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Fees for placing caching


zuma!
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Hi all,

 

I am following up on a report of a County in Wisconsin that wants to start charging a 5 dollar fee for placing geocaches, starting this summer. I am wondering if this is a first, or if there are other areas that have proposed, or are currently charging fees for placing caches? Obviously, this would be a poor precedent, and a very negative thing to have happen to our sport.

 

Thanks for any information you may have on this.

 

zuma

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IIRC it would not be the first and not nearly the most expensive.

 

I'm not fond of it, but given a choice between paying a $5 fee to hide a cache and having caching banned in that area I'd rather pay the fee. Some people will come in and say that they will choose not to pay the fee and hide their caches elsewhere. That's okay too.

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I think it's an acceptable idea. And I agree with Misguided, it's a MUCH better idea than banning geocaches all together! I know of lots of really cool potential cache locations on US National Park Service land, but it'll never happen the NPS has banned geocaching at most locations. Having the ability to place an approved cache, even for a slight fee, would be worth it IMHO.

 

Other pros:

- It would help eliminate police / bomb squad incidences because they should be informed of all "legal" caches.

- It would cut back on the pointless "Just another cache in this parking lot light post because I was bored while waiting for someone to meet me" caches. I understand the need for people to get their numbers up and brag about how they have hidden x,xxx caches, and I'm sure it's boring once you've already found all the caches in your immediate area, but common...

 

Of course, legal (free) caches on private property WITH THE PERMISSION OF THE OWNER would be better than having to pay a fee any day.

 

Jason

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Let me be bunt.

 

It's a stupid idea. Stupid, Stupid, Stupid.

 

I don't agree that it's better than banning geocaching alltogether. Especially since a law banning caches is just as ill-concieved and well... stupid.

 

Mostly where I have heard of fees being charged is where they confuse the activity of geoaching for an actual event (much like an event cache) and want to charge for the park faciliies for the 'event'.

 

This image illustrates why this is a completely unwise way of thinking about caches.

canoworms.jpg

Edited by Renegade Knight
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I'm not even sure that this is not a constitutional infringement. I've been in this forum 15 minutes and already had to address Mass, and now Wis! It couldn't happen to a better choice. I wouldn't reside in either of those states. You all have to remember, you allowed this to occur. Those lands are not government military installations. They are parks, owned by the PEOPLE OF THE UNITED STATES. Now I am new to all of this, but I am sure that some geocacher with little or no sense caused some damage and there-by set a legal precedence, which will take years to over-turn. Regardless, it's another matter of government overkill, and the people silently allowing it to occur. I do agree that a $5 fee for cache placement on NPS lands doesn't seem unreasonable. But I would like the proper authority to inspect said cache (in return for the fee) periodically, to ensure the surrounding area is not adversely affected. These lands are reserved for our childrens enjoyment also, afterall. But i wouldn't pay "the government" ANYTHING for their permission, which ultimately comes from us! I better quit before I pull out the soap box. :ph34r:X

Edited by X-isle
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I am following up on a report of a County in Wisconsin that wants to start charging a 5 dollar fee for placing geocaches, starting this summer. I am wondering if this is a first, or if there are other areas that have proposed, or are currently charging fees for placing caches? Obviously, this would be a poor precedent, and a very negative thing to have happen to our sport.

Yes, quite obvious.

 

I also wonder just how they intend to enforce this.

 

This could not possibly be a fee to place a cache just anywhere. How would they enforce it? Think about it, a private cache on private property? No, if anything it is probably a permitting scheme for the county parks.

 

Let's hope anyway.

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The Michigan stat parks charge a fee I heard it was $35 I bit the bullet (It was an exceptional spot) and went to place a cache in a state park near me and was told it would be $50.00 I was even still going to place the cache but the park turned down the location, something about not safe during hunting season. They were willing to let me put it in an area that did not have quite the view (Still in hunting area) that is when I said no thanks.

