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Physically Removing Archived Caches


kohldad
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Over a month ago, a number of caches in my local area were archived by the owner. I recently went by one of these and to kill a few minutes time, I stopped to see if the cache had been physically removed. It was still there so I removed the cache thinking it was the proper thing to do. Reasoning being is that the owner has stopped willing to be responsible for the cache and no one else will have the coordinates, which basically makes this trash left in the woods.

 

However, while out with the family today, I went to stop at another one of these caches and my wife said since it wasn't mine, I should just leave it alone. After explaining my reasoning, she said I still had no right to remove it, but wasn't as sure.

 

Figured a good way to resolve this issue was to ask here on the forum.

 

So, is it okay to remove some one else cache after it has been removed? And if so, how long should after the archiving should one wait before doing so?

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You're a good cacher. CITO those things when you can. If the owner hasn't picked them up within two weeks then they're trash and an embarassment to us all.

 

I'd suggest asking the owner their intentions before removing the cache. If nothing has happens in a couple of weeks, I'd say the cache is abandoned and free for someone to claim.

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Over a month ago, a number of caches in my local area were archived by the owner. I recently went by one of these and to kill a few minutes time, I stopped to see if the cache had been physically removed. It was still there so I removed the cache thinking it was the proper thing to do. Reasoning being is that the owner has stopped willing to be responsible for the cache and no one else will have the coordinates, which basically makes this trash left in the woods.

 

However, while out with the family today, I went to stop at another one of these caches and my wife said since it wasn't mine, I should just leave it alone. After explaining my reasoning, she said I still had no right to remove it, but wasn't as sure.

 

Figured a good way to resolve this issue was to ask here on the forum.

 

So, is it okay to remove some one else cache after it has been removed? And if so, how long should after the archiving should one wait before doing so?

Your intentions were correct. However, they could be listed elsewhere so check with the owner first. If in doubt, remember the wife is always right.(even when she's wrong) :anicute: (I learned that awhile ago)

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The corss-listing concerns seem a bit unrealistic to me.

 

If gc.com archived a cross listed cache wouldn't the cache owner go place a note in the cache container that it is cross listed? They would have received email notice of the archive.

 

If the the owner archived their gc.com listing but wanted to keep the container listed on the other site wouldn't they go place a note in the container that it is listed on the other site?

 

If the container was active on another site wouldn't the cross lister make a note on the gc.com archived web page so people would know that it is still active?

 

If the cross lister does not respond to gc.com archives or needs maintenance logs but wants the container active on the other site they need to take some action or be prepared for removal of the container.

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Even if you throw out the cross listing argument, I don't think you should ever take out a cache without the owner's permission. That is their property. You do not know their intentions.

 

I would be pretty frustrated if I was an owner that had archived a cache and for whatever reasons had waited a while to go pick it up, only to find it gone. If someone picks it up and doesn't tell the owner, then the owner loses the logbook, the container, and anything else inside it. What if they wanted to recycle it for another cache? What if they wanted the logbook for sentimental reasons?

 

Even if you pick it up and then email and the owner says they want it, exchanges can turn into a long and drawn out process that may never even happen. Just don't do it.

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I'm with the "leave it there" school of thought. Removing it would be just as bad as it being "muggled", and there are a number of reasons already mentioned that the cacher might not have picked it up yet. If you've got enough time to hunt archived caches, you could always still log them as finds, assuming the listing hasn't been locked for some reason.

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Mixed thoughts;

If the cacher listed it on NC or TC, there should be supporting documentation in the cache showing that to be the case. It's a simple matter to create an account at both those sites and see if it's been listed there. TC requires you to jump through a few hoops, but it's doable. If it's not listed at either of those sites, chances are high that it's geolitter. If you come to that conclusion, E-mail the owner and let them know you found their cache, and ask if they would like for you to remove it for them. If they ignore your E-mail, try again after a couple weeks. If that attempt fails, in my opinion, it fits the description of litter and should be dealt with accordingly.

