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CacheDrone

Does anyone have any experience with Ontario Parks?

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While I have not spoken with other reviewers, I've noticed pretty much zero follow up on caches that get disabled for permission requirements at Ontario Parks locations. Instead, 6 weeks or so goes by and the listing gets archived without so much as a peep from the cache owner.

 

Has anyone here actually tried to speak with representatives from Ontario Parks to get permission?

 

I think I can count on one hand the number of emails that I've received from anyone at Ontario Parks, and to be honest I have no idea if people even take my suggestion to try approaching them. If you have, what happened? Anything?

 

:cool: CD

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Last summer (2011) I talked to a ranger while they were overseeing some campers pack up that thought the 2 pm check out was meant for other people. Due to the time he had on hand as he watched them quickly pack up we had a good discussion on it. He knows of GC and didn't see why if done with some trail rules (like the Rouge Park and others) that it couldn’t be allowed. I explain that from what I had read Ontario Parks new policy have left it up to the individual Park superintendents to make the call.

 

He suggested I talk to the superintendent tomorrow when he was in. He said he would discuss it next time he saw him as well.

 

The next day I went to the main office and asked to talk to the superintendent. Just then, walking in behind me comes the same ranger who said he get him. Few minutes later he comes out and said "sorry, the answer is NO". Never actually talked to the super, case closed.

 

I did ask about lands outside the park and found out where the official park property ends. This summer I put one just outside the park and although not in the park it has been getting park guests visiting whith nice comments. Park is now closed for the winter so visits will be far and few between till next year I suspect.

 

Park is Killbear, just north of Parry Sound.

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I have tried talking to the Park Manager at Killarney Provincial to get an earthcache placed.

 

He seemed quite offended and asked me to remove the container (after clearly explaining to him that there was no container). I responded by saying that there was no container

 

He then became quite frustrated and told me that it would encourage off trail usage (despite it being on a portage route, again clearly indicated in the original email). I responded by saying that it was on a trail.

 

Frustrated, He told me that it would impact trail usage patterns and that he was entirely not interested in having geocaches in his park. I thanked him for his time.

 

When Springwater park was closed down near my house due to lack of visitors, I was a staunch supporter of the decision.

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I had a similar experience to Derek's, in the same park in fact (Killbear). I think it was 6 or 7 years ago on our annual family camping trip. It was a slow day at the campsite, so I decided to take a drive to the park office and see if I could find an official to to talk to about geocaching. I don't know if it was the sup't I was talking to or a warden, but I received a flat "No" when it came to their interest in having caches in the park. I think he even used the word "hate" about the idea.

 

I had a ready-made cache (ammo can with swag, logbook, stashnote) in the van and asked if he'd like to see it. He took a look, seemed interested, asked some questions, but was in no way swayed from his position. He was surprised when I told him that there were some active caches in the park. One that I have a watch on is still there. Light House Point Trail (Killbear)

 

I think some of these employees enjoy lording over the properties they oversee, and have lost sight of who the parks are for and who helps fund them.

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On the other hand, I'm quite happy that Algonquin's Old Railway Bike Trail hasn't been turned into a geocaching power trail.

 

I have had a range of experiences with Ontario Parks. I have talked to several Park Superintendents who were not even remotely interested in geocaching being allowed, ever. I heard the same old lines about buried caches and how it's really not them, it's OP policy. I am still flabbergasted that one can get permits to remove trees, or go fishing, heck I can go in there and blast shotguns at wildlife but I'll be a criminal if I leave a box behind on the property with a log book inside it.

 

I have also seen the flip side - with Algonquin Park allowing some caches in the Highway 60 corridor after the ban, and I had zero issues getting my Earthcache approved at Forks of the Credit Provincial Park. I've also talked to some Park Super's who were keen on the concept of geocaching, but not willing to push the discussion up to their superiors.

 

Like any organization, OP has heroes and villains. The problem is with the overall top management declaring geocaches off-limits (in their internal policy), any superintendent that wants to keep their job long term is likely to err on the side of caution, namely towing the company line. Particularly in an environment where funding is getting cut and parks have been closed. The cut to funding isn't new either, look at the deterioration of Ontario's canoe routes and the earlier round of park closures like Devil's Glen.

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I had a similar experience to Derek's, in the same park in fact (Killbear). I think it was 6 or 7 years ago on our annual family camping trip. It was a slow day at the campsite, so I decided to take a drive to the park office and see if I could find an official to to talk to about geocaching. I don't know if it was the sup't I was talking to or a warden, but I received a flat "No" when it came to their interest in having caches in the park. I think he even used the word "hate" about the idea.

