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Am I being the cache police?


lamoracke
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Situation, and you wont figure out the cache by looking at my history as I never found it.

 

Went for a cache, actually it was a FTF attempt. Next to a popular trail system. Get to GZ, not much there but a lot of high grass, swamp and brambles. Within a few feet is a small little bridge over a creek and a path into the nearby woods and a clearing area which is just ripe for places to look for a cache. No signs of private property. There is a small fence, but its been long knocked over and seems almost non-existant.

 

Anyway, we look for like 20-30 minutes back there. Lots of good hiding spots like tall stumps, logs, all within 50 feet of 0 feet according to our GPS at GZ.

 

Eventually, someone comes biking down from out of nowhere. Its the property owner. He is good natured when we explain what we are up to. We do not know where the hide is, so we cant tell him where it is, but he does tell us if its on this side of the bridge, its on his property and should not be here.

 

So, we go home, wondering where the cache is. Same day, someone FTFs it. Eventually we learn from a finder that is not quite past the bridge, but just off the trail which is basically at the fence line, but there is no geotrail to that spot yet. All 4 of us adults figured it had to behind there where you could walk, not in the ugly and swampy brambles.

 

Anyway, CO refuses to move it, mark in the description that you are not to go past the bridge and basically accuses me of complaining and being the Geo police over the idea that he should add anything to the description.

 

I feel I am being disingenuous to the property owner by doing almost nothing to future finders. Sure I have a note saying to not go back there but who is going to read a note in the past?

 

Am I being the police? Should I drop it if the CO wont do anything? What would you do? I have washed my hand of the owner. Tried emailing privately and posting a note, cant take it anymore going that route as I can only take so much of someone being closed off to me and in my opinion, rude about me just trying to address the landowner's concern. Its probably just off the private property line, but I cant see many geocachers knowing where to look. The 4 of us did not and we are all experienced geocachers.

Edited by lamoracke
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If the cache is on his property and the property owner doesn't want it there, then it should be archived. Simple as that.

 

If the cache is on the property of the fellow who said he didn't want it on there, then email the reviewer with the details. It's important that we be respectful of property owner's requests.

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I just foresee a confrontation some day and the owner will be more mad next time and will say, well, I talked to a geocacher already and he said he would make sure no one goes past the small foot bridge.

 

If the cache is within a swamp but likely folks will go to the clearing which is the more obvious GZ to us, the fact that its probably just outside his property does not seem like future geocachers will not cross his property line.

Edited by lamoracke
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I just foresee a confrontation some day and the owner will be more mad next time and will say, well, I talked to a geocacher already and he said he would make sure no one goes past the small foot bridge.

 

If the cache is within a swamp but likely folks will go to the clearing which is the more obvious GZ to us, the fact that its probably just outside his property does not seem like future geocachers will not cross his property line.

 

If it's not on his property than it shouldn't be reported.

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It would bother me, but there is little that can be done.

You may after some time has passed. Post a note on the cache page saying "Past the bridge is private property".

 

Since you have the first hand information from the property owner, I would consider moving it and telling the CO.

After all, this should have been caught by Groundspeak (but considering how old maps are i understand why not), and without permission, this is littering and inciting trespassing.

If the CO gets upset, remind them of the alternative, that it could have just been 'thrown in the trash' by the land owner.

 

As cachers and CO's, I think we need to exemplify what geocaching is, and not bring problems and smear its benefits.

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It would bother me, but there is little that can be done.

You may after some time has passed. Post a note on the cache page saying "Past the bridge is private property".

 

Since you have the first hand information from the property owner, I would consider moving it and telling the CO.

After all, this should have been caught by Groundspeak (but considering how old maps are i understand why not), and without permission, this is littering and inciting trespassing.

If the CO gets upset, remind them of the alternative, that it could have just been 'thrown in the trash' by the land owner.

 

As cachers and CO's, I think we need to exemplify what geocaching is, and not bring problems and smear its benefits.

