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When does a geocache gets archived ?


Ginirover
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Just wondering. I'm from Belgium and here we wait one month after a 'need maintenance', than we get a reminder from a reviewer and if no reactions follows the cache gets archived - in total it takes about 2 to 3 months and that's fine by me, stands to reason.

 

We're now preparing a trip to Canada and I rather often come across geocaches that are 'need maintenance' for a very long time, like GC3HB07 that is going so since 2013 with no reaction whatsoever....

 

How does it work ? Are we too strict in Belgium ?

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Erm really??? Well ... we have a really good reviewer but we get a fortnight.

 

If there are 3 dnfs or more or another potential problem it gets disabled and the reveiwer note states please have a check. If no response to that note in two weeks (though sometimes this overuns to a month), archived. Not always but a lot of the time.

 

 

Temporarily Disable Listing Temporarily Disable Listing **/**/2015

 

Hi there

I notice that this cache appears to have some problems (DNF logs/missing/in need of maintenance). May I ask that you read the logs and check the cache to sort out any problems or give an indication of when it may be up and running again for people to find. If this cannot be done the cache should be archived. Once you have resolved any issue please feel free to re-enable the cache. If there is no response to this log after 14 days I will have no option but to archive the cache, in the meantime I am disabling it.

 

If this cache is to remain "live" then please add a note to the cache-page giving an indication of your intended action. Please can I ask that you do not email me.

 

Guidelines: You are responsible for occasional visits to your cache to ensure it is in proper working order, especially when someone reports a problem with the cache (missing, damaged, wet, etc.), or posts a Needs Maintenance log. Temporarily disable your cache to let others know not to search for it until you have addressed the problem. You are permitted a reasonable amount of time – generally up to 4 weeks – in which to check on your cache. If a cache is not being maintained, or has been temporarily disabled for an unreasonable length of time, we may archive the listing.

 

Regards

 

Reviewers name

 

 

Thought that was fairly normal. No?

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We don't spend nights in forts here :laughing: and a cache may have a NM for months. There have been some which have NA for months before being archived, and others that were archived within hours of a NA. The situation is different in each case, and the reviewers usually have insight that players do not.

 

I thank the Geocaching PTB that the Reviewers in my part of the world have better things to do than to actively search for caches to archive.

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It depends on the reviewer, and it depends on whether or not there are complaints.

Not to disagree with this, but I've always thought it probably depends more on the local caching community: in areas where geocachers post Needs Archived notes when they think a cache needs archived, the reviewers don't have to scan caches and make unilateral decisions about the fate of caches that have NMs posted. When the local cachers don't do their job, the reviewer has to pick up the slack. At least, that's my guess at the cause/effect relation, but I most likely wouldn't know if the actual relation was the other way around.

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It depends on the reviewer, and it depends on whether or not there are complaints.

Not to disagree with this, but I've always thought it probably depends more on the local caching community: in areas where geocachers post Needs Archived notes when they think a cache needs archived, the reviewers don't have to scan caches and make unilateral decisions about the fate of caches that have NMs posted. When the local cachers don't do their job, the reviewer has to pick up the slack. At least, that's my guess at the cause/effect relation, but I most likely wouldn't know if the actual relation was the other way around.

 

That may be part of it too, but I know that one of the reviewers who handles caches around here seems to do occasional sweeps of NM caches without prompting.

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Reviewer response may vary a bit from one area to the next, but one obvious difference...

 

What is a Needs Archived note or log?

 

This log sends an email to the geocache owner and a local reviewer.

 

Needs Maintenance logs are not forwarded to community volunteer reviewers.

 

In my area, the Reviewers tend to mostly stick to responding to Needs Archived log entries and Listings that have been Disabled for several months without action.

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Reviewer response may vary a bit from one area to the next, but one obvious difference...

 

What is a Needs Archived note or log?

 

This log sends an email to the geocache owner and a local reviewer.

 

Needs Maintenance logs are not forwarded to community volunteer reviewers.

 

In my area, the Reviewers tend to mostly stick to responding to Needs Archived log entries and Listings that have been Disabled for several months without action.

