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dogbreathcanada

Geocaching volunteers working with PC

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Yes, I recall that during our meeting that suggestion was made.

 

At the time, Parks Canada indicated that the policy would remain in place, all existing caches were to be removed. However, I know of at least one (and I am kind of aware of a few others) where the Park Warden went out to 'review' the caches and decided themselves that the cache posed no threat and allowed them to remain.

 

Regardless, Parks Canada has the authority to make a National Policy for its parks.

 

But there is also a project by one Park Warden to set up a few caches as a test, under the permission of Parks Canada, but to my knowledge this was very limited and done independantly of Groundspeak.

 

<_< The Blue Quasar

That is all very encouraging. Nice to see that they are even willing to do their own tests. Certainly they seem to be taking an open approach and that's what we want.

 

Parks Canada certainly has that right and now we can see that they are also receptive. Thanks for the news.

 

JDandDD

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But there is also a project by one Park Warden to set up a few caches as a test, under the permission of Parks Canada, but to my knowledge this was very limited and done independantly of [any cache listing site].

Nice to see that they are even willing to do their own tests.

Kind of pointless to do a test if you don't get caching visitors to measure impact.

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DogsbreathCacnada posted

I know a couple of people who have problems with Blue Quasar's participation in the process, but nobody would ever dare voice those grievances here, no matter how valid they are, because the Groundspeak "ban hammer" would come down hard, which is a good example of why a neutral website for discussion is required.

 

I didn't know that you took issue with me. Can't imagine why, but if you feel like pointing it out, I'll review it.

 

You can trust me when I say that I have had the Groundspeak hammer drop on me as well. You have been given a lot of leeway with your content in my opinion.

 

Should you, or anyone else, feel that I am not suited to participate in the Parks Canada discussions, please email your concerns to Parks Canada for their review.

 

<_< The Blue Quasar

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DogsbreathCacnada posted

I know a couple of people who have problems with Blue Quasar's participation in the process, but nobody would ever dare voice those grievances here, no matter how valid they are, because the Groundspeak "ban hammer" would come down hard, which is a good example of why a neutral website for discussion is required.

 

I didn't know that you took issue with me. Can't imagine why, but if you feel like pointing it out, I'll review it.

 

You can trust me when I say that I have had the Groundspeak hammer drop on me as well. You have been given a lot of leeway with your content in my opinion.

 

Should you, or anyone else, feel that I am not suited to participate in the Parks Canada discussions, please email your concerns to Parks Canada for their review.

 

:lol: The Blue Quasar

 

BQ, you have my support and thank you for putting in the time!

 

I have no problems with your or any members reasons for being on the group. To be as negative as DBC seems to be, means you have to believe that people have agendas that are intentionally against the good of geocaching. As I've said elsewhere that to me is a ludicrous position. Its just as ludicrous to believe that geocaching.com would be intentionally negative to the sport and even more ludicrous to think that they would have some power over our government.

 

I think we all should move on and just let DBC rant by themselves . It would appear that they are unwilling to listen to anything but what they believe and everytime something is answered DBC just finds something else to be mad and unhappy with. Undoubtedly DBC will flame at this post too. However, complaining and negativity gets to a point that it is no longer worth listening too since its just about being angry than trying to help the process.

 

I think we all should stop feeding DBC and move on. We should acentuate the positive and provide meaningful feedback to the workgroup so that we can help the process rather than undermine it.

 

Blue Quasar, from and Ontario point of view, I'm glad you are part of the process, I know you meet with the regional reps, and you do listen and I'm glad you are part of this.

 

JDandDD

Edited by JDandDD

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Excelent post JDandDD. I am actually getting sick of all the BS in this forum but it will keep the working group on there toes. Im not too sure if DBC has actually seen the recent PDF sent by PC, as he has not asked about the NGO's that are involved. Maybe this is the secret group that he is talking about. I know it can not be the working group that he keeps saying is keeping him in the dark, as all the info they have has been released (usually with in 24 hours). :lol: I just came back from a 4 day convention with NGO's and Gov. enviroment officials. To be totally honest, all I seen was the same thing over again from the past years, except in a diffrent context. Every Gov. agency ond NGO's will always have someone that has a problem with how things are conducted. If this forum was in any way not releasing the facts, I know that it would be wrong, and I would put a stop to it. Issues can not be delt with this way in any shape or form. The convention theme that I was at was "OUR WILDLIFE RESOURCE - A PUBLIC LEGACY". I know I will follow this theme during the up comming meetings with PC. We all shuld be resource stewards in this enviroment we have. I know some people are ignorant in this state of mind or we would of never been in the positon of talks with officials in the National, Provincial, and other levels of goverment.

With this said..... it's bed time lol

 

parker2

Owen Parker

SaskCachers

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I think we all should move on and just let DBC rant by themselves
you have to believe that people have agendas that are intentionally against the good of geocaching

 

It probably won't surprise many geocachers to find out there are indeed those who oppose geocaching completely. All the problems that arise with geocaches do so because they are listed. After reading this thread it is clear that the problems lie with the geocachers who will not trade out seeds. Regardless of which view point you support the record is very clear, extensive bans exist because those same people, the ones that are intentionally against the good of geocaching, have immense power if they can connect with an MP or legislator.

The two caches specifically identified in this thread are excellent examples of concerned geocachers working against the powers that be and offering input well outside the comfort zone. You should examine the history of both caches before you denigrate concerned geocachers or those who set their own jib, your comments apply equally.

As many Alberta cachers know it was Dale who filed the SBA log on Billy Goats Garden, it was required. I was glad to see him do that and supported his log with one of my own, I followed his lead. His log was about as far away from the comfort zone as you can get, but it was required. Expressing concerns will often move input out of the comfort zone. Denigrating others does not improve the policy, identifying weakness now might. My input is not intended to expand the comfort zone regarding geocaching in parks. I think a lot of input skirts the edge, we all do that. To suggest that geocachers who express valid viewpoints are "ranting" or to trumpet your opinion as fact does not advance the policy.

I have publicy stated this : That the people who oppose geocaching are going to show up one day, MP in tow, and they are going to be aiming for a complete ban on geocaching in parks. At that time this policy will have to undergo a stress test. The people who oppose geocaching have been successful in the past so they may be again.

I predict that this policy will fail completely if those who work for or on the behalf of commercial listing services are sitting at the table helping direct the drafting of the policy. This is a conflict of interest that will not go unheeded by those who completely oppose geocaching. It will fail because negative inputs are going to be limited to a few anonymized comments taken from another thread. This is my opinion, it is not fact. Those who oppose geocaching completely are fact.

 

Groundspeak literally cannot comprehend that the Parks may be required to alter the shape of the game to make it work for ALL Canadians, not just those who do not oppose geocaching. Feel free to discount my rants as well, file me under extremist with other geocachers who also made comments. I was happy to see some of the comments, they underscore that there is clearly more than one of us.

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Thanks for your post wavevector. You got me thinking about some interesting issues. (I'd like to bring them up privately with other members of the working group though first, as they are somewhat controvertial, and I'd like to make sure I have at least some support for them before I 'go public', although I'd be more than happy to discuss them privately with anyone who asks).

 

I don't know yet exactly which Non-Government Orgs are involved yet, but I imagine many of them have concerns that far supercede geocaching in the parks (i.e. the environment), as well they should. You are right to suggest that if this policy is purely one sided, it will be easy to poke it full of holes (I'm not convinced that it will be one sided, remember the geocachers are just one of the groups that are involved in the process).

 

The only place I think I disagree very strongly with you is the necessity of including the reviewers on this process. I think I've made my reasons for this clear already, and don't feel the need to re-hash them here (unless you want me to :laughing: )

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I appreciate reading your post, but it brings up some questions in my mind. I realize how difficult it is to express thoughts and ideas by posting to a forum as opposed to talking with others. I can tell that your comments were thoughtful, but unfortunately did not clarify your position for me.

 

Please take these as sincere questions (of clarification) so that I may better understand the issues that are being raised.

 

The people who oppose geocaching have been successful in the past so they may be again.

 

Who are these people? Politicians, environmentalists, mountain bikers ...? When were they successful and where?

 

I predict that this policy will fail completely if those who work for or on the behalf of commercial listing services are sitting at the table helping direct the drafting of the policy.

 

Why? What aspect of 'commercial' makes their input invalid? Please be more specific in your objections to Groundspeak (other than that they are a commercial enterprise.)

 

(From what I can tell, Groundspeak does not make any money from caches that are placed anywhere, let alone land controlled by Parks Canada and seem mainly interested in people having fun, within a set of fairly explicit guidelines.)

 

Those who oppose geocaching completely are fact.

 

A little more detail would be appreciated. Who, what, where, when? (As someone new to this sport, it is impossible for me to understand what you are trying to imply when comments are vague or implied.)

 

Groundspeak ... cannot comprehend that the Parks may be required to alter the shape of the game to make it work for ALL Canadians, not just those who do not oppose geocaching.

 

In what ways do you see the game needs to be altered from the present from? Do you see stricter publishing guidelines (administed by Groundspeak volunteers) or do you see a Parks Canada employee being responsible for approval of caches in Parks?

 

...extremist with other geocachers who also made comments...

 

You call yourself an extremist, but it is not clear if you for or against geocaching in Parks Canada locations? Thus, it is hard to decide whether to support or oppose your position. Please clarify.

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Hi Maxima

I hope you are enjoying geocaching, at least winter has the benefit of footprints for most Canadians, a sure fire finding method. :laughing:

One of the problems with dropping the other pinned thread is lost input. It is still available below and makes excellent introductory reading. I stated my position pretty clearly in that thread, I am in favour of geocaching in all Parks, National and Provincial but fear that access will continue to be lost. You geocache in Ontario, but you don't geocache in the Provincial Parks there because it is banned, Americans can't geocache at Yellowstone, nobody can geocache in Banff. In South Carolina those opposed to geocaching actually got the evidence used in legislative hearings from cache logs on this site, they don't want geocaches in graveyards or historic sites in SC. The list of locations where one is not allowed to geocache is getting longer. It is caused by the fact that commercial listing services, going concerns, list geocaches.