 

Jim

Kc8bdr

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I am following up on a report of a County in Wisconsin that wants to start charging a 5 dollar fee for placing geocaches, starting this summer. I am wondering if this is a first, or if there are other areas that have proposed, or are currently charging fees for placing caches? Obviously, this would be a poor precedent, and a very negative thing to have happen to our sport.

Yes, quite obvious.

 

I also wonder just how they intend to enforce this.

 

This could not possibly be a fee to place a cache just anywhere. How would they enforce it? Think about it, a private cache on private property? No, if anything it is probably a permitting scheme for the county parks.

 

Let's hope anyway.

X-cellent point! At most, they could monitor their area and remove caches according to posted coords on the net. But they couldn't stop the placement or identify cachers without the assistance of Geocaching.Com.

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If there is a permit system and a nominal fee is charged to cover the cost of the permit process, I have no

problem with it.

 

When you stop to think that cache owners are providing additional recreational opportunities for park

visitors at no (or minimal) cost to the park, charging exorbitant fees is absurd.

 

High fees are either another shameless government attempt to suck more money out of the public, or they are meant to discourage the sport. The end result of both is an effective ban. If the park officials have good reasons to ban geocaching, then ban it.

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I don't know of any around here charging to place caches, but one wildlife area has a cache that charges $3 to find one they placed there. Of course it is the only one in the area I haven't tried to find. It's not the money, it's the issue.

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...start charging a 5 dollar fee for placing geocaches

First of all, isn’t it very strange they ask you money to place a cache? Should it not be the other way around? Placing a cache is giving the area free advertisement. Whether it is in a park or elsewhere, it lures people. In your case people who might even spend some money or might speak (more) positive of this Wisconsin county. Besides a fee of 5$, that is a symbolic amount. Symbolic since the amount is marginal compared to even the smallest promotional marketing budget.

 

Secondly, anyone who starts to pay will spoil it for others. When you give in to any administration to finance their administration costs, you and everybody else have to pay from now on for a free service. Who knows where it will end. When it is common knowledge among park or county administrations or over the world to charge for caches, we might be the end of our great hobby.

 

And last, does the county give anything in return? Will they maintain the cache? Will they take proper actions if the cache get robbed or vandalized? Will they guard you cache like it is their own property? Will they compensate you in any way when something happens to the cache?

 

So, to my opinion, do not pay. I hope every potential cache hider has a good relation with park or county administration where you discuss things like the best spot to hide the cache and the most interesting route to get there.

But some things are non-negotiable; paying for placing a cache is one of them. It is just as inappropriate as the right to edit the cache description or the demand to delete unwanted logs.

 

If there is a permit system and a nominal fee is charged to cover the cost of the permit process, I have no problem with it.
I have, to me "cost to cost" is in a foreign country. But, a worldwide system is no problem. Let's ask the United nations!

 

Zilvervloot.

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- It would help eliminate police / bomb squad incidences because they should be informed of all "legal" caches.

How?. Unless the $5 dollars goes to pay for a county system of monitoring the locations so that LE would know if a suspicious package report were a geocache and even then the bomb squad may decided to blow up something just to because they are trained to be overly cautious.

- It would cut back on the pointless "Just another cache in this parking lot light post because I was bored while waiting for someone to meet me" caches. I understand the need for people to get their numbers up and brag about how they have hidden x,xxx caches, and I'm sure it's boring once you've already found all the caches in your immediate area, but common...

I'd like to see how they will work this system to regulate caches placed on private property. I suspect they don't have the authority to do this. If I pay the $5 would that mean I don't need to ask the private property owner for permission? Would I have to pay the county $5 to place a cache on my own property?

 

I don't know of any around here charging to place caches, but one wildlife area has a cache that charges $3 to find one they placed there. Of course it is the only one in the area I haven't tried to find. It's not the money, it's the issue.

Is the $3 fee to find the cache or is this what is charged to anyone using the wildlife area? Edited by tozainamboku
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- It would help eliminate police / bomb squad incidences because they should be informed of all "legal" caches.

