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Asking Permission


Torchbearer
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I was thinking about placing a cache in my local park. There is a river right by it with some wooded area and I think I can place a decent one there. What's the best way to ask permission? I would probably have to go to City Hall and ask and I want to be somewhat prepared. Should I bring along the brochures that explain the game? How have you all dealt with this in the past? How have people reacted when you ask them?

 

Thanks

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Here's how it could work. You go to City Hall and they look at you as if you have three eyes and send you to the Parks Dept. They have no idea what geocaching is, so they tell you no. You press the point so they say they will look into it and get back to you.

 

Three weeks later they call you and tell you good news, they are willing to consider allowing your cache, but first the council has to vote on it. The following month its up for a vote. You show up eagerly awaiting the decision, but they table the motion so the town attorney can look at it.

 

Two weeks later the town attorney gives it his OK, provided you first purchase a $1,000,000 liability policy, sign a waiver to absolve the town of any liability and you're only allowed to hide the cache for one day.

 

And while you've spent almost 3 months jumping through hoops, someone else has placed a cache where you wanted to put yours.

Edited by briansnat
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or, you can contact your parks and rec department and talk to them about it. a website that i've found to be helpful in finding contact information is ePodunk. i sent an email to a local parks and rec department asking permission and sending a link to gc.com explaining things. i figured i would send an email asking permission and if they didn't respond within 2-3 weeks i would decide whether or not to place it.

 

the parks and rec people got back to me rather quickly and were excited. i also learned that the director for that city's parks and rec is a geocacher. lucky me. :)

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Here's how it could work. You go to City Hall and they look at you as if you have three eyes and send you to the Parks Dept. They have no idea what geocaching is, so they tell you no. You press the point so they say they will look into it and get back to you.

 

Three weeks they call you and tell you good news, they are willing to consider allowing your cache, but first the council has to vote on it. The following month its up for a vote. You show up eagerly awaiting the decision, but they table the motion so the town attorney can look it.

 

Two weeks later the town attorney gives it his OK, provided you first purchase a $1,000,000 liability policy, sign a waiver to absolve the town of any liability and you're only allowed to hide the cache for one day.

 

And while you've spent almost 3 months jumping through hoops, someone else has placed a cache where you wanted to put yours.

 

Some would call this the "frisbee rule" - if you don't have to ask to play frisbee there than why ask to place a Geocache?

 

While that is clearly taking things a bit far, briansnat's example is a very real possibility also. If they have no rules againist it and it is public land - sometimes better to just place it. However, if you approach them - make sure you are prepared to answer lots of questions. I would bring lots of examples of positive land manager policies towards geocaching. And make sure you mention CITO.

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What BrianSnat said above has happened a number of times. As to permission:

 

5d1eed24-d54b-4edb-ac8a-3a39da3e099a.jpg

 

If your fingers aren't tired form all that hand wringing, :) feel free to copy this letter:

 

Dear ______________

 

I intend to place a geocache in _________ park. As per applicable rules, I am requesting permission for this placement. Please don’t construe “requesting” to imply that I believe I need your permission. The Frisbee players, kite flyers, picnickers, and jungle-gymers do not request your permission to engage in their respective activities, so it should be obvious where I stand on this issue. I won’t mention that the teenage copulaters, dope smokers, and mimes do not request permission to use the park for their activities either. Insofar as my “request” is concerned, please accept that it is merely a formality and that I will place the geocache regardless of your objections, if any.

 

It should be noted though, that geocachers are generally a great bunch of folks. We routinely clean up trash in the parks and on the trails as we make our way to and from the cache. Additionally, we dilute the population of undesirables by introducing good, law abiding citizens into the parks, myself notwithstanding.

 

Please understand that I make this nonsensical request with the best intentions. I would never pick the lock on the storage shed and let the air out of all the basketballs in retribution just because you remove my cache container, but know that I could.

Edited by Quiggle
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While that is clearly taking things a bit far, briansnat's example is a very real possibility also.

 

Most of what I detailed in my post actually did happen, including the part about the million dollar liability policy and the one day limit.

 

I know many people have asked permission and received enthusiastic responses, but others have been told no and in some cases thier inquiry led to other caches in the parks being outed and removed.

 

From a personal standpoint, I have a fundimental problem with the concept of begging my government for permission to do something that is legal and basically harmless.

Edited by briansnat
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If your fingers aren't tired form all that hand wringing, B) feel free to copy this letter:

 

Dear ______________

 

I intend to place a geocache in _________ park. As per applicable rules, I am requesting permission for this placement. Please don’t construe “requesting” to imply that I believe I need your permission. The Frisbee players, kite flyers, picnickers, and jungle-gymers do not request your permission to engage in their respective activities, so it should be obvious where I stand on this issue. I won’t mention that the teenage copulaters, dope smokers, and mimes do not request permission to use the park for their activities either. Insofar as my “request” is concerned, please accept that it is merely a formality and that I will place the geocache regardless of your objections, if any.

