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Thoto

CHANGES TO SUBMITTAL PROCESS

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I am confused by proximity. Eartcaches do not seem to be physical caches, at least not ones as defined in the guidelines as "a physical element placed by the geocache owner, such as a tag... or a countainer."

 

Then, there's an exemption which reads "non-physical caches or stages including reference points, trailhead/parking coordinates and question to answer waypoints are exempt from this guideline."

 

:)

 

So, what am I missing? The debate in this thread has completely unearthed (hehehe) my understanding of the guidelines. :)

 

I generally agree with The Leprechauns in the sentiment that the move to GC submittal is a positive change. However, I cannot condone statements such as "these are the guidelines which, when properly applied, will keep distant interlopers from taking a virtual dump right on top of a perfectly placed ammo box that already does a fine job of showing off the geology of the area." Such a statement is a gross representation of earthcaching, and to me demonstrates a complete lack of understanding and appreciation for the purpose of an earthcache.

 

It is not about "showing off the geology," but being a "great way to learn more about our wonderful world. It can ... teach you about why those places are special or unique." Sorry, but the standard phsyical dump of a cache leads mostly to the quest of the almighty smiley as opposed to actually stopping to smell the flowers and learn something. There's been many cases of phsyical cache finds where I wish the CO had taken the time (or a local earthcacher to establish a cache and provide insight) to provide a lesson in geology. Normally, I got it - I'll go look it up, research, and learn - but having the earthcache shortcut certainly is nice and provides a great venue for learning about the geologic world around me.

Edited by Jeep_Dog

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LOL! Nope I was never there :):):lol: ... This photo is me with some farmer in Iowa.

 

I think I found several of your caches in and around Baghdad, but then again I'm not sure :) .

 

Is your new EC about the Tigris River or one of the man made lakes?

 

 

Iraq006.jpg

 

Iraq004.jpg

 

 

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

 

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

 

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. :P 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).

Edited by Cav Scout

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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.

 

I know the person from the United States and have often cached with him. His father lives in Ireland and he placed the earthcache while on an extended visit. The vacation cache rules would not have been a factor since his father could help with whatever "maintenance" is required of an earthcache. Its been there around 2 1/2 years and as far as I know he has not had any maintenance issues with it, nor can I think of what they would be. He also has a traditional cache in Ireland, which he hoped would get his father more interested in the game.

 

There does not appear to be a rash of cachers placing vacation earthcaches, just to do so, on Irish soil. I hope that the existing earthcaches will help spur local interest in this aspect of the game, just as vacation earthcaches in my area attracted my attention. I do promise that if we visit Ireland later next year (its on our short list of possible destinations) I will not even think about developing one there.

 

Ideally, it would be nice if there was a regional reviewing team, similar to what is in place for traditional geocaches, that would be aware of local issues or concerns. But I imagine that is a long way off.

Edited by Erickson

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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.

And therein lies a problem. This is a global game and ECs are all over the world. Taking this from solely your own perspective isn't a great idea as changes to the guidelines affect ECs all over the world.

 

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.

Who says the maintainer needs to be a cacher. In many cases maintenance plans I've seen do not always involve another cacher. IMO another cacher is the best maintenance plan but I understand that isn't possible in all cases.

 

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.

Sorry but the logical contact is the owner of the EC :) It's then up to him/her to have a plan in place if something needs checked out.

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

It would be nice if you could respond without being more condescending! :)

 

For a country that has less than 3000 placed caches (including Events) and how long ECs have been around then 16 isn't a bad figure. Ireland is a small country, has been extensively changed by man's activities and there are very few areas that aren't in private ownership.

 

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 :)

You really are a laugh a minute aren't you! I can't and don't want to have loads of ECs all over Ireland. I would rather encourage others to place ECs. However, cachers here don't value them as they don't comply to the normal GC.com guidelines and the submission process is torturous. The second is being addressed and I'm glad to see the first also being considered now.

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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.

Sorry but the logical contact is the owner of the EC :) It's then up to him/her to have a plan in place if something needs checked out.

 

The owner of the EC would be aware of the problem through logs of visitors or email, just as how I am made aware if there is problem with any of my local caches. If there was a trail closure, landslide, flood, or fire, I would do exactly as I do now: temporarily disable the cache, contact the land manager to determine if the area will be open again, and then archive it if there is a long-term problem extending beyond what is the accepted norm for disabled caches. The only difference is that with an earthcache I would not have to figure out how to pick up any containers that might have been left behind the closed area.

Edited by Erickson

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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.

I doubt you hang out in too many areas where Irish cachers discuss things so I can understand how you don't fully appreciate my POV but laughing at my opinion is frankly rude!

 

2 out of 16 caches is 12.5% which is a significant percentage.

 

In addition I see cachers on holiday in Ireland submitting poorly thought out vacation caches and when they get turned down submit an EC instead. It is this and the perception of Irish cachers towards the lack of GC.com guideline application that devalues the EC program.

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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.

And therein lies a problem. This is a global game and ECs are all over the world. Taking this from solely your own perspective isn't a great idea as changes to the guidelines affect ECs all over the world.

 

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.

Who says the maintainer needs to be a cacher. In many cases maintenance plans I've seen do not always involve another cacher. IMO another cacher is the best maintenance plan but I understand that isn't possible in all cases.

 

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.

Sorry but the logical contact is the owner of the EC :) It's then up to him/her to have a plan in place if something needs checked out.

 

Sorry, let me clarify. The logical contact for the cache owner to contact, if there is a problem... etc.