 

Well, the cache is quite a bit away from me, and I would not consider moving someone's cache. I am not going to do a 30+ mile round trip to move it even if I wanted to. As someone said, its probably not in his property so reporting it to Groundspeak for archival seems a stretch to me, but I feel like I am not doing enough.

 

If I knew where the cache was in front of the owner and we KNEW it was on his property, I would have taken it in that circumstance, but obviously we could not find it so I could not do that.

Edited by lamoracke
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the coordinates were pretty accurate, but as I said, unless you go into the swamp itself and brambles, which I imagine is not usually the course of action for most people if you see stumps and logs...that wont help. No coordinates are going to help you decide between 5-10 feet of private property vs public property.

 

But, fuzzie, you could be right. :(

Edited by lamoracke
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The way I'm reading this, the cache is NOT on private property, but is near enough to it that crossing the bridge over to private property is very likely... is that how you understand it to be (since you haven't actually seen it yet)? And you have suggested to the cache owner that a note on the cache page stating not to cross the bridge would be a wise move to prevent possible future issues, but the cache owner doesn't see it that way?

 

1) Sounds like the property owner should have some signs put up.

2) Sounds like the cache owner should have a note.

 

Unfortunately, you are not in control of either of those situations. I suppose you could bring this up with your reviewer.

 

Being "cache cop" isn't always a bad thing. We are supposed to police geocaching. Reviewers can only do so much.

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I'm with fuzziebear on this. Post your DNF with as much information that you have about what areas are private property. If they were a responsible cache owner, they'd add the warning to their cache page. If it becomes an issue in the future and a Reviewer needs to get involved, then at least they will be able to have all the background info. After that, it's beyond your control. You've done right by the property owner by letting the cache owner know, and trying to inform future seekers.

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I do know where the cache is, roughly now. However, I do not know the property lines, either way, its right on the edge.

 

maybe in retrospect I should have just emailed the reviewer, but unless someone is egregiously wrong, I try to let the CO take care of it, and usually they do.

 

Thanks very much so far for your very thoughtful responses.

 

And Junglehair, nice to meet you at the Block Party the other day.

Edited by lamoracke
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File a needs archived note. It doesn't have to be on the man's property, if it irritates him and may cause unpleasantness for future finders it should be archived.

 

+1

 

If the owner would put a note, I think that'd be ok. But if not, it should be archived if most finders will end up on private property while looking.

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If the trail is in a park, typically the park authorities will have guidelines that restrict placing caches too close to private property. For example, around here one can't place a park cache within 50 feet of private property. That being said, if the cache isn't on park land, the cache owner likely has the right to place the cache where he did. This is assuming of course that he got permission to begin with. (always a BIG IF)

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The way I'm reading this, the cache is NOT on private property, but is near enough to it that crossing the bridge over to private property is very likely... is that how you understand it to be (since you haven't actually seen it yet)? And you have suggested to the cache owner that a note on the cache page stating not to cross the bridge would be a wise move to prevent possible future issues, but the cache owner doesn't see it that way?

 

1) Sounds like the property owner should have some signs put up.

2) Sounds like the cache owner should have a note.

 

Unfortunately, you are not in control of either of those situations. I suppose you could bring this up with your reviewer.

 

Being "cache cop" isn't always a bad thing. We are supposed to police geocaching. Reviewers can only do so much.

I'm with this.

 

If the cache is NOT on the guys property, but close enough that cachers MIGHT go on it, there should be a note on the cache page.

 

Contact your/the reviewer.

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I just foresee a confrontation some day and the owner will be more mad next time and will say, well, I talked to a geocacher already and he said he would make sure no one goes past the small foot bridge.

 

If the cache is within a swamp but likely folks will go to the clearing which is the more obvious GZ to us, the fact that its probably just outside his property does not seem like future geocachers will not cross his property line.

 

If it's not on his property than it shouldn't be reported.

 

I degree with you. How many of those people will be searching on his property if the cache is MIA or the searchers didnt read the cache page? The property owner wont be too happy about it even its on the property line or not on his property. There is a fine line about that. He might be good spirit about it at this point but after a while, geocachers might wear out his welcome.

