Cave Vandalism Deterence Reward

The National Speleological Society (NSS) offers a reward to anyone providing information leading to the legal conviction of vandalism directly related to caves anywhere in the United States.

Settlements due to convictions under cave laws justify rewards to persons who supplied information leading to the conviction. Convictions under other laws, such as property, may also justify a reward, provided the conviction was for activities described below. Out of court settlements may also justify a reward, provided the offenders were formally charged and the settlement promotes cave conservation.

What You Can Do

Anyone who visits a cave assumes responsibility for its protection and preservation. Reward potential or not, the NSS strongly encourages everyone to report any suspected act of vandalism immediately, with as much detail as possible (date, description of offense, offending person, etc.).

The NSS pays a reward of $250 to $1,000 for information leading to the conviction of any person (or persons) who:

  • Is convicted of breaking, breaking off, cracking, carving upon, writing on, burning, or otherwise marking upon, removing or in any manner destroying, disturbing, defacing, marring, or harming the surfaces of any cave or any natural material which may be found therein, whether attached or broken, including speleothems, speleogens, and sedimentary deposits.
  • Is convicted of breaking, forcing, tampering with, or otherwise disturbing a lock, gate, door, or other obstruction designed to control or prevent access to any cave.
  • Is convicted of dumping, littering, disposing of, or otherwise placing any refuse, garbage, dead animals, sewage, toxic substances harmful to cave life or humans in any cave or sinkhole.
  • Is convicted of removing, killing, harming or otherwise disturbing any naturally occurring organisms within any cave.
  • Is convicted of excavating, removing, destroying, injuring, defacing, or in any manner disturbing any burial grounds, historic or prehistoric resources, archaeological or paleontological site or any part thereof, including relics, inscriptions, saltpeter workings, fossils, bones, remains of historical human activity, or any other such features which may be found in any cave.

How to Apply

Application for this reward must be made within three months of such conviction to the National Speleological Society, Cave Vandalism Deterrence Reward Commission, Attn: Sarah Richards, 6001 Pulaski Pike, Huntsville, Alabama 35810.

The NSS Cave Vandalism Deterrence Reward Commission will make final determination as to whether a particular set of information qualifies for the reward and the size of said reward based upon the seriousness of the offense and the success of the prosecution. If several people supply information leading to a conviction of a person (or persons) for the same act of vandalism, the reward will be split equally among them.



The NSS Cave Vandalism Deterrence Commission can help guide you in addressing cave vandalism situations:

Sarah Richards, Chairman
NSS Cave Vandalism Deterrence Reward Commission

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