Parse the finances in any fashion you see fit but commercial listing services like Groundspeak exist because they list geocaches and charge a fee for paying members to use auxiliary services related to geocaching and the listings. This causes concern for me when I look at the balance in workgroup and policy decisions.

If a directive was tabled that caused substantial cost to commercial listing services would it be supported or would the answer be "have the geocachers trade out the seeds", I would not expect any going concern to argue in favour of any directive that strikes squarely at the bottom line, do you believe that Groundspeak is different or that those working on their behalf will represent the opposite view ?

I have pointed out that commercial listing services and those who work on their behalf have no expertise in deciding park policy and their presence only serves to make any policy drafted suspect in the eyes of those who oppose geocaching. The conflict of interest is apparent and I believe that it will eventually become the anchor that drags the policy down and sees it replaced by law, this has been a repetitive scene in geocaching.

 

The Parks can obtain input from geocachers without presenting an obvious facet for attack, geocachers can explain geocaching. The Parks can involve biologists, ecologists and others who have valid input on Park policy decisions, they can listen to geocachers explain geocaching, they can decide and then the Parks can direct the listing services on the new requirements. That is what should happen in my opinion.

 

The commerical listing services and those who work on their behalf may actually confuse the issue as they extend the policies of the company they work on behalf of as "geocaching" when it isn't.

Other commerical listers and the policies in place at those listing services may be very different. Just because a codeword cache isn't published on one service doesn't mean it won't be on another. I have yet to see the Nay component in the workgroup but I think the Yea component goes way overboard by actually including those who work on behalf of a commerical listing service, a "going concern" that derives it revenue from geocaching. If the Nay component is the anonymized comments from the other thread then I think we are looking at a policy which is a sitting duck for the first disgruntled letter writer.

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If a directive was tabled that caused substantial cost to commercial listing services would it be supported or would the answer be "have the geocachers trade out the seeds", I would not expect any going concern to argue in favour of any directive that strikes squarely at the bottom line, do you believe that Groundspeak is different or that those working on their behalf will represent the opposite view ?

Be careful, you might be labeled a "ranter" too.

 

And you're right ... Groundspeak makes the most money from a caching environment with no policies. So their input into the discussions will be that the fewer the guidelines the better.

 

And Groundspeak doesn't need to be involved in the discussions at all. Not even their volunteers. Reviewing and listing caches is no great mystery. I'm pretty sure I could correctly answer any question Parks Canada posed on reviewing. It's not a detailed or complex process.

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I just read through some old forums threads here and noticed things have not really changed over the years, just some of the names in the threads. I find it ironic that I volunteered to be a reviewer because some parks started to ban geocaching. I emailed the contact address and asked if I could help, I was turned down. About a month or so later (June actually, you can tell by this accounts join date) I received an email asking a few questions and if I was still interested in becoming a volunteer reviewer. Here we are just about 3 years later, another park is looking at a geocaching policy and I am being told that I should not be involved, even though it is the reason I became a volunteer of this site. Well, I am involved in both, one due to the other. I do not represent geocaching.com, I am a Canadian volunteer for geocaching.com to review caches for listing in Canada. I am not interested in or have never been told how to sway policy to benifit Groundspeaks bottom line. In fact, before now, have never thought about how any policy will affect the money matters of this listing site and really, it is none of my concern. I am a concerned geocacher who enjoys finding a container with a GPS, signing the logbook, trading a few trinkets, see interesting locations and meeting a number of great people who enjoy the same, I would like to continue doing so.

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another park

 

You are deprecating the importance of Parks Canada and the role the decision they make might play in geocaching in all Canadian parks, it is most certainly not "another park" and that is an unfair characterization of what is occurring. If it was geocaching in some park somewhere then most would not be here or reading.

You are not the target of any objections that I have, that is you personally. I have I hope made my position clear. You work on behalf of geocaching.com, opponents of geocaching will not go any further than this, they will not look at the reasons you care, they will not even notice that you care, they will get out the petard and start hoisting to the detriment of geocaching in Canada.

 

Including reviewers for commercial listing services is such an obvious flaw in the workgroup makeup that I wonder if the end result is not intended to be a complete geocaching ban and the workgroup is simply a method of going through the motions ?

 

If you really cared about being able to geocache in Canada's National Parks on a permanent basis then you would encourage everyone associated in any way with a commercial listing service to drop out of the workgroup, the policy the workgroup created would then be free of of easily exploitable vulnerabilities. Opponents of geocaching are opposed, when they see a reviewer for a commercial listing service they see the opposition, when they see that reviewers for a commercial listing service helped fashion policy, they will object.

 

Perhaps a review of the last three years might include the successes of geocaching.com in obtaining access to parks where geocaching has been banned but such a review would be counterproductive, we are not winning, at least in my eyes.

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The list of locations where one is not allowed to geocache is getting longer. It is caused by the fact that commercial listing services, going concerns, list geocaches.

 

I think their primary concern is getting people to become premium members, listing caches by itself doesn't get them any money...

 

Parse the finances in any fashion you see fit but commercial listing services like Groundspeak exist because they list geocaches and charge a fee for paying members to use auxiliary services related to geocaching and the listings. This causes concern for me when I look at the balance in workgroup and policy decisions.

If a directive was tabled that caused substantial cost to commercial listing services would it be supported or would the answer be "have the geocachers trade out the seeds", I would not expect any going concern to argue in favour of any directive that strikes squarely at the bottom line, do you believe that Groundspeak is different or that those working on their behalf will represent the opposite view ?

 

As has been stated repeatedly (but apparently not beleived) the reviewers are working on behalf of Groundspeak in this process. They aren't for starters legally entitled to do so. Further, why the heck would a volunteer care about a policy that hit at gs.com's bottom line? I can't imagine any reason (maybe you can).

 

Can you give me an example of a policy that might impact the bottom line? Remember all of their worker bees are volunteers, and there seems to be no shortage of people looking to volunteer. Even if the reviewer workload was quadrupled by the policy, I can't imagine it would make a significant difference to Groundspeak.

 

I have pointed out that commercial listing services and those who work on their behalf have no expertise in deciding park policy

 

Do you? Do I? I know I don't.

 

and their presence only serves to make any policy drafted suspect in the eyes of those who oppose geocaching. The conflict of interest is apparent and I believe that it will eventually become the anchor that drags the policy down and sees it replaced by law, this has been a repetitive scene in geocaching.

 

perhaps. You said this a couple of times, but can you give a specific example where volunteer reviewer involvement was a point of contention after the fact?

 

The Parks can obtain input from geocachers without presenting an obvious facet for attack, geocachers can explain geocaching. The Parks can involve biologists, ecologists and others who have valid input on Park policy decisions, they can listen to geocachers explain geocaching, they can decide and then the Parks can direct the listing services on the new requirements. That is what should happen in my opinion.

 

That is essentially what is happening, except they are also seeking input with the reviewers, the people who I imagine who have had the most experience with cache listings in Canada.

 

I have yet to see the Nay component in the workgroup but I think the Yea component goes way overboard by actually including those who work on behalf of a commerical listing service, a "going concern" that derives it revenue from geocaching. If the Nay component is the anonymized comments from the other thread then I think we are looking at a policy which is a sitting duck for the first disgruntled letter writer.

 

Remember, we're only one component that is being consulted about this. Its only natural that geocachers will be mostly 'pro-geocaching'. The balance of the equation is being presented with the other groups involved.

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another park

 

You are deprecating the importance of Parks Canada and the role the decision they make might play in geocaching in all Canadian parks,

 

I know a lot of provincial parks are waiting on the Parks Canada discussions, to use as a road map for their own policies.

 

Including reviewers for commercial listing services is such an obvious flaw in the workgroup makeup that I wonder if the end result is not intended to be a complete geocaching ban and the workgroup is simply a method of going through the motions ?

 

I think people could raise even more objections if they weren't involved, I know I'd be objecting. They have expertise we generally lack. They have experience we lack.

 

Perhaps a review of the last three years might include the successes of geocaching.com in obtaining access to parks where geocaching has been banned but such a review would be counterproductive, we are not winning, at least in my eyes.

 

Can you give any examples where gc.com reviewers weren't involved on a large scale discussion like this one that were actually successful? (small scale discussions don't have the same broad attack surface, so aren't a valid reference base).

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Wow. Some of you act like there are NO success stories out there. I’ve seen caches banned in our state parks, but we worked with them and now are getting to place some again. You say US National Park Service areas ban all caches? Wrong. I have a cache in a US NPS area. We negotiated with the local unit and they allowed most of them to stay where they were. They removed a few (in a nesting area and in some environmentally sensitive areas), but the rest remain at this time. Our National Forest Service had the policy written to ban caches, but after one meeting with two of the reviewers they put a hold on the policy. We are working on a permit that will be bought by the local group and will allow all of our cachers to place caches with permission (like you should do anyway). That is just one US state. As negative as some of you think, no wonder you see nothing but failure in the future. I would not want you at the negotiating table either frankly.

 

Yes, I helped negotiate some of these issues above. Funny, but in each case the fact that the reviewers were involved in the process *actually* helped. They appreciated our involvement and in fact welcomed it. In each case, our involvement reassured them that caches listed by this listing service would follow their policy. What worried them more were the secretive sites like terracaching. I frankly don’t see why it matters about someone like Cache-tech working in the negotiations anyway. We are still a geocachers. It has been clearly stated that they don’t represent Groundspeak, but some of you just won’t accept that (the negativity thing again). I’ve found twice as many caches and have hidden three times as many as DBC and have found five times more and hidden three times as many as wavevector. I have geocached across the entire US and will probably be in Canada over the summer. I would think this would at least put me even with the two of them with regards to discussing geocaching with a governmental agency, if not somewhat more experienced. Hey, what do I know? I don’t want to be involved in the PC negotiation process but I must understand and know what is going on so I don’t list another cache like the seeds cache for some of you to bash me with. I’ve never claimed to be as perfect as some of you seem to feel that you are. Feel free to continue to cast stones at me though. I‘m sure you will.