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I will often leave my archived caches in place for a couple of months so people who have the old waypoints on their GPS can still find them. I would be extremely pissed if some cache cop came along and removed my cache without my permission.

 

If you are afraid it might be abandoned, e-mail the owner and ask him if he would like you to pick up the cache for him. Sometimes owners will be grateful for the help, sometimes they want the cache to remain in place for a variety of reasons.

Edited by briansnat
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I'm not hunting archived caches as I consider that a waste of time. I was working on caches by a particular owner when they suddenly archived all but two of their caches and moved out of the area. The two caches they didn't archive was adopted. They are still an active cacher so contacting them should be easy. Just wanted to set a precedant for my process of removing "trash" from the woods, regardless of the condition.

 

I see the points on those that say leave it. So before removing any more caches, some additional leg work should be done.

 

Based on the above, I think I'll set my guidelines as follows:

 

1. Wait at least 8 weeks after cache being archived. This provides time for the owner to remove the cache plus any cacher with old coordinates still has a valid hunt.

2. Check to see if the cache container has been removed, leave note in log book (if present and useable).

3. Attempt to contact the cache owner at least twice with at least two weeks between attempts.

4. Wait 2 weeks after last attempt before revisiting the cache.

5. Remove the cache.

6. Any trade items will be non-traded into next few caches visited

6b. Add note in log indicating my actions of physically removing the cache

7. If log is salvagable, will store for minimum of 12 months.

 

So, what is the opinion if the above guidelines were used?

Edited by kohldad
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I'm not hunting archived caches as I consider that a waste of time. I was working on caches by a particular owner when they suddenly archived all but two of their caches and moved out of the area. The two caches they didn't archive was adopted. They are still an active cacher so contacting them should be easy. Just wanted to set a precedant for my process of removing "trash" from the woods, regardless of the condition.

 

I see the points on those that say leave it. So before removing any more caches, some additional leg work should be done.

 

Based on the above, I think I'll set my guidelines as follows:

 

1. Wait at least 8 weeks after cache being archived. This provides time for the owner to remove the cache plus any cacher with old coordinates still has a valid hunt.

2. Check to see if the cache container has been removed, leave note in log book (if present and useable).

3. Attempt to contact the cache owner at least twice with at least two weeks between attempts.

4. Wait 2 weeks after last attempt before revisiting the cache.

5. Remove the cache.

6. Any trade items will be non-traded into next few caches visited

7. If log is salvagable, will store for minimum of 12 months.

 

So, what is the opinion if the above guidelines were used?

 

If its an obviously abandoned cache (e.g. you know the owner has moved away) I agree that it should be removed. I don't like the idea of leaving geolitter behind. Its not good for our sport.

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The corss-listing concerns seem a bit unrealistic to me.

 

If gc.com archived a cross listed cache wouldn't the cache owner go place a note in the cache container that it is cross listed? They would have received email notice of the archive.

Probably not. It's more likely that they would not go put a note in the cache, in my opinion.
If the the owner archived their gc.com listing but wanted to keep the container listed on the other site wouldn't they go place a note in the container that it is listed on the other site?
I still don't think so.
If the container was active on another site wouldn't the cross lister make a note on the gc.com archived web page so people would know that it is still active?
Maybe, but TPTB might not like a person advertising on GC.com in that manner.
If the cross lister does not respond to gc.com archives or needs maintenance logs but wants the container active on the other site they need to take some action or be prepared for removal of the container.
I'm not sure that I agree with you. Once it's archived on GC.com, the owner would no longer have any responsibility to GC.com for the cache. Remember, those emails don't say that the cache will be removed.

 

I've removed three caches of others that had been archived. They all went down about the same way.

