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nmbobster

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Posts posted by nmbobster

  1. I am one of those long time Forest Service veterns. It does not surprise me that you found a Forest Service person unfamilier with caching. My immediate coworkers all know about caching but outside of that group I would guess that most don't. Though I can assure you that their boss knows or that their boss's boss knows. The Forest cultural resource folks also know and if they are like the archeologist on my forest they even track the locations of all the caches.

  2. Now, I have heard, but not researched, about some internal politics where a cache was first approved and then some higherups poohed-poohed it and it was removed. Job security and politicial maneuvering within the ranks of any organization could cause unofficial policy to change like the breeze.

     

    The Park Service is a little different than most other land agencies. Park Superintendents can make law with the stroke of a pen. They tend to be driven at the park level and suported higher up. This is in contrast to say the Forest Service. A local forest does very little outside the direction it is given from the Regional Forester who gets his orders from Washington.

     

    I do not doubt that there are approved caches on park lands, but this is not with the blessing of the national office. There are a few ways this could happen, either the Superintendent or Chief Ranger are unaware of any prohibiting policy, or they choose to ignore it and the regional office is unaware or chooses to look the other way. Another possibility is that geocaching would be allowed under the enabling legislation. I could very well see this in Parks or Recreation areas that were specifically set aside for recreation opportunities.

  3. How about a ammo can clearly on NPS land with approval consisting of a hastily scribbled note from the local cheese.

    I just had a talk with the local Chief Ranger of a National Monument in Northern New Mexico very much along these lines. Right now geocaching is against NPS policy and that is national policy. I don't think even the Superintendent has the authority to allow caching. That being said, right now there are those within the Park Service working to make this policy more flexible. In the near future it may well be likely that geocaching will be allowed on some park service lands if it is consistent with the enabling legislation that created the park or monument,etc. It would have to be requested by the Park Superintendent and approved at the regional or national level.

     

    I am looking at putting a cache in an interesting place on Department of Energy land. DOE is really not into being land managers and they have very few regulations. This piece of land is actually administered by the Park Service and they pay them to do it. The Park that administers this piece of land has no issues with me placing a cache there.

  4. Am a wildland firefighter, specifically a helitack firefighter. I use my own 76cs, also I have a GPS III + or GPS 12 for almost every member of my crew. We use these to help us find fires, find our way back from fires, and to map fires. We carry laptops on our support vehicles with ArcGIS and DNRGarmin installed so that we can produce fire maps. This has become a cool little value added service we provide that is very much appreciated by fire management folks.

  5. It seems that you got a little out gunned. In my little experience with local politics that sometimes happens. I wonder if their preparation was in part a result of previous contact with cachers. Knowing there was going to be at least a little bit of a battle did they prepare for it?

     

    In my experience in high school and college debate every point they make has to be countered. If you want to win this you can not concede any point that they may make.

     

    It seems to me that the evidence they provided maybe showed that caching in cemeteries may sometimes be distastefull to some and desrespectfull to some, but along the lines of an activity that should be illegal? I don't think so, but thats just me.

     

    I would try to show that SC State laws section 16-17-600 already protects these sites and this proposed law does nothing more than to exclude a certain group of people from pursueing a wholesome normally legal activity.

     

    I suspect that a little analysis of cache logs would show that the disrespectfull behavior that was presented is a very small percentage. This could be shown with colorful graphs.

     

    As far as the state archeologist getting no response from Groundspeak, I just do not believe this to be true. There is very cleary stated geocaching policy that states that caches will be removed if they just ask. I know that Groundspeak has been very cooperative working with the forest archeologist on the Santa Fe National Forest. I can not believe that they are not cooperative with the state archeologist of SC. I also highly suspect that if you reviewed the state's ARRPA investigations you would find no incidents of damage to historical or archeological sites that could be attributed directly to geocaching. Too bad there is not enough time to FOIA that information.

