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Don't ask Don't Tell = bad idea!


Kit Fox
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I had a cache on my watchlist Dos Hombres - "The Worlds Longest Curved Trestle" that was archived, and I investigated further.

 

December 26

This cache has been removed. See below. By order of the:

 

Superintendent

 

Anza-Borrego Desert State Park

 

Colorado Desert District

 

EFFECTIVE IMMEDIATELY

 

Numerous geocaches have been placed within the Anza-Borrego Desert State Park without authorization. No consideration was given to resource sensitivity in the placement of any of these geocaches, and many have been discovered in very sensitive locales. Caches have been removed from archeological sites, paleontological areas, bighorn sheep watering sites and in sensitive caves.

 

All physical geocaches placed within Anza-Borrego Desert State Park must be removed. If the cache owner does not take responsibility for removing his/her own cache, it will be removed for them and it will not be returned.

 

As of this date, December 21, 2007, placement of new physical caches will be prohibited in Anza-Borrego Desert State Park. Virtual Earth Caches will be considered on a case by case basis and must be approved before being published on the Geocaching.com website.

 

Contact information for Earth cache approval:

 

Mark C. Jorgensen

Superintendent

Anza-Borrego Desert State Park

200 Palm Canyon Drive

Borrego Springs, CA 92004

 

Many lessons can be learned by this!

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We had a discussion like this on our Iowa board recently regarding DNR and various lands. It's interesting, because here in Iowa on one hand you have the DNR who have a policy, but nothing published on their website and when I e-mailed about 10 park managers I only found one that knew what the geocaching policy was without referring me to the state level and they were very open about it and didn't really care. Then on the other hand, you have USFW and various entities that have strict policies and very, very passionate feelings about any such activities be it geocaching, letterboxing or even hiking.

 

What came out of the discussion was that it's always best to ask before we burn bridges inadvertently. I think part of the problem is though that the majority of cachers, or at least a significant portion, don't see that discussion here or on the more local websites.

Edited by egami
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It's always annoyed me to some degree when I see the sense of entitlement many people show toward "public" land. Many tend to forget that public land isn't by default a free for all. It's one thing when you're talking ROW and another when you are talking National Parks, I know. I just think that generally, from what I've seen, most cachers probably don't seek permission in these situations in general and this was bound to happen and it will happen again.

 

I would be for a bit stricter reviewing on caches before they go into certain areas, but I am sure most don't want that and will say it puts to much on the Reviewers shoulders.

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Virtual Earth Caches will be considered on a case by case basis and must be approved before being published on the Geocaching.com website.

 

Contact information for Earth cache approval:

 

Mark C. Jorgensen

Superintendent

Anza-Borrego Desert State Park

200 Palm Canyon Drive

Borrego Springs, CA 92004

I know actually taking this stance won't exactly endear Mr Jorgensen to our activity, but......

How the heck can ya regulate/prohibit someone from basically printing directions to a spot on a website?

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I know actually taking this stance won't exactly endear Mr Jorgensen to our activity, but......

How the heck can ya regulate/prohibit someone from basically printing directions to a spot on a website?

 

That isn't what he is regulating...he is regulating the cache existing on the property.

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No, actually the park manager SAID they had to approve a listing on GC.com. Obviously THEY have no control over that, but the local review can, and should for the benefit of the future of this game.

 

What really fries me though, is the attitude. THEY control OUR land and direct what we can do. In certain circumstances, this can be justified, but the attitude is far too common, and far to vague. The gaul of someone to claim that even a virtual can't be listed without thier sayso.

 

I'm done here. The topic of power hungry idiots raises my blood pressure.

 

SD

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I know actually taking this stance won't exactly endear Mr Jorgensen to our activity, but......

How the heck can ya regulate/prohibit someone from basically printing directions to a spot on a website?

 

That isn't what he is regulating...he is regulating the cache existing on the property.

Read again:

Virtual Earth Caches will be considered on a case by case basis and must be approved before being published on the Geocaching.com website.

 

Contact information for Earth cache approval:

The virtual earth cache would be an existing geological feature that is probably already published and visited by thousands of tourists. Really, the only thing that gets published on the geocaching.com website is the coordinates of the location, which allows people to use maps or gps to navigate to said pre-existing geological wonder. What is the difference between publishing a tour guide in book or website form that says "go to the park entrance, follow the road for 3 miles, turn left, go 300ft and see a really cool rock formation" and "go to N12 34.567 W98 76.543 using your gps or a map and see a really cool rock formation."?

