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Cache's in Wilderness areas?


gapertimmy
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I'm fairly new to the game, but am curious about how the Forest Service looks upon caches in designated wilderness areas....

 

From other experiences, I know the FS doesn't like any permanent fixtures in the wilderness, and goes so far that they even won't allow Hellicopters to be used for SAR searches unless its life or death.

 

So, the question is, is it ok legally, to place a cache in the wilderness areas?

 

Also, what do you feel, ethically, about placing something that many folks would consider trash in a wilderness setting?

 

Just want to see what views people have about this... I'm sure it has been raked over the coals once or twice!

 

-gaper

 

GAPER!

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From the threads I have read it all depends on the specific area you are talking about. Sometimes the official policy from the regional office differs from the enforced policy by the rangers in the field. The most common response from officials is that they just want to know what's going on and to have some input on location to make sure the impact on the environment is minimal.

 

The best plan is to ask permission before you place a cache. Find out what the policies are first and work within those policies.

 

smile02.gif If ignorance is bliss, why aren't there more happy people??

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There was a long thread on this a while back in the general forums, that focused specifically on Wilderness areas.

 

There have been discussions recently on caches being confiscated by park personnel, and problems between cachers and park management (this last one specifically in relationship to parks in Colorado Springs, and Wisconsin or Michigan).

 

Run a search, and you will find more reading than you can shake a stick at.

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Thanks NavDog

I had noticed quite a few caches showing up in the 3 Sisters Wilderness as of late, and it just got me thinking (one is even on top of South Sister!)

 

It will be interesting to see how government agencies react as the sports popularity grows. I myself have seen some "high impact" caches during my short stint with the game.

 

Anyhow, I guess it never hurts to remind us all that we need to take care when placing the caches!

 

icon_cool.gifgapertimmy

 

GAPER!

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Thanks NavDog

I had noticed quite a few caches showing up in the 3 Sisters Wilderness as of late, and it just got me thinking (one is even on top of South Sister!)

 

It will be interesting to see how government agencies react as the sports popularity grows. I myself have seen some "high impact" caches during my short stint with the game.

 

Anyhow, I guess it never hurts to remind us all that we need to take care when placing the caches!

 

icon_cool.gifgapertimmy

 

GAPER!

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quote:
Originally posted by gapertimmy:

_Thanks NavDog_

I had noticed quite a few caches showing up in the 3 Sisters Wilderness as of late, and it just got me thinking (one is even on top of South Sister!)

It will be interesting to see how government agencies react as the sports popularity grows. I myself have seen some "high impact" caches during my short stint with the game. Anyhow, I guess it never hurts to remind us all that we need to take care when placing the caches!


 

This is really the first summer that geocaching has experienced an exponential growth of new caches and cachers with an accessibility to the high country and wilderness areas. I am sure that once the appropriate ranger district is aware of the Three Sisters caches they will pull them.

 

19973_600.gifThe adventures of Navdog, Justdog, and Otterpup

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quote:
Originally posted by gapertimmy:

So, the question is, is it ok legally, to place a cache in the wilderness areas?


I had a chance to talk to the local Forest Service wilderness ranger for the South Sister area about geocaching. We just talked in general, not about specific caches.

 

He said that geocaches fall under a general regulation that prohibits "storing equipment, personal property or supplies" for longer than 48 hours in a designated wilderness. The fine is $100. The regulation, which he believes is local or regional, was originally created because horse packers were storing equipment and supplies in the wilderness. The packers would even take over camp sites in preparation for hunting season, leaving gear unattended for long periods.

 

Technically, a geocache could exist in the wilderness for 48 hours if the owner removed it promptly! Obviously, the local Forest personnel aren't enforcing the removal of geocaches, yet. They have many problems to deal with and geocaching is barely noticeable. Not many hikers use a GPSr. That could change, of course. The Forest Service is even planning to provide the coordinates for approved campsites around South Sister.

 

There is no restriction on virtual caches. However, the metal tags that we use for multi-stage caches would be considered littering and would be removed if found, as is the flagging that cross-county skiers sometimes leave to mark their route.

 

Caches in the Forest outside a wilderness are permitted. Also, public roads that go through wilderness areas, such as McKenzie Pass Highway, generally have a buffer up to 200 feet on either side that is not wilderness.

 

So, there you have it from the source. No physical caches in the wilderness. Virtual caches are Ok, although I have to add that our own restrictive guidelines make them unlikely.

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