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Everything posted by edexter

  1. The Fun Fact "there are 32 (caches) that have gone longer without being found than the cache which triggered this discussion" that Keystone noted sort of highlights the problem doesn't it? Some of us would prefer that "the rules" such as they are be applied more or less equally so that if a cache is apparently missing and a CO doesn't do anything to replace it, the listing be removed. That not only maintains an accurate listing but also allows anyone interested it placing a "non-ghost cache" at or near that location can do so. Here is another example of a cache that requires no maintenance: GC4D34G First NM log in August 2017 after repeated postings that log was soaked. No response from CO. Following this a sequence of 12 different cachers over a two year period reported the log was wet and finally this log recording a dnf and and NA "No luck today. From the picture the hiding place is empty. The tornado may have blown it away." Which resulted in: 09/26/2019 By Massquerade (Found=3 Hidden=0, as of 05/26/2021) It would be more appropriate to post a "Needs Maintenance" log here, rather than a "Needs Archive". The cache owner should still respond to the concern from the community. I've added this cache to my watchlist, and I will check back in four weeks to be sure that the owner has replied. The Reviewer did not follow through. Then three more DNFs before The Reviewer finally disabled the cache on 11/20/20 stating " I will check back in 30 days to verify a note has been left on this page by the owner Six months later, cache still listed. Cacher is currently active, sort of. No documented maintenance on any of their caches ever...This cache last found over two years ago. If The Reviewer isn't going to require maintenance for three and a half years then my suggestion for a No Maintenance Required category is starting to look a fait accompli, eh?
  2. I've had a couple of similar situations where renewal construction projects required disabling the cache until the work was completed. This is not at all the situation I was referring to and the solution is simple and obvious: 1, Disable the Cache explaining the reason in the log. 2, Periodically update the status. 3, Enable the cache once the construction has concluded and you have check on the cache. As regards the cache I was referring to, I have since contacted The Reviewer and once again basically been told to stop asking for the cache to be dealt with with the rational being impact of The Virus. In Massachusetts all Virus related restrictions on outdoor activities were lifted many months ago and currently not even masks are required. Just to recap, I am requesting that the cache be archived because it has no finds since 3/23/18, five consecutive dnfs (the last in June 2019), the cache was "temporarily disabled" in September 2019 (so 20 months ago), the CO acknowledged the container was gone and he promised a "new and improved one is on the way" on 8/8/20 and The Reviewer stated he was "watching" it a few weeks later. Both are pretending to follow the guidelines... I'm not complaining about this CO in particular as the CO is essentially doing nothing. I am raising the issue to address an obvious and growing issue in the game which is that as folks drop out of the game they do not "let go" of their caches (by archiving or having others adopt them) nor do they "hang on" to them by continuing to maintain them. This is an obvious and expectable problem which is The Reviewer's responsibility to deal with but it is not being addressed. This cache is simply a glaring example of it and the result is a less and less accurate listing service.
  3. I see that some folks have understood my meaning while others see the suggestion as encouraging bad behavior Well, here's the cache that inspired the post: GCY4WF "DNF" Take a look and see what you think is going on...Does it look like the Cache Health Score and the accelerated time table is working in this case? Or that "the same standards apply to everyone"? Hmmm.
  4. I'd like to propose a change in the listed categories for caches to include "No Maintenance Required" Caches. These would be caches that are exempt from the normal maintenance guidelines to recognize the reality that certain caches are currently exempt from the guidelines and alert prospective hunters in advance so they can either ignore the listing or bring a throwdown with them to avoid the annoyance of a dnf. I know the that guidelines have been "relaxed" during the Plague, which is definitely helpful to the CO, but no so helpful to people actually actively caching. (As an aside, caching was probably my activity least affected by The Plague while caching "in State") Currently CO beneficiaries are power trail creators who include instructions in their write up encouraging replacements rather than dnfs and formerly active cachers who had withdrawn from the game but lack the ability to either archive or request adoption for their cache children but just can't seem to fix what is broken. I realize many people might find such a radical recognition of reality too outrageous to consider, so as an alternative perhaps one could consider an "Occasional Maintenance Suggested" category instead. This would instruct The Reviewers to notice caches with active NM and NA logs and multiple dnfs and no finds in at least a year to encourage the CO's to disable the cache, then wait for another year before sending a gentle reminder that nothing has been done... Now I believe all changes to existing guidelines should include a cost/benefit analysis so here goes: Cost: CO would have to actively request exemption from guidelines and Reviewer would have to approve them. Guideline 7.4. Maintenance Expectations would have to be modified to include time expectations such as "within three months" or "whenever you feel like it". Therefore: More work for the CO and The Reviewer when enforced. Benefit: Caches that aren't going to be maintained would be obvious, saving active seekers time and effort. Folks could match the different levels of maintenance to their actual behavior rather than pretending to maintain them. For the Maintenance Required Caches more folks might post NM and NM logs in a timely fashion and more non- existent caches might be removed sooner: Cache quality would improve. Fewer inactive cachers would complain about "The Cache Police" nagging them since they could simply apply for "no maintenance required" status. Folks who stop caching might maintain their caches or give them up for adoption more frequently. Folks who can't bring themselves to do either might ask for assistance from active cachers willing to help out. [I also want to recognized that the majority of active cachers do a pretty good job of maintenance. In my experience, the no maintenance group is largely made up of newbies who place a few caches and then drop out or once active and prolific placers who age out, move or lose interest and effectively abandon their caches. My Modest Proposal is an attempt to recognize that reality and speed up the archival process...]