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The virtual earth cache would be an existing geological feature that is probably already published and visited by thousands of tourists. Really, the only thing that gets published on the geocaching.com website is the coordinates of the location, which allows people to use maps or gps to navigate to said pre-existing geological wonder. What is the difference between publishing a tour guide in book or website form that says "go to the park entrance, follow the road for 3 miles, turn left, go 300ft and see a really cool rock formation" and "go to N12 34.567 W98 76.543 using your gps or a map and see a really cool rock formation."?

 

I understand what an earth cache is. I understand what a log is on geocaching.com. I said he is regulating the physical cache. It would appear the Reviewer is assisting him on the gc.com side, but the point is...he maintains the location and if he, or someone that works there, finds the coordinates that point to that land then I believe gc.com policy is to work in conjunction with land managers and their complaints will dictate gc.com taking care of the virtual listing.

Edited by egami
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I agree with the OP that the hiding without permission is dangerous to the sport. I also agree with several other posters that feel public lands are being way over-regulated.

 

But then, I also agree with the person who said the land manager really doesn't have any control over an earthcache which is virtual. (hmm, should we bring up the "bringing back virtuals" argument again? Naah...) I don't see why a reviewer should consider the feelings of a land manager in terms of placement of a virtual cache in a location. Are we going to start telling the people that approve listings on WM.com that if a McDonalds manager doesn't like his store listed as a waymark, it has to be removed?

 

I understand if it is a physical container. I also understand if it is a location which is off limits to the general public for some reason (safety, legal reasons, etc). I can't understand how you can ask someone to prohibit simply listing a location on a website.

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The virtual earth cache would be an existing geological feature that is probably already published and visited by thousands of tourists. Really, the only thing that gets published on the geocaching.com website is the coordinates of the location, which allows people to use maps or gps to navigate to said pre-existing geological wonder. What is the difference between publishing a tour guide in book or website form that says "go to the park entrance, follow the road for 3 miles, turn left, go 300ft and see a really cool rock formation" and "go to N12 34.567 W98 76.543 using your gps or a map and see a really cool rock formation."?

 

I understand what an earth cache is. I understand what a log is on geocaching.com. I said he is regulating the physical cache. It would appear the Reviewer is assisting him on the gc.com side, but the point is...he maintains the location and if he, or someone that works there, finds the coordinates that point to that land then I believe gc.com policy is to work in conjunction with land managers and their complaints will dictate gc.com taking care of the virtual listing.

WHAT physical cache? With a virtual earth cache there is NO physical cache per se. The "cache" is just some pre-existing object that the park has already invited everyone else to see. How can they regulate that? Next time I am in CA I can visit the park, but only if I don't have a GC.com listing on my pda? Again, I know this works against GC.com's spirit of cooperation with landmanagers (I am a parks supervisor, btw) but how can they legally prevent GC.com, the Geological Society of America, or anyone else for that matter from hosting a webpage with a description and location of an object they already allow the general public to visit?

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...but how can they legally prevent GC.com, the Geological Society of America, or anyone else for that matter from hosting a webpage with a description and location of an object they already allow the general public to visit?

 

You're missing the point and making this more complex than it actually is. I was speaking purely in generic terms when talking about a cache...obviously, in the case of a virtual cache, he isn't going to remove it physically.

 

I never said he could, legally. But, he doesn't have to, because GC.com cooperates...I am sure some site out there probably doesn't and there is nothing he can do.

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To get back more to the original point, permission is a good idea, yes. But the idea of an outright ban on physical geocaches in a park that is one of the only ones in CA that allows primitive camping ANYWHERE in the park without permission, and brags about it's 500 miles of offroad vehicle trails accessible without permission, seems to be an over the top reaction in my book.

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...but how can they legally prevent GC.com, the Geological Society of America, or anyone else for that matter from hosting a webpage with a description and location of an object they already allow the general public to visit?

 

You're missing the point and making this more complex than it actually is. I was speaking purely in generic terms when talking about a cache...obviously, in the case of a virtual cache, he isn't going to remove it physically.

 

I never said he could, legally. But, he doesn't have to, because GC.com cooperates...I am sure some site out there probably doesn't and there is nothing he can do.

