[§6D-1] Definitions. As used in this chapter:
"Board" means the board of land and natural resources.
"Cave" means any naturally occurring void, cavity, recess, or system of interconnected passages large enough for human entry, occurring beneath the surface of the earth or within a cliff or ledge, including the cave resources therein, whether or not an entrance exists or is natural or artificial, and that is of archaeological, geological, biological, or cultural significance. The term includes such forms as a lava tube, natural pit, sinkhole, underwater cave, or other feature that is an extension of the entrance.
"Cave life" means any living native plant, animal, fungus, or microorganism occurring naturally in caves or in cave entrances or entrance pits.
"Cave resource" means any material or substance occurring in caves, such as native animal life, native plant life, evidence of past human use over fifty years old, and tangible and intangible attributes associated with cultural traditions over fifty years old, paleontological deposits, sediments, minerals, speleogens, and speleothems. This includes historic properties as defined in chapter 6E.
"Commercial entry" means an activity undertaken to exhibit a cave for which compensation is received by any person for goods, services, or both, rendered to customers or participants in that use or activity. Commercial entry includes activities whose base of operations are outside the boundaries of the premises, or provide transportation to or from the premises. Any person receiving compensation in conjunction with a use or activity who seeks to qualify as noncommercial shall have the burden of establishing to the satisfaction of the department that the fee or charge is strictly a sharing of actual expenses of the use or activity. A not-for-profit organization that charges only a nominal fee to cover administrative costs and conducts a use or activity at a frequency or magnitude that does not significantly contribute to the degradation of the cave and its resources is not conducting a commercial entry.
"Construction context" means all permitted land-altering activities necessary to construct any and all manner of improvements on the surface of a property including but not limited to foundations, basements, roads, and buildings. The term also means all permitted land-altering activities necessary to construct subsurface tunnels for highways and utilities.
"Department" means the department of land and natural resources.
"Educational purposes" means entrance into a cave by faculty or staff and students of recognized educational institutions for the purpose of education relating to some aspect of the cave, including but not restricted to cave geology, mineralogy, hydrology, biology, archaeology, paleontology, management, and hazards.
"Gate" means any structure or device located to limit, control, or prohibit access to, or entry to, any portion of a cave.
"Owner" means the persons who hold title to or are in possession of the land on or under which a cave is located, or the persons' lessee or agent. The term also includes an agency that holds title to, manages, or controls public land on or under which a cave is located.
"Paleontological deposit" means any remains or fossils of life forms or surface debris that are over fifty years of age and provide a record of past climates and biota.
"Person" shall be as defined in section 1-19.
"Scientific purposes" means research, or exploration, or both, conducted by persons affiliated with recognized scientific organizations with the intent to advance knowledge and to publish the results of exploration or research in an appropriate medium.
"Speleogen" means relief features on the walls, ceiling, or floor of any cave.
"Speleothem" means any secondary natural mineral formation or deposit occurring in a cave, including any stalactite, stalagmite, helictite, cave flower, flowstone, concretion, drapery, rimstone, or formation of clay or other sediment. [L 2002, c 241, pt of §2]