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You Can't Do That


L0ne.R
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Some people have to much imagination :ph34r:

More damage is done by the constant stream of cachers than by fixing something to a tree or digging a hole. I've seen birdhouses (real ones, even made for large birds like owls) fixed with screws to trees. Not done by cachers though but by the park officials and nature societies responsible for fauna and flora. I guess those are the people that know what they are doing, right?

 

You haven't seen the stuff I've seen, even with the current guidelines in effect. From seasoned cache hiders too who should know better, probably do but will push the guidelines to create something "unique".

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Some people have to much imagination :ph34r:

More damage is done by the constant stream of cachers than by fixing something to a tree or digging a hole. I've seen birdhouses (real ones, even made for large birds like owls) fixed with screws to trees. Not done by cachers though but by the park officials and nature societies responsible for fauna and flora. I guess those are the people that know what they are doing, right?

 

It's not an issue of whether or not they know what they're doing as far as attaching a birdhouse to a tree.

 

A land owner might be know what they're doing and put up a few bird houses on the property. That doesn't mean they would allow just anyone to put up bird houses on their property. If a land owner choose to dig a hole on their property that's their choice. Making that choice doesn't give permission to everyone else to dig a hole on their property.

 

 

 

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A nail, screw, hook or bolt in a live tree violates the defacement guideline. It may also violate a land management policy, state law or local ordinance. All local laws apply, but reviewers tend to cite to the defacement guideline as it applies in all cases.

 

A small screw in a large tree is "defacing"? I guess Groundspeak's definition of "deface" is far more liberal than most. When I think "deface", I think graffiti or something being torn or chopped up so as to be near unrecognizable or, at the very least, requiring extensive repair. I don't see a small screw (or honestly even a large screw) in a tree as defacement.

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A nail, screw, hook or bolt in a live tree violates the defacement guideline. It may also violate a land management policy, state law or local ordinance. All local laws apply, but reviewers tend to cite to the defacement guideline as it applies in all cases.

 

A small screw in a large tree is "defacing"? I guess Groundspeak's definition of "deface" is far more liberal than most. When I think "deface", I think graffiti or something being torn or chopped up so as to be near unrecognizable or, at the very least, requiring extensive repair. I don't see a small screw (or honestly even a large screw) in a tree as defacement.

 

"A nail, screw, hook or bolt in a live tree violates the defacement guideline." This I can agree with except when it complies with private or local and state land management policy. In the case where management allows for marking trails on live trees with tags rather than blazes, allows for reflectors to be pinned or nailed, allows for reflective wires to be twisted into place, etc. then I think we're in pretty safe territory putting a fastener of some kind in a rotting stump. If land management and the state allows it in live trees, why all the fuss over deadfall or stumps? Why can't we find a reasonable middle ground? This is a guideline in case we've all forgotten. It's not a rule. It's supposed to be a flexible system that allows for common sense.

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Honestly, I really think most of this stuff boils down to common sense; or rather it should. Are you harming a live tree with a nail? Probably not but the bigger picture is perceptions. With the way things are these days, it would take much less than a single case of a land owner finding a couple nails pounded into one of his trees to cause a complete debacle for the GC community. Just like in the rock climbing world: every time one guy or group goes out and does something stupid, it makes us all look like reckless idiots w no regard for our own lives.

 

On the burying thing my $0.02 (fwiw) is 1.)Don't dig up other people's land or yard and 2.)Don't require cachers to use a shovel to find your cache. The guidelines are a little more blanket than that but that's just my opinion on it. Personally, I would really enjoy finding a cache in a tube or irrigation box buried in the ground. That just sounds like fun hiding and finding to me.

 

As far as this one:

 

I've got two more scenarios to discuss. Again, the purpose is to explore the edges of the guidelines.

 

The picture is just for reference because it shows conduit connected to something (in this case, a pole) using unistrut, and make help people understand what I am talking about. Ignore the telecommunications hut in the background. I am unaware of any geocache at this location. However, I am aware that caches have placed using the technique outlined below.

 

Google-Fiber-San-Jose-Fiber-Hut-02.jpg

 

What if someone added a geocache hidden in a piece of conduit?.....inevitable scratching.

 

Thanks, Skye.

 

...two points:

 

1.) I cache w my 10yr old daughter almost exclusively and I wouldn't let her start probing around a utility substation... period. If it didn't jump out at me at first glance at a site like that, it's a DNF. I've heard of way too many accidents happening from loose grounds and what not. As a child I actually stepped into a muddy area (just wet dirt, actually) that had current running to it somehow from a nearby transformer. It was apparently the result of a hot to ground leak or something. Scary stuff and that's ofc an extreme example but hides attached to high voltage receptacles, panels and substations aren't my idea of safe caching. The lesson I'd rather teach my little one is to respect such things and keep away from them. (yes I realize that cuts out several thousand caches for us and yeah,.. I'm ok w that)

 

2.) To play devil's advocate, lets say maintenance on that substation involved removal of or maintenance on the 2nd or 3rd conduit from the right on that unistrut. Do conduits ever get labeled or referred to that way? Probably not in a CM document or anything but maybe over the phone from a supervisor, manager, coworker or something. This one's just me talking as a non-electrician. I could be way out in left field - who knows.. just throwing it out there that the hide probably isn't worth the potential repercussions.

