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National forest closures


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I'm planning a camping trip soon and checking on caches in the area. Knowing there are national forest closures due to past fires, I'm trying to rectify the closure map with area caches. I was surprised to see that caches in the closure area are still listed as available. I was even more surprised that people have visited these caches, in violation of the closures.

 

Shouldn't these caches be temporarily disabled while the forest is closed?

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Care to narrow down the area that this discussion is really about?

There have been NF fires all over the country this year.

True as well. Around here they've been opening and closing areas of BLM land on a weekly basis.

 

IMHO, even though the park is closed, the cache is available... It's not missing or under maintenance, etm.

 

To me it's common sense. National park closed? Don't get the cache. park open? Go for it.

It's not construction work or something where there is an obvious begin date. I wouldn't try to go caching at the beach during a hurricane, and don't feel the cache owners of said beach caches should have to change the status "closed due to hurricane". Same with fires.

Now if the cache melts (or gets swept out to sea), "unavailable" would be appropriate.

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I'm planning a camping trip soon and checking on caches in the area. Knowing there are national forest closures due to past fires, I'm trying to rectify the closure map with area caches. I was surprised to see that caches in the closure area are still listed as available. I was even more surprised that people have visited these caches, in violation of the closures.

 

Shouldn't these caches be temporarily disabled while the forest is closed?

And if they are disabled how does that prevent them from being found and logged?

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Shouldn't these caches be temporarily disabled while the forest is closed?

 

Yes, they should be disabled if access is closed due to Forest closure.

This small act could help expand the belief that cache owners (and cachers in general) are responsible people.

Here in AZ the word of forest closures went out immediately, and caches were disabled quickly and appropriately.

Now that some of the closures have been lifted, caches not affected by the fires have come back on-line.

IF I had a cache in such an area, and someone went for it anyway I would delete their log and hope that Groundspeak would back me up.

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IF I had a cache in such an area, and someone went for it anyway I would delete their log and hope that Groundspeak would back me up.

I had a cache in a closed forest service area that was once logged by two individuals. At the time I was take aback because all they logged was "Patrol 7671" I suspect that they were forest service volunteers who were patrolling the closed area to find violators. Logging the caches in the area was was probably a way to avoid boredom (and to prove to their superiors they actually were in the areas there were supposed to be patrolling).

 

During a more recent closer, a local geocacher who is also a forest service volunteer, posted notes on many caches in the closed area where he was asked to patrol. He reported on caches he had found before that either survived the fire or were destroyed. I don't know if he logged any new finds (there would not have been many caches he hadn't already found). I do know that when a new cache was published in the burn area he got the reviewer to retract the listing.

 

I don't think I would delete the log of anyone who found the cache when the area was closed. There are just too many reasons why a particular geocacher may be legitimately in the area. It certainly is reasonable to disable the cache to let others know it is in the closed area, but it shouldn't be necessary. Geocachers should obey all local laws and regulations. (I know some don't, but don't put the blame on cache owners just because they didn't disable the cache).

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IF I had a cache in such an area, and someone went for it anyway I would delete their log and hope that Groundspeak would back me up.

I had a cache in a closed forest service area that was once logged by two individuals. At the time I was take aback because all they logged was "Patrol 7671" I suspect that they were forest service volunteers who were patrolling the closed area to find violators. Logging the caches in the area was was probably a way to avoid boredom (and to prove to their superiors they actually were in the areas there were supposed to be patrolling).

 

During a more recent closer, a local geocacher who is also a forest service volunteer, posted notes on many caches in the closed area where he was asked to patrol. He reported on caches he had found before that either survived the fire or were destroyed. I don't know if he logged any new finds (there would not have been many caches he hadn't already found). I do know that when a new cache was published in the burn area he got the reviewer to retract the listing.

 

I don't think I would delete the log of anyone who found the cache when the area was closed. There are just too many reasons why a particular geocacher may be legitimately in the area. It certainly is reasonable to disable the cache to let others know it is in the closed area, but it shouldn't be necessary. Geocachers should obey all local laws and regulations. (I know some don't, but don't put the blame on cache owners just because they didn't disable the cache).

 

Those who are legitimately in the area can still log a cache even though it is disabled.

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I think this is kind of a dumb thing to worry about. Someone said that the cacher should be responsible and disable the cache. WHY? If the forest is closed, then it automatically closes the cache. How many people close there caches at night if it is in a park and the park is closed at night. We don't think about it because the responsibility is on the finder at that point. I would not delete the log either on these. Heck there is a good thing to them being found or DNF it will show the hider if it is there still or if they might need to check on it. I know that in our world today that many people can't be held to be able to read or know what is going on, because personal responsibility is non-existant for many of us. But please lets not throw this on owners as well as Groundspeak.

