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Allegheny County (PA) Parks


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You may contact the volunteer reviewer for the area to request this information. Please look at the bottom of some of the cache pages you have had published, where you will find the name of the reviewer. It is easiest to contact reviewers through their profile page.

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Awhile back I went down to the South Park office to see if they had any of the hard copy forms that are mentioned on the PAGA site. They said that there weren't any. They said that they had info that a cacher had brought to them and it was forwarded to the downtown office and that they would be negotiating with that cacher on it.

 

Does anyone know if Keystone is in the loop yet on the negotiations that they said the downtown office was doing. Does anyone know if Keystone got into contact with the people at the Parks office or vice-versa?

 

I know there was an email sent around awhile back but I don't know if there was ever a response on this matter. I'm a bit out of the loop. As usual.

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I posted a reviewer note when I got my last cache approved in South Park asking about this form, but got the cache published without any response from Keystone. I then e-mailed asking if I needed to fill out a form for the two caches I own in South Park without any response. At that point in time I figured he wasn't responding because he was unsure himself so I let it go. I figured he would have posted the new guidelines on his reviewer profile if anything had changed.

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Sorry, I am just now seeing this thread due to today's bump. Aside from keeping up with cache reviews, my attention has been focused on issues in my Ohio territory for the past ten days or so.

 

I received a copy of a geocaching permit form via e-mail from a geocacher in Allegheny County, and I'm having trouble finding that e-mail. But, I do not have a copy of a policy nor am I aware of any negotiations. If local geocachers have more information, especially a manager's contact name at the Parks Department and/or a website URL where a policy is published, please let me know by posting to this thread or by sending an e-mail. Also, if anyone wants my assistance in any negotiations, please ask. I can be helpful through monitoring the discussions between local geocaching groups and the land manager; for example, by explaining the website's listing guidelines and noting any provisions in a draft policy which might conflict with or present other problems under the listing guidelines. But the local geocachers ought to be taking the lead.

 

Groundspeak asks its volunteer cache reviewers to check for compliance with official, published policies. When Groundspeak is advised of the existence of such a policy, they forward the information to the volunteer reviewer for the relevant area. I've not heard anything from Groundspeak regarding the Allegheny County Parks. Therefore, as I have previously advised several local geocachers via e-mail, I do not plan on taking any further action at this time unless there are new developments or requests for assistance, as described above.

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Thanks Keystone.

 

Your silence on this topic was deafening!

 

We have been investigating this matter and we believe that the permit form that you received was cooked up by the same person who sent it to you. We believe that he has no authority to represent Allegheny County Parks in any official capacity. We will not pursue this matter any further with Allegheny Parks because we prefer that there should be no policy. In other words, we hope that they will just forget about it. It remains to be seen if this misguided initiative by a misguided individual will result in them adopting a formal geocaching policy but rest assured that you will be the first to know if we hear anything official.

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Okay guys, enough is enough…

 

Yes we are fairly new cachers that have been constantly barraged by a few local cachers, for various nonsense related issues, which is becoming ridiculous! If we are misguided then the information we have received and is posted on this website has misguided us.

 

As far as the claims that I cooked anything up or want to be some liaison for the parks is absurd!

 

1.) I was approached by officials while scouting out a hide for a new cache in South Park. I explained what I was doing and was given contact info for John Stibrik. I was told I needed to contact him to get permission to place the cache in the park. I contacted Mr. Stibrik, and was referred to Clarence Hopson, as Mr. Stibrik did not completely understand and all new activities need to be run through Mr. Hopson.

2.) I contacted Mr. Hopson and had a decent phone conversation with him explaining what I wanted to do. He mentioned he was meeting with another cacher for a CITO event in Settlers Cabin, and would like for me to send him an e-mail with any information that I had, and explaining what I would like to do in the park. I did so, and was contacted back by him for me to meet with Him and the naturalist in South Park for placement on my cache as they did not understand thinking it was an event also. I did so and was given permission to place the cache.

3.) I received the form in the mail about 2 weeks after the cache was placed. I immediately called and asked for an electronic version, which I e-mail to Keystone. I received this electronic version from Nicole Ruder in the Parks office.

 

Plain and simple, I was not going to lie about what I was doing there nor do I feel I should ever have to lie about placing or finding a cache.

 

If the Ground Speak stance on placing a cache has changed from what is posted here http://www.geocaching.com/about/guidelines.aspx to “it is best to fly under the radar” and “pleading ignorance when issues arise” as has been stated to me since, as well as posted in local forums, then that should be well stated, and posted big and bold on the Geocaching home page. If this is not the case and it is just the rule of thumb for this area, then there should be some type of automatic notification sent to all new members from this area stating that.

