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CHANGES TO SUBMITTAL PROCESS

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Folks...maybe its time that some of these things are put into perspective.

 

One of the issues we have about EC not being visited by developers (ie vacation EC) is safety. We have already had a number of EC which have ended up on closed trails and roads. We have had a number of EC submitted that the entire site has disappeared (flood, landslides) and we have had a number of EC submitted where the coordinates are off cliffs (not so much the vacation issue but the 'people not visiting the site issue'.). We would hate for any cacher to be hurt because of a safety issue at an EC. Having a local looking after an EC will increase the chances that changing local conditions will be considered in managing an EC. It will also assist the EC being monitored to make sure that damage is not being done to the site - another issue we have, especially at fossil sites. Being an owner of an EC gives you some responsibility for being the mentor/custodian of the site.

 

We have also had to deal with quite a number of EC being placed directly at the location of an existing traditional cache. This has caused a lot of damage within the caching community as the original cache owners feel that the EC does not add to the experience that their cache offers. In almost all the instances I believe that a traditional cache does not provide a lesson on the local geology - and therefore the EC has been published. That said, we are now getting to the situation that EC are being placed too close to existing EC. A distance rule will assist us in solving the issues that this creates.

 

Of course the biggest issues we have in permission. The reason EC have been allowed to be developed on some US/Canada/Australia public lands in which normal caches are banned is BECAUSE of the EC permission system. We have worked hard ever since the very first EC meeting with Groundspeak and these agencies to help open the doors to the placement of EC and other caches on those lands. Every attempt to remove or work around that process puts all EC (and other cache types) at risk. We have had all of the following - not getting permission, getting a permission then not following the land managers instructions, lying about permissions etc. The land managers report all these up the line in their agency, and then we have to do battle at the top. All the hard work we have done to open the doors for all is shattered cause of a careless few. Its very sad to see happen.

 

What ever the final rues will be, existing EC will be grandfathered into the system.

 

For EC to continue to grow and provide wonderful experiences for visitors, we all have to work together as a team to make sure all these issues are being addressed.

 

The geoaware team has taken a lot of flack over the years for decisions that have been based on keeping EC viable in the geocaching community and with other agencies. Most of that we don't deserve. We are here to serve the EC community....and we work amazing hours (its 5am here on a Saturday) to keep the wheels oiled. All we ask if for some rational understanding and support while we go through this transition to a much better system for all.

 

G&A

 

Thanks Geoaware for the reply but remember there are people out there who have these kind of opinions of EarthCaching:

 

"I think earthcaches are misguided and detrimental to geocaching..........." :unsure:

 

I'll be patient, but please don't forget those words.

 

This person cannot wait until they have it their way. I have no idea why they have any interest in EarthCaching other than to see them all archived! If you check various threads, you will see an almost bitter hatred of EarthCaches! If you want other equally provacative quotes, they are available. For the life of me. I cannot see why the disdain for ECs since our fellow cacher has placed none and has visited darn few? :angry:

 

I thank Geoaware for the explanation and I promised to be patient but as you can see, none of the ECers are welcoming the "proposed" changes. Reading the update as well as the original announcement, it kinda looks like the "proposed" proximity and vacation rules changes are a done deal or almost a done deal. I sincerely hope not. There are NO good reasons for the changes.......period! Please keep un in mind. Thanks again. :lol:

Edited by Konnarock Kid & Marge

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It seems we are reinventing the wheel again :unsure: .

 

Get it fixed and stick with a standard.

 

Set the rules. Put it in writting. Post it for all to read and quit leaving us guessing what the rules/standards are.

 

This new change is either gonna make it simple for all to place ECs or make it difficult and destroy the interest in geocachers placing ECs :angry: .

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It seems we are reinventing the wheel again :unsure: .

 

Get it fixed and stick with a standard.

 

Set the rules. Put it in writting. Post it for all to read and quit leaving us guessing what the rules/standards are.

 

This new change is either gonna make it simple for all to place ECs or make it difficult and destroy the interest in geocachers placing ECs :angry: .

 

Boy are you right. The problem of reinventing the wheel can often be:

 

round0.300wide.250high.gif

 

Thanks to Mother Jones

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Folks...maybe its time that some of these things are put into perspective.

 

One of the issues we have about EC not being visited by developers (ie vacation EC) is safety. We have already had a number of EC which have ended up on closed trails and roads. We have had a number of EC submitted that the entire site has disappeared (flood, landslides) and we have had a number of EC submitted where the coordinates are off cliffs (not so much the vacation issue but the 'people not visiting the site issue'.). We would hate for any cacher to be hurt because of a safety issue at an EC. Having a local looking after an EC will increase the chances that changing local conditions will be considered in managing an EC. It will also assist the EC being monitored to make sure that damage is not being done to the site - another issue we have, especially at fossil sites. Being an owner of an EC gives you some responsibility for being the mentor/custodian of the site.

 

We have also had to deal with quite a number of EC being placed directly at the location of an existing traditional cache. This has caused a lot of damage within the caching community as the original cache owners feel that the EC does not add to the experience that their cache offers. In almost all the instances I believe that a traditional cache does not provide a lesson on the local geology - and therefore the EC has been published. That said, we are now getting to the situation that EC are being placed too close to existing EC. A distance rule will assist us in solving the issues that this creates.

 

Of course the biggest issues we have in permission. The reason EC have been allowed to be developed on some US/Canada/Australia public lands in which normal caches are banned is BECAUSE of the EC permission system. We have worked hard ever since the very first EC meeting with Groundspeak and these agencies to help open the doors to the placement of EC and other caches on those lands. Every attempt to remove or work around that process puts all EC (and other cache types) at risk. We have had all of the following - not getting permission, getting a permission then not following the land managers instructions, lying about permissions etc. The land managers report all these up the line in their agency, and then we have to do battle at the top. All the hard work we have done to open the doors for all is shattered cause of a careless few. Its very sad to see happen.

 

What ever the final rues will be, existing EC will be grandfathered into the system.

 

For EC to continue to grow and provide wonderful experiences for visitors, we all have to work together as a team to make sure all these issues are being addressed.

