. As for ARPA:

    "ARPA provides a very strong basis for archeological protection on public and Indian lands. Its anti-trafficking provision also make it an effective tool for discouraging illegal excavation or removal of archeological resources from State, local, or private lands throughout the United States." My highlighting.

    https://www.nps.gov/archeology/tools/laws/arpa.htm

    So you are both correct.

  4. #24

    Default

    The statement you quote is correct in that "Section 6(c) prohibits interstate or international sale, purchase, or transport of any archeological resource excavated or removed in violation of a State or local law, ordinance, or regulation." If it is a local offense, it is therefore a federal offense and that does discourage illegal excavation.

    But this is getting way off topic- the assertion was made, way back - that camping in any cave or rock shelter was illegal because they were archaeological sites. this is certainly news to me. This was not the situation during my career and I haven't heard of any such legislation since I retired, and I remain involved in my profession. i have searched for such legislation, and haven't found any, and I have asked others on this forum to cite such. No one has. Your quote is the only response to this request, for which I thank you heartily, but it doesn't address the main point - camping in caves and the alleged blanket prohibition of this activity.

    I don't believe there is any such prohibition - camping in caves or rock shelters is just fine, provided you don't mess with any archaeology or other protected resources that might be present. Now if I am mistaken or misinformed, please cite the appropriate legislation and I will be happy to stand corrected. I am being pretty literal here, which is not my usual mode, but when you get to court, you get excruciatingly literal, and that is basically good for those who are charged and for justice in general.

    I would hope we would all try to provide good info on these forums and not post about nebulous, unnamed Federal rules that won't let you walk over or choose a good camp site because it is a cave.

  5. #25
    Senior Member kyratshooter's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    KY bluegrass region-the center of the universe
    Posts
    9,869

    Default

    Truly amazing!
    If you didn't bring jerky what did I just eat?

  6. #26
    Senior Member hunter63's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    SE/SW Wisconsin
    Posts
    26,866

    Default

    All caves around here are...

    Tourist attractions
    Private land, (many with picture graphs) and are no trespassing...and kept secret.
    Parks and wildlife preserves....camping allowed in approved camp sites....
    As far as any other rules...really a mute point as you can not get to them, anyway.

    I don't like caves.

    Carry on....
    Geezer Squad....Charter Member #1
    Evoking the 50 year old rule...
    First 50 years...worried about the small stuff...second 50 years....Not so much
    Member Wahoo Killer knives club....#27

  7. #27
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Posts
    601
    Blog Entries
    1

    Default

    While I have explored a few small caves, I do not want to try living in one. I remember reading the novel Tom Sawyer and about Injun Joe - he was sealed up in a cave and died of hunger and thirst.

  8. #28
    Administrator Rick's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Central Indiana
    Posts
    56,821

    Default

    Now see that right there would put me off camping in caves. Dying is not on my bucket list. Dying of hunger and thirst in a cave is waaaaaaaay down my list of things to do. Legal or not.

  9. #29

    Default

    We have caves down here also. Lots of limestone caves. We have the southernmost cave in the continental US. Palma Vista Cave in Everglades National Park.

    You can see a picture of the main room of the cave at this link.

    http://www.discoverlife.org/mp/20p?see=I_AMC2300

  10. #30
    Resident Wildman Wildthang's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Ohio
    Posts
    3,787

    Default

    I’d rather camp in a room full of yellow jackets than in a cave
    Sir Knife Collectin, Rocket Ridin, Girl Crazy Post
    Hoe of WSF

  11. #31

    Default

    I dig caves! But I don't suppose I'd chose to live in one if I had another option.

  12. #32
    Administrator Rick's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Central Indiana
    Posts
    56,821

    Default

    I see what you did there.

  13. #33
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    The Keweenaw Peninsula of upper Michigan, about the middle of the south shore of Lake Superior
    Posts
    468

    Default

    Where I grew up in western PA, there were lots of caves and sink holes and every few years, some not to bright kids would go 'exploring" with a flashlight (no extra batteries or lights) and a ball of string (usually no longer than 100 yds) Many of the local fire departments had very experienced " cave recovery teams". Where I live now, we have abandoned mine shafts, both verticle and horizontal. Some of the verticle shafts have drops measured in hundreds of feet. The year I moved up here, a young girl (about nine yrs as I recall) along with some young boys of the same age, were fooling around the edge of the concrete cap. The cap was too small for the opening and there were gaps around the edge. The Boys were dangling their feet out over the shaft while hanging on to the cap. For some reason the girl stuck her head and shoulders through the opening, She lost her grip and fell down the shaft. Several days of recovery operations failed to find her body. A friend of mine was the first person lowered down looking for her. He made it down about 300 ft.!! He told me the shaft was crisscrossed with fallen timbers and speculated the she would have bounced off the timbers all the way down (until she might have gotten hung up. The "organized" recovery effort never got deeper than 100 ft. It is now desiginated as an official Grave site. Every time I think about going into a cave or mine, I think about that little girl and turn around and get out of places like that.
    Geezer Squad #2

  14. #34

    Default

    There are fines mentioned in Federal Cave Resources Management laws for those who willfully destroy, remove or sell any items, geological or anthropological, found within a cave on Federally controlled land. Camping in caves does not appear to be mentioned and it does not seem to cover caves on private property.

    Here’s a Cornell Law link on the Federal Cave management laws:
    https://www.law.cornell.edu/cfr/text/36/part-290
    This section deals specifically with Federal Law regarding prohibited acts in caves on Federal property:
    https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/16/4306

    There are multitudes of state and local level laws protecting caves as well. You would be more better served to search local area laws pertaining to any local caves than relying on Federal resources.
    Remember too that abandoned mines may, or may not qualify as caves under any of the laws covering caves.