  • The caches had been archived for over a year.
  • I sent an email through GC.com asking the owner if he wanted me to go ahead and remove the cache.
  • I received no response within a few weeks.
  • I removed the cache.
  • I sent a follow-up email asking the owner what he wanted me to do with the cache.
  • I received no response, so any trade items that could be salvaged went in other caches. Two of the caches were totally destroyed. The other was not, but the container was not suitable for a new cache so was not reused. I still have the log book for that one, somewhere.

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The corss-listing concerns seem a bit unrealistic to me.

 

There is also always the possibility, not of cross-listing as discussed but the cache being archived on one site and then relisted on another. I did that to one of my caches after a GC cacher had an unrealistic and unfounded objection to it. I simply archived it here and relisted it on the other site. I know of a number of caches that have been archived and relisted.

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When you read the last paragraph on the Cache Note, the connotation refers to private property, which shouldn't make any difference whether its private or public. It states that we will be happy to move it. Now define the we and where will it be moved to is the next problem.

 

So just pull the Geolitter, EMail the Owner and if no reply then you have a new container. And who cares if they get mad at you, they will eventually get over it and you will have done an asset to caching.

 

If this container happens to be sitting on private property and you wish it removed, please let us know. We apologize, and will be happy to move it.

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Ya never know what their plans are until you ask the owner. In most cases I'd say LEAVE IT ALONE if you haven't taken that step.

 

GC.com is an 800 pound gorilla, but there ARE other cache listing sites.

 

That said, back when I started caching there was real A-Type hider that had quite the rep around town for deleting legit finds, making threats, and just plain rude behavior. As his caches were archived, he never picked them up or relisted them. During a CITO event some friends of mine found and removed one of his caches that had been archived years earlier. They asked the group what they should do and all of us that knew the person in question said "KEEP IT" and whatever you do DON'T contact this person. It needed a little care but the cache has been recycled now. :(

Edited by Snoogans
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Once it's archived on GC.com, the owner would no longer have any responsibility to GC.com for the cache. Remember, those emails don't say that the cache will be removed.

 

It's not that they have a responsibility to gc.com. I would think that a cross-lister would take precautions to protect their container from removal. If they don't do something they are vulnerable.

 

I think kohldad's proposed method of removal is o.k. because it's heavy on owner contact attempts. Two months is clearly too soon to removed someone else's container without that.

 

Somewhere between 3 months and 6 months, though, we cross the line into abandoned status. Owner contact after 6 months is completely optional in my opinion.

 

- -

 

We all might be off-track just a bit here because most of the containers left in place are likely by owners who have no intention of retrieving them. People join the game, place a container, or a few, or even several, then get bored, or mad, and quit. The containers are likely low to very low quality: the rusty coffee can, mint tins, key holders, etc., or inexpensive tupperware. Most often, we can spot these owners from reading the logs on their cache pages.

 

Any responsible cacher who cares about the container and its logbook will likely retreive them before three months go by. After that owners should be prepared to lose them.

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I believe that removing old caches is good thing to do.

 

However I am pondering a few questions:

 

How long should someone wait before they remove a cache?

AND OR

SHould they attempt to contact the owner first?

 

In michigan the Michigan Geocachers organization has a mission to remove archived caches. Most of the caches on the mission list are ones that the GC.com approvers archive because they have been DNFed for long periods of time with no response or apparent maintenance from the owner. MIGO then adds them to thier site.

 

Keep in mind it takes a long time to get a cache on the list. First a cache get's DNF... a few months go by and then the GC.com approvers start posting notes that they cache needs maintenance. If the cache is still not maintenanced then GC.com archives it and some time after that MIGO finds the list and adds it to the list. I suspect most caches that get archived don't get on the rescue list for say 4-6 months after the first DNF.

 

But is funny you bring this up because we just saw a cache DNF in aug and archived in Dec. One of our members went out to rescue it in January but the cache owner then posted a note saying that he went out to fix it within a few days of the rescue.

 

So this begs to ask does this cache owner have any right to cry foul? Keep in mind he did not maintence his cache 4-5 months?