How?. Unless the $5 dollars goes to pay for a county system of monitoring the locations so that LE would know if a suspicious package report were a geocache and even then the bomb squad may decided to blow up something just to because they are trained to be overly cautious....

 

That's can o' worms item #1.

 

It will do ZERO to change the rate of caches (or any other cache like item) being reported.

 

This leads to change in the law #1. All caches must pay a $25.00 fee and be approved by the police department before they are approved. Which brings us back to #1.

 

The police departmnet will find to comply they have to hire a specialise to review placments. 50K a year needs to be paid by someone, the permit (did we just go from fee to place to a permit system?) applicants would, oh and if your application is rejected it's another fee since it's not the placment it's the processing time. 50K 4 reviews a day max to allow for paperwork puts a county wide cap of about 1000 caches. That's a minimum fee of 50.00 a cache. Assuming that 1000+ caches a year are placed within that county. The odds are that there are much less than that.

 

It's not viable. Now the lawmakers who had great intentions have a choice. Withdraw their law or just ban caching.

 

This is for police. Parks is another thing and a different can o' worms.

Edited by Renegade Knight
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A universal fee system is absurd.

 

As far as a fee for placing cache's on park lands. In principle, I am against it. But if it simplified the approval process I would go along. I like caches at parks and if for a fair fee ($5 or $10) that would allow others and me to eaily place caches, then it would be an acceptable deal.

 

The alternative, is that caches will be placed underground. I'm sure that there are many NPS caches out there.

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Thank you for all of your feedback. At this point, I will share with you my take on it.

 

This whole notificaton process seems to me to be a back door power grab .... It is about who makes decisions about our lives .... It is one set of rules written by one set of people, and "Them's that writes the rules, rules" ... When we talk about notification we are talking about control, and opening the door for user fees.

 

Personally, I prefer freedom. Live, and let live, and all that.

 

It is one thing for the DNR to put into place notification rules, given the thousands of acres they are responsible for, and the fact that they are staffed by by ecology and tourism experienced professionals. It is a totally different thing for every burg and podunk municipality to try to put in a quilt work of mismatched, overly restrictive rules.

 

The county of Milwaukee is a perfect example of how park managers may just see this as a way to justify their budgets, without doing anything to actually improve the parks. My two caches in Milwaukee are in very poorly maintained parks, compared to what I see elsewhere caching. In one park, I saw no permanent toliet, but rather a porta-pottie that was 3 weeks past filthy. At the other, in Oak Creek, they have been donated several great historical buildings. The sign says they are open Sunday afternoons, and I have been there on Sunday afternoons, and they have no staff. My point is, that if park officials have time to dink around with forms from geocachers, they should first clean up the toliets, and staff the parks as advertised.

 

So, I do think we should work with these folks, but I do not want to just roll over and say yeah, thank ya maam, for all these cool new forms. Rather, we also need to contact the mayors and city councils of any municipality that proposes unneeded paperwork, and let em know what kind of power grab their park officials are up to, and how this will impact tourism and legitimate use of the parks.

 

It may be different in other areas, but here in northern Wisconsin, cities are worrying about cutting budgets,and making hard choices of what to fund and what not to fund. Fire departements and police departments have been cut due to budget woes. How in the world can any park department justify using taxpayer money to pay for a notification process that is not needed and not wanted, when budgets for cities are stretched so thin?

 

Therefore, I see this notification scheme as wasteful spending by park officias who want to justify their budgets without actually improving the parks. I also see it as the first step towards user fees.

 

I also see mandatory notification schemes as the park department's stepping stone into charging a fee. First they get ya to notify them, and later they start adding in fees, "to cover the cost of the notification process." So I am opposed to all user fees for geocaching, as well as to any notification process that is put into place by a county or municipality. We already have a notication process in place with the WI DNR, and I can live with that or notifications with national forest lands because of the size of the lands they manage, and the fact they are run by professionals who are aware of the positive effects of geocaching and geo tourism.