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Well to get back on track, we're talking about "harming" the environment with cache placement. Is a screw or nail in a stump or piece of deadfall WITH PERMISSION actually "harming" the environment? Particularly if the land owners/management give permission to do so?

 

That's actually taking it off the track. The no buried caches and no defacement guidelines are not in place to protect the environment, thus the argument that we *can* dig holes or put screws or nails into trees (even dead trees) because it doesn't harm the environment is invalid. The purpose of the guideline is defuse the notion among land managers that, by allowing geocaching on their property, players of the game might dig holes or alter the property they own or manage. A land manager may be perfectly fine digging holes on their own property or property they manage but almost certainly would not want just anyone to alter their property in that manner.

Edited by NYPaddleCacher
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I will admit that I and another cacher with me went to a reviewer about one of Tattletales well known and awarded caches "NUTS" and reported that he screwed the feeder to a tree. His cache was disabled and then re-enabled it after they removed the screws and used a cable to wrap over a branch and the cable was wrapped to protect the tree from damage.

Though Tattletales was first not happy we did it, he did understand and has no hard feelings toward us.

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Well to get back on track, we're talking about "harming" the environment with cache placement. Is a screw or nail in a stump or piece of deadfall WITH PERMISSION actually "harming" the environment? Particularly if the land owners/management give permission to do so?

 

That's actually taking it off the track. The no buried caches and no defacement guidelines are not in place to protect the environment, thus the argument that we *can* dig holes or put screws or nails into trees (even dead trees) because it doesn't harm the environment is invalid. The purpose of the guideline is defuse the notion among land managers that, by allowing geocaching on their property, players of the game might dig holes or alter the property they own or manage. A land manager may be perfectly fine digging holes on their own property or property they manage but almost certainly would not want just anyone to alter their property in that manner.

I agree. It's not so much about damage as it is about a form of vandalism. You change anything that was already there to create a place for a cache is vandalism. If you dig a hole, or if you drill into anything that was already there such as a pole, fence, tree, then it is vandalism. This is different if you bring your own drilled out rock or stump.

I believe I mentioned this example before. I went to Mingo and thought cool it's the oldest one and someone dug a hole to put a pipe in it. Well this is grandfathered in and I think cachers and GC learned from it. But just a ways further I found another cache which was a recently drilled hole in a telephone pole big enough for bison container. And placed over the hole was a dog tag nailed into the pole with the word "MINGO" on it. The pole belongs to the ulility company and not meant for creating a place for a container.

Was it Jeremy who said something like, if you ever had to remove your cache would there be any evidence there was a cache there? I would add would you go back and remove the cache at all?

Other rules I've seen being ignored is placing caches underneath postal boxes, inside lamp posts (where the wires are), too close to schools and railroad tracks. Even if the tracks aren't live the property still belongs to railroad until they decide it is public. Sorry if I am ranting so much.

Edited by jellis
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Well to get back on track, we're talking about "harming" the environment with cache placement. Is a screw or nail in a stump or piece of deadfall WITH PERMISSION actually "harming" the environment? Particularly if the land owners/management give permission to do so?

 

That's actually taking it off the track. The no buried caches and no defacement guidelines are not in place to protect the environment, thus the argument that we *can* dig holes or put screws or nails into trees (even dead trees) because it doesn't harm the environment is invalid. The purpose of the guideline is defuse the notion among land managers that, by allowing geocaching on their property, players of the game might dig holes or alter the property they own or manage. A land manager may be perfectly fine digging holes on their own property or property they manage but almost certainly would not want just anyone to alter their property in that manner.

 

I agree. It's not so much about damage as it is about a form of vandalism. You change anything that was already there to create a place for a cache is vandalism. If you dig a hole, or if you drill into anything that was already there such as a pole, fence, tree, then it is vandalism. This is different if you bring your own drilled out rock or stump.

I believe I mentioned this example before. I went to Mingo and thought cool it's the oldest one and someone dug a hole to put a pipe in it. Well this is grandfathered in and I think cachers and GC learned from it. But just a ways further I found another cache which was a recently drilled hole in a telephone pole big enough for bison container. And placed over the hole was a dog tag nailed into the pole with the word "MINGO" on it. The pole belongs to the ulility company and not meant for creating a place for a container.

Was it Jeremy who said something like, if you ever had to remove your cache would there be any evidence there was a cache there? I would add would you go back and remove the cache at all?

Other rules I've seen being ignored is placing caches underneath postal boxes, inside lamp posts (where the wires are), too close to schools and railroad tracks. Even if the tracks aren't live the property still belongs to railroad until they decide it is public. Sorry if I am ranting so much.

 

You've raised some good points there jellis with clear explanation. +1

Edited by colleda
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Well to get back on track, we're talking about "harming" the environment with cache placement. Is a screw or nail in a stump or piece of deadfall WITH PERMISSION actually "harming" the environment? Particularly if the land owners/management give permission to do so?

 

That's actually taking it off the track. The no buried caches and no defacement guidelines are not in place to protect the environment, thus the argument that we *can* dig holes or put screws or nails into trees (even dead trees) because it doesn't harm the environment is invalid. The purpose of the guideline is defuse the notion among land managers that, by allowing geocaching on their property, players of the game might dig holes or alter the property they own or manage. A land manager may be perfectly fine digging holes on their own property or property they manage but almost certainly would not want just anyone to alter their property in that manner.

