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The Herd

Attn:indiana Cachers

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Just a heads up that there will be some fee changes for Indiana State Parks effective January 2006. While there are several fee increases, there are also several fee decreases.

Here is what I pulled off of the site, you can visit www.IN.gov/dnr for more information.

 

Fees that Increase in 2006*

Entrance

• In-state from $4 to $5 on weekends. Weekdays stays $4.

• Out-of-state from $5 to $7 daily (Indiana Dunes from $8 to $10).

• Annual in-state from $26 to $36.

• Annual out-of-state from $32 to $46.

• Golden Hoosier permit for age 65 and over from $13 to $18.

• Daily Pedestrian/Bike from $1/person to $2/person.

Camping and Cabins

• Full hookup sites on weekends from $31 to $34; holiday weekends from

$31 to $38.

• Electric sites on weekends from $23 to $25; holiday weekends from

$23 to $28.

• Some cabins increased by $10/day for holiday weekends.

Horse Camping and Fees

• Electric sites on weekends from $26 to $28; holiday weekends from

$26 to $31.

• Annual horse tag from $15/horse to $20/horse.

• Daily tag - not available for the last couple of years - is $5/horse/day.

Other Fees

• Marina dock fees increased at variable rates.

• Recreation building and shelter rental costs increase $5 on holidays/

holiday weekends.

Fees that Decrease in 2006*

Camping and Cabins

• Full hookup sites on weekdays stay at $24.

• Electric sites on weekdays drop from $19 to $17.

• Nonelectric sites drop from $13 to $10 Sun-Wed and $16 to $13 Thurs-Sat.

They remain $16 on holiday weekends.

• Primitive sites drop from $8 to $6 Sun-Wed and from $10 to $8 Thurs-Sat.

They remain $10 on holiday weekends.

• Some cabin rentals drop by $10/day on weekdays.

Horse Camping and Fees

• Nonelectric sites drop from $17 to $13 Sun-Wed and from $20 to $16 on

weekends. These sites are $19 on holiday weekends.

• Primitive sites drop from $10 to $9 Sun-Wed and $12 to $11 on weekends.

These sites are $13 on holiday weekends.

Swimming and Boating

• Daily swim rate drops from $3/day/person to $2/day/person.

• Swim pass remains at $35; good for 25 visits instead of 20.

Others

• Recreation building and shelter rental costs decrease by $5 on Mon-Thurs

and remain the same Fri-Sun.

New Fees*

• Daily boat launch ($5) and annual boat launch ($20) are replaced by an

annual lake permit ($20/motorized watercraft and $5/non-motorized

watercraft).

• Fees for some special event permits.

*For a complete listing of fees, visit the DNR website at www.dnr.IN.gov.

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You forgot to mention the pay toilets and the breathing fees, and oh yes, the drinking fountain fees and the walking around barefoot if you're not a dog fees and the hot shower fees and the parking lot valet fees... :lol:

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Thanks for the posting. We had already seen this from our camping club forum and these changes are definitely affecting their scheduled camping next year. We, too, are looking at neighboring states for many of our 2006 camping outings. 2006 will also be the first year in I can't remember when that we won't be purchasing an annual pass. Given both the increase in camping fees and the decrease in available geocaching, it is no longer a value for us. :lol:

 

Mrs. Car54

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I will not be buying one this year for the exact same reasons. They have fantastic facilities, but some of the county parks are offering much more with no fees (not to mention that they are also more geocaching friendly). :lol:

 

And if you those those fees are bad just look at what an annual pass costs at Eagle Creek in Indianapolis (the last I checked it was $75 for an annual pass or $5 entry if you live outside of the county). On top of that they just archived all of the geocaches in that park. ;)

 

Let's hear it for the state forrest! Still free! Still geocaching friendly! Yahoo! :P

Edited by Rupert2

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I will not be buying one this year for the exact same reasons. They have fantastic facilities, but some of the county parks are offering much more with no fees (not to mention that they are also more geocaching friendly).