 

The geoaware team has taken a lot of flack over the years for decisions that have been based on keeping EC viable in the geocaching community and with other agencies. Most of that we don't deserve. We are here to serve the EC community....and we work amazing hours (its 5am here on a Saturday) to keep the wheels oiled. All we ask if for some rational understanding and support while we go through this transition to a much better system for all.

 

G&A

You and the reviewers put alot of work into the program. I am happy to have it. Thanks.

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... but as you can see, none of the ECers are welcoming the "proposed" changes.

 

You are deceiving yourself if you think that you, and the handful of others posting to this thread, represent the majority of EarthCache hiders and seekers. You are a tiny vocal minority. In reality, the overwhelming majority of the cachers who hide and seek EarthCaches don't even know that changes are coming and therefore don't even have an opinion.

 

I, for one, am going to wait and see what happens. While I'm not saying that I will agree with all the changes, I applaud Groundspeak, the Geological Society of America, and Geoaware for having the foresight to recognize that change is necessary. I realize that EarthCaching is in it's infancy and must evolve if it is going to be successful in the future.

 

Deane

AKA: DeRock & the Psychic Cacher - Grattan MI

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... but as you can see, none of the ECers are welcoming the "proposed" changes.

 

You are deceiving yourself if you think that you, and the handful of others posting to this thread, represent the majority of EarthCache hiders and seekers. You are a tiny vocal minority. In reality, the overwhelming majority of the cachers who hide and seek EarthCaches don't even know that changes are coming and therefore don't even have an opinion.

 

I, for one, am going to wait and see what happens. While I'm not saying that I will agree with all the changes, I applaud Groundspeak, the Geological Society of America, and Geoaware for having the foresight to recognize that change is necessary. I realize that EarthCaching is in it's infancy and must evolve if it is going to be successful in the future.

 

Deane

AKA: DeRock & the Psychic Cacher - Grattan MI

 

Thank you for the heartfelt correction. I should have said, exempting your insightful post, "none of the ECers responding on this thread". I guess we still need to hear from the other 3976 developers. You have my graditude, but I never claimed to represent all of EarthCaching. As one of 'the powers that be', do you? :angry:

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Thank you for the heartfelt correction. I should have said, exempting your insightful post, "none of the ECers responding on this thread".

 

I'm curious, what do you use to define who is an "Earthcacher"? Because by Earthcache.org's standards, Lep has achieved a Bronze Earthcache Master status. And, all he would have to do is place an Earthcache and he would rise to Silver Earthcache Master. He posted that he welcomes the proposed changes. :angry:

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Lep has achieved a Bronze Earthcache Master status.

Wow... I had no idea. :angry: I felt a tingle run up my leg.

 

Thanks for recognizing that I have a right to post in support of the upcoming changes. :unsure:

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So if approval mechanisms have gone to GC.com do we assume that they have a set of new and independent reviewers?

 

ps. I think the vacation rule is ludicrous. Many caches are developed by people on vacation which then opens the eyes of local cachers to other possible caches.

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As an Irish cacher I applaud the introduction of the vacation rule. I've seen the EC program devalued and abused as a way for someone to leave a spurious Virtual cache behind them just so that they can say they own a cache on the "auld sod".

 

I've also seen some excellent ECs placed by holidaymakers that have taken the time to research the area properly and made arrangements with local cachers to check out the area if/when problems arise.

 

It is the ECs in this latter group that will help develop the program further within Ireland and encourage local cachers to get more involved.

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I've also seen some excellent ECs placed by holidaymakers that have taken the time to research the area properly and made arrangements with local cachers to check out the area if/when problems arise.

 

Ditto. My interest in ECs started by doing a nearby EC left by someone who came from another country.

I however still understand the reasons behind the vacation rule and will not have a problem with it.

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I'd like to hear more from EarthCachers with more finds and ownership on ECs in regards to the new introduction of rules.

 

As an Irish cacher I applaud the introduction of the vacation rule. I've seen the EC program devalued and abused as a way for someone to leave a spurious Virtual cache behind them just so that they can say they own a cache on the "auld sod".

 

I've also seen some excellent ECs placed by holidaymakers that have taken the time to research the area properly and made arrangements with local cachers to check out the area if/when problems arise.

 

It is the ECs in this latter group that will help develop the program further within Ireland and encourage local cachers to get more involved.

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EarthCaching has been around since 2004 and you still consider it in its infancy stage? I look at this as not enough action being taken when it was neccessary when problems arose. Things tend to snowball when you dont fix problems right away.

 

Groundspeak has been around since 2000? 2001? When I joined in 2004, the GC website was well organized and corrected problems fast and updated its listing guidelines and website without haste. Its still organized. EarthCaching could be same but for some odd reason its not.

 

The handfull of posters in this thread are the workhorses of promoting and placing ECs. They are the ones going to National Parks and working with land managers on getting permission to list virtuals. Look at their finds and ownership. We are not talking about someone finding one EC two years ago and owning a few ECs. We are talking about people who own and found several ECs and actually do the grunt work to find these locations for us to find.

 

I for one do not represent anyone but myself... But I think I do know what I am talking about in regards to EarthCaches.

 

Like the small majority who post here, I will take a knee, drink water, and see what happens.

 

 

... but as you can see, none of the ECers are welcoming the "proposed" changes.

 

You are deceiving yourself if you think that you, and the handful of others posting to this thread, represent the majority of EarthCache hiders and seekers. You are a tiny vocal minority. In reality, the overwhelming majority of the cachers who hide and seek EarthCaches don't even know that changes are coming and therefore don't even have an opinion.

 

I, for one, am going to wait and see what happens. While I'm not saying that I will agree with all the changes, I applaud Groundspeak, the Geological Society of America, and Geoaware for having the foresight to recognize that change is necessary. I realize that EarthCaching is in it's infancy and must evolve if it is going to be successful in the future.

 

Deane

AKA: DeRock & the Psychic Cacher - Grattan MI

Edited by Cav Scout

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Thank you for the heartfelt correction. I should have said, exempting your insightful post, "none of the ECers responding on this thread".

