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Cache or Trash? An article from the Denver Post.


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The Denver Post Newspaper printed a story online today that gave a negative impression of geocaching:

 

http://www.denverpostbloghouse.com/washing...s-public-lands/

 

After you read it, feel free to post your thoughts and opinions concerning this issue. It may also be in the interest of geocaching if you post your comments on the Denver Post website, so that non-cachers can see our point of view.

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Interesting that he screws it up right in the third paragraph.

 

There are only three rules to the game: You take something from the cache. You leave something in its place. You record the visit in the enclosed log book. [site] see link to the actual post in the OP [/site]

 

I didn't know one of the rules was "I take something from the cache."

 

I always thought that IF I took something, THEN I leave something. Can't I just leave something?

 

Edit: thought Electa was a woman, not positive and don't want to assume, changing to anonymous "he".

Edited by Team Smokey
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The Denver Post Newspaper printed a story online today that gave a negative impression of geocaching:

 

What's negative about telling the truth? Geocachers in fact *do* damage vegetation and leave trails - I've seen it myself. We even have a slang term for it - geotrails. There *are* caches out there with a sodden wad of a logbook and broken McToys. (I.E. Trash/Litter.)

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Sometimes I think reporters try and add in more conflict than there really was/is.

AFAIK no park manager has ever said 'we like people to come to our park to litter and destroy things'. Thats just common sense. It should also be apperent to people that actually do a little research, that 'trash and destroy' is not what geocaching is about.

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The Denver Post Newspaper printed a story online today that gave a negative impression of geocaching:

 

What's negative about telling the truth? Geocachers in fact *do* damage vegetation and leave trails - I've seen it myself. We even have a slang term for it - geotrails. There *are* caches out there with a sodden wad of a logbook and broken McToys. (I.E. Trash/Litter.)

 

The few geotrails I've seen were at high traffic caches next to parking lots and alongside roads. Hardly something to worry "foresters". The caches in the backcountry generally don't get enough visits to cause a problem.

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Its not all that bad of an article. One paragraph does get my local interest and perspective.

 

"Other foresters are equally unenthusiastic. The Arapaho and Roosevelt national forests and Pawnee National Grassland have stated that there are no regulations on geocaching but add that “the Forest Service encourages visitors to pack it in and pack it out, and geocaching does not support these practices.”

 

I have been an active volunteer teaching LNT and other regulations for this USFS area for 7 years now and have been caching for 5 of those years. The Forest Service knows I'm a geocacher and all they have asked me is to keep them out of the Wilderness Areas. I have hidden and maintained many of my caches while on an offical patrol for the USFS. And have cleaned out more trash and junk left by campers.

 

And since most of my caches are in the back country of the Arapaho and Roosevelt national forests they are seldom visited because of their remoteness and difficulty. So where is the ecological damage, there are no social trails near any of my caches, and most of them are off trail someplace up there. I have seen more damage done in the last 7 years by mtn. bikers, campers, ATV'ers, and some very irresponsible 4 wheelers, than any Geocacher could even think of doing.

 

Maybe I should EMail the author and offer a cache tour of the backcountry, but then I would probably have to move the cache to eliminate any muggles.

 

And the author should check out the Colorado National Forest scroll down and look at the link to the FIVE GEOCACHES hidden by this land manager.

 

And I think the author of this thread has found Corey's Stash. Its in my front yard, yikes I better go get the box its causing traffic in the neighborhood. No more free toys for the caching kiddies.

Edited by Tahosa and Sons
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Its not all that bad of an article. One paragraph does get my local interest and perspective.

 

"Other foresters are equally unenthusiastic. The Arapaho and Roosevelt national forests and Pawnee National Grassland have stated that there are no regulations on geocaching but add that “the Forest Service encourages visitors to pack it in and pack it out, and geocaching does not support these practices.”

 

I have been an active volunteer teaching LNT and other regulations for this USFS area for 7 years now and have been caching for 5 of those years. The Forest Service knows I'm a geocacher and all they have asked me is to keep them out of the Wilderness Areas. I have hidden and maintained many of my caches while on an offical patrol for the USFS. And have cleaned out more trash and junk left by campers.

 

And since most of my caches are in the back country of the Arapaho and Roosevelt national forests they are seldom visited because of their remoteness and difficulty. So where is the ecological damage, there are no social trails near any of my caches, and most of them are off trail someplace up there. I have seen more damage done in the last 7 years by mtn. bikers, campers, ATV'ers, and some very irresponsible 4 wheelers, than any Geocacher could even think of doing.

 

Maybe I should EMail the author and offer a cache tour of the backcountry, but then I would probably have to move the cache to eliminate any muggles.

 

And the author should check out the Colorado National Forest scroll down and look at the link to the FOUR GEOCACHES hidden by this land manager.

 

And I think the author of this thread has found Corey's Stash. Its in my front yard, yikes I better go get the box its causing traffic in the neighborhood. No more free toys for the caching kiddies.

 

This might make a nice comment in response to the article on the blog page.

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I think this will lead to the eventual demise of geocaching, (not the article, but the reality).

