Spelunkers are people who love to explore caves. They used to fear that newly discovered caves with significant resources could be looted or vandalized with no one the wiser. So they pushed for a law that would regulate whether or not a cave location could be publicly disclosed, and what resources could be legally removed from caves.
Congress agreed that a law was needed, and in 1988 passed the Federal Cave Resources Protection Act (FCRPA). The goal of FCRPA was to secure, protect, and preserve “significant” caves on federal lands for the use and enjoyment of the public. To be designated as significant, a cave must be nominated and approved for protection.
FCRPA directed that government authorities must cooperate with those individuals who use caves on federal lands for scientific, educational or recreational purposes. The law specifically prohibits disclosing the locations of significant caves and the removal of cave resources without a permit. Vandalizing or disturbing these special caves is also prohibited, and criminal penalties are included for breaking the law.
The FCRPA is one of the 48 federal laws waived to expedite the construction of an impenetrable wall on our border with Mexico (click here for a list of all 48 laws that have been waived). This means that any cave in the vicinity of proposed wall construction is no longer protected by FCRPA—the locations of significant caves can now be publicly disclosed, and the cave’s resources can be taken or destroyed without penalty.
Please contact your U.S. Senators and Representatives (https://www.govtrack.us/congress/members) and let them know that you oppose waiving The Federal Cave Protection Act to expedite construction of a border wall. Click here if you would like to make a donation to help us fight the border wall.