+TeamIDFC Posted October 12, 2009 Share Posted October 12, 2009 A few of us received requests from the Mercer Slough Environmental Education Center telling us that the caches in Mercer Slough were out of compliance and asking they be removed. At first glance that seemed arbitrary, but I suspected it was an opening bid to get responses and people involved. This morning I called the contact to find out what was going on and what inspired their action. It turns out they were out patrolling and found somebody scrambling on one of the banks, and they were concerned for the person and for the sensitive nature of the bank. Christina said the person identified herself as a "geocacher working on a multi-cache." The Bellevue Parks/Mercer Slough folks are well aware of caching and like that it brings more people out to use the natural resources, but they share the same concerns that most land-management agencies do: that caches are placed in areas that won't do damage to the park nor the cachers. They have no interest in having all the caches removed, but they do need/want to ensure they aren't going to be a problem. The incident above (perhaps someone working on Lake-to-Lake?) was on top of what she described as the "real problems we have are with Microsoft geocachers who place them in really bad locations, like next to homeless shelters." She thought maybe they were a different caching group, but I wonder if maybe that was a GeoTeaming event? In any case, they've only got 3 part-time rangers for all of Bellevue, so they don't have the time to be cache-cops, and she said she'd already gotten calls from several of the owners they contacted. They were very impressed with our responsiveness and concerns and wanted to work with us to look at all the Bellevue Parks and ensure there wasn't ecological damage being done by caching. Again, they are very agreeable and just want to find an appropriate compromise if a cache is in a bad location. So, that brings me to the point of this post: they have no intent to disallow caching, but they need help ensuring it is working in everyone's best interest. I think we need to get a liaison to reach out and set up a meeting/contact point where caches in Bellevue can be reviewed, some mutually acceptable ground rules can be established, etc. I know Hydnsek has done this for some land-management agencies, do we have anyone that might be appropriate to step to the plate here? (I'm currently not a candidate, unfortunately.) Quote Link to comment
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