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stevnated

How do you pitch geocaching to a landowner when you need permission for a cache??

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How do you pitch geocaching to a landowner when you need permission for a cache?? I'm a total noob at this point, but I'm just curious how people go about this. Is there a script that people use? It's very hard to imagine convincing a landowner to give permission to let random strangers on their property when they have never heard of the game before, and how would you even describe it? There is a very old, small abandoned cemetery near me where I would eventually like to place a cache. (I live in a rural area that doesn't have many caches, and the average find is about once a month). But the landowner is from another state and I only have their name and PO Box from the tax assessor. The place is not maintained at all. (They would literally never know! But that's against the rules.) Also, it's a cemetery so they obviously don't mind people going there to visit graves. I went last week to fulfill a request from Find-A-Grave.

 

(I'm sorta amazed that there are any caches around me at all, since the state guidelines where I live seem SO strict. )

 

Thanks for the feedback!

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this thread is kinda the same question... no answers though. HOW are there so many caches around me? Where I live all land is owned, and all public land has a no cache policy. I don't happen to know a bunch of landowners who would say okay because of liability.  I would put it on my own property, but I don't want the neighbors to freak out. Seriously, you might get shot. :( rednecks.

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23 minutes ago, stevnated said:

all public land has a no cache policy

 

Is this for real? :yikes:

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4 hours ago, stevnated said:

Where I live all land is owned, and all public land has a no cache policy.

 

I don't have any experience hiding caches around your area, just finding a few.  But I don't see any of the local counties around you have policies against geocaching for, say, county parks.

 

See the Georgia regional wiki.

 

So you might want to start by looking at parks that don't have caches yet, then asking permission from the city or county parks and recreation folks.

 

Of course, that doesn't mean that some counties haven't come up with policies that the reviewers aren't tracking.  If you are running across "no geocaching" polices that aren't on the regional policies page, you may want to let your local reviewer, LZ33, know.

 

It can be tough finding locations in rural areas; I had the same experience when I was in Alabama.  You're more apt to come across tracts of land that are posted no trespassing than not.  If you can get specific permission, that's always a good thing.  I would look for places that are not near houses and pitch that it would be as least intrusive as possible, maybe sticking to right of way easements along the road.

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Posted (edited)
6 hours ago, stevnated said:

HOW are there so many caches around me? Where I live all land is owned, and all public land has a no cache policy. I don't happen to know a bunch of landowners who would say okay because of liability.  I would put it on my own property, but I don't want the neighbors to freak out. Seriously, you might get shot. :( rednecks.

 

There are many ways to place a cache on your own property without getting shot by a redneck.  I don't prefer to seek that kind, because in a small cul-de-sac I tend to end up on the wrong front porch.  One is a “Little Free Library” by the curb, which I liked because it was easy to know where to go.  Just thinking out loud, what if a Cache Owner built one of those (best in a redneckless neighborhood, of course), an “unofficial” one with books but built for Geocachers.  Now you're giving me ideas. :bad:

 

With a general question of “how permission”, there are general answers.  Your local area has its own situations.  In general, for example, a cache container may be allowed in the easement (quiet forested area) of a cemetery, but one at a grave is no good.  Even with permission, groundskeepers may tidy around graves.  There are caches with “virtual stages” where cachers visit notable headstones, then based on information gathered, they find the container elsewhere.

 

As hzoi mentioned, look at specific information for your area.  Ask city and county parks managers, which is what I did.  The county manager in my area knows about Geocaching (in fact is a Geocacher) and has a simple policy.  Everyone I've talked to has at least heard of Geocaching, although at first some need to be reminded, and usually need more info.  Also go to Events where Geocachers gather, and you can ask about how they did it.  You may find that a selected park has no caches because nobody could keep caches there (historically, the caches got "muggled" and COs got tired of replacing containers).

 

Based on your finds, you're in a place with a lot of great caches not only placed by permission, but which have celebrated “Geocache Trails” to bring visitors to the place.  Some even have a small prize for completing the trail.