 

I been in a situation that a neighbor was into my face of why I was there and I was on the road the whole time. He knew ALL about the cache and HATES it there! What I didnt like that his hands was in his oversize sweatshirt pocket the whole time and implying he got a gun or knife in his hand. I posted a need archived post and it was shutdown fast. I wasnt the first that was confronted by him.

 

Back to the OP, no, you arent a cache police. You are protecting our sport from getting too many black eyes.

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I've played cache police too. Once I emailed a property owner to ask permission to place a geocache on the land. I received a letter back stating that she did not want any geocache on her property, or geocachers traipsing on her land. OK. Fast forward to several months later, when someone places a cache on that property. I posted a NA and explained that the property owner specifically stated that NO geocaches were to be placed on her property.

 

I received a very angry response from the CO within a minute of my post, demanding that I remove the NA log (she did it herself), and that "No one" owns that property so she is free to place a cache there.

 

I contacted Groundspeak, who contacted the local reviewer, who let the cache stand.

 

Very frustrating.

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I've played cache police too. Once I emailed a property owner to ask permission to place a geocache on the land. I received a letter back stating that she did not want any geocache on her property, or geocachers traipsing on her land. OK. Fast forward to several months later, when someone places a cache on that property. I posted a NA and explained that the property owner specifically stated that NO geocaches were to be placed on her property.

 

I received a very angry response from the CO within a minute of my post, demanding that I remove the NA log (she did it herself), and that "No one" owns that property so she is free to place a cache there.

 

I contacted Groundspeak, who contacted the local reviewer, who let the cache stand.

 

Very frustrating.

 

If I was the property owner in this case I would be talking to Groundspeak and not using nice words.

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In a way we all need to be cache police in the correct situations.

 

I figure we all only visit each cache once, so if something is wrong with the cache at that time, it's my job to let someone know.

 

Usually that someone is the cache owner.

 

When I toured Groundspeak they told me they get about a call a week complaining about the placement of a cache.

I know those placements give caching a bad name. I know a lot of people who think caching should be illegal, even though I've tried to convince them otherwise.

 

The reviewer cannot see the cache from their computer. They rely on us to report problems.

 

I think you did the right thing in contacting the cache owner. Since he did not respond respond well, I would contact the reviewer and give them all the information you have. They may choose to do nothing, but at that point you have done all you can. (unless you want to give the email address of Groundspeak to the land owner before they're mad enough to look it up themselves).

 

I think we have to do what is best in our own conscious. After that we've got to just let go of it.

The reviewer will have to make the decision on this one I guess.

 

Let us know if you contact the reviewer and what he/she says.

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In a way we all need to be cache police in the correct situations.

 

I figure we all only visit each cache once, so if something is wrong with the cache at that time, it's my job to let someone know.

 

Usually that someone is the cache owner.

 

When I toured Groundspeak they told me they get about a call a week complaining about the placement of a cache.

I know those placements give caching a bad name. I know a lot of people who think caching should be illegal, even though I've tried to convince them otherwise.

 

The reviewer cannot see the cache from their computer. They rely on us to report problems.

 

I think you did the right thing in contacting the cache owner. Since he did not respond respond well, I would contact the reviewer and give them all the information you have. They may choose to do nothing, but at that point you have done all you can. (unless you want to give the email address of Groundspeak to the land owner before they're mad enough to look it up themselves).

 

I think we have to do what is best in our own conscious. After that we've got to just let go of it.

The reviewer will have to make the decision on this one I guess.

 

Let us know if you contact the reviewer and what he/she says.

 

+1, and extra credit for using the term "bad name" instead of "black eye"!

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have contacted the reviewer as I said and he/she sent a very nice response they will look into it and thank you for bringing it to his/her attention.

 

Well done. (almost avoiding obvious pun about how rare that is)

 

I cant speak for other states or places, but the 3 main reviewers in Washington are all very courteous and I would say fair.