 

I'm curious, what do you use to define who is an "Earthcacher"? Because by Earthcache.org's standards, Lep has achieved a Bronze Earthcache Master status. And, all he would have to do is place an Earthcache and he would rise to Silver Earthcache Master. He posted that he welcomes the proposed changes. :D

 

I didn't think the word "EarthCacher" would need definition but I can tell you who it is not. It is not someone who proclaims, "I think earthcaches are misguided and detrimental to geocaching"! :laughing:

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I didn't think the word "EarthCacher" would need definition but I can tell you who it is not. It is not someone who proclaims, "I think earthcaches are misguided and detrimental to geocaching"! :laughing:

I don't know you and this is my first time coming across you but I'm already fed up reading this statement!

 

Do you honestly believe that someone that has expressed zero interest in ECs would either volunteer or be chosen to work more on them?

 

I advise you to get over this obsession and contribute in a more constructive fashion. In fact you may be already but all I see is this statement over and over :D

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I've also seen some excellent ECs placed by holidaymakers that have taken the time to research the area properly and made arrangements with local cachers to check out the area if/when problems arise.

 

Ditto. My interest in ECs started by doing a nearby EC left by someone who came from another country.

I however still understand the reasons behind the vacation rule and will not have a problem with it.

 

You cannot have it both ways. ECs developed by those on trips such as work and/or vacations just will not happen with the change therefore folks like you will no longer have their interests stimulated by some of the veteran EarthCachers who take the time to develop ECs in distance places.

Personally, it it wasn't for several of the veteran EarthCache developers who have given input on this thread, I wouldn't have developed an interest either.

Thanks. :D

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I didn't think the word "EarthCacher" would need definition but I can tell you who it is not. It is not someone who proclaims, "I think earthcaches are misguided and detrimental to geocaching"! :anicute:

I don't know you and this is my first time coming across you but I'm already fed up reading this statement!

 

Do you honestly believe that someone that has expressed zero interest in ECs would either volunteer or be chosen to work more on them?

 

I advise you to get over this obsession and contribute in a more constructive fashion. In fact you may be already but all I see is this statement over and over :D

 

No, you are right, I don't expect someone like the quoted person to "either volunteer or be chosen to work more on them." Actually, I pray to God that will not happen!

I also don't think they have any positive contributions to make toward EarthCaching solutions! The only reason folks like that jump in the discussion is to muddy the water.

My only true obsession is my love of EarthCaching. People who drop into discussions just to express their hatred for EarthCaching deserve to have their words repeated as long as they make no positive contributions to our game. As long as they express their venom, I'll repeat their words!

Call it an obsession if you will, but I call it "telling it like it is!" Thanks. :laughing:

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Cache reviewers or moderators account :laughing: ? I looked at your profile and thought it was odd that you did'nt have any finds of hides :anicute:

 

**wrong account**

 

:D

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Cache reviewers or moderators account :anicute: ? I looked at your profile and thought it was odd that you did'nt have any finds of hides :anicute:

 

**wrong account**

 

:D

 

I'm slow but now I get it.! :laughing: One of TPTB defending another one when his behavior is indefensible! Thanks CS. :o

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Folks...maybe its time that some of these things are put into perspective. . . One of the issues we have about EC not being visited by developers (ie vacation EC) is safety.

 

Thank you for explaining some of the specific concerns that you have had to face. We are all grateful for the work you have done in bringing earthcaches to Groundspeak and balancing the interests of both geocaching and the land managers. And I think we are all supportive of any changes that can make your work easier and the submission process better integrated with the Groundspeak site.

 

Many of the problems that you describe with "vacation caches" seem to fall more into the category of caches that were submitted without people visiting the site, or poorly developed caches where coordinates were off or placement was not well chosen. The later problems, of course, come up very frequently with traditional caches, where cachers are local but perhaps less experienced. The former may happen as much to caches where a local person has an area in mind, compared to a trip that would actually have visited the area.

 

Some of the finest earthcaches I have visited have been vacation caches, and some vacation caches have even been listed on earthcache.org as examples of the best. On the other hand, some of the earthcaches where I have thought there were problems with coordinates, or where they seem to have been placed simply to have placed an earthcache, have been local. The problems with permission and placement seem less to do with the category of caches than the individuals involved. Many people who have placed vacation caches do so out of love for earthcaching and that is reflected in the quality of the caches I have visited.

 

Major site changes, such as flooding and landslides, would, of course be noted in the logs, allowing caches to be disabled or archived. Even with the local caches I have developed (both earthcaches and traditionals), I would probably not be aware of many potential problems until there is a log entry. It seems that land managers themselves have brought other problems to your attention (such as those with fossil sites), which is again the type of issue that could be resolved regardless of whether it is a vacation cache.

 

Most of the land managers I have worked with have been careful about placement and have asked that I include routine "common sense" information in the description: stay on trails, leave nothing, take nothing, bring water if it is hot. Some land agencies have specific requirements that caches be on trails, some do not. But if the agency's guidelines are followed, I am not sure why a vacation cache would create an issue apart from public access in general -- unfortunately, fossil sites and other locations may develop problems unrelated to earthcaching as a whole.

 

I have appreciated the care you have taken with proximity issues, to ensure that earthcaches are not repeating the information already provided by existing caches (whether traditional or virtual). I have always contacted cache owners near where I have developed earthcaches and received nothing but support. Perhaps restoring that simple system, to obtain the support of nearby cachers, would solve the problem better than a blanket prohibition.

 

Some of the earthcaches where I have visited would be far from any cacher, even those more local to the area would go their only infrequently -- just as many traditional caches are rarely if ever visited after placement. There are some earthcaches that might even be placed in areas where there are few if any locals doing caching of any kind, but nevertheless offer important geological information for those who come there. If local cachers are needed to support earthcaches in some way, perhaps a network could be developed of earthcachers who would be willing to assume these duties for particular areas. I would be glad to help anybody who placed an earthcache in my region. I am sure that there are others.

 

Again, we are grateful for all the work you have done. People who love earthcaching will continue to work with the perimeters that are deemed necessary (what other choice is there apart from not developing caches at all?). I trust that everyone shares a common goal of seeing quality earthcaches being developed.

Edited by Erickson

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Folks...maybe its time that some of these things are put into perspective. . . One of the issues we have about EC not being visited by developers (ie vacation EC) is safety.