 

And I think you are completely missing my point, by dismissing it as a 'you're not thinking outside your own backyard' issue. Without naming names, I'm not the one flipping out over foreign earthcaches in this thread. Let me restate my point then, without the beginning sentence:

 

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.

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<snip>

 

In addition I see cachers on holiday in Ireland submitting poorly thought out vacation caches and when they get turned down submit an EC instead. It is this and the perception of Irish cachers towards the lack of GC.com guideline application that devalues the EC program.

 

I'm confused.

 

You have this quote, and then you go ahead and say this : "However, cachers here don't value them as they don't comply to the normal GC.com guidelines and the submission process is torturous."

 

And then, in the past, you have said this: "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."

 

So... is it easy, or torturous to submit an EC, in your mind? If the Irish cachers don't like earthcaches and don't like to develop them, why can't someone else? Would they be willing to "maintain" ones already developed by others? Does having an Irish cacher involved in the process give the EC extra value it wouldn't have otherwise had? It wouldn't change the EC any, I'd think.

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:)

<snip>

 

In addition I see cachers on holiday in Ireland submitting poorly thought out vacation caches and when they get turned down submit an EC instead. It is this and the perception of Irish cachers towards the lack of GC.com guideline application that devalues the EC program.

 

I'm confused.

 

You have this quote, and then you go ahead and say this : "However, cachers here don't value them as they don't comply to the normal GC.com guidelines and the submission process is torturous."

 

And then, in the past, you have said this: "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."

 

So... is it easy, or torturous to submit an EC, in your mind? If the Irish cachers don't like earthcaches and don't like to develop them, why can't someone else? Would they be willing to "maintain" ones already developed by others? Does having an Irish cacher involved in the process give the EC extra value it wouldn't have otherwise had? It wouldn't change the EC any, I'd think.

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<snip>

 

In addition I see cachers on holiday in Ireland submitting poorly thought out vacation caches and when they get turned down submit an EC instead. It is this and the perception of Irish cachers towards the lack of GC.com guideline application that devalues the EC program.

 

I'm confused.

 

You have this quote, and then you go ahead and say this : "However, cachers here don't value them as they don't comply to the normal GC.com guidelines and the submission process is torturous."

 

And then, in the past, you have said this: "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."

Torturous = the submission form compared to the GC.com one for all other cache types

 

So... is it easy, or torturous to submit an EC, in your mind?

Easy = an easy way to circumvent the GC.com guidelines on vacation caches

 

If the Irish cachers don't like earthcaches and don't like to develop them, why can't someone else? Would they be willing to "maintain" ones already developed by others?

I can't speak for everyone and don't intend to but many Irish cachers already maintain physical caches for foreign cachers.

 

Does having an Irish cacher involved in the process give the EC extra value it wouldn't have otherwise had? It wouldn't change the EC any, I'd think.

It wouldn't give the EC any extra value but it would help reverse the negative image that ECs have developed among many Irish cachers and help encourage them to develop ones themselves.

 

If we're at the stage of picking apart my posts for inconsistencies I doubt if we're ever going to see eye to eye on this or even get to a point where you can see that the vacation guideline suggestion has merit.

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<snip>

It wouldn't give the EC any extra value but it would help reverse the negative image that ECs have developed among many Irish cachers and help encourage them to develop ones themselves.

 

And therein lies a problem. This is a global game and ECs are all over the world. Taking this from solely your own perspective isn't a great idea as changes to the guidelines affect ECs all over the world.

 

If we're at the stage of picking apart my posts for inconsistencies I doubt if we're ever going to see eye to eye on this or even get to a point where you can see that the vacation guideline suggestion has merit.

 

Probably not. At least we can see eye to eye on that. :) (Actually, they are logical fallacies, not inconsistencies, but that's splitting hairs.) I still don't think adding a local cacher into the equation is necessary for an earthcache. For a traditional kind of cache, sure. But not for earthcaches.

Edited by Sioneva

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It wouldn't give the EC any extra value but it would help reverse the negative image that ECs have developed among many Irish cachers and help encourage them to develop ones themselves.

 

I am finding these posts interesting, since the problem seems to be more cultural or historical than practical. As I understand it, foreigners coming into your country and developing earthcaches is almost a colonial act, staking off a bit of Ireland and calling it their own. I can respect that, if I have not misunderstood or misconstrued your posts. I considered similar issues when I thought about placing an earthcache in Peru.

 

To me, part of that problem is solved by obtaining permission of local agencies or land managers -- an earthcache has to be approved by someone local, even if they are not a cacher. Presumably, if there are special issues connected with the site, that would be taken into account. But if a vacation cache rule applied just to foreign caches, I would not have been posting in this thread since I can understand why a local person might be important for reasons that have nothing to do with cache maintenance.

Edited by Erickson

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It wouldn't give the EC any extra value but it would help reverse the negative image that ECs have developed among many Irish cachers and help encourage them to develop ones themselves.

 

I am finding these posts interesting, since the problem seems to be more cultural than practical. As I understand it, foreigners coming into your country and developing earthcaches is almost a colonial act, staking off a bit of Ireland and calling it their own. I can respect that, if I have not misunderstood or misconstrued your posts. I considered similar issues when I thought about placing an earthcache in Peru.

 

To me, part of that problem is solved by obtaining permission of local agencies or land managers -- an earthcache has to be approved by someone local, even if they are not a cacher. Presumably, if there are special issues connected with the site, that would be taken into account. But if a vacation cache rule applied just to foreign caches, I would not have been posting in this thread since I can understand why a local person might be important for reasons that have nothing to do with cache maintenance.

I guess that is part of it but only a small part. It's more the abuse of the EC program to have a cache in Ireland when GC.com don't allow vacation caches in any other cache type.