  5. To Chipper 3: Yes!! I missed your response above but recently did come across the Massachusetts Interactive Property Map and have been using it to discover areas owned by towns, conservation organizations, the State and other "open to the public" landowners. It is a terrific resource for anyone interested in knowing "who owns the land" and something Reviewers should obviously be using as well. Combined with knowledge of "who to contact" at the organizations it goes a long way towards making the process of getting permission much easier. I have been using it as a "first step" to scouting out properties for the last couple of months. Thanks for posting this. Different "layers" in the mapping program reveal many different data bases, including for example the location of all the Massachusetts Town Corners.
  6. RTCB: You seem to be missing the point. I accept that it is up to me to get permission. I am simply asking for The Reviewer to pass on information they have already upon request to point me in the right direction. Since I've placed a few caches I've noticed that The Reviewers responces range from "You should contact the Regional EEL manager" which is helpful, to silence, which is not. Folks who place and maintain caches are also unpaid volunteers and some of us spend hundreds of hours a year doing so. Passing on a name or a number when requested seems like a pretty small ask...At any rate I've add my two cents to the "suggestion box" and am hoping for the best.
  7. Thank you, Keystone. I have understood from your previous messages that their is no master database and am not suggesting providing information is an obligation. I am suggesting that information, when it is available be shared upon request. A comparsion of the Wiki databases and the actual placement of existing caches would show only a modest overlap. In practice when I am placing a cache in a new area I determine who is the landowner and seek them out. If it is a public area without a geocaching policy known to me but several geocaches already placed there, I assume The Reviewer is aware of the policy, and if not, is aware of which caches are on the property, and who placed them, so asking them to look and provide me with the name seems reasonable and straightforward. On a dozen or so occasions I have contacted the cachers making the earlier placements to ask who they talked to to get permission. Their responses fall into two categories: 1, They tell me who they contacted and what the result was, which is often helpful, or 2, They do not respond. This is also the two rsults I get from asking The Reviewer: some respond with helpful information and some do not respond to the request. I realize this is a volunteer position but surely the goal is to encourage quallity cache placements and providing information when known seems a reasonable burden. Thank you. After reviewer the discussion I realized what I was asking for amounts to a suggestion to change or improve a geocaching.com policy so have gone to that forum and left the following: I would like to suggest that geocaching.com institute a policy of sharing public information upon request about who provided permission to place a geocache. For example: If an existing geocache is placed in a public conservation area and information was provided to The Reviewer as a condition of the cache approval process that information is known by the Reviewer. If I wish to place a cache in on the same physical property and ask The Reviewer "who should I contact to get permission?" ; The Reviewer provide what information they have. For instance, a response might be" "Well, that's a town conservation area. So contact the Town Conservation Chairman. It was John Jones in 2018 but may have changed by now."
  8. I would like to suggest that geocaching.com institute a policy of sharing public information upon request about who provided permission to place a geocache. For example: If an existing geocache is placed in a public conservation area and information was provided to The Reviewer as a condition of the cache approval process that information is known by the Reviewer. If I wish to place a cache in on the same physical property and ask The Reviewer "who should I contact to get permission?" ; The Reviewer provide what information they have. For instance, a response might be" "Well, that's a town conservation area. So contact the Town Conservation Chairman. It was John Jones in 2018 but may have changed by now."
