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Sherriffs Dept. trying to "outlaw" geocaching in our county! Help!


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There was an article in my local paper today about geocaching. The Sherriff's dept. does not like it and wants to prohibit it in all of the cities in my county. After reading the article it seems like the person who wrote it heard the word geocaching, googled it, spent a mere 5 or less minutes researching it and then wrote an article. Their perception of what geocaching is is grossly innacurrate!!! The sherriff's office sees geocaching as and I qoute " just an excuse for people to be snooping around where they dont belong!" and another reason I can tell that they obviously didn't do their homework is and I qoute "we have tons of programs in our community that people can volunteer for like picking up trash or cleaning up the highway. If these people have time to go geocaching them why dont they spend their time more wisely and do something productive like volunteer to pick up garbage!!!" Ummmm...........:D If they had spent maybe a mere 10 minutes researching geocaching instead of 5 before jumping to conclusions they they would have read about CITO (cache in trash out). Hell, went geocaching on monday and and ended up with 3 full garbage bags in the back of my car buy the end of the day. I hate how if the local government can't regulate and big brother something then they automatically want to get rid of it. Geocaching is the only thing that gets my 10yr old son away from the video games and out of the house. I'll be damned if we're gonna stop. My sister (who is also a cacher) and I are going to write a letter to the local paper and try to get them to publish it. Is there anything that any of you would like me to add to it? Sherriff's Dept= open mouth, insert foot!!!! LOL

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I suppose they can ban what they like on city and county owned properties but they cannot do anything about caching on private lands or any state and federal lands that otherwise allow Geocaching.

 

I think you should get together with a large group of local cachers and offer to show as many county officials as possible the positive aspects of Geocaching. Exercise, hiking, learning technology, photography, CITO, learning spacial orientation, sharing, family time, tourism (lots of angles there), etc.....

 

Put together brochures, handouts etc...... be prepared to take them caching.

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There was an article in my local paper today about geocaching. The Sherriff's dept. does not like it and wants to prohibit it in all of the cities in my county. After reading the article it seems like the person who wrote it heard the word geocaching, googled it, spent a mere 5 or less minutes researching it and then wrote an article. Their perception of what geocaching is is grossly innacurrate!!! The sherriff's office sees geocaching as and I qoute " just an excuse for people to be snooping around where they dont belong!" and another reason I can tell that they obviously didn't do their homework is and I qoute "we have tons of programs in our community that people can volunteer for like picking up trash or cleaning up the highway. If these people have time to go geocaching them why dont they spend their time more wisely and do something productive like volunteer to pick up garbage!!!" Ummmm...........:D If they had spent maybe a mere 10 minutes researching geocaching instead of 5 before jumping to conclusions they they would have read about CITO (cache in trash out). Hell, went geocaching on monday and and ended up with 3 full garbage bags in the back of my car buy the end of the day. I hate how if the local government can't regulate and big brother something then they automatically want to get rid of it. Geocaching is the only thing that gets my 10yr old son away from the video games and out of the house. I'll be damned if we're gonna stop. My sister (who is also a cacher) and I are going to write a letter to the local paper and try to get them to publish it. Is there anything that any of you would like me to add to it? Sherriff's Dept= open mouth, insert foot!!!! LOL

 

Which county in which state?

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There was an article in my local paper today about geocaching. The Sherriff's dept. does not like it and wants to prohibit it in all of the cities in my county.

I can't find the Sheriff's news release, but I did find a report on it. Perhaps some cachers were on private property, and the Sheriff's Department got involved. So they have a reminder to not enter private property. That seems reasonable to me (despite the unfortunately-worded headline below). More info would be appreciated.

 

http://www.cleburnetimesreview.com/local/x...ws-briefs/print

 

"Sheriff warns against ‘geocaching’

 

Johnson County Sheriff Bob Alford alerted residents Monday to beware of the developing phenomenon known as “Geocaching.” This apparently is a game of “hide and seek” being played by individuals using a GPS.

[snip]

Anyone who chooses to participate in this new “techno game” is encouraged not to enter the property of someone else without first gaining permission.  It could result in criminal charges being filed."