 

EDIT TO CORRECT MIS INFORMATION

Edited by SunshineGang
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When you read the last paragraph on the Cache Note, the connotation refers to private property, which shouldn't make any difference whether its private or public. It states that we will be happy to move it. Now define the we and where will it be moved to is the next problem.

 

So just pull the Geolitter, EMail the Owner and if no reply then you have a new container. And who cares if they get mad at you, they will eventually get over it and you will have done an asset to caching.

 

If this container happens to be sitting on private property and you wish it removed, please let us know. We apologize, and will be happy to move it.

The cache note is a message from the cache owner to the public. As such, the "we" in the note is clearly the cache owner.
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... SHould they attempt to contact the owner first? ...

The way you phrased the question, it is clear that you believe the cache to be the property of the cache owner. As such, you should attempt to contact the owner before you affect his/her property.

Edited by sbell111
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... SHould they attempt to contact the owner first? ...

The way you phrased the question, it is clear that you believe the cache to be the property of the cache owner. As such, you should attempt to contact the owner before you affect his/her property.

 

but the other part of the question really is for how long is a tupperware container full of junk in the wood's someone's property after the cache is archived?

 

For example - All carbinated Soda Containers have a 10 cent refund in michigan. Say I leave empty soda can on a table in the park and drive home. Hours lately or even the next day Mr. XYZ picks it up so he can get the refund. Is Mr. XYZ stealing from me?

 

It is obvious to me that Mr. XYZ is not stealing. He is picking up litter.

 

I believe the same is true of Geocaches. If a cache has been archived for say 6 or 12 months and no one has removed it is still a geocache? or is it Trash?

 

I really gotta believe it is trash. Now if the container had a value like say an Ammo Box then I would certainly offer to return it to the owner if I was approach but if it sat out in the woods for 6-12 months I am not sure I would bother trying to return it.

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There's always the possibility it's still listed on another site. The best thing to do would be to email the owner and ask if the caches should be removed or left in place.

 

The original poster should be emailing the owner about the first cache and find out how to get the container back to them, or if they should put it back. The odds are small it's cross listed but it's a possiblity.

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... SHould they attempt to contact the owner first? ...

The way you phrased the question, it is clear that you believe the cache to be the property of the cache owner. As such, you should attempt to contact the owner before you affect his/her property.

 

but the other part of the question really is for how long is a tupperware container full of junk in the wood's someone's property after the cache is archived?...

 

It's some ones property until it's abandoned. Abandoned doesn't mean that someone else picks it up before the owner does. It means the owner has given up ever getting the cache and won't. Because it's some ones property and because we should not be assuming abandonment, even if it's a soggy rusted altoids tin we should be offering to get it back to the owner if we did go out and pick it up.

 

I have an archived cache that has not been picked up. I keep forgetting. I will get it. It's not abandoned. It is however archived going on 8 months and it will be next summer before I get to it.

Edited by Renegade Knight
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but the other part of the question really is for how long is a tupperware container full of junk in the wood's someone's property after the cache is archived?

 

For example - All carbinated Soda Containers have a 10 cent refund in michigan. Say I leave empty soda can on a table in the park and drive home. Hours lately or even the next day Mr. XYZ picks it up so he can get the refund. Is Mr. XYZ stealing from me?

 

It is obvious to me that Mr. XYZ is not stealing. He is picking up litter.

 

I believe the same is true of Geocaches. If a cache has been archived for say 6 or 12 months and no one has removed it is still a geocache? or is it Trash?

 

I really gotta believe it is trash. Now if the container had a value like say an Ammo Box then I would certainly offer to return it to the owner if I was approach but if it sat out in the woods for 6-12 months I am not sure I would bother trying to return it.

The problem with your analogy is one of intent. Whoever left the empty soda bottle (or cigarette butt, empty fast food sack, etc) pretty clearly did not intend for that item to be retrieved by him. That item is clearly trash and can be removed by anyone willing to do so.