 

Keystone… I will re-send you the information that I sent you previously with the contact numbers and form attached.

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Dude, I'm not buying your story that you were approached by park official while scouting out the location for a cache (what happened to your legendary ability to practice stealth?) but that's beside the point and water under the bridge at this point.

 

Let's move on.

 

Why did you not inform Allegheny County Parks that they needed to contact the website with their policy? Did they expect you to handle it? Why would they think that? We still don't know that they have a policy except for your cache. I guess Keystone will be forced to look into it now. As far as I'm concerned, I think that it's probably a good thing for Allegheny County Parks to adopt a geocaching policy since those parks are pretty much saturated with caches these days. Maybe people will start hiding outside the city again.

 

For future reference, please note that the guidelines that you linked do not say that you must ask permission. The guidelines say that you must have "adequate permission". This means that you may hide a cache in a public space as long as there is no rule against it. You were misguided by your ignorance and inexperience, not by the guidelines.

 

Keep us posted on any further developments, Keystone.

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What makes this really bizarre is when I personally went to get the form at the parks office I was told they didn't have it and were still in negotiations with Mr T***** AKA renruts. Others were told the same thing. They even went as far as to show me the letter to them FROM renruts asking for permission and outlining the geocaching policy that they wished to negotiate. They also said they had not even known about geocaching until renruts approached them about installing a policy. I guess they made the letter up with your name on it too. They are so shady those parks people.

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1.) I was approached by officials while scouting out a hide for a new cache in South Park. I explained what I was doing and was given contact info for John Stibrik. I was told I needed to contact him to get permission to place the cache in the park. I contacted Mr. Stibrik, and was referred to Clarence Hopson, as Mr. Stibrik did not completely understand and all new activities need to be run through Mr. Hopson.

 

What makes this really bizarre is when I personally went to get the form at the parks office I was told they didn't have it and were still in negotiations with Mr T***** AKA renruts. Others were told the same thing.

 

Is is possible that Renruts was approached by a minor parks employee, who directed him to the main office. And once he went there, they had no idea what he was talking about, at which point he started negotiating with them in good faith?

 

Could this just be an incident of poor communication, rather than case of "dishonesty" and

someone "overstepping their bounds"?

Edited by briansnat
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Not at all. Everything said has either changed or just isn't true. He stated locally that it was a Park Ranger who approached him, yet there are no park rangers. The park is patrolled by the county police who do not walk the woods. The office itself said they were approached by him and knew nothing of this until they received the letter. Amazingly they showed several of us enough of the letter to know who it was from (to which they also addressed him by name) and that it was the initiation of the negotiation and not anything else. He has claimed that he was mailed the form 2 weeks after this so called being approached incident, then called and got the electronic version. Amazingly several of us called and went in person to get the forms, all which was about 3-4 weeks after he received these forms, only for us to be told they did not exist yet that they were stilll in negotiaitions with renruts with what the form would say and what the policy would be. He is the only person to have the form. Not even the parks dept has the forms. The form renruts has claimed to be the parks dept form is nothing more than the DCNR form with the parks logo on it. For a group that knew nothing about geocaching or anything about policies anywhere, it's amazing how the DCNR form was posted on renruts website with the parks logo and still the parks dept doesn't have them. It's very clear who was behind this and it's a shame. There's no doubt about it.

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Could this just be an incident of poor communication, rather than case of "dishonesty" and

someone "overstepping their bounds"?

Who knows? And what difference does it make? In life and in geocaching we often have to deal with ramifications of the acts of somebody else, whether these acts be good or bad, well-intentioned or misguided. Let's move on.

 

Is it too late to convince Allegheny Parks that they don't need or want a formal geocaching policy? Is Keystone going to handle this or do we need somebody else to settle this mess?

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It is not the job of Groundspeak or its volunteers to take the lead role in conducting negotiations with land managers. See my first post to the thread for a definition of how I might be able to assist, if asked. Rather, the lead role is properly reserved for local geocaching organizations and their members, who would be directly affected by the policy.

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I have been busy as of late and have not been able to be very active with Geocaching as of late, but am dedicating more time once again to this wonderful sport.

 

Sprint is quickly approaching and it is once again time to start thinking about the Monthly Allegheny CITO. My contact is Mr. Hopson Deputy Director with the county of Allegheny Department of parks. If you need his contact information please mail me and I will send it to you.

 

However I have recently been in communications with him about his cooperation with hosting some of the 2006 CITO’s and he has not indicated any cache requirements or the like. I will not probe but I will keep my ears open if he mentions something I let you know.

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