 

For those of you who asked for specifics, I did track down some facts today. The county in question is Brown County, Wisconsin. They are not allowing caches at this point on county lands until their new rule is published. The fee will be $5 per cache, if approved. Brown County also charges for use of their dog park and their disc golf course.

 

I should also disclose that I am a member of the WGA Board of Directors, and the BOD is concerned about this issue. The BOD has not at this point issued a policy statement on this issue, and the opinions expressed above are my opinions only, and do not necessarily reflect the opinion of the WGA, it's Board or our fine members.

 

Personally, I do plan on opposing this user fee scheme, as I see it as a potential cancer on a great sport.

 

zuma

 

Keep on Cachin In the Free World

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Taxation without representation! How many politicians also Geocache?

 

Apparently not enough. That is why we need to make elected officials aware of how misguided schemes like this will negatively impact tourism in their area.

 

zuma

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IIRC it would not be the first and not nearly the most expensive.

 

 

I am looking for specific locations where a geocaching user fee is charged. Do you have specifics?

 

I am also interested in units of government, other than states or federal lands putting in notification procedures, and how this has impacted geocaching.

 

Thanks a lot.

 

zuma

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The Michigan stat parks charge a fee I heard it was $35 I bit the bullet (It was an exceptional spot) and went to place a cache in a state park near me and was told it would be $50.00 I was even still going to place the cache but the park turned down the location, something about not safe during hunting season. They were willing to let me put it in an area that did not have quite the view (Still in hunting area) that is when I said no thanks.

 

Jim

Kc8bdr

 

Thank you for your post. This is exactly how I see this cancer growing. First they want a "notification form." Then a nominal user fee. Then a bigger fee to cover their staff reviewing the process. The next step is what you describe above, that will severly damage geocaching as a sport that I want to be involved in.

 

Again, just my opinion, not the opinion of the WGA, the WGA Board of Directors or our fine members.

 

zuma

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When MI started to charge $35 to place a cache in a State Park for 6 months there was a big uproar. They finally agrreed to 5 caches for that price but they needed to be moved every 6 months.

 

What happened is very few caches got placed in the State Parks after this ruling. Additionally many of us that were paying $24 yearly for a park pass stopped buying pases. Net result for the State money making plan was negative.

 

I heard there may be chages coming to the policy but in the meantime I just skip State Parks. There are not enough caches in them to make them worth while.

 

Team Sand Dollar

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The Michigan stat parks charge a fee I heard it was $35 I bit the bullet (It was an exceptional spot) and went to place a cache in a state park near me and was told it would be $50.00 I was even still going to place the cache but the park turned down the location, something about not safe during hunting season. They were willing to let me put it in an area that did not have quite the view (Still in hunting area) that is when I said no thanks.

 

Jim

Kc8bdr

Mind if I ask which park, Jim? I have a few places in mind but will discontinue the thought if it's any of the parks I'm considering.

 

For the record, that's a notable exception to most stories I've heard. The fee exists (I thought it was $30) but enforcement is very sporadic; from what I've heard, it's most often waived. Our state parks' funding is in such a state that they don't even maintain garbage cans anymore, asking everyone to trash out, so I understand why they're trying to get money anywhere they can, even though these fees are a horrible way to do it.

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A reasonable entrance fee to use the park, or better still a parks pass system is one thing. A fee for every frisbee, cache, and picknic basket is different.

 

County commissioners are normally regular folks who may have business experience but seldom have the broad basis in everthing that government really takes. They struggle to do the right thing as best they can. Even though I can say "this is stupid, stupid, stupid" I've met enough to know that most of the time that in general they are doing thier honest best to do the right thing for the county.

 

It's up to locals with better knowlege of caching to help guide them.

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The North Carolina State Park system has had a permit/fee system for a while now. Last I heard it was $35.

I won't get into the political discussion that some are trying to have in this thread, nor the unclear history behind the creation of our de facto ban here.