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It wouldn't give the EC any extra value but it would help reverse the negative image that ECs have developed among many Irish cachers and help encourage them to develop ones themselves.

 

I am finding these posts interesting, since the problem seems to be more cultural than practical. As I understand it, foreigners coming into your country and developing earthcaches is almost a colonial act, staking off a bit of Ireland and calling it their own. I can respect that, if I have not misunderstood or misconstrued your posts. I considered similar issues when I thought about placing an earthcache in Peru.

 

To me, part of that problem is solved by obtaining permission of local agencies or land managers -- an earthcache has to be approved by someone local, even if they are not a cacher. Presumably, if there are special issues connected with the site, that would be taken into account. But if a vacation cache rule applied just to foreign caches, I would not have been posting in this thread since I can understand why a local person might be important for reasons that have nothing to do with cache maintenance.

I guess that is part of it but only a small part. It's more the abuse of the EC program to have a cache in Ireland when GC.com don't allow vacation caches in any other cache type.

Yes but ECs have always had special rules as they are not physical caches, so I don't see an issue of abuse. It's not logical to apply the same rules for physical caches to virtual ones.

Edited by Lostby7

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Yes but ECs have always had special rules as they are not physical caches, so I don't see an issue of abuse. It's not logical to apply the same rules for physical caches to virtual ones.

 

That says it all! :)

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I guess that is part of it but only a small part. It's more the abuse of the EC program to have a cache in Ireland when GC.com don't allow vacation caches in any other cache type.

 

Whether vacation earthcaches need to be maintained in any way similar to the rules for traditional caches is certainly not going to be resolved on this forum, and it seems like the decision has already been made. I have said what I have to say and am content to see what transpires.

 

But I am curious about the foreign aspect of this - and think its an interesting issue. Would you have the same concerns if a cacher from the western end of Cork placed an EC on a trip to Donegal?

Edited by Erickson

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Many of the arguments for not allowing EarthCaches to be placed on “vacations” have mentioned responding to current conditions or situations at a site that may make a visit unsafe. To require warnings is to imply liability if one is not given. In my opinion this is bordering on placing the cache owner into a position of legal responsibility for injury or loss occurring at a site if the cache page does not warn or is not disabled immediately in such circumstances

At our visit to an EarthCache at Pipestone National Monument, the land manager had posted announcements and barricades for the trail that had been closed due to flooding, we were also given a verbal warning by the staff. The trail we followed was not closed but there was a barricade at the falls. My wife circumvented the barricade to take a photo. If she had fallen into the raging water and was swept away to incur injury or death, I would not have sought compensation from The National Park Service let alone the owner of the cache page. But there are many who would. Currently many EC pages warn of potential dangers whether of a permanent nature or situational. Visitors need to use common sense or assume the risk themselves. I have an EarthCache that warns that mud is slick to walk on, as unnecessary as that warning may be, am I expected to disable the cache every time it rains? It’s within 3 miles of my home, I can certainly go and check after every rainshower to see if the dirt has become mud. I would certainly hope that would be common sense for visitors to be careful at the site after rain and I wouldn’t have to make a trip to the site to determine if mud had become dirt yet in order to enable the listing.

Let’s go back to our trip, we ran our queries and loaded our palms several days prior to our visit. Even if the EC developer had updated the page to reflect current conditions, we may have missed it. There are circumstances where data could be weeks old. Will it become a requirement to have a wi fi or 3g connection to visit any caches so that a last minute warning won’t be missed?

From the Groundspeak terms of use:

Geocaching, hiking, backpacking, and other outdoor activities involve risk to both persons and property. There are many variables including, but not limited to, weather, fitness level, terrain features and outdoor experience, that must be considered prior to seeking or placing a cache. Be prepared for Your journey and be sure to check the current weather and conditions before heading outdoors. Always exercise common sense and caution. You assume all risks arising in connection with seeking a cache or any other related activity.

The complete terms of use are pretty clear that they cannot be held liable for how the information on the listings are used. Yet an EarthCache developer may be required to provide warnings of current conditions? I have used that phrase twice now, without a container, all that an EarthCache developer owns is the intellectual material on the cache page. A 5 terrain geocache is placed by the container owner intentionally, a 5 terrain EarthCache has been created by nature where it exists and the developer gives a lesson about it. Which one should be held more liable if injury occurs at a site? In a litigious society, it is the “owner” who is held responsible for an attack by a dog, for a slip on ice in a walkway, for a mechanical failure or a loose step. If an EC developer who owns a lesson has to warn of current conditions would all container owners be required to as well? In either case Geocaching would become a game I could not afford the potential risk to play. I have insurance to cover injury to my family, but premiums to cover potential risk of visitors at just one cache would be astronomical.

If that is a can of worms that should not be opened, don’t throw it out as a reason to eliminate “vacation” EarthCaches.

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We interrupt this program to remind the participants to focus on the topic at hand without the interpersonal barbs. Each participant has the right to state their viewpoints without judgment being applied due to their number of hides, finds, forum posts or whatever.

 

Thank you.

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The date has been pushed to the right. Its now 15 December :) . Be advised the date could change again :) .

 

So today is Dec. 1 -- we now have to wait until Dec. 9 to submit an Earthcache, correct?

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Yes but ECs have always had special rules as they are not physical caches, so I don't see an issue of abuse. It's not logical to apply the same rules for physical caches to virtual ones.