 

A cache, however, is different. Most players of this game agree that a cache belongs to the cache owner. As such, it whould not be removed (except under limited special circumstances) unless reasonable attempts have been made to contact the owner to see if he/she is still retaining his/her ownership rights to it.

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... Reasoning being is that the owner has stopped willing to be responsible for the cache and no one else will have the coordinates, which basically makes this trash left in the woods....

 

You have acted as judge and jury and invented your own rules on when the owner stopped being willing to be responsible. Youre wife is right. You may or may not be wrong depending on the circumstances of the cache.

 

For example, if the owner archived them because they are too busy to maintain the caches...obviously it may take them awhile to pick them up. Things can happen. Things like family is ill, or have died, or the job was lost and they now work 80 hours a week looking for work.

 

Until the owner actually abandons them by intent (and since we don't have GEO LAW defining abandonment yet...what that means is up in the air.)

 

The organization Sunshing Gang mentions has the right idea. Leave no cache behind. But you have to do your best to respect that the cache is someones property. That means asking the owner about picking it up, doing the work needed to verify beyond any reasonable doubt it's abandoned etc.

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... I have an archived cache that has not been picked up. I keep forgetting. I will get it. It's not abandoned. It is however archived going on 8 months and it will be next summer before I get to it.
RK brings up an important point. We need to remember that no matter how long the archived cache sits in place, it's still really the property of the cache owner. The cache isn't causing trails to be formed or saplings to be destroyed because no one is looking for it. Since it had no permission issues before archival, it doesn't have any now.

 

A cache should not be removed without first making reasonable contact attempts to get permission from the owner to do so. If contact is made and the owner does not give consent to remove the cache, it should remain in place no matter if it is listed on another site, or not.

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The corss-listing concerns seem a bit unrealistic to me.

 

If gc.com archived a cross listed cache wouldn't the cache owner go place a note in the cache container that it is cross listed? They would have received email notice of the archive.

 

If the the owner archived their gc.com listing but wanted to keep the container listed on the other site wouldn't they go place a note in the container that it is listed on the other site?

 

If the container was active on another site wouldn't the cross lister make a note on the gc.com archived web page so people would know that it is still active?

 

If the cross lister does not respond to gc.com archives or needs maintenance logs but wants the container active on the other site they need to take some action or be prepared for removal of the container.

It's not at all unrealistic. Some people leave the site in a huff (and that's the spiffy, new 2007 huff, by the way), and never log back in. Others may play so badly with others that they can't log back in to edit their caches, if you know what I mean.

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The original poster should be emailing the owner about the first cache and find out how to get the container back to them, or if they should put it back. The odds are small it's cross listed but it's a possiblity.

 

My intention is to replace the cache that I have already picked up at my next opportunity. This will be on Wednesday as I'm will be out of town tomorrow. Til then, I'll be letting the cache be drying out as the log is extremely wet and unusuable in its current condition.

 

I will then follow my guidelines as stated above with one exception. In step 1, I plan on waiting for 12 weeks to pass before hand. These are the minimums I've established for myself on any condition caches. I may wait longer if I know the cache owner has been more resposible for thier caches by maintaining them. The issue I have with these caches is the owner had a very poor maintenance record even before they moved.

 

If contact is made and the owner does not give consent to remove the cache, it should remain in place no matter if it is listed on another site, or not.

 

By all means. If I recieve word back from the cache owner that they wish for the cache not to be disturbed, I won't.

 

Until the owner actually abandons them by intent (and since we don't have GEO LAW defining abandonment yet...what that means is up in the air.)

 

The only thing I can do is treat other caches as I would want mine treated.

 

Edit: Reword first paragraph

Edited by kohldad
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Kohldad, I think you are doing the right thing.

You had a question about what should be done. You brought it here for discussion.

You thought about the responses. Now you are acting on what you have learned.

Your plan is well thought out and balanced.

Well done.