 

One other thing. Just because Parks Canada bans geocaching doesn’t mean that the Groundspeak site will go bankrupt. So much of the globe has no restrictions. I would venture to guess that way less than 1 percent of the globe is off limits to geocaching. It is almost comical that some of you think that the economic viability of Groundspeak is tied to caches in Parks Canada locations. While you might say that I am missing the big picture aspect, I think it is some of you that miss the big picture regarding areas that are available for geocaching vs. banned areas. It is painfully obvious.

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Thanks mtn-man. The success stories are appreciated. It's very easy to focus on the negative side of things.

 

As far as numbers go, remember "It's not about the numbers :D" Seriously though it isn't. Well maybe 'hide rate' might be a somewhat meaningful number (although not in all cases). The main thing I think is activity level in the game. wavevector, living in Medicine Hat, lives in a pretty cache poor area, I haven't looked at Atlanta, but I imagine you'd have to travel a darn sight less than him to rack up the number of finds he's got. And hiding lots of caches isn't so rewarding when no one is around to find them.

 

The place reviewers have a whole lot more experience than pretty much any of the rest of us common folk is in *reviewing* cache listings, and dealing with problems when they arise. Most of us can point to maybe 5 or 6 questionable caches that happend to fall within our sphere of knowledge. I'm guessing you can point to a whole lot more than that. (I can think of maybe 3 off the top of my head). It's these exceptions, that bring out the problems that need to be addressed. The flaws in the system and potential flaws in the system that we come up with need to be exposed *before* the policy comes in place.

 

I have no idea personally how many cache descriptions I've read in detail, but whatever that number happens to be, I'm betting just about any reviewer has read more.

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Wow.

 

I’ve found twice as many caches and have hidden three times as many as DBC and have found five times more and hidden three times as many as wavevector.

Wow. Do you have like an award on your mantlepiece?

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It never ceases to amaze me how, in almost every discussion forum, how things get so easily misunderstood. The written word often does not do well. Its only part of how we communicate but facial expressions and tonal qualities can't be done. The reactions you get make you regret even trying to be part of a discussion. Apparently my input is no longer wanted on these forums, so I'll end with the following clarification.

 

Wavevector, you quote me but unfortunately it is a misquote. Yes, I know you copied it. The 'people' I was referring to are the people who were asked by Parks Canada to participate. There are of course people in the world who don't like the sport. What I was referring to is that I can't believe that any of the geocaching reps or reps in genergal would possible have an agenda that would be against the good of the sport. What could possibly be their motivation? So, in my maybe naive way, I just can't see that constantly being suspicious of their involvement does any good.

 

Same for geocaching. What would be possibly in their interest to hurt the game in Canada. They want members and the best way to do that is to promote the game and expand it which also means get it into the parks. So, again, in my maybe naive way, I just can't see that constantly questioning the participation of people serves any purpose. As well, being a government employee and sitting on lots of committees over 26 years, I know how difficult it is for anyone person or group to dominate. These things are always about finding common ground and working out solutions. If one ever goes into these things thinking they can win all aspects of their agenda they soon find out they can't. So, from experience I trust the process to work.

 

For me, I would rather turn my attention to how we can all support getting caching accepted by Parks Canada by helping the group and giving them confidence to work with and negotiate with Parks Canada.

 

If being someone who trusts people in general and therefor the representatives who have motivation to support the sport is wrong then I guess I'm wrong.

 

Thats it.

 

JDandDD

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another park

 

You are deprecating the importance of Parks Canada and the role the decision they make might play in geocaching in all Canadian parks, it is most certainly not "another park" and that is an unfair characterization of what is occurring. If it was geocaching in some park somewhere then most would not be here or reading.

You are not the target of any objections that I have, that is you personally. I have I hope made my position clear. You work on behalf of geocaching.com, opponents of geocaching will not go any further than this, they will not look at the reasons you care, they will not even notice that you care, they will get out the petard and start hoisting to the detriment of geocaching in Canada.

 

Including reviewers for commercial listing services is such an obvious flaw in the workgroup makeup that I wonder if the end result is not intended to be a complete geocaching ban and the workgroup is simply a method of going through the motions ?

 

If you really cared about being able to geocache in Canada's National Parks on a permanent basis then you would encourage everyone associated in any way with a commercial listing service to drop out of the workgroup, the policy the workgroup created would then be free of of easily exploitable vulnerabilities. Opponents of geocaching are opposed, when they see a reviewer for a commercial listing service they see the opposition, when they see that reviewers for a commercial listing service helped fashion policy, they will object.

 

Perhaps a review of the last three years might include the successes of geocaching.com in obtaining access to parks where geocaching has been banned but such a review would be counterproductive, we are not winning, at least in my eyes.

 

I am not trying to depreciate the situation, in fact I am as much concerned now as I was then. One success is Mont St. Bruno east of Montreal, they removed all caches and I contacted them concerning this. I even stopped into the park to retrieve the removed caches and get the trapped travel bugs after the cache owners did not respond. With the help of local cachers, after about a year, a test cache was permitted within the park. Just recently, permission for a second cache has been granted. When I first started working with the park, geocaching was being banned period with a SEPAQ park (provincial parks system in Quebec). Now we have this park as an advocate for geocaching with the other SEPAQ parks within Quebec after being completely against geocaching. One thing I am not saying is that I am to work with the parks alone, it is not my place, but I am willing to work with other cachers to keep geocaching within the public spaces in Canada. Another success, but not completed is Ontario Parks, all caches were to be removed by this time, now caches that are there are being left if deemed to not be causing any problems, this is the same we were able to obtain for Parks Canada, it is not all completely negative.

Edited by Cache-tech

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I am slowly becoming a negative extremist. :D

 

Actually I am neither negative nor am I extreme.

I am making a very simple point about conflict of interest. The comments are intended to strengthen the policy, to make it less biased, more rounded. It isn't like people hear the word geocaching and it makes them say "ban that" which seems to be a commonly held view.

 

Geocaching gets banned because the impact of certain geocaches is clear and evident, yet no one seems to want to do anything about it. This has resulted in many bans and the list of concerned legislators gets longer. The listing services have not addressed the concerns of legislators for the most part. There are hundreds of geocachers who work closely with local parks to ensure that the activity is permitted where they live. The best resource that geocaching has are these concerned geocachers who care about their playing fields.

 

Let us say that Parks Canada policy dictates that any listing service that wishes to list a cache in Parks Canada space must have the listing reviewed by someone who has been trained in Park Regulations, will the listing service then pay for that training for the reviewers ?

Let us say that Parks Canada requires that all caches listed in Parks Canada space be visited once every three months by the placer and the listing service must ensure that the owner acknowledges that he has checked the cache, will the listing service install the necessary tools to call up the caches listed on Park land and make sure the owner has responded, will the listing service bear the cost of preparing that report and sending it in every three months ? Let us say a geocide occcurs and there are caches left in the Park without an active owner, the Park directs that these caches must be removed, who should be doing the removing and who should foot the bill, a Park staff member billing GC by the hour makes sense to me, does that make sense to you ? Should Parks Canada accept that these are impossibilities ? Should our National Parks depend upon the goodwill of the geocaching public to ensure that problems are rectified ? These are all hypotheticals that could easily show up in workgroup discussions and not intended to replace other situations that will occur where the commercial listing service and parks Canada will have a vastly different view of things. I am pretty sure if a geocide occurs, let us imagine a cacher with close to four hundred placed caches just quits one day, the best the listing service will offer is some help with the adoptions and a pleading letter asking us (geocachers) to please clean up the litter. I am not even contending that it should be any diffferent, I just want to clarify that commercial listing services list and delist caches, that is what they do, they have no expertise in park policy and have no place determining policy. I have not objected to the presence of any geocachers except those who work on behalf of a commercial listing service. I object specifically because a policy that is formulated with the help of those who work on behalf of a commercial listing service is bound to fail the stress test. I have not seen a single credible argument telling me why that is wrong. Are opponents of geocaching supposed to miss that conflict of interest? Are those who are broadly opposed to geocaching in the Parks going to browbeaten by how many caches someone has found ? Those who are against geoaching in Parks include geocachers as well as non-geocachers, you can check that by reading the other thread that was unpinned.

 

The Parks represent the most beautiful areas in the country and are freely accessible for almost all recreational users, it would be a shame to see geocaching become an unacceptable activity in Parks and a real loss to geocachers everywhere. Apparently we are short sighted and negative if we can't see that it doesn't matter because GC won't go broke.

Edited by wavector

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Wavevector, you quote me but unfortunately it is a misquote. Yes, I know you copied it. The 'people' I was referring to are the people who were asked by Parks Canada to participate. There are of course people in the world who don't like the sport. What I was referring to is that I can't believe that any of the geocaching reps or reps in genergal would possible have an agenda that would be against the good of the sport. What could possibly be their motivation?

 

Same for geocaching. What would be possibly in their interest to hurt the game in Canada. They want members and the best way to do that is to promote the game and expand it which also means get it into the parks. So, again, in my maybe naive way, I just can't see that constantly questioning the participation of people serves any purpose. As well, being a government employee and sitting on lots of committees over 26 years, I know how difficult it is for anyone person or group to dominate. These things are always about finding common ground and working out solutions. If one ever goes into these things thinking they can win all aspects of their agenda they soon find out they can't. So, from experience I trust the process to work.

 

For me, I would rather turn my attention to how we can all support getting caching accepted by Parks Canada by helping the group and giving them confidence to work with and negotiate with Parks Canada.

 

I think your post is great, and I hope that you keep active in this forum. I know myself, how talks run within the goverment. I do not have, nor IMHO does anyone have a hidden agenda in the making of the policy. I, being part of the working group, have not seen any hidden agenda of any of the members, and I know that even if there is, it won't last long. I am very pro-enviroment and a very active member as well as an executive member of our local wildlife fed. IMHO, I beleave that the enviroment should be first on the list, followed by Aborigional, public, comercial, etc (in that order), when dealing with any act, reg, or policy decisions. So with that being said, you should know where I stand in the making of this policy.