 

It should be noted though, that geocachers are generally a great bunch of folks. We routinely clean up trash in the parks and on the trails as we make our way to and from the cache. Additionally, we dilute the population of undesirables by introducing good, law abiding citizens into the parks, myself notwithstanding.

 

Please understand that I make this nonsensical request with the best intentions. I would never pick the lock on the storage shed and let the air out of all the basketballs in retribution just because you remove my cache container, but know that I could.

 

Good one! :laughing::)

Edited by CYBret
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Here's how it could work. You go to City Hall and they look at you as if you have three eyes and send you to the Parks Dept. They have no idea what geocaching is, so they tell you no. You press the point so they say they will look into it and get back to you.

 

Three weeks later they call you and tell you good news, they are willing to consider allowing your cache, but first the council has to vote on it. The following month its up for a vote. You show up eagerly awaiting the decision, but they table the motion so the town attorney can look at it.

 

Two weeks later the town attorney gives it his OK, provided you first purchase a $1,000,000 liability policy, sign a waiver to absolve the town of any liability and you're only allowed to hide the cache for one day.

 

And while you've spent almost 3 months jumping through hoops, someone else has placed a cache where you wanted to put yours.

 

Optimist. When I did that they wanted me to lease the park for my 'event' for the duration if the event. :)

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Seriously. If the park has a policy on geocaching, follow it. Your local cachers will know if they do or don't. If the park doesn't have a policy on geocaching place a cache and enjoy geocaching for what it is, a harmless activity that brings people from all over to the park to enjoy it. As it happens that's the purpose of a park.

 

For a rule of thumb place your cache in a location that you would have no problem showing the parks department if they ever asked. Don't hide it in a spot that you would be embarassed to show them (like the back side of a toilet, or in their flowerbeds near the entrance...)

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I have to agree with some of the stuff stated previously.

I would definitely contact your local Parks and Recreation Dept. and see if they have a policy concerning geocaching.

If they do have a policy in place and you place a cache without permission I'm sure they would take some sort of action. That could be anything from a fine to a ticket. It would be bad if they found a cache that was not registered and assumed the worst and called the police to handle it. Something like that could possibly jeopardize geocaching in all of that system's parks.

 

My $.02 worth

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Before placing our first cache in a city park, I asked the Parks department if they had any geocaching policies and handed over a brochure explaining our activity. They said there were no such regulations and hadn't heard of geocaching before. Then they asked if I was requesting a liquor permit for geocaching in their parks.

 

"No ma'am, liquor is a prohibited item for caches."

 

"OK - no problem! Have fun!"

 

I did get a chuckle out of that exchange.

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I'd just look on the sign at the park or wander through the website to see if they had a policy. Don't poke the bear.

 

Agreed. Here's the key: "By submitting a cache listing, you assure us that you have adequate permission to hide your cache in the selected location."

 

You don't need specific permission in writing unless the park has a policy stating so. Just be smart about how and where you hide your cache and enjoy.

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Torchbearer, I think it is outstanding that you want to hide a cache in a city park and get permission, this is way cool in my book.

 

Would contact the city government and find out who the director of their parks and recreation department and make an appointment for a face to face. If your city does not have someone in that position, ask who is in charge of cutting the grass and work your way up until the buck stops and make an appointment with them.

 

When you are asking for a meeting use the term geocaching // scavenger hunt. They may have never heard of geocaching but will have heard of scavenger hunt. ( if they haven’t you really do need to move ) Carry the cache that you plan to hide, your GPS’r and a cache page ( with nice logs ) with cool logs like would have never come here if it were not for geocaching , to leave with them.

 

This process, I have used with Federal, Regional, State, and Local recreation areas and have never been said NO to.

 

One last thing just be yourself, and tell them how much fun you and others are having playing the sport.

 

JOE

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I'd just look on the sign at the park or wander through the website to see if they had a policy. Don't poke the bear.

 

Agreed. Here's the key: "By submitting a cache listing, you assure us that you have adequate permission to hide your cache in the selected location."

 

You don't need specific permission in writing unless the park has a policy stating so. Just be smart about how and where you hide your cache and enjoy.

 

Would you mind defining 'adaquate permission'? Thanks. :rolleyes::blink::laughing:

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I'd just look on the sign at the park or wander through the website to see if they had a policy. Don't poke the bear.

 

Agreed. Here's the key: "By submitting a cache listing, you assure us that you have adequate permission to hide your cache in the selected location."

 

You don't need specific permission in writing unless the park has a policy stating so. Just be smart about how and where you hide your cache and enjoy.

 

Would you mind defining 'adaquate permission'? Thanks. :rolleyes::blink::(

 

I know what my definition is and I'm sticking to it.