 

Same in Ontario. The community needs to post an NA. Anytime I post an NA it gets swift attention from a reviewer, usually within a few hours a Reviewer Note gets posted. Then the clock starts and the cache will likely be archived in a couple of months (if the cache owner doesn't respond). But occassionally a reviewer might do a sweep for multiple NMs. 3 NMs on a cache will likely get a reviewers attention. The cache in question has many DNFs but only 1 NM.

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Reviewers have an alert process whenever someone logs "Needs Archived." There's an obligation for reviewers to respond to that log type, and only that log type. (Sometimes the response is "no action needed.")

 

There is NO automated means of notifying reviewers of "Needs Maintenance" logs as they are logged. That is one main reason why this less "drastic" log type was created. So, any actions taken by reviewers based on "Needs Maintenance" logs, multiple DNF logs, etc., is entirely voluntary. Each reviewer can decide for themselves what maintenance strategy works best for them and for their local geocaching community.

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Reviewers have an alert process whenever someone logs "Needs Archived." There's an obligation for reviewers to respond to that log type, and only that log type. (Sometimes the response is "no action needed.")

 

There is NO automated means of notifying reviewers of "Needs Maintenance" logs as they are logged. That is one main reason why this less "drastic" log type was created. So, any actions taken by reviewers based on "Needs Maintenance" logs, multiple DNF logs, etc., is entirely voluntary. Each reviewer can decide for themselves what maintenance strategy works best for them and for their local geocaching community.

 

I think it's better if a caching community learns to log NA's on problem caches rather than reviewers taking it upon themselves to make NM sweeps. That or have GS implement some sort of unilateral policy so that each reviewer handles NM's/DNF's in the same manner. I'm not saying reviewers trying to clean up problem caches is a bad thing...just the lack of consistency from one reviewer to another.

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Not to disagree with this, but I've always thought it probably depends more on the local caching community: in areas where geocachers post Needs Archived notes when they think a cache needs archived, the reviewers don't have to scan caches and make unilateral decisions about the fate of caches that have NMs posted. When the local cachers don't do their job, the reviewer has to pick up the slack.

That may be part of it too, but I know that one of the reviewers who handles caches around here seems to do occasional sweeps of NM caches without prompting.

Is that because no one logs NAs in that area? That was my claim.

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It varies by reviewer, but I've never seen reviewers automatically triggering a "please fix it or else" warning 1 month after a NM. Instead the reviewers look for what appears to be caches with "major problems. A cache can have a NM raised because of a "damp log". If cachers keep finding the cache, I've not seen a reviewer intervene. That NM could stay there for years.

 

However, if the cache has a string of DNFs on a low difficulty cache which previously didn't have any DNFs, the reviewer may take action, even without a NM log.

 

The algorithm an individual reviewer may use will vary.

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Perhaps a little background information will clarify the procedures in the Netherlands and Belgium.

As being said in this topic, the involvement of the reviewers regarding maintenance can differ according to the local circumstances.

The Netherlands and Belgium are small countries with a high cache density and it doesn't take very long hikes to get to the majority of the caches to check on them.

We don't have high mountains, deserted areas or long stretches of outback in our countries.

The Dutch and Flemish reviewers are monthly monitoring NM logs and temporarily disabled caches, because of the overwhelming number of complaints in the cache community.

The cause of a big part of the lack of maintenance is the absence of a lot of cache owners.

 

The reviewers follow procedures that allow the cache owners to do their maintenance and also correct the status on the cache page from about a month after the NM log has been placed.

How to do the correct maintenance is explained in the reviewer notes.

After a month, when nothing has been done, the cache is disabled and another reviewer note follows, giving the cache owner another month to react.

There is also the possibility to explain why maintenance is taking a bit longer.

The cache owner simply can write a note on the cache page.

Such a note informs the cachers and allows reviewers to make exceptions.

If the cache owner does not react at all the cache is archived.

There also is a possibility (depending on circumstances) to unarchive the cache if the cache owner performs the necessary maintenance within a few weeks after the archival of the cache.