Yes, but my initial post specifically singled out and commented on the virtual aspect, so your replies to my post speaking in generic terms about physical caches didn't make much sense.

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I know actually taking this stance won't exactly endear Mr Jorgensen to our activity, but......

How the heck can ya regulate/prohibit someone from basically printing directions to a spot on a website?

 

This was the original reply. I was merely pointing out that he is indeed NOT controlling anything on the website, but physical caches on the property. At which point in the conversation you had not specifically mentioned virtual caches and the cache example posted was a traditional.

 

I can't read your mind that you were referring to virtual earth caches.

Edited by egami
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It would appear that primitive camping wouldn't be allowed in these areas:

 

Caches have been removed from archeological sites, paleontological areas, bighorn sheep watering sites and in sensitive caves.

Common sense dictates that would be true. However, everything I've been able to find online at least states "primitive camping is allowed anywhere inside the park." Even if they ban camping and offroading in those areas (and I hope they do!) they still allow camping and off-roading everywhere else, without permission. Why not allow physical geocaching in those areas as well? I've done plenty of camping and offroading as well as geocaching, and I can state with a clear conscience that as a whole, campers and offroaders having a greater negative impact on the environment then geocachers do.

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I know actually taking this stance won't exactly endear Mr Jorgensen to our activity, but......

How the heck can ya regulate/prohibit someone from basically printing directions to a spot on a website?

 

This was the original reply. I was merely pointing out that he is indeed NOT controlling anything on the website, but physical caches on the property. At which point in the conversation you had not specifically mentioned virtual caches and the cache example posted was a traditional.

 

I can't read your mind that you were referring to virtual earth caches.

You don't have to. You are taking my initial post out of context. In that post you will notice I quoted the text I was referring to. I only quoted the part pertaining to virtual earth caches. In the context of my entire post I thought it was pretty clear I was talking about virtual earth caches.

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You don't have to. You are taking my initial post out of context. In that post you will notice I quoted the text I was referring to. I only quoted the part pertaining to virtual earth caches. In the context of my entire post I thought it was pretty clear I was talking about virtual earth caches.

 

Regardless, we agree, so is this really producing anything other than we were looking at things differently?

 

The point of my reply wasn't the cache, virtual or physical, the point was no he doesn't have control.

 

You're nitpicking an issue that's not really that big of a deal. Sorry it caused you so much trouble...the point, still at this stage in the exchange, is the same...no, he only has control over the land.

 

The fact is, it didn't matter whether we were talking physical cache, virtual cache, web cam cache or Waymarking.com...no, he doesn't have control. You were focused on the virtual cache, I was replying in light of physical cache, both are beside the main point I was making.

Edited by egami
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It would appear that primitive camping wouldn't be allowed in these areas:

 

Caches have been removed from archeological sites, paleontological areas, bighorn sheep watering sites and in sensitive caves.

Even if they ban camping and offroading in those areas (and I hope they do!) they still allow camping and off-roading everywhere else, without permission. Why not allow physical geocaching in those areas as well? I've done plenty of camping and offroading as well as geocaching, and I can state with a clear conscience that as a whole, campers and offroaders having a greater negative impact on the environment then geocachers do.

 

I think the point is that not asking permission can cause land owners to take drastic measures even if those measures are over-the-top. They probably completely banned it because they don't feel the geocaching community wants to play "nice" with them. That's what happens when people come in with the "place now, ask later" attitude. They ruin the game/sport/whatever you want to call it for everyone. If people had gained permission from the beginning (and obviously then placed caches in appropriate areas of the park) geocaching might not be banned at this point. It's the price you pay when you ignore that land is always owned by someone, and that "someone" might not like you using their land how you choose to.

 

We're working with a National Preserve in our area to start a geocaching program. They've been very easy to work with. However, there are some caches placed without permission on their property by other members, that they aren't pleased with. All it took us was a 5 minute phone call. Now they would like to talk about opening up the Preserve for geocachers and want to work with us to do it. This all could have happened earlier if someone would have just made a phone call. The Preserve is a fantastic place for caching and will be a great bonus for our area.

 

Some owners might take longer to decide. We have another privately owned area that hasn't previously allowed caches that has allowed us exclusively to place one. It took about 2 months of conversing with them and will require a staff member to accompany us when we hide it, but it worked. This is a popular tourist spot and a beautiful area to cache in.

