578.200. Citation of law.
Sections 578.-200 to 578. 225 shall be known and may be
cited as the "Cave Resources Act".
(L. 1980 H. B. 1192 ' 1)
When used in sections 578.200 to 578.225, the following words and phrases shall have the meanings ascribed to them in this section unless
the context clearly requires otherwise:
(1) "Cave or cavern", any naturally occurring subterranean cavity
enterable by man, including, without limitation, a pit, pothole, natural well, grotto and
tunnel, whether or not the opening has a natural entrance;
(2) "Cave system", the caves in a given area related to each other
hydrologically, whether continuous or discontinuous from a single opening;
(3) "Show cave", any cave or cavern wherein trails have been created and some type of
lighting provided by the owner or operator for purpose of exhibition to the
general public as a profit or nonprofit enterprise, wherein a fee is generally collected for
(4) Sinkhole", a hollow place or depression in the ground in which
drainage may collect with an opening there from into an underground channel or cave including any
subsurface opening that might be bridged by a formation of silt, gravel, humus or any other
material through which percolation into the channel or cave may occur.
(L. 1980 H. B. 1192 ' 2)
578.210. Entering, attempt to enter, defacing without permission,
1. A person, without the prior written permission of the owner or if a
corporation is the owner, of an officer of the corporation, lessee, or if the
cavern is located on public land, the superintendent thereof, shall not
willfully or knowingly break, break off, crack, carve upon, write or
otherwise mark upon, or in any manner destroy, mutilate, injure, deface,
remove, displace, mar or harm the surfaces of any cave or any natural
material therein including, without limitation, stalactites, stalagmites,
helictites, anthodites, gypsum flowers, or needles, cave pearls, flowstone, draperies, rimstone, spathites, columns or similar crystalline mineral
formation, including the host rock thereof;
2. A person shall not, without the permission required in subsection 1 of
this section, break, force, tamper with, remove or otherwise disturb a lock, gate, door or
other structure designed to prevent entrance to a cave or cavern. A person violates this
subsection whether or not entrance to the cave or cavern is achieved.
(L. 1980 H. B. 1192 ' 3)
Caves open to public, requirements, RSMo 293.620
578.215. Cave or subsurface waters, placing structures or substances in
violation of clean water law, prohibited, exceptions.
1. A person shall not purposely introduce into any cave, cave system,
sinkhole or subsurface waters of the state any substance or structure that will or could violate any
provision of the Missouri clean water law as set forth in chapter 204, RSMo, or any water
quality standard or effluent limitation promulgated pursuant thereto.
2. The provisions of subsection I of this section do not apply where natural subsurface
drainage systems including, without limitation, caves, cave systems,
sinkholes, fissures and related openings are used for purposes of
storm water drainage, artificial recharge of aquifers, and irrigation return flow, and where modifications of natural drainage systems
are made for purposes of improving natural drainage relationships.
3. No additional appropriations may be made for the enforcement of sections
(L. 1980 H. B. 1192 ' 4)
578.220. Exceptions, certain mining operations.
Sections 578.200 to 578.225 shall not apply to vertical or horizontal
(L. 1980 H. B. 1192 ' 5)
578.225. Violations, penalty.
Any person who violates any provision of sections 578.200
to 578 225 is guilty of a class A misdemeanor.
(L. 1980 H. B. 1192 ' 6)