Then you can all come to ASIA where they actually welcome trash, indeed they buy it.

It's piled up everywhere and anywhere, our containers would be a drop in the oceans of trash here, Sorry NOT Singapore and Japan.

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It seemed to start off negative and turned positive in my opinion.

 

At least this article got something right that few do, "Geocaching is not allowed in wildlife refuges or in national parks, unless special permission is obtained." Yes, a pet peeve of mine.

 

In all, I would have rather it stayed neutral in the beginning and then highlighted the negatives and positives.

Edited by CoyoteRed
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What's negative about telling the truth? Geocachers in fact *do* damage vegetation and leave trails - I've seen it myself. We even have a slang term for it - geotrails. There *are* caches out there with a sodden wad of a logbook and broken McToys. (I.E. Trash/Litter.)

The few geotrails I've seen were at high traffic caches next to parking lots and alongside roads. Hardly something to worry "foresters". The caches in the backcountry generally don't get enough visits to cause a problem.

 

Being 'near parking or a road' and 'being in an area where geotrails are not desired' are not mutually exclusive attributes. 'In Search Of ...' (GCRN5X), located in the Olympic National Forest has a mild geotrail forming. The 'Un-Original Stash' (GC92), located on private managed forest land has a geotrail. There was a thread in the forums just a few days ago about vegetation being destroyed on a college campus. Several caches near my house in parks or urban trails have geotrails.

 

Not to mention that National Parks/Forests/Etc do in fact have roads across them and parking lots in them... Looking at a map of the park in question (San Jaun National Forest) shows a *highway* bisecting it. (And a casual scan of Google Earth shows at least once cache right off the highway and several more on forest roads.)

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1) its a blog-

2)Its very poorly written.

3) Its so inaccurate, I wonder how they got thier info?

eg="The essentials of responsible geocaching, as espoused by Leave No Trace and the Forest Service partner nonprofit Tread Lightly:"

 

Ah, what difference does it make what they "espouse"? Gc.com makes the rules we live by=

How about quoting geocaching.com guidelines?Ah, but I didnt even see a single reference to gc.com, the guidelines, CITO, etc-

 

uninformed guy with a blog- What else is new-

 

I agree- Tahosa's post could be added for comments- very good!

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...the Forest Service encourages visitors to pack it in and pack it out, and geocaching does not support these practices.

Here the author blatantly ignores CITO. I mean cachers may leave a cache, but then any that find it also pack out other peoples trash!

Edited by TheBeast
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Sometimes I think reporters try and add in more conflict than there really was/is.

AFAIK no park manager has ever said 'we like people to come to our park to litter and destroy things'. Thats just common sense. It should also be apperent to people that actually do a little research, that 'trash and destroy' is not what geocaching is about.

 

A reporter do some research? Surely, you jest.

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Interesting that he screws it up right in the third paragraph.

 

There are only three rules to the game: You take something from the cache. You leave something in its place. You record the visit in the enclosed log book. [site] see link to the actual post in the OP [/site]

 

I didn't know one of the rules was "I take something from the cache."

 

I always thought that IF I took something, THEN I leave something. Can't I just leave something?

 

Edit: thought Electa was a woman, not positive and don't want to assume, changing to anonymous "he".

I agree i leave things all the time and don't take something most of the time there is nothing to take. so i place something that fits for some one that wants a traidable. by the way any one know where i can get more hommies i'm running out cuz thats what i tend to leave.

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I don't exactly know why I feel this way, but I just can not give an online blog the same respect/value as a printed newspaper. That said-this reported has a lot to learn about geocaching, and writing too.

 

Geez, I better start taking stuff when I leave something behind; even if there isn't anything I want; :laughing: since it is one of the rules.

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I'm on very good terms with our local Forest Ranger (we're both on the Historical Society Board as well) and I've been talking to him about it.

 

Our Forest (IPNF) does not have any policy regarding caches. The Forest Archeologist is less than pleased at the whole concept of caching, but I've been explaining to him the whole CITO idea.

 

Now, I've been researching other National Forests and the ones that DO have an official policy usually have a "1 year limit" on caches, and they must be moved at least 1/2 mile after that time.

 

That's a pretty interesting idea, but doesn't sound like much fun to have to take down a cache at the top of a 7000 foot mountain, move it, and continue to move it year after year. Plus, most caches in my area are specifically put up in special places, where if moved, they might as well be archived.

 

Granted, some of these other Forests are a little less "remote" than ours, but I can see caches getting taken out by FS employees when they aren't moved after a year is up.

 

I like the idea of submitting caches to the Ranger so that they know where they all are on the Forest.

 

But I don't really like the idea of moving them every year.

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I like the idea of submitting caches to the Ranger so that they know where they all are on the Forest.

 

Surely the locations of the caches are already obvious with the surrounding mass-destruction. :laughing:

 

Mass destruction? I'm not an old hand at this, but every cache I've found in the IPNF has been hidden totally from view. No trash, no trails other than the game trails or posted FS trails.

 

Not sure how things go around your neck of the woods, but that sucks if caches are like that where you are.

