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Arizona State Land Dept. Archiving caches


Cog&Gil
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As a potential geo-tourist, why would I even consider a destination that would suddenly remove, say, 4412 reasons to visit without any warning?

 

Arizona was on my to-do list (mostly due to one hider actually), but no longer. There are other places in the world where you can - get this - walk on public land without even filling out any forms or paying any fees. If anybody needs me or my tourist dollars, I'll be there instead.

 

There are still plenty of reasons to visit Arizona for its caches. The Raven's caches in Prescott is a great example of quality hides that are worth the trip. According to the stats someone else posted, there are still over 24,000 caches to find.

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Just got off the phone with the Assistant Director of Natural Resources for the Arizona State Land Department. He said that the commissioner held a meeting recently in which it was reaffirmed that Geocaching is not allowed on State Trust Land. I think all us Geocachers need to band together an petition the Arizona State Land Department to reconsider Geocaching.

 

I agree. If you've ever geocached on Arizona State Trust land, you will see that there is often LOTS of illegal dumping on these lands. Also lots of off road trails and new trails that get illegally cut (even though your are told not to do this when you purchase your annual permit. The "footprint" of a geocache compared to illegal dumping and new trails is laughably small. I would suggest that if we petition AZ state government, that we offer some sort of a trade--like a bag of trash out every time we place a cache or go caching on state trust land, as well as a promise that whenever that parcel of trust land is sold, all caches will be immediately archived and removed. An argument could be made, also, of the tourist impact to Arizona that this ruling would have (though I don't know how to calculate that.

 

-Chris

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Im grumpy about this. I am quite fond of that cache and the location. The map does not accurately reflect state trust land and the private property owned by the mall. Because of that, my cache got archived. I wish TPTB would reconsider their action on my cache, but thats life I guess.

 

 

I think reviewers all know that maps are not perfectly accurate. But when told to archive all the caches on trust land, maps are most probably the only thing the reviewer could use. Going to visit the location of each cache to see if it's ok is sadly not feasible.

 

Have you tried sending your reviewer a polite email with some pictures clearly showing where your cache is and where the fence around the trust land is? I think it would be worth a try...

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If I understand it correctly,the Arizona State Land Trust property is owned by the Az. school system, and not the Federal or "State" government agencies. This is not the State of Az. requiring these caches to be archived, but basically the Az. schools, who own and manage these properties. The Feds are not implementing these rules "yet", but I guess we'll see. As far as the cacher who has decided to go elsewhere to cache, you'll be missing some great caches in Arizona, which will be your loss.

Edited by Flatiron & Mrs. Wrangler
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The people who placed geocaches there were both in violation of the rules of geocaching by not having land manager permission, but also the terms of their use permit (if they had one). To be perfectly honest, the state could be FAR more aggressive than simply requesting that the caches be archived, by pursuing legal measures.

This may be the case for some of the caches that were archived, but not for all of them. There was an agreement made between the state land dept. and geocachers. It was made in the early days of geocaching. As time progresses, people come and go and policies change. So what used to be isn't what is now, but stating that none had permission is just not true.

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Im grumpy about this. I am quite fond of that cache and the location. The map does not accurately reflect state trust land and the private property owned by the mall. Because of that, my cache got archived. I wish TPTB would reconsider their action on my cache, but thats life I guess.

 

 

I think reviewers all know that maps are not perfectly accurate. But when told to archive all the caches on trust land, maps are most probably the only thing the reviewer could use. Going to visit the location of each cache to see if it's ok is sadly not feasible.

 

Have you tried sending your reviewer a polite email with some pictures clearly showing where your cache is and where the fence around the trust land is? I think it would be worth a try...

 

Given the description 'a few feet', it's also quite possible that while your GC was not on trust land, the coordinates were...

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(snip)

State trust land is vacant land that is owned by the state and is supposed to be sold to maximize profit for things like schools. Point is, the land is sold. In the above example of a cache that was archived for being on state trust land when the resort owns it ... That map is old. The resort had to own it to build on it. State trust land is sold to the highest bidder for development. That is how it works.

(snip)

As I noted in my previous post after a bit of research, Marriott does not OWN the property in question, it is State Trust Land held by Marriott under a 99 year commercial lease. I seriously doubt that the county land assessor is failing to charge the land portion of property taxes on a valuable resort if Marriott actually owns it (though the records do seem to indicate that Marriott is paying taxes on the improvements).

 

That particular cache could probably easily be reactivated by the cache owner after verification from the managers of the resort that the cache is allowed. You'll note, if you look, that the entry doesn't say that permission was obtained, and the obvious assumption would be that the leaseholder would have the right to allow such nondestructive usage.

 

To say that the State Trust land is 'owned by the state' and 'supposed to be sold' is, from everything I read, rather inaccurate, but a bit beside the point.

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The people who placed geocaches there were both in violation of the rules of geocaching by not having land manager permission, but also the terms of their use permit (if they had one). To be perfectly honest, the state could be FAR more aggressive than simply requesting that the caches be archived, by pursuing legal measures.

This may be the case for some of the caches that were archived, but not for all of them. There was an agreement made between the state land dept. and geocachers. It was made in the early days of geocaching. As time progresses, people come and go and policies change. So what used to be isn't what is now, but stating that none had permission is just not true.

 

Sorry if I my 'generic' statement was incorrect in some cases, as I've mentioned previously I'm not local. I just hopped into this because the knee-jerk and accusatory responses bugged me. I will say that when the issue at hand was on the order of 4000+ caches, taking the action of archiving them all (which can always be undone by a later review) was quite appropriate.

