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Help Establish Geocaching in National Forest


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I just returned from a trip to Bend, Oregon and was surprised at the number of GC's in the Deschutes National Forest. Here in Durango, Colorado the folks at the San Juan National Forest seem reluctant to allow geocaching. I have spent a little time attempting to convince them geocaching is a low impact activity that can benefit the forest with our "cache in - trash out" motto. I would like to present them with maps showing geocaches in the various National Forests. These would be maps such as the Google Earth maps showing the geocaches. I looked at the Deschutes (Bend, Or) National Forest map but the forest boundaries are not defined. I would like to print out as many maps as possible to present to the local forest management in attempt to convince them to open our area. Any assistance and ideas would be greatly appreciated. Feel free to contact me.

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The Allegheny National Forest, in Northwest Pennsylvania, is an excellent example of a pro-geocaching land manager relationship. There are hundreds of geocaches placed in the Forest -- even GeoArt. The Forest's management has assisted in several geocaching promotions and event caches. Attendees of GeoWoodstock in Warren, PA experienced the excellent caches found in the area.

 

All caches are reviewed and published after verifying compliance with the land manager's very friendly geocaching policy. We call this a "passive" policy -- there is no permit paperwork, just follow the simple rules like staying away from campgrounds and other developed areas. A small percentage of especially scenic and ecologically significant property within the Forest is off limits, but the miles and miles of remaining Forest is fair game.

 

To visualize a map of the caches in the Forest, click on the Geocaching.com map link found on this cache near the geographic center of the Forest.

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Thanks Everything in Moderation. That is helpful. Perhaps I could just show the various FS policies to our local managers. Perhaps the various reviewers could send me the local geocaching policies as you have and I could present that.

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I just returned from a trip to Bend, Oregon and was surprised at the number of GC's in the Deschutes National Forest. Here in Durango, Colorado the folks at the San Juan National Forest seem reluctant to allow geocaching. I have spent a little time attempting to convince them geocaching is a low impact activity that can benefit the forest with our "cache in - trash out" motto. I would like to present them with maps showing geocaches in the various National Forests. These would be maps such as the Google Earth maps showing the geocaches. I looked at the Deschutes (Bend, Or) National Forest map but the forest boundaries are not defined. I would like to print out as many maps as possible to present to the local forest management in attempt to convince them to open our area. Any assistance and ideas would be greatly appreciated. Feel free to contact me.

 

You might want to take a look at the profile page of your reviewer HighCountryAdmin:

 

http://www.geocaching.com/profile/?guid=dbb22cd1-554d-44e5-a7b0-5db3c2290561

 

You might want to get in contact with HighCountryAdmin for his/her advice.

 

 

B.

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When I contacted the local National Forest Office I was told a geocache in the National Forest requires a special use permit which costs about $75. It does not seem like there is any protocol at the national NPS level for geocaches and approval depends on the whim of the local NPS administration. It would surprise me if many geocachers have bothered to get official permission. I do, however, support the complete ban on physical geocaches in National Parks as they are much more sensitive and require pretty stringent protection.

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When I contacted the local National Forest Office I was told a geocache in the National Forest requires a special use permit which costs about $75. It does not seem like there is any protocol at the national NPS level for geocaches and approval depends on the whim of the local NPS administration. It would surprise me if many geocachers have bothered to get official permission. I do, however, support the complete ban on physical geocaches in National Parks as they are much more sensitive and require pretty stringent protection.

1. Please don't confuse National Forests with National Parks. They're run by different agencies. National Parks are one type of property managed by the National Park Service, part of the US Department of the Interior. National Forests are managed by the US Forest Service, part of the US Department of Agriculture.

 

2. Both land managers have adopted geocaching policies that empower management at the local unit level to decide whether to allow geocaches, and on what terms. So, for every scary story about $75 special use permits, there is another story where a Park Ranger or Forest Ranger is helping geocachers by creating an official Geo Tour, or suggesting places that would be great for a FREE geocache to be hidden.

 

3. There is no "complete ban on physical geocaches in National Parks." See point two.

 

I now return you to your regularly scheduled discussion about National Forests.

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When I contacted the local National Forest Office I was told a geocache in the National Forest requires a special use permit which costs about $75. It does not seem like there is any protocol at the national NPS level for geocaches and approval depends on the whim of the local NPS administration. It would surprise me if many geocachers have bothered to get official permission. I do, however, support the complete ban on physical geocaches in National Parks as they are much more sensitive and require pretty stringent protection.

Same here in my area in district 10, a $59 per year permit is required. But geocaching is permitted in the same district in other states like Florida. I did keep up with this subject at one time, but I gave up on any new placements on NFS property in my area because of lack of support. Maybe the OP here will have better luck in their area. :)

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