 

(If that was a sarcastic remark then oops.... :rolleyes: )

Edited by conradv
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(If that was a sarcastic remark then oops.... :rolleyes: )

 

Yes, the winky guy ( :laughing: ) indicated sarcasm.

 

I didn't think about it until after I posted... lol

 

But that was one of the things I've been trying to get across to the FS Archeologist. More trash is taken out on caching trips than brought in by far.

 

I'll get him to come around one of these days...

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(If that was a sarcastic remark then oops.... :rolleyes: )

 

Yes, the winky guy ( :laughing: ) indicated sarcasm.

 

I didn't think about it until after I posted... lol

 

But that was one of the things I've been trying to get across to the FS Archeologist. More trash is taken out on caching trips than brought in by far.

 

I'll get him to come around one of these days...

 

Many archeaologists are very lukewarm about geocaching, but there are a number of archeologists who are avid geocachers.

 

The key concern of an archaeologist would be disturbing of an archeological site. This usually means digging. Since caches aren't buried this is not an issue.

 

In some instances, particularly in the west, there are cultural materials on or very close to the surface. This is more of a concern, but a geocacher would have little more impact than a hiker, hunter, bird watcher, mushroomer etc... crossing the same area.

 

The disturbance of stone walls, ancient fire rings, etc... would also be of concern to an archaeologist, but many other users endanger these as well, among them, ATVers, equestrians, hikers and campers. To single out geocaching is unfair chiefly because geocachers are a miniscule percentage of these user groups

 

Of course caches are not allowed on known archeaological sites, which should help allay his concerns. Also if he is aware of a cache placed on one, all it will take is an e-mail to this website to have it removed.

 

CITO is not something that will impress many archeaologists. Litter is their vocation (albeit very old litter). I can imagine an archeologist shuddering at the idea of reading a log where some well meaning geocacher CITOed all the broken "dishes" littering the area.

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I don't exactly know why I feel this way, but I just can not give an online blog the same respect/value as a printed newspaper. That said-this reported has a lot to learn about geocaching, and writing too.

 

Per original blog author. . .

Also, I should mention that a news article is not a blog.. . .

Uh, huh....

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Well almost a day has gone by since I came across this egregious blog and still there is not a comment on it at all. And I have no interest in going there, let them blow wind in the heat, it will soon dissipate.

 

Maybe they should look at the Organization known as LNT. ORG a little deeper. They have some Corpororate Sponsors. And now scroll down the page to see some more interesting information. Principal Partners and now go deeper and see who is doing GPS Adventures with a Principal Partner.

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Many archeaologists are very lukewarm about geocaching, but there are a number of archeologists who are avid geocachers.

 

The key concern of an archaeologist would be disturbing of an archeological site. This usually means digging. Since caches aren't buried this is not an issue.

 

In some instances, particularly in the west, there are cultural materials on or very close to the surface. This is more of a concern, but a geocacher would have little more impact than a hiker, hunter, bird watcher, mushroomer etc... crossing the same area.

 

The disturbance of stone walls, ancient fire rings, etc... would also be of concern to an archaeologist, but many other users endanger these as well, among them, ATVers, equestrians, hikers and campers. To single out geocaching is unfair chiefly because geocachers are a miniscule percentage of these user groups

 

Of course caches are not allowed on known archeaological sites, which should help allay his concerns. Also if he is aware of a cache placed on one, all it will take is an e-mail to this website to have it removed.

 

CITO is not something that will impress many archeaologists. Litter is their vocation (albeit very old litter). I can imagine an archeologist shuddering at the idea of reading a log where some well meaning geocacher CITOed all the broken "dishes" littering the area.

 

You're right about the CITO - I was thinking more along the lines of beer bottles and candy bar wrappers.

 

This is one of the reasons that I think that the FS should be able to require cachers to submit a form to them telling where (and what) the cache is. As it is now, there is kind of a "grey area" when it comes to our local Forest. This is one of the Ranger's first email to me when I contacted him about geocaching:

 

We haven't been able to find anything specific except the basic littering,

don't disturb sites etc.

 

My thought is: why not take the initiative with the Forest Service and establish some groundrules, rather than let uninformed people who work there make the decision for us?

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I thought it was a well-balanced article that simply quoted several people and, like good journalism, did not editorialize the issue - just reported others viewpoints.

 

As cachers (especially those that place caches) it is important to maintain a good relationship with our "cache" and ensure we archive it when required (in the event of environmental impact and/or other problems).

 

The quickest way to get the activity banned or create a negative perception of the hobby is to demand that others recogize our opinions as being truth. There are multiple opinions on how the lands should be managed and maintained and we should always seek to reach compromise and concessions that are in the best interests of all parties concerned. -- except ATV people -- they should be rounded up and shot. :blink:

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I feel the reporter should have contacted a local cacher and gone on a hunt before reporting just to have a real life view of the story. I have seen two people riding 1500 lbs horses do more damage to the woods in one passing than a years worth of cachers would do in the same area. most caches are off of established roads/trails (we've only been around for a few years) most of the caches around here don't get that much traffic and the damage is next to nothing.

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