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have contacted the reviewer as I said and he/she sent a very nice response they will look into it and thank you for bringing it to his/her attention.

 

Well done. (almost avoiding obvious pun about how rare that is)

 

I cant speak for other states or places, but the 3 main reviewers in Washington are all very courteous and I would say fair.

Sigh... another attempt at humor flushed down the seriousness drain. :huh:

 

Glad to hear your reviewers are good.

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have contacted the reviewer as I said and he/she sent a very nice response they will look into it and thank you for bringing it to his/her attention.

 

Well done. (almost avoiding obvious pun about how rare that is)

 

I cant speak for other states or places, but the 3 main reviewers in Washington are all very courteous and I would say fair.

Sigh... another attempt at humor flushed down the seriousness drain. :huh:

 

Glad to hear your reviewers are good.

 

I figured I was missing something. I would not get an A in understanding joke class.

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I was recently looking through the caches I recently found and noticed one was recently archived. It was on the side of the road, I believe at the base of a power pole. A few weeks after I found it, apparently the property owner of the bordering farmland finally figured out wy peoPle were stopped on that road. He made a geocaching login and marked his one found. His comment: I threw this geocache away... STAY OFF MY PROPERTY. The local reviewer also received a note from him. So he archived it and reminded the CO to remember to get permission.

The cache might not have technically been ON his property, but close enough to tick him off, or have cachers wonder onto his property.

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Just ignore it and go on with life...........

 

That may be the easiest thing to do, but there is a problem with it. By ignoring problems with a cache or caches that are placed where they aren't supposed to be, you are knowingly allowing the next cacher to walk blindly into a situation that may land him in trouble with the land owner or the law. Caches that are placed without permission or where they are not allowed also jeopardize the permission of other caches on the property that were placed with permission.

 

There is currently a newer cache in my area that I recently played cache cop on and may have to again. The cache is loaded with problems and it's only a matter of time before someone gets in trouble doing this one. It's located in a large county park where geocaching is welcome by permit only. The main reason I have an issue with it is because I own three caches that are in the same park and I want to make sure geocaching stays welcome in the park. I went to a lot of trouble to get permission for my caches and waited a month for my permit, as did many other cachers who have caches in the park. The one thing that the park office asked was not to place caches in or near the campgrounds or beach areas.

 

The cache in question GC31F5Q is a nighttime fire tack cache.

 

Problem 1

 

The cache page states that the posted coords take you to the parking lot of a small playground. However, the coords actually take you half a mile away from the playground to a different road altogether. This road is gated at night, oh and guess where it goes, the swimming beach. Cachers who are not familiar with the park aren't going to know that the coords are wrong and will arrive to find a locked gate. Many will park at the gate and walk down the road expecting to find a playground which of course is not there, and they will dead end at the beach. This automatically opens them up to the possibility of having a run in with the Park Ranger for entering a closed area at night.

 

Problem 2

 

If one does find the playground mentioned, it happens to be a city park and has an 11:00 PM curfew. Parking there at night as the CO tells you to, opens cachers up to being ticketed by the Sheriff.

 

Problem 3

 

The cache page directs you to follow a fire tack trail along side the road until you get to the campground (another restricted area). Then you are supposed to go to a specific campsite and follow a path 1/2 mile through a field until you get to a second fire tack trail. Not only is geocaching not allowed in the campground, but there is a big sign at the entrance that says "Campers Only".

 

I debated weather or not to say anything for a couple of days. At first I was going to just post a note but figured it would go ignored or get deleted so I decided that a NM would at least require the CO to take some corrective action. I posted a NM addressing all of the issues and offered some suggestions as well. Not 30 minutes after I posted the NM, the first group to attempt the cache posted their DNF story. They had initially gone to the beach road and of course didn't find the playground. Once they found the right road and got back on track, they mentioned having an uneasy feeling about going past the "Campers Only" sign. They had some other issues with the cache and eventually gave up. The CO promptly deleted their log and responded to the NM promising to fix the coords but failed to address any of the other issues.