When this procedure started, a few years ago, it was explained by the reviewers in the Dutch-speaking part of these forums.

 

 

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The Dutch and Flemish reviewers are monthly monitoring NM logs and temporarily disabled caches, because of the overwhelming number of complaints in the cache community.

I want to make clear that my reaction is not "how dare the reviewers do that!" but rather "why do the reviewers have to waste their time doing that?" In that context, I'm wondering if the various circumstances you list explain why this procedure is needed, or is the real reason just that there's a tradition that discourages NA logs posted by individual members of the community? In other words, while recognizing that the reviewers have no choice but to implement this policy, would it make sense to also try to encourage NAs so that the reviewer workload is reduced and the policy could eventually be abandoned?

 

I'm just asking because I'm curious, not because I have any problem with what is currently working in the Dutch and Flemish community.

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Not to disagree with this, but I've always thought it probably depends more on the local caching community: in areas where geocachers post Needs Archived notes when they think a cache needs archived, the reviewers don't have to scan caches and make unilateral decisions about the fate of caches that have NMs posted. When the local cachers don't do their job, the reviewer has to pick up the slack.

That may be part of it too, but I know that one of the reviewers who handles caches around here seems to do occasional sweeps of NM caches without prompting.

Is that because no one logs NAs in that area? That was my claim.

 

People log NAs when there's a serious issue, but a lot of the time caches get stuck with the NM attribute because of something like a missing pencil, or because the owner writes a note instead of a maintenance log, so people just keep finding the cache and nobody really worries about the NM attribute until the reviewer does a sweep and asks it to be cleared.

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Perhaps a little background information will clarify the procedures in the Netherlands and Belgium.

As being said in this topic, the involvement of the reviewers regarding maintenance can differ according to the local circumstances.

The Netherlands and Belgium are small countries with a high cache density and it doesn't take very long hikes to get to the majority of the caches to check on them.

We don't have high mountains, deserted areas or long stretches of outback in our countries.

The Dutch and Flemish reviewers are monthly monitoring NM logs and temporarily disabled caches, because of the overwhelming number of complaints in the cache community.

The cause of a big part of the lack of maintenance is the absence of a lot of cache owners.

 

The reviewers follow procedures that allow the cache owners to do their maintenance and also correct the status on the cache page from about a month after the NM log has been placed.

How to do the correct maintenance is explained in the reviewer notes.

After a month, when nothing has been done, the cache is disabled and another reviewer note follows, giving the cache owner another month to react.

There is also the possibility to explain why maintenance is taking a bit longer.

The cache owner simply can write a note on the cache page.

Such a note informs the cachers and allows reviewers to make exceptions.

If the cache owner does not react at all the cache is archived.

There also is a possibility (depending on circumstances) to unarchive the cache if the cache owner performs the necessary maintenance within a few weeks after the archival of the cache.

When this procedure started, a few years ago, it was explained by the reviewers in the Dutch-speaking part of these forums.

 

 

Instead of it taking 4-6 months, the Netherlands and Belgium get the job done in 2 months. Kudos for addressing problems at the NM stage. I bet tourists appreciate having a better chance of finding maintained caches.

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Instead of it taking 4-6 months, the Netherlands and Belgium get the job done in 2 months. Kudos for addressing problems at the NM stage.

 

Exactly. Strange thing is that CO's often don't react to the reviewers notes/questions in the logs even though they visit GC almost daily. Instead of performing maintenance or at least acknowledging the RN they just let the reviewer archive their cache (adding to the reviewer's workload).

I guess any CO can perform maintenance or archive their cache in 2-3 months time. Some even find the time to put out new hides.

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It depends on the reviewer, and it depends on whether or not there are complaints. Canada has several reviewers and they all approach things their own way.

 

That's a bit what I was wondering - I would guess that the GC-rules apply rather generally and not by the preference of the local reviewer. I can ofcourse easily understand that a Need Maintance in October on a geocache in Canada or the North of the US can only be attented in April or May the next year (covered by snow...) but 5 DNF's, a NM and a last found back in June 2013 should trigger some action I would say.