 

I would suspect that geocaching was allowed when it was a matter of a few caches that were placed under the terms of such an agreement, but it's now become an issue due to people not following the agreement or the terms of their use permits. The permit terms specify things such as "you are not allowed to leave established trails or roads", and I seriously doubt all 4000+ caches were placed within arms reach of an established trail. Instead of criticizing Groundspeak or the State Land Department, it would be far more productive to take issue with the people who actually screwed it up for you.

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Sorry to hear about this, Arizona friends. I would have missed it entirely if not for a duplicate topic that was started in the General forums and then closed with a link to this one. I think this is much larger than a regional issue as it serves as a warning for all of us in all regions who enjoy caching.

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Im grumpy about this. I am quite fond of that cache and the location. The map does not accurately reflect state trust land and the private property owned by the mall. Because of that, my cache got archived. I wish TPTB would reconsider their action on my cache, but thats life I guess.

 

 

I think reviewers all know that maps are not perfectly accurate. But when told to archive all the caches on trust land, maps are most probably the only thing the reviewer could use. Going to visit the location of each cache to see if it's ok is sadly not feasible.

 

Have you tried sending your reviewer a polite email with some pictures clearly showing where your cache is and where the fence around the trust land is? I think it would be worth a try...

 

I sent an email explaining things and asking them to reconsider it. I got a generic message about how they are trying to work with the state land department to open things up for everyone. I doubt that sending pictures will change things. Especially if they got a list from somewhere.

 

Given that someone else posted that no one from the state land department sent them a list, Im wondering if it was some overzealous geocaching employee who got it in his head to compile a list to send off to gc hq.

 

Doesnt matter I guess. Whats done is done. Im considering a new cache that might satisfy everyone and still let me use that location, which is freely accessible to everyone, without violating the state trust land department's ban on geocaching.

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The permit terms specify things such as "you are not allowed to leave established trails or roads", and I seriously doubt all 4000+ caches were placed within arms reach of an established trail.

 

The roads and trails are not from geocaching. There were many roads made back when folks would go 4 wheeling out there, or mudbogging on those rare times when we had mud, or from the wildcat (illegal) dumping that used to go on a few decades ago.

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I would suspect that geocaching was allowed when it was a matter of a few caches that were placed under the terms of such an agreement, but it's now become an issue due to people not following the agreement or the terms of their use permits. The permit terms specify things such as "you are not allowed to leave established trails or roads", and I seriously doubt all 4000+ caches were placed within arms reach of an established trail. Instead of criticizing Groundspeak or the State Land Department, it would be far more productive to take issue with the people who actually screwed it up for you.

I believe you are making a lot of bad assumptions. For example, staying on established roads and trails is not pertinent to hikers. It is to keep vehicles like cars, jeeps and ATVs from going cross country. Here, trails is meant as jeep/ATV trails not hiking trails.

 

Also, the wording of the Trust land recreational use permit has changed over the years so to cite it as what was several years ago is really not valid.

 

As I mentioned before, people come and go and policies change. For many years geocaching was fine on AZ state trust land. Now it's not. Just because it's not now doesn't mean all or most of the caches that were just archived didn't have permission or shouldn't have been placed. That is just not the case.

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As a potential geo-tourist, why would I even consider a destination that would suddenly remove, say, 4412 reasons to visit without any warning?

 

Arizona was on my to-do list (mostly due to one hider actually), but no longer. There are other places in the world where you can - get this - walk on public land without even filling out any forms or paying any fees. If anybody needs me or my tourist dollars, I'll be there instead.

 

One less tourist trapsing through the desert and destroying it. That's how Az trust sees it. Hard to disagree....

 

Someone who is a resident of Arizona and has time should write to Arizona and inform them ALL state, federal, local, whatever lands are public. Land use is determined by the PUBLIC not some agency with a poorly written policy and a unconstitutional habit of running things!

 

As a non-Arizona resident, it took me about 20 minutes of research and a bit of reading to conclude that the state agency is correct, in that the land in question (I'm talking about trust land in general, not that specific cache) is NOT state property, but simply held in trust by the state. They are legally required to only allow usage that provides an economic benefit to the trust, and the enabling act makes it pretty clear that by arbitrarily allowing other usage the officials would be opening themselves up to prosecution.

 

The people who placed geocaches there were both in violation of the rules of geocaching by not having land manager permission, but also the terms of their use permit (if they had one). To be perfectly honest, the state could be FAR more aggressive than simply requesting that the caches be archived, by pursuing legal measures.

 

As far as the specific cache, if you actually LOOK at the parcel map, you'll see that the area in question is shown as State Trust land that is under commercial lease. The Maricopa County Assessor's Office also shows both parcels located at 5350 Marriott Drive, Phoenix AZ as being held by the Arizona State Land Department.

 

While I'm not saying that Marriott doesn't have the right to allow a geocache on property that they hold under lease (I'm pretty certain they do) it's usually better to rely on authoritative sources before you go off the handle about something, instead of relying on the results of a phone conversation with a middle manager about something that's probably well outside of their sphere of responsibility.

 

I wish I could "Like" this post. Well said

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The permit terms specify things such as "you are not allowed to leave established trails or roads", and I seriously doubt all 4000+ caches were placed within arms reach of an established trail.

 

The roads and trails are not from geocaching. There were many roads made back when folks would go 4 wheeling out there, or mudbogging on those rare times when we had mud, or from the wildcat (illegal) dumping that used to go on a few decades ago.