 

Thank you for explaining some of the specific concerns that you have had to face. We are all grateful for the work you have done in bringing earthcaches to Groundspeak and balancing the interests of both geocaching and the land managers. And I think we are all supportive of any changes that can make your work easier and the submission process better integrated with the Groundspeak site.

 

Many of the problems that you describe with "vacation caches" seem to fall more into the category of caches that were submitted without people visiting the site, or poorly developed caches where coordinates were off or placement was not well chosen. The later problems, of course, come up very frequently with traditional caches, where cachers are local but perhaps less experienced. The former may happen as much to caches where a local person has an area in mind, compared to a trip that would actually have visited the area.

 

Some of the finest earthcaches I have visited have been vacation caches, and some vacation caches have even been listed on earthcache.org as examples of the best. On the other hand, some of the earthcaches where I have thought there were problems with coordinates, or where they seem to have been placed simply to have placed an earthcache, have been local. The problems with permission and placement seem less to do with the category of caches than the individuals involved. Many people who have placed vacation caches do so out of love for earthcaching and that is reflected in the quality of the caches I have visited.

 

Major site changes, such as flooding and landslides, would, of course be noted in the logs, allowing caches to be disabled or archived. Even with the local caches I have developed (both earthcaches and traditionals), I would probably not be aware of many potential problems until there is a log entry. It seems that land managers themselves have brought other problems to your attention (such as those with fossil sites), which is again the type of issue that could be resolved regardless of whether it is a vacation cache.

 

Most of the land managers I have worked with have been careful about placement and have asked that I include routine "common sense" information in the description: stay on trails, leave nothing, take nothing, bring water if it is hot. Some land agencies have specific requirements that caches be on trails, some do not. But if the agency's guidelines are followed, I am not sure why a vacation cache would create an issue apart from public access in general -- unfortunately, fossil sites and other locations may develop problems unrelated to earthcaching as a whole.

 

I have appreciated the care you have taken with proximity issues, to ensure that earthcaches are not repeating the information already provided by existing caches (whether traditional or virtual). I have always contacted cache owners near where I have developed earthcaches and received nothing but support. Perhaps restoring that simple system, to obtain the support of nearby cachers, would solve the problem better than a blanket prohibition.

 

Some of the earthcaches where I have visited would be far from any cacher, even those more local to the area would go their only infrequently -- just as many traditional caches are rarely if ever visited after placement. There are some earthcaches that might even be placed in areas where there are few if any locals doing caching of any kind, but nevertheless offer important geological information for those who come there. If local cachers are needed to support earthcaches in some way, perhaps a network could be developed of earthcachers who would be willing to assume these duties for particular areas. I would be glad to help anybody who placed an earthcache in my region. I am sure that there are others.

 

Again, we are grateful for all the work you have done. People who love earthcaching will continue to work with the perimeters that are deemed necessary (what other choice is there apart from not developing caches at all?). I trust that everyone shares a common goal of seeing quality earthcaches being developed.

There are some excellent well thought out suggestions here. I am in favor of a closer community supporting each other. My experiences agree with yours, concerning both land managers and owners of nearby cachers.

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Folks...maybe its time that some of these things are put into perspective. . . One of the issues we have about EC not being visited by developers (ie vacation EC) is safety.

 

Thank you for explaining some of the specific concerns that you have had to face. We are all grateful for the work you have done in bringing earthcaches to Groundspeak and balancing the interests of both geocaching and the land managers. And I think we are all supportive of any changes that can make your work easier and the submission process better integrated with the Groundspeak site.

 

Many of the problems that you describe with "vacation caches" seem to fall more into the category of caches that were submitted without people visiting the site, or poorly developed caches where coordinates were off or placement was not well chosen. The later problems, of course, come up very frequently with traditional caches, where cachers are local but perhaps less experienced. The former may happen as much to caches where a local person has an area in mind, compared to a trip that would actually have visited the area.

 

Some of the finest earthcaches I have visited have been vacation caches, and some vacation caches have even been listed on earthcache.org as examples of the best. On the other hand, some of the earthcaches where I have thought there were problems with coordinates, or where they seem to have been placed simply to have placed an earthcache, have been local. The problems with permission and placement seem less to do with the category of caches than the individuals involved. Many people who have placed vacation caches do so out of love for earthcaching and that is reflected in the quality of the caches I have visited.

 

Major site changes, such as flooding and landslides, would, of course be noted in the logs, allowing caches to be disabled or archived. Even with the local caches I have developed (both earthcaches and traditionals), I would probably not be aware of many potential problems until there is a log entry. It seems that land managers themselves have brought other problems to your attention (such as those with fossil sites), which is again the type of issue that could be resolved regardless of whether it is a vacation cache.

 

Most of the land managers I have worked with have been careful about placement and have asked that I include routine "common sense" information in the description: stay on trails, leave nothing, take nothing, bring water if it is hot. Some land agencies have specific requirements that caches be on trails, some do not. But if the agency's guidelines are followed, I am not sure why a vacation cache would create an issue apart from public access in general -- unfortunately, fossil sites and other locations may develop problems unrelated to earthcaching as a whole.

 

I have appreciated the care you have taken with proximity issues, to ensure that earthcaches are not repeating the information already provided by existing caches (whether traditional or virtual). I have always contacted cache owners near where I have developed earthcaches and received nothing but support. Perhaps restoring that simple system, to obtain the support of nearby cachers, would solve the problem better than a blanket prohibition.

 

Some of the earthcaches where I have visited would be far from any cacher, even those more local to the area would go their only infrequently -- just as many traditional caches are rarely if ever visited after placement. There are some earthcaches that might even be placed in areas where there are few if any locals doing caching of any kind, but nevertheless offer important geological information for those who come there. If local cachers are needed to support earthcaches in some way, perhaps a network could be developed of earthcachers who would be willing to assume these duties for particular areas. I would be glad to help anybody who placed an earthcache in my region. I am sure that there are others.

 

Again, we are grateful for all the work you have done. People who love earthcaching will continue to work with the perimeters that are deemed necessary (what other choice is there apart from not developing caches at all?). I trust that everyone shares a common goal of seeing quality earthcaches being developed.

There are some excellent well thought out suggestions here. I am in favor of a closer community supporting each other. My experiences agree with yours, concerning both land managers and owners of nearby cachers.