 

I agree. It's not so much about damage as it is about a form of vandalism. You change anything that was already there to create a place for a cache is vandalism. If you dig a hole, or if you drill into anything that was already there such as a pole, fence, tree, then it is vandalism. This is different if you bring your own drilled out rock or stump.

I believe I mentioned this example before. I went to Mingo and thought cool it's the oldest one and someone dug a hole to put a pipe in it. Well this is grandfathered in and I think cachers and GC learned from it. But just a ways further I found another cache which was a recently drilled hole in a telephone pole big enough for bison container. And placed over the hole was a dog tag nailed into the pole with the word "MINGO" on it. The pole belongs to the ulility company and not meant for creating a place for a container.

Was it Jeremy who said something like, if you ever had to remove your cache would there be any evidence there was a cache there? I would add would you go back and remove the cache at all?

Other rules I've seen being ignored is placing caches underneath postal boxes, inside lamp posts (where the wires are), too close to schools and railroad tracks. Even if the tracks aren't live the property still belongs to railroad until they decide it is public. Sorry if I am ranting so much.

 

You've raised some good points there jellis with clear explanation. +1

 

No, that's not taking it off track. The reviewer stated "harm" as the reasoning. He didn't say you can't do that because the land management would have an issue with it. This particular land management actually doesn't have issue with it. If the land management authorities allow the use of a nail, screw, pin, firetack, etc. and we're complying with those rules, how is it causing "harm"? Remember, we're talking tree stumps and deadfall here, NOT living trees.

 

Just an fyi, vandalism is "deliberate destruction of property". A temporary trail marker that can be removed without trace of it's having been there to begin with does not meet that standard.

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Well to get back on track, we're talking about "harming" the environment with cache placement. Is a screw or nail in a stump or piece of deadfall WITH PERMISSION actually "harming" the environment? Particularly if the land owners/management give permission to do so?

 

That's actually taking it off the track. The no buried caches and no defacement guidelines are not in place to protect the environment, thus the argument that we *can* dig holes or put screws or nails into trees (even dead trees) because it doesn't harm the environment is invalid. The purpose of the guideline is defuse the notion among land managers that, by allowing geocaching on their property, players of the game might dig holes or alter the property they own or manage. A land manager may be perfectly fine digging holes on their own property or property they manage but almost certainly would not want just anyone to alter their property in that manner.

 

I agree. It's not so much about damage as it is about a form of vandalism. You change anything that was already there to create a place for a cache is vandalism. If you dig a hole, or if you drill into anything that was already there such as a pole, fence, tree, then it is vandalism. This is different if you bring your own drilled out rock or stump.

I believe I mentioned this example before. I went to Mingo and thought cool it's the oldest one and someone dug a hole to put a pipe in it. Well this is grandfathered in and I think cachers and GC learned from it. But just a ways further I found another cache which was a recently drilled hole in a telephone pole big enough for bison container. And placed over the hole was a dog tag nailed into the pole with the word "MINGO" on it. The pole belongs to the ulility company and not meant for creating a place for a container.

Was it Jeremy who said something like, if you ever had to remove your cache would there be any evidence there was a cache there? I would add would you go back and remove the cache at all?

Other rules I've seen being ignored is placing caches underneath postal boxes, inside lamp posts (where the wires are), too close to schools and railroad tracks. Even if the tracks aren't live the property still belongs to railroad until they decide it is public. Sorry if I am ranting so much.

 

You've raised some good points there jellis with clear explanation. +1

 

No, that's not taking it off track. The reviewer stated "harm" as the reasoning. He didn't say you can't do that because the land management would have an issue with it. This particular land management actually doesn't have issue with it. If the land management authorities allow the use of a nail, screw, pin, firetack, etc. and we're complying with those rules, how is it causing "harm"? Remember, we're talking tree stumps and deadfall here, NOT living trees.

 

Could you point out where the reviewer stated "harm" was the reason that we are not allowed to put nails or screws into trees because I went back through the thread and am not seeing it.

 

The "no buried caches" guideline states:

 

Geocaches are never buried, neither partially nor completely.

If one has to dig or create a hole in the ground when placing or finding a geocache, it is not allowed.

 

The guideline relevant to the use of nails or screws to hide a cache states:

 

Geocache placements do not damage, deface or destroy public or private property.

Caches are placed so that the surrounding environment, whether natural or human-made, is safe from intentional or unintentional harm. Property must not be damaged or altered to provide a hiding place, clue, or means of logging a find.

 

In neither case does it state that a cache may be buried, or that the property may be altered (using nails or screws) *if* the land manager allows it.

 

 

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The "no buried caches" guideline states:

 

Geocaches are never buried, neither partially nor completely.

If one has to dig or create a hole in the ground when placing or finding a geocache, it is not allowed.

 

The guideline relevant to the use of nails or screws to hide a cache states:

 

Geocache placements do not damage, deface or destroy public or private property.

Caches are placed so that the surrounding environment, whether natural or human-made, is safe from intentional or unintentional harm. Property must not be damaged or altered to provide a hiding place, clue, or means of logging a find.

 

In neither case does it state that a cache may be buried, or that the property may be altered (using nails or screws) *if* the land manager allows it.

 

And then there's this official statement by GS. Use your favorite online translator to read in any other language but Dutch.