  9. Re: cerberus1 wrote: "You're saying the Geocaching Regional Policies Wiki isn't good enough ?" Yes. I am saying that. The Wiki is fine as far as it goes, but it doesn't go very far nor cover a very large percentage of current cache placements. Let me define the issue as narrowly as possible. The goal is to have good caches placed in interesting area with the permission of the landowner. The guidelines require that anyone placing a geocache get landowner permission. Let's assume for the sake of argument that this is actually a requirement that The Reviewer follows. Let's say I want to place a geocache where one has never been before. I need to get permission. It's up to me. I accept that. I figure out who to call, get permission, place the cache. No problem. It's something I've done many times in several different states. In my expirience permission, is either flatly denied without explanation, or granted after some process is followed. Now lets say I want to place a cache where one or more caches have previously been placed. Supposedly whoever placed thse caches, got permission, and passed that information on to the Reviewer. It's a very simple matter for The Reviewer to look up that information and supply it upon request. In the discussion above it was stated that if a landowner objected The Reviewer would relay the information to the landowner about who gave permission, so why not relay the same information upon request to a cacher who requests it? It is still up to the cacher to make the call, get permission, or if the "things have changed" figure out who to contact. Not a big deal to supply some possibly helpful information upon request, is it? For caches placed "where caches have been before" there are really only two reasons for The Reviewer not to answer "Who have other people contacted to get permission?": 1, The Reviewer has the information but chooses not to share it. 2, The Reviewer does not have the information because it was not previously provided. This is an instance where the person enforcing the Rules could be helpful to the person attempting to follow the rules. Why not be helpful? If someone asked me "who did you talk to toget permission" I would be happy to pass it on. Why aren't Reviewers willing to do so upon request?
  10. To cerberus1: Re: "Are you referring to the "frisbee rule", where people assume that if other hobbies are allowed, this hobby "must be" allowed too ? We took months at meetings until a township would talk to us about this hobby (asking for permission...), and were very restricted on what they'd allow. Within weeks people who never bothered to ask placed caches there too. Some in sensitive areas we were told to stay away from. - We knew they never bothered because the park told us to take our carp and leave, and they don't allow caching there now." I hadn't heard of the "frisbee rule" but understand what you mean. I'm actually refering to land use that is open to other hobbies such as hunting, fishing, and hiking which I consider equivilent to geocaching as they involve walking on the land while minimally disturbing it. What you point out about getting permission and then having others not bother is the inverse of my point (other's didn't get [permission but I was required to) but it makes my point rather nicely: Since a cache can't be placed without "The Reviewer" giving the "OK", that fact that you took the trouble to do so, and noted it, meant The Reviewer was aware of the land policy and who to contact yet they did not inform other cachers, nor follow the policy of the landowner which was known to them. To me this is the same issue: if The Reviewer is aware of a landowners policy then they should share that information. The fact that contact people change all the time makes no difference. They would supply what information they have and if it turned out to be dated, they could update it with the new info. Sharing information on which office to contact even if who is changeable is an improvement over not sharing. edexter
  11. I'm based in Massachusetts but frequently cache out of state where I aslo place and maintain a number of caches. I find I am more frequently asked to provide evidence of landowner permission in some regions than others so the implimentaion of policy appears to be different in different geographic locations. This makes sense to me based on population density alone, but it also implies that Reviewers are in a position to be aware of areas where cache placement might be an issue and who has given permission in the past. Lately, I've been asked not merely if I have permission but to document it by providing a name and phone number of who gave permission. I assume the reason for this is so if there is an issue from a landowner The Reviewer can say "you gave permission to so and so, contact them." So that means The Reviewer has a list of landowners or administrators who have provided permission in the past. If this is the case, then Reviewers should be encouraged to respond to the Question: "who should I ask?' for permission, when they know the answer... Most of the caches near me are placed in placed in areas open to the public for a variety of activities (hiking, hunting, biking, boating) and getting specific permission for a cache is seldom needed or requested because it's clearly "ok". Some privately owned properties have geocaching policies that they publish and some actively encourage caching but most are siient on the issue until asked. Since the CO is entirely responsible for placing and maintaining the cache and following the rules, one area where a Reviewer, who has access to the details of many cache placements, could be of assistance, is in directing cachers to "who to ask". What do ohers think? edexter
  12. In a perhaps related issue, images have disappeared from several of my cache description pages: this includes the multiple images tiles used as a background image and pictures embedded cache description. Doesn't seem to be any pattern: I open a cache page and they are either there or not and if not there are no longer in the "edit" section. Weird. edexter
  13. I don't really know exactly how it was worded. Once I made the changes the message went away and the Password Checker now says everything is ok. I decided it made sense to change my passwords, which you are supposed to do periodically anyway. I posted here because I wasn't sure if it was a larger issue, which it doesn't seem to be. edexter
  14. The message was from the Google password checkup service. It suggested I change passwords on five sites. I changed all five on the individual sites. Seems ok now. Apparently not a issue for others.