 

I totally agree with Erickson and catsnfish have had to say. I think we have a close community who does support each other. The only problem I see is from those 'outside' of the community who care not for EarthCaching.

Suggestion (which includes me): Let's all back off, holster our arms and wait until GSA and GS iron things out. I think Geoaware is more than aware of where MOST participating EarthCachers (defined as those who seriously develop and seek out ECs and have had their say) stand. I am sure he will consider our comments. Thanks. :D

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Boy, you leave for a few days and everything goes to heck!

 

I hope that they further clarify what is defined as a vacation cache. Speaking for myself - I pretty much have to look outside my local area for possible sites, due to a platinum EC couple in the area - you know who you are! - who places great earthcaches! Both my current ECs are at least 300 miles from me; I have one on hold waiting for permission. How far is too far away?

 

There's only so many caches that can be placed to explain a particular geological feature of an area. Iowa's Loess Hills are full of caches explaining them, for example.

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Speaking for myself - I pretty much have to look outside my local area for possible sites, due to a platinum EC couple in the area - you know who you are! - who places great earthcaches! Both my current ECs are at least 300 miles from me; I have one on hold waiting for permission. How far is too far away?

 

There's only so many caches that can be placed to explain a particular geological feature of an area. Iowa's Loess Hills are full of caches explaining them, for example.

As I've been thinking about it, I think I'm coming to the same conclusion. I would be one of those developers that would make it hard for others to develop EarthCaches. I will need to lay off developing EarthCaches in my local area so I don’t make it impossible for other locals to develop any. I’ll have to turn my focus on finding cachers to sponsor my EarthCaches anywhere I want to develop one. How will others submitting EarthCaches for me affect these other cachers advancing through Masters program? How will that affect the future “beyond platinum” levels for me?

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Speaking for myself - I pretty much have to look outside my local area for possible sites, due to a platinum EC couple in the area - you know who you are! - who places great earthcaches! Both my current ECs are at least 300 miles from me; I have one on hold waiting for permission. How far is too far away?

 

There's only so many caches that can be placed to explain a particular geological feature of an area. Iowa's Loess Hills are full of caches explaining them, for example.

As I've been thinking about it, I think I'm coming to the same conclusion. I would be one of those developers that would make it hard for others to develop EarthCaches. I will need to lay off developing EarthCaches in my local area so I don’t make it impossible for other locals to develop any. I’ll have to turn my focus on finding cachers to sponsor my EarthCaches anywhere I want to develop one. How will others submitting EarthCaches for me affect these other cachers advancing through Masters program? How will that affect the future “beyond platinum” levels for me?

You shouldn't have to make any changes in your approach. You and Daniel and others have contributed far too much to OUR fun and have always done it with a positive EarthCaching spirit. My efforts in EarthCaching are amateur compared to you guys, but we all love the game and I believe we all have given something to it! I hope that is not forgotten! :D

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Speaking for myself - I pretty much have to look outside my local area for possible sites, due to a platinum EC couple in the area - you know who you are! - who places great earthcaches! Both my current ECs are at least 300 miles from me; I have one on hold waiting for permission. How far is too far away?

 

There's only so many caches that can be placed to explain a particular geological feature of an area. Iowa's Loess Hills are full of caches explaining them, for example.

As I've been thinking about it, I think I'm coming to the same conclusion. I would be one of those developers that would make it hard for others to develop EarthCaches. I will need to lay off developing EarthCaches in my local area so I don’t make it impossible for other locals to develop any. I’ll have to turn my focus on finding cachers to sponsor my EarthCaches anywhere I want to develop one. How will others submitting EarthCaches for me affect these other cachers advancing through Masters program? How will that affect the future “beyond platinum” levels for me?

 

Terry you just come back and work on those Waymarks in your area (or anywhere for that matter)... you do a great job on the ones you submit to my categories :D

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As an Irish cacher I applaud the introduction of the vacation rule. I've seen the EC program devalued and abused as a way for someone to leave a spurious Virtual cache behind them just so that they can say they own a cache on the "auld sod".

 

I've also seen some excellent ECs placed by holidaymakers that have taken the time to research the area properly and made arrangements with local cachers to check out the area if/when problems arise.

 

It is the ECs in this latter group that will help develop the program further within Ireland and encourage local cachers to get more involved.

 

While I kind of agree with what your saying I'd also like to remark that you can then delete about every earthcache in a developing country as there aren't any, or hardly any local cachers around. And btw, many of those vacation caches are indeed very well researched.

 

What does good research mean for you guys, and why would it be less well executed for a vacation cache? You visit the area, see an interesting phenomenon, look for similar things in th surroundings, write down your thoughts, read some papers or books dealing with that area and/or analogues... I actually have the feeling that many vacation earthcaches are better done because people don't know if they'll come back and authorization is more complicated. Many people put all their heart into it to make it extra-good.

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Although we haven't placed any vacation ECs ourselves, we've appreciated those placed by others. Having had to close one of ours down for a period of time following the devastating floods in the Driftless Region a couple years ago, I can see valid concerns when the cache owner isn't local and may not realize these things. I also struggle with the idea of putting an EarthCache close to a physical cache, although we did do that with one of ours. I see both sides of the argument.....one can already see the geology if you explore the area while finding the cache, but then again, if you don't understand what you're seeing, you may not get the full appreciation of the forces shaping that feature. I have friends who, when I describe some cool feature at a physical cache, automatically feel it should have an EarthCache.

 

We haven't placed any new ones for about a year, though we've pondered and researched a few ideas, and those all involve areas where physical caches are not allowed. My thinking is that an EarthCache is a way for geocachers to explore unique areas and features not found while looking for the box in the woods. Though our EC placements are few, those we've placed seem to be well appreciated and I'd like to think that reflects on the time and care we've taken to create them.

 

I'm reserving judgement on the new process and feel a bit of comfort in knowing that geoaware does read these forums and has seen the uproar. I realize there is a contingent of folks out there who feel like ECs are a glorified virt, and maybe this process, if nothing else, demonstrates that TPTB still see ECs as viable listings.