 

Ash

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I think this is kind of a dumb thing to worry about. Someone said that the cacher should be responsible and disable the cache. WHY? If the forest is closed, then it automatically closes the cache.

 

It's a matter of courtesy. Let's say I'm not from that area and don't know the forest is closed. All the caches seem fine, none are disabled. I load 'em into my GPSr and make the trek out there -- let's say 100 miles. I'm then turned around by a forest ranger who tells me the forest has been closed for a week. I'd be a little upset if the cache owner knew this and did nothing to so indicate.

 

Or, maybe I didn't run into a ranger and I took a back road into what seemed like a part of the forest that is fine. Turns out it's closed, and I find out the hard way when a ranger pulls me over on the way out and gives me a ticket.

 

In all of these scenarios, it would have been nice if the owner had disabled the cache so I didn't make the trip in the first place, yeah?

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I think this is kind of a dumb thing to worry about. Someone said that the cacher should be responsible and disable the cache. WHY? If the forest is closed, then it automatically closes the cache.

 

It's a matter of courtesy. Let's say I'm not from that area and don't know the forest is closed. All the caches seem fine, none are disabled. I load 'em into my GPSr and make the trek out there -- let's say 100 miles. I'm then turned around by a forest ranger who tells me the forest has been closed for a week. I'd be a little upset if the cache owner knew this and did nothing to so indicate.

 

Or, maybe I didn't run into a ranger and I took a back road into what seemed like a part of the forest that is fine. Turns out it's closed, and I find out the hard way when a ranger pulls me over on the way out and gives me a ticket.

 

In all of these scenarios, it would have been nice if the owner had disabled the cache so I didn't make the trip in the first place, yeah?

Let's say I'm not from your area and I load a bunch of caches into my GPSr and make the trek to the local park where you have hidden them only to be met with a sign saying the park is closed. Sure would have been nice if you had disabled them before I got there so I would know the park was closed that day. :rolleyes:

 

OR how about going to an area where the police have closed it off because it is part of a crime scene. Sure would be nice if you had disabled them before I got there. :rolleyes:

 

OR... you're on the way to an area and the road is closed due to a washout or construction. Life gets in the way of everything. If you can't get to some caches because of some "event" so be it. Get over it and move on.

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I think this is kind of a dumb thing to worry about. Someone said that the cacher should be responsible and disable the cache. WHY? If the forest is closed, then it automatically closes the cache.

 

It's a matter of courtesy. Let's say I'm not from that area and don't know the forest is closed. All the caches seem fine, none are disabled. I load 'em into my GPSr and make the trek out there -- let's say 100 miles. I'm then turned around by a forest ranger who tells me the forest has been closed for a week. I'd be a little upset if the cache owner knew this and did nothing to so indicate.

 

Or, maybe I didn't run into a ranger and I took a back road into what seemed like a part of the forest that is fine. Turns out it's closed, and I find out the hard way when a ranger pulls me over on the way out and gives me a ticket.

 

In all of these scenarios, it would have been nice if the owner had disabled the cache so I didn't make the trip in the first place, yeah?

Let's say I'm not from your area and I load a bunch of caches into my GPSr and make the trek to the local park where you have hidden them only to be met with a sign saying the park is closed. Sure would have been nice if you had disabled them before I got there so I would know the park was closed that day. :rolleyes:

 

OR how about going to an area where the police have closed it off because it is part of a crime scene. Sure would be nice if you had disabled them before I got there. :rolleyes:

 

OR... you're on the way to an area and the road is closed due to a washout or construction. Life gets in the way of everything. If you can't get to some caches because of some "event" so be it. Get over it and move on.

 

Don't exactly agree with that line of thinking.

 

While the cache shouldn't be disabled or archived, the CO could provide a note or bolded update in the cache description as a courtesy to potential cache finders. This would keep cachers updated on a significant event such as a forest fire that has caused the area to be quartered off. The update could then be removed once the area was reopened.

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It's a matter of courtesy. Let's say I'm not from that area and don't know the forest is closed. All the caches seem fine, none are disabled. I load 'em into my GPSr and make the trek out there -- let's say 100 miles. I'm then turned around by a forest ranger who tells me the forest has been closed for a week. I'd be a little upset if the cache owner knew this and did nothing to so indicate.