 

Owen

parker2

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Here in my opinion is the ONLY reason to include Groundspeak Reviewers in this policy creation process...

 

This example pretends that NO reviewers are present, and the Geocachers are oblivious to the Guidelines of Groundspeak for Geocache placement.

 

PC: "So, we think Geocaching is swell! We will approve any cache as long as anyone that wants to find it buys a souvenir from a sanctioned Parks Canada store. The seeker will get to take a picture of a nearby plaque and sign a logbook located in the store"

 

So let's say that our group was actually stupid enough to agree to this.... guess what... everyone involved has wasted their time, both PC and Cacher. Not one cache would get approved. This example violates "commercial Cache rules"

 

Now, of course this example is obviously excessive... but I come up with enough 'pushing the envelope' ideas already that Cache-Tech has to rein back in or refuse. It's at the point that I don't place a cache without running it past him if I think there is anything that might be questionable.

 

But... what if Parks Canada says "You must include the following text on every cache page" and there is something there that violates a Groundspeak condition? How would we know? Apply that concept in place of my silly version... and now you see what Reviewers can prevent.

 

What if the 'to be included' text said "Bring in a print out of this cache page and get $1 off parking"? Is that against the rules? I dunno... might be.

 

Bet the Reviewers know.

 

:D The Blue Quasar

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Wow.

 

I’ve found twice as many caches and have hidden three times as many as DBC and have found five times more and hidden three times as many as wavevector.

Wow. Do you have like an award on your mantlepiece?

Casting another stone, eh? Thanks for taking the comment out of context. I'm used to it though.

I do know where you can buy a geocoin for an award if you would like that type of thing.

 

That's OK. ibycus got it.

The main thing I think is activity level in the game.

<snip>

The place reviewers have a whole lot more experience than pretty much any of the rest of us common folk is in *reviewing* cache listings, and dealing with problems when they arise. Most of us can point to maybe 5 or 6 questionable caches that happend to fall within our sphere of knowledge. I'm guessing you can point to a whole lot more than that.

Actually, the only one they like to point to is the sunflower cache. Yes, I've seen many "you've got to be kidding me" caches.

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I am slowly becoming a negative extremist. :D

 

Actually I am neither negative nor am I extreme.

I am making a very simple point about conflict of interest. The comments are intended to strengthen the policy, to make it less biased, more rounded. It isn't like people hear the word geocaching and it makes them say "ban that" which seems to be a commonly held view.

 

I think the point is, the conflict of interest isn't at all evident to most people.

 

Geocaching gets banned because the impact of certain geocaches is clear and evident, yet no one seems to want to do anything about it.

 

I thought that was the whole purpose of this policy, not to establish that geocaching does have an impact, pretty much everyone in the working group is agreed on that point (can't think of anyone who has disagreed with that, but I don't want to speak for everyone in the group).

 

The listing services have not addressed the concerns of legislators for the most part.

 

It's not up to the listing services. Its up to us as a whole. To be honest if it comes down to it, I say screw the listing service. But I still think the reviewers should be at the table. They need to know exactly what is going on, and to be in the loop, as they are likely the ones going to be implementing it.

 

There are hundreds of geocachers who work closely with local parks to ensure that the activity is permitted where they live. The best resource that geocaching has are these concerned geocachers who care about their playing fields.

 

That is one resource, yes. But I think it would be foolish to deny another valuable resource, the reviewers who are often at the forfront of these talks and have quite a bit of experience here.

 

Let us say that Parks Canada policy dictates that any listing service that wishes to list a cache in Parks Canada space must have the listing reviewed by someone who has been trained in Park Regulations, will the listing service then pay for that training for the reviewers ?

 

Dunno, but I imagine someone would be willing to get the training in order to be allowed to review the caches. Not a bad idea actually, and these are the kinds of things that need bringing up. Going on and on about the one point, to the exclusion of all others is hardly productive.

 

Let us say that Parks Canada requires that all caches listed in Parks Canada space be visited once every three months by the placer and the listing service must ensure that the owner acknowledges that he has checked the cache, will the listing service install the necessary tools to call up the caches listed on Park land and make sure the owner has responded, will the listing service bear the cost of preparing that report and sending it in every three months ?

 

Dunno, but the tools aren't hard to build even outside the listing service, so if that was what it took, I'd be more than willing to build the tools myself. Probably a brain dead policy though, and I wouldn't support it, as it would be incredibly difficult to confirm that someone actually physically visited the cache.

 

Let us say a geocide occcurs and there are caches left in the Park without an active owner, the Park directs that these caches must be removed, who should be doing the removing and who should foot the bill, a Park staff member billing GC by the hour makes sense to me, does that make sense to you ?

 

No it doesn't make sense to me. Perhaps a more suitable policy would be to have as a prerequisite to placing any caches in a national park, having a local organization that has agreed to take responsibility for those caches. If at some point these caches need to be removed, either at a request by PC, or the discretion of the org, then the organization would send someone out to remove them.

 

Should Parks Canada accept that these are impossibilities ? Should our National Parks depend upon the goodwill of the geocaching public to ensure that problems are rectified ?

 

I don't think the scenario I outlined is unreasonable, nor do I feel it relies on 'goodwill'. If an organization that has agreed to act as stewards for the caches in a given park fails to do so, then their stewardship can be revoked, and all the caches removed and archived (perhaps at this point calling on the goodwill of neighbour orgs to help out, as you've pointed out there are going to be lots of them).

 

If we can't find an org to act as stewards, then frankly we have no business caching in the parks.

 

These are all hypotheticals that could easily show up in workgroup discussions and not intended to replace other situations that will occur where the commercial listing service and parks Canada will have a vastly different view of things.

 

These are great questions to be raising. Great things to debate. Far more productive I think than just crying foul every other post. Personally I don't see these as insurmountable in any case.

 

I am pretty sure if a geocide occurs, let us imagine a cacher with close to four hundred placed caches just quits one day, the best the listing service will offer is some help with the adoptions and a pleading letter asking us (geocachers) to please clean up the litter. I am not even contending that it should be any diffferent,

 

Well remember we are still able to do things about this even if Groundspeak can't. If we aren't willing to deal with these kinds of issues, then I don't think we should be in the parks. Fortunately I think we are more than capable of handling these issues when they arise, if we are properly prepared (at the moment I don't think we are)

 

I just want to clarify that commercial listing services list and delist caches, that is what they do, they have no expertise in park policy and have no place determining policy.

 

As has been said before and I'm sure has been said again. They *aren't* determining policy. They and we are acting in an advisory role to PC. We are there to provide information, and ideas, it is there job to make the decisions and set the policy.

 

I have not objected to the presence of any geocachers except those who work on behalf of a commercial listing service. I object specifically because a policy that is formulated with the help of those who work on behalf of a commercial listing service is bound to fail the stress test. I have not seen a single credible argument telling me why that is wrong.

 

And I have yet to see a credible argument as to why this is right. But maybe neither of us is reading the others posts carefully enough...

 

Are opponents of geocaching supposed to miss that conflict of interest?

 

I don't see it as a conflict of interest, nor do I imagine that PC see it that way, nor do I imagine that many others feel that way.

 

The Parks represent the most beautiful areas in the country and are freely accessible for almost all recreational users, it would be a shame to see geocaching become an unacceptable activity in Parks and a real loss to geocachers everywhere.

 

Absolutely, and I think everyone would agree with that, we just disagree about how to go about it.

 

Apparently we are short sighted and negative if we can't see that it doesn't matter because GC won't go broke.

 

I don't *think* anyone here has said that. What I think a lot of people are having trouble with is where exactly you perceive the conflict of interest to be. (at least that is what I am having trouble with).

 

Do you not think the reviewers will offer honest information about things that they know about?

 

Do you think they've been given directives from on high to promote a given game plan?

 

Obviously they have an interest in geocaching continuing in the parks. So do most of us here. If a blanket ban comes down at the national park level, I doubt provincial parks will be far behind, that takes up most of the best playing field we have available.

 

I think all of us involved in the workgroup recognize that geocaching in these parks is not a right. Its a privilege. The onus is on us to make this work within their guidelines, and to understand their concerns, and offer an alternate solution.

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I don't see what Groundspeak stands to gain from this either way.

 

My purchase of a Premium Membership has nothing to do with Park Policies.

 

 

Then again, I live where there is great hiking without it being an actual managed park.

 

But, I bought a car... and I don't get to drive it on the beach.... that's nothing to do with the car dealership.

 

:D The Blue Quasar

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The conflict of interest is clear. A commercial listing service is a going concern and the reviewers work on their behalf. Utilizing reviewer input to fashion a policy for the going concern's "product" (a geocache listing) is clearly a major conflict of interest. Opponents of geocaching need do no more than point out this fact and they will.

 

Utilizing bar owner's opinions to set liquor board policy would also fall into the same category. Letting the automakers set safety requirements for the cars they build, ditto. Letting commerical listing services help fashion the policy that is intended to regulate their product, a geocache listing, same difference.

 

Parks Canada is an agency funded by the Canadian public.

As an aside, do you really believe that Terracaching is secretive ? :D

 

A commercial listing service is commercial, it is business. It isn't about policy it is about a "going concern" and the forces that drive one, the bottom line.

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I’ve found twice as many caches and have hidden three times as many as DBC and have found five times more and hidden three times as many as wavevector.

Wow. Do you have like an award on your mantlepiece?

Casting another stone, eh? Thanks for taking the comment out of context. I'm used to it though.

Not at all. It was a specious argument you were making. If I only had 10 finds, then sure, you have experience over me. But once people hit 500 cache finds (with around 10% of those being puzzle caches and 10% of those being multi-caches), the experience factor is nearly equal. I don't really think you can gain too much more experience with 2000 caches over someone with 500 caches. The experience gain is very minor or negligible. I don't expect that I'll be much better a cacher when I hit 2000 finds than I am today with 650 finds.