 

I know of exactly one traditional cache placed in our State parks with the paid fee, and the cache owner is a former park ranger. Why bother when there is still plenty of room on state gamelands, forests, national forests, and county and municipal parks?

 

I agree with RK :o that an entry fee for all is a much better system than charging for some activities but not for others. :D

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Delaware doesn't have a fee system that I know of. They have an application process and it all makes good sense to me.

 

http://www.destateparks.com/geocache/Geoca...20Directive.pdf

 

Basically, you need to get approval for certain areas. They want them placed in areas where spurs will not be created. They also want people to re-apply each year (probably so they can check for trails). In my younger days in scouts, we did a lot of trail maintenance. If a geocache is just dropped somewhere and a new trail is created, that could create runoff and erosion and so forth. I don't think any of the municipal parks have a permit process.

 

I haven't been caching all that long, but I believe some sequence of events caused this application thing. I think it may have involved park rangers yanking caches as they showed up in the park. I'm not really sure what happened. The Delaware State parks charge entrance fees during the season. So, I'll probably buy the season sticker. They are well maintained and there are lots of caches I'd like to do. I think it makes more sense to charge the entrance fees then to charge to place the cache.

 

Being that permits for hunting and fishing cost money, it isn't too outrageous. I think it would be better to charge people coming for the cache though. The whole free advertising thing...

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...start charging a 5 dollar fee for placing geocaches

 

Secondly, anyone who starts to pay will spoil it for others. When you give in to any administration to finance their administration costs, you and everybody else have to pay from now on for a free service. Who knows where it will end. When it is common knowledge among park or county administrations or over the world to charge for caches, we might be the end of our great hobby.

 

 

So, to my opinion, do not pay. I hope every potential cache hider has a good relation with park or county administration where you discuss things like the best spot to hide the cache and the most interesting route to get there.

But some things are non-negotiable; paying for placing a cache is one of them. It is just as inappropriate as the right to edit the cache description or the demand to delete unwanted logs.

 

 

DITTO!

Edited by X-isle
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Being that permits for hunting and fishing cost money, it isn't too outrageous.

The fees go to manage a resource. We produce our own resource.

 

As for paying to place a cache, the only instance I would do so is if the entrance fees for the park are waived for the seekers. This happens often in a park when a shelter is rented. The parties attending whatever event is allowed in for free. If this was the situation I'd gladly pay the fee depending on the charge.

 

Otherwise, no. I'll not pay. I'll not pay for the privilege of garnering more fees for the park. Now, I'd be happy to work with the park for them to place their own caches. That's no problem.

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To address the MI state Parks...the $35 fee is being waved in the very near future! MIGO is working on that! I have been given permission to place free hides in Hayes State Park, I think Team CoyChev said he also has been given permission for free placements at another park!

 

It took some talking and a little writing skills, even a little bit of "salesman" attitude but I was able to persuade the PTB into opening the park for us to use, we're even holding an event in Hayes May 18th-20th! The money they generate from cachers will far surpass the $35 fee for placing 3 caches.

 

If you feel the rule is needless, contact your local State Parks (or TPTB in other areas)...let them know the benefits of free cache placement...some don't realize the benefits, and some had bad experiences in the past!

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To address the MI state Parks...the $35 fee is being waved in the very near future! MIGO is working on that! I have been given permission to place free hides in Hayes State Park, I think Team CoyChev said he also has been given permission for free placements at another park!

 

It took some talking and a little writing skills, even a little bit of "salesman" attitude but I was able to persuade the PTB into opening the park for us to use, we're even holding an event in Hayes May 18th-20th! The money they generate from cachers will far surpass the $35 fee for placing 3 caches.

 

If you feel the rule is needless, contact your local State Parks (or TPTB in other areas)...let them know the benefits of free cache placement...some don't realize the benefits, and some had bad experiences in the past!

 

That is how I think this should go. No fees, and we'll hold events in your facility.

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