 

That says it all! :)

 

So if that says it all then what you are saying is you want all Virtual cache rules to apply to Earthcaches... well Geocaching has not accepted any Virtual caches for a few years... I guess they could grandfather all the Earthcaches like they did for all other virtual cache types.... You want them to be caches but don't want them to follow the Guidelines followed for caches.... You can't have it both ways.

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So if that says it all then what you are saying is you want all Virtual cache rules to apply to Earthcaches... well Geocaching has not accepted any Virtual caches for a few years... I guess they could grandfather all the Earthcaches like they did for all other virtual cache types.... You want them to be caches but don't want them to follow the Guidelines followed for caches.... You can't have it both ways.

 

But earthcaches are not like the old virtuals. They teach geology rather than have an undefined wow factor. Neither are they like traditionals. They are earthcaches! They are part of Groundspeak's educational mission with their own unique needs, such as express permission.

Edited by Erickson

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So if that says it all then what you are saying is you want all Virtual cache rules to apply to Earthcaches... well Geocaching has not accepted any Virtual caches for a few years... I guess they could grandfather all the Earthcaches like they did for all other virtual cache types.... You want them to be caches but don't want them to follow the Guidelines followed for caches.... You can't have it both ways.

 

But earthcaches are not like the old virtuals. They teach geology rather than have an undefined wow factor. Neither are they like traditionals. They are earthcaches! They are part of Groundspeak's educational mission with their own unique needs, such as express permission.

 

I agree they are different than old virtuals but if something is going to claimed to be a geocache and give a smiley for "finding" them then it should comply with those guidelines for regular caches which could be viewed as applicable, those including saturation and vacation cache guidelines. If there are other requirements above the normal guidelines that is fine but these extra requirements should not be viewed as replacements for the other base guidelines.

 

<edit spelling>

Edited by BruceS

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Ever visited, looked for, or logged an EarthCache? Geocaches and EarthCaches are two different items. The only thing they share is the same website and coordinate listing/usage.

 

I agree they are different than old virtuals but if something is going to claimed to be a geocache and give a smiley for "finding" them then it should comply with those guidelines for regular caches which could be viewed as applicable, those including saturation and vacation cache guidelines. If there are other requirements above the normal guidelines that is fine but these extra requirements should not be viewed as replacements for the other base guidelines.

 

<edit spelling>

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So if that says it all then what you are saying is you want all Virtual cache rules to apply to Earthcaches... well Geocaching has not accepted any Virtual caches for a few years... I guess they could grandfather all the Earthcaches like they did for all other virtual cache types.... You want them to be caches but don't want them to follow the Guidelines followed for caches.... You can't have it both ways.

 

But earthcaches are not like the old virtuals. They teach geology rather than have an undefined wow factor. Neither are they like traditionals. They are earthcaches! They are part of Groundspeak's educational mission with their own unique needs, such as express permission.

 

I agree they are different than old virtuals but if something is going to claimed to be a geocache and give a smiley for "finding" them then it should comply with those guidelines for regular caches which could be viewed as applicable, those including saturation and vacation cache guidelines. If there are other requirements above the normal guidelines that is fine but these extra requirements should not be viewed as replacements for the other base guidelines.

 

<edit spelling>

The debate is about whether or not those should be applicable. An event cache, while the term is attended still adds to your overall count. They have no proximity, no vacation guidelines and there is no permanence, in fact they are to be archived within a certain time after the event has passed. I see no arguments demanding this different cache type be brought into line with regular caches. If they can be accepted as having different rules why should't an EarthCache have its own different rules?

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<snip>

The debate is about whether or not those should be applicable. An event cache, while the term is attended still adds to your overall count. They have no proximity, no vacation guidelines and there is no permanence, in fact they are to be archived within a certain time after the event has passed. I see no arguments demanding this different cache type be brought into line with regular caches. If they can be accepted as having different rules why should't an EarthCache have its own different rules?

 

Well said. Leaving aside the vacation rules, the proximity rule would make no sense for earthcaches. A large part of the reason for that rule, as applied to traditionals, is so someone won't stumble across and mistake one cache container for another while out searching. Someone earlier on complained about a virtual 'dump' on top of an ammo can. There's nothing to dump; you can't 'stumble' across an earthcache container. Applying a proximity rule just makes no sense, in my opinion.

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Ever visited, looked for, or logged an EarthCache? Geocaches and EarthCaches are two different items. The only thing they share is the same website and coordinate listing/usage.

 

I agree they are different than old virtuals but if something is going to claimed to be a geocache and give a smiley for "finding" them then it should comply with those guidelines for regular caches which could be viewed as applicable, those including saturation and vacation cache guidelines. If there are other requirements above the normal guidelines that is fine but these extra requirements should not be viewed as replacements for the other base guidelines.

 

<edit spelling>

 

What does it matter if I have looked for or logged a Earthcache... according to forum guidelines that does not matter... so if you have a problem with that it is your problem not mine. As I don't log any caches and have not for several years, but yes I have been to several earthcaches in my travels. And what I am saying if they are listed on this website they should comply with the guidelines of this site.

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Ever visited, looked for, or logged an EarthCache? Geocaches and EarthCaches are two different items. The only thing they share is the same website and coordinate listing/usage.

 

I agree they are different than old virtuals but if something is going to claimed to be a geocache and give a smiley for "finding" them then it should comply with those guidelines for regular caches which could be viewed as applicable, those including saturation and vacation cache guidelines. If there are other requirements above the normal guidelines that is fine but these extra requirements should not be viewed as replacements for the other base guidelines.

 

<edit spelling>

Earlier I asked that the subject be discussed without dragging personalities into it. This is a final warning.

 

Thank you.

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catnfish's question still stands unanswered...