 

Before even working on permission, why not go check out the best caches around you?  See what works, what doesn't, and see which ones you like to find.  Place viable caches to highlight great places nobody knew about, and other cachers will enjoy them, too.

 

https://visitcolumbusga.com/visit/riverwalk-geotour/

http://meriwethertourism.com/to-do/geocaching/

 

As with permission, caches require maintenance plans. How much work can you put into maintenance? Some of the cool caches on the Columbus river trail were recently under water when the river flooded.  Georgia rivers and reservoirs will flood at times. There are many decisions on where and how you will place a cache, and why.

 

 

 

Edited by kunarion

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I see hzoi got it already,  that looks like one heck-of-a-lotta policies to me...     ;)

 

As for "how do you pitch" the hobby, we center a lot on CITO.

Many park managers see that "others" aren't too careful with snack bar wrappers, water bottles n such.

 - Just that this hobby having a thing called CITO has gotten us approval in a couple areas.   :)

 

We ask if there's an area they're particularly proud of that they'd like to share. 

Most do, and some have areas they want no one there, and we show them how we'd make mention on a cache page.

 - One had issues due to a township ordinance and signage.  Turns out few were visiting a beautiful park because they simply passed by it.

A cache series there now has locals noticing ( that "what are people doing there?"  curious thing...) and they're happy that people are finally stopping by .

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Posted (edited)
33 minutes ago, cerberus1 said:

I see hzoi got it already,  that looks like one heck-of-a-lotta policies to me...     ;)

 

Cachers in the State of Georgia are lucky, others have done a lot of the legwork.  There once were sparse caches in State Parks (or none allowed), now there's an Official Trail Passport to stamp at each park, and a cool prize when the passport's full.  And well done caches all along many park trails. All because Geocachers worked with people in charge.  And those in charge always have their own "policy".  Makes them feel important comfortable that the caches are then generally trouble-free.

 

I went to a park in Alabama that has a large marble maze next to the office.  Electronics, the works.  Couldn't figure it out, I played it for a few minutes, and a nice ranger came out twice with pointers on how to solve it.  :D

 

Edited by kunarion

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Posted (edited)
36 minutes ago, cerberus1 said:

they're happy that people are finally stopping by . 

 

I stayed at a hotel in Warm Springs because of the Geocaches.  Same with Callaway Gardens.  Some wise tourism officials notice the county next door invites Geocachers and then they want in on the action.  Especially with the sponsored "trails", the city and county attracts visitors.  Georgia State Parks at times fill with Geocachers camping.

 

Jackson County has a "trail" of handcrafted puzzle boxes, at terrific historic places.  Some artisan could (in theory) join that group that places "trail" caches.  That's several levels up from the usual pill bottle. And I spent a night in Jackson County because of the caches. :D

 

Edited by kunarion

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Posted (edited)
9 hours ago, stevnated said:

How do you pitch geocaching to a landowner when you need permission for a cache??

For parks and open spaces that have official geocaching policies, I have just complied with the geocaching policies.

 

For other locations, I have started by explaining geocaching as a high-tech scavenger hunt, and asking who would be the correct person to contact to get permission to place a cache. I don't start by asking for permission; it's too easy for bureaucrats to just say no. I start by asking who to contact to get permission.

 

Once I'm talking to the right person, I explain geocaching again (a high-tech scavenger hunt) and I explain why I think the property they manage would be a good location for a geocache. So far, most property managers thought it was a great idea. In one case, the original property manager passed away, and the successors have also thought it was a great idea. In one case, the parks manager said they had no policy against it, but that the parks department would take no responsibility for anything left on park property.

Edited by niraD
typo

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16 hours ago, kunarion said:

I went to a park in Alabama that has a large marble maze next to the office.  Electronics, the works.  Couldn't figure it out, I played it for a few minutes, and a nice ranger came out twice with pointers on how to solve it.  :D

 

The work Woodnutt, tlmeadowlark, and other Alabama cachers have done with Alabama State Parks has been amazing.  In fact, didn't you and I run into each other at one of the ASP events around Eufala?  Seems like forever ago.

