Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 1
knowschad

Ohio DNR Forestry Division Proposed Ban

Recommended Posts

Keystone posted an eye-opening bit of news in the General forum this morning that I'm surprised isn't already being discussed over here!

 

It started in Post #10

 

And now there is at least one land manager which, at the state level, is considering banning all physical caches out in the woods and allowing only earthcaches. The decision is expected this month.

 

He was then asked which state it was, and he answered in Post #14

 

That would be the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, Division of Forestry

...snip...

 

I asked for his source and all he could give me was:

 

My source is a Forestry Divison official, quoted in a regional geocaching forum. I think further discussion of the Ohio policy is best left for a separate thread that's on topic to that.

 

I don't believe this is just a concern for residents of Ohio, or even the Midwest, but of concern for geocachers everywhere, but I suspect that if I had posted this in the general forum that it would have quickly been moved here anyway.

 

Has anyone got any more information about this very important revelation? Is anything being done at the state level to counteract this attempt?

Share this post


Link to post

This is the first I've heard of this. Though I don't often read the forums here, or regionally anymore.

 

I'm wondering if this would apply to all Ohio State Parks, or just the Ohio State Forests, as it seems to be coming from the Division of Forestry. I'm also curious as to the reasoning. I thought that the ODNR embraced Geocaching as evidenced by the various Geocaching challenges, and events that are put on at the state parks.

Share this post


Link to post

Here's a Web page on the Ohio Department of Natural Resources Web site that appears to give their current stance on geocaching. Note that only virtual caches are allowed in wildlife areas and nature preserves, but I think that's always been the case, and I can understand their reasoning.

 

ODNR geocaching statement

 

Also, here's an announcement regarding a series of caches hidden in state parks just this spring:

 

High-Tech Treasure Hunts at Ohio State Parks

 

Lastly, here's a PDF provided by the ODNR Division of Wildlife promoting an October 2009 event that includes a class on geocaching:

 

Becoming an Ohio Outdoorswoman

 

On the other hand, here's something ominous: A Google search of the ODNR Web site using the terms "geocaching or geocache" showed a hit on the Division of Forestry General Visitation Policy page:

 

Division of Forestry General Visitation Policy

 

However, there's no mention of either term on the actual page. When I looked at the page as cached by Google, there's a paragraph that reads:

Special Events and Public Meetings

Special events or public meetings held on a state forest often require the waiver of specific rules. (Geocaching is an activity that requires a waiver of state forest rules.) To acquire a Special Use Permit (pdf) and hold a special event or secure the waiver of state forest rules, please printout the application, complete it, and mail the signed form to the appropriate state forest. Some events or activities require a fee or security deposit.

Here's the replacement wording:

Special Events and Public Meetings

Special events or public meetings held on a state forest often require the waiver of specific rules. To acquire a Special Use Permit (pdf) and hold a special event or secure the waiver of state forest rules, please printout the application, complete it, and mail the signed form to the appropriate state forest. Some events or activities require a fee or security deposit.

Seems that someone has removed the parenthetical mention of geocaching. Something may be afoot, at least in the Division of Forestry.

 

--Larry

Share this post


Link to post

Updating my earlier posts to another thread, I've now confirmed that the policy changed last week so that only earthcaches are allowed in Ohio State Forests going forward, and only with a special use permit (which is free). Through a helpful local contact, I am double checking to make extra sure that the ban is statewide for all the State Forests, and not just in the one Forest where we are in touch with an official.

 

In Ohio, it appears that State Forests will now be treated like State Nature Preserves and State Wildlife Areas have always been: closed to new physical cache container placements. Fortunately the Ohio State Parks still welcome physical geocaches, including hiding many of their own and hosting contests requiring visits to many State Parks to find all the caches in a series.

 

If I hear further details I will share them here.

Share this post


Link to post

So, I guess "banning all physical caches out in the woods" is a bit of an overstatement, resulting in a bit of an over-reaction on my part. I must admit to wondering how the DNR was going to enforce a regulation that applied to "the woods"

Share this post


Link to post

I can understand how Forestry would ban something that Parks embraces. The two departments are constantly at odds with each other. Scioto Trails State Forest couldn't build a horseman's camp because forestry can't charge fees for anything, but Scioto Trails State Park manager said that there wouldn't be a horse camp in "his" park as long as he was in charge.

 

Sigh. There are some great Harry Meister caches in local state forests.

Share this post


Link to post

Following up, I've now confirmed that this is a statewide ban on physical cache placements in Ohio State Forests. The contact has been with the manager of one State Forest and I've since received clarification that the ban applies not only in that Forest, but to all properties managed by ODNR's Forestry Division.

 

As always, I will take no action with respect to existing geocaches in State Forests unless specifically requested by the land manager. That's especially appropriate here, since for many years geocachers have been obtaining permission for each and every cache placement under the old policy.

 

I wish everyone good luck in locating interesting geological features in Ohio State Forests for purposes of creating earthcaches. I don't review those. I will instead keep busy saying "no" to future cache placements on these properties.

Share this post


Link to post

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 1

×
×
  • Create New...