 

So now you want Earthcaches to be like events. So does that mean you want them to be archived 30 days or so after their dates? :huh: When virtual caches were allowed to be posted to the site, vacation and proximity rules applied to them. It was only after they were grandfathered that the proximity rules were relaxed for physical caches to be placed near them.

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In addition I see cachers on holiday in Ireland submitting poorly thought out vacation caches and when they get turned down submit an EC instead. It is this and the perception of Irish cachers towards the lack of GC.com guideline application that devalues the EC program.

From past observation, this behavior is certainly not limited to Ireland. The earthcache team should be prepared for an uptick in off topic (non-geology) submissions from people who think an earthcache is the equivalent of a virtual cache. One downside of the improved submission process is that it will be easier to submit an earthcache without having learned the guidelines specific to that category.

 

Some more detail on the cache maintenance guideline: I hope everyone can agree that earthcaches are more like virtual caches when it comes to maintenance. Obviously, concepts like checking on a leaky container or replacing a full logbook are inapplicable. But, even virtual caches must be maintained. Here are the Virtual Cache and Webcam Cache Maintenance Guidelines:

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

 

Although the cache is not something you physically maintain, you must maintain your cache's web page and respond to inquiries. In the case of Virtual Caches and Webcam Caches you must periodically check the physical location. 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.

 

You should also return to the Geocaching.com web site at least once a month to show you are still active. Caches posted and "abandoned" may be archived by the site.

 

The owner will assume the responsibility of quality control of logged "finds" for the cache, and will agree to delete any "find" logs that appear to be bogus, counterfeit, off topic, or not within the stated requirements.

 

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.

These same concepts ought to be applicable to earthcaches. When new virtual cache submissions were being accepted, the owner needed to demonstrate an ability to maintain their cache under principles very similar to the above wording.

 

Parks get closed for maintenance, facilities undergo construction/renovation, forests are limited to hunters during hunting season. Signs are vandalized or removed; monuments get hit by cars or fall into sink holes. Any earthcache can be affected by these occurrences, and the owner must be in a position to monitor the site and to respond to problems. A local helper is an acceptable maintenance plan, as I've posted earlier.

 

I don't agree that earthcaches should be listed as geocaches rather than as waymarks, but I obviously need to concede that point. If the category is to share a website with geocaches, however, the applicable geocaching rules ought to be enforced.

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Commercial Caches

 

In my opinion, this is another geocaching guideline which the new and expanded earthcaching review team ought to be enforcing consistent with its application to other geocaches. An earthcache ought not be permitted to be placed inside a for-profit facility that charges an admission. Earthcache listings should not promote a nearby business or link to its webpage -- especially for the research and verification component of the earthcache.

 

Geocaching.com is a site largely commercial-free. I would like to see it remain that way. If someone wants to feature a commercial location, there are any number of categories at Waymarking.com that will welcome a submission with open arms -- including categories relating to geology.

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catnfish's question still stands unanswered...

 

So now you want Earthcaches to be like events. So does that mean you want them to be archived 30 days or so after their dates? :huh: When virtual caches were allowed to be posted to the site, vacation and proximity rules applied to them. It was only after they were grandfathered that the proximity rules were relaxed for physical caches to be placed near them.

The point I made is that events have different rules because they are a different type of cache. Had my opinion been they should be treated the same I would have stated that.

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catnfish's question still stands unanswered...

 

So now you want Earthcaches to be like events. So does that mean you want them to be archived 30 days or so after their dates? :huh: When virtual caches were allowed to be posted to the site, vacation and proximity rules applied to them. It was only after they were grandfathered that the proximity rules were relaxed for physical caches to be placed near them.

The point I made is that events have different rules because they are a different type of cache. Had my opinion been they should be treated the same I would have stated that.

 

I knew what you were referring to thus my smiley at the end of my suggestion of treating like events. They are most like the other virtual cache types which used to be accepted on the site thus it should make sense that the rules that apply to them should be similar to the rules that applied when other virtual cache types were accepted on the site. It is agreed that there are different guidelines for different cache types including for earthcaches however we are talking about amount of difference. Should not throw out all guidelines which apply to other caches just for this different type, certain parts of the guidelines should apply including proximity, vacation rules, commercialism and agendas (not sure how anyone would work an agenda into an earthcache but I am sure some will try eventually).

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Should not throw out all guidelines which apply to other caches just for this different type, certain parts of the guidelines should apply including proximity, vacation rules, commercialism and agendas (not sure how anyone would work an agenda into an earthcache but I am sure some will try eventually).

 

There's the proximity bit again. The rules apply, but some folks in this debate seem to think the rules should apply more...

 

I am confused by proximity. Eartcaches do not seem to be physical caches, at least not ones as defined in the guidelines as "a physical element placed by the geocache owner, such as a tag... or a countainer."

 

Then, there's an exemption which reads "non-physical caches or stages including reference points, trailhead/parking coordinates and question to answer waypoints are exempt from this guideline."

 

So, what am I missing? The debate in this thread has completely unearthed (hehehe) my understanding of the guidelines.

 

I generally agree with The Leprechauns in the sentiment that the move to GC submittal is a positive change. However, I cannot condone statements such as "these are the guidelines which, when properly applied, will keep distant interlopers from taking a virtual dump right on top of a perfectly placed ammo box that already does a fine job of showing off the geology of the area." Such a statement is a gross representation of earthcaching, and to me demonstrates a complete lack of understanding and appreciation for the purpose of an earthcache.