  15. Thanks. I will check this out further edexter
  16. I recently recieved a notice from Google that a data breach had occured and that I should change my password. All of the affected domains were Geocaching related (Geocaching.com and c:geo for example). So heads' up... edexter
  17. Six months later, here's an update: 7/16/20: dnf 7/19/20: dnf 7/19/20 I post another NA log 8/8/20: dnf 8/19/20: The Reviewer disables the cache and notifies the CO that the cache "may" need maintenance and they will check back in "30 days" (48 days and counting...so far) The CO, who placed 1 cache (this one) found three, and hasn't been active since 8/3/08 did not respond. The cache was reported as having been physically removed 17 months ago. It's hard to get good help these days...
  18. I'm noticing that maintenence is no longer required in my neck of the woods (Massachusetts) due to the coronavirus. Reviewers are no longer flagging caches in need of repair by disabling them or archiving them and NA logs are simply being ignored. The given reason of course is "we recognize the huge disruption to people's lives caused by coronavirus and don't want to put anyone at risk by asking them to go out". I guess this makes sense if your cache is placed downtown or if your state has a "stay at home order" (as of July 3rd none do) but walking in the woods is probably one of the safest outdoor activities possible and bringing a mask and hand sanitizer along reduces the risk to negligible. When a cache hasn't been found in a year or two, and the CO has been inactive for longer than that, it's been abandoned and no one is going to go repair it anyway. No one is put at risk by disabling or archiving an abandoned cache. It's the only way to maintain the accuracy of the cache listings. Giving folks more time to do repairs when they ask for it is easy enough and indicates that the cache is not abandoned.
  19. I recently returned from an unintended extended stay in sunny Florida and after being gone for almost five months I decided to take a quick look around to see what had been placed near home in my absence. I figured there would be slim pickings, the winter and the virus undoubtably having slowed things down a bit, still I was a bit surprised to find a total of only 7 new caches in a 20 mile radius of home and only two of them with a d/t combo as high as 1.5/2. Five obvious P&Gs and a couple of puzzles...Increasing the search to 30 miles roughly doubles the area and resulted in 49 new caches, which is better, and more encouraging was more seeing that more than a dozen were t2.5 or higher. Guess I'll be doing some driving in the coming months...What's it like in your area these days? edexter
  20. Oh, it's even weirder than that. My NA request was not ignored, it was rejected. When I questioned The Reviewer's response I was told "NA and NM logs are ony for people who have tried to locate the cache and have first hand knowledge. This is to prevent Armchair Cachers from causing unecessary maintenace runs"... Leaving aside the implication that my report was an Armchair Log, and granting the reality that 99% of The Reviewer's activity is sitting at a computer, how do you convince someone that a cache is actually gone when they don't go see for themselves or believe folks who have? This is such a bizarre example (no maintenace logs in the prior 10 years and two previous NM logs by different cachers with no response) I suspect some unknown factor is at play. I pointed out the cache is along the route of one of my multis that I regularly maintain, that I posted the NA the same day as my OM notes (this was October 2019: 5 months ago) and that I previously found the cache, knew where it was and had checked on it over the years...At this point (March 2020) the reviewer said he wasn't going to disable the cache or follow up on any NM or NA logs going forward until the Coronavirus "stay at home orders" are dropped so he "wouldn't be forcing people" to go fix their caches...As if that were possible... All in all very odd and the end result is what I think of as a Ghost Cache: the cache is gone but the listing lives on. At any rate, I sympathize with GG and their desire to replace a neglected cache with one they will maintain. I still suggest following the proceedure of posting an NM log, waiting, posting an NA log when nothing happens, and then waiting for The Reviewer to act. In my experience, they generally do, though I've seen the process take several years. In this case the first NM log was posted in July of 2018, so one year, eight months and counting since then and 11 months since the cache was removed. Chances they'll get a response sooner than that. You never know. edexter
  21. Thanks guys, that was helpful and just what I was looking for. edexter
  22. I'm wondering if there is a way to easily download a .gpx file of all the caches placed by a person. I have found the following ways which I don't consider easy: 1, Add each cache individually to a list (requires knowing all the caches and downloading them one by one) and do a pocket query of the list. 2, Going to their profile, opening the file that lists all their caches, and checking each cache individually or a page at a time (creates a .loc file not a .gpx file) 3, Opening each cache and downloading the .gpx file What I have in mind would be solved if one of the pocket query "fields" was "by owner". Is there any way to do that or something similar? Thanks, edexter