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Just for curiosity, I looked at the distances involved for an area where I placed three earthcaches following a vacation trip last summer, the North Rim of the Grand Canyon. The Grand Canyon is certainly some place that should be included in earthcaching, yet the NPS describes the park as being in a remote part of the country. Indeed, the nearest populated area that has a few traditional caches (Kanab Utah) is over 100 miles away from one of the earthcaches, down an isolated road, with a $20 entrance fee. If the vacation rules had been in effect, I obviously would not have been able to develop these earthcaches. But at the same time, I wonder how often a "local" person, who might take these type of listings under his or her wings, would act as a "mentor/custodian" of the site.

 

We are planning to visit the area again either this summer or the following year. But in the meantime, I took care to place the earthcaches on very well established, officially designated, trails and viewing platforms. If a log indicated that the information on a interpretive sign changed, I have no doubt that I could make necessary adjustments to the listing. If there was an foreseen event that blocked access to any of the sites, I could do what I have done when that has happened to traditional caches, temporarily disable or archive the listing. If the NPS informed earthcache.org or myself that the earthcache was causing unforeseen problems, I would immediately archive it.

 

These are the same actions that I would take in regard to the local earthcaches or traditionals that I have developed. Some of these are in areas that I may not visit any more often than the North Rim. In general, I depend upon logs to let me know if a local cache needs attention and have made changes accordingly.

 

By the same token, I thought about even more remote areas. An existing virtual at the Toroweap Overlook, 60 miles down a problematic dirt road, was developed and maintained by a vacation cacher -- would a local have done it better? And in developing nations, a previous poster correctly suggested that it would be much harder to have a local person develop, maintain, or mentor the site.

 

I trust that geoaware and Groundspeak will take these needs into account. Perhaps there are ways where a local cacher, who might not want to take on the full responsibility of reviewing the logs, could serve as an additional contact. But I hope that whatever is done will be very well-defined, both in duties and distances.

Edited by Erickson

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I have developed or played a part in the development of over 30 ECs here in Wisconsin. I have serious concerns about any changes in proximity (to other listings) and vacation rules. When I look at the state I see interesting formations all over the place; formations which I would like to understand and subsequently share with others. If you restrict me to developing ECs to within say 500 miles from my home, I could live with that but short of that I would be VERY disappointed. Some of my favorite creations are several hundred miles from my home. And proximity from other caches...come on these are virtual...ECs offer something much more valuable than a filmcan and a smiley. I sure hope when the changes come down they are well thought out.

 

...and I too am very curious who this new dream team of EC approvers will be. I know I wasn't asked...but then my ECs didn't make the cut for best practices either...(OK I'm just jealous that one of my creations didn't make the cut).

 

*Edit for a more reasonable mileage

Edited by Lostby7

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There seems to be a wide variety of misconceptions about the "Vacation Guideline" as it applies to geocaching and how it might affect EarthCache hides in the future.

 

Here is the specific wording from the cache listing guidelines as it currently applies to all caches except EarthCaches:

 

-------------

Cache Maintenance

 

The cache owner will assume all responsibility of their cache listings.

 

The responsibility of your listing includes quality control of posts to the cache page. Delete any logs that appear to be bogus, counterfeit, off topic, or not within the stated requirements.

 

As the cache owner, you are also responsible for physically checking your cache periodically, and especially when someone reports a problem with the cache (missing, damaged, wet, etc.). You may temporarily disable your cache to let others know not to hunt for it until you have a chance to fix the problem. This feature is to allow you a reasonable time – normally a few weeks – in which to arrange a visit to your cache. In the event that a cache is not being properly maintained, or has been temporarily disabled for an extended period of time, we may archive the listing.

 

It may be difficult to fulfill your maintenance obligations if you place a cache while traveling on vacation or otherwise outside of your normal caching area. These caches may not be published unless you are able to demonstrate an acceptable maintenance plan. It is not uncommon for caches to go missing, areas to be cleared, trails to be blocked or closed, objects used for multi-cache or puzzles to be moved or removed, etc. Your maintenance plan must allow for a quick response to reported problems.

 

The territory in which a geocacher is able to maintain caches responsibly will vary from one person to the next. An active geocacher who regularly visits areas hundreds of miles apart can demonstrate their ability to maintain a cache 100 miles from home. A geocacher whose previous finds and hides are all within 25 miles of their home would likely not see their cache published if placed 250 miles away from their home.

 

If you have special circumstances, please describe your maintenance plan on your cache page. For example, if you have made arrangements with a local geocacher to watch over your distant cache for you, that geocacher’s name should be mentioned on your cache page.

-------------

 

Please notice that it doesn't prohibit caches placed while you are on vacation. It also doesn't prohibit caches placed a significant distance from your home coords. All it asks is that you have a "maintenance plan".

 

One of the other issues is the guideline concerning having to "visit the site". Here is the specific wording from the guidelines that apply to all cache types as it currently applies to all caches except EarthCaches:

 

-------------

You as the owner of the cache must visit the site and obtain the coordinates with a GPS. GPS usage is an essential element of geocaching. Therefore, although it is possible to find a cache without a GPS, the option of using accurate GPS coordinates as an integral part of the cache hunt must be demonstrated for all physical cache submissions.

-------------

 

For those of you not intimately familiar with the cache listing guidelines - I hope that clears things up for you. :unsure:

 

Deane

AKA: DeRock & the Psychic Cacher - Grattan MI

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<snip>

For those of you not intimately familiar with the cache listing guidelines - I hope that clears things up for you. :unsure:

 

Deane

AKA: DeRock & the Psychic Cacher - Grattan MI

 

No, it really doesn't, but thank you for trying. I will wait and see what new restrictions are laid down, but I am not optimistic about being able to place more earthcaches, other then my two existing and one disabled.

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For those of you not intimately familiar with the cache listing guidelines - I hope that clears things up for you.

 

Its always helpful to go back to the guidelines. Although I was generally aware that maintenance plans could be developed with local cachers, I have never tried to do that and had some questions as to how that might translate to earthcaches. As I said in my original post, "time will tell."

