+BC Geocaching Association Posted February 7, 2006 Share Posted February 7, 2006 Hi all, First off, let me apologize for the length of this post and for not being able to post until today (wanted to make sure that what I've typed conveyed everything that was heard through other ears before posting). On Thurs., Feb 2nd, Brian Bowtinheimer of BC Parks was coming through Chilliwack and a meeting with Chillibusher and I was scheduled to discuss where BC Parks was heading on the development of a geocaching policy and what type of input was required still. Brian brought an “unpolished straw man proposal” to share with us for initial reaction to share with the broader BC caching community. While discussing the ideas put forth, I tried to type up as much of it as possible. What has been put forward so far appears to be encouraging. From all accounts, it appears that great efforts are being made to make this a collaborative process in which geocachers have a chance to contribute. It takes into account current best practice (or general etiquette) that geocachers have deemed to be important, as well as the concerns that many who frequent our Parks for geocaching have highlighted. He mentioned that this is something that is workable and further input and discussion about the “straw man proposal” contents can be discussed, revised, mulled over, and so forth. He wished to thank those who have contributed to the discussions up to this point, whether on the GC.com forums or the forum developed at vigps.com. I asked what we could expect in terms of a timeline for meeting again and what the timelines for input would be before a draft or something on paper would be provided. At this time it would look like some kind of written draft might be put forward sometime in March with a meeting occurring at that time. It was clear that the process of working toward a draft on Park’s end would continue to occur with input and feedback via the GC.com forums and the vigps.com forums forming an important part of this ongoing process. The points and discussions developed through the forum threads continue to be an important vehicle for communication and feedback. Please be assured that those threads are visited and constructive feedback, ideas, and discussion on how we can promote the education of “leave no trace” ethics while geocaching do plenty to promote a policy that promotes geocaching within BC provincial parks. DocMagoo The following is a brief summary of some of the points shared to date: Principles (based on Provision of Activities through BC Park policy) - geocaching is an excellent way to promote parks - health benefits - low impact activity - all ages and abilities can participate - it is up to geocachers to know about rules of operating in a park Policy (proposed) regarding the activity of geocaching, other existing Parks policies apply (recreational policy that relates to hiking, conservation, vegetation management) since geocaching is an activity that fits within the framework of other activities (90% of geocaching is walking/hiking to the location) permission of the agency is not required placement of caches – do not disturb soils/substrate/rock/vegetation/disturb wildlife. Use common sense and self-police. Try to place in existing “natural” hiding places that present themselves (eg. Movement of rocks vegetation to cache hiding area not permitted, whereas if the feature you are hiding the cache at already has loose bark/debris…this is more acceptable) no permanent caches – when the cache is not being visited anymore and it sits dormant for awhile then it should be removed to allow the area to return to natural vegetative state. (time limit or dormancy … could replace it elsewhere)- caches are permanent in nature…in perpetuity….may end up being left indefinitely after a period of time- should we as geocachers be allowed to leave something is perpetuity or when do we take responsibility and pull it out? No placement in sensitive sites (needs to be an intuitive thing…no placement on heritage buildings). Sensitive areas will generally be closed off to all uses/users and generally marked as such.) Ecological reserves – cache placements not permitted. These are places set aside for research, recovery of area, study for educational purposes. Nobody can enter an ecological reserve except for the express purpose of the ecological reserve. Rules of hiking apply (trail use vs. non-trail use). If there’s a trail system, then you’re asked to stay on the trail. Regarding how this affects cache placement, geocachers are expected to follow the existing guidelines. Use common sense. If everyone else is expected to stay on trail, geocachers should stay on trail. Caches must have the contact information for the cache hider inside the cache so they can be contacted if need arises. Inappropriate caches: if found by ranger, given 14 days to remove. Clearly mark the container as a “geocache” – no size, shape limitations Geocache should not be placed in an area where it interferes with other activities (ie. Cache hidden under campsite’s picnic table, cache hidden on amphitheatres, etc.) geocaching events - need an organizer and insurance (follow other policies, events commercial in nature need a permit) Note to moderators: please, could you "sticky" this thread so it doesn't get lost in the shuffle? Thanks! Quote Link to comment
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