 

mimes. :laughing:

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You don't need specific permission in writing unless the park has a policy stating so. Just be smart about how and where you hide your cache and enjoy.

 

And if you DO get specific permission, don't mention it on the cache page. That will make all caches that just have adequate permission somehow feel they are of lesser stature.- we don't want them to lose self esteem. :laughing:

Edited by Confuse-A-Cat
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The best way for many rural hides is to say that you belong to a group of outdoor/hiking enthusiasts and that you are going to recommend a certain area for others to visit. Then explain that a logbook left in a waterproof container is hidden in the area for others in the group to find and sign, and that sometimes people leave small items to trade or to remember their visit. Tell them that you will leave your name and phone number if anyone has questions, or if anyone stumbles upon it on accident. I have never had problems with this approach and everyone understands it. Sometimes they will be more curious about how people will find the exact spot and you will have to explain that a GPS is usually used to navigate there, and that the recommended areas are posted on the internet on this website, and then give them the URL. How the cache is found using the GPS is not important, as most people who do not own a GPS either: do not know what it is, or believe some strange ideas about how they work. (such as that they cost $1500 dollars with 500 ft accuracy, or that the govt. can track you with them :laughing: ) The internet part is not important either, ( there are many people who still do not use the internet)

but if they ask, do not hide it from them.

 

Asking "permission" per se makes it seem that they will be liable for the container, or for injuries, or makes it look like there is something wrong with what you are doing, and if they dont understand the game they will say NO. (this happened once, and I had to go over the over the head of the Parks dept and explain to a Town Manager the game.) "Notification" is more like it. Do it nicely with their input and it works well. If they object for some reason, its only because it was not explained right. Avoid using the word "game", or the phrase "game on the internet", or they will have visions of kids vandalizing the area.

 

I also recommend that you talk to them in person. Telling them over the phone makes it easy for them to object. Also if they have concerns, mention that your hiking/outdoors group has clean up events (CITO) and invite them to participate. They most likely won't want to help, but will get the impression that as well as enjoying the outdoors, you respect it.

 

Now if it's done right, all will go well. If you say "can I hide an ammo box with a bunch of McDonalds toys out here in the woods" YOU BLEW IT :rolleyes:

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Here's how it could work. You go to City Hall and they look at you as if you have three eyes and send you to the Parks Dept. They have no idea what geocaching is, so they tell you no. You press the point so they say they will look into it and get back to you.

 

Three weeks later they call you and tell you good news, they are willing to consider allowing your cache, but first the council has to vote on it. The following month its up for a vote. You show up eagerly awaiting the decision, but they table the motion so the town attorney can look at it.

 

Two weeks later the town attorney gives it his OK, provided you first purchase a $1,000,000 liability policy, sign a waiver to absolve the town of any liability and you're only allowed to hide the cache for one day.

 

And while you've spent almost 3 months jumping through hoops, someone else has placed a cache where you wanted to put yours.

 

 

Oh my gosh, That sounds exactly what I'm going through. You done this before haven't you?

I'm waiting to hear from the "council". They said I may have to present a dissertation explaining what geocaching is. Good grief!

Edited by Luckless
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Marcel-Marceau.jpg

 

Geez, you guys sure like mimes a lot!

 

How about just for fun we get back to the topic at hand and leave mimes out of it so your friendly moderators don't spend the night editing posts, k?

 

Bret (editing against the wind)

I met him ^ once while he was traveling. His face is as expressive without makeup as it is with makeup.

 

As for permission, I'd ask the person in charge of the parks dept. first before placing the cache. He/she may have a suggestion for a better place in the park to put it.

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f they object for some reason, its only because it was not explained right. Avoid using the word "game", or the phrase "game on the internet", or they will have visions of kids vandalizing the area.

 

Yes, never use the word game. Sport, hobby, recreational activity, anything but game.

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Are you saying you don't get alot of mimes out your way?

 

Not since they instituted a spring hunting season on mimes, keeps the herds numbers down. :rolleyes:

want to drive the mime next door crazy? :blink: Play a blank CD or tape on full volume. :laughing:

 

Back OT-adaquate permission means that if it's required for that area, then you go and get it.

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" I won’t mention that the teenage copulaters, dope smokers, and mimes do not request permission to use the park for their activities either. Insofar as my “request” is concerned......"

 

I can verify this. As a former teenage copulator (and dope smoker), I never asked the park authorities for permission.

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What BrianSnat said above has happened a number of times. As to permission:

 

I won’t mention that the teenage copulaters, dope smokers, and mimes do not request permission ...[/i][/b]

 

WTF? Was I edited without even being consulted? That letter has appeard in several threads without complaint? I think the UPOF (United Packers of Fudge) might cause some grief over this.

Edited by Criminal
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