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Everything posted by NeverSummer

  1. There's a very special one that launched March 11 2017: https://www.facebook.com/SCRCGeoTrail/?fref=nf https://www.fws.gov/refuge/Savannah/visit/visitor_activities/geocaching.html And before everyone starts hyperventilating, they can contact SavannahCoastalEducation (at) fws . gov to ask about USFWS permissions and how it all worked out. (Shameless plug, I work for the USFWS, and got it up and running within the very extensive process within the USFWS to get this rolling)
  2. Ah, yes. I remember this topic from the other exhaustive thread. Who is popping the corn today?
  3. "Other--see description for details"... Becomes, "You're looking for a micro container, which is largely well camouflaged to match the surroundings.." And add a helpful hint. I think the creep is happening from misinformation, adaptation of regional norms, removal of investment in clear knowledge and understanding of the gameplay and guidelines, etc. But, while I feel that way, I'm still inclined to say "Meh". But I'm also becoming the crotchety old geocaching man on the porch yelling at kids to get off my lawn...
  4. At risk of I don't know what... (There are still some admin bricks out there, I'm sure) best get it back on topic: "This thread is for posting examples of caches which violate the guidelines. Don't out the cache owner or post GC codes.If you have a photo to help illustrate the point, you might want to post it. What might also be helpful is to provide ways to re-work the cache so it meets guidelines. I envision this as a what-not-to-do public service announcement. Hopefully it will serve as a good place to point newbies to to show examples of how not to hide a cache." I *think* there was another thread to discuss. But hey, have at!
  5. The "You're almost there" pop-up is annoying. I wish we could shut it down. Also, the "This is a ____ cache" screen is nice for newbies, but it doesn't get buy-in to actually watch the videos. And, as a caching veteran, it would be nice if it would go away when I ask it to. And, I wish the full description came up right away instead of having to click the tab to make it appear. I'd like to be able to pop over to the "Activity" tab for example, and back without having to reload the cache description. Lastly, it would be nice if the "Open in Browser" option were less hidden. Other than those gripes, it's not that bad. I'm using it 99% of the time now for caching...which I never thought I would be doing. I like the waypoint functionality, and appreciate that it shows the descriptions that owners have entered for each.
  6. Another bird house, screwed to a tree near a parking lot. Meanwhile, "Nice container" logs abound. Took 29 "Found It" logs to get a NA log, and it was unceremoniously Archived moments later.
  7. Seems a bit harsh on the previous throwdown finder who has taken time out to meet you at GZ to assist you with your cache maintenance responsibilities to then delete their found log Not at all how I meant it, but I can see how that reads. Also, if you're there with a previous finder, I'd show them the actual container, have them sign it, and then they don't have to delete anything.
  8. Just my 2 cents here... I'd not take a crew of newbies to look for listed geocaches. I'd go to a local park and hide some temporary caches, teach them about using a GPS to find objects, the basics of a hide/find, and essentials of playing the game at Geocaching.com (take something, leave something of equal or greater value; dealing with trackables; signing the logbook; hide as found; etc.) Then, if they like the game enough, you can direct them to the website to learn more, and that you;d be available to help them get started with actually playing if they're interested. I know that I wouldn't want my caches targeted by a group of fly-by-night, temporary, hit-it-and-quit-it people--the likelihood of a cache being muggled, broken, not hidden properly after a find, trackables going missing, and more become real issues when you take out enthusiastic newbies who might not keep playing beyond your single event.
  9. I would also take the time to contact a recent finder of the throwdown, and ask them to meet you there to find it. Once you find it, remove it, and then write an Owner Maintenance log. I'd delete the logs for those who logged the throwdown...only if it's clear as a bell what the container is that they *should* be finding at GZ. Going forward, any logs that aren't on the logbook from your next maintenance trip are much easier to make the call on deletion or not.