 

Anyway, it's just question, I'll filter those geocaches out through a Pocket Query so hopefully won't spend time on those - there are enough active around to keep us busy :)

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Just wondering. I'm from Belgium and here we wait one month after a 'need maintenance', than we get a reminder from a reviewer and if no reactions follows the cache gets archived - in total it takes about 2 to 3 months and that's fine by me, stands to reason.

 

We're now preparing a trip to Canada and I rather often come across geocaches that are 'need maintenance' for a very long time, like GC3HB07 that is going so since 2013 with no reaction whatsoever....

 

How does it work ? Are we too strict in Belgium ?

I would skip any caches that has a long line of DNFs if were mostly by experience cachers. Unless you have the time to look. As someone told me, you don't have to find them all.

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The Dutch and Flemish reviewers are monthly monitoring NM logs and temporarily disabled caches, because of the overwhelming number of complaints in the cache community.

I want to make clear that my reaction is not "how dare the reviewers do that!" but rather "why do the reviewers have to waste their time doing that?" In that context, I'm wondering if the various circumstances you list explain why this procedure is needed, or is the real reason just that there's a tradition that discourages NA logs posted by individual members of the community? In other words, while recognizing that the reviewers have no choice but to implement this policy, would it make sense to also try to encourage NAs so that the reviewer workload is reduced and the policy could eventually be abandoned?

 

I'm just asking because I'm curious, not because I have any problem with what is currently working in the Dutch and Flemish community.

 

I don't know if the real reason is that there's a tradition that discourages NA logs posted by individual members of the community?

I suspect that NA logs are mainly posted for more urgent reasons, like for instance disturbance of wild life or being confronted by a angry farmer because there is no permission for placement.

I do know that the reviewers started this procedures because about 8 to 10% of all caches were in urgent need of maintenance and this situation was taking away the joy of finding caches for a lot of cachers.

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I don't know if the real reason is that there's a tradition that discourages NA logs posted by individual members of the community?

I suspect that NA logs are mainly posted for more urgent reasons, like for instance disturbance of wild life or being confronted by a angry farmer because there is no permission for placement.

I do know that the reviewers started this procedures because about 8 to 10% of all caches were in urgent need of maintenance and this situation was taking away the joy of finding caches for a lot of cachers.

Thanks for the answer. In my area, a need for maintenance (urgent or not) combined with a lack of response by the CO is sufficient reason for a seeker to step up and post an NA to get the reviewer involved. I prefer that approach because it avoids the reviewers being cast as the bad guys responsible for deciding a cache needs to be archived.

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I don't know if the real reason is that there's a tradition that discourages NA logs posted by individual members of the community?

I suspect that NA logs are mainly posted for more urgent reasons, like for instance disturbance of wild life or being confronted by a angry farmer because there is no permission for placement.

I do know that the reviewers started this procedures because about 8 to 10% of all caches were in urgent need of maintenance and this situation was taking away the joy of finding caches for a lot of cachers.

Thanks for the answer. In my area, a need for maintenance (urgent or not) combined with a lack of response by the CO is sufficient reason for a seeker to step up and post an NA to get the reviewer involved. I prefer that approach because it avoids the reviewers being cast as the bad guys responsible for deciding a cache needs to be archived.

 

I think cache owners generally respect the authority of reviewers.

I've had my share of angry COs when I have posted NAs on delinquent yet active cache owners. But they don't get angry with the reviewer.

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I think cache owners generally respect the authority of reviewers.

I've had my share of angry COs when I have posted NAs on delinquent yet active cache owners. But they don't get angry with the reviewer.

I understand. I'm glad the COs in my area respect other cachers, too, and I don't think anyone should have to put up with COs that don't.

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I wouod say that the community as a whole respect that NA is a direct stance to state that a geocache should no longer exist. Archived does not mean come and sort me out now.

 

Over abuse of NM by newbies and long timers alike has led to a majority of CO's ignoring it. And I do see this all the time. It's a thread waiting to happen. Examples of NM logs. And I have seen terrible use of NM and NA alike:

 

NA - too hard to find.