Edited by kunarion
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Much ado about nothing. There isn't anything in your post to suggest that the Sheriff's Office wants to outlaw geocaching. Just because some ninny, who is clueless about this game, spouts a bunch of foolishness describing their disdain for something they don't understand, doesn't mean they want it outlawed. Even if they did want it outlawed, they would need to follow due process.

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The problem appears to be more with caches in cemetaries than with geocaches as a whole.

 

http://www.cleburnetimesreview.com/cleburn...eyword=topstory

 

All the sheriff's office seems to be saying is to be careful not to put them on private property.

 

Sheriff warns against ‘geocaching’

 

 

Johnson County Sheriff Bob Alford alerted residents Monday to beware of the developing phenomenon known as “Geocaching.” This apparently is a game of “hide and seek” being played by individuals using a GPS.

 

According to a news release sent out by the sheriff, a Google search revealed the following description of Geocaching: Geocaching is an outdoor activity in which the participants use a Global Positioning System (GPS) receiver or other navigational techniques to hide and seek containers (called “geocaches” or “caches”) anywhere in the world.

 

A typical cache is a small waterproof container (usually a tupperware container or ammo box) containing a logbook. Larger containers can also contain items for trading, usually toys or trinkets of little value.

 

Geocaching is most often described as a “game of high-tech hide and seek,” sharing many aspects with benchmarking, trigpointing, orienteering, treasure-hunting, Letterboxing, and Waymarking. Geocaches are currently placed on all seven continents. As of Saturday, there were more than 1,062,495 active geocaches around the world.

 

Anyone who chooses to participate in this new “techno game” is encouraged not to enter the property of someone else without first gaining permission. It could result in criminal charges being filed.

 

— Special to the Times-Review

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Hrrrm, the reality of that release seems to be much less disturbing than the hyperbole in the OP.

 

Perhaps the thread should be renamed "sheriff reminds geocachers to obey the law in our county?" :D

 

OK, I surfed and searched that newspaper. Apparently they discovered geocaches in County cemeteries almost a year ago, June 2009. There was a little bit of a flap, and even an editorial by the Newspaper on the matter. There was obviously a forum thread then, becuase a Geocacher named "TheAlabamaRambler" is mentioned in the editorial. :laughing:

 

Then there is this little blurb from yesterday, May 11, 2010. The Sheriff's department probably got called out to the Wally World parking lot or something.

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It looks like geocachers made a pretty good response to the June 9th article. I even note that TAR came up with a solution that the cemetary folks agreed with.

 

On reader, identified as TheAlabamaRambler suggested a possible solution.

 

“Perhaps agree that geocaches can be hidden outside the cemetery perimeter and reference in the geocache listing the interesting site inside the cemetery that the geocache hider wants to introduce people to,” TheAlabamaRambler said. “This way, geocachers can visit the interesting site inside the cemetery, but actually hunt the geocache outside it.”

 

Lanfear said this solution could be workable.

 

If the OP wouldn't mind, could we please get a link to the new article that prompted this thread?

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Let's fix it for them:

 

Sheriff warns against ‘geocaching'trespassing'

 

Johnson County Sheriff Bob Alford alerted residents Monday to beware be aware of the developing phenomenon known as “Geocaching.” This apparently is a game of “hide and seek” being played by individuals using a GPS.

[snip]

Anyone who chooses to participate in this new 10 year old “techno game” is encouraged not to enter the property of someone else without first gaining permission. It could result in criminal charges being filed."

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Let's fix it for them:

 

Sheriff warns against ‘geocaching'trespassing'

 

Johnson County Sheriff Bob Alford alerted residents Monday to beware be aware of the developing phenomenon known as “Geocaching.” This apparently is a game of “hide and seek” being played by individuals using a GPS.

[snip]

Anyone who chooses to participate in this new 10 year old “techno game” is encouraged not to enter the property of someone else without first gaining permission. It could result in criminal charges being filed."

Just shows to go back to the same old thing...

 

News media "writes" news, they don't report it anymore. Haven't for quite a while! :D

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Sheriff Bob Alford

 

sheriff1.jpg

 

The jive is hip, don't say hep

That's a slip of the lip, let me give you a tip

Don't you ever say hep it ain't hip, NO IT AIN'T

It ain't hip to be loud and wrong

Just because you're feeling strong

 

Not exactly the "heppest cat" in the world.