  10. So, all of this TL;DR action (I did read, but anyway...) makes me think that creating a new cache type would be the best way to deal with much of the concern. I think the new clarifications, limitations, and guidelines are going to help in the long run. But I just want to be able to easily keep them out of my PQs and other searches, while also being able to search for them easily when I do want to attempt one. I can forgive the "gotta do this before you can log a physical cache that you should be able to log anyway because that's the foundation of this whole game anyway" ALR aspect of CCs if they just made it something that I could make "go away" via existing searches and filters.
  11. Yes. Additional ALR, not unlike asking for a photo, or a headstand, or a haiku log, or...
  12. Speaking from experience, it would be best to check with the Superintendent of the Fire Island National Seashore. They will know if geocaching is a permitted activity, and should be able to weigh in on if that other cache should still be within the boundary. It's not simple work, and often will take many calls, visits, or emails. But, I have to say, many caches exist within federal land boundaries without permission from or knowledge of the manager of that land. At least when speaking of US Fish and Wildlife lands, every National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) and Wetland Management District (WMD) is CLOSED to any unauthorized public use until the activity is fully reviewed by the individual NWR/WMD. I've encountered more than a majority of geocaches listed at geocaching.com that are within NWR or WMD boundaries without any knowledge or permission of the Management. I believe that is also the case for National Parks, but I could be wrong. This is why it would be best to ask, and to spend the time to get a real answer.
  13. Thank you for saying this. Why aren't people more perturbed about the lack of owner maintenance? If the string no longer matters, why hasn't the owner removed it? Seems he doesn't intend to maintain his cache. When I read the OP, that was my first question... Why so much angst about DonutHoes' logging error, and none about the owner's lack of following up on mentions of maintenance needs in previous logs?
  14. I fail to see the connection between following the game's guideines, and whether or not someone has hidden a cache. If you can find a cache that breaks the guidelines, it was hidden by someone who broke the guidelines. (And that's what the NM/NA logs are for! Yahoo!)
  15. This is probably the least appealing thing about geocaching for me...that people get so worked up about a cache that isn't worth the effort...only because it's old. Seems it's only lasted so long because it's in a remote area that nobody wants to go to anyway. I've found over 1200 caches...and probably over 1000 of those are more interesting than Mingo. I hate to say it (or do I), but I agree. I said as much over coffee with some other cachers when I got home from the long, cross-continent trip we took. We happened to be going by GC30, so we pulled off the highway to see what it was all about. Meh. If you gave it a newer hide date and longer GC code, there'd be nothing worth 1500+ favorite points. I wan't impressed. I felt the same way when I came across the oldies in Oregon (GC12 and 17, right?) about their age--but the views and experiences to get there were far more notable than a dusty corner of a gravel road near an arrow-straight Interstate. It is just my opinion, but I see no reason this cache gets that many favorites, when there are many caches out there more notable than simply an old "hidden on" date. But, to each their own. I cache to see interesting places, or to be challenged by an interesting puzzle/hide.
  16. Pretty sure those photos are straight out of the logs on the cache page.
  17. That's a good question. When a cache is archived, it can be re-enabled if it passes muster under the current guidelines. I think there *might* have been an archival that was redacted (erased) during the 2011 missing/concrete kurfluffle. Other caches which break the current guidelines have been archived because of the update. "Special" caches (oldest, or what have you) get some extra sentiment attached, and, in my very personal experience, makes for problems with consistent enforcement of the guidelines. I would expect that a cache being replaced (regardless of sentiment) should be in line with the current guidelines. But then we open a pandora's box of discussion about "if the cache has changed, is it the same cache?" Meaning, should a new container, new container size, slight move from the coordinates, etc. be cause for archival and a new listing? I don't think that, so long as the cache hasn't moved more than the requisite distance allowed by a "update coordinates", a cache should be archived if the container or listing changes slightly. It's about location, and proximity. So, if a cache is still at that site (should Groundspeak set a distance guideline for cases like this?), even if you move it from the hole to the fence post, and from a regular to a micro, so long as you update the listing accordingly to reflect actual circumstances found at the cache site, it doesn't matter. For Mingo, there was so much sentimentality that changing the hide was resulting in a lot of heartburn. "It's not the same!" "It's not the oldest cache because it doesn't have the same container..." So somehow it got a pass to go back to being a dug out hole in the ground, now with concrete. Sadly, it sets a bad precedent.