 

Or, maybe I didn't run into a ranger and I took a back road into what seemed like a part of the forest that is fine. Turns out it's closed, and I find out the hard way when a ranger pulls me over on the way out and gives me a ticket.

 

In all of these scenarios, it would have been nice if the owner had disabled the cache so I didn't make the trip in the first place, yeah?

CO responsibility to alert you so that you don't have to do all the work an out of town non cacher is reasonable for doing themselves? How courteous of you.

Edited by Vater_Araignee
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Well for me when I ever I go to an area I always like to know what is going on there. I was planning to go to a state park about 90 miles from home but we had tornadoes here in April so just to make sure everything was cool I called the park to see the status of it. Found out the park had been hit. Only certain parts were open. So that changed my idea for the day and went to plan b. Still had a great day. I used a little thing called common sense. I actually researched where I planned to go. To go further which cache does the owner put it on if he has multiples. does he have remark on everyone. We don't have many forest fires here but we have tornadoes, some areas have floods. So it might pay to do your own research and not expect the owner to come out and hold your hand. This topic is such a moot point anyway. Groundspeak does not have to do it. They are not going to make cachers do this and so that leaves it up to individual cachers to put notes on if so choose.

 

I do believe from now on on each cache I post I will make the following note.

 

In event of a Tornado please take shelter and not look for this cache.

 

You people in the fire areas could do the same just switch it out to say Fire.

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Well, then. Among McCloud, Vater, and ngrrfan, I see a total of 21 physical caches. Let's say they're all in the same national forest, which is closed due to a fire which may have already destroyed all of those caches. Nice to know that, if you knew that some of them were complete inaccessible for a period of weeks, you couldn't be bothered to do anything with the listing.

 

I used a little thing called common sense.

 

Good for you, Ash! Now that we know you've got common sense, let's start working on your manners. Please make sure you work on them if you come caching down Montgomery way. Folks around here may not appreciate your condescending attitude as much as they apparently do up in Irondale.

Edited by hzoi
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I checked the status for caches impacted by the Mounument Fire in Coronado NF (SE AZ). Those within the fire zone are/were temporarily disabled. Some have been returned to service as NFS personnel assessed the area. Also, because an area is in the fire zone, does not mean the fire burned a specific area. Why some areas were impacted and others not is a mystery to me, but some fire scientist probably can.

 

There are still hundreds of caches in Cochise County to find, just do a little investigation.

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[quote name='hzoi' timestamp='1312571894' post='4799897

Good for you, Ash! Now that we know you've got common sense, let's start working on your manners. Please make sure you work on them if you come caching down Montgomery way. Folks around here may not appreciate your condescending attitude as much as they apparently do up in Irondale.

 

I have met many of the cachers of Montgomery and think highly of them. SOme of the best hiders are down that way and I always feel fortunate when I go for one of their caches. It seems to me we just disagree on how we see the issue. But getting upset about it probably want help since I doubt Groundspeak will ever do anything about disabling caches due to natural disasters. So there again it us up to the CO whether they make a comment about it.

 

Oh and thanks for the caches you have placed and take care of, I see you do care about your caches and award your ability to maintain them. I look forward to traveling to Montgomery and looking for your caches. Anyway sorry if I have offended. Good luck to you as you continue in your pursuit of caches.

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Well, then. Among McCloud, Vater, and ngrrfan, I see a total of 21 physical caches. Let's say they're all in the same national forest, which is closed due to a fire which may have already destroyed all of those caches. Nice to know that, if you knew that some of them were complete inaccessible for a period of weeks, you couldn't be bothered to do anything with the listing.

 

I used a little thing called common sense.

 

Good for you, Ash! Now that we know you've got common sense, let's start working on your manners. Please make sure you work on them if you come caching down Montgomery way. Folks around here may not appreciate your condescending attitude as much as they apparently do up in Irondale.

Then until I can verify that my caches "are destroyed" rather than "possibly destroyed" the cache exists.

There may be people who could legally be in the forest wile it is closed.

There may be people who can get to it faster than me.

There may be people who can get to the cache once the forest is open faster than I can reenable it.

 

It isn't my job to do your homework, and if you do your homework and wait for a reopening then you know there is a chance that the cache is destroyed. If you don't want to be the person that finds out, then wait for someone else like the CO or another cacher to post that it is OK or not.

 

If I live more than 2 hours from a state park/forest/rec area, national park/forrest that I plan on visiting then I call them to find out if they are open or have any events that I may object to. I don't expect them to call me and I don't expect someone whose only affiliation is taxes and Tupperware to alert me either.