 

And that's why it's common to have caches underground in our neck of the woods.

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The "no buried caches" guideline states:

 

Geocaches are never buried, neither partially nor completely.

If one has to dig or create a hole in the ground when placing or finding a geocache, it is not allowed.

 

The guideline relevant to the use of nails or screws to hide a cache states:

 

Geocache placements do not damage, deface or destroy public or private property.

Caches are placed so that the surrounding environment, whether natural or human-made, is safe from intentional or unintentional harm. Property must not be damaged or altered to provide a hiding place, clue, or means of logging a find.

 

In neither case does it state that a cache may be buried, or that the property may be altered (using nails or screws) *if* the land manager allows it.

 

And then there's this official statement by GS. Use your favorite online translator to read in any other language but Dutch.

 

And that's why it's common to have caches underground in our neck of the woods.

 

Interesting. I see that the post date from that "official statement" (as posted by a Dutch reviewer) is Feb. 8, 2016 so I suspect that we'll see a change in the guidelines soon. Until a guideline change this significant appears in the official guidelines on a GS site (and not just buried in a dutch forum on Geocaching ® in Europe) it's not really official.

 

Are there any other reviewers reading that can confirm that the official policy on "no buried caches" from HQ is:

 

Buried caches are allowed if the following conditions are met:

 

1. the cache owner (CO) obtains permission of the landowner.

2. the cache owner (CO) provides this information to the reviewer .

3. the cache owner (CO) will clearly state the cache page he received explicit permission for this method of hiding a cache.

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I've written it before: OK for CO + OK for landowner = OK (and no need for a guideline that wants to cover everything worldwide without taking regional differences into account).

 

If this is indeed an official policy from GS, then it doesn't need to account for regional differences.

 

Unfortunately what can happen is a cacher finds a cache which violates the guideline and just assumes that it's OK, even if the person which manages or owns the property hasn't indicated that it's OK.

 

BTW, how many of the buried caches that you have encountered placed before Feb. 8th (the date of the posting which announces this new policy) comply with those conditions?

 

 

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BTW, how many of the buried caches that you have encountered placed before Feb. 8th (the date of the posting which announces this new policy) comply with those conditions?

 

100's. And not only "here". I've yet to see/hear about any problems with these buried caches anyway.

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BTW, how many of the buried caches that you have encountered placed before Feb. 8th (the date of the posting which announces this new policy) comply with those conditions?

 

100's. And not only "here". I've yet to see/hear about any problems with these buried caches anyway.

Some of the old timers might remember this one, but it's worth repeating...

 

NPS Morning Report

 

I'd have to characterize that incident as having some significant impact on geocaching.

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There was no new policy or guidelines update published in February regarding buried caches.

 

Also, there is a distinction between official black letter language in the listing guidelines vs. informal policies. It would appear that, in The Netherlands, this distinction is more critical than in other locations, based on past history and landowner preferences.

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Also, there is a distinction between official black letter language in the listing guidelines vs. informal policies. It would appear that, in The Netherlands, this distinction is more critical than in other locations, based on past history and landowner preferences.

 

Proving my point that one size doesn't fit all for a global activity. <_<

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Also, there is a distinction between official black letter language in the listing guidelines vs. informal policies. It would appear that, in The Netherlands, this distinction is more critical than in other locations, based on past history and landowner preferences.

 

Proving my point that one size doesn't fit all for a global activity. <_<

Thus proving that assumptions like yours are obviously false. You asked for proof of a problem, and I posted a problem stemming from an incident dating back to 2002. The obvious conclusion is that Groundspeak took the correct action so that further bans on caching would not continue. If you have a specific set of circumstances that dictate otherwise, you have to talk it over with Groundspeak on a case by case basis.

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Thus proving that assumptions like yours are obviously false. You asked for proof of a problem, and I posted a problem stemming from an incident dating back to 2002. The obvious conclusion is that Groundspeak took the correct action so that further bans on caching would not continue. If you have a specific set of circumstances that dictate otherwise, you have to talk it over with Groundspeak on a case by case basis.

 

You posted a US incident. People (may) look at certain things differently in other parts of the world. As I said, I have yet to see one instance "here" where a buried cache has been a problem.

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BTW, how many of the buried caches that you have encountered placed before Feb. 8th (the date of the posting which announces this new policy) comply with those conditions?

 

100's. And not only "here". I've yet to see/hear about any problems with these buried caches anyway.

 

Do those 100's of buried caches follow informal rule #3?

 

3. the cache owner (CO) will clearly state on the cache page, he received explicit permission for this method of hiding a cache.

It's really surprising to me that park managers would be OK with burying, especially with the after effect. If it's well hidden (buried under the soil) there could be a lot of digging in the area. I could see cachers bringing in shovels to help with the effort.

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It's really surprising to me that park managers would be OK with burying, especially with the after effect. If it's well hidden (buried under the soil) there could be a lot of digging in the area. I could see cachers bringing in shovels to help with the effort.

 

Since some (many) of the buried caches are in nature reserves and all caches in these reserves are placed in cooperation and with written permission of the person responsible, there's no reason to doubt it's not OK to bury them. Standard way is a "box" (waterproof plywood) that holds the cachecontainer and that has a lid to cover the "box". all this is then covered with leaves making it invisible even if one were to step on it (I have logged DNFs after standing on top of a cache and not finding it).