 

Sometimes it takes a little extra effort on the cacher's end, but it's worth it in the end.

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It's always annoyed me to some degree when I see the sense of entitlement many people show toward "public" land. Many tend to forget that public land isn't by default a free for all. It's one thing when you're talking ROW and another when you are talking National Parks, I know. I just think that generally, from what I've seen, most cachers probably don't seek permission in these situations in general and this was bound to happen and it will happen again.

 

It will happen again I'm sure, but for every park where this happens, there is probably a park where the administration is aware of geocaching, allows it to go on, but doesn't want to be put on the spot by giving it their

official approval.

 

When you demand their sanction in these cases you too often wind up with an answer that you don't like and one they didn't want to be forced into giving.

 

I think the point is that not asking permission can cause land owners to take drastic measures even if those measures are over-the-top. They probably completely banned it because they don't feel the geocaching community wants to play "nice" with them. That's what happens when people come in with the "place now, ask later" attitude. They ruin the game/sport/whatever you want to call it for everyone.

 

There have been instances where the park management gave geocaching their tacit approval by ignoring it, but when a well meaning geocacher demanded their official blessing, they ruined it for everyone else.

Edited by briansnat
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In this particular situation, guidelines have been in place since 2003 for caches placed in Anza-Borrego for which each cache owner must comply and agree with. This is not a strict case of "don't ask don't tell". Perhaps KitFox has forgotten he agreed to the guidelines when he placed his cache. The rest of you seem to just be spouting opinions without any knowledge of the situation whatsoever.

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I always have to ask myself when people start saying things like"can they do that legally" , Do they really believe in what they are saying or just saying it to make an arguement. It is my experience that when you have to throw the word legally into your arguement you are probably talking about something that is probably not right.

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To get back more to the original point, permission is a good idea, yes. But the idea of an outright ban on physical geocaches in a park that is one of the only ones in CA that allows primitive camping ANYWHERE in the park without permission, and brags about it's 500 miles of offroad vehicle trails accessible without permission, seems to be an over the top reaction in my book.

*Definitely* over the top and an over reaction. 4x4's create much more damage than an ammo can hidden in a pile of rocks IMO. Although it could be argued that poeple use the 4x4's to get to the caches which may be off trail.

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It will happen again I'm sure, but for every park where this happens, there is probably a park where the administration is aware of geocaching, allows it to go on, but doesn't want to be put on the spot by giving it their

official approval.

 

When you demand their sanction in these cases you too often wind up with an answer that you don't like and one they didn't want to be forced into giving.

 

I understand that...but let's face it, in the given example there are clearly sighted violations of people not respecting extremely sensitive wildlife areas. In most cases, you are exactly right...that's the way it is in Iowa, 90% of the grounds are probably no big deal type areas.

 

I agree with you in most cases it's not that big of a deal and I am certainly not asking for demanded sanctions. I do think, however, that it would be nice if there was a better way to avoid these types of scenarios. Whether it involved a longer approval process and require Reviewers to have familiarity, or contact with more local, respected cachers, to help ensure these types of cache placements in more sensitive areas aren't just rubber-stamped.

 

Unrealistic, I am sure...I am not saying that is the answer, but I think better effort could be made than what is being done now to help avoid it.

Edited by egami
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I always have to ask myself when people start saying things like"can they do that legally" , Do they really believe in what they are saying or just saying it to make an arguement. It is my experience that when you have to throw the word legally into your arguement you are probably talking about something that is probably not right.

 

Exactly, there are lot of things that are legal that aren't virtuous.

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In this particular situation, guidelines have been in place since 2003 for caches placed in Anza-Borrego for which each cache owner must comply and agree with. This is not a strict case of "don't ask don't tell". Perhaps KitFox has forgotten he agreed to the guidelines when he placed his cache. The rest of you seem to just be spouting opinions without any knowledge of the situation whatsoever.

 

Can you elaborate further?

 

As for controlling the placement of Earthcaches, they probably could. :sad:

 

Earthcaches have a strict "permission requirement" before they get published. I know I went through a huge hassle to get my first (and only) Earthcache approved. I assume that some Earthcache placers simply come up with a "name and number," to put on the listing, without getting actual permission. Based on the response from the park manager, this wouldn't fly. I imagine that they are actively checking their park for new listings.