 

I didn't say they were, however, the language the SLD has about how 'one time use does not constitute a trail' pretty well implies that the user is expected to rely on a map or visible evidence of construction, and not contribute to the existence of a 'road or trail' that should never have existed. The obvious assumption would be that 'established' means 'built and maintained' not 'it's visible on the ground'. 'Trails' that exist because of damage don't disappear over time if people continue to use them. Part of the 'leave no trace' ethic is to not follow such paths. I've seen substantial amounts of damage in many national parks and forests due to people following a 'visible path' that is not part of the established trail to avoid something like a fallen tree, and causing erosion due to water following the new line. In desert areas this is even more of an issue, and having actually worked on volunteer trail maintenance crews in such areas I can personally say that the amount of effort required to fix them is ridiculous. Ever carried a landscaping timber a couple of miles in 100 degree heat to fix a washout? I have.

 

The State Trust lands in Arizona are not public lands, and don't exist for recreational use. This is pretty clear from how they were established. Recreational use is just allowed under permit for the purpose of creating an additional revenue stream for the trust, and under terms that don't permit damage. Nitpicking by people about possible loopholes in the terms of their permit instead of abiding by the spirit of the system is unproductive behavior, and is simply going to cause them to become more resistant to geocaching. If you want geocaching to be allowed again, your best course of action would be to work with them to show that the geocaching community in Arizona actually cares about nature, and isn't just a bunch of people upset because part of their game was peed on. It wouldn't surprise me at all if at least some attention is being paid by them to the response to their action (such as this thread) and as an 'outsider' I can honestly say that the tone of some responses does not give a positive impression.

 

There are undoubtedly caches that were incorrectly archived. The productive thing would be for those to be addressed individually, instead of just complaining. While it's entirely possible that the action to ban geocaching was taken due to conflating the effect of geocachers with that of other users, the way to resolve the issue would be to demonstrate that you are willing to abide by their decision and work productively to show that 'you' are not the people who were causing problems. The simple fact is that damage caused by even a few incorrectly placed caches would reflect badly on the hobby as a whole. Since their mandate is to preserve the lands in trust, they are ethically (and legally) required to take a conservative position.

 

It's also entirely possible that the issue was created by complaints from people who DID purchase the "Special Use Permit" that allows for such things as the placement of temporary advertising signs about geocachers being allowed to leave objects on trust lands without paying the additional (rather large) fee.

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I sent an email explaining things and asking them to reconsider it. I got a generic message about how they are trying to work with the state land department to open things up for everyone. I doubt that sending pictures will change things.

Did you send your email to the local reviewer, or to Groundspeak? I would expect a canned message from Groundspeak, but I've already seen a dozen caches unarchived by the reviewer, which were not actually on ALT land.

Edited by Lil Devil
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I sent an email explaining things and asking them to reconsider it. I got a generic message about how they are trying to work with the state land department to open things up for everyone. I doubt that sending pictures will change things.

Did you send your email to the local reviewer, or to Groundspeak? I would expect a canned message from Groundspeak, but I've already seen a dozen caches unarchived by the reviewer, which were not actually on ALT land.

 

I emailed gc hq, who initiated the archival of the cache, per the post they put down. I dont know who the local reviewer is any more.

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To jump waaay back to the OP, i.e. needing a permit to remove caches, one fairly obvious way that Arizona geocachers who DO have permits could contribute to a positive impression toward geocaching from the State Land department would be for geocachers who DO have permits to remove the archived caches that are verifiably on Trust land themselves, and document they are doing so, i.e. take non-posted photos of the cache location, remove the cache, contact the cache owner about returning the hide, and post a comment to the archived cache saying they are doing so. And, signifigantly, drop the Land Department an email saying "I removed this in compliance with your request, yada yada," and politely ask that they reconsider their decision. Oh, and make sure to mention how the bag of trash you hauled out. Don't say, "But geocaching should be fine because we are nice, but make a point." If you really care that much.

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I believe you are making a lot of bad assumptions. For example, staying on established roads and trails is not pertinent to hikers. It is to keep vehicles like cars, jeeps and ATVs from going cross country. Here, trails is meant as jeep/ATV trails not hiking trails.

 

Really? Cite? See my last ramble where I mentioned the enviromental damage from hikers cutting their own trails. Why would they bother to build hiking trails, say "You have to stay on established trails", and then let you walk off-trail without mentioning it.

 

Also, the wording of the Trust land recreational use permit has changed over the years so to cite it as what was several years ago is really not valid.

 

Actually, what I said was based on what it says now (and reading the relevant part of the enabling act). And don't say "But it wasn't that when they placed it", it's the responsibility of CO to maintain his cache. If you want to know what the rules used to be (this is from 2007, actually), it helps to read things people link.

 

http://forums.Groundspeak.com/GC/index.php?showtopic=173626&view=findpost&p=3083118

 

Supposedly the Arizona geocacher community is and had been quite aware of this issue. See comments from seven years ago about how if you ask on the local website you'll get scads of responses about the rules. See the comment above about how this has been rumored for over a year. See the comment above about an AZ cache owner who resolved this issue with his caches a year ago and was ridiculed for it.

 

See my own comment about how it took me less than 20 minutes to find out, from well over a thousand miles away, that a specific cache was on commercially leased State Trust land. Most of that was spent finding the webpages, not actually checking (plus the fact I had to figure out the 'puzzle' of the location).

 

The COs of 4000+ caches never bothered to check. How many of those caches complied with the 'general' rule that you have to mention in the description that you have landowner or manager permission, or the 'specific' rule that the description mention that the cache is on State Trust land and you need a permit?