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I have recently seen 2 geocaches hidden on signs (one a handicap parking sign) where you need to remove a bolt/screw and move the sign to retrieve the cache. Then you replace the cache, sign and bolt to re-hide it. Is THIS legal? I always hesitate to remove a piece of a sign, guard rail, post, etc.

This one could have been hidden differently by using fishing line and hanging it.

 

Also I saw this one.

10341817_998423296871624_7291394790164659208_n.jpg?oh=39a65c81f006e786fdf4319027aed5e3&oe=57561F80

 

While really cute, it's screwed into the fork of a living tree. I don't know how this "hook" could be put on the tree legally.

Edited by Two Pipers
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I have recently seen 2 geocaches hidden on signs (one a handicap parking sign) where you need to remove a bolt/screw and move the sign to retrieve the cache. Then you replace the cache, sign and bolt to re-hide it. Is THIS legal? I always hesitate to remove a piece of a sign, guard rail, post, etc.

This one could have been hidden differently by using fishing line and hanging it.

 

Also I saw this one.

10341817_998423296871624_7291394790164659208_n.jpg?oh=39a65c81f006e786fdf4319027aed5e3&oe=57561F80

 

While really cute, it's screwed into the fork of a living tree. I don't know how this "hook" could be put on the tree legally.

 

The finger could be mounted on a small board, the board tied to a large branch or small tree trunk with thin black wire (less visible), or zip tied between 2 small branches.

 

Your first example of a handicap sign that needed to be unbolted to retrieve the cache is covered by: "Property must not be damaged or altered to provide a hiding place, clue, or means of logging a find."

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I have recently seen 2 geocaches hidden on signs (one a handicap parking sign) where you need to remove a bolt/screw and move the sign to retrieve the cache. Then you replace the cache, sign and bolt to re-hide it. Is THIS legal? I always hesitate to remove a piece of a sign, guard rail, post, etc.

 

Your first example of a handicap sign that needed to be unbolted to retrieve the cache is covered by: "Property must not be damaged or altered to provide a hiding place, clue, or means of logging a find."

 

You can't guarantee that an altered sign will be put back properly by subsequent cachers.

 

Is placing a relector sign over an existing one altering the spot if the cache sign looks and works the same as the real reflector? You opinions would be appreciated because I am placing geocaches myself.

Edited by Two Pipers
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It's really surprising to me that park managers would be OK with burying, especially with the after effect. If it's well hidden (buried under the soil) there could be a lot of digging in the area. I could see cachers bringing in shovels to help with the effort.

 

Since some (many) of the buried caches are in nature reserves and all caches in these reserves are placed in cooperation and with written permission of the person responsible, there's no reason to doubt it's not OK to bury them. Standard way is a "box" (waterproof plywood) that holds the cachecontainer and that has a lid to cover the "box". all this is then covered with leaves making it invisible even if one were to step on it (I have logged DNFs after standing on top of a cache and not finding it).

I guess you are just still blind to the point. Park managers could change and the next one may decide this is not a good idea. Plywood rots and someone may step on it and break an ankle. Who is going to pay?

Edited by jellis
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It's really surprising to me that park managers would be OK with burying, especially with the after effect. If it's well hidden (buried under the soil) there could be a lot of digging in the area. I could see cachers bringing in shovels to help with the effort.

 

Since some (many) of the buried caches are in nature reserves and all caches in these reserves are placed in cooperation and with written permission of the person responsible, there's no reason to doubt it's not OK to bury them. Standard way is a "box" (waterproof plywood) that holds the cachecontainer and that has a lid to cover the "box". all this is then covered with leaves making it invisible even if one were to step on it (I have logged DNFs after standing on top of a cache and not finding it).

I guess you are just still blind to the point. Park managers could change and the next one may decide this is not a good idea. Plywood rots and someone may step on it and break an ankle. Who is going to pay?

 

OK.. let's beat this horse until it's even deadier B)

Park managers don't change here as much as they may in the US. They may change when the "old" one retires and then you're set for the next 10's of years. Should the next one decide it's not a good idea, the cache can be archived, no big deal.

I used "waterproof plywood" to describe the material used by builders to pour concrete in (don't know the exact English word for it). It's not something that rots quickly, not even after years in the ground.

Who's going to pay if you step on a fallen branch and break something? We're not "lawyered up" as you guys are, we don't try to blame

someone else for our "stupidity". And again, I haven't heard of one single instance where something like this happened (since we started in 2006)

 

Oh, by the way, no one is going caching with a shovel here, we use a stick to just tap the ground until we hear the distinct sound of the stick hitting the container or peace of wood covering the container. Sometimes it's just clear where the cache is because someone put some sticks and branches "in a random pattern" as camouflage making it stand out from a distance.

 

You should try caching over here to see for yourself, it's not all bad :ph34r:

We use "GBV" (D3 mystery to find out what it means B) )

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Could you point out where the reviewer stated "harm" was the reason that we are not allowed to put nails or screws into trees because I went back through the thread and am not seeing it.

 

The guideline relevant to the use of nails or screws to hide a cache states:

 

Geocache placements do not damage, deface or destroy public or private property.

Caches are placed so that the surrounding environment, whether natural or human-made, is safe from intentional or unintentional harm. Property must not be damaged or altered to provide a hiding place, clue, or means of logging a find.

