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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.
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.