  18. First...whatever. It's a colloquialism for what you're looking at in the picture, and I have no idea what kind of aggregate the cache placer used to make the concrete. For all we know, they poured in cement and they used the surrounding dirt for aggregate to make the form. Second...You know what cache this is, don't you? When you know the history of it, it all comes together. Either way, that's not the point. You can't dig to place or find a cache.
  19. 1. So, you can't dig a hole to place a cache. You also shouldn't dig a hole, fill the hole with cement, leave space for a cache, and then use that dug, cement hole for a cache. :ph34r: :ph34r: :ph34r: 2. What guideline does it break? Link to the guideline (optional). I.1.3: "Geocaches are never buried, neither partially nor completely. If one has to dig or create a hole in the ground when placing or finding a geocache, it is not allowed." 3. Can the cache be re-worked to follow the guidelines? How? Not really. It could be brought above ground, and the big rock used to cover a cache against the fence post, versus digging a hole at the bend in a rural road.
  20. My approach has been not to ask permission, but to ask who has the authority to grant permission, so I can talk to them. Still, I'm not sure what a cache owner can do when given bad information. If the people you contact tell you that someone has the authority to grant permission, and that someone says it's okay, then I would expect most cache owners to take that at face value. I'm totally with you. Summary for the lands I help manage (and the same thing others are told to tell requestors): Only a Refuge Manager or Project Lead of a US Fish and Wildlife Service Refuge, Waterfowl Production Area, Wetland Management District, or other USFWS-managed lands (including Administrative sites such as visitor centers, offices, and improved sites such as boardwalks, kiosks, and paths) can grant permission for geocaches on managed lands. The issue arises when a Refuge Manager (RM) or Project Lead (PL) has no idea what geocaching is, and might not take the time to look into it when approached. That's where mistakes are made. They are supposed to take the proposed use and weigh it against all kinds of regulations, including Appropriate Use (National Wildlife Refuge System Administration Act of 1966 [16 U.S.C. 668dd-668ee]; Refuge Recreation Act of 1962; Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act of 1980 (ANICLA); Executive Order 11644; e.g.). After Appropriate Use comes "Compatibility Determination" under many, many more laws, regulations, and policies. A Compatibility Determination is part of a greater requirement of the above, and must be performed for any new use proposed by anyone. A Refuge's Comprehensive Conservation Plan will include appropriate and compatible uses that a RM or PL will reference when making a determination. If "geocaching" is not included in the CCP, that use must go through the process just like anything else (beachcombing, hiking, biking, running/jogging, archaeological digs, etc.). So, the way to do that is a Special Use Permit. Ok, ok, this derails the thread a lot, but is massive context for "Things You Can't Do". -The USFWS has a current, active policy that GEOCACHING IS NOT ALLOWED ON USFWS LANDS. -SOME Refuges and other USFWS lands do have geocaches on them. In some cases they have the correct permissions granted, and in many, many, many others...they do not. -SOME Refuges have "Geocaching" within their most recent CCP. That is usually because of a smart, knowledgeable, involved geocacher has worked WITH that Refuge to have it added to the planning process for that Refuge. 99% of Refuges DO NOT have "Geocaching" within their appropriate or compatible use listings. -99% of RMs and PLs DO NOT know what geocaching is. Many more don't realize that, when faced with a "simple request" from a geocacher to place a cache on their lands, they should be asking for a Special Use Permit from that geocacher. -The USFWS is working on educating everyone about this "emerging" use, but that TAKES TIME. -Geocachers are a pushy lot. (Let's be honest here...) We're also really sneaky by nature, and sometimes misrepresent ourselves to get a cache placed. (Deceive the Reviewer; conveniently leave things out of a cache submission; conveniently leave out details of what they're asking to do when they do ask a Land Manager for permission, e.g.) So. You Can't Do This: Take the word of a desk volunteer that it's "ok to geocache here" Ask any general employee at an office for permission Take the word of just any employee of any organization, agency, business, etc. that what you're asking (to place a cache on their land/property) is ok Reviewers are getting more and more up to speed on current policies for an agency like the National Park Service, Bureau of Land Management, or US Fish and Wildlife Service. (Let alone all of the state and local policies they need to be aware of...) Some have good, current info. Others do not. So you CAN'T look at one piece of property (like a USFWS Refuge, for example) as demonstrating that you "can place a cache there, because I saw someone over at X placed on there...". I've dealt with my fair share of caches that didn't have proper permissions. I've got examples of caches placed on clearly labeled private property, on lands with a supposedly clear NO GEOCACHING policy, and more. So, yeah. I'm passionate about permissions, because I've seen first hand how perception of how we play the game comes across with bad results in the end from Land Managers who don't think we can manage our own game. So...be sure you've asked for permission from the right person, in the right way, and honestly represented what you're asking to do. Don't be 'that guy'...