 

One question. What exactly does the quantity of hides I have, have to do with it?

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Ash, I may have been reading more into your tone than you intended. But when you use phrases like "actually did a little research" and "used a little thing called common sense," it sounds pretty condescending.

 

It isn't my job to do your homework.

 

No -- but it is your job to maintain your cache listings.

 

If you own a hide that's in a national forest that's closed and, let's not forget, ACTUALLY ON FIRE, maybe you should take the initiative to disable it, like the folks in Arizona were kind enough to do.

 

If I live more than 2 hours from a state park/forest/rec area, national park/forrest that I plan on visiting then I call them to find out if they are open or have any events that I may object to.

 

Good for you. Of course, you have yet to find a cache outside of the state of Michigan, so I'm willing to bet this situation has yet to present itself to you. But it's good to know you'll be prepared.

 

Other cachers who venture outside their area may not have any idea that a particular area is affected, and it may not occur to them to call every national forest or park they enter.

 

Now that we're all on notice that you aren't going to bother disabling your caches if the Brighton State Recreation Area is on fire, we'll know to call the rangers over there first. Or maybe some other folks who own caches in the area will make the massive effort you're not willing to undertake of disabling their five caches.

Edited by hzoi
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It isn't my job to do your homework.

 

No -- but it is your job to maintain your cache listings.

 

If you own a hide that's in a national forest that's closed and, let's not forget, ACTUALLY ON FIRE, maybe you should take the initiative to disable it, like the folks in Arizona were kind enough to do.

And the reenable it a few hours after the spot initially flared up. Assuming I find out at all considering I don't watch broadcast or cable TV and I don't read news papers. Guess you expect me to be psychic then ah?
If I live more than 2 hours from a state park/forest/rec area, national park/forrest that I plan on visiting then I call them to find out if they are open or have any events that I may object to.

 

Good for you. Of course, you have yet to find a cache outside of the state of Michigan, so I'm willing to bet this situation has yet to present itself to you. But it's good to know you'll be prepared.

How do you know If I have found out of state caches or how many caches I have found? I stopped logging last year because got sick of all you people that mistakenly believe that higher numbers imparts some special insight or other bull along the "I'm special lines" and refused I to keep participating in it.Sure you can make assumption and attempt to extrapolate from incomplete data like past caching behavior but you're still going to be incorrect. Then there is the fact that I have had plenty of years prior to geocaching to travel and call ahead to make sure I would be able to use the trail systems and keep from running into disagreeable events.

 

Other cachers who venture outside their area may not have any idea that a particular area is affected, and it may not occur to them to call every national forest or park they enter.
Doesn't occur to me that I should constantly calling the local parks with any kind of regularity to make sure my cache pages stay up to date according to your unreasonable standard. Lets not forget, about those non cachers who have to make a call to get the exact same information you expect a CO to give you.

Now that we're all on notice that you aren't going to bother disabling your caches if the Brighton State Recreation Area is on fire, we'll know to call the rangers over there first. Or maybe some other folks who own caches in the area will make the massive effort you're not willing to undertake of disabling their five caches.

Well of course I wont be disabling a caches if BRA is on fire. I don't have the right do so considering I do not have and never have had a cache located there. The cache you mistakenly believe was there was located on private property and has been archived for over 2 years.

 

Whats next, you gonna expect someone to go door to door to let anyone who might go to a location that it is closed?

 

Then on top of it all you go on a trip and drive for 12 hours making your information... 13 hours out of date?

You have wifi and or a cellphone? Get the info yourself, it is much more likely to be accurate than expecting a CO to do the updates.

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It isn't my job to do your homework.

 

No -- but it is your job to maintain your cache listings.

 

If you own a hide that's in a national forest that's closed and, let's not forget, ACTUALLY ON FIRE, maybe you should take the initiative to disable it, like the folks in Arizona were kind enough to do.

 

You are changing the scenario. Now you are saying that the NF is "actually on fire" (your words, see above). Uhmmmm.... one of the largest wildfires in Colorado was the Hayman fire of several years ago. It was in the Pike National Forest. The Pike National Forest encompasses 1,106,604 acres (source wikipedia). It was NOT closed during the fire. Many portions of it remained open for recreational use.

 

The original posting was about a NF that was "closed due to past fires".

 

BTW... you have no idea how many hides I really have, and the number of hides I have has no bearing on this conversation.