 

In neither case does it state that a cache may be buried, or that the property may be altered (using nails or screws) *if* the land manager allows it.

 

The reviewer denied the placement based on the statement that a screw "defaced" (defined as "harming or spoiling the surface or appearance of (something).

 

REVIEWER STATEMENT: "I'm sorry, as you defaced this stump that doesn't belong to you, I can not publish your listing. Please return the area to as best you can and find another location to hide it."

 

Putting a screw into a wormhole, beetle hole or crack in a rotting tree stump where it hangs by gravity does not damage the stump. The property is not altered. The hole already exists. The property (wood) is already dead and rotting at it's natural rate and will cease to exist in short order. In this particular case, gravity and friction were the only elements holding the tag in place.

 

The guideline says do not damage... check. Hole pre-exists.

The guideline says do not deface... check. Camo'd tag available for use through Geocaching.com obviously passes muster.

The guideline says do not destroy public property... check. No damage done, no alterations made. Hole pre-exists, gravity doing it's job. All is well.

 

So... where is the violation? (Please stop throwing in information on digging holes, that was never part of my question). The property was not altered at this point. However, now I've gone and placed foreign wood with dozens of screws in it's place and that passed with flying colors. Do you not see the irony in this solution? A foreign item with potential contaminates and dozens of the same type of screw that was previously being used is now in place instead of a single screw in a Groundspeak-approved tag hanging by good old gravity.

 

These are "guidelines", not absolutes, so at some point common sense and reasoning should be a part of the decision. We're talking about the end game of avoiding altering the environment or to have the smallest impact possible. The smallest impact was denied. The most potentially dangerous solution was approved without hesitation.

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That was my initial thought as well, but then I realized it is a bigger issue than an individual cache appeal. This is about how cachers and reviewers both look at our game's impact on nature. What better place than this particular forum to discuss and question "Can we do that?". We used to have a really robust set of guidelines with a lot of info that seems to be narrowed down to almost nothing while being treated more like strict rules instead of guidelines at all. The guidelines said what I did was perfectly within the rules, but the reviewer sees an obvious violation.

 

I was under the impression that this rather specific thread was designed to discuss exactly this kind of occurrence.

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I was under the impression that this rather specific thread was designed to discuss exactly this kind of occurrence.
The purpose of this thread is to discuss cache designs which violate the guidelines, and to suggest ways to rework them so they meet the guidelines.

 

So, are you interested in suggestions for how your cache design could be reworked to meet the guidelines?

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I was under the impression that this rather specific thread was designed to discuss exactly this kind of occurrence.
The purpose of this thread is to discuss cache designs which violate the guidelines, and to suggest ways to rework them so they meet the guidelines.

 

So, are you interested in suggestions for how your cache design could be reworked to meet the guidelines?

 

No. I proposed discussion of a cache design which I was told violates guidelines, but does not. That was my point and why I posed my original questions. I'll ask why "You can't do that" somewhere else I guess.

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BTW, how many of the buried caches that you have encountered placed before Feb. 8th (the date of the posting which announces this new policy) comply with those conditions?

 

100's. And not only "here". I've yet to see/hear about any problems with these buried caches anyway.

Some of the old timers might remember this one, but it's worth repeating...

 

NPS Morning Report

 

I'd have to characterize that incident as having some significant impact on geocaching.

It's not just for old timers. I am trying to get an earthcache published at Mesa Verde National Park, and just this morning, I had to reassure park staff that there was no physical container, no one would be digging up anything, and all the questions could in fact be answered from a paved overlook while in full view of a ranger that is normally posted there.

 

(I had of course mentioned all this in my initial email, which I've tried to hone in order to reassure park staff that earthcaches are benign creatures that can assist in a park's mission, but c'est la vie. Better the park staff has the information they need than not.)

 

Apparently the NPS has a long memory when it comes to that (inaccurate) morning report. Which brings me back to Touchstone's point: one bad cache, or even a misconception of one cache, can have a ripple effect, which is why knowing and following the guidelines is so important.

 

edit to add: I did at least get permission from the BLM to place another earthcache by a cool dinosaur site in Moab. Ironically, there is a geo tour cache placed in the parking lot there, and according to the BLM, the geo tour folks never bothered to get permission to place it...

 

edit to add again: actually, the geotour had permission, but not all of the BLM office knew about it. So, never mind on that last bit.

Edited by hzoi
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Some of the most popular caches in the world are violations of the rules as written. WVTim's gadgets, for instance... extremely popular, installed with permission and often assistance of the landowners, and mounted on 4x4 posts in the ground that were placed for the sole intent of holding the cache. And to argue that they hurt the image of geocaching because someone planted a post in the ground is silly. Perhaps the solution is to create a new category of cache that has a unique set of rules? Because archiving the many extremely popular post-based caches because of this rule violation would hurt the hobby's image, not help it.

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Some of the most popular caches in the world are violations of the rules as written. WVTim's gadgets, for instance... extremely popular, installed with permission and often assistance of the landowners, and mounted on 4x4 posts in the ground that were placed for the sole intent of holding the cache. And to argue that they hurt the image of geocaching because someone planted a post in the ground is silly. Perhaps the solution is to create a new category of cache that has a unique set of rules? Because archiving the many extremely popular post-based caches because of this rule violation would hurt the hobby's image, not help it.

