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A Tale of Two Caches


NeverSummer
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Here is a tale of two caches I'm wondering about. It all started in a land far, far away...

 

An enthusiastic geocacher places a cache in town. It receieves many visits, and people enjoy logging the find and sorting through the trade items inside. Over time the geocacher stops playing the game. Their cache continues on, and finds accumulate. As time wears on, however, the cache falls under disrepair, and not only are "Found It" logs coming in, but also a "Needs Maintenance" here and there. By now the cache has an inactive owner. There are outstanding NM logs, and the attribute remains on the cache listing for months, and eventually years. Maintenance needs like a new logbook and even having been moved from its hiding place are present. Unfortunately, this cache also has inaccurate D/T ratings and somewhat soft coordinates. Even though this cache has been grandfathered for how it is hidden, it might become emulated as a hide in the future. Eventually, a "Needs Archived" log appears. Someone tries to contact the owner to adopt the cache, but finds their emails unanswered.

 

Another enthusiastic geocacher places a cache in town. It receieves many visits, and people enjoy logging the find and sorting through the trade items inside. Over time the geocacher stops playing the game. Their cache continues on, and finds accumulate. As time wears on, however, the cache falls under disrepair, and not only are "Found It" logs coming in, but also a "Needs Maintenance" here and there. By now the cache has an inactive owner. There are outstanding NM logs, and the attribute remains on the cache listing for months, and eventually years. Maintenance needs like a new logbook and even having been moved from its hiding place are present. Unfortunately, this cache also has inaccurate D/T ratings and somewhat soft coordinates. Even though this cache has been grandfathered for how it is hidden, it might become emulated as a hide in the future. Eventually, a "Needs Archived" log appears. Someone tries to contact the owner to adopt the cache, but finds their emails unanswered.

 

Now, what is the difference between these two caches? Can anyone tell? It's subtle, but to some it is important. How would you handle a cache like this? How would you expect a Reviewer to handle the caches? If you are a Reviewer, how would you handle these caches?

 

What if one cache were hidden in 2001, and the other in 2008? Which cache above is which? Does age have anything to do with how a cache is handled when the conditions and situations are identical?

 

Discuss. I'm interested to see what folks have to say. Similar topics have come up, but none really asking about apples to apples. Please try to use the guidelines as you make your case. Users who are also Reviewers, please feel free to chime in with directive you may have received on how to handle inactive owners and derelict caches.

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If you believe that history and longevity have no place in geocaching than all the caches that meet the criteria you described should be archived. Not every old cache should be preserved.

 

I do think that there are certain caches that should be maintained as part of geocaching history. The first cache placed in a state for example.

 

In my town we have a baseball field that has been certified by the Guinness Book of World Records as the oldest ballpark in continuous use. It has been in the exact location since 1878. Organized baseball is still played there today. It's an amazing thing to stand at home plate and know that 136 years ago someone was standing in the exact same spot you are now, and some of those people went on to the baseball hall of fame.

 

I wonder if 136 years ago they thought about how important that little ball field would be some day?

 

If a great cache that I've already found was archived it would be easy for me to say "Oh well" because I've already done it. But what about that new cacher who will never have the opportunity to experience that cache.

 

Eventually caches need to be archived to make way for new cachers and new caches. Especially if they are no longer being maintained.

 

fortunately these things have a way of working themselves out. Caches that are worthy are usually passed along to cachers who will make sure they continue on. The others fade away in time.

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They should be treated the same. Even if hidden in 2000, if a cache has been abandoned by its owner, it should be archived.

 

I agree.

Generally the only thing being preserved when it comes to "historical" caches is the GC#.

I've visited a few old caches that I had found when they were newly planted. Years later - not much remains the same.

Edited by L0ne.R
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Does age have anything to do with how a cache is handled when the conditions and situations are identical?

Yes. Some people will put effort into keeping a cache over a decade old going that they wouldn't put into maintaining a more modern cache. Is that a problem?

 

They should be treated the same. Even if hidden in 2000, if a cache has been abandoned by its owner, it should be archived.

I don't accept that that's a hard and fast rule. There's already a standard of grandfathering various exceptions for older caches, and I see no reason that similar allowances couldn't be made for an old cache that's lost its owner, if we wanted to.

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Assuming there are no serious guideline issues involved, I have a three fold set of circumstances which will equate to a "Needs Archived" log, from me.

 

First, the container needs to be in significant distress.

Second, the owner is MIA, or ignoring the issues.

Finally, the community is unwilling to keep it alive.

 

I guess the biggest issue, for me, is that the cache be viable. I'm not adamantly opposed to a community keeping a cache alive, if the owner is unwilling or unable to do so, though I still feel it is the owner's responsibility. It's been my experience that caches which communities determine to have significant historical value, however that is determined, are more likely to have folks willing to take care of it.

 

That being said, in the two mirror like examples you posted, it did not appear that the community was willing to keep the cache alive. If that's the case, I think they should both be archived.

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My view is that the local caching community should be allowed to play a part. If that community shows interest in maintaining a cache why not let them? There are various reasons why this could be, but I'm not sure those are even relevant. Caching is community activity. If the community feels their is some value in something so be it.

 

However, I recently received an email from a Reviewer that leads me to believe this isn't how the game works:

Once a reviewer gets notified / involved, it's up to the cache owner to respond. If they don't, the cache will be archived (regardless of actual conditions)

I read this to mean that even if the cache is viable, and there is community support for it, the Reviewer would archive it anyways without a response from the CO. I'm not sure if this was one Reviewer's policy, or Groundspeak-wide, but it got me thinking about how it could be misused by someone wanting to archive old caches. Theoretically, even if a cache is in perfect repair and being found every day, if someone posts a NA log and the CO is no longer playing/responding, than the cache will get archived.

 

That issue aside, the fact that communities sometimes want to maintain their "historic" caches indicates that they find some value in this. I wonder if things like the Jasmer challenge or DOAs (Dozen Oldest Active) drive this interest. The community has the option re-hide a cache where the historic/archived one was, and even link to the historic cache's page to maintain some kind of continuous record. But the replacement cache will no longer show up as an old-time cache in searches and it seems like people regard this as a loss that could be avoided.

 

Perhaps I haven't been caching long enough (or read enough forum threads) to understand why it is so important that old caches not get adopted by a community for the sake of maintaining a historic continuity. I get this nagging feeling that I'm missing some aspect of this issue which is the driver behind the quote from the Reviewer above. But for the time being, I am still of the opinion that if a community is willing and wanting to adopt, they should be allowed to.

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I am of the opinion that if the CO is no longer in the game for any reason, quit the game, deceased, or whatever, and isn't responding to NMs or NAs, then the cache needs to go away.

 

The upside is that a new cache can be placed in that location, possibly a better cache, but by a CO that is currently playing the game and actively interested. It gives a location for a new :) in what may very well be a saturated area.

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All in all this is a nice and even a bit enlightening thread so far.

 

That said, I'm very interested in how these stated opinions line up with the guidelines.

 

Let's also, for the sake of going more in depth with what some have said, mention this part of the "identical caches" again:

Both caches have not only an inactive owner, but also an inaccurate listing (D/T ratings or coordinates), and the constant presence of the NM attribute due to the lack of owner maintenance of the listing.

 

 

 

To counter the question about community maintenance, what sets community maintenance apart from owner maintenance? The most practical answer is the maintenance of the listing. If the community is not able to maintain the listing, what then of the cache?

 

Also, what happens when the goodhearted person/people also move away or quit the game. Will this same cache with an inactive owner not simply continue to continue to be "under the weather"?

Edited by NeverSummer
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Does age have anything to do with how a cache is handled when the conditions and situations are identical?

Yes. Some people will put effort into keeping a cache over a decade old going that they wouldn't put into maintaining a more modern cache. Is that a problem?

Predictably, dprovan, you chime in thinking there is an agenda, stirring a pot that hasn't yet been stirred.

 

Also, your statement doesn't really address the context of the question, does it? Identical caches, apart from the date they were placed. It isn't a "problem" that people will maintain an older cache, no, but should age set a cache apart according to the guidelines?

 

Read about the two caches again. Disregard the age of the cache. Apart from your "because they can" argument, why would these caches remain active when a NA log has been posted when put against the guidelines?

 

There's a snack. I don't plan on feeding much more. :anibad:

Edited by NeverSummer
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Predictably, dprovan, you chime in thinking there is an agenda, stirring a pot that hasn't yet been stirred.

I believe I merely asked if there was an agenda, something I'm still curious about since you didn't answer.

 

Also, your statement doesn't really address the context of the question, does it? Identical caches, apart from the date they were placed. It isn't a "problem" that people will maintain an older cache, no, but should age set a cache apart according to the guidelines?

I answered the question I quoted. I'm sorry if not taking into account a larger context was a requirement I didn't understand.

 

And I already answered this question: the guidelines already allow for older caches violating current rules, and I see no reason that same "old enough to violate the guidelines" tradition couldn't be applied here if someone wanted to.

 

Read about the two caches again. Disregard the age of the cache. Apart from your "because they can" argument, why would these caches remain active when a NA log has been posted when put against the guidelines?

If I disregard the age two caches, then there's nothing to talk about, so I'm not sure what you want someone to say about it.

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However, I recently received an email from a Reviewer that leads me to believe this isn't how the game works:

Once a reviewer gets notified / involved, it's up to the cache owner to respond. If they don't, the cache will be archived (regardless of actual conditions)

I read this to mean that even if the cache is viable, and there is community support for it, the Reviewer would archive it anyways without a response from the CO.

Yeah, that makes sense. Once someone pulls the trigger and files a needs archive, there's no particular reason for a reviewer to officially defend a cache against due process. I don't know if the reviewer's hands would be officially tied, but I can seen why they might be.

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No agenda. But you won't believe that. <_<

But I do encourage you to read again. You've missed some important context. But, you just like to argue so

 

Ingredients

 

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened

3/4 cup granulated sugar

3/4 cup packed brown sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 large eggs

2 cups (12-oz. pkg.) NESTLÉ® TOLL HOUSE® Semi-Sweet Chocolate Morsels

1 cup chopped nuts

 

Directions

PREHEAT oven to 375° F.

 

COMBINE flour, baking soda and salt in small bowl. Beat butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar and vanilla extract in large mixer bowl until creamy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Gradually beat in flour mixture. Stir in morsels and nuts. Drop by rounded tablespoon onto ungreased baking sheets.

 

BAKE for 9 to 11 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely.

 

Your approach to this thread is apart from the rest so far. Methinks that's a sign.

Edited by NeverSummer
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All in all this is a nice and even a bit enlightening thread so far.

 

That said, I'm very interested in how these stated opinions line up with the guidelines.

 

Let's also, for the sake of going more in depth with what some have said, mention this part of the "identical caches" again:

Both caches have not only an inactive owner, but also an inaccurate listing (D/T ratings or coordinates), and the constant presence of the NM attribute due to the lack of owner maintenance of the listing.

 

 

 

To counter the question about community maintenance, what sets community maintenance apart from owner maintenance? The most practical answer is the maintenance of the listing. If the community is not able to maintain the listing, what then of the cache?

 

Also, what happens when the goodhearted person/people also move away or quit the game. Will this same cache with an inactive owner not simply continue to continue to be "under the weather"?

I'll clarify for the sake of it:

This thread was not intended to promote a hidden agenda, or to passive-aggressively expose an issue.

 

In fact, the part about "grandfathered..." isn't really that important to this "tale". I was just shooting from the hip. The two identical caches were intended to demonstrate how they had more than one singular aspect that could have played into the NM and NA logs the cache received over time.

 

If that line raises hairs, feel free to ignore it. It wasn't my intention to include that as a can of worms, and I'd prefer if the thread didn't turn into a location to air your grievances about "grandfathered" caches or other taboo also-known-as "agendas" here in the Forums.

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Perhaps I haven't been caching long enough (or read enough forum threads) to understand why it is so important that old caches not get adopted by a community for the sake of maintaining a historic continuity. I get this nagging feeling that I'm missing some aspect of this issue which is the driver behind the quote from the Reviewer above. But for the time being, I am still of the opinion that if a community is willing and wanting to adopt, they should be allowed to.

 

I know of a real world example of a cache that was somewhat notable locally as a "lonely cache". There were a handful of finds on it when it was first placed, then went four years without a find (or dnf) log. It was only accessible by boat, about a five mile r/t paddle from the nearest launch point. I was planning on going after it for my 900th find when someone went out, couldn't find it and dropped a throwdown. When the original owner was still active he had moved the cache once but only posted the new coordinates in the description (and didn't use the change coordinates log). The throwdown was place "near" those coordinates. The problem was that although someone from the community had "maintained" the cache by replacing the container the listing still had the original coordinates. The reviewer tried to contact the original owner and asked the the coordinates be corrected using the correct mechanism (using a change coordinates log) but the CO never responded. WIthin a month or so the cache was archived.

 

The issue is that although the community can adopt and maintain the physical cache to keep it viable, they can't maintain the listing.

 

 

 

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One listing is from the very beginning of geocaching, the other is from after it morphed a few times. Its like comparing a 1966 Mustang to a 1975. If the community is willing to keep it going, I don't see any issues here. Yes, its not original other than the page and general location, but if the locals want to keep it alive for a Jasmer challenge, or for nostalgic reasons, why stop that? This is one of those times that the general forum opinion will be different than reality. The reality is that most people would like to see it preserved. If someone is looking after it, why disturb a Jasmer challenge? After a certain amount of time the iconic value becomes more important. At an event everyone knows that cache. The community can look after the cache, and the reviewer can remove NM attributes, which has been done a number of times.

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I like older caches; I can't explain why.

 

I currently own nine adopted caches. Three of those are notable because they were adopted to me back in the era when Groundspeak would let you assume ownership of caches from absentee owners.

 

Some I adopted because they were older caches, originally places back in 2001/2002. Mostly I only made minor modifications to the listings to bring them up to modern standards: stages of a Multi listed as additional waypoints, coordinates averaged with newer GPSr, etc. I did have one changed from a Mystery/Unknown to a Traditional since it was more accurate. (Another change I doubt Groundspeak would do today.)

 

The containers have been swapped out and the logbooks replaced. For some I scanned the old logbooks and posted them to the cache page.

 

Through all of those changes, I still feel there is a historical connection to the original cache even though the only thing that remained 100% constant is the GC code. Logically I know if those old caches had been archived I could have placed the new containers and logs at those locations and submitted new listings and the cache experience would be exactly the same for the finders. Emotionally though? To me there's something special about that old GC code and placed date.

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But Dan - what about now, when absentee owners' caches cannot be adopted? Is it worth keeping up an old cache just for its oldness now, within the current limitations - cannot update coordinates, D/T ratings, etc.?

 

When old caches COULD be adopted out, certainly I see it as worth it. But if the listing cannot be updated...

Edited by TriciaG
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The issue is that although the community can adopt and maintain the physical cache to keep it viable, they can't maintain the listing.

 

I certainly am learning something here. While I realized adoption of caches is possible (I even have adopted one), I wasn't fully cognizant of the Groundspeak guidelines on adoption. Specifically, that the CO (or their estate) needs to provide written permission in order for caches to be officially adopted. So what the OP is talking about here is unofficial adoption, where the community is keeping an old cache alive, but unable to official adopt it since the CO is unresponsive. Perhaps through communications with reviewers they are able to clear NM logs, or even get coordinates updated, but really, the maintenance of the listing falls on the Reviewer, not the community. This is unfortunate for the community. It doesn't feel right to me to put the burden of maintaining these listings on Reviewers. It appears that once upon a time, the Reviewers could allow these caches to be officially adopted. That is no longer the case (see Adopting or Transferring a geocache). I am curious how this came about. No doubt some kerfuffle caused Groundspeak to revisit their adoption quidelines to cahnge them to what they are now. I suspect some legal woes accompanied this.

 

I still feel that if there were a means for a community to officially adopt these listings, this would be ok. But without this, I concede that the old caches should get archived, since they burden the Reviewers, not the community that is interested in them. A shame, but there are better things to worry about.

 

And now for one last potshot: Long term, Jasmer challenges will disappear once there is a month that no longer has an active geocache, virtuals and webcams will also slowly disappear, since they cannot be transferred and the owners will eventually move on. But no big loss on either of those accounts. :o

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It appears that once upon a time, the Reviewers could allow these caches to be officially adopted. That is no longer the case (see Adopting or Transferring a geocache). I am curious how this came about. No doubt some kerfuffle caused Groundspeak to revisit their adoption quidelines to cahnge them to what they are now. I suspect some legal woes accompanied this.

Pretty-sure I remember reading of an owner, unable to be contacted, coming out of "retirement" to find his caches were given to another with a Reviewer's assist. Believe it was before '04.

I wouldn't blame a Reviewer at all for not wanting to get into that mess.

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But Dan - what about now, when absentee owners' caches cannot be adopted? Is it worth keeping up an old cache just for its oldness now, within the current limitations - cannot update coordinates, D/T ratings, etc.?

 

When old caches COULD be adopted out, certainly I see it as worth it. But if the listing cannot be updated...

An inaccurate listing is likely a good reason to let an older ownerless cache be archived.

 

I have seen some situations where a cache with no apparently active owne and grossly inaccurate coordinates had them corrected by a reviewer using coordinates posted by other cachers. I've seen other caches get Archived in that same situation. I think a lot of it may depend on the personal view of the reviewer involved and how much value he/she places on caching "history" -- some might step out onto a limb for an older cache deemed of value whereas others might take a hard and fast approach and just kill it.

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Here is my process.

 

I may receive information that a cache is in need of maintenance enough that it should be disabled (like a broken container with water in it), or the cache seems to be missing. If the owner is unresponsive to NM notes, then I will disable the cache page with a note such as this one:

 

Hello,

 

Based on recent logs, this cache may be missing. I'm temporarily disabling it to give the owner the opportunity to check on the cache and, if necessary, repair it. Cache owner, if you check on the cache and determine that all is well, or if you repair or replace it, then feel free to re-enable it at any time. If you feel that you will not be able to do this in a timely manner, then please archive it or post a log on the cache page letting the Reviewers know that you plan to attend to it.

 

If you reactivate the cache and/or post a note here within a month, then no action will be taken at this time. However, if a month passes with no response, then I'll assume that I should archive this listing.

 

Thank you for your understanding,

 

Cascade Reviewer

Geocaching.com Volunteer Cache Reviewer

 

If the owner responds and takes care of the cache and enables it, or posts a note with an explanation, then the process stops (or is delayed) there. If they do not respond, then I would archive the cache page.

 

When I do periodic disabled cache sweeps (posting warning notes similar to the one above, for caches that have been disabled too long), a lot of them will be archived after a month when the owner doesn't respond. I just went through this process recently in the state of Washington. I received two emails regarding two different caches that were archived, where a community member was disapointed because they would have liked to have adopted the cache or helped maintain it. We had nice discussions about how this process works.

 

As has been mentioned before in this thread, if a cache and a cache page is not being maintained by the owner, it doesn't matter if someone replaces or fixes the cache. If the listing cannot be maintained, then the cache needs to be archived. Adoptions without cache owner permission are not allowed anymore because the listing belongs to the cache owner. Groundspeak realized over time that if they are a listing service, forcibly taking someone's listing and giving it to someone else didn't make sense.

 

Now, hypothetically, if there is a much beloved cache that the community is actively maintaining, a reviewer could help out with maintaining the cache page. But this would be a rare occurrence, due to special circumstances. I have not yet dealt with a situation like that myself, in my (almost) 8 years of reviewing.

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Disregard the age of the cache.

If you are seeking honest opinions regarding these two hypothetical caches, you really should not suggest folks disregard what may, for them, be a point of consideration. Like it or not, agree or not, there are folks in this hobby who place significant value on low digit GC numbers. With that in mind, I'll have to offer two somewhat contradictory answers.

 

From strictly a guideline standpoint, both caches are identical. Both have no active owners, both are in serious disrepair, and both, (presumably), have been marked with an NA. A Reviewer, responding to such a log, may give a grace period, in hopes that the owner will pop back in long enough to take care of business. Or they may just pull the trigger.

 

From a personal standpoint, I'm okay with community maintenance on older caches. Granted, it's not an ideal solution. The cache owner should be willing to maintain their caches. But so long as the cache is viable, (which neither were, in your examples), I'm not all that picky.

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This may not be the most ethical idea but would one consider this:

 

The beloved Cache is abandoned by the cache owner. The reviewer archives it and the caching community is saddened. A local cacher goes to GZ fixes/maintains the cache and submits a new cache page using the container already at GZ. Now its active with a active owner. If the inactive owner comes back and says..hay thats my cache. You can always archive new listing and unarchive the old listing?

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Disregard the age of the cache.

If you are seeking honest opinions regarding these two hypothetical caches, you really should not suggest folks disregard what may, for them, be a point of consideration. Like it or not, agree or not, there are folks in this hobby who place significant value on low digit GC numbers. With that in mind, I'll have to offer two somewhat contradictory answers.

 

From strictly a guideline standpoint, both caches are identical. Both have no active owners, both are in serious disrepair, and both, (presumably), have been marked with an NA. A Reviewer, responding to such a log, may give a grace period, in hopes that the owner will pop back in long enough to take care of business. Or they may just pull the trigger.

 

From a personal standpoint, I'm okay with community maintenance on older caches. Granted, it's not an ideal solution. The cache owner should be willing to maintain their caches. But so long as the cache is viable, (which neither were, in your examples), I'm not all that picky.

Oh, Riff. :anicute:

 

Good point. Thank you.

 

From a strictly guideline-driven viewpoint, the caches are the same. Where it can become troublesome is when personal feelings about "old" caches comes into play, and when people want to keep a cache alive so that they can complete a challenge. I struggle with those feelings myself, but always tend to come back to the guidelines.

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This may not be the most ethical idea but would one consider this:

 

The beloved Cache is abandoned by the cache owner. The reviewer archives it and the caching community is saddened. A local cacher goes to GZ fixes/maintains the cache and submits a new cache page using the container already at GZ. Now its active with a active owner. If the inactive owner comes back and says..hay thats my cache. You can always archive new listing and unarchive the old listing?

That could happen, but why not adopt over the new, fresh cache and listing?

 

The hide date can always be entered for when the container was hidden when creating a cache page. That could reflect the original hide date, but this issue has been a "can-o-worms" in other threads presented and discussed in the forums.

 

To that end, let's try to keep this thread on the example and situation above about 2 identical caches and how the guidelines and Reviewer common practive apply to them.

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This may not be the most ethical idea but would one consider this:

 

The beloved Cache is abandoned by the cache owner. The reviewer archives it and the caching community is saddened. A local cacher goes to GZ fixes/maintains the cache and submits a new cache page using the container already at GZ. Now its active with a active owner. If the inactive owner comes back and says..hay thats my cache. You can always archive new listing and unarchive the old listing?

 

I was about to say the same thing, but to go one step further. The old cache listing is archived, but since the old container is either still there but fixed up, or a new container is placed (which could have been done by the previous CO without change to the listing) the new owner uses the same old placement date because technically speaking, that was when it was originally placed. Then the jasmer fans are happy, and the cache has an active owner. Everyone wins... (or do they?)

 

Edit - oops, seems I had this page open too long before posting and missed the above two posts... Never mind...

Edited by funkymunkyzone
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The beloved Cache is abandoned by the cache owner. The reviewer archives it and the caching community is saddened. A local cacher goes to GZ fixes/maintains the cache and submits a new cache page using the container already at GZ. Now its active with a active owner. If the inactive owner comes back and says..hay thats my cache. You can always archive new listing and unarchive the old listing?
There was a geocide in our area a while back. Some of this person's caches were "beloved caches", and members of the local community wanted to preserve them. This fit your scenario: the original listing was archived, and a new listing was created. The catch is that, technically, the original CO still owns both the original listing and the original container.

 

So when new cache owners recreated the cache listings, they had to specify that they had used their own containers, and had not reused the original containers (which did not belong to them). Otherwise, the volunteer reviewer wouldn't publish the new listing. But YMMV...

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But Dan - what about now, when absentee owners' caches cannot be adopted? Is it worth keeping up an old cache just for its oldness now, within the current limitations - cannot update coordinates, D/T ratings, etc.?

 

When old caches COULD be adopted out, certainly I see it as worth it. But if the listing cannot be updated...

 

As I see it, cache maintenance involves there areas.

 

- Maintaining the container

- Maintaining the listing

- Maintaining the logs

 

A community adopted cache can only maintain the container. If it becomes know that a cache is maintained by the community, even if the listing requires no maintenance, there would be no way to prevent bogus logs, spoilers in logs, profanity in logs, etc.

 

 

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...the original listing was archived, and a new listing was created. The catch is that, technically, the original CO still owns both the original listing and the original container.

 

Except that as per the guidelines, that original container should be removed if the cache was archived, but since the CO has abandoned the listing and the cache, it is now (and has actually been for some time) abandoned property - ie. litter.

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I was waiting for this thread to amaze me with something I hadn't considered

I must not be very considerate. NYPC's mentioning maintaining the LOGS was a new thought for me. :laughing: Granted, it reinforces my gut feeling that abandoned caches should be archived, so it hasn't changed my opinion, but it is also a good point in that opinion's favor!

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I was waiting for this thread to amaze me with something I hadn't considered

I must not be very considerate. NYPC's mentioning maintaining the LOGS was a new thought for me. :laughing: Granted, it reinforces my gut feeling that abandoned caches should be archived, so it hasn't changed my opinion, but it is also a good point in that opinion's favor!

 

Unfortunately, even archived caches can get bogus or inappropriate logs. Abandoned caches, with absent owners should probably be archived and locked although then you open up the "but I don't always log my finds right away" can of worms.

 

However, using the notification system, one can set up notification (I wish we could mulit-select caches types for a single notification) which only sends notifications when an archive log is posted. If I went to Europe and set up a notification of all archive logs within 500 miles of Paris it would tell me that I better catch up on my logging before an archived cache that I found (before it was archived) might be locked. Optionally, if a reviewer could post a "lock pending" log type, I could get a notification that a cache that I had found will be locked and the log message might say something like "This cache will be locked 48 hours from the posting of this log."

 

 

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What I'm finding interesting--but not surprising--in this thread is that the idea of a cache without an active (absent) owner which has fallen into disrepair, has received NM logs, may have problems in the listing, and has received a NA log should be archived regardless of community maintenance.

 

It all comes down to the guideline that caches are not only managed by their owners for the geocache site, but also for the listing and logs.

 

Can exceptions exist? Of course. But I can't say I'm surprised at the rather small variation in what folks think about these faux identical caches.

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What I'm finding interesting--but not surprising--in this thread is that the idea of a cache without an active (absent) owner which has fallen into disrepair, has received NM logs, may have problems in the listing, and has received a NA log should be archived regardless of community maintenance.

 

I find it unsurprising and disheartening as well.

 

It's been several years since I last did a NA log, and that was for a puzzle that didn't work any more. I just don't believe in posting NA logs for a cache that is disabled; nobody is going to be surprised that it's not there and there is plenty of room for new caches for people who are willing to place them in non-drive-up locations.

 

My general belief is that those who see it as their job to oversee the maintenance of other peoples' caches (let's call them "cache cops" for short) could spend their time and effort in much more productive ways that don't involve controlling other peoples' lives.

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Disregard the age of the cache.

If you are seeking honest opinions regarding these two hypothetical caches, you really should not suggest folks disregard what may, for them, be a point of consideration. Like it or not, agree or not, there are folks in this hobby who place significant value on low digit GC numbers. With that in mind, I'll have to offer two somewhat contradictory answers.

 

From strictly a guideline standpoint, both caches are identical. Both have no active owners, both are in serious disrepair, and both, (presumably), have been marked with an NA. A Reviewer, responding to such a log, may give a grace period, in hopes that the owner will pop back in long enough to take care of business. Or they may just pull the trigger.

 

From a personal standpoint, I'm okay with community maintenance on older caches. Granted, it's not an ideal solution. The cache owner should be willing to maintain their caches. But so long as the cache is viable, (which neither were, in your examples), I'm not all that picky.

Oh, Riff. :anicute:

 

Good point. Thank you.

 

From a strictly guideline-driven viewpoint, the caches are the same. Where it can become troublesome is when personal feelings about "old" caches comes into play, and when people want to keep a cache alive so that they can complete a challenge. I struggle with those feelings myself, but always tend to come back to the guidelines.

 

I'm a total sucker for preserving 2001 and 2002 hides, I have to admit that. And it has nothing to do with the Jasmer Grid, I was a total sucker for them long before this Jasmer guy even joined Geocaching.com, or created his oft-copied challenge. (His real username is Jasmerb, and he joined in 2007). So yes, I do like low GC numbers, and if one of these two caches in the tale is from 2001 or 2002, I would feel different about it. :lol: However, I am also an advocate of legitimate adoptions, and don't roll with any of that unofficially adopted by the community stuff.

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As long as people are finding the cache and the container's in good shape, there's really no reason to archive a cache. At least where I live, someone will donate a new logbook, wipe the cache down or rehide where it's supposed to be. D/T ratings are not that big a deal. Neither are soft coordinates if the hint is good or the hiding spot obvious. If the container's cracked and the contents moldy or the container missing, that's a reason to archive it. Our reviewer has archived quite a few like that.

 

I read your descriptions carefully, but could not see a difference. If the cache had historic value, I think my local community would make an effort to keep it alive. For instance, if the container was cracked, someone here might replace it. If it's just a run-of-the-mill cache, there's really no reason to replace the container and it should be archived.

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I was waiting for this thread to amaze me with something I hadn't considered, but it never did. Surprisingly, this is not a popular opinion, but abandoned caches need archived. Although creative, the idea of listing a new cache with an old placement date is one idea that I hope never catches on.

I doubt it will. In 2012 I hid a cache in November. It couldn't be published because of a proximity issue with a waypoint in a Multi cache I had forgotten about. I didn't get back until February of 2013 to move it. I tried to leave the original hidden date in place but the reviewer wouldn't let me.

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What I'm finding interesting--but not surprising--in this thread is that the idea of a cache without an active (absent) owner which has fallen into disrepair, has received NM logs, may have problems in the listing, and has received a NA log should be archived regardless of community maintenance.

If it's fallen into disrepair, significant enough to warrant more than one NM log, I suspect there is inadequate community maintenance. At that point, it probably should go away.

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What I'm finding interesting--but not surprising--in this thread is that the idea of a cache without an active (absent) owner which has fallen into disrepair, has received NM logs, may have problems in the listing, and has received a NA log should be archived regardless of community maintenance.

If it's fallen into disrepair, significant enough to warrant more than one NM log, I suspect there is inadequate community maintenance. At that point, it probably should go away.

 

Exactly. Likely the 'community maintenance' you described is not being done at all if the cache is in 'disrepair'. Which shows lack of interest on the part of the community, therefore archival would be appropriate. If both the cache owner and community have lost interest, it's time to go bye-bye.

Edited by The_Incredibles_
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As long as people are finding the cache and the container's in good shape, there's really no reason to archive a cache. At least where I live, someone will donate a new logbook, wipe the cache down or rehide where it's supposed to be. D/T ratings are not that big a deal. Neither are soft coordinates if the hint is good or the hiding spot obvious. If the container's cracked and the contents moldy or the container missing, that's a reason to archive it. Our reviewer has archived quite a few like that.

 

I read your descriptions carefully, but could not see a difference. If the cache had historic value, I think my local community would make an effort to keep it alive. For instance, if the container was cracked, someone here might replace it. If it's just a run-of-the-mill cache, there's really no reason to replace the container and it should be archived.

That's just it, there is no difference between the two caches and their described situations.

 

And, if we're going to use terms like "historic" and "value" together, what defines either? And, if we're assigning value, there certainly isn't anything in the guidelines that mentions how value is measured or a factor in now a NM or NA log should be treated.

 

I still get stuck on the cache listing and cache logs aspect of a cache without an owner. If a cache owner can be reached via email, then it changes the scenario. If the listing is accurate, then it changes the scenario. If there are no NM logs on the cache, then it changes the scenario.

 

Also, when talking about "community maintenance", there are different spots on a spectrum for how that name can be applied. It could mean taking care of a cache for someone who has moved away, or is not playing anymore but can still be contacted (some folks shared their personal emails and still respond when contacted about the game via that account, e.g.). It could also mean taking on a listing where someone has left the game completely. The fact remains, if the owner is inactive and unreachable, and their cache(s) have fallen into disrepair and a listing is also inaccurate, does age matter in context of the guidelines?

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When the adoption guidelines were changed to no longer permit non-consensual adoption, I specifically asked if the policy meant that caches with no active owner would be archived? link

 

Bryan's response was that if a cache has a needs maintenance and someone from the community report that maintenance has been done that it is well within the volunteer reviewer's discretion to remove the needs maintenance attribute. He also notes that if the are are issues with the cache that require the cache owner be involved (for example renewing a permit or permission for the cache), that it would be proper, and within the discretion of the volunteer reviewer, to archive the cache.

 

While there are some members of the community, and probably some reviewers, who don't feel reviewers should have this discretion and would prefer the policy be to archive caches if the owner isn't around to do maintenance, AFAIK, the policy is still the same as in 2008 and the reviewer has discretion to archive the cache or not.

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You're looking for a simple, mathematical formula to determine whether or not an ownerless cache should be archived. There ain't one. Geocaching is an art, not a science. B)

I don't think it could be called mathematical, (though I suppose I could add plus and equal signs), but I've created a simple process for determining if I should post a "Needs Archived" log. Naturally, it starts with two assumptions. First, there are no significant guideline violations, and second, my observations are made first hand, by me, at ground zero, and not obtained via my recliner.

 

A container in significant distress +

An inactive or unresponsive owner +

A community unwilling to maintain it.

______________________________ =

 

A Needs Archived log.

 

In both examples NeverSummer provided for comparison, all three criteria were met.

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You're looking for a simple, mathematical formula to determine whether or not an ownerless cache should be archived. There ain't one. Geocaching is an art, not a science. B)

Actually, I'm not looking for anything. In fact, I know that each cache is a case unto itself. There is no way to generalize when there are this many variables in the game, and in the geocaches we hide and seek.

 

Now, there might be some boxes that could be checked, or a flow chart to be followed, but no one answer to rule them all.

You're looking for a simple, mathematical formula to determine whether or not an ownerless cache should be archived. There ain't one. Geocaching is an art, not a science. B)

I don't think it could be called mathematical, (though I suppose I could add plus and equal signs), but I've created a simple process for determining if I should post a "Needs Archived" log. Naturally, it starts with two assumptions. First, there are no significant guideline violations, and second, my observations are made first hand, by me, at ground zero, and not obtained via my recliner.

 

A container in significant distress +

An inactive or unresponsive owner +

A community unwilling to maintain it.

______________________________ =

 

A Needs Archived log.

 

In both examples NeverSummer provided for comparison, all three criteria were met.

 

A container in significant distress +

An inactive or and unresponsive owner +

A community unwilling to maintain it+

Issues within the listing (D/T; Attributes (NM), eg)

______________________________ =

 

A Needs Archived log.

 

I took out "significant" because it offers an unreliable spectrum from cache to cache; "significant" is hard to apply objectively in most cases.

 

I think inactive and unresponsive are keys here. Inactive is one thing, and unresponsive another. Combine the two, and we have a clearer problem.

 

I don't think that community maintenance is a factor as much as it isn't written objectively into the guidelines for the game, whereas guidelines for cache ownership responsibilities are.

 

I added the "Issues with the listing", because it is another part which, to me, makes it seem like a more likely candidate for archival over a cache that could be fixed simply by another passing cacher adding a dry logbook/replacing a container/etc. Also, listings should be maintained just as the cache and cache site itself, IMO. I think that last part is guided pretty clearly by the guidelines.

 

TheIncredibles: I'm not trying to push an agenda here. Just interested in what folks have to say. It's interesting, and enlightening. The feedback thus far neither influences nor counters. As there isn't a "black and white" application in most cases of caches that reach publication, I'm fully aware that we are only describing shades of grey in this thread. I think we've done pretty well at pinpoining one shade, and we're talking about how it might be handled according to the guidelines.

 

We can talk about another factor, and that is the latitude Volunteer Reviewers are granted for handling geocaches in their jurisdiction. I'd be interested to hear how the guidelines of the game for placement and maintenance of caches and listings would apply for these two example caches against the latitudes some Reviewers might themselves apply to this situation.

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one answer to rule them all.

And in the ammo can, bind them... :lol:

 

I took out "significant" because it offers an unreliable spectrum from cache to cache

My formula was just for me, so subjectiveness isn't as big an issue as it might be if I were trying to create a formula for others. I have no problem determining if a cache I found is in significant distress. But I agree. Trying to create a formula for the world to use, needs to be objective. The term 'significant' might trip some folks up.

 

I think inactive and unresponsive are keys here.

Agreed. Your combining the two helped to clarify that, in the case of the hypothetical cache, the seeker is dealing with an owner who will not fix the cache. Ever. Ain't gonna happen.

 

I don't think that community maintenance is a factor as much as it isn't written objectively into the guidelines for the game, whereas guidelines for cache ownership responsibilities are.

Again, I will both agree and disagree. If we are trying to define a set of standards, using the guidelines as conditions, then yes, community maintenance is largely irrelevant. However, if we are simply trying to come up with something to use, as individuals, for deciding if we should use the dreaded NA, community maintenance might very well play a part in the equation. For instance, for me, the most critical part of the equation is the condition of the cache itself. In my opinion, a viable cache with no serious guideline violations, does not 'need' to be archived. If it gets messed up, and the owner fixes it, all is right with the world. If it gets messed up and JoeyBagOfDonuts fixes it, while not ideal, does move the cache, in my mind, from the needing to be archived column.

 

I added the "Issues with the listing", because it is another part which, to me, makes it seem like a more likely candidate for archival over a cache that could be fixed simply by another passing cacher adding a dry logbook/replacing a container/etc.

True. If the issue with the listing include the big red wrench, there is nothing JoeyBagOfDonuts can do about that. A duffel bag full of logbooks won't make that red wrench go away. I'm just not convinced that the existence of that red wrench, on an otherwise viable cache, is grounds for archival. I know the guidelines suggest otherwise, but the factors I cited were just my personal standards. As for the D/T rating, unless it was egregious, I doubt I'd be willing to log an NA, on an otherwise good cache.

 

Also, listings should be maintained just as the cache and cache site itself

I can't argue that. The guidelines say it, so it must be so.

I'm just not sure I'd fire off an NA based solely on an inaccurate page.

Maybe?

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one answer to rule them all.

And in the ammo can, bind them... :lol:

:laughing:

 

 

Also, listings should be maintained just as the cache and cache site itself

I can't argue that. The guidelines say it, so it must be so.

I'm just not sure I'd fire off an NA based solely on an inaccurate page.

Maybe?

I don't think as a "standalone" issue, no. But, if we're talking "math", I'd say that this would be a point where a NA log shouldn't be too controversial, even if it is an "old"/"historic" cache.

 

A container in distress +

An inactive and unresponsive owner +

Issues within the listing (D/T; Attributes (NM), eg)=

______________________________

 

A Needs Archived log.

 

Add in factors like someone wanting to adopt the site/listing, but can't (and has contacted the owner to no avail, and has notified the Reviewer of their hope to take over the site), and I think the cache becomes a strong candidate for archival.

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Also, listings should be maintained just as the cache and cache site itself

I can't argue that. The guidelines say it, so it must be so.

I'm just not sure I'd fire off an NA based solely on an inaccurate page.

Maybe?

 

I'm not sure if I mentioned it in this thread but I know of an instance of a cache that you probably would have liked (it required a 5 mile round trip kayak (or boat) trip) that as archived due to an inaccurate page. In that case, nobody posted a NA log, but after the reviewer determined that the CO was inactive and unresponsive, and thus couldn't correct the page, it was archived.

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