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Normally, I would not go looking for an archived cache. But, however, I felt very sorry for some travel bugs stuck in archived caches. So I went on some rescue missions. Both so far have been multi-caches with the first stage missing. One was last found in March, made 'inactive' by the owner in June and archived by the reviewer in October after 5 DNFs. The cache had been muggled. The TBs were gone. All that remained was the container and the log book. I removed the geolitter. The log is ruined, and I don't need an old Tupperware container.

The other was last found in February. Inactivated in April, and archived by the reviewer in June. The owner is inactive. Reviewer's note "Please either repair/replace this cache, or archive it so that someone else can place a cache in the area, and geocachers can once again enjoy visiting this location. Also, if you haven’t done so already, please pick up any remaining cache bits as soon as possible. " The travel bug was rescued. The bug owner had just moved it to 'unknowned' and was ecstatic that it was recovered. The cache was in good condition. I removed the geotrash.

Obviously, neither of these was cross-listed. The first stage of each was missing, and (for the one in decent condition) there were no logs since the last recorded find. Each was last found nine or more months previously (which is a long time for the poor travel bugs!) I have absolutely no qualms about removing the geotrash. (Just wish I had acted earlier on the muggled cache. I might have been able to rescue the TBs.) And I will have no qualms about removing geotrash if I go on more TB rescue missions!

Geotrash is geotrash. and is bad for the game.

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RK brings up an important point. We need to remember that no matter how long the archived cache sits in place, it's still really the property of the cache owner. The cache isn't causing trails to be formed or saplings to be destroyed because no one is looking for it. Since it had no permission issues before archival, it doesn't have any now.

 

I think we are wandering a bit too far from reality. An abandoned cache usually has a street value of about $.50 or less. Even if it is a good ammo can it's still topping out at about $5.00. And what about the effort it would take to replace it? We'd be up off the couch and getting some actual exercise.

 

If it is important to us then we need to take responsibility and go get it. Or, at the least, let people know that we are still around and intend to get it.

 

 

This topic always seems way too theoretical for me. How many complaints are actually lodged by owners of archived cache containers - caches that have been archived for three months, or more?

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RK brings up an important point. We need to remember that no matter how long the archived cache sits in place, it's still really the property of the cache owner. The cache isn't causing trails to be formed or saplings to be destroyed because no one is looking for it. Since it had no permission issues before archival, it doesn't have any now.

 

I think we are wandering a bit too far from reality. An abandoned cache usually has a street value of about $.50 or less. Even if it is a good ammo can it's still topping out at about $5.00. And what about the effort it would take to replace it? We'd be up off the couch and getting some actual exercise.

 

If it is important to us then we need to take responsibility and go get it. Or, at the least, let people know that we are still around and intend to get it. ...

 

It's not the value, it's the principal. However as you have said if a finder emails the owner and the owner is active, interested, and able, they will respond. The entire debate is centered on at what point is the owner non active, disinterested, and activly abandoning the cache which they once owned...in which case it should be picked up.

 

I'm not sure anyone is saying a slow owner deserves to have their caches pulled for them. At least I hope not.

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I'm not sure anyone is saying a slow owner deserves to have their caches pulled for them. At least I hope not.

 

I don't think so, not on my part anyway. As you noted before about retreiving a container after 8 months, I have done that at least twice myself. If someone had removed them after a couple of months I can't imagine that I would be upset for more than about 28 seconds.

 

 

I seriously doubt that responsible, active cachers have their archived containers removed by others in any significant numbers. The ones that get removed are most likely those of people where, from reading the logs on their cache pages, it is clear that they have no interest in the game. Usually they have not responded to calls for maintenance or have not been active for a long time or have completly left the game and their status shows as non-active. Their caches get archived by a reviewer and they never go retreive them. That is who we are usually talking about. Those caches should be removed and there is almost never any need to contact the owner about it first.

 

It is not clear that the owner in OP's example fits this profile but OP has decided to contact them prior to removal. OP might get no response or might find out that the caches' owner is very interested in having those containers back.