 

Of course, you can feel free to think you're a caching God (of Guru) if you want, over and above everyone else with fewer finds than you. That's your preogative. I just don't think you've gained substantially more insight than anyone else with at least 500 finds on their caching resumé.

Edited by dogbreathcanada

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But, I bought a car... and I don't get to drive it on the beach.... that's nothing to do with the car dealership.

No. But how happy (or suspect) would you be if you found out that Jeep was a stakeholder in determining a policy for beach driving with the local parks boards? Knowing that you can go 4-wheeling along the local surf might encourage more sales of 4 wheel drive vehicles (including Jeeps) in the area, and that's probably what motivated Jeep in getting involved in the policy making decision with the parks board.

 

Same situation here. Caching in national parks has the real potential of growing the hobby. And growth in the hobby means more premium memberships for Groundspeak.

 

I'm not suggesting that Cache-tech is going to do "evil" from within the working group ... but he does enter the working group with a particular bias towards Groundspeak, and with perhaps a certain desire to please them as well.

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The place reviewers have a whole lot more experience than pretty much any of the rest of us common folk is in *reviewing* cache listings, and dealing with problems when they arise. Most of us can point to maybe 5 or 6 questionable caches that happend to fall within our sphere of knowledge. I'm guessing you can point to a whole lot more than that.

Actually, the only one they like to point to is the sunflower cache. Yes, I've seen many "you've got to be kidding me" caches.

There are other caches, that while the original placement was fine, certain aspects of the cache afterwards were damaging to geocaching's reputation (as well as the environmental situation in the park they were placed).

 

For instance, I can think of the park cache where the cache owner decided to spray Raid and lay moth balls at the cache site to rid the hidey-hole of bugs and spiders. That cache should have been disabled (perhaps archived) immediately as a response and a clear message to the cache owner that such a practice was unacceptable. This certainly wasn't a "who's word do I take" situation for the reviewer, since the owner copped to spraying Raid and placing moth balls.

Edited by dogbreathcanada

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The conflict of interest is clear. A commercial listing service is a going concern and the reviewers work on their behalf. Utilizing reviewer input to fashion a policy for the going concern's "product" (a geocache listing) is clearly a major conflict of interest. Opponents of geocaching need do no more than point out this fact and they will.

 

Utilizing bar owner's opinions to set liquor board policy would also fall into the same category. Letting the automakers set safety requirements for the cars they build, ditto. Letting commerical listing services help fashion the policy that is intended to regulate their product, a geocache listing, same difference.

 

Parks Canada is an agency funded by the Canadian public.

As an aside, do you really believe that Terracaching is secretive ? :)

 

A commercial listing service is commercial, it is business. It isn't about policy it is about a "going concern" and the forces that drive one, the bottom line.

 

Please forgive me, I still do not understand the conflict of interest. I would see your point if Jeremy was part of the workshop or if I had any monetary interest in Geocaching.com or Groundspeak besides the $30 I pay/year for my player account (I don't get that as part of my reviewer gig, I still pay the same as any other premium member). I don't get a bonus or perks if I ensure the policy with any parks will make Groundspeak more money. What I get is to geocache in these parks, if it is permitted, when this policy is finalized the same as anyone else. The opponents of geocaching do not care if volunteer reviewers are involved, be it geocaching.com, terracaching.com, navicache.com or any other listing service presently available or in the future. The biggest item I get when a park says no more caches, "This appears to be a nice family oriented hobby, but due to environmental concerns, please don't do it here", mainly due to a cache being found in part of the park they did not want people in. What is usually boils down to is a placed cache that caused damage in the park/off trail hiking, caches placed without proper permission, liability if a cacher was injured or digging while retrieving a cache (I know we do not bury caches, but going after treasure conjures up the buried treasure chest image with the shovel). Telling me I should quit being a reviewer because I am in the workgroup with Parks Canada does not make sense to me. I became a volunteer reviewer because I saw a few parks removing and banning geocaching, I wanted to get involved. Getting involved with Parks Canada because I was a volunteer reviewer to quit so I can be on the workgroup seems counter productive in the big picture, if I were not a volunteer reviewer, I would most likely not be this involved. The objections here have been noted, I will ensure that as a volunteer for geocaching.com, I am part of the workgroup not as a component of Groundspeak but as a Canadian geocacher with insight and experience of this listing service. As a volunteer reviewer, I can relate that any cache placed within the designated areas, that any policy decided upon by Parks Canada will be followed before any cache is listed with this listing service. There is nothing more I can do or say here, I was invited to be part of the workgroup by Parks Canada and I have accepted.

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Cache Tech said: I am part of the workgroup not as a component of Groundspeak but as a Canadian geocacher with insight and experience of this listing service. As a volunteer reviewer, I can relate that any cache placed within the designated areas, that any policy decided upon by Parks Canada will be followed before any cache is listed with this listing service.

 

That's what is needed in order to ensure both sides of the equation balance.

 

Yes Groundspeak stands to gain, but so does Parks Canada. Let's make sure everyone is happy.

 

:) The Blue Quasar

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Utilizing bar owner's opinions to set liquor board policy would also fall into the same category. Letting the automakers set safety requirements for the cars they build, ditto. Letting commerical listing services help fashion the policy that is intended to regulate their product, a geocache listing, same difference.

 

I would perhaps agree with you *if* I felt that Groundspeak, or any commercial listing service was being allowed to actually set the policy, but they don't and aren't.

 

Many alcohol producing companies have ads promoting responsible drinking. I have no idea if these things types of ads are legislated or not (although as not all of them do it that I have seen I would guess not).

 

I'm sure many automakers have safety experts and engineers who have significant experience that perhaps policy makers lack. Just because they work for an automaker, and see things from the inside, does that mean we ignore what they have to say? In reality I have no idea if we do or not. I don't know how the auto industry works. But I would imagine that what these people have to say, or at least what their representatives have to say is considered, and weighed in the light that it is brought forward in. Parks Canada employees aren't stupid. Surely they are capable of judging the information brought forward on its own merrit, rather than only by the source it comes from.

 

The reviewers have seen the situation from an entirely different angle than most of us, they therefore have important opinions and experience to offer the rest of us. Further they have nothing to gain that the rest of us don't gain from any geocaching policy implemented in the parks.

 

I contend that it would be irresponsible to exclude experts from the discussion just because they happen to have an affliation with a particular organization. Even more so when that affliation should have no direct sway over the judgement of the experts (i.e. they have nothing to gain or loose by expressing something other than what they actually believe to be the case).

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As an American, this obviously has no real bearing on me, but I've read the thread with interest.

 

I also don't see a conflict here given that the reviewers are volunteers and not representatives of the commercial venture and more importantly, governments use industry representatives to help direct policy all the time. It's called involving all of the stakeholders...yes, Groundspeak has an interest in keeping caching alive in PC parks...and it's up to the entire group to balance Groundspeak's interest with the overall interests of the public.

 

Here are just a few examples with applicable quotes pulled out (bolding is mine):

 

http://www.nrcan.gc.ca/mms/policy/policy_e.htm

 

The Minerals and Metals Policy was developed after extensive consultations involving federal departments and agencies, provincial and territorial mines ministries, industry, environmental groups, labour, and Aboriginal communities. In 1995, as part of this process to develop a new policy, Natural Resources Canada published, for discussion, an issues paper entitled Sustainable Development and Minerals and Metals.

 

http://www.agr.gc.ca/spb/fiap-dpraa/home_e.php

 

The Federal government, in conjunction with the provinces and industry representatives, has developed a broad farm income safety net framework.

 

http://www.ceaa-acee.gc.ca/999/index_e.htm

Regulatory Advisory Committee

* Instrumental in advising Minister on development of regulations

* Established in 1991

* Membership includes:

o federal departments

o provincial departments

o environmental groups

o industry representatives

o Aboriginal groups

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Thanks for joining GarAr's website Cache-tech, I was really happy to see your name over there. I wasn't going to make any further comments on this particular thread as I felt I had said my piece earlier and my stance has not changed. I felt compelled to add more as the thread was focusing on specific inputs to the detriment of the record and the eventual policy.

I am glad that you can conceive of Jeremy's presence on the committee as a hammer in the hands of an opponent wishing to wreck the policy and obtain a ban on geocaching. That clarifies the conflict of interest for everyone who wasn't sure.

I think your value to geocaching in Canada far surpasses the input you might bring to Parks Canada's discussions, again more opinion, please do not consider quitting as a reviewer. I realize when an action is inevitable, standing on the rails pushing back at the train may not work but my position will be clear to those examining the record.

Opponents of geocaching are going to come to this site and take copies of the pictures from logs, they are going to blow them up to poster size, they are going to put big black letters underneath, they will gather the best negative details they can find. They are going to search the record to support the points they want to make. No one should doubt this.

I am glad to see an attempt by Parks Canada to go about making a policy but I don't think it will stand up to any type of determined opposition or stress test. Examining one reason in detail will help clarify this. There are many other tangenital discussions and one is abandoned caches, very relevant for Parks Canada. I have been assured by ibycus that these could be taken care of by local groups? Examine the record and you can find ibycus saying he doesn't actually speak for the local group in his area, the local group has no formal structure, matters are not put to a vote. Now imagine some geolitter in Banff National Park, one hour and twenty dollars worth of GAS away from the nearest person who will admit that they represent the CAC. What recourse exists if no one wants to clean up the geotrash ? Now imagine ibycus quits geocaching ? Actually just remove all personal assurances as part of a workable policy and it is clear that there is no recourse for Parks Canada. The presence of geolitter in our National Parks is not going to be resolved by involving local loosely knit groups though it might be if those groups could make formal resolutions as legal organizations. Now consider that a group like Maritime Geocacher's does agree to the Local Organization idea but no one actually wants to drive the 120 miles round trip and hike for an hour to get the cache? Is the Park service going to have recourse or do we just hang the taxpayer up for the bill? Can a workable policy depend upon geocachers and their goodwill ? This last point is a bit of a stretch but hey, I am using the real life example of abandoned geocaches. Suppose a geocacher with 400 caches placed in National Parks just up and quits one day? The bill for picking up all the geolitter will be substantial, personal assurances don't work and no one from the legally formed local group is available to pick up all the geotrash, should all that litter just sit there in the Park ? There has to be real recourse, the bill has to be paid.