 

As I mentioned before, people come and go and policies change. For many years geocaching was fine on AZ state trust land. Now it's not. Just because it's not now doesn't mean all or most of the caches that were just archived didn't have permission or shouldn't have been placed. That is just not the case.

 

That some people complied with the rules is obvious. That others did not is.... also obvious. The community failed to police itself, so the State Trust banned geocaching.

 

In Arizona, as in most places, it is a trivial matter to find out who owns a piece of property. You are obligated to do so in order to hide a cache.

http://www.geocaching.com/seek/

Hide a Geocache in Your Area

It is necessary that you read and understand the Cache Listing Requirements and Guidelines prior to placing each and every geocache. Please make sure to obtain permission from the landowner or land manager.

http://www.geocaching.com/about/guidelines.aspx

 

You assure us that you have the landowner's and/or land manager's permission before you hide any geocache, whether placed on private or public property.

By submitting a cache listing, you assure us that you have adequate permission to hide your cache in the selected location. If you have permission to place a cache on private property, indicate this on the cache listing for the benefit of the reviewer and those seeking the cache.

 

In the case of public property, permission can often be obtained from the agency or association that manages the land. Worldwide, there are many such agencies and organizations that regulate geocaching on their managed land. As the cache owner you are responsible for determining who to contact to obtain permission.

 

Even if you are certain that geocaching is permitted on particular public property, ensure that you have followed any and all requirements established by the land owner or land management agency before placing the cache. There may be locations in which cache hides are inappropriate, even though not prohibited by local laws.

 

If Groundspeak is contacted and informed that your cache has been placed inappropriately, your cache may be temporarily disabled or permanently archived.

Listing Guidelines for All Geocaches

2. Geocache Maintenance

  • Owner is responsible for geocache listing maintenance.

 

It's far from an Arizona-only thing. I submit for your perusal...

 

http://coord.info/GC3R6PV

 

This CO (and yes, he is still active, though not very) and the local reviewer (though I have no idea who that is) have not noticed this for several months now, and under Texas law anyone who seeks that cache after seeing that log (and thus knows it is private property not open to the public) could be prosecuted for criminal trespass, despite the area not being posted.

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I believe you are making a lot of bad assumptions. For example, staying on established roads and trails is not pertinent to hikers. It is to keep vehicles like cars, jeeps and ATVs from going cross country. Here, trails is meant as jeep/ATV trails not hiking trails.

Really? Cite? See my last ramble where I mentioned the enviromental damage from hikers cutting their own trails. Why would they bother to build hiking trails, say "You have to stay on established trails", and then let you walk off-trail without mentioning it.

And I can ask the same thing of you. At any rate, your proposition is not practicle. For example would a hunter be required to stay on a road or trail while on foot? Of course not and hunting is a valid and approved activity on much of the state trust lands.

Also, the wording of the Trust land recreational use permit has changed over the years so to cite it as what was several years ago is really not valid.

Actually, what I said was based on what it says now (and reading the relevant part of the enabling act). And don't say "But it wasn't that when they placed it", it's the responsibility of CO to maintain his cache. If you want to know what the rules used to be (this is from 2007, actually), it helps to read things people link.

 

http://forums.Groundspeak.com/GC/index.php?showtopic=173626&view=findpost&p=3083118

That was exactly my point. Using the current wording for what it was years ago doesn't make sense. Also, the cited post is by a past Arizona reviewer and it states that a note on the cache listing stating it is on trust land is needed. There's nothing there about caching not being allowed on state trust lands. The only requirement mentioned for placing a cache on trust lands is the disclaimer. No mention of contacting the department is mentioned like there is for caches on BLM lands.

Supposedly the Arizona geocacher community is and had been quite aware of this issue. See comments from seven years ago...

 

See the comment above about how this has been rumored for over a year. See the comment above about an AZ cache owner who resolved this issue with his caches a year ago and was ridiculed for it.

 

See my own comment about how it took me less than 20 minutes to find out, from well over a thousand miles away, that a specific cache was on commercially leased State Trust land. Most of that was spent finding the webpages, not actually checking (plus the fact I had to figure out the 'puzzle' of the location).

 

The COs of 4000+ caches never bothered to check. How many of those caches complied with the 'general' rule that you have to mention in the description that you have landowner or manager permission, or the 'specific' rule that the description mention that the cache is on State Trust land and you need a permit?

Last year this was news to everyone because it was a change of policy. From then, no new caches on state trust land were published, however, there was no requirement or request to remove existing caches. Some cachers met with the AZ Land Dept. Nothing came of it but to wait until a decision was made. Evidently the decision was recently made but there was no notice to the geocaching community until the caches started to be archived. The cacher mentioned didn't need to remove the caches at that time, it was his reaction. So I really don't appreciate you saying we didn't police ourselves or it was because of bad behavior or whatever. You really don't know the back story to all this, yet you are being quite judgemental. Tsk, tsk.

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And I can ask the same thing of you. At any rate, your proposition is not practicle. For example would a hunter be required to stay on a road or trail while on foot? Of course not and hunting is a valid and approved activity on much of the state trust lands.

 

A hunter here and there, walking the lonely desert at his own pace and path, and hundreds of geocachers taking the exact same path, from geocache to geocache, trashing the environment, driving across the desert, and many of which did so WITHOUT a permit ...are two VERY different things.

 

Sorry. If you live and have cached in the Az desert then you KNOW this is true.

 

I have yet to meet a fellow Arizonan with an Az trust permit. None of my entire family tree who lives there does. Generations who have lived there..