 

I had a ready-made cache (ammo can with swag, logbook, stashnote) in the van and asked if he'd like to see it. He took a look, seemed interested, asked some questions, but was in no way swayed from his position. He was surprised when I told him that there were some active caches in the park. One that I have a watch on is still there. Light House Point Trail (Killbear)

 

I think some of these employees enjoy lording over the properties they oversee, and have lost sight of who the parks are for and who helps fund them.

 

Is the Lighthouse Cache actually technically in the park? If you look on maps the cache sits on this non-park part of the peninsula.(park is green, lighthouse sits on white portion) The lighthouse itself would be under the administration of the Federal Government and so I am guessing they would own the lighthouse and some buffer land around it.

 

If you look at Google Maps it seems to indicate this is the case and the cache is on that portion of land.

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I had a similar experience to Derek's, in the same park in fact (Killbear). I think it was 6 or 7 years ago on our annual family camping trip. It was a slow day at the campsite, so I decided to take a drive to the park office and see if I could find an official to to talk to about geocaching. I don't know if it was the sup't I was talking to or a warden, but I received a flat "No" when it came to their interest in having caches in the park. I think he even used the word "hate" about the idea.

 

I had a ready-made cache (ammo can with swag, logbook, stashnote) in the van and asked if he'd like to see it. He took a look, seemed interested, asked some questions, but was in no way swayed from his position. He was surprised when I told him that there were some active caches in the park. One that I have a watch on is still there. Light House Point Trail (Killbear)

 

I think some of these employees enjoy lording over the properties they oversee, and have lost sight of who the parks are for and who helps fund them.

 

Is the Lighthouse Cache actually technically in the park? If you look on maps the cache sits on this non-park part of the peninsula.(park is green, lighthouse sits on white portion) The lighthouse itself would be under the administration of the Federal Government and so I am guessing they would own the lighthouse and some buffer land around it.

 

If you look at Google Maps it seems to indicate this is the case and the cache is on that portion of land.

 

Well I believe you're right Al. Looks like that one's technically not in the park. There was another one in the park until Aug 2008, Bear Country.

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the maps may show the lighthouse is not part of the park but the park staff maintain the trail that goes right by around the point. The ranger I talked to knew about that cache as he has done some geocaching.

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The reason why I ask is that my typical approach for locations that require verified permission is (paraphrased)

 

Date: Your cache in park (name) needs permission from them. Talk to them, have them contact me.

{CD waits patiently}

 

Date + 6 weeks later: I haven't heard "boo" from the cache owner or the park, so archived but if you want me to unarchive it let me know.

 

It honestly surprises me that I almost never get a note from a cache owner saying something like "Yeah I wrote/called them... here's what they said." Instead the listings just fade away like as if they never happened.

 

Still not sure if people really make any sort of effort, apart from the few (let's just call them) well established people. The forums really don't get that kind of activity.

 

:cool: CD

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The reason why I ask is that my typical approach for locations that require verified permission is (paraphrased)

 

Date: Your cache in park (name) needs permission from them. Talk to them, have them contact me.

{CD waits patiently}

 

Date + 6 weeks later: I haven't heard "boo" from the cache owner or the park, so archived but if you want me to unarchive it let me know.

 

It honestly surprises me that I almost never get a note from a cache owner saying something like "Yeah I wrote/called them... here's what they said." Instead the listings just fade away like as if they never happened.

 

Still not sure if people really make any sort of effort, apart from the few (let's just call them) well established people. The forums really don't get that kind of activity.

 

:cool: CD

I think the bolded applies to most new cache hides these days, at least from my perspective as a cacher.

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The reason why I ask is that my typical approach for locations that require verified permission is (paraphrased)

 

Date: Your cache in park (name) needs permission from them. Talk to them, have them contact me.

{CD waits patiently}

 

Date + 6 weeks later: I haven't heard "boo" from the cache owner or the park, so archived but if you want me to unarchive it let me know.

 

It honestly surprises me that I almost never get a note from a cache owner saying something like "Yeah I wrote/called them... here's what they said." Instead the listings just fade away like as if they never happened.

 

Still not sure if people really make any sort of effort, apart from the few (let's just call them) well established people. The forums really don't get that kind of activity.

 

:cool: CD

I think the bolded applies to most new cache hides these days, at least from my perspective as a cacher.

 

Wow you crystallized my thoughts exactly but in a whole lot nicer way. :laughing:

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