 

The point of clicking on the Licence Agreement is never to prove that you have actually read or understood the agreement. The vendor relies on your click as a method of indicating your compliance, legally. If you asked cache owners to verify a visit every three months they could click the link saying that yes they did that even if they did not actually do it. The idea behind the proposal would be that abandoned caches could be quickly identified and removed and a legal mechanism would be established that devolved upon the placer of the cache. The cache owner would be acknowledging that they are active and that is their cache. This would establish a path for recourse if required. I know you are a devoted geocacher Dale but suggesting that it is a simple matter of a few lines of code to produce a report with those details is not something that you can even comment on unless Jeremy has given you the keys to the kingdom. Such a report, if requested, would be a report that would cost money to produce. It would involve many records, many emails, many compiled responses, it would need to be checked and corrected and summarized. It might involve the FOIP Act as Parks Canada is a government funded agency and the report might need to include information used to identify the cache placer. To suggest that you could do it in a jiffy yourself is not a workable National Parks Policy. All the listing services and all geocachers would need to comply, an expensive undertaking for everyone that might well result in a commercial listing service saying it cannot be done. Look at the Abandoned Caches thread to see how clear the murk really is on a substantial issue like this one that really has a major impact for Parks. Representation is not a hit or miss affair. Comments can be skewed by something as simple as a failure to acknowledge that others may be offering robust and valid input, they may not be ranting at all.

For the record : I see no need to visit my remote Park caches. If I quit someone will have to hike in and get Wild Raspberry but until I do quit, if ever, I will happily click a button that assures the Alberta Government that it is indeed my cache and I am personally responsible for it being there.

Abandoned Earthcaches are not nearly as large an issue. :)

 

Gladys Kravits has convinced Minister of Immigration Monte Solberg that "there are tupperware containers full of valueless junk littering the National Park near her back yard."

 

Monte: "Well Parks Canada, is this true, are there tupperware containers all over this National Park."

Parks Canada: "Yes, they are called geocaches and people come to visit them."

Monte: "Who is responsible for these geocaches, I have a complaint from Gladys Kravits."

Parks Canada: "The people who placed the cache are responsible."

Monte: "This one is called [i am not trash, I am a geocache] who owns that one."

Parks Canada: "That one was placed by Superman."

Monte: "What?"

Parks Canada: "Yes, see here on the Internet, there it is, it is Superman's cache."

Monte: "Can we contact him?"

Parks Canada: "No, you have to sign up at this commercial listing service then you can send an email anonymously letting Superman know there is a problem."

Monte: "Who exactly is in charge here ?"

 

Fade to black

Edited by wavector

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The point of clicking on the Licence Agreement is never to prove that you have actually read or understood the agreement. The vendor relies on your click as a method of indicating your compliance, legally. If you asked cache owners to verify a visit every three months they could click the link saying that yes they did that even if they did not actually do it. The idea behind the proposal would be that abandoned caches could be quickly identified and removed and a legal mechanism would be established that devolved upon the placer of the cache. The cache owner would be acknowledging that they are active and that is their cache. This would establish a path for recourse if required. I know you are a devoted geocacher Dale but suggesting that it is a simple matter of a few lines of code to produce a report with those details is not something that you can even comment on unless Jeremy has given you the keys to the kingdom.

 

I'm not sure that you have any legal right over your cache once you put it out in the world. We all acknowledge that the caches go missing. Sometimes we say they are 'stolen'. It's part of the game though, and things move on. If I go out, and pick up a hundred caches in my area, post to the website that I've done it, and perhaps even hold them for a while with the intent of returning them to their owner should they ask for them, I'm not sure there is *any* legal recourse the cacher(s) can take against me. Not being a lawyer, I'm certainly not sure about this, but at least to me this seems reasonable. (if you leave a personal artifact in a public place, I don't think the law will protect you if someone picks it up and makes efforts to return it to you)

 

If it were required that every 3 months or whatever the cache owner log a maintenance visit, then that log is going to show up online. Further that log will show up in pocket queries. Pocket Queries are widely available, they can be rapidly parsed for any and all information that Jeremy et al. have access to regarding the cache (and anything that they might be able to include in a report).

 

You seem to think that this process has to be difficult. It doesn't.

 

If the cache has to be placed under a real name, then it can just as easily be specified that either:

 

a) Parks Canada be provided with the cross reference (by the cacher) between cacher ID and real name for a private database of their own.

:) That the cachers contact information (Postal Address and phone number) appear on the page, with the cache etc.

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I contend that it would be irresponsible to exclude experts from the discussion just because they happen to have an affliation with a particular organization. Even more so when that affliation should have no direct sway over the judgement of the experts (i.e. they have nothing to gain or loose by expressing something other than what they actually believe to be the case).

How do you know there's no sway? You, and others, keep stating this as if it is some sort of verifiable fact?

 

Volunteers have a favourable bias towards Groundspeak. They have to, otherwise why would they bother volunteering their time to them? Some volunteers have a strong desire to please Groundspeak (we see this all the time in the forums from a number of different reviewers.)

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if you leave a personal artifact in a public place, I don't think the law will protect you if someone picks it up

Do you own a bike ? If you "pick up" things that belong to someone else you may be charged with theft. When someone takes your cache they are stealing it. Property is protected under the laws of most countries. If I leave my bike sitting in the park unattended and you pick it up, you are stealing it. The cache is never the property of anyone else other than the person who placed it. The caches you place are your property, they are your responsibility, they are yours, those who pick them up are stealing them. Private property is not a function of proximity, it is property. The cabin on Lake of the Woods that you visit for one week every two years is your property, you do not need to worry about being there to retain ownership, proximity has nothing to do with property. This is not an opinion, it is fact. When the police stop you and you explain you were enroute to return my bike you will still be charged with theft. Most geocache owners understand this simple straightforward fact, people who steal geocaches may be called muggles but they are thieves.

 

a private database of their own

Do you understand FOIP ?

 

Do you intend to tell me that in this policy workgroup you are going to suggest that Parks Canada get an account on all the commercial listing services, and pay for it I presume, and then have a staff member from the Parks run PQ's and try to figure things out for themselves ? Do you think they should go to Terracaching.com and put in a sponsor request now ?

 

Thousands of views and hundreds of posts on the Issue of Abandoned Caches thread right here in the Canada forum should indicate that it is not as simple as some would like to make it. In that discussion the complication of the area being a National Park and the need being irrefutable isn't established, they are just talking about caches around Niagra Falls that may be abandoned. They are not even sure they are abandoned because commercial listing services are not interested in identifying caches that have been abandoned, that would require some sort of sytem, the system would cost money and effort, that would affect the bottom line, something an abandoned cache does not do. It is easy to abandon caches and it happens a lot and it really isn't a simple fix.

 

This is just a single point that may impact Park policy.

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I contend that it would be irresponsible to exclude experts from the discussion just because they happen to have an affliation with a particular organization. Even more so when that affliation should have no direct sway over the judgement of the experts (i.e. they have nothing to gain or loose by expressing something other than what they actually believe to be the case).

How do you know there's no sway? You, and others, keep stating this as if it is some sort of verifiable fact?

 

Volunteers have a favourable bias towards Groundspeak. They have to, otherwise why would they bother volunteering their time to them? Some volunteers have a strong desire to please Groundspeak (we see this all the time in the forums from a number of different reviewers.)

 

Let's just say they have no more of a bias than I do.

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if you leave a personal artifact in a public place, I don't think the law will protect you if someone picks it up

Do you own a bike ? If you "pick up" things that belong to someone else you may be charged with theft.

 

If you leave an empty can of pop in a park, and someone else picks it up, is that theft? That can has a real monetary value (5 cents deposit in Alberta), but I don't think anyone would charge that person with theft.

 

When someone takes your cache they are stealing it. Property is protected under the laws of most countries. If I leave my bike sitting in the park unattended and you pick it up, you are stealing it.

 

If you leave your bike in a non designated location, for 6 months, unattended (maybe you come by to visit every couple of months), and someone picks it up, to throw it out (or perhaps you've left your name on your bike, and they are going to return it to you), is that theft? I would say no. That is cleaning up the parks.

 

The cache is never the property of anyone else other than the person who placed it. The caches you place are your property, they are your responsibility, they are yours, those who pick them up are stealing them. Private property is not a function of proximity, it is property. The cabin on Lake of the Woods that you visit for one week every two years is your property, you do not need to worry about being there to retain ownership, proximity has nothing to do with property.

 

Yeah but you didn't leave your cabin on public lands did you? You presumably own the land around the cabin as well, so your analogy is hopelessly flawed. Now, if you owned the land your cache was on, I would agree with you. I believe, but don't know exactly where, that there are sections in the law about abandoned property.

 

This is not an opinion, it is fact.

 

You say this a lot, but are you a lawyer? I'm not.

 

When the police stop you and you explain you were enroute to return my bike you will still be charged with theft.

 

And when I tell them the bicycle has been there for 6 months, they'll charge you with littering.

 

If what you say is true, then a whole lot of geocachers are guilty of 'theft' when they CITO.

 

Most geocache owners understand this simple straightforward fact, people who steal geocaches may be called muggles but they are thieves.

 

Or they see some box of junk that was left in the park, and decide to clean it up. Like I said, if they're a theif then so are most geocachers who've ever CITO'd an area. I saw a busted up vacuum cleaner in a park the other day, and thew away some of the pieces, does that make me a thief? How do I know the owner wasn't visiting the vacuum every day to see how it was doing?

 

a private database of their own

Do you understand FOIP ?