 

Earthcaches, of course, already have a requirement to visit the actual site. But since Earthcaches do not need log maintenance or cache replacement, the type of maintenance plan required of physical caches may not apply. Geoaware cited some specific concerns about vacation caches that perhaps can be addressed by taking the time, while visiting the site, to consider potential problems. But part of his post hinted at a need to go beyond normal "maintenance." I certainly could deal with a trail closure of if the information at the site changed in some way, regardless of whether it is a vacation cache or local to me. So again, it would help if the earthcache guidelines clearly defined what kind of maintenance plan is envisioned or what is needed for "a local geocacher to watch over your distant cache for you." What they would be expected to do. I trust we will all do what we can to make it work within whatever framework is adopted.

 

As to proximity, under the guidelines, a physical cache can be placed on top of a virtual, but if I understand the rule change, the 528 foot requirement would apply across the board.

Edited by Erickson

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For those of you not intimately familiar with the cache listing guidelines - I hope that clears things up for you.

 

Its always helpful to go back to the guidelines. Although I was generally aware that maintenance plans could be developed with local cachers, I have never tried to do that and had some questions as to how that might translate to earthcaches. As I said in my original post, "time will tell."

 

Earthcaches, of course, already have a requirement to visit the actual site. But since Earthcaches do not need log maintenance or cache replacement, the type of maintenance plan required of physical caches may not apply. Geoaware cited some specific concerns about vacation caches that perhaps can be addressed by taking the time, while visiting the site, to consider potential problems. But part of his post hinted at a need to go beyond normal "maintenance." I certainly could deal with a trail closure of if the information at the site changed in some way, regardless of whether it is a vacation cache or local to me. So again, it would help if the earthcache guidelines clearly defined what kind of maintenance plan is envisioned or what is needed for "a local geocacher to watch over your distant cache for you." What they would be expected to do. I trust we will all do what we can to make it work within whatever framework is adopted.

 

As to proximity, under the guidelines, a physical cache can be placed on top of a virtual, but if I understand the rule change, the 528 foot requirement would apply across the board.

 

Good points Erickson!

 

Those who are objecting to the vacation rule know exactly what it means..............that's the problem! I, for one, don't want to become intimate with the vacation guideline because it shouldn't apply to EarthCaches! Maintenance plan? Our ECs come with a lifetime warrenty with no maintenance needed! All of our mountains, all of our out crops, all of our caves, all of our waterfalls, all of our rock shelters and all of our springs are self maintained. God does a pretty good job at that! :unsure:

Edited by Konnarock Kid & Marge

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Our ECs come with a lifetime warranty

At least until 2012.

(I know I have said enough when the only thing I think of is off topic.)

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As I've been thinking about it, I think I'm coming to the same conclusion. I would be one of those developers that would make it hard for others to develop EarthCaches. I will need to lay off developing EarthCaches in my local area so I don’t make it impossible for other locals to develop any. I’ll have to turn my focus on finding cachers to sponsor my EarthCaches anywhere I want to develop one.

 

I'm sorry but I don't agree at all. How many caches have you developed that then someone has later said that they were going to develop one just like it in the same place. I'll bet none but with your stats I may be stretching the probability curve a little :) If you didn't develop it then it would stay undeveloped.

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Cache reviewers or moderators account :) ? I looked at your profile and thought it was odd that you did'nt have any finds of hides :)

 

**wrong account**

 

:)

Cache reviewer but not a moderator. I always post in the forums under my player account. This time I made a mistake and was logged in under the wrong account.

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Cache reviewers or moderators account :) ? I looked at your profile and thought it was odd that you did'nt have any finds of hides :)

 

**wrong account**

 

:)

 

I'm slow but now I get it.! :) One of TPTB defending another one when his behavior is indefensible! Thanks CS. :)

You're wrong on a number of counts. First of all I'm not one of "TPTB". I'm a geocacher that also happens to be a reviewer.

 

Second I wasn't defending anyone! I was stating a point of view that you were behaving like a dog with a bone and I'm glad that you seem to have taken my point on board and stopped repeating a nonsense notion.

 

Third your statement now reads as if my opinion has no relevance simply because I'm a reviewer. Placement of ECs in Ireland has the potential for abuse of both the virtual and vacation guidelines for cache placement. In my opinion it is devaluing the EC program in Ireland and I'm glad the implementation of the vacation guideline is being considered.

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Cache reviewers or moderators account :) ? I looked at your profile and thought it was odd that you did'nt have any finds of hides :)

 

**wrong account**

 

:)

 

I'm slow but now I get it.! :) One of TPTB defending another one when his behavior is indefensible! Thanks CS. :lol:

You're wrong on a number of counts. First of all I'm not one of "TPTB". I'm a geocacher that also happens to be a reviewer.

 

Second I wasn't defending anyone! I was stating a point of view that you were behaving like a dog with a bone and I'm glad that you seem to have taken my point on board and stopped repeating a nonsense notion.

 

Third your statement now reads as if my opinion has no relevance simply because I'm a reviewer. Placement of ECs in Ireland has the potential for abuse of both the virtual and vacation guidelines for cache placement. In my opinion it is devaluing the EC program in Ireland and I'm glad the implementation of the vacation guideline is being considered.

 

I rest my case. CS was right in the first place! One TPTB defending another. One non-ECer defending another. Both have nothing to do with an educated/experienced opinion regarding the topics in question! Thanks. :)

 

Folks, in case you missed it, here is the offensive quote, "I think earthcaches are misguided and detrimental to geocaching..........." . Thanks dino-irl for reminding me of it! :P

Edited by Konnarock Kid & Marge

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I rest my case. CS was right in the first place! One TPTB defending another. One non-ECer defending another. Both have nothing to do with an educated/experienced opinion regarding the topics in question! Thanks. :)

Wrong again! :)

 

If you bothered to check my profile you would see that I own one EC and have found two others. Having trained as a teacher I want to see the EC program develop and grow in Ireland. However, the lack of enforcement of a vacation guideline in Ireland is seeing the program being devalued as an easy way to have a virtual cache in Ireland. I applaud the possible introduction of this guideline and hope that it will see the closer cooperation of cachers within and outside of Ireland to see ECs gain in popularity.

 

Now will you stop using me to get a dig at others and actually see the point I'm making. You appear to be ignoring it as you have a personal issue with a GC.com moderator/reviewer. That is not me and the fact that I am a reviewer is irrelevant to the point I'm making! :)

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<snip>

 

However, the lack of enforcement of a vacation guideline in Ireland is seeing the program being devalued as an easy way to have a virtual cache in Ireland. I applaud the possible introduction of this guideline and hope that it will see the closer cooperation of cachers within and outside of Ireland to see ECs gain in popularity.