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This issue has been under discussion in the TXGA (Texas Geocaching Association) forums and the TXGA President has made initial contacts to try to set the record straight and build a good relationship there. He's pretty good at that sort of thing so, hopefully, we can get this one squared away.
Thanks much for the report, Semper Questio!
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There was an article in my local paper today about geocaching. The Sherriff's dept. does not like it and wants to prohibit it in all of the cities in my county. After reading the article it seems like the person who wrote it heard the word geocaching, googled it, spent a mere 5 or less minutes researching it and then wrote an article. Their perception of what geocaching is is grossly innacurrate!!! The sherriff's office sees geocaching as and I qoute " just an excuse for people to be snooping around where they dont belong!" and another reason I can tell that they obviously didn't do their homework is and I qoute "we have tons of programs in our community that people can volunteer for like picking up trash or cleaning up the highway. If these people have time to go geocaching them why dont they spend their time more wisely and do something productive like volunteer to pick up garbage!!!" Ummmm...........:D If they had spent maybe a mere 10 minutes researching geocaching instead of 5 before jumping to conclusions they they would have read about CITO (cache in trash out). Hell, went geocaching on monday and and ended up with 3 full garbage bags in the back of my car buy the end of the day. I hate how if the local government can't regulate and big brother something then they automatically want to get rid of it. Geocaching is the only thing that gets my 10yr old son away from the video games and out of the house. I'll be damned if we're gonna stop. My sister (who is also a cacher) and I are going to write a letter to the local paper and try to get them to publish it. Is there anything that any of you would like me to add to it? Sherriff's Dept= open mouth, insert foot!!!! LOL

 

The listing in the paper was just the start of it. They also spoke about it in a meeting and that is when all of the other things were said.

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Geocaching is the only thing that gets my 10yr old son away from the video games and out of the house

On a separate note: Perhaps letting a 10 year old dictate when he will and will not get off the couch is a bad idea.

Just sayin' :laughing:

 

That was not meant literally. I'm just saying that it is hard to find things that teens and pre-teens like to do outside as a family. Most of them just want to play video games regardless of what you do. I was just stating that geocaching is something that we enjoy together and that I didn't want that to be taken away. But I will make sure that YOUR name gets put in the drawing for parent of the year.....! :D

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I suck at reading posts without paragraphs so my comment is based mostly on all the ancillary posts and will likely be out of context but my 2 cents none the less.

 

If cachers are concerned about something being made illegal the area cachers need to make better choices about their activity. Make sure to get "adequate" permission before placing caches. Make sure it's allowed in the areas where you want to place caches.

 

Be mindful of the impact on the environment that your cache will have.

 

When finding caches be mindful of private property. And be mindful of closing times of the places they are caching.

 

Be diligent about cleaning up trash you find. Make a positive impact. Organize a CITO event and be public about it so that the community can get educated on what you do. Secrets make the general public very very uncomfortable.

 

Do the right thing consistently and there likely won't be a problem. Make healthy choices. Don't be sticking stuff to bridges or other places where caches shouldn't be.

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There was an article in my local paper today about geocaching. The Sherriff's dept. does not like it and wants to prohibit it in all of the cities in my county.

 

Fortunately the Sheriffs department doesn't write the laws, it only enforces them.

 

After reading a few threads started by OP, IMHO she lacks credibility, due to a tendency to hyperbole, and non-factual statements. As you say, a sheriff enforces laws. A sheriff does not make laws. It's too bad that the OP could not present the problems factually. Oh, well.

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Geocaching is the only thing that gets my 10yr old son away from the video games and out of the house

On a separate note: Perhaps letting a 10 year old dictate when he will and will not get off the couch is a bad idea.

Just sayin' :laughing:

 

That was not meant literally. I'm just saying that it is hard to find things that teens and pre-teens like to do outside as a family. Most of them just want to play video games regardless of what you do. I was just stating that geocaching is something that we enjoy together and that I didn't want that to be taken away. But I will make sure that YOUR name gets put in the drawing for parent of the year.....! :D

 

It is a concern. As geocaching becomes increasingly popular, more participants mean more irresponsible participants. Irresponsible geocaching can threaten the future of the sport.