 

We've used trust lands extensively for geocaching, jeeping, hiking, mountain biking.

 

Of all the activities I've participated in that were on trust land...nothing rank as high in environmental damage as geocaching. Nothing.

 

Biking, jeeping, hiking....we stay on trails. Have you tried mountain biking off trail?? Like, really?

 

Leisurely geocaching on easy desert terrain is not even on trail, let alone caches used to force some kind of 'art'. Cammo is used with whatever 'dead' tree or cactus is nearby. People shove their boots into creosote and smash it into the ground looking for that ever elusive Tupperware container.

 

I've found caches shoved INSIDE saguaro cactus (in freshly dug out holes!). Dug into the earth and covered with broken off brush. With freshly broken paloverde branches used for cammo. The holes that once housed bunnies or snakes now used for caches.

 

Etc, etc

 

Do cachers everywhere do this? Yeah, probably.

Is this perhaps a regional thing? Maybe so...but that region is the exact region we are talking about.

 

If I were a person, evaluating the use of geocaching on Az trust lands, and I saw what I've seen...I would never, ever allow it. Never.

 

 

Az geocachers dug their own graves on this one.

 

Power trails, geo-'art'...congrats.

 

 

 

 

 

.

Edited by JesandTodd
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I sent an email explaining things and asking them to reconsider it. I got a generic message about how they are trying to work with the state land department to open things up for everyone. I doubt that sending pictures will change things.

Did you send your email to the local reviewer, or to Groundspeak? I would expect a canned message from Groundspeak, but I've already seen a dozen caches unarchived by the reviewer, which were not actually on ALT land.

 

I emailed gc hq, who initiated the archival of the cache, per the post they put down. I dont know who the local reviewer is any more.

Probably GeodesertTiger.

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A hunter here and there, walking the lonely desert at his own pace and path, and hundreds of geocachers taking the exact same path, from geocache to geocache, trashing the environment, driving across the desert, and many of which did so WITHOUT a permit ...are two VERY different things.

 

Sorry. If you live and have cached in the Az desert then you KNOW this is true.

 

I have yet to meet a fellow Arizonan with an Az trust permit. None of my entire family tree who lives there does. Generations who have lived there..

 

We've used trust lands extensively for geocaching, jeeping, hiking, mountain biking.

 

Of all the activities I've participated in that were on trust land...nothing rank as high in environmental damage as geocaching. Nothing.

 

Biking, jeeping, hiking....we stay on trails. Have you tried mountain biking off trail?? Like, really?

 

Leisurely geocaching on easy desert terrain is not even on trail, let alone caches used to force some kind of 'art'. Cammo is used with whatever 'dead' tree or cactus is nearby. People shove their boots into creosote and smash it into the ground looking for that ever elusive Tupperware container.

 

I've found caches shoved INSIDE saguaro cactus (in freshly dug out holes!). Dug into the earth and covered with broken off brush. With freshly broken paloverde branches used for cammo. The holes that once housed bunnies or snakes now used for caches.

 

Etc, etc

 

Do cachers everywhere do this? Yeah, probably.

Is this perhaps a regional thing? Maybe so...but that region is the exact region we are talking about.

 

If I were a person, evaluating the use of geocaching on Az trust lands, and I saw what I've seen...I would never, ever allow it. Never.

 

 

Az geocachers dug their own graves on this one.

 

Power trails, geo-'art'...congrats.

 

I don't agree with you one bit!! Geocachers cache in trash out, they don't trash the environment as you say. You must be an environmental extremist!! Land was given to us to use!! Not to have the government come and restrict and regulate it and kick us off. I agree with corfman clan, not you. You have some sort of agenda.

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I don't agree with you one bit!! Geocachers cache in trash out, they don't trash the environment as you say. You must be an environmental extremist!! Land was given to us to use!! Not to have the government come and restrict and regulate it and kick us off. I agree with corfman clan, not you. You have some sort of agenda.

JesandTod have found more geocaches in Arizona than you've found in total. They are posting their observations and expressing opinions about those observations. That's what forum discussions are for. Chris, this is your last warning if you wish to remain active in this discussion. You need to behave like a grownup and respect contrary opinions. No more name-calling or labeling.

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I sent an email explaining things and asking them to reconsider it. I got a generic message about how they are trying to work with the state land department to open things up for everyone. I doubt that sending pictures will change things.

Did you send your email to the local reviewer, or to Groundspeak? I would expect a canned message from Groundspeak, but I've already seen a dozen caches unarchived by the reviewer, which were not actually on ALT land.

 

I emailed gc hq, who initiated the archival of the cache, per the post they put down. I dont know who the local reviewer is any more.

Probably GeodesertTiger.

It is geo desert tiger

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And I can ask the same thing of you. At any rate, your proposition is not practicle. For example would a hunter be required to stay on a road or trail while on foot? Of course not and hunting is a valid and approved activity on much of the state trust lands.

 

A hunter here and there, walking the lonely desert at his own pace and path, and hundreds of geocachers taking the exact same path, from geocache to geocache, trashing the environment, driving across the desert, and many of which did so WITHOUT a permit ...are two VERY different things.

 

Sorry. If you live and have cached in the Az desert then you KNOW this is true.

 

I have yet to meet a fellow Arizonan with an Az trust permit. None of my entire family tree who lives there does. Generations who have lived there..

 

We've used trust lands extensively for geocaching, jeeping, hiking, mountain biking.

 

Of all the activities I've participated in that were on trust land...nothing rank as high in environmental damage as geocaching. Nothing.