Agreed. Up in the wilds of Tippecanoe County is our state's new park, Prophetstown S.P. Even though I'm not far from it, I've been there exactly twice, both times to visit RPW caches that he had to jump hoops to place. Paying the $4 each time was a pain on my ever-thinning wallet. Given the hassle that the DMR is requiring to maintain a cache in a state park (does it really need to be checked every month?), I'm not anxious to either place or hunt for caches in them, unless there's an added factor (either a cache of historic nature or I'm with someone with a permit).

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I will not be buying one this year for the exact same reasons.  They have fantastic facilities, but some of the county parks are offering much more with no fees (not to mention that they are also more geocaching friendly).

Agreed. Up in the wilds of Tippecanoe County is our state's new park, Prophetstown S.P. Even though I'm not far from it, I've been there exactly twice, both times to visit RPW caches that he had to jump hoops to place. Paying the $4 each time was a pain on my ever-thinning wallet. Given the hassle that the DMR is requiring to maintain a cache in a state park (does it really need to be checked every month?), I'm not anxious to either place or hunt for caches in them, unless there's an added factor (either a cache of historic nature or I'm with someone with a permit).

We did recieve some clarification on that issue directly from the DNR. When NEI put on their Pokagon event, it was hosted by the park. One of the employees is a geocacher. He gave a very good talk on the permitting process.

 

I asked that same question about the monthly checking rule. He clarified by saying that the physical cache only has to be checked twice a year. The monthly rule is that the owner must check the logs. As owners, we recieve notification every time the cache is logges, so the rule is really a non-issue.

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We did recieve some clarification on that issue directly from the DNR. When NEI put on their Pokagon event, it was hosted by the park. One of the employees is a geocacher. He gave a very good talk on the permitting process.

 

I asked that same question about the monthly checking rule. He clarified by saying that the physical cache only has to be checked twice a year. The monthly rule is that the owner must check the logs. As owners, we recieve notification every time the cache is logges, so the rule is really a non-issue.

In regard to the physical cache checks, in the words of Wayne Campbell...

 

"Wow. I did not know that!" ;)

 

It's true that different parks have differing rules, along with varying degrees of difficulty of going through the permit process, such as Difficulty 1 for Pokagon S.P. and Difficulty 5 for Charlestown S.P. (Hey, perhaps that could be included in the cache ratings! :) )

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The guy from DNR at Pokagon is a WONDERFUL resouce. I do not remember his name or caching handle, but perhaps "paws"attraction or Heard can. We really should be utilizing him more state-wide.

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The guy from DNR at Pokagon is a WONDERFUL resouce. I do not remember his name or caching handle, but perhaps "paws"attraction or Heard can. We really should be utilizing him more state-wide.

That's an interesting ideal...

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I am certainly not physically checking my Prophetstown SP caches every month. Every 1/2 year, yes. But since the caches are only good for 1 year this in effect means upon placement, upon removal, and one time in between. Checking up on caches every 6 months is a good idea in any case. I always try to do a spring check up and an fall check up on my caches.

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The guy from DNR at Pokagon is a WONDERFUL resouce.  I do not remember his name or caching handle, but perhaps "paws"attraction or Heard can.  We really should be utilizing him more state-wide.

That would be Brad. He caches under "Pokagon Nature Center" but is also part of our team "The Herd" He has done A LOT to help geocaching in our state parks. This topic has come up many times before, which is why he put on the program he did at our event in October. The biggest complaint people have is that they don't want to check their caches every month. That has already been clarified in this forum. Yes, the permit is only good for a year. All they are saying is that if at the end of the year, if there is an "established" social trail to your cache, you move it a few feet and repermit it. Paws can vouch for what can happen to a cache trail in a VERY short amount of time! I think they had something like 6 social trails to theirs in the first month. They just want you to move it to give that vegetation time to reestablish itself. While not everyone will agree with the IDNR policy, I see it one of two ways, you don't have to place a cache in a State Park if you don't like it, and 2-you could always compare it to places like "MICHIGANS" and see just how good we really have it! Keep in mind that a year ago, there was no permitting policy, and people who tried to do it the right way and seek permission (Paws) were flat out told "NO, we don't want them in our park!"