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I'd suggest continuing the discussion of looking for ideas in this forum:

http://www.texasgeocaching.com/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=4815] http://www.texasgeocaching.com/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=4815[/url]

 

The bulletin that went out didn't have anything that alarming to geocachers. "Don't trespass when hiding or seeking a geocache" is pretty decent advice.

 

I don't know if any officials in Johnson county feel our hobby is a waste of time, but attacking them isn't going to help change their mind. If you decide to write a letter to the editor of the paper, just point out positive aspects of geocaching (exercise, seeing historic spots, enjoying the outdoors, etc.) and don't focus on the hyperbole.

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Without reading too much more into the article, perhaps you should submit an editorial to the local parer expressing the FACTS about Geocashing, both positive and negative, and let the public form their own opinions rather than this sheriff.

 

Letting this go unanswered may seem like a good idea but someone will remember the sheriff's words and report the next cacher spotted hanging around a park waiting for Muggles to leave an area and result in more negative publicity. Refer them to the website and show the community how it can be a positive thing...

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I haven't read all the replies but I am horribly offended and bothered by the part that said "if people have time to go geocaching, why don't they spend it on cleaning up or whatever.

 

That elicited an "F" word reply inside my head. What, exactly, makes anyone think that people who have time to enjoy their lives means they should be spending that time cleaning up the community. It's like they think people are slaves to the community or something.

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I haven't read all the replies but I am horribly offended and bothered by the part that said "if people have time to go geocaching, why don't they spend it on cleaning up or whatever.

 

That elicited an "F" word reply inside my head. What, exactly, makes anyone think that people who have time to enjoy their lives means they should be spending that time cleaning up the community. It's like they think people are slaves to the community or something.

 

it was that change that was voted in, the last presidential election, no?

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I have to agree with several of the other posters that getting upset and reading more into it (hyperbole was the term used I believe) doesn't make geocachers look good. If folks are placing caches on private property without permission, or otherwise breaking laws to place or find geocaches, then the sheriff has a right to be upset.

 

It's his job, as some others have said already, to enforce the laws, and if too many people uneducated about the guidelines of caching come out make his job more difficult, what do you expect?

 

The solution here is to educate new cachers, adopt a highway, or otherwise do something nice for the community so that the local law enforcement knows that geocaching is actually a positive and fun activity. And also, of course, stop doing the activity that's upsetting the sheriff. Park where you're supposed to, don't trespass, don't litter, whatever it is that's causing concern.

 

Getting upset and making mountains out of molehills doesn't help your cause one bit. It would be nice to see this article...

 

Please note that I'm not saying what I said to be mean, I'm trying to be realistic.

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I haven't read all the replies but I am horribly offended and bothered by the part that said "if people have time to go geocaching, why don't they spend it on cleaning up or whatever.

 

That elicited an "F" word reply inside my head. What, exactly, makes anyone think that people who have time to enjoy their lives means they should be spending that time cleaning up the community. It's like they think people are slaves to the community or something.

I have to agree with your sentiments. I could easily paraphrase it to "if people have time to go bass fishing..." or, "if people have time to go bowling", or even "if people have time to make mindless statements to the press..."
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...There was obviously a forum thread then, becuase a Geocacher named "TheAlabamaRambler" is mentioned in the editorial. :blink:

Link?

 

As if I didn't spend enough time surfing the websites of really bad small town newspapers with the Rome, NY, incident. :blink: Actually took me longer to find now then it did the first time. I was wrong, you were mentioned in what I believe is the 2nd article on the cemetery controversy, and not the editorial, which would be their third mention of Geocaching. Anyways, that would be this article here

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Actually I like Sheriff Joe from Maricopa County Arizona. I think that all County Jails should be run the way he runs his. Maybe people would think twice about committing crimes.

 

End Highjack

 

Although I've never met Sheriff Joe in person, if he cared to show up at my door, I'd gladly have him to dinner at my table.

Yeah, until the time comes that Sheriff Joe decides that YOU broke the law and decides to be your judge, jury, and constitution. But this, and your posting are both off topic.
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