 

It is not about "showing off the geology," but being a "great way to learn more about our wonderful world. It can ... teach you about why those places are special or unique." Sorry, but the standard phsyical dump of a cache leads mostly to the quest of the almighty smiley as opposed to actually stopping to smell the flowers and learn something. There's been many cases of phsyical cache finds where I wish the CO had taken the time (or a local earthcacher to establish a cache and provide insight) to provide a lesson in geology. Normally, I got it - I'll go look it up, research, and learn - but having the earthcache shortcut certainly is nice and provides a great venue for learning about the geologic world around me.

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Proximity concerns can take many forms:

 

Placing an EarthCache on (or in close proximity) to another cache of any type could result in over use of an area (trampling of flora and fauna, the creation of social/geo trails, unintended destruction of historic or natural artifacts, etc).

 

Placing an EarthCache on (or in close proximity) to another cache of any type could result in offending the original cache owner. Before Earthcaches, cache owners could take a certain assurance that another cache couldn't be placed within 528 ft of theirs. With the introduction of EarthCaches the rules have been changed. To call that fair in the name of education could be considered unjust by those adversely affected.

 

Deane

AKA: DeRock & the Psychic Cacher - Grattan MI

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We interrupt this program to remind the participants to focus on the topic at hand without the interpersonal barbs. Each participant has the right to state their viewpoints without judgment being applied due to their number of hides, finds, forum posts or whatever.

 

Thank you.

 

I thank Brad W for trying to bring civility back to this thread. Even though it (this thread) has been a bit personal, it is mild when compared to other forum threads, i.e. Rogue Reviewer, etc. Hopefully, no one is making any attempts to curtail speech there so why is this one different? I totally agree with your approach and I believe you said it all when you said, "Each participant has the right to state their viewpoints without judgment due to.....................or whatever."

 

Now to get back on topic and the 'experience factor'. Pardon my very unscientific count, but when adding the yeas and nays, it comes down to one conclusion. Virtually all of the 'experienced' EarthCachers have no problem with the new approval process, but do not want the vacation and proximity rules applied to EarthCaching. Removing those with a cross to bare (who have been quoted earlier and hate EarthCaching), those posting 'payback' remarks or one PTB supporting another PTB, that leaves those with little to no experience. Bless their hearts and we would love to see more interest in ECS on their part, but supporting the 'proposed' changes will only make that more difficult. I know that most EarthCachers stand willing to assist with expanding your involvement in EarthCaching. That means developing and/or finding ECs.

Thanks. :huh:

Edited by Konnarock Kid & Marge

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Jeep Dog is correct, if you examine the rules, virtual waypoints are exempt from the proximity limitations. In theory I could set a WP for a multi 2 feet away from an existing geocache provided I leave nothing at that location and set it up as an information gathering site. So with that logic applied to ECs, the proximity rules should not apply as there is no physical item, container or tag left by the cache owner...after all we don’t want to be inconsistent with the existing rules which already applies to multis...

 

I have to wonder how those demanding that the proximity rules for physical caches should apply to ECs when doing so would throw out the rules existing already for virtual stages of multis. Or do we make everything consistent and say that no virtual stage of a multi may be within 524 of any part of any other cache?

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Proximity concerns can take many forms:

 

Placing an EarthCache on (or in close proximity) to another cache of any type could result in over use of an area (trampling of flora and fauna, the creation of social/geo trails, unintended destruction of historic or natural artifacts, etc).

 

Placing an EarthCache on (or in close proximity) to another cache of any type could result in offending the original cache owner. Before Earthcaches, cache owners could take a certain assurance that another cache couldn't be placed within 528 ft of theirs. With the introduction of EarthCaches the rules have been changed. To call that fair in the name of education could be considered unjust by those adversely affected.

 

 

Your first point demonstrates a lack of understanding of earthcache placement guidelines. I find this irregular, given that you've hidden four of them. The over-use piece is irrelevant, given the placer has abided by the fourth guideline -

 

"EarthCache sites follow the geocaching principles and adhere to the principles of Leave No Trace outdoor ethics. Use waypoints to ensure cachers take appropriate pathways. Use established trails only. Do not create new trails to a site in order to concentrate use impacts. EarthCache sites will highlight the principle of collect photos - not samples. However, if there is no possible damage to a site which is outside of the public land system and approved by the site owner, small samples may be collected as part of the cache experience."

 

Hence, to me, your first point is moot.

 

As for the second point - I can see how there may be some "hurt feelings" or "offense." My experience, however limited, is that neither of the two caches which were placed in a county park in which I placed an earthcache had obtained proper permission from the land owner. This was clear as I obtained permission for this earthcache. The fact that an earthcache requires submission of a land owner/manager information already speaks of a different (in this case a justified higher) standard.

 

In my case, I could care a less about "offense" caused to those other two cache owners. I had to secure permission for their caches, so I'm perhaps the one offended and "adversly affected."

 

In researching three other earthcache sites, I'm coming across the exact same trend - existing caches have not obtained to proper approval.

 

Bah.

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I dissagree about the over use of an area. EarthCaches generally are observed from a viewing point such as a trail, road, or viewing platform. My experience with finding traditionals is that the areas those are hidden in become worn down from cachers flipping rocks, rolling over logs, removing moss, pulling grass, lifting manhole covers, etc, and the list can go on and on. The trampling of flora and fauna, the creation of social/geo trails, unintended destruction of historic or natural artifacts, etc are often caused during the search for a container. Again this is my experience...

 

Placing a EC by a traditional should not offend anyone. 99 percent of the time the CO does not own the property where the cache is hidden, and to be offended by having a educational "virtual" cache placed to close to a physical cache is silly. I understand the rule of spacing physical caches 528 from each physical cache hide. Even then if you have to many traditional caches that are spaced 528 feet apart can lead to the power trail rule.