 

The cache has been in place for a few weeks now and has a handful of finds. One group attempted but stopped when they got to the "Campers Only" sign. They then booked a campsite the following night and paid $23 for camping just so they wouldn't get into any trouble going after it. The CO still hasn't done anything about fixing the posted coords nor has he addressed any of the other concerns. Just this evening another group went searching for it and ended up on the wrong road. They did have a run in with the Park Ranger but he let them go. Later after they made the find they were stopped by the campground manager who told them they were not allowed to be there. I fully expect their log to disappear by morning. I think a NA is now in order.

 

The bottom line is no one wants to be a cache cop or a tattle tell, but it's up to all of us to safeguard the image of geocaching and taking action on caches that compromise that image is everyone's responsibility. A cache such as this one with such blatant disregard for the park rules, especially since it brings cachers to the two areas that the park specifically doesn't want caching to take place, puts close to 60 other caches at risk of being banned.

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I actually placed my first cache on property that is state owned and is public property. However, it is a very narrow stretch of land. I put a note on my page stating to stay around the historical marker and and not venture too far left or right of the marker due to private property. It is a stretch saying this but I just wanted people to be aware of where they were walking and poking around. In reality they have probably 40 or 50 feet to either side of the historical marker but I just wanted people to follow the obvious trail to the site and then head back out. I think being very specific in a cache description is key to keeping people safe and off of private property. Here in South Carolina there is a very fine line between shooting someone for trespassing and saying you feel threatened. If I were a property owner in SC (the area I live in) I would be a bit nervous of something illegal going on, on my property. So I would be very aggresive to keep people off.

 

As a side note there was a civilian that works for the Air Force here that shot and wounded a man for breaking into his truck on private property. The civilian was according to the police protecting himself and his family and cleared of any wrong doing for shooting the guy. I know this is far from where this post was going, but I wanted to put in my two cents on property lines and I guess the extreme of what could happen in certain areas.

 

So no I believe in your original post you stated were you being the cache police. I believe you were in the right and I would want to know as a CO if I were too close to someones property.

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To make sure I'm understanding the OP: the cache is not on private property, but is close to private property which is not clearly marked as such. In that situation I would:

 

1) Note my encounter with the property owner in my Found or DNF log, explaining what area (over the bridge) is private property per the owner.

 

2) Probably send a polite message to the CO suggesting they add a note to their cache page about where not to stray.

 

3) If I remembered to check back some time later and found nothing had been done (moving the cache and/or adding something about the property issue to the cache description) and/or if the CO replied to my message in a defiant/flippant "piss off" manner I would contact the appropriate Reviewer and explain the situation to them.

 

If you have concerns about a cache, I think it is good to voice them. Some people will get angry because of it, but generally a possibly grumpy CO is better than cachers getting arrested, cachers getting confronted by angry landowners, or caching getting banned.

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I too know of where this particular cache is and I agree with Lamoracke.

I emailed the CO and will see if he complies with removal. If not I will

add a NA with the reasons so reviewer can deal with it.

 

Its too bad when one CO can be so contrary to whats best for geocaching,

we really dont need any negative publicity with our hobby. Its bad enough

when we hear the bomb squad gets called and it ends up being a cache

container that the CO is very proud of making but didnt think about what it

can be seen as.

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I too know of where this particular cache is and I agree with Lamoracke.

I emailed the CO and will see if he complies with removal. If not I will

add a NA with the reasons so reviewer can deal with it.

 

Its too bad when one CO can be so contrary to whats best for geocaching,

we really dont need any negative publicity with our hobby. Its bad enough

when we hear the bomb squad gets called and it ends up being a cache

container that the CO is very proud of making but didnt think about what it

can be seen as.

 

no need to send an NA Tango...I already have sent the reviewer the info, will see what she/he does. Just do not understand all the negative energy in emails and the cache page over my simple request to put on the cache page description....do not cross the small foot bridge as that will put you on private property (or in theory moving it)

 

Joshism, you pretty much have the gist of the story, minus tiny details here and there.

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