 

Not really, do you? I'm assuming PC does though, so if any suggestions I make aren't compatible with FOIP, then I'm sure I'll hear about it.

 

Do you intend to tell me that in this policy workgroup you are going to suggest that Parks Canada get an account on all the commercial listing services, and pay for it I presume, and then have a staff member from the Parks run PQ's and try to figure things out for themselves ? Do you think they should go to Terracaching.com and put in a sponsor request now ?

 

Did I say that? I don't think I said that, but maybe it was one of my other personalities.

 

My feeling is that if the whole anonymity thing is a problem, then before being allowed to place a cache in the parks, the cacher in question needs to go talk to a Parks person, and disclose to them their real name, and caching handle, and maybe sign a little thing that says "I will be good". This has the advantage that it is independent of any listing org, and is relatively low impact on the parks people.

 

Thousands of views and hundreds of posts on the Issue of Abandoned Caches thread right here in the Canada forum should indicate that it is not as simple as some would like to make it. In that discussion the complication of the area being a National Park and the need being irrefutable isn't established, they are just talking about caches around Niagra Falls that may be abandoned. They are not even sure they are abandoned because commercial listing services are not interested in identifying caches that have been abandoned, that would require some sort of sytem, the system would cost money and effort, that would affect the bottom line, something an abandoned cache does not do. It is easy to abandon caches and it happens a lot and it really isn't a simple fix.

 

This is just a single point that may impact Park policy.

 

Or maybe its simpler than some would have us believe. Does anyone here have hard facts on what the law is regarding property left on public lands for extended periods? I don't. I tried googling, but came up empty handed.

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The presence of geolitter in our National Parks is not going to be resolved by involving local loosely knit groups though it might be if those groups could make formal resolutions as legal organizations. Now consider that a group like Maritime Geocacher's does agree to the Local Organization idea but no one actually wants to drive the 120 miles round trip and hike for an hour to get the cache? Is the Park service going to have recourse or do we just hang the taxpayer up for the bill?

 

If a hiker or backcountry skier (whether a Canadian or a visitor to our Country) gets into trouble through injury, avalanche etc. in National Park we, as Canadian Taxpayers, pick up the tab for the ensuing rescue.

 

I think that the same prinicpal should apply to 'geotrash'. If the cache is placed in good faith and approved in good faith by an organization like Groundspeak, then it would be reasonable for the Canadian Public to step in if the cacher dies or otherwise is unable to maintain/remove the cache and remove it.

 

In a similar way, what is the difference between 'geotrash' and other litter (like pop cans, candy bar wrappers etc.) left after some careless hikers or tourist leaves; or garbage at National Park campgrounds that requires removal when the campers go home? We pay taxes and park fees for this kind of service.

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In a similar way, what is the difference between 'geotrash' and other litter (like pop cans, candy bar wrappers etc.) left after some careless hikers or tourist leaves; or garbage at National Park campgrounds that requires removal when the campers go home? We pay taxes and park fees for this kind of service.

 

The main difference I think is that not too many people are going to be going looking for an old pop can that someone tossed in to the bushes, so a single cache can cause more damage than a pop can.

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Could some of you learn to use quote tags (or at least go back and edit the entry if you see it is fugged up)? Makes entries hard to read, so I don't bother reading them. :laughing:

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Hi Dale

 

Did I say that? I don't think I said that, but maybe it was one of my other personalities.

 

Here is what you said :

If it were required that every 3 months or whatever the cache owner log a maintenance visit, then that log is going to show up online. Further that log will show up in pocket queries. Pocket Queries are widely available, they can be rapidly parsed for any and all information that Jeremy et al. have access to regarding the cache (and anything that they might be able to include in a report).

 

For new geocachers or those not sure, PQ or Pocket Queries are a feature available to Premium Members of this commercial listing service, they are not available to non-members and PQ's tell absolutely nothing about geocaches listed on other commercial listing services.

 

So yes Dr. Dale, you or Mr. ibycus did say that. :rolleyes:

 

The blue pickup truck sat parked in front of the police cruiser, the Officer stood just to the side of the drivers door. The back of the truck was piled high with bikes.

"Are these your bikes? " the policeman asked.

"Nope" the young man replied.

"Where did you get them ?" asked the officer.

"Found them." said the young man.

The Officer moved away from the vehicle, his hand moved down to cover his holstered weapon.

"You found them ?" asked the policeman "Where?"

"Here and there, you know, public places, I figure they are litter." said the youth

 

I will let you decide what happens next, the policeman may ask the young man exactly where he found them so that he can press littering charges, maybe not. :laughing::blink::(

 

What is is ?

 

Hi Koos Koos

As a geocacher your input is appreciated and I am glad you have thrown so many examples of Industry on to the table. If you examine my previous comments you will find that I have no objections to American input and have in fact suggested that all input from experienced geocachers is relevant and should be factored into the policy before the workgroup makes conclusions. The Mining Policy was not drafted in consultation with Placer-Dome or Kerr-Addison, but both and others, Industry is not included in this policy workgroup. The reviewers who work on behalf of one commercial listing service are being given access but that is not industry, that is one commercial listing service. In fact the reviewers for one commercial listing service are being given input and access greater than concerned Canadian geocachers. I understand the policy workgroup has already denied outright requests made by concerned Canadian geocaching groups for equal access to the process.

I agree that policy fashioned in the open with all parties concerned is a Canadian tradition. Why this policy workgroup is proceeding in this fashion and why the reviewers who work on behalf of one listing service have been included are questions that are repeated throughout this thread.

I object to this policy workgroup as initiated and have since it's debut for the simple reason that the opponents of geocaching are going to be able to point to the policy and it's method of determination and show a clear conflict of interest. For the record, I do not favour a policy that is independent of any listing service, I favour a policy that must be followed by every listing service that wishes to list geocaches in Parks Canada space.

The policies of the commercial listing services have not worked, geocaching is being banned, as Cache-tech said, it has been three years and things haven't changed, he said another park but it really is the last park. If geocaching is banned here it will be banned in all provinces parks, that is what I think. Geocaches are not worthless junk nor are they like busted up household appliances dumped in the park, as suggested by some. Geocaches placed and maintained by an active geocacher are usually clever, crafty, hidden curiousities that help make any location more fun.

 

This policy needs to change the shape of the game so that it will work in parks, it is all about a positive future for geocaching not geocaching.com. I would rather see ten nice caches in a National Park, properly maintained by a responsible owner than a thousand Wally World caches. The commercial listing services won't go bankrupt, Wally World will always be there.

Edited by wavector

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Hi Koos Koos

As a geocacher your input is appreciated and I am glad you have thrown so many examples of Industry on to the table. If you examine my previous comments you will find that I have no objections to American input and have in fact suggested that all input from experienced geocachers is relevant and should be factored into the policy before the workgroup makes conclusions. The Mining Policy was not drafted in consultation with Placer-Dome or Kerr-Addison, but both and others, Industry is not included in this policy workgroup. The reviewers who work on behalf of one commercial listing service are being given access but that is not industry, that is one commercial listing service. In fact the reviewers for one commercial listing service are being given input and access greater than concerned Canadian geocachers. I understand the policy workgroup has already denied outright requests made by concerned Canadian geocaching groups for equal access to the process.

I agree that policy fashioned in the open with all parties concerned is a Canadian tradition. Why this policy workgroup is proceeding in this fashion and why the reviewers who work on behalf of one listing service have been included are questions that are repeated throughout this thread.

I object to this policy workgroup as initiated and have since it's debut for the simple reason that the opponents of geocaching are going to be able to point to the policy and it's method of determination and show a clear conflict of interest. For the record, I do not favour a policy that is independent of any listing service, I favour a policy that must be followed by every listing service that wishes to list geocaches in Parks Canada space.

The policies of the commercial listing services have not worked, geocaching is being banned, as Cache-tech said, it has been three years and things haven't changed, he said another park but it really is the last park. If geocaching is banned here it will be banned in all provinces parks, that is what I think. Geocaches are not worthless junk nor are they like busted up household appliances dumped in the park, as suggested by some. Geocaches placed and maintained by an active geocacher are usually clever, crafty, hidden curiousities that help make any location more fun.

 

This policy needs to change the shape of the game so that it will work in parks, it is all about a positive future for geocaching not geocaching.com. I would rather see ten nice caches in a National Park, properly maintained by a responsible owner than a thousand Wally World caches. The commercial listing services won't go bankrupt, Wally World will always be there.

 

I completely agree that the policy should not be fashioned to only work with Geocaching.com, it must be fashioned to be followed by any cache placed in the park by any cache listing site or private site. I also believe that any cache placed must be placed by the rules and policies set out by the park first and foremost, geocachers should receive no special treatment in regards to environment or off trail hiking. Why did it take Parks Canada before there is a response this size? It did not affect the majority of Canadian geocachers as does Parks Canada and with further implications then just Parks Canada, this could be adopted by the provincial parks and others as well. I am well aware of the operation principals of Terracaching and Navicache but I cannot pick a Canadian reviewer from those sites. I also don't know how the shape of the game needs to be changed beyond being more environmentally aware of our choice in placing our caches, virtual or codeword caches to me is not geocaching. Take me to a plaque or make me find a tiny micro to report a code word is not caching, the plaque is most likely a feature in the park and I want to see them, but on my way to a geocache or as part of my tour of the park, but not because every plaque is listed as a cache. I also don't think the policies of this or any listing service is the cause of geocaching being banned, I have questioned placements before that met the listing guidelines of this service to be met with hostility, some of these caches were not listed, others were ok and some had problems with no response from the cache owner and justified my concerns at the time of listing. If we cannot self police, and I don't mean from a listing service point of view, I mean we as geocachers, then maybe we should not be caching in the parks, but I believe we can self police our activity and will be working for a policy best suited for Canadians.

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Hi Dale

 

Did I say that? I don't think I said that, but maybe it was one of my other personalities.