 

Proximity concerns can take many forms:

 

Placing an EarthCache on (or in close proximity) to another cache of any type could result in over use of an area (trampling of flora and fauna, the creation of social/geo trails, unintended destruction of historic or natural artifacts, etc).

 

Placing an EarthCache on (or in close proximity) to another cache of any type could result in offending the original cache owner. Before Earthcaches, cache owners could take a certain assurance that another cache couldn't be placed within 528 ft of theirs. With the introduction of EarthCaches the rules have been changed. To call that fair in the name of education could be considered unjust by those adversely affected.

 

Deane

AKA: DeRock & the Psychic Cacher - Grattan MI

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Placing an EarthCache on (or in close proximity) to another cache of any type could result in offending the original cache owner. Before Earthcaches, cache owners could take a certain assurance that another cache couldn't be placed within 528 ft of theirs. With the introduction of EarthCaches the rules have been changed. To call that fair in the name of education could be considered unjust by those adversely affected.

This is the complaint I've heard most often in the past, although you've summarized the point far more eloquently.

 

An additional practical concern is that the earthcache icon on the Geocaching.com Google Map "hides" the real geocache whose icon lurks beneath.

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Placing an EarthCache on (or in close proximity) to another cache of any type could result in offending the original cache owner. Before Earthcaches, cache owners could take a certain assurance that another cache couldn't be placed within 528 ft of theirs. With the introduction of EarthCaches the rules have been changed. To call that fair in the name of education could be considered unjust by those adversely affected.

This is the complaint I've heard most often in the past, although you've summarized the point far more eloquently.

 

An additional practical concern is that the earthcache icon on the Geocaching.com Google Map "hides" the real geocache whose icon lurks beneath.

People will complain about anything given the chance....let em. It is unfortunate though that the cache icons stack if the caches are too close.

 

And lets not assume the traditional cache is there first, Traditionals can be placed at an existing EC site...and I cannot imagine an EC owner being upset that more attention is drawn to an area. IMO a traditional and an EC at the same location adds more draw to an area and thus is good for both listing owners.

 

(edit for spelling and to add an additional thought)

Edited by Lostby7

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Should not throw out all guidelines which apply to other caches just for this different type, certain parts of the guidelines should apply including proximity, vacation rules, commercialism and agendas (not sure how anyone would work an agenda into an earthcache but I am sure some will try eventually).

 

There's the proximity bit again. The rules apply, but some folks in this debate seem to think the rules should apply more...

 

I am confused by proximity. Eartcaches do not seem to be physical caches, at least not ones as defined in the guidelines as "a physical element placed by the geocache owner, such as a tag... or a countainer."

 

Then, there's an exemption which reads "non-physical caches or stages including reference points, trailhead/parking coordinates and question to answer waypoints are exempt from this guideline."

 

So, what am I missing? The debate in this thread has completely unearthed (hehehe) my understanding of the guidelines.

 

 

What you are missing is you are applying guidelines which were modified once virtual caches could not be submitted any long except as waypoints in multis etc. When virtual caches could be submitted proximity rules did apply. Lets take this to the extreme, lets say there is a power trail (which are now allowed) with physical caches every .1 miles for a few miles following a geologic feature, should there now be a earthcache power trail at the same locations thus for every .1 miles there are now two caches. Is this good for Geocaching?

Edited by BruceS

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I am glad you brought this point up. I experienced this a few times resulting in my EarthCache requests being approved and the traditionals removed from a college park in Berea, Ky. I hiked the park to find the traditional caches and discovered that there was so many great EC locations. I waymarked several areas and set up an appointment with the park naturalist. I did the whole speal about geocaching and talked about EarthCaching. The naturalist then asked me how many of the traditional caches was in the park. I gave him the number geocaches and he seemed upset... To make a long story short the COs of the caches never did have permission and most ofthe caches where of of the trails. The caches where later removed and I ended up being the bad guy with the CO's of the cache hides. This could of all been prevented had the placers of the caches taken the time to get permission to hide the caches in the park. The local cachers had been using the old saying of "if they dont ask don't tell them" rule for placing hides.

 

So my point is, there is alot more work in placing caches with permission and research. To have a vacation rule apply would be a sad day for many EC'ers who travel around the states. To say the mountain may collapse of a whole kame may dissapear may be true, but if the CO owner puts that much work into a EC, I am positive they will take the time to monitor their ECs and disable them when its neccessary.

 

As for the second point - I can see how there may be some "hurt feelings" or "offense." My experience, however limited, is that neither of the two caches which were placed in a county park in which I placed an earthcache had obtained proper permission from the land owner. This was clear as I obtained permission for this earthcache. The fact that an earthcache requires submission of a land owner/manager information already speaks of a different (in this case a justified higher) standard.

 

In my case, I could care a less about "offense" caused to those other two cache owners. I had to secure permission for their caches, so I'm perhaps the one offended and "adversly affected."

 

In researching three other earthcache sites, I'm coming across the exact same trend - existing caches have not obtained to proper approval.

 

Bah.

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What it sounds like you all want is Waymarking rules applied to Earthcaches on the Geocaching site. No proximity rules, no vacation rules, etc, only rules are that category be accepted by peers and that the waymarks meet the standards or requirements set forth in the category description. If you wanted that they should have left Earthcaches on the Waymarking site. Note I am not an advocate of moving EarthCaches back to Waymarking, nor was I extremely opposed when they left that site, I am just making an observation.