Edited by The Herd

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...2-you could always compare it to places like "MICHIGANS" and see just how good we really have it! Keep in mind that a year ago, there was no permitting policy, and people who tried to do it the right way and seek permission (Paws) were flat out told "NO, we don't want them in our park!"

Yeah, I've heard of Michigan's inane policy. Not exactly knowing my history, but I presume that it is similar to what was going on in Minnesota a couple of years back and what is happening in Parks Canada.

 

Honestly, I think that the permit policy is a reasonable compromise. Both sides want to preserve the integrity of what is of interest to them; for the DMR, the landscape and natural environment, and for geocachers, good PR and a place to play. The only complaint that I would have is the inconsistancy between differing DMR properties.

 

Of course, I have to keep in mind that park rangers are human beings, and we all haven't agreed on anything ever! :laughing: It would be nice if the more closed-minded parks were more like Pokagon. (That and the entrance fees reduced as well!)

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WOW! $26 to $36 is quite a jump! Now our annual pass pays for itself several times over since we hike at Potato Creek a lot, but now it's going to take even longer. Don't know about the other parks, but PC frequently doesn't charge admission in the winter because of so few visitors. They will on the weekends if there's ice for the fishermen and snow for the cross-country skiers, though.

 

We'll still buy it. I can't blame the DNR for needing more money for operating costs.

 

Last state park visit of 2005: maybe a Christmas Eve Day hike at PC.

First visit of 2006: ahhhhh, our annual New Year's Day snow hike!

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The only complaint that I would have is the inconsistancy between differing DMR properties.

This is the State of Indiana we are dealing with here. Nothing is easy but it SHOULD be consistent. If we can press the point a little and take advantage of our resources, we might be able to gain some ground.

 

If we can get the Pokagon Nature Center to assist us with our permit applications then perhpas some of the more difficult parks will be more likely to issue more permits. If nothing else it may start a dialogue between the parks encouraging some consistency.

Edited by Rupert2

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The only complaint that I would have is the inconsistancy between differing DMR properties.

This is the State of Indiana we are dealing with here. Nothing is easy but it SHOULD be consistent. If we can press the point a little and take advantage of our resources, we might be able to gain some ground.

 

If we can get the Pokagon Nature Center to assist us with our permit applications then perhpas some of the more difficult parks will be more likely to issue more permits. If nothing else it may start a dialogue between the parks encouraging some consistency.

I believe the inconsistencies have been noticed by the DNR, and are in part because they're really just starting to have an official Geocaching Policy. This is the very first year they've had one, and honestly any major program launch takes a while to shake out the bugs - especially when this policy is being introduced to people who've never HEARD of this "Geocaching thingy", let alone want to deal with deciding where your ammo cans can go.

I know that Indiana Dunes and Prophetstown SPs have been getting Brad's input on how to implement the policy, and they've become FAR more open to geocaching in general, from what I've been told. He's also (I believe) worked with the DNR officials closer to Pokagon, such as the one supervising the Pigeon River area to open up geocaching in the Pigeon River preserve. It used to be that the land manager's policy was "I don't want to know about it. If you place one, I don't care what the rules say, DON'T TELL ME. I won't allow any permitted caches, because I don't want to mess with them." Now the land manager is far more open to geocaching, and is permitting several, according to my last conversation with Brad about it.

He's also liaised with the Indianapolis DNR honchos to explain geocaching better, and let them know the GOOD things about allowing geocaching in the parks.

 

ll they are saying is that if at the end of the year, if there is an "established" social trail to your cache, you move it a few feet and repermit it. Paws can vouch for what can happen to a cache trail in a VERY short amount of time!

 

Very true. Kai's Kache 2.0 was placed in March, 2005. Less than 6 finds later, it already had 2 VERY prominent social / caching trails, to the point that there was NO vegetation growing at ALL on those new "trails". Both went RIGHT to the cache. By the time the Pokagon Cacher's Campout rolled around in October, it had SIX trails right to it. The two that had originally been there had widened considerably, a 3rd prominent one had sprouted, and three "lesser" trails were also there. Here's the thing - the three "lesser" trails weren't even from the REAL (DNR-established) trails. They were from other directions, such as the houses bordering Pokagon property. This tells me that people, probably "muggles", saw the cache trails and wondered "what's so interesting about that log?", and went to check it out. Several times, evidently, because one visit does not a caching trail make. "Cache trails" aren't just a "spoiler" to geocachers - they're also a BIG TIPOFF to geomuggles that "hey, something's interesting here, come look!"

