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turbine495

Bring back virtuals!

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I still don't really understand what all the debate is about.

 

virtual_72.gif simply became a 'virtual stage' in multi_72.gif.

 

No emails to absentee COs necessary. Yeah, you don't get a +1 on your virtual_72.gif, but if that's all that matters then I think you are kind of missing the point of virtual caches...which brings us full circle to one reason why they phased out the virtuals: crappy waymarks for the sole purpose of a +1.

 

I'd still rather have a virtual cache that takes me somewhere I might find interesting, than a multi of unknown length that may or may not take me somewhere interesting, or that might take me to the breathtaking vista only to then lead me a mile away to a film pot behind a sign.

 

But you still got to see the breathtaking vista you might not have known about otherwise. Seems like a win-win to me, really.

 

Up to a point. In spectacularly beautiful areas where physical caches aren't permitted (e.g. the Smoky Mountains) none of it works because the people who manage the national park won't allow the physical cache and Groundspeak won't allow the virtual cache.

 

I'm really not interested in Waymarking because last time I looked there was so much dross on the site I have no interest in wading through the garbage to look for the ones I consider worth finding.

 

In many ways for me the bottom line is that geocaching has "evolved" into a game that just isn't much fun any more. I'm wondering if there's any inclination to change it back to when it was more fun, or if the best thing for me to do is accept it's moved in ways I don't like and do something else instead.

 

The final line in the movie "Being There" goes: "Life is a state of mind". I believe that. Rather than trying to be critical of every type of cache, I just shrug and move on. There are plenty of fun ones and I find a reason to be positive about even the lowliest of LPCs...even if all I can say is that it brought me to a part of town I'd never been to before in my 30+ years in Atlanta. If that stuff bothered me so much, I wouldn't have spent months or years complaining in the forums about it (I'm not pointing my finger at anyone in particular)...I would have probably just stopped doing it and found something else to occupy my free time. Otherwise I would have turned into a REAL grouchy fellow.

 

And I'd still push for the virtual stages of a mystery or multicache if you want people to visit a certain location in a cache-restricted area. Multis don't have a distance limitation and you can make several virtual stages that take you to various points in such places before sending a person to the final container.

 

Honestly, I just don't find virtuals all that fun...MOSTLY because of the need to email the CO and how nine times out of ten you don't even get an acknowledgement or response and there's no way to know if the CO even is paying attention anymore. Virtuals feel like a ghost town of unregulated caches and if they ever brought them back I would hope GS would change the way they are logged and monitored.

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I still don't really understand what all the debate is about.

 

virtual_72.gif simply became a 'virtual stage' in multi_72.gif.

 

No emails to absentee COs necessary. Yeah, you don't get a +1 on your virtual_72.gif, but if that's all that matters then I think you are kind of missing the point of virtual caches...which brings us full circle to one reason why they phased out the virtuals: crappy waymarks for the sole purpose of a +1.

 

I'd still rather have a virtual cache that takes me somewhere I might find interesting, than a multi of unknown length that may or may not take me somewhere interesting, or that might take me to the breathtaking vista only to then lead me a mile away to a film pot behind a sign.

 

But you still got to see the breathtaking vista you might not have known about otherwise. Seems like a win-win to me, really.

 

Up to a point. In spectacularly beautiful areas where physical caches aren't permitted (e.g. the Smoky Mountains) none of it works because the people who manage the national park won't allow the physical cache and Groundspeak won't allow the virtual cache.

 

I'm really not interested in Waymarking because last time I looked there was so much dross on the site I have no interest in wading through the garbage to look for the ones I consider worth finding.

 

In many ways for me the bottom line is that geocaching has "evolved" into a game that just isn't much fun any more. I'm wondering if there's any inclination to change it back to when it was more fun, or if the best thing for me to do is accept it's moved in ways I don't like and do something else instead.

 

The final line in the movie "Being There" goes: "Life is a state of mind". I believe that. Rather than trying to be critical of every type of cache, I just shrug and move on. There are plenty of fun ones and I find a reason to be positive about even the lowliest of LPCs...even if all I can say is that it brought me to a part of town I'd never been to before in my 30+ years in Atlanta. If that stuff bothered me so much, I wouldn't have spent months or years complaining in the forums about it (I'm not pointing my finger at anyone in particular)...I would have probably just stopped doing it and found something else to occupy my free time. Otherwise I would have turned into a REAL grouchy fellow.

 

And I'd still push for the virtual stages of a mystery or multicache if you want people to visit a certain location in a cache-restricted area. Multis don't have a distance limitation and you can make several virtual stages that take you to various points in such places before sending a person to the final container.

 

Honestly, I just don't find virtuals all that fun...MOSTLY because of the need to email the CO and how nine times out of ten you don't even get an acknowledgement or response and there's no way to know if the CO even is paying attention anymore. Virtuals feel like a ghost town of unregulated caches and if they ever brought them back I would hope GS would change the way they are logged and monitored.

 

The thing is for the most part I have shrugged and moved on, which is why my find total for the year so far is a whopping three caches. What I'm considering is whether there's enough to geocaching to maintain my interest, whether there's any inclination among the powers that be to address the elements of it that have caused me to lose interest, or whether to just forget about geocaching and do something else.

 

What I used to get out of geocaching was being taken to new places, interesting places off the beaten track that I might not otherwise have found. I've come across many breathtaking vistas and cool little parks in town thanks to someone placing a cache, even if the cache was a virtual. Now I've grown bored of seeing my local caching map cluttered with little green boxes and knowing the vast majority of them won't interest me in the slightest. Frankly in my area it's reached the stage where I barely even bother looking among the endless film pots and keysafes to see if there is anything more worthwhile, or if a particular cache is likely to take me somewhere I'd be interested to see. So the only question is whether the fee for the premium membership is worth it for the times I'm away from home and caching is about more than hunting film pots. Truth be told if all I can say about a cache is that it took me to a corner of town I'd never seen before I wouldn't bother with it, unless there was something interesting about that corner of town. If it's a cool little park that's great, if it's just another skirtlifter cache in a parking lot and the only "attraction" is that I never parked there before, I'll pass. To me it's not an issue of "state of mind", it's an issue of finding some types of cache hold precisely zero interest. It seems to be part of the transition from "place a cache because the location is interesting" to "place a cache because there isn't a cache for 528 feet".

 

Virtual stages to multis work to a point, although I was under the impression (I could be wrong) there were at least guidelines on how far a multi could be from the posted coordinates. My understanding was that the issue was with keeping travel bug mileages accurate, although it seems like a rather daft reason to me because by the time a bug has racked up a few hundred or thousand miles I don't suppose anybody really cares that technically the distance travelled was 4,596.8 miles rather than the quoted 4,582.6 miles.

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The final line in the movie "Being There" goes: "Life is a state of mind". I believe that. Rather than trying to be critical of every type of cache, I just shrug and move on. There are plenty of fun ones and I find a reason to be positive about even the lowliest of LPCs...even if all I can say is that it brought me to a part of town I'd never been to before in my 30+ years in Atlanta. If that stuff bothered me so much, I wouldn't have spent months or years complaining in the forums about it (I'm not pointing my finger at anyone in particular)...I would have probably just stopped doing it and found something else to occupy my free time. Otherwise I would have turned into a REAL grouchy fellow.

 

And I'd still push for the virtual stages of a mystery or multicache if you want people to visit a certain location in a cache-restricted area. Multis don't have a distance limitation and you can make several virtual stages that take you to various points in such places before sending a person to the final container.

 

Ah... Hmm... There was a very interesting Virtual at Hamilton Death Rock. Where Alexander Hamilton died in the duel with Aaron Burr. Well, the duel was at the bottom of the Palisades. But that became an industrial railroad terminal, so the rock was move 240' upwards to the top of the Palisades... Historical and great views! Cache was archived by the CO. I put out a multi/mystery, which I had to archive when the 240' staircase was closed. Oh, well. Replaced it with a multi using facts from the plaque at the rock. Not as good, but more historical. Guess what! Some cachers Google the plaque, and avoid the historical aspect. They get the great view, but miss the historical impact of the Death Rock.

So, yes. I could replace the archived virtual with a multi. But that doesn't mean that everyone will visit the historical starting point.

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I know it's clearly not what you meant. But unless you can clearly define it in ways that specifically exclude such things, sooner or later reviewers are going to have to either start allowing them or end up in endless arguments over whose interpretation of a vague guideline matters.
I don't know about your reviewers, but the ones here are very familiar with off-limits areas (for example, the many 'open space' areas controlled by Boulder County), and I believe they have tools provided that assist them in defining those and assuring that placements don't fall within them.

 

The problem always comes back to defining "definite appeal". What has appeal to some lacks appeal to others.
For now, I didn't think the issue of 'appeal' should be part of the discussion. Besides, one could make that argument for any cache, virtual or physical. If we begin simply, then perhaps allowing a reviewer to permit a virtual to be listed in the position of any prior physical cache that was necessarily archived due to land use rules on public lands might be a small but useful first step.

 

As it stands major London parks are still open to the public but many have banned the placement of geocaches anywhere within the parks. So there have been a few caches that require people to gather information from inside the parks to then find a cache hidden outside, but given how beautiful the parks are it seems like a poor relation to being able to find a decent cache inside the park.
It sounds as though you're talking about multis that require acquisition of information from within the park. Putting aside for a moment the reasons being applied that make it impossible to place a physical cache in certain public spaces, we have had some land managers here who don't even want virtuals for fear people might actually COME to use the spaces we have paid for. At least allowing for replacements for physical caches where virtuals will be permitted seems a worthwhile option.

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I know it's clearly not what you meant. But unless you can clearly define it in ways that specifically exclude such things, sooner or later reviewers are going to have to either start allowing them or end up in endless arguments over whose interpretation of a vague guideline matters.
I don't know about your reviewers, but the ones here are very familiar with off-limits areas (for example, the many 'open space' areas controlled by Boulder County), and I believe they have tools provided that assist them in defining those and assuring that placements don't fall within them.