Edited by Team Sagefox
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I've CITOed two archived caches now. The first:

 

Hartle's Cache

http://www.geocaching.com/seek/cache_detai...ea-bf765f917f4f

 

Had last been found in Nov. '05; DNFed Dec. '05 and archived Feb. '06. I know and like the area and talked with the owner about picking up his old cache placing a new cache in the area. Went out and found his old cache. It was quite a search. Turns out it was in a farm field, between old rotting, collapsing bales of hay. I decided it was probably not an appropriate location for a new cache. Despite an e-mail, he never contacted me back about picking up the old one, so it eventually was parted out.

 

Sheppard Point Trail Head Cache

http://www.geocaching.com/seek/cache_detai...e7-882dfd1d2874

 

Had last been found Apr. '03; mulitiple DNF's between Jul. and Oct. '03 and archived Oct. '03. I placed a new cache in the area, but actually found this old cache Apr. '05 when I was out benchmarking in the area. You can read my log if interested. Hauled it out and sent a message to the owner. Never heard back from him so I eventually parted out this cache too. Also, just developed the camera that was found in it, so I'm going to post those images to the archived website and, just for fun, to my new Shepard Point Trail cache.

 

The possibility of cross-listing is present . . . I did that with a couple of my first caches when I first joined one of those other sites. Turns out those other sites have SO LITTLE going on that I've concentrated on GC.com. I HOPE I'll have the courtesy of de-listing any cross-listed caches if they become archived. I've since quit cross-listing.

 

Anyway, I'm for CITOing archived caches when you come up on them.

 

JohnTee

Edited by JohnTee
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RK brings up an important point. We need to remember that no matter how long the archived cache sits in place, it's still really the property of the cache owner. The cache isn't causing trails to be formed or saplings to be destroyed because no one is looking for it. Since it had no permission issues before archival, it doesn't have any now.

 

I think we are wandering a bit too far from reality. An abandoned cache usually has a street value of about $.50 or less. Even if it is a good ammo can it's still topping out at about $5.00. And what about the effort it would take to replace it? We'd be up off the couch and getting some actual exercise.

 

If it is important to us then we need to take responsibility and go get it. Or, at the least, let people know that we are still around and intend to get it. ...

 

It's not the value, it's the principal. However as you have said if a finder emails the owner and the owner is active, interested, and able, they will respond. The entire debate is centered on at what point is the owner non active, disinterested, and activly abandoning the cache which they once owned...in which case it should be picked up.

 

I'm not sure anyone is saying a slow owner deserves to have their caches pulled for them. At least I hope not.

And there could be many reasons that the owner is not getting the cache or responding to emails at the moment. Yes, most like the owner is just not interested anymore and the cache is truly abandoned. But we shouldn't assume that right away. We really don't know what is going on in their life.

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I have found many archived caches and with one exception have always left them in place. It's not my cache, not my property, and I really have no idea if it is listed on another site. In at least 5 caches, the caches I found that had been archived on geocaching.com for many years WERE still listed on navicache.com. I would be pissed if a cache cop "came to the rescue" of my cache that didn't need rescuing.

 

In one case, I found a cache that had been archived 2+ years and it was garbage - rusted & falling apart, contents all over, full of water. In that case I pulled it.

 

In another case, I found a cache while hiding a new one that had never been published (didn't meet some guideline?) so I signed it and put the coords on my cache as a bonus cache.

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This topic always seems way too theoretical for me. How many complaints are actually lodged by owners of archived cache containers - caches that have been archived for three months, or more?

 

I agree a lot of these issues seem theoretical and I also agree most orphaned caches are the result of cache owners that went on to other things. But I also know of at least 20 caches that were archived and relisted on another site according to a now archived cache (ironic, huh?) called Convert-A-Cache (LCN) on that other site.

 

I happen to own a cache as I mentioned before that is now archived here on GC and relisted elsewhere, if someone were to take it upon themselves to remove it I think I would be a bit upset.

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... Those caches should be removed and there is almost never any need to contact the owner about it first. ...

