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Tangential Discussions From The PC Thread


ibycus
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Keystone has quite rightly pointed out that the thread was getting way off its original topic, but there were still valid things being discussed.

 

Couple of points that were directed towards me:

 

1. I don't represent Southern Alberta.

 

You're right, and I'm trying not to use the word representative (if I do use it, I don't mean to imply that I have any authority granted to me by anyone). I am however the closest person to you who is involved in the discussion group, and I *will* try to faithfully represent any and all of your concerns to the group as a whole. If you feel more comfortable talking with someone from Rural Saskatchewan, I believe Parker2 might be able to help you there.

 

So far, I have seen no "Geocaching at all costs" being raised. We are all aware that Geocaching does have an impact on the environment (heck just being in the park as an impact) and we need to figure out how best we can mitigate that effect (if we can at all). We need to talk to people who actually know and understand the ecology of the area, and figure out what if anything we can do.

 

We're all (parks Canada included) working towards what at least at this point seems to be a common goal

 

The issue with the cache that was listed in Banff (at least as far as I understood) was that the cacher in question lied to the reviewer and said they had obtained the requisite permission, but they hadn't. If they had obtained permission, then there was no reason not to list the cache. The cache didn't get delisted right away because the after it was listed it took time to confirm that they didn't actually have permission (while it was evident early on the permission hadn't been granted at the national level, it had to be assured that no one with authority had granted permission at the local park level).

 

I do agree though there should have been some more checking done given the sensitive nature of the situation prior to the cache being listed on the site, and at the very least, the cache should have been temporarily taken off line until things were sorted out.

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Oh, and I don't actually live in Calgary (although I spend a lot of time there), I live about 100m from one of my caches "Puppy is Sleeping", and about 20km from the nearest gas station. Most of my recent caching has been in Cochrane, which I beleive is even smaller than Medicine Hat, and out in Kananaskis.

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Apparently we should find a website not under the thumb of geocaching.com, since they apparently will conduct how discussions on the topic will proceed here.

 

I still want to know, cache-tech, who the "volunteers of geocaching.com" are? I think we're all entitled to that information. If they're representing Canadians, as you claim, then their identities (their geocaching.com handles are sufficient) should be released. If they're representing geocaching.com (as I fear), then by all means keep those identities anonymous.

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I am the contact person for the BCGA. Opinions and ideas will be formed by our group and I am acting as the information contact person. I have stated how I feel about caching in parks in other threads. Here is a summary:

 

I know that geocaching has an impact in parks. I also realize the benefits of having geocaching available in parks. This is an activity that all ages and abilities can participate in. There aren't many things like that out there where everybody from Grandpa to child can do an activity together and be equally excited about it. I know that we (BCGA) can not represent both extremes of ideas of BC cachers from banning caching to no policy at all in parks. We have to work down the middle and find common ground that the majority of cachers and parks can be happy with. I think parks should be open to caching. We are not very different from hikers or photographers. 90% (and yes I just pulled that number out of thin air) of geocaching activity can be covered by existing policy for hikers/runners/walkers in parks. I am open to hear all ideas in these forums and I will do my best to represent opinions offered. Please remember that everybody has had the opportunity to voice opinions directly to Parks Canada for the past eight months. I look forward to working towards a positive geocaching policy.

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Apparently we should find a website not under the thumb of geocaching.com, since they apparently will conduct how discussions on the topic will proceed here.

 

I still want to know, cache-tech, who the "volunteers of geocaching.com" are? I think we're all entitled to that information. If they're representing Canadians, as you claim, then their identities (their geocaching.com handles are sufficient) should be released. If they're representing geocaching.com (as I fear), then by all means keep those identities anonymous.

 

Cache-tech answered your question quite clearly and politely in the other thread. Cache-tech was asked by Parks Canada to participate in the process as a Groundspeak Volunteer. That is the capacity in which Cache-tech is acting. As has been explained at length previously in other forums which you've followed, only an employee of Groundspeak is able to be "representing geocaching.com." Nobody has said that they are "representing geocaching.com" in the Parks Canada discussions, so quit asking that over and over again.

 

EDIT: Yes, this is a moderated forum, as you are well aware. If you wish to discuss this matter in a different forum, please do so. If you post here, please follow the posted Forum Guidelines and the requests of the moderators who enforce them.

Edited by Keystone
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I think what he's driving at, is there are other reviewers involved in the process that are in on the discussions, whose handles haven't been written here.

 

There isn't really a reason not to put them down here, but they haven't explicitly stated that they don't mind, so its not up to me (or cache-tech) to put the names here without contacting them first.