     

    It also seems like the major impact of this bill on geocaching is more with historical sites. Very large areas would be off limits to caching. Given the size of some of the historic districts in the state this would be a major impact to the sport. This does not make sense.

     

    As I have said before, I am not against protecting cemeteries, arch. or historic sites, but this bill is too broad. There are certainly ways to protect sensitive sites and still allow sensible caching, this bill does not allow that.

     

    Just my thoughts, keep up the good work.

  6. I have a 76CS, before that I used a GPS V and a GPS III+. The electronic compass is seemless and you do not realize how cool it is until you go back to a unit that does not have one. Then you realize how much you really do use the compass. If you ever start loading maps the extra memory will be way handy.

  7. knock knock.

    Whos there?

    Ether.

    Ether who?

    Ether Signal.

     

    Knock knock.

    Whos there?

    Sumoa.

    Sumoa who?

    Sumoa Ether Signals.

     

    Knock knock.

    Whos there?

    Consumption.

    Consumption who?

    Consumption be done about all the Ether Signals.

     

    Knock knock.

    Whos there?

    Cargo.

    Cargo who.

    Cargo beep beep and run over all the Ether Signals. :huh:

  8.  

    "This law really only protects protects sites from the damage that could be caused by federal projects or projects that use federal funding." I think that this means that just as I expected, there is not one single memorial, cemetery or archeological site, belonging exclusively to the fine folk of the Great State of South Carolina that is 'protected' by any federal statute. Not one. Perhaps this explains why the people of the Great State of South Carolina thru their duly elected representatives feel compelled to take the actions that have disturbed you so much. Hard to say.

     

    The short answer is no it isn't. Never was and never will be unless the fine folk of the Great State of South Carolina take matters into their own hands as they seem to be trying to do. So there.

    I think you missed something, my post must have been confusing and not clear.

    As you quoted NHPA would not federally protect a site, But ARPA does. The state only has to say it does, which in this case it has.

  9. I found out about these when I was running the ideal of a virtual cache by my approver. The approvers basically said my ideal does not meet the Wow factor to be a virtual but would make a very good earthcache. These caches are approved by a geological society. They must be educational and related to geology or earth science. The site I had in mind was actually a cultural site, they actually showed me an example of a cultural site that was related to geology. Soon as the snow melts and I can get out to my site I plan on doing the same.

  10. OK gang, let's just lay it out. I want someone to show me the Federal law that protects some stinking Johnny Reb statue in Spartanburg, South Carolina. Can someone please do that? This is amazing stuff.

     

    Back to the hole digging.

    OK, I'm not sure if every Johnny Reb statue is protected, but if it is located on federal land, on a historic site, or within a historic district it most likely is. And yes it is the Antiquities Act of 1906 that protects it. Or at least that's were it all starts, and it gets sort of complex from there in the way that federal law gets intertwined with state law unlike most other federal law.

     

    The Antiquities Act of 1906 protects all historic and prehistoric sites on federal land, though it is more famous in that it allows presidents to set aside national monuments. In 1966 the Antiquities Act was supplemented with the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966. This law really only protects protects sites from the damage that could be caused by federal projects or projects that use federal funding. For this discussion it is important in that it defines what a historic site is, it ties federal law to the states, and creates SHPO's. Again in 1979 the Antiquities Act was supplemented with the Archaelogical Resource Protection Act. This Act makes it a felony to steal, vandalize, excavate, remove, damage, or alter any artifact, arch site, or historic site on federal land. It also deals with selling, trading, or transporting artifacts taken from federal lands. The other thing this act does is tier federal law with state law. So if a state says that a Johnny Reb statue is protected as a historic site then by the ARPA it is federally protected also. And it is the states not the feds that get to decide what is listed on the historic register though it does have to meet the critria of the NHPA. Also to be protected the site does not have to actually be listed on the National Register of Historic Places it only has to be elgible to be listed.