 

Biking, jeeping, hiking....we stay on trails. Have you tried mountain biking off trail?? Like, really?

 

Leisurely geocaching on easy desert terrain is not even on trail, let alone caches used to force some kind of 'art'. Cammo is used with whatever 'dead' tree or cactus is nearby. People shove their boots into creosote and smash it into the ground looking for that ever elusive Tupperware container.

 

I've found caches shoved INSIDE saguaro cactus (in freshly dug out holes!). Dug into the earth and covered with broken off brush. With freshly broken paloverde branches used for cammo. The holes that once housed bunnies or snakes now used for caches.

 

Etc, etc

 

Do cachers everywhere do this? Yeah, probably.

Is this perhaps a regional thing? Maybe so...but that region is the exact region we are talking about.

 

If I were a person, evaluating the use of geocaching on Az trust lands, and I saw what I've seen...I would never, ever allow it. Never.

 

 

Az geocachers dug their own graves on this one.

 

Power trails, geo-'art'...congrats.

 

 

 

 

 

.

Not sure where to start here. For some perspective, 4412 geocaches were just archived because they were on AZ state trust land. Some have been unarchived, but not many. Of those 4412 geocaches, I had found close to 1400 of them. That's close to one third of the caches archived for being on AZ state trust land. So I have spent many many hours geocaching on AZ state trust land. I can guarantee you, from my experience, geocachers have very little negative impact on the environment compared to others. I really won't get into the game of blaming this group or that group, because the real damage is caused by individuals, not groups. Some people dump stuff here, others shoot and leave a mess, others ride their ATVs where they're not supposed to. But these aren't groups, they are irresponsible individuals.

 

Also, I have had several recreational permits for trust land and I know many geocachers that have too. Hunting and fishing licenses are also a permit for accessing trust lands for those activities.

 

So I'm sorry, but I cannot begin to agree with the above statement as it does not match my experience at all and I suspect my experience on AZ state trust land is at least an order of magnitude greater than JesandTodd's.

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We have had state trust land permits. Ours recently expired and we will not be renewing it, but we did not go caching without one. Most cachers I know who went on state trust land did so with some sort of permit that allowed them to do so. Most caches on state trust land have minimal impact compared to some of the difficult urban ones Ive seen. My cache had zero impact. It is a public walkway, leveled, compacted, graveled. The cache is hidden under a piece of metal that is embedded into the walkway. There hasnt been any damage to the area as a result of it. If I have to move it, it will likely have more impact to its surroundings even if I tell folks exactly where the cache is.

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Myself and MOST of the friends I've geocached with renew their permits every year, as I enjoy having legal access to SLT lands whether it is for GCing, riding ATV's Jeeping, or just plain hiking. But I do know for a fact that quite a few other cachers don't spend the $15 for a permit and basically are trespassing on SLT land per their guidelines. But these same people won't hesitate to stop at McDonalds and spend $15-20 on lunch. I wasn't too happy to pay the permit fee a few years ago when they raised it ridiculously and apparently quite a few other folks weren't too happy about it either, as they reduced the fee back to it's original price. As far as cachers being good stewards of the land and hauling out trash, I'm not so sure of that, as I've picked up trash right next to caches that has obviously been there for quite some time (such as faded out pop and beer cans, etc. Most times when I look at the logsheet, there will be 20 or more logs on it, yet nobody made an effort to pack out the trash that I just picked up. I think we're fooling ourselves if we think geocachers are this group of folks who are dedicated to Pack it in/Pack it out theory. Evidence of this is the number of CITO events you see nowadays. Years ago when the number of cachers was just a fraction of what it is now, it seemed like there was quite a few CITO events going on. I don't think that's the case today. As far as damage to our desert environment is concerned, my own belief is that with the approval of power trails or series caches years ago, the amount of "new" trails has increased considerably. One in particular I can think of is/was on SLT land south of Florence, Az. We got finds on these caches not too long after they were published and were mostly containers just thrown into a greasewood (creosote) bush well off of the established trails. Since then I went back there while riding one day, and there is an obvious trail around the whole course. It's great to get folks out into our beautiful desert to see some of it's scenery, but I'm not sure building a power trail is the way to go. Anyway, I'm going to abide by SLT rules and will still be out there enjoying the desert, whether there's a cache there or not...........

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Bottomline....Arizona is a HORRIBLE state for geocaching and I too will avoid the state this spring/summer. Granted it was already horrible for other political issues were aren't allowed to discuss on this forum, but just furthers the point. Sad because there are things to see there, but constitutional violations and now this HUGE scare for a large group of citizens and residents that partake in an activity that is mostly better for the country than negative.

 

Do have the laugh at folks that believe the INTERNET map....including Groundspeak.

Edited by TheWeatherWarrior
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Bottomline....Arizona is a HORRIBLE state for geocaching and I too will avoid the state this spring/summer.

 

Your loss. Its a great place to go geocaching. From deserts to mountains, given the excellent hides by the different cachers here. While Im not thrilled with what happened, I looked at the geocaching map and you can hardly tell the difference. There are a lot of caches still out there.

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Bottomline....Arizona is a HORRIBLE state for geocaching and I too will avoid the state this spring/summer.

 

I imagine every single state in the country has enough cool places and caches to visit for a nice planned trip. Sounds like you do not want to live there, doubt you'd be alone, but come on, horrible?

 

I had a good time with my 20 caches or so (which is 20 more than you have cached in Arizona it would seem) and that was not even being in the area to do those talked about Raven caches. Grand Canyon alone and the drive up there makes it worth the trip by itself.