 

We're still not really getting anywhere in terms of defining what, if any, circumstances should permit the placing of a virtual. If we allow virtuals we open up all sorts of areas currently off-limits to physical caches, and we run the risk of producing large numbers of virtuals based on nothing in particular.

 

The problem always comes back to defining "definite appeal". What has appeal to some lacks appeal to others.
For now, I didn't think the issue of 'appeal' should be part of the discussion. Besides, one could make that argument for any cache, virtual or physical. If we begin simply, then perhaps allowing a reviewer to permit a virtual to be listed in the position of any prior physical cache that was necessarily archived due to land use rules on public lands might be a small but useful first step.

 

That might be a step in the right direction but if there is a problem with land managers deciding to ban physical caches because we can always use a virtual, the end result will include some good caches being archived and not being replaced with a virtual because there's nothing suitable to use as a virtual.

 

As it stands major London parks are still open to the public but many have banned the placement of geocaches anywhere within the parks. So there have been a few caches that require people to gather information from inside the parks to then find a cache hidden outside, but given how beautiful the parks are it seems like a poor relation to being able to find a decent cache inside the park.
It sounds as though you're talking about multis that require acquisition of information from within the park. Putting aside for a moment the reasons being applied that make it impossible to place a physical cache in certain public spaces, we have had some land managers here who don't even want virtuals for fear people might actually COME to use the spaces we have paid for. At least allowing for replacements for physical caches where virtuals will be permitted seems a worthwhile option.

 

It's hard to see how anyone can prohibit a virtual cache. If land is public then people are allowed to use it, and if there's a sign on the public land there's no reason why someone shouldn't note that it's 3 miles to Squiddleville. If there's a vista on the public land and a sign saying "Billy Bob's Vista" there's no reason why someone shouldn't hike up to the vista, note that the sign says Billy Bob, and hike back again - how can any land manager claim a right to prohibit a hiker from accessing the public vista just because they decided to write down what was on the sign?

 

I am talking about caches where you have to find information from inside the park, then leave the park to find the final stage. It sort of works when the park is relatively small. When the park is more like the size of the Smoky Mountains, you lose the chance to do much of anything inside the park. I enjoyed a few virtual caches in the Smokies - they took me to waterfalls among other things. Had there not been a virtual there I wouldn't have enjoyed the waterfall any less, but the reason I found the waterfall was because someone had made it a virtual cache.

 

If I thought I could use caches (physical or virtual) to find those out-of-the-way places that were of interest, that alone would be enough to justify me maintaining my premium membership. As it stands what I see is a game that is evolving in ways that make it less and less interesting for me, so the simple reality is that my geocaching career is most likely drawing to a close. I'd really like to be able to use the presence of caches as a way of finding interesting places but with the seemingly relentless push away from quality in favour of quantity the good ones are lost in a tidal wave of dross.

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We're still not really getting anywhere in terms of defining what, if any, circumstances should permit the placing of a virtual. If we allow virtuals we open up all sorts of areas currently off-limits to physical caches, and we run the risk of producing large numbers of virtuals based on nothing in particular.

 

It's been suggested a number of times to follow the earthcache model. Get an organization or group to help review a category such as "history caches". It would need to have some sort of validation criteria, preferably one where you can't google or waymark an answer to a question on a historical sign. So at least they are based on something in particular, and not do what the parking lot sticker defacement game does with their concept of virtuals and dump hundreds of them within a few hundred feet of one another.

 

You could repeat this, if it worked out well, with a biological cache for example.

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We're still not really getting anywhere in terms of defining what, if any, circumstances should permit the placing of a virtual. If we allow virtuals we open up all sorts of areas currently off-limits to physical caches, and we run the risk of producing large numbers of virtuals based on nothing in particular.

 

It's been suggested a number of times to follow the earthcache model. Get an organization or group to help review a category such as "history caches". It would need to have some sort of validation criteria, preferably one where you can't google or waymark an answer to a question on a historical sign. So at least they are based on something in particular, and not do what the parking lot sticker defacement game does with their concept of virtuals and dump hundreds of them within a few hundred feet of one another.

 

You could repeat this, if it worked out well, with a biological cache for example.

 

In theory that sounds good. In practise, unless I missed something with earthcaches, they need pretty rigorous permission to be sought before taking people to areas that are public just to have a look around. I'd really like to be able to see the nice spots that are available to the public rather than just the ones where somoene was willing to jump through all the hoops to get permission for the public to go to a public spot and write down some information.

 

The other issue is that points are of interest for all sorts of reasons, and it seems daft to have endless groups set up to review/validate things based on just what category it's considered to be. But perhaps that it the only way to cut down the endless "me too" lame caches out there. Perhaps we could do the same for physical caches to get rid of the seemingly endless variations of "film pot behind sign".

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In practise, unless I missed something with earthcaches, they need pretty rigorous permission to be sought before taking people to areas that are public just to have a look around. I'd really like to be able to see the nice spots that are available to the public rather than just the ones where somoene was willing to jump through all the hoops to get permission for the public to go to a public spot and write down some information.

 

I never quite understood the rigorous permission that earthcaches need for areas that are already open to the public. I think it's good PR to inform the owner/manager of the land/park, as it could draw additional traffic (which is usually a good thing in the view of the park.) But I'd rather see the process for virtual caches like Earthcaches be one of informing rather than gaining permission. I'm not sure if this is a geocaching rule or a GSA rule though. It's possible something like a history cache would have different rules.

 

it seems daft to have endless groups set up to review/validate things based on just what category it's considered to be. But perhaps that it the only way to cut down the endless "me too" lame caches out there.

 

It seems to work fairly well for earthcaches, as we don't end up with earthcaches that take you to a rock at a rest stop where you describe the color as your logging criteria. Well, ok, I did find one of those, but the rest are usually well thought out because of the strict criteria the geoaware reviewers have as well as the GSA.

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It's hard to see how anyone can prohibit a virtual cache. If land is public then people are allowed to use it, and if there's a sign on the public land there's no reason why someone shouldn't note that it's 3 miles to Squiddleville.
Believe it or not, the one of our local agencies watches the gc.com maps for any issues that might occur, including the placement of a virtual, and if somehow the admin hasn't caught it, they will point it out. It's a pretty anal crew we have out here. In recent history, we've been able to get physical caches placed in Boulder County open space (at least in that portion that they allow anyone to see, much less walk upon), but they must be registered with the County and moved every 6 months. Same rules apply to virtuals. It's even tougher in some other local areas where nothing is permitted, even virtuals -- and they DO watch gc.com to protect their turf.

 

If there's a vista on the public land and a sign saying "Billy Bob's Vista" there's no reason why someone shouldn't hike up to the vista, note that the sign says Billy Bob, and hike back again - how can any land manager claim a right to prohibit a hiker from accessing the public vista just because they decided to write down what was on the sign?
Yeah - I'm with you, but you have to understand what/who we're dealing with here. Believe it or not, they are 'concerned' about adding foot traffic to their turf. One would think they would be pleased that some out-of-the-way but interesting sites would be attracting new visitors. Truth to tell, they see people as vermin, and only begrudgingly allow access to their parks at all.

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It's hard to see how anyone can prohibit a virtual cache. If land is public then people are allowed to use it, and if there's a sign on the public land there's no reason why someone shouldn't note that it's 3 miles to Squiddleville.
Believe it or not, the one of our local agencies watches the gc.com maps for any issues that might occur, including the placement of a virtual, and if somehow the admin hasn't caught it, they will point it out. It's a pretty anal crew we have out here. In recent history, we've been able to get physical caches placed in Boulder County open space (at least in that portion that they allow anyone to see, much less walk upon), but they must be registered with the County and moved every 6 months. Same rules apply to virtuals. It's even tougher in some other local areas where nothing is permitted, even virtuals -- and they DO watch gc.com to protect their turf.

 

If there's a vista on the public land and a sign saying "Billy Bob's Vista" there's no reason why someone shouldn't hike up to the vista, note that the sign says Billy Bob, and hike back again - how can any land manager claim a right to prohibit a hiker from accessing the public vista just because they decided to write down what was on the sign?
Yeah - I'm with you, but you have to understand what/who we're dealing with here. Believe it or not, they are 'concerned' about adding foot traffic to their turf. One would think they would be pleased that some out-of-the-way but interesting sites would be attracting new visitors. Truth to tell, they see people as vermin, and only begrudgingly allow access to their parks at all.

 

This is the bit I don't understand. If the area is open to the public then anyone is free to go there. If there's a funny shaped rock in the middle of the public land, anyone is free to go and look at the rock. If someone is looking at the rock and observing that it looks like a starfish, how can anyone place any restrictions on any web site that says "hey, come look at the funky rock and tell me what it looks like"?

 

I can see how placing a physical cache could be restricted based on usage policies, but how a virtual can be restricted is beyond me. I guess what we need is a virtual multi, where the first step gives the coordinates of the funky rock in the park.

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This is the bit I don't understand. If the area is open to the public then anyone is free to go there. If there's a funny shaped rock in the middle of the public land, anyone is free to go and look at the rock. If someone is looking at the rock and observing that it looks like a starfish, how can anyone place any restrictions on any web site that says "hey, come look at the funky rock and tell me what it looks like"?

 

You will not understand that from an European point of view. In the US in some parts they want to control everything and know about everything.

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You will not understand that from an European point of view. In the US in some parts they want to control everything and know about everything.

Yes, that is often true. Then again, it's a variable thing. Some agencies buy up a great deal of open space, but make a VERY large percentage of it available to the public for use (e.g., the State of Maine), saving aside only those areas with true need for avoidance by the public (e.g., special breeding grounds, etc.). Others buy up as much open space as they can with the primary purpose of just leaving it untouched, and for that matter entirely unseen, or at best, setting up trails and insisting that only those trails be used no matter what the historical trail use in the area has been for decades (We'll tell you where to step, thank you.")