 

On the other hand, we'll be applying for the yearly permit for Second Nature and we're not moving it at all. I fully expect that one will get permitted, exactly where it is, for another year, because there's no cache trail to it at all. Choose well, investigate your area through the growing season to see what'll have fragile vegetation and what won't, and select carefully, and you shouldn't have to move your cache at all.

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WOW! $26 to $36 is quite a jump! <snip>

We'll still buy it. I can't blame the DNR for needing more money for operating costs.

Illinois and Ohio - 2 states we're looking at camping in this year - don't have entrance fees to their parks. And the Illinois ones, at least, have trash cans - an amenity that many IN state parks no longer have. The Ohio parks may have trash cans, too, but I haven't been to one recently enough to know.

 

Anyway, I must assume that Illinois and Ohio have found other ways to finance the increasing costs we all face without charging their visitors a daily entrance fee. Probably makes it easier to get folks to attend a CITO, too. :lol:

 

Mrs. Car54

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Choose well, investigate your area through the growing season to see what'll have fragile vegetation and what won't, and select carefully, and you shouldn't have to move your cache at all.

Are the trails made by geocachers REALLY a problem?

 

What about the hundreds of Deer and THOUSANDS of rabbits that make new game trails every spring in the woods? They must be stepping on a lot more of these fragile weeds than people are, and yet the forest doesn't seem to implode under their thunderous hooves and velvety paws... Our two :lol: kitties make new trails throught the backyard lawn every spring to get from the garage to the back field, but that doesn't seem to cut down on the crabgrass or dandelions... :D

 

Not only that, did you know those same overgrown long eared nose-twitching rodents actually EAT fragile vegetation? Oh, the HORROR, as the forest cries out in AGONY!!! ARRRGHH!!!

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If you visit the site I mentioned in my first post www.IN.gov/dnr it gives you the reasons for the fee increases.

 

edited for typos...all to common with me!

Edited by The Herd

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.... any major program launch takes a while to shake out the bugs - especially when this policy is being introduced to people who've never HEARD of this "Geocaching thingy", let alone want to deal with deciding where your ammo cans can go....

While it may well be true that some IN state park administrators had never heard of this "Geocaching thingy"; let's face it - at least some of the inconsistencies came from parks and managers who knew very well what geocaching is and had even benefited from CITO events on their property. I certainly don't intend to rehash old battles, but I can't agree that the IDNR is a total noob at this activity. Their initial policy was intended to discourage caching (based on first-hand conversations with property managers of 2 different properties). So if Brad is managing to show them the error of their ways :lol: , more power to him!

 

Mrs. Car54

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Illinois and Ohio - 2 states we're looking at camping in this year - don't have entrance fees to their parks. And the Illinois ones, at least, have trash cans - an amenity that many IN state parks no longer have. The Ohio parks may have trash cans, too, but I haven't been to one recently enough to know.

Come on over! It'll be fun! :P

 

That's one thing that has never made sense to me...and I've mentioned it before...I get charged to go to Indiana parks and there are NO trash cans when you need one. I ended up carrying a CITO bag around all afternoon at the 2004 Fall Picnic because there were no trash cans at any of the pavilions we walked by while caching.

 

Illinois is free and there are big ol' trash cans at every pavilion and they get emptied every morning. How do they do it?

 

Anyway, from now on when I come to an Indiana park I'll just stop and take the front license plate off the Durango and then drive in. That'll save me a few bucks!

 

Bret

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Anyway, from now on when I come to an Indiana park I'll just stop and take the front license plate off the Durango and then drive in. That'll save me a few bucks!

 

Bret

I wouldn't try that, if I were you, Bret. If you haven't dealt with Indiana Park S. Troopers, you might be introduced to a newbrand of law enforcement, one that rivals--oh never mind. Just grit your teeth, and pay the blood money. :P

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