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There are still plenty of great caches in AZ. Like mine GC113AX

 

Groundspeak has rules for placing caches and I suspect that if cache owners follow them there would be fewer public land managers closing their lands to geocaching.

 

Between Sierra Vista and Tucson there were half a dozen geo-art series. I have done some myself. In retrospect geo-art probably doesn't fit well with AZ. One I can think of had 182 caches. There was no way to go from cache to cache without bushwhacking. There were telltale signs of geo-trails caused by the bushwhacking. Geo-art is a great concept until you see the impact. Perhaps in our letter campaign to restore geocaching we could eliminate geo-art. That means reviewers should deny approval. Groundspeak could also add no geo-art to the rules.

 

How many cache owners contacted the public land owner before placing their cache as the rules state. Would you want geocaches popping up out of nowhere on land that you are responsible?

 

We really need to follow the rules that Groundspeak established to avoid these situations.

 

P.S. I don't think I am the only cacher in AZ with a State Trust Land tag on my rear view mirror

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Well folks be prepared as the other shoe will drop eventually as BLM does not want caches in the wilderness areas, they have determined that a geocache is considered a structure and structures are not allowed on wilderness land.

So for us back country cachers trying to keep stats and points up this was a blow, but not one we won't overcome. Work with Geodesert tiger and he can unarchive once you move the cache off of State Land.

so yes the good ol days are gone.

Edited by rambrush
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There are still plenty of great caches in AZ. Like mine GC113AX

 

Groundspeak has rules for placing caches and I suspect that if cache owners follow them there would be fewer public land managers closing their lands to geocaching.

 

Between Sierra Vista and Tucson there were half a dozen geo-art series. I have done some myself. In retrospect geo-art probably doesn't fit well with AZ. One I can think of had 182 caches. There was no way to go from cache to cache without bushwhacking. There were telltale signs of geo-trails caused by the bushwhacking. Geo-art is a great concept until you see the impact. Perhaps in our letter campaign to restore geocaching we could eliminate geo-art. That means reviewers should deny approval. Groundspeak could also add no geo-art to the rules.

 

How many cache owners contacted the public land owner before placing their cache as the rules state. Would you want geocaches popping up out of nowhere on land that you are responsible?

 

We really need to follow the rules that Groundspeak established to avoid these situations.

 

P.S. I don't think I am the only cacher in AZ with a State Trust Land tag on my rear view mirror

I really don't want the geoart or power trails to go away any time soon. Power trails are what powers the economics in a community. Lets take for example, Rachel Nevada along the extra terrestrial highway. It wasn't a thriving town untill all the power and geoart trails came. When the power trails and art came through it became a thriving town again. A while later the management that owned the highway requested that they be archived. Once this happened, overnight it was immediately a ghost town again. They were later unarchived or published again after all the requests and an agreement with the state highway management agency. When that happened they were immediately thriving again. Geoart and power trails are great tools. They don't destroy the environment. There are way more animal trails then there are cacher trails. If we are to get rid of the power trails/ art, that would also mean disregarding 0.1 mile guideline and many geotours would be lost. Since many geotours consist of many caches in a tight grouping or each cache is 0.1 miles away from another cache. Lets face it There are cachers out there, that are all about the numbers. Power trails and geoart would be greatly missed if this ever happened by those cachers. Also if this ever happened it would the have potential lower ground speaks revenue. Because many of which are premium caches. The less premium caches, the less people would buy premium memberships. There is a potential for that to happen if all power trails and geoart were eliminated. I don't think this is a good idea. It would negatively impact Geocaching if this were ever decided.

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Bottomline....Arizona is a HORRIBLE state for geocaching and I too will avoid the state this spring/summer. Granted it was already horrible for other political issues were aren't allowed to discuss on this forum, but just furthers the point. Sad because there are things to see there, but constitutional violations and now this HUGE scare for a large group of citizens and residents that partake in an activity that is mostly better for the country than negative.

 

Do have the laugh at folks that believe the INTERNET map....including Groundspeak.

You obviously no not what you are talking about. Arizona is an absolutely fantastic place to geocache and to live. The state is incredibly diverse from the deserts to the forests. It is an outdoorsman's paradise. There is world class trout fishing in the mountains to bass fishing in large reservoirs. One can hunt deer, elk, antelope, black beer, javelina, mountain lion, bighorn sheep, bison, turkey, dove, qual, and so on. The four wheeling here is exceptional. There's lots of old roads to ghost towns and old mines that would take a life time to explore. I stumble upon Indian ruins and petroglyphs several times a year out hiking around. They are all over the place. Look at my gallery, it is filled with pictures of ruins I have passed by while geocaching. I could easily continue but instead I'll end with this: Arizona is anything but a horrible place.

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Bottomline....Arizona is a HORRIBLE state for geocaching and I too will avoid the state this spring/summer. Granted it was already horrible for other political issues were aren't allowed to discuss on this forum, but just furthers the point. Sad because there are things to see there, but constitutional violations and now this HUGE scare for a large group of citizens and residents that partake in an activity that is mostly better for the country than negative.

 

Do have the laugh at folks that believe the INTERNET map....including Groundspeak.

You obviously no not what you are talking about. Arizona is an absolutely fantastic place to geocache and to live. The state is incredibly diverse from the deserts to the forests. It is an outdoorsman's paradise. There is world class trout fishing in the mountains to bass fishing in large reservoirs. One can hunt deer, elk, antelope, black beer, javelina, mountain lion, bighorn sheep, bison, turkey, dove, qual, and so on. The four wheeling here is exceptional. There's lots of old roads to ghost towns and old mines that would take a life time to explore. I stumble upon Indian ruins and petroglyphs several times a year out hiking around. They are all over the place. Look at my gallery, it is filled with pictures of ruins I have passed by while geocaching. I could easily continue but instead I'll end with this: Arizona is anything but a horrible place.

