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Getting Land Manager Approval for Earthcache Placement


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I have a great location to place an Earthcache in Los Angeles County, CA. I was wondering what the best way is to approach a land manager to get their approval to place it. I am sure this question could also be used when placing a tangible cache as well. In my case I am approaching the Los Angeles County Dept of Parks for approval.



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He needs permission because that's required by the Earthcaching guidelines set up by GSA. That works rather at cross-purposes with Waymarking, and I find that unfortunate. Perhaps it is good that earthcaches are geocaches again.


As for approaching the land manager, I would take the same tack as when asking to hide a geocache. Unless they have a geocaching policy, I *inform* the park of my plans, and make them feel *happy* that I am bringing the right kind of visitors to their park.


Permission is best addressed during an in-person meeting. The conversation might go something like this:


"Hi, I am going to set up a walking tour through ________ Park that will feature the cool [insert name of geological feature here]. The tour will be published on a website, and visitors will use GPS coordinates to be taken to the geological points of interest. I'm working with the Geological Society of America to get this set up. I think it will bring more visitors to your park, and my tour will be very educational.


The GSA asked me to let you know that I am doing this. Do you have any suggestions on where people should go, or warnings about areas you'd like people to stay away from? You know your park better than I do.


[Talk about the park and the design of the earthcache.]


Hey, those were great suggestions. Thanks! So, do you have any other questions, or is it alright now for me to let the GSA know that we talked about it and you are OK with the idea?"

Edited by The Leprechauns
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He needs permission because that's required by the Earthcaching guidelines set up by GSA. That works rather at cross-purposes with Waymarking, and I find that unfortunate. Perhaps it is good that earthcaches are geocaches again....


That's interesting. I know why the NPS wants to approve virtuals. However I would find it absurd if they actually said "No" to some site in Yellostone they built a parking lot for and a trail to and then provided benches for the public only to say "No" to an earchcache.


However something similar has happened in Arizona.

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Excellent suggestions by The Leprechauns! That is eerily close to what my husband and I said to get permission to place our Earthcaches.


The land managers are very happy to know that people will come to see there unique and wonderous location, and they are relieved to know that no container will be left behind. I have found the lanf managers to be very happy to suggest good viewing spots and educational activities.


I would suggest taking in a print out of a couple of the pages from the GSA about earthcaching as well--especially the page on earthcache guidelines. They mention lots of good things that land managers like to hear about adhering to leave no trace ethics and being educational and damage being unacceptable, etc. Very powerful words to those in charge of conserving an area.

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I have found that the approval is only required for lands under US federal jurisdiction and private land. I’ve submitted many on State and County Parks (public land) without formal approval. I do keep the locations to common sense and the Leave No Trace principal.


If it is a location that people already go and see with established publicly accessible trails I would just submit anyway.

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So the GSA is ignoring its own published guidelines? Perhaps they ought to say permission is assumed, unless there is a known policy regulating geocaching. Sort of like the regular cache listing guidelines. I think that would benefit everyone, as I agree with BrianSnat -- a pair of coordinates don't require permission.


On the other hand, a "permission everywhere" guideline might make sense, since the GSA does not check for applicable state and local geocaching policies. There are areas that even prohibit virtual caches.

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My experience in placing earthcaches is that the GSA requires permission for every earthcache approved. In the one instance where I forgot to fill in the info, it was not published until I proved that permission had been granted. Even in places that have a blanket geocaching policy, it is not really that big of a deal to get a name and number of someone who will verify it.


Edited to add: I should mention that I have only dealt with the permission issue since earthcaches have come back to GC.com, perhaps the guidelines were less stringent under Waymarking.

Edited by Monkeybrad
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