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Indiana Natural Resources Commission

NRC > Department of Natural Resources > Caves & Karst Topography Caves & Karst Topography


Caves and cave-dwelling animals are protected from damage and injury by an Indiana criminal statute, IC 35-43-1-3, enacted in 1983 (sometimes called the "Indiana State Cave Law.") The Department of Natural Resources and the Natural Resources Commission have provided additional protection for caves on DNR properties, as well as for caves that might be harmed by oil and gas drilling.

Information Bulletin #25 (Second Amendment)

Caves and karst topography are addressed through state statutes governing DNR properties and petroleum production activities. The Natural Resources Commission adopts permanent rules and nonrule policy documents to assist in the protection of these resources.

Permanent Rules

  • 312 IAC 8-2-10
    The destruction, removal of material, mutilation, or defacing of any cave resource on a DNR property is a violation of 312 IAC 8-2-10. Other standards within 312 IAC 8, which protects state parks, forests, nature preserves and similar properties from harmful activities, also apply to caves.