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National Parks geocaching


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As many of us have found through looking, most of the state and national parks systems do not want any geocaches on their property. Granted, I understand this completely, seeing as we have a few less than cordial cachers out there. So, that led me to talk to a Park Ranger in Hawaii about a geocaching alternative in conjunction with the NPS. It would be similar to the passport idea the NPS has now, but can be done with geocaching. The premise is going to a select point in the park (generally the main station or visitor center), you answer some questions on the parks history, stats, specs, etc..., then you get credit for it. Some say this is similar to the earth caches, in a way it is. But you are learning about the park and visiting a wonderful place. Just wanting some feed back from others, see if this would be something folks would be interested in.

 

cfergusn

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As many of us have found through looking, most of the state and national parks systems do not want any geocaches on their property. Granted, I understand this completely, seeing as we have a few less than cordial cachers out there. So, that led me to talk to a Park Ranger in Hawaii about a geocaching alternative in conjunction with the NPS. It would be similar to the passport idea the NPS has now, but can be done with geocaching. The premise is going to a select point in the park (generally the main station or visitor center), you answer some questions on the parks history, stats, specs, etc..., then you get credit for it. Some say this is similar to the earth caches, in a way it is. But you are learning about the park and visiting a wonderful place. Just wanting some feed back from others, see if this would be something folks would be interested in.

 

cfergusn

 

GS did away with virtuals awhile ago or did I just get taken for April Fools?

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I'd have to say that most state park systems DO welcome geocaches, in varying degrees. Some regulate cache placements actively with forms and permits and inspections. Some regulate by requiring permission from the ranger, but with no paperwork. Some regulate passively, letting the listing guidelines provide the rules. Some simply turn a blind eye, choosing to focus on bigger land management issues. Only a handful of state park systems could be called "anti-geocaching." More and more so, the trend is for state and local governments to use geocaching as a means of attracting visitors, through formal programs, contests, etc.

 

The National Park "passport" locations are already a Waymarking.com Category. For GPS gaming without a cache container and log, you should look at Waymarking and Wherigo in addition to Earthcaches.

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I am currently trying to get an answer from an NPS superintendent regarding having a Wherigo cartridge (without physical containers) in the park. It's a slow process, waiting for a response. My idea is similar to the BSA park medal program, but it uses different points, routes, and questions.

 

At the moment, you shouldn't be able to publish a Wherigo cache if any part of it takes place on NPS land. As for other parks that don't allow geocaching, you'll probably have to ask the park manager before your cache can be published.

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