Not silly at all.

Some potential CO will come along and thinks it's cool then go away and copy it in an inappropriate place. Same for buried caches when people got their shovels out and went a digging. The guidelines are there for good reason.

And why do these caches get favorite points? Because the unknowing cachers don't realise the guidelines have been violated, because they've never read them, and have never seen one like it before.

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Some of the most popular caches in the world are violations of the rules as written. WVTim's gadgets, for instance... extremely popular, installed with permission and often assistance of the landowners, and mounted on 4x4 posts in the ground that were placed for the sole intent of holding the cache. And to argue that they hurt the image of geocaching because someone planted a post in the ground is silly. Perhaps the solution is to create a new category of cache that has a unique set of rules? Because archiving the many extremely popular post-based caches because of this rule violation would hurt the hobby's image, not help it.

Not silly at all.

Some potential CO will come along and thinks it's cool then go away and copy it in an inappropriate place. Same for buried caches when people got their shovels out and went a digging. The guidelines are there for good reason.

And why do these caches get favorite points? Because the unknowing cachers don't realise the guidelines have been violated, because they've never read them, and have never seen one like it before.

So the over 14000 favorites he's gotten wouldn't have been given if the cachers would have read the guidelines? He's in the top 3 world-wide for favorites, has been geocacher of the month, and has a role in the organization. People reproduce his caches around the world. Again, to say that his caches hurt the image of geocaching IS SILLY. You can say otherwise, but the numbers are on my side in this.

 

It is hard to knock someone who has a nice looking birdhouse style cache placed on a pole sunk into the ground by a property owner when the organization has sessions at national events featuring WVTim and his gadget caches. He is the proverbial elephant in the room; Address it. Admit that some rules can't be enforced by the letter, and instead need to be addressed by their intent... COs shouldn't dig holes to place caches, and no hold digging should be required to find them. The grey area of post placement by landowners could become codified acceptable behavior and just about everyone is happy... except maybe people who resist change just to resist change. Things evolve. It is time to make changes to the rules to address situations that have grown beyond the scope of enforcement.

Edited by Schirf
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Some of the most popular caches in the world are violations of the rules as written. WVTim's gadgets, for instance... extremely popular, installed with permission and often assistance of the landowners, and mounted on 4x4 posts in the ground that were placed for the sole intent of holding the cache.

I agree with this and from a reviewer stand point being relatively close to that area, it is a real headache. I can't tell you how many times I get a reviewer note with "This is an exact copy of WVTim's xyz cache." I have to reply with "Do you have permission to put the 4x4 post (or whichever guideline violation it is) that WVTim has?" The problem is that the majority say no.

 

And to argue that they hurt the image of geocaching because someone planted a post in the ground is silly.

When placed with permission, it does not hurt geocaching. It sets a terrible example that people emulate without permission in places they shouldn't. That is the issue to me.

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OReviewer, I have one pending just like that at this very moment. I've asked the CO to provide permission contact details for driving a pole into the ground at the park to hold the birdhouse. If I receive that confirmation and the page is edited to say it was hidden with permission, then I'll publish. But often, I just never hear back and the cache is archived five weeks later when I clean out my backlog.

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Some of the most popular caches in the world are violations of the rules as written. WVTim's gadgets, for instance... extremely popular, installed with permission and often assistance of the landowners, and mounted on 4x4 posts in the ground that were placed for the sole intent of holding the cache. And to argue that they hurt the image of geocaching because someone planted a post in the ground is silly. Perhaps the solution is to create a new category of cache that has a unique set of rules? Because archiving the many extremely popular post-based caches because of this rule violation would hurt the hobby's image, not help it.

Not silly at all.

Some potential CO will come along and thinks it's cool then go away and copy it in an inappropriate place. Same for buried caches when people got their shovels out and went a digging. The guidelines are there for good reason.

And why do these caches get favorite points? Because the unknowing cachers don't realise the guidelines have been violated, because they've never read them, and have never seen one like it before.

+1

Then someone like me gets hateful emails and ignored at events, because I'm the jerk who posted an NA, instead of blissfully ignorant of those that had holes drilled, buried, screws and nails installed, etc...

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Some of the most popular caches in the world are violations of the rules as written. WVTim's gadgets, for instance... extremely popular, installed with permission and often assistance of the landowners, and mounted on 4x4 posts in the ground that were placed for the sole intent of holding the cache. And to argue that they hurt the image of geocaching because someone planted a post in the ground is silly. Perhaps the solution is to create a new category of cache that has a unique set of rules? Because archiving the many extremely popular post-based caches because of this rule violation would hurt the hobby's image, not help it.

Not silly at all.

Some potential CO will come along and thinks it's cool then go away and copy it in an inappropriate place. Same for buried caches when people got their shovels out and went a digging. The guidelines are there for good reason.

And why do these caches get favorite points? Because the unknowing cachers don't realise the guidelines have been violated, because they've never read them, and have never seen one like it before.

+1

Then someone like me gets hateful emails and ignored at events, because I'm the jerk who posted an NA, instead of blissfully ignorant of those that had holes drilled, buried, screws and nails installed, etc...

 

So, I should report all the caches that I've found that violate guidelines?