  23. As Keystone pointed out this is "not typical", but I have seen a similar process play out a half dozen times. The process described in the guidelines should take six weeks. It mostly takes longer than that. There is a simple way to speed up the process which is to follow it. In this particular case the CO has not been active for over 11 years which you can tell by simply looking at their profile page with shows: 3 caches found, one placed, last find in 2004, this cache placed in 2004 and last maintained in 2006. It was an ammo box and lasted more than a decade without being visited by the CO. The game has been around long enough for some things to become apparent. One is that many caches are abandoned without notice. "Newbie placements" such as this one are even more frequently abandoned. This is expectable, so the process should take this into account. Groundspeak functions as a "listing service" while all cache placements and maintenance is done by Cache Owners. When they fail to act, responsible "members of the community" will step up and do the right thing, which in this case was to remove the "geo litter". Deciding to "informally" maintain the cache is another possible option (there are many pro and con arguments for this option). As the game matures the number of unmaintained abandoned caches is only going to increase and the need for an accurate "list" will become more obvious. If a cache I own needs maintenance I want to know about it and would rather have The Reviewer temporarily disable the cache than ignore it. It takes little effort to respond to the situation online and in my experience The Reviewers are very responsive to any CO who responds and explains what they will do to rectify the situation. If the CO doesn't take the time to respond online, they are very unlikely to actually repair the cache...
  24. The actual process for getting a damaged non-maintained cache archived is often drawn out to ridiculous lengths.. As described in the guidelines, the process is simple, direct and straightforward. Caches are expected to be regularly maintained and if one finds one damaged, you post an NM log. If there is no response to it, the reviewer temporarily disables it and when there is no response to that, archives it. The process should take about 6 weeks and the CO can stop the process at any time by simply repairing the cache or asking for more time. That's the theory. In reality the process goes like this (this is an real example): The CO drops out of the game an abandons the cache and no longer does maintenance. After a while folks start reporting problems with the cache (wet, moldy, disgusting). Finally someone logs an NM which gets ignored. Six months later a conscientious cacher (not me) finds the totally disgusting cache and removes it writing a detailed log explaining why they removed the cache. Six months after that I check on the location (which I have previously known as it is along the route of one of my caches) see that it is gone and log an NA. The reviewer then says "No, it may need some attention but it was recently found" (by the cacher who removed it!)" so it's ok". That was six months ago. The cache is gone for 11 months now. There is an open NM log, and open NA log, the cache has been abandoned, removed and the CO has been out of the game since August 2008 and yet on the cache is still on the website, not disabled, no warning to repair it. I filled another NA log today laying out the evident once again. We'll see what happens. But the point is, unless you push the process (simply follow the steps in the guideline) nothing will change. And sometimes, even if you do, nothing will change for quite sometime.
  25. GIS and Tax Assesors Property Maps (which let you click on a property boundary and see who owns it) have made identifiying who owns a piece of property a lot easier. In general, I am going to try to place a cache in an area that already allows public access, so being able to see what is town, state or federal agency controls the territory is a big help. Now, finding out who can "authorize" permission is another story. I generally make a phone call or send an email and ask if they have a geocaching policy and go from there. I comply with the rules but still question them. For instance: My reasoning is that any public land that allows hunting in season is certainly a suitable area to walk around in and leave a small piece of plastic by, in or on a tree. Certainly hunters don't report I am going to stand here, here and here, is that ok? Getting advance permission to place a cache in a specific location you've never visisted seems silly to me and the more reasonable land managers get this and instead generally use restrictions (you can't place it here: and then list the areas that are no go) rather that have you submit a specific location "up front". Management not micro management. I typically ask is it ok to put a cache anywhere in this area and then say I will tell them the exact location once I go check out the area. The more the land manage knows about geocaching the easier they are to deal with...
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