     

    So in this case you would actually have to look at what SC law says about the protection of that Johnny Reb statue. I am really only familiar with NM, WY, CO, and UT as those are the only states I have worked in. And I am usually only concerned with section 106 of the NHPA. I implement federal projects, usually thinning and prescribed fires. Though I would guess that SC has it's own antiquities type law. As in the case of Utah or NM this was done with the enabling legislation that created the SHPO.

     

    A very quick search of SC law shows that at least they have several laws that protect cemeteries, graveyards, and burial grounds. Section 16-17-600 makes it a felony to destroy, damage, remove, or desecrate human remains, as well as to vandalize, destroy, deface, or otherwise damage graveyards, tombs, mausoleums, grave stones, memorial monuments, markers, park areas, fencing, plants, trees, or shrubs.

     

    So short answere is yes, that stinking Johnny Reb statue in Spartanburg, SC is federally protected. That is assuming that it is a memorial monument.

  11. I am fairly new to this, but so far I have no DNF's. The way I look at it, there are a few caches out there that I have not found yet, that does not mean that I have given up and I will be back to find them.

     

    After working everyday (at least a few hours) on the "Towers 2" cache I did log a DNF after I really did give up looking for this one. The cache owner realized there were problems with this cache. He fixed them, then deleted my DNF log. I then went out and was the FTF on this one.

     

    Several times I have gone out several times before I found a cache. To me I did not feel that I did not find it after the first time out, I felt that I had not found it yet.

    Currently I am still working on 2 Have Not Found Yets.

     

    Maybe Groundspeak could make a new log just for me, it would be:

    HNFY (Have Not Found Yet) :rolleyes:

     

    After reading all these post's I do see the utility of posting DNF's, it could have saved me days of work on "Towers II".

  12. Good summary. Want a job?

    Do those federal laws restrict or prevent people from placing cammo'd 35mm film canisters in the bushes around these sites? How about the hiding of large Tupperware containers in these same locations? Or do they simply provide for the arrest and conviction of those people who are caught rooting around the sites?

    I already have a pretty cool job. I am a federal firefighter, I get to travel from state to state and sleep in the dirt.

     

    It has been a few years since I have read the Antiquities Act, but basically it says that it is a federal offense to deface, damage, destroy,collect, remove, etc. any antiquity or historic object. There is one noteable exception, it is legal to collect arrowheads except on National Park Service lands. In 1976 Jimmy Carter made arrowhead collecting legal, much to the disdain of archeologist.

  13. Whoooaaaa.

     

    Some good and not so good thoughts on both sides.

     

    Just to qualify the following statements, I have been a para-archeologist, my ex is an archeologist and I work with federal cultural and natural resource specialist almost daily.

     

    I cacher with tunnel vision might cause damage to vegetation, etc. around a historic site. However I think it would be very rare that the damage would be to any historical fabric itself.

     

    The tunnel vision a cacher has will be far outweighed by the tunnel vision of the historic preservationist trying to protect their resource. "Thier" resource is often how many of these resource people think.

     

    Most historic sites will have been protected and stabilized to the point that they would be hard to damage.

     

    Archeology sites are very different. Even causual visits to an archeology site can cause damage. Turning over a rock, compacting the soil, or any number of otherwise innocent activities can cause damage that would be hard for the layman to understand. Once something at an arch site is out of context the information that context could have provided is lost forever. Once a site has been excavated and stabilized most would then consider it a historic site, but that may not always be the case.

     

    Cemeteries I see as different also. To me it is a matter of respect, if an activity can be done respectfully and without causing any damage then I do not see a problem. I think geocaching could fit in there.

     

    Out west in a place like where I live, a law like this really would not have too much of an impact on geocahing. In SC it is a little different, almost everything is historic, most parks are historic, whole cities can be historic districts.

     

    My town has a small historic district, there is a puzzle cache there called "Historic Los Alamos" that is very tastefully done. I believe that geocaching and historic sites and cemeteries can live together in harmony.