NA - grass is too long to find

NM - it's clearly not here (found the same day and thereafter)

NM - damp log

 

These examples are common. Very common. A log requires a NM if it cannot be signed. But that means actually signed not you don't think your pen will work on it. Or you couldn't be bothered etc. and then it is a choice not an obligation. As a paying adult I'll use my personal experience, compassion for another community member to make my choice. I wouldn't impose that choice on anyone else but I won't be imposed on.

 

NA - is a direct threat to that cache. And should never be used unless of an issue that means that cache should be removed. But I've seen and reported an American user who trawled the red spanners chasing up users here in the UK. "Well? Have you sorted this" when it is ignored logging a NA. The reviewer has not the time to check and curb this almost psychiatric behaviour. But it happens locally and remotely. I have no doubt there are others logging spanners and NA in the same way. Groundoeak responded as you would expect. Swiftly and decisively.

 

NA - should be a last resort by us. And a last option by a reviewer. We can state they don't have the time. Well as I have said before - and as blunt as this sounds - if you don't have the time to volunteer - please don't volunteer. Or get more volunteers. It's not rude - it's simple common sense. I am sure it's fascinating to be one but only be one if you will be an asset.

 

Cachers are people if I see a spanner slapped on a cache by a newbie for some ludicrous reason as a Co I would delete that but it does not go. I have to use the green spanner to cancel it out. Many Co's don't do this so it loiters for months. I think if the soanner isn't actioned for a month perhaps two - it' should vanish. Clearly whatever problem existed has not prevented finds or logging. No it isn't perfect but it would be better than claims of accumulated spanners and a careless Co. Look back at some of those spanners ... omg you can see some idiocy. Or maybe a log full button.

 

That said its not perfect but inevitably it will have to adapt or we have to chill out and educating newbies and long time users alike is a key part of a good future. And that does not mean here or Facebook. Mandatory acknowledgment of information from Groundspeak will at least give Groundspeak a steady platform from which to take action against errant users.

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I wouod say that the community as a whole respect that NA is a direct stance to state that a geocache should no longer exist. Archived does not mean come and sort me out now.

 

 

I'm not sure about that.

 

I do think most of the community know NA should only be used when there is a major issue, and they know that this triggers a reviewer. And I agree with you that NA (and NM) can get over/wrongly used for minor issues.

 

But I think NA (in spite of "A" in the name) means: "There is some major issue here and the CO doesn't seem to be acknowledging it or acting on it, so it needs a reviewer to force the issue". In fact you will find threads in this forum where many think the name should be changed to "needs reviewer attention".

 

A typical case is the (possibly) missing cache. After 100 finds without a DNF, it has 10 straight DNFs. It has been 6 months since the first DNF, and several NMs have been logged. No response from the CO. It COULD still be there - sometimes a DNF stops others looking as hard as they should - but this is a low difficulty cache with an obvious hint. Really the CO needs to check it. Raising an NA here means "please check on this and sort it out - OTHERWISE it should be archived".

 

There are some caches where the only solution is archiving - e.g. a cache which doesn't have permission, is on private land, and the land owner is upset and threatening geocachers.

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And I agree with you that NA (and NM) can get over/wrongly used for minor issues.

 

I don't think it's a big deal if the NM or NA get "wrongly" used for minor issues. It's quite easy to post an OM for something like a missing pencil with a note that says, "The cache does not contain a pencil, BYOP."

An NM for a damp log... post a note saying you don't consider "damp" to be an issue so you won't be checking on the cache unless the log can't be signed.

 

Personally we've never had a problem with misuse of the NM or NA on our caches. We've never had someone post an NA. NMs get prompt attention - a note if I can't get out to the cache within a couple of weeks. The cache gets disabled if the problem could mean a not-fun experience for the next finder (e.g. wet moldy contents, missing cache, bees, homeless guy camped nearby, encased in ice, flooded trail). A note asking the next finders to add a slip of paper to the cache until I can get out there, if the log is full.