  21. Another example of "You can't do that...": Cache was placed in what, I'm sure to the owners, was a great location. In all honesty, it was: a remote, meaningful, interesting site that featured both the location and some unique local biology. The owners placed the cache on a structure in a non-invasive way, and selected an appropriate container. That's where we diverge from the "good"... The cache was found to have been placed on an item found on lands managed by an unknowing management agency. The cache hiders had very good intentions, and even tracked their "permission" back to a person who they assumed had the level of authority to grant permission. In fact, that person did not. Not even close, in fact, upon closer investigation. That "permission-granter" led them on a tour to the awesome spot, and said it should be "Fine" to place a cache there. Harmless enough, I'm sure. But the fact of the matter was, that person didn't represent anyone that could give permission, let alone give permission for this land which they did not represent. Lastly, from the "you can't do that" rotation, the cache had no maintenance plan, and was many, many hundreds of miles from the mainland on a remote island--quite far and difficult for the owners to maintain the cache. Essentially, this was a "vacation cache". Long story short, the cache was archived, and the container removed and mailed back to the mainland. The owners declined to take the container back. The point? Permission needs to come from the "right" person, not just a person who you think represents the lands you're asking about. Also, you must be able to have a solid maintenance plan where you can respond to needs without a $900 plane ticket, and 5 days of time because of infrequent airline flights.
  22. Sadly, this opinion is part of the problem. We are all, as the game was created from the beginning, "cache police". Groundspeak decided to include log types such as "Needs Maintenance", "Owner Maintenance", and "Needs Archived" so that we could all work as a community to self-police our game. In the beginning this was a simple and quite smart way to assist the Reviewers, Groundspeak, and the general geocaching public to understand and abide by the guidelines in a consistent and respectful manner. What we see now is an explosion of geocachers in the game with no understanding of the guidelines, other than that this is a game where you hide things to be found. Evolution is fine, whether that is a "numbers game", efforts to hide more caches in a "difficult" (D/T) manner, grid filling, or other evolution. But what isn't helpful is comments like yours, above. Sadly, many geocachers come to the game and don't have a grasp on the guidelines, or context (historical or otherwise) for why we have the guidelines that we do. This game needs more cache cops. It needs more people who are willing to stick to the guidelines and report caches that do not. Groundspeak asks us to do as much, and I know that Land Managers appreciate knowing that this game can be self-regulated consistently according to the guidelines Groundspeak provides them when this game is presented as a possible use of their managed lands. It is attitudes like some presented here in this thread that undermine the efforts of Groundspeak, the Reviewers, and those of us who understand the importance of perception and the guidelines as they stand today. The unsubstantiated claim that "the cache police population density out in the field is much lower then [sic] it is in the forum" speaks directly to the "devolution" of the game, what with saturation of the participants with new cachers who don't understand, or don't care to understand the guidelines and adhere to them in a manner which creates an excellent, consistent, functional perception of our game.
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