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I am glad you brought this point up. I experienced this a few times resulting in my EarthCache requests being approved and the traditionals removed from a college park in Berea, Ky. I hiked the park to find the traditional caches and discovered that there was so many great EC locations. I waymarked several areas and set up an appointment with the park naturalist. I did the whole speal about geocaching and talked about EarthCaching. The naturalist then asked me how many of the traditional caches was in the park. I gave him the number geocaches and he seemed upset... To make a long story short the COs of the caches never did have permission and most ofthe caches where of of the trails. The caches where later removed and I ended up being the bad guy with the CO's of the cache hides. This could of all been prevented had the placers of the caches taken the time to get permission to hide the caches in the park. The local cachers had been using the old saying of "if they dont ask don't tell them" rule for placing hides.

 

So my point is, there is alot more work in placing caches with permission and research. To have a vacation rule apply would be a sad day for many EC'ers who travel around the states. To say the mountain may collapse of a whole kame may dissapear may be true, but if the CO owner puts that much work into a EC, I am positive they will take the time to monitor their ECs and disable them when its neccessary.

 

As for the second point - I can see how there may be some "hurt feelings" or "offense." My experience, however limited, is that neither of the two caches which were placed in a county park in which I placed an earthcache had obtained proper permission from the land owner. This was clear as I obtained permission for this earthcache. The fact that an earthcache requires submission of a land owner/manager information already speaks of a different (in this case a justified higher) standard.

 

In my case, I could care a less about "offense" caused to those other two cache owners. I had to secure permission for their caches, so I'm perhaps the one offended and "adversely affected."

 

In researching three other earthcache sites, I'm coming across the exact same trend - existing caches have not obtained to proper approval.

 

Bah.

 

CS and Jeep Dog, your examples are excellent.

 

On more occasions than I can count, while seeking permission from the proper authorities I have been told they will not grant permission for the placement of a traditional geocache. I will not argue their points here, such as destroying ecologically sensitive areas, but the fact remains the problem was caused by traditional cachers who felt it necessary to place a cache, without permission, in an off-trail area that was best left alone. Don't blame EarthCachers because we opened up some areas for caching which otherwise would be 'off limits' i.e. National Parks!

Another related point is on a few occasions when we used to have to get permission of the nearby traditional cache owner, we didn't hear NO, even after repeated emails, we simply didn't hear anything, . Do you think that may have been because they didn't have permission to be there in the first place and "dumped" and/or placed their cache without consideration of the property owner/manager?

For these reasons and several others which have been so eloquently stated by fellow EarthCachers, EarthCaches are different and should not have the "proposed' vacation and proximity rules applied. Thanks. :(

P.S. Fortunately for those geocachers who didn't have permission, I was able to avoid "ratting" them out. For others, this is not always possible so the tradtional cache owner ends up blaming the EarthCacher for their own bad bahavior! :huh:

P.S. No. 2. Before I leave to do a little shopping, let me be the first (perhaps too early) to wish one and all Merry Christmas and have a wonderful caching New Year! ;)

Edited by Konnarock Kid & Marge

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These changes aren't going to make developing an earthcache easier. If that was part of the goal, it's failed. I'd gladly keep the current submittal process, difficult as it is, in exchange for not having to jump through more hoops. As near as I can tell, the process is now going to be:

 

1) Find a neat geological feature / cache site.

2) Check if there are any caches within 528 feet. If you are just out for a stroll in an unfamiliar area, and not out caching, this could be a problem result in multiple trips being required. (New Step)

3) Find the name of the contact responsible for the site, contact them, and obtain permission.

4) If you are anywhere outside your local area, figure out a local cacher from the area, and convince them to keep an eye on your cache site. Because evidently, the contact you got permission from in the first place is not good enough, if you need a question answered about status of the site. (new step)

5) Submit the cache. Go through the usual back and forth.

 

Is this correct? I'm used to doing 1, 2, and 5 for traditional caches (because vacation caches are usually outright denied, so I've never tried to place one), and 1, 3, and 5 for earthcaches. I'm much less inclined to jump through extra hoops, and since my local area is pretty well played out, I probably won't bother, past achieving platinum level. While this might make some people happy, to know that this decision might result in fewer earthcaches being published... well.

 

I know I'm just spitting into the wind here, nothing I say will make any difference, but I've got nothing better to do with my spit today.

Thanks.

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I guess I am not seeing where you seeking permission has anything to do with proximity or vacation rules. The documented permission is an additional requirement for earthcaches and that requirement was established by GSA not reason to not follow other guidelines for the listing site.

 

From what I am seeing you think it would be fine for a Geocacher to submit two caches for the same coordinates (or very close coordinates). One that is a traditional cache at the base of the rock formation and another as an earthcache highlight the educational particulars of the formation, as long as the land manager gave permission. Could even copy and paste the description between the two... does that sound right?

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I guess I am not seeing where you seeking permission has anything to do with proximity or vacation rules. The documented permission is an additional requirement for earthcaches and that requirement was established by GSA not reason to not follow other guidelines for the listing site.

 

From what I am seeing you think it would be fine for a Geocacher to submit two caches for the same coordinates (or very close coordinates). One that is a traditional cache at the base of the rock formation and another as an earthcache highlight the educational particulars of the formation, as long as the land manager gave permission. Could even copy and paste the description between the two... does that sound right?

 

That's right - I don't see a problem with an earthcache and a traditional cache in the same area. A cacher could do one and ignore one, do both, ignore both, it'd be up to them. As long as there aren't two containers to get confused with each other, I don't see a problem.

 

Copy and pasting the desc would be pretty silly, but that's sort of a straw man argument. You could do the same for traditional/earth caches .1 miles apart, so what difference would that make?

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