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In this particular situation, guidelines have been in place since 2003 for caches placed in Anza-Borrego for which each cache owner must comply and agree with. This is not a strict case of "don't ask don't tell". Perhaps KitFox has forgotten he agreed to the guidelines when he placed his cache. The rest of you seem to just be spouting opinions without any knowledge of the situation whatsoever.

 

Really? KitFox has forgotten he agreed to the guidelines by placing a cache on his watch list and we are the one spouting opinions?

 

You do realize that isn't KitFox's cache? A cache by Jnglkat & Jnglkat2 (adopted by Team Gecko)

 

I am confused by that reply...

Edited by egami
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I would be for a bit stricter reviewing on caches before they go into certain areas, but I am sure most don't want that and will say it puts to much on the Reviewers shoulders.

I do think, however, that it would be nice if there was a better way to avoid these types of scenarios. Whether it involved a longer approval process and require Reviewers to have familiarity, or contact with more local, respected cachers, to help ensure these types of cache placements in more sensitive areas aren't just rubber-stamped.

 

Unrealistic, I am sure...I am not saying that is the answer, but I think better effort could be made than what is being done now to help avoid it.

Be careful what you wish for. I already keep track of more than 30 national, state, county and local land manager policies regulating geocaching in the territory where I review caches. I hold up listing caches until compliance with those policies is confirmed by the cache owner. It often adds days, weeks or months of delay to the listing process. Often I am blamed for being a rigid bureaucrat, even though they're not my rules. I am just telling the cache owner to do what they ought to have done in the first place... go to the forest ranger or state park manager and get the required permit.

 

In the absence of a published land manager policy, reviewers generally assume that "adequate permission" has been obtained by the cache owner. Once a decision is made to toss out that assumption, then wouldn't I have to ask every cache hider for the specific permission information? Why would it be fair to single out certain "sensitive areas" for closer scrutiny? Do I get to define "sensitive area?" No thanks.

 

I don't think that "lack of familiarity" with local conditions on the reviewer's part is the issue here.

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Be careful what you wish for. I already keep track of more than 30 national, state, county and local land manager policies regulating geocaching in the territory where I review caches. I hold up listing caches until compliance with those policies is confirmed by the cache owner. It often adds days, weeks or months of delay to the listing process. Often I am blamed for being a rigid bureaucrat, even though they're not my rules. I am just telling the cache owner to do what they ought to have done in the first place... go to the forest ranger or state park manager and get the required permit.

 

In the absence of a published land manager policy, reviewers generally assume that "adequate permission" has been obtained by the cache owner. Once a decision is made to toss out that assumption, then wouldn't I have to ask every cache hider for the specific permission information? Why would it be fair to single out certain "sensitive areas" for closer scrutiny? Do I get to define "sensitive area?" No thanks.

 

I don't think that "lack of familiarity" with local conditions on the reviewer's part is the issue here.

 

I am not blaming Reviewers. I am just saying it'd be nice if caches published in areas with known sensitive wildlife areas were more carefully analyzed. Don't take what I said has "this is the way it should be"....I don't know what the best solution is, but I wouldn't mind raising the bar on all caches, personally.

 

Then what do see the issue as being? There isn't one? Or there isn't a solution for it?

Edited by egami
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I think the point is that not asking permission can cause land owners to take drastic measures even if those measures are over-the-top. They probably completely banned it because they don't feel the geocaching community wants to play "nice" with them. That's what happens when people come in with the "place now, ask later" attitude. They ruin the game/sport/whatever you want to call it for everyone.

 

There have been instances where the park management gave geocaching their tacit approval by ignoring it, but when a well meaning geocacher demanded their official blessing, they ruined it for everyone else.

 

Maybe it's just your choice of wording, but where was someone speaking of DEMANDING permission? I said that people should ASK. If asking gettings geocaching banned in an area, then it was truly never allowed there to begin with. People were just "getting away" with it, which they clearly had no right to do.

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The problem can also escalate.

 

One land manager gets annoyed and speaks to another who takes the negative view and so on. Suddenly large areas get a total ban on them.

 

I've negotiated several agreements and usually the local ranger or manager is very happy to have caches placed when they are present to ensure that it will cause no damage to sensitive flora and fauna.