 

I don't know if this will help address your fears or not, but all the reviewers that I'm aware of that are participating in the discussions are as far as I know Canadians living in Canada. (you should be able to deduce a fair amount at to who isn't involved in the process from that).

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Only in so much as no one can say anything without asking these people first. They've been asked, and they haven't replied (some of them do things other than geocache).

 

It isn't up to anyone other than them if their handles should be publically released or not. (can't see why they wouldn't want them released, but that isn't up to me, or cache-tech or keystone to decide).

 

(P.S. I'm guessing Keystone didn't realize that multiple Canadian Reviewers were involved)

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As I pointed out in my private email, I feel the workgroup process is already doomed to failure. It isn't a matter of if, it is a matter of when. When the policy comes under fire it will immediately be gutted by the perception of bias, geocaching.com only exists to list caches and does this as part of a commerical enterprise, "at all costs" may be an exaggeration, "at all acceptable costs" is closer to the rule for a going concern.

 

As soon as a legislator is required to respond to a constituents concerns in regards to geocaching (see South Carolina) the legislator is going to be looking at a policy that was drafted in concert with people who are working on behalf of a business in the business of listing caches, you do not see any conflict in this ?

 

By selecting certain voices Parks Canada is deselecting others, this is unavoidable.

By closing the door they are restricting valid input.

Again, it has nothing to do with the minutae of discussoins, my suggestion was very clear, prior to adopting conclusions, post them for public review, even if you do adopt them you have added strength to the policy.

 

I am glad you are an activist in regards to geocaching Dale and I am glad you are involved in the workgroup, I felt it was best to clarify that I am not represented in these workgroup discussions. I also feel free to offer my opinions on almost any subject, even when not specifically requested to do so. :)

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I am the contact person for the BCGA.

Does one have to pay the BCGA membership fee before they can be heard? Just curious, because so much of the BCGA website seems to be locked down to non-members.

 

Other than that, I'm cool with your representation. You've got the best interests of the hobby at heart.

 

No, you do not need to be a member. Anybody can read the information about parks in the news area of the BCGA website. I am willing to listen or read any ideas from BC cachers.

Edited by Chillibusher
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Hello all

Here is a quick run down

my GC ID is parker2

I am the contact person for Saskatchewan.

We have a group (not fully implemented as of yet) of just around 40.

I have been involved with geocaching since mid 01.

I enjoy every outdoor experience that I have tried.

When I was asked by PC to be in the workgroup, I gladly said yes as I know my input would be valuable.

I have been involved with our local branch of the wildlife fed. and I have seen what it takes to get a policy implemented.

 

As I pointed out in my private email, I feel the workgroup process is already doomed to failure. It isn't a matter of if, it is a matter of when. When the policy comes under fire it will immediately be gutted by the perception of bias, geocaching.com only exists to list caches and does this as part of a commerical enterprise, "at all costs" may be an exaggeration, "at all acceptable costs" is closer to the rule for a going concern.

 

As soon as a legislator is required to respond to a constituents concerns in regards to geocaching (see South Carolina) the legislator is going to be looking at a policy that was drafted in concert with people who are working on behalf of a business in the business of listing caches, you do not see any conflict in this ?

 

IMHO this policy, when drafted, signed, sealed, and delivered will be in the books for many years to come. The term geocaching in the policy will cover all aspects of the sport / game. It is not a policy that will be written for the Geocaching.com or Groundspeak.... It will be written for all park users to follow. There is no input from the company, nor will there ever be as the company is American based and has no say in the use of Canadian resources or lands. The reviewers that are involved, were asked to be in the workgroup for input on existing policies and regulations, no more.

 

By selecting certain voices Parks Canada is deselecting others, this is unavoidable.

By closing the door they are restricting valid input.

Again, it has nothing to do with the minutae of discussoins, my suggestion was very clear, prior to adopting conclusions, post them for public review, even if you do adopt them you have added strength to the policy.

 

Parks Canada never "deselected voices". There was an interm policy that was drafted up last spring that asked for input from everyone including other stakeholders not involved in geocaching. After the closing date (Dec 31), the input to PC closed. This data that was collected form the email will be used in the policy making process. So the door was never closed, nor is it now. You can always feel free to contact the member of the workgroup in your area, or even one of the other members involved. There will never be a policy that will be agreed upon by all geocachers and stakeholders, I know from experience that this is 100% true. We as a working group, will have a long road ahead of us to help make a policy that will not only be good for all involved, but the enviroment as well.

 

parker2

SaskCachers

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