 

Here is what you said :

If it were required that every 3 months or whatever the cache owner log a maintenance visit, then that log is going to show up online. Further that log will show up in pocket queries. Pocket Queries are widely available, they can be rapidly parsed for any and all information that Jeremy et al. have access to regarding the cache (and anything that they might be able to include in a report).

 

For new geocachers or those not sure, PQ or Pocket Queries are a feature available to Premium Members of this commercial listing service, they are not available to non-members and PQ's tell absolutely nothing about geocaches listed on other commercial listing services.

 

So yes Dr. Dale, you or Mr. ibycus did say that. :D

 

Nice quoting there buddy. Think you're makin' a bit o' logical leap there.... No where in there did I say that Parks Canada was the one who had to actually:

 

1) generate the pocket queries

2) need be involved in any way shape or form with the actual generation of the report submitted to them

 

Nothing that would imply:

 

Do you intend to tell me that in this policy workgroup you are going to suggest that Parks Canada get an account on all the commercial listing services, and pay for it I presume, and then have a staff member from the Parks run PQ's and try to figure things out for themselves ? Do you think they should go to Terracaching.com and put in a sponsor request now ?

 

That would just be stupid of me, now wouldn't it?

 

Oh, and my only credential is a BSc in physics, so no need to call me Dr. :huh::huh:

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Do you intend to tell me that in this policy workgroup you are going to suggest that Parks Canada get an account on all the commercial listing services, and pay for it I presume, and then have a staff member from the Parks run PQ's and try to figure things out for themselves ? Do you think they should go to Terracaching.com and put in a sponsor request now ?

 

That would just be stupid of me, now wouldn't it?

 

Oh, and my only credential is a BSc in physics, so no need to call me Dr. :huh::D

 

If Parks Canada wanted to run PQ's, Groundspeak will provide a premium membership at no charge to land managers, I will ensure Parks Canada knows this during our next discussion.

Edited by Cache-tech

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Hi Cache-tech

I think one of the reasons that I think you are an asset to geocaching.com and to geocaching is the fact that you actually listen to people and think about the things they have said, it is important. Many people care about geocaching, many geocachers take their role as stewards very seriously. Parks can benefit from the presence of an active organization and active organizations can even ensure that their playing fields are in good shape but for effective policy the Parks Service has to have recourse, it cannot depend upon the goodwill of loosely knit groups even if they are currently effective. Recourse is only required when the situation is extreme and then recourse needs to be real, the 400 abandoned caches was an extreme example. We can self police if we are given the tools but the commercial listing services are not going to provide the tools if we don't insist. If we try and develop bandaids or offload real costs onto the Parks Service I think the policy will fail something as simple as the smell test, no stress will be needed to demolish it and achieve a ban on geocaching. The listing services have to make a mechanism available that identifies abandoned caches. In one recent case an abandoned cache had a ten month absent owner show up after an active geocacher filed an SBA log. :D

I am not sure if the absent owner still felt they owned the cache but it was still listed in their name and it should have been marked as abandoned months previously. Listings that are abandoned are one of the reasons that the current policies of commercial listing services are not sufficient to even allow self policing. It needs to be changed. It will be difficult.

 

Hi Dale

you're makin' a bit o' logical leap there

 

I have to do a fair bit of leaping to even try and keep up with your logic. I have never seen anyone aver that stealing stuff that is mostly worthless isn't stealing, no matter, I can leap. I will clarify this because it isn't much of a leap.

 

I suggested that geocachers have to actively acknowledge ownership of a cache, perhaps through a mechanism provided by the listing service. The results of that report could be collated, summarized and provided to Parks Canada. You misinterpreted the reason for having such a mechanism, suggesting that verifying the owner physically went to the cache was impossible and the policy was "brain dead". I reiterated the policy and the reason I thought it would make sense, as a simple way to ensure compliance and to identify abandoned caches. At that point in time you started in with your PQ's. I do not feel I made any leap at all given that I had already made this comment in regards to producing pertinent reports from listing service databases

To suggest that you could do it in a jiffy yourself is not a workable National Parks Policy
. I would like to point out to those who are not Premium Members that you will not receive the cache owner's real name and email address, it is not included with your PQ's, well not with mine.

 

Are you sure you're not some type of mole for Jeremy et al :huh: I fail to see any leaps here ?

 

It may well be that a workable policy that allows Superman to place caches in National Parks can be constructed, it would involve extensive work for all listing services to ensure that the information given to Parks Canada was correct and timely and did not contain FOIP data. Parks Canada could then use that information to decide the disposition of all caches in Parks Canada spaces, it is a no impact suggestion for the Parks Service. I would have the listing services go even further and take ownership of the abandoned caches and mark them with "Needs to be retrieved." I would go even further, making sure that recourse is available for the Parks Service so that taxpayers cannot raise objections to the policy and obtain a complete ban on geocaching.

Maxima is right and the public will pay to rescue those stranded, even pay to pick up litter. To suggest the public would accept a policy that might encourage littering based on their willingness to pay for it's clean up, now that is a leap.

 

The guy in the truck is in jail in case you are interested. :huh:

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Hi Dale

you're makin' a bit o' logical leap there

 

I have to do a fair bit of leaping to even try and keep up with your logic.

 

Why thank you, I choose to take this as a compliment. :D

I have never seen anyone aver that stealing stuff that is mostly worthless isn't stealing, no matter, I can leap.

 

How is picking up a cache logically different than picking up litter from the point of view of the person doing the picking up?

 

I suggested that geocachers have to actively acknowledge ownership of a cache, perhaps through a mechanism provided by the listing service. The results of that report could be collated, summarized and provided to Parks Canada. You misinterpreted the reason for having such a mechanism, suggesting that verifying the owner physically went to the cache was impossible and the policy was "brain dead". I reiterated the policy and the reason I thought it would make sense, as a simple way to ensure compliance and to identify abandoned caches. At that point in time you started in with your PQ's. I do not feel I made any leap at all given that I had already made this comment in regards to producing pertinent reports from listing service databases
To suggest that you could do it in a jiffy yourself is not a workable National Parks Policy
.

Still don't see where the leap to Parks Canada would be the ones setting up and generating the pocket queries came from, but rest assured that isn't what I meant, now or ever.

 

I would like to point out to those who are not Premium Members that you will not receive the cache owner's real name and email address, it is not included with your PQ's, well not with mine.

 

Sorry, I addressed those points of yours as two seperate issues, not the same one. While Jeremy et al. do have my real e-mail address, I would imagine that for a large percentage of abandoned caches, the e-mails in question are essentially dead drops, or even spam traps, these are people who don't stay involved with the game for very long, so may not trust Groundspeak to keep that information, so a listing of e-mail addresses may not be as valuable as you might think.

 

As far as real names go, Jeremy et al. don't necessarily have that either. Sure, they may have the names on the credit cards used to pay for the premium member accounts, but (a) not everyone is a premium member and ( b ) that may be different from the name of the actual cacher involved (Daddy may have paid for the account, or it may have been bought as a gift etc)

 

So they don't have access to that information in a reliable fashion anyways, so the most reasonable way to get that information, should PC require the matching of usernames to handles is to have the cacher come and speak directly with a parks person, and perhaps show some ID, and give their handle to them before being allowed to place a cache in the park.

 

Further, as you pointed out with your FOIP comments, there are privacy issues as stake. The most reasonable way IMNSHO to assure that no ones information is released to PC that doesn't want to have it released, is to have them do the releasing themselves directly.

 

Are you sure you're not some type of mole for Jeremy et al :huh: I fail to see any leaps here ?

 

It may well be that a workable policy that allows Superman to place caches in National Parks can be constructed, it would involve extensive work for all listing services to ensure that the information given to Parks Canada was correct and timely and did not contain FOIP data. Parks Canada could then use that information to decide the disposition of all caches in Parks Canada spaces, it is a no impact suggestion for the Parks Service. I would have the listing services go even further and take ownership of the abandoned caches and mark them with "Needs to be retrieved." I would go even further, making sure that recourse is available for the Parks Service so that taxpayers cannot raise objections to the policy and obtain a complete ban on geocaching.

 

I don't see why this has to even involve the listing service in even a cursory fashion. As long as PC is provided with the data they need, in a format they can use, in a timely manner (a program could be set up to run the data through automagically), what does it matter where it comes from.

 

An alternate, last resort type of scenario, in which a cache hasn't been removed that doesn't rely on the good will of the cachers in the area:

 

If Superman places a cache, and has had to tell Parks Canada his real name, address etc. (which Jeremy et al. doesn't necessarily have) then if Superman abandons that cache, he is ultimately responsible for its removal.

 

Step one: after the cache is declared abandoned (through whatever process might be decided on) is to look for someone to adopt the cache.

 

Step two: declare as you put it a "needs removal" and the local caching group that has volunteered to act as stewards for the park is contacted.

 

Step Three: Cache is retrieved by local caching group, otherwise proceed to step four.

 

Step Four: PC sends someone out to remove the cache.

 

Step Five: Superman gets sent the bill for time spent by PC on his cache.

 

It is important to note that the above could be an entirely automated proceedure, involving no human intervention what so ever, until it comes time for the cache to actually be removed.

 

The proceedure could be implemented with no changes on the part of this listing service.

 

Maxima is right and the public will pay to rescue those stranded, even pay to pick up litter. To suggest the public would accept a policy that might encourage littering based on their willingness to pay for it's clean up, now that is a leap.

 

Here we agree. I don't think the public should be footing the bill for our activities in the parks, which is why a favour a minimalist intervention by parks authorities.

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Here we agree. I don't think the public should be footing the bill for our activities in the parks, which is why a favour a minimalist intervention by parks authorities.

 

I think your missing the point - why create a two tier system. If the taxpayer gets stuck with rescuing people who ignore avalanche warnings, why should geocaching (in general be treated any differently.) Campers in PCs pay for the service of having their trash taken away (they don't have to take it home). Maybe a fee per placement system, payble to PC at the time of placement by the cache owner, like a camping fee, would be able to fund any subsequent clean-up for abandoned caches ... maybe refundable deposits.

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