 

What's worse is that there's sometimes no consistency even among the 'land managers' of the same agency who operate in different geographic areas. One may permit such use, while another does not. Their personal kingdom, their rules.

 

So the issue of both physical and virtual caches is sometimes an issue for us. I haven't ever bothered to venture over into the Waymarking side of things to see whether they've had any better success, or whether their admins are aware of enough of the local land use rules to even apply them correctly.

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Yes, that is often true. Then again, it's a variable thing. Some agencies buy up a great deal of open space, but make a VERY large percentage of it available to the public for use (e.g., the State of Maine), saving aside only those areas with true need for avoidance by the public (e.g., special breeding grounds, etc.). Others buy up as much open space as they can with the primary purpose of just leaving it untouched, and for that matter entirely unseen, or at best, setting up trails and insisting that only those trails be used no matter what the historical trail use in the area has been for decades (We'll tell you where to step, thank you.")

From an environmental point of view there's a case for both methodologies being used.

 

In principle you might opt for an outer-buffer-core model, with access restricted to the outer areas, but there are certainly cases that can be made, both culturally and environmentally, for the management of areas as wilderness zones where no recreation use is encouraged or where recreation use is greatly restricted.

 

In practice this requires a balance over a range of areas. It's entirely legitimate for one area to be totally off limits given that approach - although I think there's a case that land managers need to be up front about the meta-approach they're taking.

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This is the bit I don't understand. If the area is open to the public then anyone is free to go there. If there's a funny shaped rock in the middle of the public land, anyone is free to go and look at the rock. If someone is looking at the rock and observing that it looks like a starfish, how can anyone place any restrictions on any web site that says "hey, come look at the funky rock and tell me what it looks like"?

 

You will not understand that from an European point of view. In the US in some parts they want to control everything and know about everything.

 

Whatever "they" want to control, my question isn't about the desire to control, it's what means they use to control whether the public walk on the public land, and if they walk on the public land what can be done to tell people they aren't allowed to write down what the rock at the posted coordinates looks like.

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You will not understand that from an European point of view. In the US in some parts they want to control everything and know about everything.

Yes, that is often true. Then again, it's a variable thing. Some agencies buy up a great deal of open space, but make a VERY large percentage of it available to the public for use (e.g., the State of Maine), saving aside only those areas with true need for avoidance by the public (e.g., special breeding grounds, etc.). Others buy up as much open space as they can with the primary purpose of just leaving it untouched, and for that matter entirely unseen, or at best, setting up trails and insisting that only those trails be used no matter what the historical trail use in the area has been for decades (We'll tell you where to step, thank you.")

 

Even then, how can a virtual that essentially says "walk along the designated trail, and note the shape of the funky rock at the posted coordinates" be restricted, if people have an absolute right to walk along the designated trail and look at the funky rock?

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Even then, how can a virtual that essentially says "walk along the designated trail, and note the shape of the funky rock at the posted coordinates" be restricted, if people have an absolute right to walk along the designated trail and look at the funky rock?

In principle I agree.

 

If, for whatever reason, the increase in traffic could be considered to be causing a management issue then I think a land manager could make a case. There are examples of places where it's theoretically possible that the carrying capacity could be exceeded by such an increase in traffic. I think this is likely to be rare, but possible. I'd be particularly concerned if, say, a mega event were planned for a cache location like this - a large number of visitors in a short time could create problems for an area which otherwise might receive the same number of visitors but spread over a longer timespan.

 

I would hope this sort of thing could be dealt with by those in control though.

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On Thursday I hiked up from Century Drive about 24 miles from Bend Oregon. My hike was about 4 miles to get the answers to the 4 questions for GC3F56 Mt. Bachelor (winter).

For most of my walk I was walking on 3-4 feet of snow. I needed a 1.5/5 D/T combo to complete the Fizzy. I believe this is the hardest virtual I have ever done.

I believe Mt. Bachelor could use a couple more virtuals if they were allowed.

As for the Oregon Badlands, the problem is that we got a new land manager that decided that caches that have been in place for 10+ years had to go. We had an agreement with the previous managers the the 17 existing caches could stay but no more would be approved.

For the view of a cache owner of a Badlands cache, read the last log for Bye Bye Badlands. Take a look at the pictures while you are at it.

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You will not understand that from an European point of view. In the US in some parts they want to control everything and know about everything.

Yes, that is often true. Then again, it's a variable thing. Some agencies buy up a great deal of open space, but make a VERY large percentage of it available to the public for use (e.g., the State of Maine), saving aside only those areas with true need for avoidance by the public (e.g., special breeding grounds, etc.). Others buy up as much open space as they can with the primary purpose of just leaving it untouched, and for that matter entirely unseen, or at best, setting up trails and insisting that only those trails be used no matter what the historical trail use in the area has been for decades (We'll tell you where to step, thank you.")

 

Even then, how can a virtual that essentially says "walk along the designated trail, and note the shape of the funky rock at the posted coordinates" be restricted, if people have an absolute right to walk along the designated trail and look at the funky rock?

Very easily. If they spot a cache placement on their turf, they simply email the admin to have it removed from the gc.com site, and will even personally go out and remove the cache. Obviously, they can't remove a virtual, but they would request that the cache be archived. Back when virtuals were still possible, this happened several times in our area.

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Even then, how can a virtual that essentially says "walk along the designated trail, and note the shape of the funky rock at the posted coordinates" be restricted, if people have an absolute right to walk along the designated trail and look at the funky rock?

In principle I agree.

 

If, for whatever reason, the increase in traffic could be considered to be causing a management issue then I think a land manager could make a case. There are examples of places where it's theoretically possible that the carrying capacity could be exceeded by such an increase in traffic. I think this is likely to be rare, but possible. I'd be particularly concerned if, say, a mega event were planned for a cache location like this - a large number of visitors in a short time could create problems for an area which otherwise might receive the same number of visitors but spread over a longer timespan.

 

I would hope this sort of thing could be dealt with by those in control though.

As a percentage of total users of public space out here, cachers are a small percentage of the whole. Rather than consider the impact to a particular placement, they simply shut off use for an entire class of public space for our purpose. As an example .. before we had one of our local cachers (brave soul) sit down and negotiate a deal with them, a process that took quite some time itself, Boulder County did not permit any cache of any type anywhere in their massive open space holdings. At around 100,000 acres (over 150 square miles) of land purchased with public funds, they had quite a bit of space tied up for quite a long time.

 

Here's the deal that was negotiated with the County >>> http://www.boulderco...s/geocache.aspx

 

This part has proved inconvenient, but it's something we live with in lieu of no access at all:

 

"

  1. Expiration Date: You are responsible for removing your cache within six months of registration. If you fail to remove your cache, it will be removed and disposed of.

"

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As a percentage of total users of public space out here, cachers are a small percentage of the whole. Rather than consider the impact to a particular placement, they simply shut off use for an entire class of public space for our purpose... <snip>

Of course, the specifics of a location might well mean that there is a case for limiting or restricting access for specific land uses - it depends. I'm quite a long way from Oregan Colorado and I don't know enough about the general pattern of land use and so on.

 

It would seem as if the land managers simply don't want caching there. Well, there are cases that could be made for that approach even if the land appears to be extensive. For example, if the specific land is being restricted because land managed by another agency is open - using a core-buffer style of approach - then there is a valid case they can make.

 

They might also simply being a pain about it. I'm not going to argue that they aren't - simply that there are valid environmental management reasons that *could* lead to such land management decisions.

Edited by Blue Square Thing

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If they spot a cache placement on their turf, they simply email the admin to have it removed from the gc.com site, and will even personally go out and remove the cache. Obviously, they can't remove a virtual, but they would request that the cache be archived. Back when virtuals were still possible, this happened several times in our area.

 

I know that that happened in some areas of the US. In the case of virtual caches, I wonder however whether it was just a voluntary action of Groundspeak to archive the virtuals or whether the land managers have any right to ask for the archival. In my country there would not exist any legal way to enforce the request for archiving a virtual cache on land can that be accessed by the public. This not only includes public land, but also private property in forests.

There are only very few exceptions. It is not even required to stick to trails, except in nature protection areas, national parks and similar areas.

 

If I want to increase the number of people who visit rock X, I could write a newspaper article, a blog posting, a chapter in a hiking guide etc - there are many ways to make a location better known and the owner of the land could absolutely do nothing against it.

 

Cezanne

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You will not understand that from an European point of view. In the US in some parts they want to control everything and know about everything.

Yes, that is often true. Then again, it's a variable thing. Some agencies buy up a great deal of open space, but make a VERY large percentage of it available to the public for use (e.g., the State of Maine), saving aside only those areas with true need for avoidance by the public (e.g., special breeding grounds, etc.). Others buy up as much open space as they can with the primary purpose of just leaving it untouched, and for that matter entirely unseen, or at best, setting up trails and insisting that only those trails be used no matter what the historical trail use in the area has been for decades (We'll tell you where to step, thank you.")

 

Even then, how can a virtual that essentially says "walk along the designated trail, and note the shape of the funky rock at the posted coordinates" be restricted, if people have an absolute right to walk along the designated trail and look at the funky rock?

Very easily. If they spot a cache placement on their turf, they simply email the admin to have it removed from the gc.com site, and will even personally go out and remove the cache. Obviously, they can't remove a virtual, but they would request that the cache be archived. Back when virtuals were still possible, this happened several times in our area.

 

They could request the cache is archived but my question is about how they could possibly ban the public from accessing public land if all they are doing is noting some information that is clearly visible from the public land.