 

It's not hard to take care of a cache, we are allowed quite a bit of time to address the problem - often a month, more time if we keep posting notes so the reviewer knows we're still taking care of the cache. Doesn't even require us to get off our butts, posting notes can be done at any computer. Anytime visiting our caches for maintenance runs becomes a burden, it's time to retrieve and archive the cache.

 

I don't think we should discourage people from using the NM for whatever reason they feel the cache needs assistance. NMs help keep caches in tip top shape. Well, that is if cache owners care to keep their caches in tip top shape.

 

 

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I wouod say that the community as a whole respect that NA is a direct stance to state that a geocache should no longer exist. Archived does not mean come and sort me out now.

Needs Archived means that there is an issue which, if not sorted out, should lead to the cache being archived. So, yes, it does mean "sort me out", although in most cases if a cache gets to the NA stage, it's unlikely the CO will do anything about it.

 

Over abuse of NM by newbies and long timers alike has led to a majority of CO's ignoring it. And I do see this all the time. It's a thread waiting to happen.

I look forward to that thread, but I don't see how this observation is relevant to reviewers acting without an NA posted. Is the thinking that COs ignore all NAs because only idiots post them? I think it would be unfortunate to lose such a useful mechanism for that reason.

 

NA - should be a last resort by us.

Yes, of course it's a last resort, but it's not the end of the world. An NA should describe specific problems with every expectation that if that problem is resolved, the cache doesn't need to be archived after all.

 

Cachers are people if I see a spanner slapped on a cache by a newbie for some ludicrous reason as a Co I would delete that but it does not go.

Perhaps that why this problem persists. Rather than try to pretend the NM or NA didn't happen, I leave it in place and post an OM explaining why the NM or NA was mistaken so that any newbies, including the one that posted the NA should they happen to come back to read the logs, can better understand when to use such logs.

Edited by dprovan
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I get the wisdom of leaving it there - teaching with explanation note - also could embarrass them if they chase it up though. I wouldn't want that ... though "grass is too long" and "too hard" ... sorry but that's terrible. Then they are with mates ... four DNFs and their NA ... reviewer pops head in ... disabled .. Archived. Should a CO have to keep tabs on a simple cache day in day out to watchfully guard against that. I know the reviewers are supposed to read the cache page and examine what's what. This does not always happen. That's a fact. I'm not being critical. If they were forced to learn the rules a reveiwer woukdnt be needed to look at it. I could post a cache link but if the person is still active it would be harsh. So I won't. But it happens quite a bit. More than it should.

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I get the wisdom of leaving it there - teaching with explanation note - also could embarrass them if they chase it up though. I wouldn't want that ... though "grass is too long" and "too hard" ... sorry but that's terrible.

 

Easy peasy. Post an OM saying the cache does not need maintenance but there is tall grass between the trail and the cache, which makes the terrain rating more of a T3.

 

Then they are with mates ... four DNFs and their NA ... reviewer pops head in ... disabled .. Archived.

 

Doesn't need to get archived. The owner should check the cache to confirm it's still there. They will have a month to go have a look.

I doubt a reviewer would post a Reviewer Note if there were regular finds, then 4 DNFs in a row on the same day and no NM posted.

 

Should a CO have to keep tabs on a simple cache day in day out to watchfully guard against that.

No. They barely have to do anything. Just watch their email. If there's an unwarranted NM or NA post a note explaining why it's unwarranted.

If it's an actual issue post a note saying you'll get to it within the month. A month is a very generous amount of time to go check a cache. Reviewers will let it slide if it's a time of year or there are circumstances when it's not possible to get out to the cache (e.g. February in snow country, construction on a site, trail closed for a couple of months). You just have to post a note once a month to let the reviewers no you haven't forgotten that the cache needs attention.

 

I know the reviewers are supposed to read the cache page and examine what's what. This does not always happen. That's a fact. I'm not being critical.

Even if they jump-the-gun without completely reading the issues, it's easy for the cache owner to reply to the reviewer to let them know what's up with the situation. All a cache owner needs is access to a computer/tablet/smart phone to send a message.

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