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I think this is kind of a dumb thing to worry about. Someone said that the cacher should be responsible and disable the cache. WHY? If the forest is closed, then it automatically closes the cache.

 

It's a matter of courtesy. Let's say I'm not from that area and don't know the forest is closed. All the caches seem fine, none are disabled. I load 'em into my GPSr and make the trek out there -- let's say 100 miles. I'm then turned around by a forest ranger who tells me the forest has been closed for a week. I'd be a little upset if the cache owner knew this and did nothing to so indicate.

 

Or, maybe I didn't run into a ranger and I took a back road into what seemed like a part of the forest that is fine. Turns out it's closed, and I find out the hard way when a ranger pulls me over on the way out and gives me a ticket.

 

In all of these scenarios, it would have been nice if the owner had disabled the cache so I didn't make the trip in the first place, yeah?

Let's say I'm not from your area and I load a bunch of caches into my GPSr and make the trek to the local park where you have hidden them only to be met with a sign saying the park is closed. Sure would have been nice if you had disabled them before I got there so I would know the park was closed that day. :rolleyes:

 

OR how about going to an area where the police have closed it off because it is part of a crime scene. Sure would be nice if you had disabled them before I got there. :rolleyes:

 

OR... you're on the way to an area and the road is closed due to a washout or construction. Life gets in the way of everything. If you can't get to some caches because of some "event" so be it. Get over it and move on.

 

All of your examples are temporary situations and do not compare to a long term forest closure.

 

I currently have a cache in place in such a location. Hunting for it could result in a $50,000 federal fine. Would you like to find that out the hard way, or could you possibly benefit from reading about the situation on my disabled cache page?

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No -- but it is your job to maintain your cache listings.

 

I think it is important to point out that there is no upper limit to the amount of work the Entitled Geocacher expects the owner to go through so that he won't be inconvenienced.

 

Did it rain last weekend? He would like you to hike up to the cache to see if the log is wet. Did it snow? It would only be considerate of you to mark it as unavailable until you can verify that the snow has melted. Since that may be several months, he will also likely post an SBA log on it since it has, in his expert opinion, been left unmaintained.

 

So likewise you are expected to stay completely up-to-date on any forest closures for all your hides so that the cacher who can't be bothered to do any research won't be inconvenienced. Ideally, you will be psychic and disable the cache a couple of weeks before the fire/closure so that he can plan his trip as easily as possible.

 

When people complain about geocaching going downhill since the early days, this is the kind of thing I think about.

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I think this is kind of a dumb thing to worry about. Someone said that the cacher should be responsible and disable the cache. WHY? If the forest is closed, then it automatically closes the cache.

 

It's a matter of courtesy. Let's say I'm not from that area and don't know the forest is closed. All the caches seem fine, none are disabled. I load 'em into my GPSr and make the trek out there -- let's say 100 miles. I'm then turned around by a forest ranger who tells me the forest has been closed for a week. I'd be a little upset if the cache owner knew this and did nothing to so indicate.

 

Or, maybe I didn't run into a ranger and I took a back road into what seemed like a part of the forest that is fine. Turns out it's closed, and I find out the hard way when a ranger pulls me over on the way out and gives me a ticket.

 

In all of these scenarios, it would have been nice if the owner had disabled the cache so I didn't make the trip in the first place, yeah?

Let's say I'm not from your area and I load a bunch of caches into my GPSr and make the trek to the local park where you have hidden them only to be met with a sign saying the park is closed. Sure would have been nice if you had disabled them before I got there so I would know the park was closed that day. :rolleyes:

 

OR how about going to an area where the police have closed it off because it is part of a crime scene. Sure would be nice if you had disabled them before I got there. :rolleyes:

 

OR... you're on the way to an area and the road is closed due to a washout or construction. Life gets in the way of everything. If you can't get to some caches because of some "event" so be it. Get over it and move on.

 

All of your examples are temporary situations and do not compare to a long term forest closure.

 

I currently have a cache in place in such a location. Hunting for it could result in a $50,000 federal fine. Would you like to find that out the hard way, or could you possibly benefit from reading about the situation on my disabled cache page?

 

So for this natural forest the government has not put up any signs saying it is closed. What Forest is it maybe I can call them and ask them why they have no notices or signs out saying it is closed. Look I am glad that you put out a notice on it. Good job for you. But, I still don't think the CO is obligated to do it. IF they do great if they don't great.

 

Oh and for me I won't have to find out the hard way. Anyone who can figure out how to use a gps should be able to read.

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