 

We are becoming more known by the day, we can't carry on placing caches on the assumption that permission would be granted and assume that no one will ever find out. Even if it means areas get a ban on them we have to try. Explained well we'll get more yes's than no's.

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In this particular situation, guidelines have been in place since 2003 for caches placed in Anza-Borrego for which each cache owner must comply and agree with. This is not a strict case of "don't ask don't tell". Perhaps KitFox has forgotten he agreed to the guidelines when he placed his cache. The rest of you seem to just be spouting opinions without any knowledge of the situation whatsoever.

Can you elaborate further?
Back in 2003 guidelines were hammered out with the management of the ABDSP, and our local reviewer has been making sure that each cache placed in the park complies with those additional guidelines. A sudden change in policy was made on December 21st and ABDSP park rangers started picking up caches and posting notes on those cache pages about the policy change. We are still trying to gather all the facts and understand what triggered this. It sure seems like a knee-jerk reaction to some TBD cause. We do know that what Briansnat said said above did happen. Some "concerned cacher" called the Superintendent of ABDSP and told him that they "were concerned because there were now over 5000 caches in the park." This is completely false. There are maybe a few hundred caches in that park. So now there is a group that is trying to establish discussions with the current management of the park and get all the facts on the table. For example, local Geocachers sponsor a CITO event every six months in that park. We do far more good than harm. Hopefully, we will be able to work this out.

 

Edit: Here are the ABDSP guidelines that we were given and that we have been following:

1. Caches must be placed within 50 feet of authorized trail.

2. No caches permitted within 200 feet of an historic or archeological site.

3. No caches permitted in, on or under any building, structure or manmade object.

4. Caches cannot be buried. (*per gc.com policy)

5. No cutting or modification of vegetation.

6. No modifying of geologic features, i.e., no moving rocks, hiding under rocks or creating cairns.

Edited by TrailGators
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I had a cache on my watchlist Dos Hombres - "The Worlds Longest Curved Trestle" that was archived, and I investigated further.

 

December 26 This cache has been removed. <snip>

That cache is actually still there at the moment. That cache is over 6 years old and it one of the epic/historic caches in our area. So if you want to do it you might want to check the local SD Events thread because I'm sure that a group will most likely be hiking to it to retrieve it before it gets confiscated. This really blows.... :sad:
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It's always annoyed me to some degree when I see the sense of entitlement many people show toward "public" land.

 

Me too! I think that it is pretty nervy to think that they personally can decide how the land should be used. That is the job of the land managers who have the interests of the land itself, the wildlife and the general public to consider. Often times, in the situations when a geocacher hides a cache without permission, I suspect that only the quality of the hide and the lack of a cache in that area is considered.

 

quote name='elmuyloco5' date='Dec 29 2007, 10:14 AM' post='3226488']

 

I think the point is that not asking permission can cause land owners to take drastic measures even if those measures are over-the-top. They probably completely banned it because they don't feel the geocaching community wants to play "nice" with them. That's what happens when people come in with the "place now, ask later" attitude. They ruin the game/sport/whatever you want to call it for everyone.

 

There have been instances where the park management gave geocaching their tacit approval by ignoring it, but when a well meaning geocacher demanded their official blessing, they ruined it for everyone else.

 

Maybe it's just your choice of wording, but where was someone speaking of DEMANDING permission? I said that people should ASK. If asking gettings geocaching banned in an area, then it was truly never allowed there to begin with. People were just "getting away" with it, which they clearly had no right to do.

 

I agree with elmuyloco5.

 

It seems pretty juvenile to not ask for permission because the answer may be "no". That's the tactic of a scheming teenager. I love to geocache and to hide caches, but I also understand that there are reasons that caches shouldn't be hidden in some places. One of those reasons being that some geocachers have demonstrated by their lack of playing by the rules (of the park and geocaching.com) that geocachers are neither respectful nor responsible people.

 

It would be great if every geocacher could behave as an adult and get the required permission. After all, the worst you might hear is a "no", and if that is the answer, move on and find another good place to hide your cache. Grow up, people!

 

(made my addition bold typed to make this easier to decipher since the quote boxes don't show)

Edited by Printess Caroline
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The problem can also escalate.

 

One land manager gets annoyed and speaks to another who takes the negative view and so on. Suddenly large areas get a total ban on them.