I completely disagree with your asumption that there is no need to contact the owner before removing his cache.

 

I would have to agree with you, as a general stand alone policy, taken out of context. You are correct in that if we DO NOT analyize the situation we then SHOULD NOT remove someone else's cache.

 

JohnTee's examples are they type I'm talking about. JT did attempt to contact the owners but, of course, they did not respond. There are very many examples like his just laying around in the bush out there.

 

 

I'm only saying that if you can read from the cache logs and profile page that the owner is not responsive, has not been for a long time, the cache has been archived for more than three months, than I'm not going to worry about contacting them.

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I happen to own a cache as I mentioned before that is now archived here on GC and relisted elsewhere, if someone were to take it upon themselves to remove it I think I would be a bit upset.

 

This might be a risk that you take when cross-listing or archiving and the relisting to the other site. To the gc.com world it would appear to be an abandoned cache. You listed it with gc.com and those strings are still attached.

 

My earlier point is that if you maintain that container and put a note in it that it is listed on the other site then I would doubt that anyone would remove it. You might even gain a convert for the new site in the process.

 

But if you don't let gc.com cachers know it is still active then you might end up with a missing container.

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... I'm only saying that if you can read from the cache logs and profile page that the owner is not responsive, has not been for a long time, the cache has been archived for more than three months, than I'm not going to worry about contacting them.
This might be a risk that you take when cross-listing or archiving and the relisting to the other site. To the gc.com world it would appear to be an abandoned cache. You listed it with gc.com and those strings are still attached.

 

My earlier point is that if you maintain that container and put a note in it that it is listed on the other site then I would doubt that anyone would remove it. You might even gain a convert for the new site in the process.

 

But if you don't let gc.com cachers know it is still active then you might end up with a missing container.

Again, I disagree. Just because a person didn't respond to issues on the cache page doesn't mean that they didn't respond to the problem. If his/her caches are eventually archived and he/she breaks ties with GC.com and lists the cache on another site, does not mean that we are free to take his/her cache.

 

There is no need to place a note in the cache because it is already the cache owner's private property.

 

Why do you have an aversion with attempting to contact any cache owner before you remove his cache?

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The owner may not be responsive for a number of reasons. Perhaps after leaving gc.com and going elsewhere, they changed their email. They would have no reason to update their profile on gc.com, so you may not be able to get a hold of them.

 

It's a tough call, and definitely a judgement call. When is it abandoned? If its obviously trash (broken, contents scattered, etc ...) then *maybe* it's ok to remove it. When I did that once, I had real reservations about doing so. Thinking more about it, I probably should have just left it in place.

 

What happens if you come across a tree stand in the woods? How do you know if it is abandoned or not? Is it legal for people to leave their tree stand up in the woods during off season? Think it's ok to remove it if you believe it isn't being used still?

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I think each situation is different. One thing the OP didn't mention is that he lives in an area where there are military members. The Navy has a base there, there is an Air Force base nearby and a small Army Depot so there is a transient population. The OP mentioned the cache owner moved, the OP also mentioned the cache owner had 2 of his caches adopted out before he moved.

 

If the owner wanted the caches he/she would have taken care of business before he/she moved. If the owner listed them on another site then he/she should have gone out to the cache and exchanged any paperwork relating to GC.com with paperwork relating to the other listing website so someone who stumbles upon it by accident knows what it is.

 

Anyone who uses the GC.com listing site can put a cache there since the original cache has been archived. If the old cache is not removed or identified as an NC, TC or letterbox and there is a new cache placed in the area the two caches could be confused.

 

The key in this case is that the owner moved away without taking care of things, the cache has been abandoned. So in this case I think the OP did the right thing.

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Here's what I dont like. By archeiving a cache it makes room for other caches. If you dont move the cache someone could by another cache near the old site and confuse cachers. It messes up the .1 mile rule.

It's no different than if the cache was listed on another site or was a letterbox.

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