Well said Corfman Clan!

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Weather Warrior...........Please do all of us Arizonans a favor and stay in the horrible state of Florida to do your caching. What qualifies you as an expert on geocaching, anyway? If you think our state is going to miss you, you're sadly mistaken......................

Caching since 2002

extensive reading and research into caching throughout US

US travels

Intelligence

 

That said, while I do feel I have the right to make an assessment, I'm far from saying I'm the only one qualified to make such. I would get into more details about how terrible Arizona is but as mentioned, we are not suppose to get into politics, religion, immigration and other topics on this forum.

 

You are correct in saying that Florida (I'm not a Florida native) isn't much better in comparison on those same points. But at least we have beaches ;-)

 

While I could no longer deal with the geocaching organization in Maryland (though most of that management has changed now) Maryland and Virginia were rather open to Geocaching. In fact, most of the north east outside of New Jersey (another state with a growing anti-geocaching sentiment from the various natural/park agencies) have a pretty good openness to geocaching and geocachers. Northwest seems pretty good, but I haven't researched California yet, so not sure there.

 

BTW. New Mexico has about as much to offer as Arizona in regards to its natural resources.

 

It is an outdoorsman's paradise.

Didn't say anything about the outdoors aspect. I said "geocaching". Reading comprehension my friend. Edited by TheWeatherWarrior
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Great job Bluerajah! been hoping we would have someone stop by to put a end to this bashing.

 

 

If you want to shares facts about the situation, how to resolve it, and peoples actions related to that, then continue discussion.

 

If you wish to attack politics, states, people, etc., you will find yourself outside of the forums looking in.

Edited by rambrush
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Myself and MOST of the friends I've geocached with renew their permits every year, as I enjoy having legal access to SLT lands whether it is for GCing, riding ATV's Jeeping, or just plain hiking. But I do know for a fact that quite a few other cachers don't spend the $15 for a permit and basically are trespassing on SLT land per their guidelines. But these same people won't hesitate to stop at McDonalds and spend $15-20 on lunch. I wasn't too happy to pay the permit fee a few years ago when they raised it ridiculously and apparently quite a few other folks weren't too happy about it either, as they reduced the fee back to it's original price. As far as cachers being good stewards of the land and hauling out trash, I'm not so sure of that, as I've picked up trash right next to caches that has obviously been there for quite some time (such as faded out pop and beer cans, etc. Most times when I look at the logsheet, there will be 20 or more logs on it, yet nobody made an effort to pack out the trash that I just picked up. I think we're fooling ourselves if we think geocachers are this group of folks who are dedicated to Pack it in/Pack it out theory. Evidence of this is the number of CITO events you see nowadays. Years ago when the number of cachers was just a fraction of what it is now, it seemed like there was quite a few CITO events going on. I don't think that's the case today. As far as damage to our desert environment is concerned, my own belief is that with the approval of power trails or series caches years ago, the amount of "new" trails has increased considerably. One in particular I can think of is/was on SLT land south of Florence, Az. We got finds on these caches not too long after they were published and were mostly containers just thrown into a greasewood (creosote) bush well off of the established trails. Since then I went back there while riding one day, and there is an obvious trail around the whole course. It's great to get folks out into our beautiful desert to see some of it's scenery, but I'm not sure building a power trail is the way to go. Anyway, I'm going to abide by SLT rules and will still be out there enjoying the desert, whether there's a cache there or not...........

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Chris Geersten

 

I did not mention power trails in my post so I don't know why you included them in your reply. I queried Rachel NV. All of the power trails I saw are along roads (including ET with 2800 caches) or dirt roads. You mentioned that state authorities in NV ordered them archived and they were until their terms were met. There is nothing to say that won't happen in AZ.

 

Geo-art is another issue. I noticed only two with my Rachel query, UFO and Alien Head. I can't speak to the volume of cachers who have found these series, nor can I speak to the environmental impact. I can only speak to what I have observed in South-East AZ and there are tell tail geo-paths caused by geocachers following geo-art. I found a picnic site that I found at one geo-art geocache. Yes, there are cow paths. Ranchers pay grazing fees to the AZ land trust. The trust also limits the number of cattle based on grazing usage. In SE AZ there are also illegal immigrant paths and their trash. You can't justify geo-art based on other instances. There are cachers who thing every cache should be a park and grab even with non-vehicle signs posted.

 

We all cache for different reasons. Some for nature, others for history and some for cache counts. There are still plenty of opportunities for cache count without geo-art. When any one reason causes the land owner (public or private) problems it should be a cause for concern. We all lose when caching privileges are denied.

Edited by WeeWillie
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Not all Geo-Art is the same you know. For instance, most puzzle (or any one not at listed coordinates) geo arts are using hiding spots they would probably be normally and on a good spot like a trail or whatnot...if there are geo arts that are more potentially troublesome, its probably the ones that are placed as traditionals in spots the owners would never have placed a cache if not for the art itself.

Edited by lamoracke
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Just got back from a week of leave in Arizona and was surprised by this. I still had a few of these in my GPSr and am now last to find on more than one cache. Bummer. Makes me wish I'd gone for the Kaidoz caches I've had my eyes on for a few years now. Guess that ship has sailed.

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