     

    It would be easy in the name of protection to pass a law outlawing geocaching. This would make the job of managing easier for the manager. However I feel it is their job to manage, I feel that we also do a fairly good job of managing ourselves. I like the way the U.S. Forest Service has approached this problem. The forest archeologist on the forest I work on gets an e-mail from Groundspeak whenever a new cache is placed on the forest. If they see a problem they will go to the site and check it out. If they still see a problem the cache will be removed. This may be a little more work for them, but hey they are public servents.

     

    I guess the biggest problem I have with H.3777 is that it will outlaw all geocaching at those sites wether they are a threat to those sites or not. I think there are better ways to manage the issue that all sides could agree upon.

     

    Maybe thats just the reality I live in, feel free to substitute your own. :D

  14. I did a little checking. The sponser of this bill is a member of the Beaufort Historic Foundation. I did a search of caches for zip code 29901 (Beaufort). Seems like this bill could have a major impact on this area, especially if Hunting Island is considered a historic property. I did notice there is a prolific cacher doing a series of cemetery caches, they look pretty cool a sort of puzzle multi cache. I wonder if this is what started it all.

  15. If cache owners respect the land why try to control them? In any event it can not be good. :P

    You are so right. Think about how this law singles out a particular group, namely us. I think we all agree that archeological sites and historic sites need to be protected. But this law paints too wide of a stroke!

     

    If the other public is allowed to wander through a historic site pursueing whatever activies they do then geocachers should not be shut out. I have seen kids playing on and climbing all over cival war era cannons, people climbing and sitting on historic fences etc. and people having picnics in graveyards. It would be hard to convince me that geocachers have any more of an impact.

     

    Most sensitive sites are already closed off by order of park superintendent or chief ranger etc. These sites are also protected by federal law that makes it a felony to damage or cause damage to a culteral site.

     

    This law would only serve to exclude a certain group (us) from areas where others are able to pursue whatever activities they wish.

  16. I am not from Carolina, but I would encourage all those that are to strongly lobby against this. I would argue that the law is not needed because arch sites and historic properties are already protected under federal law. Specifically the Antiquities Act and the Historic Preservation Act.

     

    Cemetaries are not protected under these laws unless native americans are buried there, then they would be protected under the Native Graves and Re-Patranization Act. In any case I would stress that the placement of caches in or around any gravesite is not taken lightly and is usually done in honor.

     

    I highly suspect that some archeologist or culteral resource person or group is behind this. Or more likely the State Historic Preservation Office (SHIPO). Every state has a SHIPO by federal law, if they are behind it I would argue that they are acting way outside thier bounds.

     

    If you want to get to get some muscle behind the fight I would let the State tourism board know the potential financial impacts to the State if this legislation was passed. State tourism offices or boards seem to have a long history of fighting with SHIPO's, and at times even seem to enjoy it. At least it seems that way out West with the states I am familiar with.

     

    There is a real danger in this to all of us. If the law gets passed the news will be published in professional journals and you could expect that similiar bills would appear in other states. I would not be willing to give them an inch. :lol:

  17. I don't want to get beat up, I usually only lurk on these forums.

     

    But it seems to me that most of you are missing the point. It's not about who owns the TB's or whether the Jeep promotion is over or not. Its about the integrity of the game!

     

    They are still part of the game, they are still active, they can still be logged, and most of all they are still sought after.

     

    Now if Groundspeak decided to make them inactive and they could not be logged anymore that might be different. But until then, as long as the Jeep TBs are valid gamepieces, there really is no difference removing them from the game as any other TB or cache.

     

    Just my thoughts, dont beat me up.

  18. I used to work as a Helitack on the Bridger-Teton National Forest in Jackson Hole Wyoming. The forest is littered with old and not so old plane wrecks. We once found one we did not know about while working on a wildfire. After much investigation we found that it was a 30 year old wreck that crashed while working on a fire. There were literally so many wrecks that when we went on searches for missing planes we would find old plane wrecks. Now when planes crash the forest insists that the wrecks be removed. From the Forest perspective, I do not think that they would have any problem with caches at wreck sites as long as they were not in a wilderness area.

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