 

I've negotiated several agreements and usually the local ranger or manager is very happy to have caches placed when they are present to ensure that it will cause no damage to sensitive flora and fauna.

 

We are becoming more known by the day, we can't carry on placing caches on the assumption that permission would be granted and assume that no one will ever find out. Even if it means areas get a ban on them we have to try. Explained well we'll get more yes's than no's.

 

Exactly. This problem will take care of itself eventually...when enough federal, state and local land managers are tired of fighting the problem.

 

Even though the DNR, overall, in our state are very passive at the moment, I know from direct, personal contact with one of the higher-up's here in Iowa that he has a fairly dubious view of it and it'd take maybe one bad incident in the press to make him make things miserable for geocachers.

 

I wouldn't be shocked to start seeing laws passed specifically related to geocaching.

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To get back more to the original point, permission is a good idea, yes. But the idea of an outright ban on physical geocaches in a park that is one of the only ones in CA that allows primitive camping ANYWHERE in the park without permission, and brags about it's 500 miles of offroad vehicle trails accessible without permission, seems to be an over the top reaction in my book.

 

This ads a new twist now doesn't it. I know I said I was through earlier, but what can I say? I'm a glutton for punishment.

 

Of all the two-faced, double-dealing, too big for his britches idiots! To allow all public access to roam and travel anywhere they want, but deny a placement of a cache is unacceptable. This person obviously needs scrutiny from congress and anywhere else they derive funding from.

 

SD

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People were just "getting away" with it, which they clearly had no right to do.

 

No right? Unless there are existing policies or regulations, I ought to have a right to engage in any activities that are legal and essentially harmless on public lands.

 

:sad: ACK! It is particularly upsetting to me to see a moderator on this forum holding this position. What are you afraid of briansnat? Why not just approach the land manager, explain geocaching and its benefits, and get the proper permission? Scared of rejection?

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To get back more to the original point, permission is a good idea, yes. But the idea of an outright ban on physical geocaches in a park that is one of the only ones in CA that allows primitive camping ANYWHERE in the park without permission, and brags about it's 500 miles of offroad vehicle trails accessible without permission, seems to be an over the top reaction in my book.

 

This ads a new twist now doesn't it. I know I said I was through earlier, but what can I say? I'm a glutton for punishment.

 

Of all the two-faced, double-dealing, too big for his britches idiots! To allow all public access to roam and travel anywhere they want, but deny a placement of a cache is unacceptable. This person obviously needs scrutiny from congress and anywhere else they derive funding from.

 

SD

 

The problem isn't with the off road trails and other such areas though...

 

Numerous geocaches have been placed within the Anza-Borrego Desert State Park without authorization. No consideration was given to resource sensitivity in the placement of any of these geocaches, and many have been discovered in very sensitive locales. Caches have been removed from archeological sites, paleontological areas, bighorn sheep watering sites and in sensitive caves.

 

They have rules it would seem that weren't being followed and, in addition, cachers were violating sensitive areas. It's not uncommon for land managers to enforce rules for specific groups that don't punish the bulk of the traffic to an area...if you were a more avid hunter you might relate this. I see this often in areas where hunting is prohibited in the same area hiking, biking, walking and even geocaching are permitted.

 

It's a common, legal practice. In fact, you could argue it's their job...their purpose is specifically to protect these areas.

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People were just "getting away" with it, which they clearly had no right to do.

 

No right? Unless there are existing policies or regulations, I ought to have a right to engage in any activities that are legal and essentially harmless on public lands.

 

Unfortunately for you, what you think you "ought" to be able to do, and what you actually can do in reality are two different things. Just because you don't find the exact wording saying you can't do something, posted on the land or at an official website for the land, doesn't mean that a particular activity is allowed. If you don't own the land, you don't get to make up the rules for it....plain and simple. You don't have to agree with me, the law does. Not only is it irresponsible to take your view on land management, but it just might end you in a jail cell one day.

 

Only the land owner has the right to determine what he or she will or will not allow on their land. It's so simple to ask and I think you will find that most land owners, when approached with a reasonable request, will allow you to place a cache. If the answer is no, then move on. If you want to make choices about a particular area......buy the land yourself.

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I disagree. If the areas are open to human traffic, there is no reason to prevent or remove physical caches. If they don't want people in the "sensitive" areas, fine. Fence it off, put up signs, prevent access to the site. But to claim that we are doing something WRONG is plain lunacy.

 

I am a firm believer in the frisbee rule. Public means it's mine too.

 

SD

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Only the land owner has the right to determine what he or she will or will not allow on their land. It's so simple to ask and I think you will find that most land owners, when approached with a reasonable request, will allow you to place a cache. If the answer is no, then move on. If you want to make choices about a particular area......buy the land yourself.

 

Public land was bought by each and every one of us.

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I always, always get permission.

DEC forest land is good for caches-I called and asked. They allow it and hopefully will as

long as no one abuses the priviledge.

State parks here require a permit and have a two year limit before the cache must be moved.

I called and asked. Making sure it is moved seems like a smart idea because if it's not

moved they can assume it is abandoned and remove it.

Private property usually is some place that already allows the public to come onto their

property. I call/write and ask appealing to their sense of fun and/or desire to entice people to

come and see what they have.

City property, city parks- It took two years to get their approval, but finally got an okay.

Just after I got permission someone traveling on one of the nature trails where I have a

cache slipped and fell and shattered her leg. Don't know if she was looking for a cache.

She wanted to sue the city for a couple million. All I could think was what a great way to

impress the council board for their favorable decision of a game that encourages hiking in

the park. I braced myself for a possible revoke of my permission, but none came.

By getting permission I don't feel like I'm sneaking around or worry that those looking for

the cache will get hassled over being there. (Well that's not always true since some comittees don't tell the others what they are doing.)

I check my caches regularly and if it looks like there is any wear and tear or abuse on the

area then that cache is out of there because I want to maintain good feelings about caching

with the land managers.

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Only the land owner has the right to determine what he or she will or will not allow on their land. It's so simple to ask and I think you will find that most land owners, when approached with a reasonable request, will allow you to place a cache. If the answer is no, then move on. If you want to make choices about a particular area......buy the land yourself.

 

Public land was bought by each and every one of us.

 

Just because you pay your taxes doesn't mean you get to do what you want with "our" land. The government still gets to decide on the rules and regulations of our public land, whether that is at a federal or state level. Your taxes help keep these areas open for recreational use, they don't afford you anything your heart desires. Maybe you would like to do some lite reading at Public Land Codes and Regulations

this is from the legal department at Cornell University.

 

Just as our taxes pay for our Public Lands, they pay for many things that we have in life. Unfortunately, we as individuals don't get to make the regulations for that spending either. That's why we elect officials that plan to work towards goals that we personally are interested in. There are lobbyists to help campaign for our interests. But please understand, your taxes don't give you free reign over the rest of us. That's just not how our country works.

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Only the land owner has the right to determine what he or she will or will not allow on their land. It's so simple to ask and I think you will find that most land owners, when approached with a reasonable request, will allow you to place a cache. If the answer is no, then move on. If you want to make choices about a particular area......buy the land yourself.

 

Public land was bought by each and every one of us.

 

That's correct. What makes you any better than all of those other people who also helped to buy that land?

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I disagree. If the areas are open to human traffic, there is no reason to prevent or remove physical caches. If they don't want people in the "sensitive" areas, fine. Fence it off, put up signs, prevent access to the site. But to claim that we are doing something WRONG is plain lunacy.

 

I am a firm believer in the frisbee rule. Public means it's mine too.

 

SD

 

Public may mean it's yours, but it doesn't give you an inherent right to do as you please. Just as you can't do as you please in your own house. There are laws, rules and regulations for reasons.

 

Usage of public lands are a privilege not a right.

 

And, I'd bet you a paycheck there were signs all over the place about those sensitive areas. You can't physically fence everything off in all scenarios and not inhibit the wildlife in their habitat...that's an unrealistic expectation.

Edited by egami
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People were just "getting away" with it, which they clearly had no right to do.

 

No right? Unless there are existing policies or regulations, I ought to have a right to engage in any activities that are legal and essentially harmless on public lands.

 

:sad: ACK! It is particularly upsetting to me to see a moderator on this forum holding this position. What are you afraid of briansnat? Why not just approach the land manager, explain geocaching and its benefits, and get the proper permission? Scared of rejection?

 

Nope, I just have a fundamental problem with the idea of begging my government for permission to do something that is legal and relatively benign.

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