 

If there's a physical cache that doesn't have permission they could easily remove it. If so many people turn up that it causes a problem they could look to restrict access, but unless the area is particularly sensitive it's hard to see why that would be a problem. When I look at places like Dartmoor in England the general observation is that as soon as you're more than half a mile from the parking areas you hardly see anybody. Hiking in the state forests in PA the same applies, except there are fewer people still. It's really hard to see that thousands of people are suddenly going to descend on a remote area just because there's a new virtual cache there. Especially since, as cezanne said, there are all sorts of ways people might draw attention to an unusual geological or historical feature - it's clearly impossible for land managers to expect every blog post, faceache comment etc to remove all mention of the fact there's a cool shaped rock just off the trail in the land they manage, especially if that land is open to the public.

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You will not understand that from an European point of view. In the US in some parts they want to control everything and know about everything.

Yes, that is often true. Then again, it's a variable thing. Some agencies buy up a great deal of open space, but make a VERY large percentage of it available to the public for use (e.g., the State of Maine), saving aside only those areas with true need for avoidance by the public (e.g., special breeding grounds, etc.). Others buy up as much open space as they can with the primary purpose of just leaving it untouched, and for that matter entirely unseen, or at best, setting up trails and insisting that only those trails be used no matter what the historical trail use in the area has been for decades (We'll tell you where to step, thank you.")

 

Even then, how can a virtual that essentially says "walk along the designated trail, and note the shape of the funky rock at the posted coordinates" be restricted, if people have an absolute right to walk along the designated trail and look at the funky rock?

Very easily. If they spot a cache placement on their turf, they simply email the admin to have it removed from the gc.com site, and will even personally go out and remove the cache. Obviously, they can't remove a virtual, but they would request that the cache be archived. Back when virtuals were still possible, this happened several times in our area.

 

They could request the cache is archived but my question is about how they could possibly ban the public from accessing public land if all they are doing is noting some information that is clearly visible from the public land.

 

If there's a physical cache that doesn't have permission they could easily remove it. If so many people turn up that it causes a problem they could look to restrict access, but unless the area is particularly sensitive it's hard to see why that would be a problem. When I look at places like Dartmoor in England the general observation is that as soon as you're more than half a mile from the parking areas you hardly see anybody. Hiking in the state forests in PA the same applies, except there are fewer people still. It's really hard to see that thousands of people are suddenly going to descend on a remote area just because there's a new virtual cache there. Especially since, as cezanne said, there are all sorts of ways people might draw attention to an unusual geological or historical feature - it's clearly impossible for land managers to expect every blog post, faceache comment etc to remove all mention of the fact there's a cool shaped rock just off the trail in the land they manage, especially if that land is open to the public.

Many wilderness areas do allow public to visit but it is on a permit basis. Sometimes the permit is even free, but once all the permits for the day are taken, no one else is allowed. Now you could put a virtual cache in this area. But the land manager may object. They already have no problem filling the permit quota each day. Having a listing on a website and people visiting to score points in some internet competition only adds to the number of people who are trying to get a permit. Now, you as a geocacher probably feel that visiting a virtual cache is just as good a reason to visit the wilderness as any other. But the land manager may wish to give priority to people who like the wilderness rather than to those going to get a WIGAS point for visiting a location.

 

Another example. Wildlife and game preserves are often funded through hunting licenses and fees. The use of the land for purpose other than protecting the wildlife so that hunters can hunt it is strictly forbidden. The land managers limit public access. In hunting season they may limit access to hunters, in breeding season they many keep everyone out. But in general there are times of the year when the general public is free to visit. Mostly to hike and take pictures (hopefully of the wildlife). You might be able to have a virtual cache if the subject matter was tied to the wildlife or the game preserve itself. But otherwise the land manager may find this a use of the game preserver that doesn't fit with the purpose for which the land is set aside.

 

A final example. Land Managers with sensitive natural or historic assets are often very protective of what information appears on the internet. In particular they are concerned that posting the geographic coordinates of the petroglyphs or the entrance to the cave system that is home to some endangered bat species would attract people to the site. These sites may be known, but prior to GPS, and in particular prior to geocaching, there was no way for the average person to find them. There have been land managers who have asked that certain waymarks (and I'm guessing virtual caches) be removed from the listings to protect sensitive assets. It may be true that land managers can't completely eliminate the sharing of coordinates of sensitive sites. But it is pretty easy for them to find these on Geocaching.com or Waymarking.com (as well as Wikipedia and some other places) and ask to have the coordinates removed.

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You will not understand that from an European point of view. In the US in some parts they want to control everything and know about everything.

Yes, that is often true. Then again, it's a variable thing. Some agencies buy up a great deal of open space, but make a VERY large percentage of it available to the public for use (e.g., the State of Maine), saving aside only those areas with true need for avoidance by the public (e.g., special breeding grounds, etc.). Others buy up as much open space as they can with the primary purpose of just leaving it untouched, and for that matter entirely unseen, or at best, setting up trails and insisting that only those trails be used no matter what the historical trail use in the area has been for decades (We'll tell you where to step, thank you.")

 

Even then, how can a virtual that essentially says "walk along the designated trail, and note the shape of the funky rock at the posted coordinates" be restricted, if people have an absolute right to walk along the designated trail and look at the funky rock?

Very easily. If they spot a cache placement on their turf, they simply email the admin to have it removed from the gc.com site, and will even personally go out and remove the cache. Obviously, they can't remove a virtual, but they would request that the cache be archived. Back when virtuals were still possible, this happened several times in our area.

 

They could request the cache is archived but my question is about how they could possibly ban the public from accessing public land if all they are doing is noting some information that is clearly visible from the public land.

 

If there's a physical cache that doesn't have permission they could easily remove it. If so many people turn up that it causes a problem they could look to restrict access, but unless the area is particularly sensitive it's hard to see why that would be a problem. When I look at places like Dartmoor in England the general observation is that as soon as you're more than half a mile from the parking areas you hardly see anybody. Hiking in the state forests in PA the same applies, except there are fewer people still. It's really hard to see that thousands of people are suddenly going to descend on a remote area just because there's a new virtual cache there. Especially since, as cezanne said, there are all sorts of ways people might draw attention to an unusual geological or historical feature - it's clearly impossible for land managers to expect every blog post, faceache comment etc to remove all mention of the fact there's a cool shaped rock just off the trail in the land they manage, especially if that land is open to the public.

Many wilderness areas do allow public to visit but it is on a permit basis. Sometimes the permit is even free, but once all the permits for the day are taken, no one else is allowed. Now you could put a virtual cache in this area. But the land manager may object. They already have no problem filling the permit quota each day. Having a listing on a website and people visiting to score points in some internet competition only adds to the number of people who are trying to get a permit. Now, you as a geocacher probably feel that visiting a virtual cache is just as good a reason to visit the wilderness as any other. But the land manager may wish to give priority to people who like the wilderness rather than to those going to get a WIGAS point for visiting a location.

 

Another example. Wildlife and game preserves are often funded through hunting licenses and fees. The use of the land for purpose other than protecting the wildlife so that hunters can hunt it is strictly forbidden. The land managers limit public access. In hunting season they may limit access to hunters, in breeding season they many keep everyone out. But in general there are times of the year when the general public is free to visit. Mostly to hike and take pictures (hopefully of the wildlife). You might be able to have a virtual cache if the subject matter was tied to the wildlife or the game preserve itself. But otherwise the land manager may find this a use of the game preserver that doesn't fit with the purpose for which the land is set aside.

 

A final example. Land Managers with sensitive natural or historic assets are often very protective of what information appears on the internet. In particular they are concerned that posting the geographic coordinates of the petroglyphs or the entrance to the cave system that is home to some endangered bat species would attract people to the site. These sites may be known, but prior to GPS, and in particular prior to geocaching, there was no way for the average person to find them. There have been land managers who have asked that certain waymarks (and I'm guessing virtual caches) be removed from the listings to protect sensitive assets. It may be true that land managers can't completely eliminate the sharing of coordinates of sensitive sites. But it is pretty easy for them to find these on Geocaching.com or Waymarking.com (as well as Wikipedia and some other places) and ask to have the coordinates removed.

 

If land is accessible only by permit then it's easy to see why the managers may want to give priority to people who want to enjoy the wilderness rather than make a very quick process of walking in, doing the minimum required to get the smiley, then walking straight out again. Even so that sounds more like controlled land than what I'd call truly public land.

 

In PA as far as I can tell game lands are still open to the public, with a few specific restrictions during big game season. Certainly I've hiked through a few areas of game lands (and found geocaches there), just not in hunting season. There are trails through the areas, and one in particular seems (relatively speaking) popular with hikers. Where access to game lands is only permitted in order to hunt, people don't cache during those periods. That doesn't seem any different to the situation where a cache is hidden inside a park that is closed at night - if you want to find the cache you have to go during the day. Likewise if you want to find a cache in state game lands you have to go outside hunting season or on any days where hunting is prohibited.

 

If there are particular reasons why an area is sensitive it makes sense to restrict the number of people visiting, but posting a ghost icon will only draw so many people and posting the GPS coordinates of the cave entrance on a blog or faceache post would probably also draw a lot of new visitors. Again it's a reason to request an archival for a specific reason, rather than a demand that a cache cannot be placed for little reason other than "the land manager doesn't want it there" - if the land is public people are allowed to be there. If the sensitive area is very close to a parking area the chances are it will become well known very quickly, and if it's remote it's hard to see particularly large numbers of people hunting it just to get a single smiley.

 

If an area is particularly sensitive one would hope the reviewers would realise that the "wow" factor described in the listing would cause a problem and not publish it at all. If someone says "hey, check out the cave and take a picture of the bats" as their cache listing it doesn't take a genius to figure what's going to happen to the bats if dozens of people turn up firing flashguns in the darkness.

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Anytime I take a trip I line up any virtuals that are available, they have taken me to many great places that aren't in the tourist books. I would rather find a good virtual then a bison tube hanging in a tree, or a cache stuck on a sign somewhere. That is why I have lost interest in caching and became what I call a casual cacher. But you are beating a dead horse if anyone thinks they will be back. For some known and some unknown reasons Groundspeak and some of the moderators have made several excuses why virtuals should be eliminated.

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That is why I have lost interest in caching and became what I call a casual cacher. But you are beating a dead horse if anyone thinks they will be back. For some known and some unknown reasons Groundspeak and some of the moderators have made several excuses why virtuals should be eliminated.

Even if virtual caches were still being listed, my guess is you would have lost interest in geocaching anyhow. The idea that geocaching was a way to bring people to interesting places was surpassed long ago with the idea that is about finding containers and scoring smileys. The number of caches that are film cans and bison tube in uninteresting places would go up anyway. Virtual caches would have either had to have the "wow" requirement continually ratcheted up to keep the virtuals interesting or people would have found ways to flood areas with boring virtuals. If you don't think so look at Waymarking.

 

I once thought that Waymarking would be more popular than geocaching, because it would take you to interesting places without needing to do some silly search for a physical container. You'd never have to worry about bison tubes or film cans in lampposts. Instead you'd select the categories you were interested in an always be taken to a place that you would find worthwhile visiting. Unfortunately, little effort was made by the TPTB or the Waymarking community to develop this aspect of the game. So now there are lists of thousands of waymarks in categories that no one wants to visit and no real incentive for someone who wants to find interesting place to visit using Waymarking.

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That is why I have lost interest in caching and became what I call a casual cacher. But you are beating a dead horse if anyone thinks they will be back. For some known and some unknown reasons Groundspeak and some of the moderators have made several excuses why virtuals should be eliminated.

Even if virtual caches were still being listed, my guess is you would have lost interest in geocaching anyhow. The idea that geocaching was a way to bring people to interesting places was surpassed long ago with the idea that is about finding containers and scoring smileys. The number of caches that are film cans and bison tube in uninteresting places would go up anyway. Virtual caches would have either had to have the "wow" requirement continually ratcheted up to keep the virtuals interesting or people would have found ways to flood areas with boring virtuals. If you don't think so look at Waymarking.

 

I once thought that Waymarking would be more popular than geocaching, because it would take you to interesting places without needing to do some silly search for a physical container. You'd never have to worry about bison tubes or film cans in lampposts. Instead you'd select the categories you were interested in an always be taken to a place that you would find worthwhile visiting. Unfortunately, little effort was made by the TPTB or the Waymarking community to develop this aspect of the game. So now there are lists of thousands of waymarks in categories that no one wants to visit and no real incentive for someone who wants to find interesting place to visit using Waymarking.

I lost interest for the reasons I stated and some I didn't state. It used to be you could find caches with trade items, I have a bag full of trade items and find it kind of hard getting any of them in a bison tube or a pill bottle. Talk about lame virtuals, whats a pill bottle thrown under a bush? I'm not into numbers so a bison tube in a tree or under a bush every tenth of a mile on a bike trail doesn't do much for me. As far as interesting virtuals if the reviewers didn't allow the trash virtuals they wouldn't be there. When we took trips west the first thing I looked for to create my PQs, were virtuals, and I found plenty of interesting and informative ones, things that weren't in the tourist guides. One of the reasons that they got rid of virtuals one of the moderators stated was they could be done sitting at home at a computer, which is a bunch of baloney. The true reason from what I found out was they would never get physical caches in national parks as long as virtuals were around. I also don't believe I'm the only one that feels the way I do about the state of caching nowadays.

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That is why I have lost interest in caching and became what I call a casual cacher. But you are beating a dead horse if anyone thinks they will be back. For some known and some unknown reasons Groundspeak and some of the moderators have made several excuses why virtuals should be eliminated.

Even if virtual caches were still being listed, my guess is you would have lost interest in geocaching anyhow. The idea that geocaching was a way to bring people to interesting places was surpassed long ago with the idea that is about finding containers and scoring smileys. The number of caches that are film cans and bison tube in uninteresting places would go up anyway. Virtual caches would have either had to have the "wow" requirement continually ratcheted up to keep the virtuals interesting or people would have found ways to flood areas with boring virtuals. If you don't think so look at Waymarking.

 

I once thought that Waymarking would be more popular than geocaching, because it would take you to interesting places without needing to do some silly search for a physical container. You'd never have to worry about bison tubes or film cans in lampposts. Instead you'd select the categories you were interested in an always be taken to a place that you would find worthwhile visiting. Unfortunately, little effort was made by the TPTB or the Waymarking community to develop this aspect of the game. So now there are lists of thousands of waymarks in categories that no one wants to visit and no real incentive for someone who wants to find interesting place to visit using Waymarking.

I lost interest for the reasons I stated and some I didn't state. It used to be you could find caches with trade items, I have a bag full of trade items and find it kind of hard getting any of them in a bison tube or a pill bottle. Talk about lame virtuals, whats a pill bottle thrown under a bush? I'm not into numbers so a bison tube in a tree or under a bush every tenth of a mile on a bike trail doesn't do much for me. As far as interesting virtuals if the reviewers didn't allow the trash virtuals they wouldn't be there. When we took trips west the first thing I looked for to create my PQs, were virtuals, and I found plenty of interesting and informative ones, things that weren't in the tourist guides. One of the reasons that they got rid of virtuals one of the moderators stated was they could be done sitting at home at a computer, which is a bunch of baloney. The true reason from what I found out was they would never get physical caches in national parks as long as virtuals were around. I also don't believe I'm the only one that feels the way I do about the state of caching nowadays.

 

You're not the only one who feels that way. For a time I found it interesting to see how many caches I could find in a day but increasingly found it tedious to interrupt an otherwise perfectly good ride on the bike to hunt for a film pot in a fallen tree that turned out not to be there, or a keysafe among the spider webs and dead leaves behind a sign, or a nano stuck to a railing somewhere. As the game shifted from asking the question "why do you want to bring people here" to allowing anything as long as it didn't break proximity guidelines so the quality of the experience, in my opinion, nosedived. Where I used to be able to use geocaching to find all sorts of unusual and interesting places, now in urban areas it seems to find little more than a succession of signs with no claim to fame except the fact they didn't previously have a film pot behind them. In rural areas it's more interesting - if I've enjoyed a walk I'll be happy even if I don't find the cache (or even if it's a nano, although it seems a shame to hide a nano in a place that could easily take a much larger container), but I live in an urban area and have little interest in driving to rural areas purely in the hope that some caches will be interesting.

 

In fairness it's surprising how many virtuals can be done from the comfort of a computer keyboard, but that said with the increasing number of lame urban micros and the seemingly increasing number of people who start caching, leave a lame "me too" film pot behind a sign, then leave it to get archived for non-maintenance, it's not as if you can't "score" dozens of finds on physical caches without leaving the computer and nobody would ever know. So it seems to me that the powers that be have eliminated virtuals for a specific weakness and then driven the game to the lowest common denominator, thereby creating a situation where the exact same problem exists for the physical caches they appear so keen to promote.

 

But still, I figured some time ago that old-fashioned folks like me who download information into a GPS, look for boxes, and then write logs at the end of the day when we get home again aren't the target market any more. The folks who will pay their $10 for 3 months' premium membership, play the game for a few weeks and then lose interest and do something else must represent far more revenue for far less work than the folks who pay $30 for a year and then actually generate and download pocket queries and find caches throughout the year.

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Be advised that those doing land use management can insist that everyone play by their rules, including gc.com, and including virtuals. We've gone through that in the days when virtuals were still allowed. Of course, as we don't place those now, you'll still get a sense of the issue when considering the rules for traditionals. I'll toss a few interesting examples out that happen to be more or less local to me:

 

ANY Larimer County "Public Recreation Area, prohibited activites:

"To construct, place or maintain any kind of road, trail, structure, fence (electrical or otherwise), enclosure, portable corral, geocache, communication equipment, or other improvement on Larimer County Department of Natural Resources properties without prior written permission. FINE $50.00"

http://www.larimer.org/naturalresources/regs.pdf

 

Colorado State Wildlife Areas (hunting and fishing OK, geocaching NOT OK):

Note on page 2, Item #20. We are advised that "questing" by their way of thinking = "geocaching", and they don't care if it's virtual or physical.

http://case.epaperflip.com/coloradolands/#?page=4

 

Boulder County - at least we got a 6 month deal with them:

http://www.bouldercounty.org/os/events/pages/geocache.aspx

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Be advised that those doing land use management can insist that everyone play by their rules, including gc.com, and including virtuals. We've gone through that in the days when virtuals were still allowed. Of course, as we don't place those now, you'll still get a sense of the issue when considering the rules for traditionals. I'll toss a few interesting examples out that happen to be more or less local to me:

 

ANY Larimer County "Public Recreation Area, prohibited activites:

"To construct, place or maintain any kind of road, trail, structure, fence (electrical or otherwise), enclosure, portable corral, geocache, communication equipment, or other improvement on Larimer County Department of Natural Resources properties without prior written permission. FINE $50.00"

http://www.larimer.org/naturalresources/regs.pdf

 

Colorado State Wildlife Areas (hunting and fishing OK, geocaching NOT OK):

Note on page 2, Item #20. We are advised that "questing" by their way of thinking = "geocaching", and they don't care if it's virtual or physical.

http://case.epaperflip.com/coloradolands/#?page=4

 

Boulder County - at least we got a 6 month deal with them:

http://www.bouldercounty.org/os/events/pages/geocache.aspx

 

That still doesn't answer how they can restrict the public doing nothing more than writing down details from a sign on public land.

 

It's easy to see how they might restrict physical caches but so far nobody has explained what authority anyone has to say that a member of the public isn't allowed to write down what the sign says, on the public land they have a right to walk across.

 

The Larimer County example wouldn't apply to virtuals because the "hider" isn't placing or maintaining anything, they are merely using what is already there, either that somebody else placed (e.g. a sign) or was there naturally (e.g. a funky shaped rock, vista etc)

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That still doesn't answer how they can restrict the public doing nothing more than writing down details from a sign on public land.

That's pretty much the argument Jeremy had for allowing virtuals in the first place. If the area was legally accessible, how could anyone prevent you from going and taking a picture or writing down information on a already existing sign? He believed that land managers who objected to physical caches couldn't prevent a virtual.

 

What land managers object to is not the virtual geocache itself. It is the listing on the internet than they are concerned with. Now in the US, the 1st Amendment is going to make it pretty hard for someone to prevent you posting coordinates and description for a virtual cache on the internet. (I imagine that land managers in EU countries might find it easier ;) ). Still they will try, and if they can convince a court or a Groundspeak reviewer that there is a good reason to not have the virtual cache listing they may be able to get it archived.

 

Another alternative for land managers, if the virtual is to get information off a sign, is to remove the sign.

Edited by tozainamboku

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That still doesn't answer how they can restrict the public doing nothing more than writing down details from a sign on public land.

Yes, it does. If they find the cache posted on their land, they fire off a demand for archival to the admin, and if it's a physical cache, may even go out and remove it themselves. It happens. Not saying it makes sense with regard to virtuals, only that it's the way life works here.

 

I can only give you examples related to the current situation (physical caches, since we don't have virtuals), but DO understand that policies of this sort have been applied to virtuals as well in the past.

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That still doesn't answer how they can restrict the public doing nothing more than writing down details from a sign on public land.

Yes, it does. If they find the cache posted on their land, they fire off a demand for archival to the admin, and if it's a physical cache, may even go out and remove it themselves. It happens. Not saying it makes sense with regard to virtuals, only that it's the way life works here.

 

I can only give you examples related to the current situation (physical caches, since we don't have virtuals), but DO understand that policies of this sort have been applied to virtuals as well in the past.

I'll add here we had a virtual in Washington where the location took the user to an amazing view. Unfortunately, it also contained very sensitive flora and it was getting trampled and it was directly attributed to geocachers causing more damage than normal. Social trails were developing in locations where there were none before. The land manager insisted on the removal of the VM listing.

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That still doesn't answer how they can restrict the public doing nothing more than writing down details from a sign on public land.

Yes, it does. If they find the cache posted on their land, they fire off a demand for archival to the admin, and if it's a physical cache, may even go out and remove it themselves. It happens. Not saying it makes sense with regard to virtuals, only that it's the way life works here.

 

I can only give you examples related to the current situation (physical caches, since we don't have virtuals), but DO understand that policies of this sort have been applied to virtuals as well in the past.

I'll add here we had a virtual in Washington where the location took the user to an amazing view. Unfortunately, it also contained very sensitive flora and it was getting trampled and it was directly attributed to geocachers causing more damage than normal. Social trails were developing in locations where there were none before. The land manager insisted on the removal of the VM listing.

 

With respect, none of this gives any indication as to what basis the land manager has to insist that a virtual is archived.

 

I don't see any problem with a land manager requiring the removal of a physical cache as this would be something left on their land without permission. But if the land is sufficiently sensitive that the area is trampled, perhaps what it needs is some restriction on how many people can visit rather than whether or not a little ghost icon is allowed to appear to indicate that people might like to visit the public area. I wonder whether a land manager would expect a site like faceache to remove comments from people who posted "wow, amazing view here" with a geotagged photo.

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That still doesn't answer how they can restrict the public doing nothing more than writing down details from a sign on public land.

Yes, it does. If they find the cache posted on their land, they fire off a demand for archival to the admin, and if it's a physical cache, may even go out and remove it themselves. It happens. Not saying it makes sense with regard to virtuals, only that it's the way life works here.

 

I can only give you examples related to the current situation (physical caches, since we don't have virtuals), but DO understand that policies of this sort have been applied to virtuals as well in the past.

 

Anybody can fire off a demand but that doesn't mean their demand has to be acknowledged. I could fire off a demand that a particular cache is archived, and the recipient of the demand could tell me to go pound sand.

 

If Groundspeak has (had?) a policy of removing virtual caches based on a request from the land manager that's one thing but that's a very different thing from assuming they have a legal right to prevent the public from writing down the fact that it's three miles to Squiddleville from the breathtaking vista on public land.

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Somebody has their mind made up regardless of anything that might be said. <_<

 

Not really, I'm just wondering if anyone can explain what gives land managers the power to demand that the public refrain from writing down details of things that are visible on public land. People giving examples of land managers saying they don't want virtual caches on the land they manage doesn't answer that question. I'd rather people didn't walk past my house but I have precisely zero power to stop them because the footpath they are walking on is public.

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Somebody has their mind made up regardless of anything that might be said. <_<

 

Not really, I'm just wondering if anyone can explain what gives land managers the power to demand that the public refrain from writing down details of things that are visible on public land. People giving examples of land managers saying they don't want virtual caches on the land they manage doesn't answer that question. I'd rather people didn't walk past my house but I have precisely zero power to stop them because the footpath they are walking on is public.

Then you have to understand the charter the land managers were hired to follow. The charter usually is mandated by Federal and State requirements. How those requirements came about are another thing altogether. However, like you and I, those same land managers are told what their job is and part of that is to protect sensitive areas for everyone which also means a single group can't have special privileges and just trample where they want. The case I cited, dealt with a specific moss that takes hundreds of years to grow a single inch in height and it is very easily damaged. Our hider didn't know that and therefore didn't put in the proper caveats to take care. Land manager noticed and made the request to remove the listing to protect the area. They had the job, the responsibility and the right to make that request.

 

Geocaching's hiding policies historically reflect these kinds of requests made throughout the entire history of the game. It also helps them maintain we are also responsible caretakers of the land we use to recreate on. There is an underbelly to this claim but that's off topic and can support it's own thread.

 

Now, as far as bringing the virts back, the problem with this desire is what caused their demise in the first place. Your Wow factor is subjective. So is mine. Generally speaking, when combined with most everybody else's WOW factor, it became mundane... a big yawn in most cases. As well, most virts being placed could have easily supported a real container. Instead of being creative hiding a cache in those same areas, the virt was replacing the cache container because... wait for it... the low maintenance feature of it. TPTB having the big picture view, noted the pattern and decided this was not the direction they wanted the company to go in. Fair enough. A lot of companies have dropped things to maintain their core business. Listing hidden containers is Groundspeak's core business.

 

Change is inevitable and the best you and I can do is embrace the change and work within the system with the variants already in place.

Edited by TotemLake

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Somebody has their mind made up regardless of anything that might be said. <_<

Not really, I'm just wondering if anyone can explain what gives land managers the power to demand that the public refrain from writing down details of things that are visible on public land. People giving examples of land managers saying they don't want virtual caches on the land they manage doesn't answer that question. I'd rather people didn't walk past my house but I have precisely zero power to stop them because the footpath they are walking on is public.

Then you have to understand the charter the land managers were hired to follow. The charter usually is mandated by Federal and State requirements. How those requirements came about are another thing altogether. However, like you and I, those same land managers are told what their job is and part of that is to protect sensitive areas for everyone which also means a single group can't have special privileges and just trample where they want. The case I cited, dealt with a specific moss that takes hundreds of years to grow a single inch in height and it is very easily damaged. Our hider didn't know that and therefore didn't put in the proper caveats to take care. Land manager noticed and made the request to remove the listing to protect the area. They had the job, the responsibility and the right to make that request.

The issue in the US is that we have freedom of speach. A land manager can always go to a website and ask them to take down the virtual listing with the coordinates that they see an endangering something (or even just increasing traffic beyond what would otherwise be within acceptable limits). It's been discussed before whether or not anything would happen if Groundspeak refused.

 

I was only half jesting (in light of the Google privacy decision) that in the EU it may be far easily to get a listing removed or have virtual geocaches banned.

 

One reason that Groundspeak might want to cooperate with a request to archive a virtual cache is the hope that by working with the land manager they can convince them to allow physical caches in a less sensitive area. Groundspeak is demonstration that if a geocache causes some problem for the land manager it can be archived quickly.

 

The problem is that the geocacher who wants "wow" locations may think the petroglyphs or the endangered bat cave are "wow" and the spot 10 meters from the parking lot where the land manager allows a physical cache is not. So it comes down to whether you want physical caches to find or whether you want "wow".

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The problem is that the geocacher who wants "wow" locations may think the petroglyphs or the endangered bat cave are "wow" and the spot 10 meters from the parking lot where the land manager allows a physical cache is not. So it comes down to whether you want physical caches to find or whether you want "wow".

I get that, but it means the site supports a container and the cache description can encompass these things that are available to see while you're there. Again, working within the system...

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The problem is that the geocacher who wants "wow" locations may think the petroglyphs or the endangered bat cave are "wow" and the spot 10 meters from the parking lot where the land manager allows a physical cache is not. So it comes down to whether you want physical caches to find or whether you want "wow".

I get that, but it means the site supports a container and the cache description can encompass these things that are available to see while you're there. Again, working within the system...

 

Those who are in it for the "WOW", will grab the cache 10 meters from the parking and then go the extra 200 meters to see the "WOW".. Those only interested in the numbers will grab the cache and get back in their car, thus saving the environment for those who actually care...

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Somebody has their mind made up regardless of anything that might be said. dry.gif

 

Not really, I'm just wondering if anyone can explain what gives land managers the power to demand that the public refrain from writing down details of things that are visible on public land. People giving examples of land managers saying they don't want virtual caches on the land they manage doesn't answer that question. I'd rather people didn't walk past my house but I have precisely zero power to stop them because the footpath they are walking on is public.

 

I would hazard to guess that the issue arose because people were going off-trail and damaging the environment. I imagine not a single land manager would have any issue at all with people gathering information that can be gotten without leaving a trail that the land manager has built. The trouble is when there are "hidden" spots that cachers broadcast to other cachers via virtual cache listings. Perhaps this wasn't an issue back when virtuals were allowed to be published because they weren't novel then but today, a virtual listing is usually the most favorited cache around. If that listing is off-trail and somewhere that is sensitive to intrusion, a land manager is going to cut off the foot traffic at the source and in these cases, the sources are the virtual caches. While a National Park is public land, it also has rangers and managers who are hired to try to make sure it remains in pristine condition. All the NP's I've been to have been very accomodating to the public in building roads and trails and bridges (all of which require some of the environment to be sacrificed), so it's not surprising to see land managers getting angry about the damage that geocaching can cause.

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Somebody has their mind made up regardless of anything that might be said. <_<

 

Not really, I'm just wondering if anyone can explain what gives land managers the power to demand that the public refrain from writing down details of things that are visible on public land. People giving examples of land managers saying they don't want virtual caches on the land they manage doesn't answer that question. I'd rather people didn't walk past my house but I have precisely zero power to stop them because the footpath they are walking on is public.

Then you have to understand the charter the land managers were hired to follow. The charter usually is mandated by Federal and State requirements. How those requirements came about are another thing altogether. However, like you and I, those same land managers are told what their job is and part of that is to protect sensitive areas for everyone which also means a single group can't have special privileges and just trample where they want. The case I cited, dealt with a specific moss that takes hundreds of years to grow a single inch in height and it is very easily damaged. Our hider didn't know that and therefore didn't put in the proper caveats to take care. Land manager noticed and made the request to remove the listing to protect the area. They had the job, the responsibility and the right to make that request.

 

Thankyou - this is closer to answering my question than any number of people simply stating that land managers are making demands without stating what, if anything, gives them any right to make those demands.

 

I must admit it's still not clear why land that is open to the public can be restricted simply because the public choose to walk there - it would seem to make far more sense to fence off or otherwise protect areas that are particularly sensitive in order to protect them - otherwise if it's open to the public all it takes is a few people on mountain bikes or a large group of children running around playing Frisbee or whatever to potentially cause a lot of damage to something sensitive. If there's something that would draw people in then sooner or later someone will find it, post about it on faceache or similar, and the next thing that happens is you can't move there for the visitors.

 

Geocaching's hiding policies historically reflect these kinds of requests made throughout the entire history of the game. It also helps them maintain we are also responsible caretakers of the land we use to recreate on. There is an underbelly to this claim but that's off topic and can support it's own thread.

 

That makes more sense, if it's about a Groundspeak policy rather than any legal right the land managers may have it becomes a different matter entirely.

 

Now, as far as bringing the virts back, the problem with this desire is what caused their demise in the first place. Your Wow factor is subjective. So is mine. Generally speaking, when combined with most everybody else's WOW factor, it became mundane... a big yawn in most cases. As well, most virts being placed could have easily supported a real container. Instead of being creative hiding a cache in those same areas, the virt was replacing the cache container because... wait for it... the low maintenance feature of it. TPTB having the big picture view, noted the pattern and decided this was not the direction they wanted the company to go in. Fair enough. A lot of companies have dropped things to maintain their core business. Listing hidden containers is Groundspeak's core business.

 

I agree entirely with the subjective nature of the "wow factor", but would assert that the same applies with physical caches. In the past I've found all sorts of cool spots thanks to physical caches (and a few cool virtuals as well), but now it seems more and more like caches are pumped out in huge numbers for no reason other than because there's a post that doesn't have a film pot within 528 feet. The wow factor has long since vanished from most of the caches near me, and part of the problem is the restriction on caching in the Royal Parks. There used to be some cool caches in places like Richmond Park, Bushey Park, Regents Park, Hyde Park etc but now placing caches in the parks is banned, so we end up with wide open spaces off limits to caching and ever-more film pots behind signs around the park.

 

In the UK we have a "church micro" series which is currently something like 5000 caches and counting. As the name suggests they are based around churches and are mostly micros. Because many churches have restrictions on placing a physical cache on their grounds the typical approach is to find the minister's phone number from the information board, then look for a film pot behind a sign some short distance away. The inevitable tendency is a proliferation of uninspiring caches based on uninspiring churches for no reason other than the particular church doesn't have its own church micro. If these caches were made virtual it would mean the cache could be at the church, and if there were also a requirement that the information must not be readable from Google Street View or the church's web site it would force people to consider some other aspect of the church that might be of more interest. So, for example, the church with the foundation stone still visibly bearing the inscription of who set it and when would encourage people to find out a little about the church but a church without any interesting history might be spared having its own soggy film pot.

 

Change is inevitable and the best you and I can do is embrace the change and work within the system with the variants already in place.

 

Personally I have little interest in embracing change unless I see the change as an improvement. To be honest the gradual changes I've seen in geocaching since I started have mostly been to make it less interesting.

 

Earthcaches are an interesting variation, Wherigo seemed like a great idea badly and incompletely implemented, and to me the seemingly relentless push towards smaller caches and bigger events is the exact opposite of anything that makes the game more fun.

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I must admit it's still not clear why land that is open to the public can be restricted simply because the public choose to walk there - it would seem to make far more sense to fence off or otherwise protect areas that are particularly sensitive in order to protect them - otherwise if it's open to the public all it takes is a few people on mountain bikes or a large group of children running around playing Frisbee or whatever to potentially cause a lot of damage to something sensitive. If there's something that would draw people in then sooner or later someone will find it, post about it on faceache or similar, and the next thing that happens is you can't move there for the visitors.

"Public" lands are not "Unmanaged" lands. Laws and regulations manage what you can and cannot do in parks. Parks have designated managers, in some cases, employed at the City, State or Federal level, to protect the publicly accessible lands under the same guidance for everyone. It makes for a level playing field if you will. Just because it's "Public", doesn't mean Joe Public can go to it and do what he wants without repercussions. Some parks don't allow motorized vehicles, where others don't allow horses, or mountain bikes. It depends entirely upon the charter of that park, and how it is to be managed. I have no argument about your website examples. The other web sites provide information for visiting the site, but do not encourage folks to look under rock and log for a box or search for a specific landmark to answer questions required to "find" the cache. Geocaching on the other hand, is known to bring large groups of people to a location all at one time and the impact can be devastating. I know this from personal observation of several cache locations.

 

Children throwing frisbees is a paper argument and has no real bearing on this discussion. This activity is typically accomplished in a park designed for such recreation. They typically aren't throwing them at the edge of a pristine and protected area. Please keep your examples realistic. This is the type of rhetoric that caused me to remark you have your mind made up no matter what gets said.

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"Public" lands are not "Unmanaged" lands. Laws and regulations manage what you can and cannot do in parks. Parks have designated managers, in some cases, employed at the City, State or Federal level, to protect the publicly accessible lands under the same guidance for everyone. It makes for a level playing field if you will. Just because it's "Public", doesn't mean Joe Public can go to it and do what he wants without repercussions. Some parks don't allow motorized vehicles, where others don't allow horses, or mountain bikes. It depends entirely upon the charter of that park, and how it is to be managed. I have no argument about your website examples. The other web sites provide information for visiting the site, but do not encourage folks to look under rock and log for a box or search for a specific landmark to answer questions required to "find" the cache. Geocaching on the other hand, is known to bring large groups of people to a location all at one time and the impact can be devastating. I know this from personal observation of several cache locations.

I think team tisri's point is not that land managers can't have regulations on the land that they manage. The issue is that you have a location that is publically accessible where someone lists a virtual cache or a waymark. Logging a find simple requires going to the coordinates and perhaps taking a picture or getting some information. These are activities that a visitor to the area may do in the absence of the vitual cache or waymark. So the question has to do with whether a Land Manager has any power to demand that a listing on a website be removed. I keep saying this is a 1st Amendment issue. If there's a cave entrance at some coordinates, why can't I post that on the Internet? The evidence that listing coordinates of sensitive locations does bring more people to these areas (sometimes people who don't appreciate the need to protect these areas) explains the concerns of the Land Managers and possibly a rationale for censoring the internet.

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"Public" lands are not "Unmanaged" lands. Laws and regulations manage what you can and cannot do in parks. Parks have designated managers, in some cases, employed at the City, State or Federal level, to protect the publicly accessible lands under the same guidance for everyone. It makes for a level playing field if you will. Just because it's "Public", doesn't mean Joe Public can go to it and do what he wants without repercussions. Some parks don't allow motorized vehicles, where others don't allow horses, or mountain bikes. It depends entirely upon the charter of that park, and how it is to be managed. I have no argument about your website examples. The other web sites provide information for visiting the site, but do not encourage folks to look under rock and log for a box or search for a specific landmark to answer questions required to "find" the cache. Geocaching on the other hand, is known to bring large groups of people to a location all at one time and the impact can be devastating. I know this from personal observation of several cache locations.

I think team tisri's point is not that land managers can't have regulations on the land that they manage. The issue is that you have a location that is publically accessible where someone lists a virtual cache or a waymark. Logging a find simple requires going to the coordinates and perhaps taking a picture or getting some information. These are activities that a visitor to the area may do in the absence of the vitual cache or waymark. So the question has to do with whether a Land Manager has any power to demand that a listing on a website be removed. I keep saying this is a 1st Amendment issue. If there's a cave entrance at some coordinates, why can't I post that on the Internet? The evidence that listing coordinates of sensitive locations does bring more people to these areas (sometimes people who don't appreciate the need to protect these areas) explains the concerns of the Land Managers and possibly a rationale for censoring the internet.

a

I don't know if this will help any...

 

I have encountered managed public lands where one of the tools they employ for protecting the resource is the use of trail quotas. While the land may be open to the public, access is restricted (in terms of the number of people that are allowed in at any given time). I would imagine that restricting the number of people that are allowed is much more economically feasible than buying and having park employees go in and install fences around specific areas. In order to obtain a permit (which, in my experience, was often free) to use the trail one might have to go to a park office or go to a specific web site to provide information regarding the size of your party, where you plan on going, etc. and the number of permits can be managed. I don't know if this is the case, but land managers may have found that "advertising" a specific spot in a park on a web site not under their control has increased the number of visitors that enter the trail without obtaining the necessary permit, and thus the only way they can prevent that from happening (other than increasing enforcement), is to try and remove that "advertisement". I suspect that "increasing enforcement" just isn't a viable option because most public lands just don't have the staff to do it.

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"Public" lands are not "Unmanaged" lands. Laws and regulations manage what you can and cannot do in parks. Parks have designated managers, in some cases, employed at the City, State or Federal level, to protect the publicly accessible lands under the same guidance for everyone. It makes for a level playing field if you will. Just because it's "Public", doesn't mean Joe Public can go to it and do what he wants without repercussions. Some parks don't allow motorized vehicles, where others don't allow horses, or mountain bikes. It depends entirely upon the charter of that park, and how it is to be managed. I have no argument about your website examples. The other web sites provide information for visiting the site, but do not encourage folks to look under rock and log for a box or search for a specific landmark to answer questions required to "find" the cache. Geocaching on the other hand, is known to bring large groups of people to a location all at one time and the impact can be devastating. I know this from personal observation of several cache locations.

I think team tisri's point is not that land managers can't have regulations on the land that they manage. The issue is that you have a location that is publically accessible where someone lists a virtual cache or a waymark. Logging a find simple requires going to the coordinates and perhaps taking a picture or getting some information. These are activities that a visitor to the area may do in the absence of the vitual cache or waymark. So the question has to do with whether a Land Manager has any power to demand that a listing on a website be removed. I keep saying this is a 1st Amendment issue. If there's a cave entrance at some coordinates, why can't I post that on the Internet? The evidence that listing coordinates of sensitive locations does bring more people to these areas (sometimes people who don't appreciate the need to protect these areas) explains the concerns of the Land Managers and possibly a rationale for censoring the internet.

I get that too. The issue with any of this, is there isn't a single parcel of land in this country that isn't under some form of land management thus lands under someone's charter. First Amendment claims can't stop total censorship, but if the commercial enterprise wants to have a friendly relationship with said land manager, then there are certain things they need to abide by. Let's say a taxi decided to not follow the rules in Yellowstone and drives off road just for an example. The company receives a warning, the driver a citation. A second offense could mean the company now loses business inside the park. Now that's an extreme example but the point is the same, to limit damage, Groundspeak has to abide by the land manager's request if they expect to be able to use the land for recreational purposes.

 

In Washington, our club manager Hydnsek has made great inroads with our local city and state parks including our national parks to the point the feds have relented allowing caches in national parks subject to approval with the local land manager (Ranger in charge). This also required a total rewrite of leaving caches in park systems. Note, this is not just geocaches, but caches of any kind. We're lucky, the ranger at Mt Rainier is a geocacher, but there are limits he has to abide by when allowing a physical cache. Failure to follow that charter means we get kicked out again. It's public land, but it is managed at a Federal level and we have shown through the years we are responsible land care takers by helping clean up, repair and bring back to serviceable usage, areas of the park where requested.

 

So yes, in short, the land manager has the power as provided by charter and the regulations the land manager follows are written in detail. Challengable? Yes. How much money are you (generally speaking) willing to throw at it?

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"Public" lands are not "Unmanaged" lands. Laws and regulations manage what you can and cannot do in parks. Parks have designated managers, in some cases, employed at the City, State or Federal level, to protect the publicly accessible lands under the same guidance for everyone. It makes for a level playing field if you will. Just because it's "Public", doesn't mean Joe Public can go to it and do what he wants without repercussions. Some parks don't allow motorized vehicles, where others don't allow horses, or mountain bikes. It depends entirely upon the charter of that park, and how it is to be managed. I have no argument about your website examples. The other web sites provide information for visiting the site, but do not encourage folks to look under rock and log for a box or search for a specific landmark to answer questions required to "find" the cache. Geocaching on the other hand, is known to bring large groups of people to a location all at one time and the impact can be devastating. I know this from personal observation of several cache locations.

I think team tisri's point is not that land managers can't have regulations on the land that they manage. The issue is that you have a location that is publically accessible where someone lists a virtual cache or a waymark. Logging a find simple requires going to the coordinates and perhaps taking a picture or getting some information. These are activities that a visitor to the area may do in the absence of the vitual cache or waymark. So the question has to do with whether a Land Manager has any power to demand that a listing on a website be removed. I keep saying this is a 1st Amendment issue. If there's a cave entrance at some coordinates, why can't I post that on the Internet? The evidence that listing coordinates of sensitive locations does bring more people to these areas (sometimes people who don't appreciate the need to protect these areas) explains the concerns of the Land Managers and possibly a rationale for censoring the internet.

I get that too. The issue with any of this, is there isn't a single parcel of land in this country that isn't under some form of land management thus lands under someone's charter. First Amendment claims can't stop total censorship, but if the commercial enterprise wants to have a friendly relationship with said land manager, then there are certain things they need to abide by. Let's say a taxi decided to not follow the rules in Yellowstone and drives off road just for an example. The company receives a warning, the driver a citation. A second offense could mean the company now loses business inside the park. Now that's an extreme example but the point is the same, to limit damage, Groundspeak has to abide by the land manager's request if they expect to be able to use the land for recreational purposes.

 

This keeps coming back to the whole "if they (Groundspeak) expect to be able to use the land for recreational purposes" issue again.

 

If Groundspeak totally disregard the preferences of land managers where virtual caches are concerned they may find other land managers less willing to play ball where physical caches are concerned. This is a business decision that has nothing to do with what, if any, powers the land managers have to restrict people from noting down that it's three miles to Squiddleville. This becomes a matter of internal policy rather than the land manager having any legal powers to stop people walking the public trail and looking at the signpost.

 

In Washington, our club manager Hydnsek has made great inroads with our local city and state parks including our national parks to the point the feds have relented allowing caches in national parks subject to approval with the local land manager (Ranger in charge). This also required a total rewrite of leaving caches in park systems. Note, this is not just geocaches, but caches of any kind. We're lucky, the ranger at Mt Rainier is a geocacher, but there are limits he has to abide by when allowing a physical cache. Failure to follow that charter means we get kicked out again. It's public land, but it is managed at a Federal level and we have shown through the years we are responsible land care takers by helping clean up, repair and bring back to serviceable usage, areas of the park where requested.

 

Sure, if you've been granted permission to place physical caches you follow the terms of your agreement or the permission is revoked. That's a different issue because hiding a box involves activities over and above walking along the public trail looking at stuff.

 

So yes, in short, the land manager has the power as provided by charter and the regulations the land manager follows are written in detail. Challengable? Yes. How much money are you (generally speaking) willing to throw at it?

 

From what you've posted here it seems the land manager only has the power to be awkward elsewhere.

 

From the post in the middle of all the quotes, I get that some areas are sensitive and bringing huge groups at once can damage/devastate a sensitive area. What I've seen in the UK several times is that sensitive areas are fenced to protect them. In PA I've seen areas of the forest fenced to keep deer out to give new trees chance to grow before they get chewed by deer (with gates, so people can still walk through if they want to). But even in your quoted post you're still talking about people looking under rocks and digging around trying to find a sandwich box, whereas a landmark is typically much more clearly visible. If you say "go to the posted coordinates, enjoy the vista, and tell me how far it is to Squiddleville from the sign" that's a totally different thing to "go to the posted coordinates, enjoy the vista, and try to find the film pot hidden among the rocks. By the way, try not to trample the delicate lichens and flowers." The latter case will inevitably see some knucklehead trashing the place to find the film pot as fast as they can so they can get to the next smiley, but even if the knucklehead does visit the former location he can walk in, read the sign and walk out without touching anything. Sure, Mr Knucklehead might walk off trail because he gets to the vista a bit faster but people like that are going to ignore the trails anyway so they can see the vista without having to waste their time following the approved trails.

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My two cents. At our national geocaching website virtuals have never been banned. This was one of the reasons for the game to go far from geocaching and turn into a kind of tourism.

 

On the one hand, people soon realized that "placing" a virtual is much more comfortable than placing a physical cache. One doesn't need to go and buy a container, trading items, logbook; no need to search for a good hiding place; no need for camouflage; and what is most important there's (almost) no need for any further maintenance.

 

On the other hand, people started believing that "wow" is more important for them than any searches for any caches. Soon it became a general idea of the whole website. Visit great places, enjoy views, meet friends, share photos. And BTW don't forget to count windows in that building to get your smiley.

 

Nowadays many people openly admit they are not interested in searching for geocaches but use the resource to organise their trips to interesting places. There's very limited interest towards trackables, creative hides, geocaching news.

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My two cents. At our national geocaching website virtuals have never been banned. This was one of the reasons for the game to go far from geocaching and turn into a kind of tourism.

 

On the one hand, people soon realized that "placing" a virtual is much more comfortable than placing a physical cache. One doesn't need to go and buy a container, trading items, logbook; no need to search for a good hiding place; no need for camouflage; and what is most important there's (almost) no need for any further maintenance.

 

On the other hand, people started believing that "wow" is more important for them than any searches for any caches. Soon it became a general idea of the whole website. Visit great places, enjoy views, meet friends, share photos. And BTW don't forget to count windows in that building to get your smiley.

 

Nowadays many people openly admit they are not interested in searching for geocaches but use the resource to organise their trips to interesting places. There's very limited interest towards trackables, creative hides, geocaching news.

 

I wish more people focussed on the "wow" than the "me too".

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