New WV Cave Owner Protection Bill passes NR Committee

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New WV Cave Owner Protection Bill passes NR Committee

Postby Cheryl Jones » Feb 10, 2012 11:20 pm

Caver's bill digs through House Natural Resources
February 9, 2012 · The House Finance Committee on Natural Resources unanimously passed a spelunking bill Wednesday that would reduce landowner liability for allowing cavers to explore caves on said landowner’s property. :clap:
Read on:
http://www.wvpubcast.org/newsarticle.aspx?id=23808
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Re: New WV Cave Owner Protection Bill passes NR Committee

Postby BrianC » Feb 11, 2012 2:01 pm

That is wonderful! Tennessee and many states have had a similar sportsman/land use bill for years. People must take responsibility for their own actions plain and simple.
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Re: New WV Cave Owner Protection Bill passes NR Committee

Postby Bob Thrun » Feb 16, 2012 4:08 pm

I thought there already was a West Virginia Cave Law and, yes, there is. The NSS has it posted under conservation with all the other cave laws. Here is what it says about liability:
(a) Neither the owner of a cave nor his authorized agents acting within the scope of their authority are liable for injuries sustained by any person using such features for recreational or scientific purpose if the prior consent of the owner has been obtained and if no charge has been made for the use of such features.

The question of liability seems to be open in cases where prior consent has not been obtained. The Virginia Cave Law has similar wording, but does not mention prior consent.
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Re: New WV Cave Owner Protection Bill passes NR Committee

Postby John Lovaas » Feb 16, 2012 4:26 pm

Here's a weblink to the wording of the new bill-

http://www.legis.state.wv.us/Bill_Statu ... =RS&i=2793

The pre-existing cave liability code (WV Code 20.7.A.6) has been on the WV legislative website since early 2008.

If I don't have prior consent to enter someone's property, I presume I am trespassing. Do WV trespassers get special consideration?
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Re: New WV Cave Owner Protection Bill passes NR Committee

Postby cavedad » Feb 17, 2012 12:56 pm

Other than this thread, I haven't been following this legislation. Our existing cave protection law is in Chapter 20 of the State Code (Natural Resources) and this proposed revision is to Chapter 19, which covers recreational activities. If someone actually was paying attention (long shot when politicians are involved) I guess they decided the landowner protections were better to locate under the Recreation section of the law rather than the Cave Protection statute. But, that's a SWAG at best.

And regarding trespassers, they definitely get special consideration here in WV. We drag their bodies inside the cabin before the sheriff arrives so that there is no doubt that it was self defense.
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Re: New WV Cave Owner Protection Bill passes NR Committee

Postby BrianC » Feb 17, 2012 1:13 pm

cavedad wrote:Other than this thread, I haven't been following this legislation. Our existing cave protection law is in Chapter 20 of the State Code (Natural Resources) and this proposed revision is to Chapter 19, which covers recreational activities. If someone actually was paying attention (long shot when politicians are involved) I guess they decided the landowner protections were better to locate under the Recreation section of the law rather than the Cave Protection statute. But, that's a SWAG at best.

And regarding trespassers, they definitely get special consideration here in WV. We drag their bodies inside the cabin before the sheriff arrives so that there is no doubt that it was self defense.

:kewl: :clap: :rofl:
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Re: New WV Cave Owner Protection Bill passes NR Committee

Postby cavemud2 » Feb 17, 2012 10:56 pm

cavedad wrote: And regarding trespassers, they definitely get special consideration here in WV. We drag their bodies inside the cabin before the sheriff arrives so that there is no doubt that it was self defense.
..........yeh what he said :wink:
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Re: New WV Cave Owner Protection Bill passes NR Committee

Postby George Dasher » Feb 28, 2012 1:53 pm

Yes, WV already had a cave law. In fact, it might even be the oldest in the country.

Yes, it protects landowners, and it has been tested in court.
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