    Here’s a brief summary of State laws regarding cave usage (I don’t know how old this is, best to follow up with a review of your own current state laws on whatever state website hosts the current updates:
    https://caves.org/conservation/pdf/S...ectionLaws.pdf

    The other thing about caves is the whole trespassing thing. If a cave is posted no trespassing, or if it's gated, it’s off limits. If you don’t have the landowner’s permission to be on their property at all, you are most probably trespassing. Most state laws indemnify the landowner for your decision to enter any cave on their property. Even if you have the owner's permission, you do so at your own risk.

    As for the Antiquities act, from the Dept. of the Interior's own website (bold mine):
    The Antiquities Act was the first U.S. law to provide general legal protection of cultural and natural resources of historic or scientific interest on Federal lands. After a generation-long effort, President Theodore Roosevelt signed the Antiquities Act on June 8, 1906. The Antiquities Act set an important precedent by asserting a broad public interest in the preservation of these resources on Federal lands. Designations under the Act apply only to Federal lands; they place no restrictions on private property and have not affected valid existing rights.
    There does not appear to be a subsection regarding "all caves" but I didn't search the entire Title 54 of federal law.
    Last edited by LowKey; 02-03-2018 at 04:52 PM.
    If we are to have another contest in…our national existence I predict that the dividing line will not be Mason and Dixon's, but between patriotism & intelligence on the one side, and superstition, ambition & ignorance on the other…
    ~ President Ulysses S. Grant

  15. #35

    Default

    As to actually going into a cave, did it once with a college class (Ecology.) Not only did the professor do some rather unecological stuff, starting with choosing a time when bats had started hibernating, it taught me never to go into an underground space without my own personal flashlight in hand... There is nothing more downright suffocatingly dark as a hole in the earth when the light goes out.

    Based on that one trip, depending on the locale (and this was New England in late October,) staying still or sleeping in a cave is a good way to die of hypothermia. As mentioned in an earlier post, preserve body heat, avoid direct contact with floors and walls (a sleeping bag may not even be enough insulation) and stay dry.
    Last edited by LowKey; 02-03-2018 at 05:46 PM.
    If we are to have another contest in…our national existence I predict that the dividing line will not be Mason and Dixon's, but between patriotism & intelligence on the one side, and superstition, ambition & ignorance on the other…
    ~ President Ulysses S. Grant

  16. #36

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by LowKey View Post
    Based on that one trip, depending on the locale (and this was New England in late October,) staying still or sleeping in a cave is a good way to die of hypothermia. As mentioned in an earlier post, preserve body heat, avoid direct contact with floors and walls (a sleeping bag may not even be enough insulation) and stay dry.
    I'll bet you are correct in chilly New England; caves of any significant length or depth acquire the mean annual temperature of their locality. Thus a cave in southern Arizona will be fairly comfortable compared to northern climes. And not all caves or rock shelters make good camping places, same with any other potential camp sites (river banks, open meadows,thicket, forests) - circumstances vary. An ideal rock shelter will have a stable roof (no rockfall hazard), will keep the weather off of you (great in rainy, stormy weather), will typically have a dry floor and will be open and well ventilated. With luck, it will face east, so that you catch early morning light and warmth. such caves are truly delightful and have provided shelter for people all over the world for untold centuries. Hence you should be careful that you are not disturbing any archaeology; that is a definite no-no. The most comfortable camps I have ever experienced have been in open rock shelters in the Four Corners area (AZ,CO,NM,UT), a region that is full of rock shelters that were occupied for long periods of time.

    The hazards presented by caves and mines are distinctly different. In general, mines are more unstable and more dangerous than caves. In either environment, once you are out of sight of daylight, the caver's rule of thumb is for each individual to carry three independent sources of light. Nowadays, with modern lights, it is easy to carry more than that.

    Sorry to hear about your professor. Caves, especially karst limestone caverns, are very fragile environments and should be treated with great care and understanding.

  17. #37

    Default

    We were actually in a mine. Mean average cave temp here is usually about 54°, and they are usually wet, or at least damp. Because it was a rainy, foggy day, this one had condensation dripping.

    This was several decades ago, before white nose had become a scourge. When I saw the bats that day, I was concerned. When I later read that any disturbance of their hibernation might mean death to the animals, I was more than a little lit up about the experience (I have a soft spot in my heart for bats.) From that point on, I had very little respect for that guy, and, unfortunately, it showed.
    Last edited by LowKey; 02-03-2018 at 10:53 PM.
    If we are to have another contest in…our national existence I predict that the dividing line will not be Mason and Dixon's, but between patriotism & intelligence on the one side, and superstition, ambition & ignorance on the other…
    ~ President Ulysses S. Grant

  18. #38
    Member Mannlicher's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    Location
    Florida, Gainesville and Miami
    Posts
    67

    Default

    don't ya just love it when .gov takes over everything, prohibits the common Citizen from enjoying nature, and proscribes severe punishment for those that knowingly, or unknowingly violate .gov mandates?

  19. #39
    Super Moderator crashdive123's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    North Florida
    Posts
    43,498
    Blog Entries
    1

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Mannlicher View Post
    don't ya just love it when .gov takes over everything, prohibits the common Citizen from enjoying nature, and proscribes severe punishment for those that knowingly, or unknowingly violate .gov mandates?
    Next you'll be saying that campground hosts are on power trips.
    Can't Means Won't

    My Youtube Channel

  20. #40

    Default

    deleted....................
    Last edited by sjj; 03-05-2018 at 11:07 AM.

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •