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Ohio Department of Natural Resources policy

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I wanted to make sure to pass this along to everyone. This is the letter that Mr. Zody passed out to everyone at the meeting regarding the ODNR's stance on Geocaching.


Geo-Caching Tips for ODNR Properties


If you are considering establishing a cahce on prpoerty owned or managed by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, (State Parks, State Forests, State Nature Preserves, State Wildlife Areas) please adhere to the following guidelines to avoid legal complications and/or prosecution:


1. ALWAYS consult the locak facility manager for permission BEFORE establishing a cache. Many are eager to help determine safe, scenic, and fun locations.


2. Traditional caches are NOT permitted on State Nature Preserves or Wildlife Areas - virtual caches only. Illegally placed caches will be removed.


3. If you do not know how to contact a local facility manager, please contact the following staff:


State Parks - Phil Hoffman - (614) 265-6561

State Forests - Don Karas - (614) 265-6694

State Nature Preserves - Don Demmy (614) 265-6453

State Wildlife Areas - Jennifer Windus - (614) 265-6330


In speaking with Mr. Zody, he made it clear that the ODNR views Geocaching as a great opportunity for both the public and the ODNR. They see it as people getting out and enjoying the parks that were given to us, while increasing visits to the parks, more specifically parks that sometimes don't get a lot of use. PLEASE PLEASE adhere to thses guidelines so that we can continue to keep this wonderful relationship and not lose this great opportunity to place and seek caches on ODNR property. icon_cool.gif


Mr. 0


"Remember that nature and the elements are neither your friend or your enemy - they are actually disinterested."


Department of the Army Field Manual FM 21-76 "Survival" Oct. 1970

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I concur, Mr. Zody seems like a pretty nice guy. Ohio just doesn't have as much interesting undeveloped wilderness like other states(Oregon, Nevada, etc.) so it's pretty clutch that he's that openminded. I remember when I placed a cache in a nature preserve I got a Nasty-Gram from Mr. Zody that actually wasn't very nasty at all. Pretty nice actually. We should all chip in and get him something nice.

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Originally posted by Goat6500:

We should all chip in and get him something nice.

Isn't bribing the rangers like feeding the bears?

(feed it once and next time it will want your arm...) icon_razz.gif



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Recently, the "Our Lady of the River" cache went missing. It was apparently found by a park ranger and removed to the park headquarters. After the officials talked it over they returned it with this note in the log..




Nice folks...




* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

"Vince Malum Patientia"

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Glad to see that Mr O posted this here for everyone to read. Obviously this applies to all in Ohio. Anyone who caches in our state whether they are involved with an organized group or going it alone needs to be aware that we have the cooperation of the ODNR as long as we play by these simple guidelines. Let's not spoil things!


Be sure to contact these parks officials and let them know where and when you would like to place that new cache. Don't assume that since they have expressed their approval for caches, that it's ok to put caches out there and they won't really care.


For example: even though virtual caches in the Preserves and wildlife areas seem to be acceptable and one might be on an established trail, it still needs to be approved by the ODNR park manager.


IMHO the ball is in our court. Everyone needs to pass the word to others that may not read the forums.


$1000 Bill geocaching is living in a 30 foot circle

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Oh, the above cache with the fine ranger note is in Calif in a park that has no current policy. Chances are there will be a policy soon. Other locations in California are not so friendly.


Wherever caches are placed, most folks I know follow the local regulations, as well as Geocache guidlines.


I am a severely patient sort of guy..

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This I found on a site of a guy who placed a travel bug I started. Go's right along with other posts above. I agree it is important to tell rangers you would like to place a cache and where it is at. I have done this at Kiser Lake State Park with 2 caches and they were very acceptable to the idea. Anyway I am copying and pasting note from cache by bethelfootball#82


January 24 by bethelfootball#82 (9 found)

This cache will have to be moved due to the ODNR (Ohio Devision of Natural Resources) rules on not allowing geocaching in Nature Preserves or Wildlife Areas. It doesn't make much sense to me because this place is a public hunting area, and if your hunting your not really preserving anything. Those are the rules so this cache will be moved soon. Here is the message they sent me so you decide if this is a dumb rule or what


User Deputy Dog has contacted you with the following message:


Good morning. My name is Scott Zody, I am the Deptuy Director for Recreation and Resource Management for the Ohio Depatartment of Natural Resources. My user name is Deputy Dog (go figure).


I wanted to contact you regarding this cache and to inform you of the ODNR policy regarding geo-caching on ODNR properties.


While ODNR supports geo-caching as a family-friendly and enjoyable outdoor recreational activity, please be advised that many of our properties, including wildlife areas and state nature preserves, do not permit geo-caching to occur.


Unfortunately, because the Division of Wildlife utilizes Federal U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service dollars in the acquisition and management of their areas, we must conform with certain conditions set down by the Feds. One of their stipulations is that no incompatible use may occur on state wildlife areas purchased with Federal dollars. Geo-caching is considered an incompatible use by the Feds. As a result, we cannot permit the activity on wildlife areas such as Fallsville. I know, it doesn't make much sense to me either, but those are the conditions under which we must operate.


I must respectfully request that you remove the cache from Fallsville.


On the other bright side, we DO permit and encourage geo-caching at State Parks and State Forest areas - all we ask is that you contact the local area manager prior to placing any cache. Our local manager could be of assistance in helping you locate a cache at a scenic or neat area on a park or forest, as well as advising you on any sensitive areas to avoid.


Sorry to be the bearer of bad news. If you have any questions regarding our policy, please feel free to contact me via e-mail or call me at (614) 265-6845. If you would like to learn more about geo-caching on State Park and State Forest areas, please contact Mr. Phil Hoffman (Parks) at (614) 265-6911, or Mr. Don Karas (Forestry) at (614) 265-6701.




Deputy Dog


Life just keeps changing!

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I just wanted to bump this thread since I know there are a lot of new folks out there after the holidays.

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