Code of Virginia

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Code of Virginia
Title 10.1. Conservation
Chapter 10. Cave Protection Act
2/29/2024

§ 10.1-1003. Permits for excavation and scientific investigation; how obtained; penalties.

A. In addition to the written permission of the owner required by § 10.1-1004 a permit shall be obtained from the Department of Conservation and Recreation prior to excavating or removing any archaeological, paleontological, prehistoric, or historic feature of any cave. The Department shall issue a permit to excavate or remove such a feature if it finds with the concurrence of the Director of the Department of Historic Resources that it is in the best interest of the Commonwealth and that the applicant meets the criteria of this section. The permit shall be issued for a period of two years and may be renewed upon expiration. Such permit shall not be transferable; however, the provisions of this section shall not preclude any person from working under the direct supervision of the permittee.

B. All field investigations, explorations, or recovery operations undertaken under this section shall be carried out under the general supervision of the Department and in a manner to ensure that the maximum amount of historic, scientific, archaeologic, and educational information may be recovered and preserved in addition to the physical recovery of objects.

C. A person applying for a permit pursuant to this section shall:

1. Be a historic, scientific, or educational institution, or a professional or amateur historian, biologist, archaeologist or paleontologist, who is qualified and recognized in these areas of field investigations.

2. Provide a detailed statement to the Department giving the reasons and objectives for excavation or removal and the benefits expected to be obtained from the contemplated work.

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

4. Obtain the prior written permission of the owner if the site of the proposed excavation is on privately owned land.

5. Carry the permit while exercising the privileges granted.

D. Any person who fails to obtain a permit required by subsection A hereof shall be guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor. Any violation of subsection C hereof shall be punished as a Class 3 misdemeanor, and the permit shall be revoked.

E. The provisions of this section shall not apply to any person in any cave located on his own property.

1979, c. 252, § 10-150.16; 1982, c. 81; 1984, c. 750; 1988, c. 891; 1989, c. 656.

The chapters of the acts of assembly referenced in the historical citation at the end of this section may not constitute a comprehensive list of such chapters and may exclude chapters whose provisions have expired.