 

cea1b56b-2a9a-4f9e-999d-6d3e5a4e88b1_l.jpg

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If a cache is submitted to me for review from a CO who lives a long distance away, I read the cache description to spot statements like what was quoted in the above post. Distant caches require an adequate maintenance plan before I will publish them. An adequate maintenance plan could be, for example, "I travel through this town on business once each week, as shown by my 200 cache finds in this county" or "my parents live in this town and have agreed to look out for this cache."

 

Asking other geocachers to replace logsheets or containers is not a maintenance plan. It's not prohibited if it happens on its own, but that cannot replace the cache owner's responsibiliity. I am glad that the local reviewer for the territory where that cache was placed has disabled the listing.

Sorry about bumping an old post, but I found yours quite interesting, and wanted to ask you how that applies to the power trails where even missing containers are being replaced by the seekers, at the owner's request. Is what you wrote simply your own quideline, or is it something that applies to all reviewers?

 

[Edit: My question is off-topic. Perhaps it can be answered in another thread rather than interrupt this one]

Edited by knowschad
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This one is a plastic box of sorts that is buried in the ground, the ammo box is inside. There is a green plastic lid that covers the container that is flush with the ground.

 

With permission, that hide is legal. It probably doesn't have permission,but there is nothing wrong with the hide per se.

 

In reality that hide is not legal. That is a utility access box. Either cable or power, you can see that the CO has placed rocks

on top of whatever is in that box. There was a box just like that in my yard where I used to live a few years ago.

Utility company was pissed when it looked like some kids opened it. Current Federal law unlawfull to access utility access boxes of any type.

I have even seen a sign to that effect by an access box.

 

I'd be more concerned about the hand grenade markings left on the side of the box. I can just imagine a muggle or worker lifting the lid on their box to find an ammo can "full of hand grenades" stashed inside.

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Some of the most popular caches in the world are violations of the rules as written. WVTim's gadgets, for instance... extremely popular, installed with permission and often assistance of the landowners, and mounted on 4x4 posts in the ground that were placed for the sole intent of holding the cache. And to argue that they hurt the image of geocaching because someone planted a post in the ground is silly. Perhaps the solution is to create a new category of cache that has a unique set of rules? Because archiving the many extremely popular post-based caches because of this rule violation would hurt the hobby's image, not help it.

Not silly at all.

Some potential CO will come along and thinks it's cool then go away and copy it in an inappropriate place. Same for buried caches when people got their shovels out and went a digging. The guidelines are there for good reason.

And why do these caches get favorite points? Because the unknowing cachers don't realise the guidelines have been violated, because they've never read them, and have never seen one like it before.

+1

Then someone like me gets hateful emails and ignored at events, because I'm the jerk who posted an NA, instead of blissfully ignorant of those that had holes drilled, buried, screws and nails installed, etc...

 

So, I should report all the caches that I've found that violate guidelines?

 

cea1b56b-2a9a-4f9e-999d-6d3e5a4e88b1_l.jpg

A while ago I placed a cache just like that. An experienced local cacher politely pointed out the guideline violation and I promptly archived it. What was I thinking?

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I have been called Nitpicky, Nazi Cache police. You know what I can't help it. I see something terribly wrong I am going report it even if it means someone gets mad at me just because it has Favorites, Creative, Popular or done by a kid. If you don't follow the guidelines then you are not playing the game fairly.

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A nail, screw, hook or bolt in a live tree violates the defacement guideline. It may also violate a land management policy, state law or local ordinance. All local laws apply, but reviewers tend to cite to the defacement guideline as it applies in all cases.

 

A small screw in a large tree is "defacing"? I guess Groundspeak's definition of "deface" is far more liberal than most. When I think "deface", I think graffiti or something being torn or chopped up so as to be near unrecognizable or, at the very least, requiring extensive repair. I don't see a small screw (or honestly even a large screw) in a tree as defacement.

I call it vandalism.

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A nail, screw, hook or bolt in a live tree violates the defacement guideline. It may also violate a land management policy, state law or local ordinance. All local laws apply, but reviewers tend to cite to the defacement guideline as it applies in all cases.

 

A small screw in a large tree is "defacing"? I guess Groundspeak's definition of "deface" is far more liberal than most. When I think "deface", I think graffiti or something being torn or chopped up so as to be near unrecognizable or, at the very least, requiring extensive repair. I don't see a small screw (or honestly even a large screw) in a tree as defacement.

I call it vandalism.

 

You might call it vandalism but the Department of Environmental Protection of the state of New Jersey calls it one of the ways they mount boundary marker signs.

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A nail, screw, hook or bolt in a live tree violates the defacement guideline. It may also violate a land management policy, state law or local ordinance. All local laws apply, but reviewers tend to cite to the defacement guideline as it applies in all cases.

 

A small screw in a large tree is "defacing"? I guess Groundspeak's definition of "deface" is far more liberal than most. When I think "deface", I think graffiti or something being torn or chopped up so as to be near unrecognizable or, at the very least, requiring extensive repair. I don't see a small screw (or honestly even a large screw) in a tree as defacement.

I call it vandalism.

 

You might call it vandalism but the Department of Environmental Protection of the state of New Jersey calls it one of the ways they mount boundary marker signs.

 

That may be true, but that department most likely selects specific locations and trees where they put up those signs and only puts up as many signs as they deem necessary. If there wasn't a no defacement guideline, any geocacher could screw/nail a sign onto any tree (as long as it met proximity/permission guidelines).

 

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