 

<snip>

 

There's nothing really *easy* about developing a good earthcache. It's not something that can be done by a casual walker-through in a day. I do not applaud the possible introduction of this guideline, because I believe that it will see the decline in numbers of earthcaches, in and out of Ireland.

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<snip>

 

However, the lack of enforcement of a vacation guideline in Ireland is seeing the program being devalued as an easy way to have a virtual cache in Ireland. I applaud the possible introduction of this guideline and hope that it will see the closer cooperation of cachers within and outside of Ireland to see ECs gain in popularity.

 

<snip>

 

There's nothing really *easy* about developing a good earthcache. It's not something that can be done by a casual walker-through in a day. I do not applaud the possible introduction of this guideline, because I believe that it will see the decline in numbers of earthcaches, in and out of Ireland.

Well maybe not an easy way but the EC designation is still being abused as a way to have a cache in another country. If someone really wants to place a good EC in Ireland (or elsewhere) then I don't see how having a local cacher to keep an eye on the area and respond to queries is a huge obstacle.

 

I'm curious though by your last statement. Why exactly do you believe that enforcement of the vacation guideline will reduce numbers and/or interest in placing ECs?

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<snip>

 

However, the lack of enforcement of a vacation guideline in Ireland is seeing the program being devalued as an easy way to have a virtual cache in Ireland. I applaud the possible introduction of this guideline and hope that it will see the closer cooperation of cachers within and outside of Ireland to see ECs gain in popularity.

 

<snip>

 

There's nothing really *easy* about developing a good earthcache. It's not something that can be done by a casual walker-through in a day. I do not applaud the possible introduction of this guideline, because I believe that it will see the decline in numbers of earthcaches, in and out of Ireland.

Well maybe not an easy way but the EC designation is still being abused as a way to have a cache in another country. If someone really wants to place a good EC in Ireland (or elsewhere) then I don't see how having a local cacher to keep an eye on the area and respond to queries is a huge obstacle.

 

I'm curious though by your last statement. Why exactly do you believe that enforcement of the vacation guideline will reduce numbers and/or interest in placing ECs?

 

I'm not concerned about placing earthcaches in other countries, I'm concerned about placing them in my own. As I said above, most of the interesting geological features in my immediate area have at least one earthcache explaining them; in many cases, more then one; thus any new EC I would develop would be outside my normal radius of cache placing, thus would be considered a 'vacation' cache, I guess. Speaking for myself - if a good EC site presents itself, but I don't know any of the cachers in the local area, or there ARE no cachers in the local area, the chances of me working to develop a EC in that area diminish considerably, if that becomes a requirement.

 

I do not understand why we would need to find and expect a local cacher to keep an eye on the cache - unlike traditional caches, we are required to have the contact name and number of the person who gave permission for the cache, very often the park manager or a ranger, or the like. If there is a 'maintenance problem' - trail closed, whatever, wouldn't they be the logical contact in the first place? Common courtesy would dictate that we let them know the status of the cache anyway, if we have to disable it due to a problem.

 

Just my thoughts. I realize that TPTB have already reached a decision, but I thought I'd put my $.02 in.

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How can the program be devalued when theres only 16 EarthCaches in the entire country of Ireland :):lol::P ? 16?????

 

Considering this fact, I don't see why you would be concerned about the vacation rule in Ireland. You own one EC and the next closest EC is 41.9 miles away and the other is 46.7 miles away. The few ECs you have found have a few close by ECs that are spaced over 40 miles apart :) . I would welcome vacationers to set up ECs if I did'nt have any to find.

 

If you are concered about having the EC program developed and want to see it grow in Ireland, why not go out and recon some good EarthCache locations? It seems you have the whole country to yourself :) .

 

 

I rest my case. CS was right in the first place! One TPTB defending another. One non-ECer defending another. Both have nothing to do with an educated/experienced opinion regarding the topics in question! Thanks. :P

Wrong again! :)

 

If you bothered to check my profile you would see that I own one EC and have found two others. Having trained as a teacher I want to see the EC program develop and grow in Ireland. However, the lack of enforcement of a vacation guideline in Ireland is seeing the program being devalued as an easy way to have a virtual cache in Ireland. I applaud the possible introduction of this guideline and hope that it will see the closer cooperation of cachers within and outside of Ireland to see ECs gain in popularity.

 

Now will you stop using me to get a dig at others and actually see the point I'm making. You appear to be ignoring it as you have a personal issue with a GC.com moderator/reviewer. That is not me and the fact that I am a reviewer is irrelevant to the point I'm making! :)

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Out of the 16 EarthCaches Ireland has, the ECs have been developed by cachers from Czech, Ireland, Germany, Netherlands, and one from the USA.

 

All of the write ups except two have great photos and the information is outstanding :) !

 

I would hardly consider any of these ECs as devalueing the current program.

 

 

Having trained as a teacher I want to see the EC program develop and grow in Ireland. However, the lack of enforcement of a vacation guideline in Ireland is seeing the program being devalued as an easy way to have a virtual cache in Ireland. I applaud the possible introduction of this guideline and hope that it will see the closer cooperation of cachers within and outside of Ireland to see ECs gain in popularity.

 

That is not me and the fact that I am a reviewer is irrelevant to the point I'm making! :)

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I was once accused of never being in Iraq too :) .

 

Ha! Nope, you never found any of my caches there - you armchaired them! :)

 

But, what do I know, I wasn't there either, so how would I know who logged my caches. :)

 

Hey - look for an earthcache in Iraq soon. :) At the time of placement, I assure you it will be very close proximity to my place of residence. (oh, for those keeping score, yep, that'll be the fourth go-around).

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I was once accused of never being in Iraq too :) .

 

Ha! Nope, you never found any of my caches there - you armchaired them! :)

 

But, what do I know, I wasn't there either, so how would I know who logged my caches. :)

 

Hey - look for an earthcache in Iraq soon. :) At the time of placement, I assure you it will be very close proximity to my place of residence. (oh, for those keeping score, yep, that'll be the fourth go-around).

 

And thank you for that. Seriously.

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