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5 hours ago, hzoi said:

 

The work Woodnutt, tlmeadowlark, and other Alabama cachers have done with Alabama State Parks has been amazing.  In fact, didn't you and I run into each other at one of the ASP events around Eufala?  Seems like forever ago.

 

Yes!  Could have been this one where the Alabama State Parks began a big promotion of Geocaches.  I wouldn't have visited an Alabama State Park until Geocaching.  Spent the night somewhere, went to restaurants, shopped, did touristy things. 

 

Geocaching brings people to a park, so it's great to have a policy.  The managers don't even have to maintain the caches.  All they have to do is not bush-hog the shrubbery. :mad:

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On 6/4/2019 at 12:36 PM, niraD said:

For parks and open spaces that have official geocaching policies, I have just complied with the geocaching policies.

 

For other locations, I have started by explaining geocaching as a high-tech scavenger hunt, and asking who would be the correct person to contact to get permission to place a cache. I don't start by asking for permission; it's too easy for bureaucrats to just say no. I start by asking who to contact to get permission.

 

Once I'm talking to the right person, I explain geocaching again (a high-tech scavenger hunt) and I explain why I think the property they manage would be a good location for a geocache. So far, most property managers thought it was a great idea. In one case, the original property manager passed away, and the successors have also thought it was a great idea. In one case, the parks manager said they had no policy against it, but that the parks department would take no responsibility for anything left on park property.

 

Thanks, that's a good tip... don't make it a yes or no question because it's too easy to say no, lol! Make it a conversation instead. (Anyway, I won't be hiding one anytime soon, I am so new.)

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On 6/4/2019 at 11:57 AM, kunarion said:

 

Cachers in the State of Georgia are lucky, others have done a lot of the legwork.  There once were sparse caches in State Parks (or none allowed), now there's an Official Trail Passport to stamp at each park, and a cool prize when the passport's full.  And well done caches all along many park trails. All because Geocachers worked with people in charge.  And those in charge always have their own "policy".  Makes them feel important comfortable that the caches are then generally trouble-free.

 

I went to a park in Alabama that has a large marble maze next to the office.  Electronics, the works.  Couldn't figure it out, I played it for a few minutes, and a nice ranger came out twice with pointers on how to solve it.  :D

 

 

Kunarion, this is wonderful to learn! It just seems amazing to me because somehow I had never heard of geocaching until last week!

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On 6/4/2019 at 5:27 AM, Rikitan said:

 

Is this for real? :yikes:

No, I didn't know what I was talking about, sorry!

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On 6/4/2019 at 10:49 AM, kunarion said:

 

There are many ways to place a cache on your own property without getting shot by a redneck.  I don't prefer to seek that kind, because in a small cul-de-sac I tend to end up on the wrong front porch.  One is a “Little Free Library” by the curb, which I liked because it was easy to know where to go.  Just thinking out loud, what if a Cache Owner built one of those (best in a redneckless neighborhood, of course), an “unofficial” one with books but built for Geocachers.  Now you're giving me ideas. :bad:

 

With a general question of “how permission”, there are general answers.  Your local area has its own situations.  In general, for example, a cache container may be allowed in the easement (quiet forested area) of a cemetery, but one at a grave is no good.  Even with permission, groundskeepers may tidy around graves.  There are caches with “virtual stages” where cachers visit notable headstones, then based on information gathered, they find the container elsewhere.

 

As hzoi mentioned, look at specific information for your area.  Ask city and county parks managers, which is what I did.  The county manager in my area knows about Geocaching (in fact is a Geocacher) and has a simple policy.  Everyone I've talked to has at least heard of Geocaching, although at first some need to be reminded, and usually need more info.  Also go to Events where Geocachers gather, and you can ask about how they did it.  You may find that a selected park has no caches because nobody could keep caches there (historically, the caches got "muggled" and COs got tired of replacing containers).

 

Based on your finds, you're in a place with a lot of great caches not only placed by permission, but which have celebrated “Geocache Trails” to bring visitors to the place.  Some even have a small prize for completing the trail.

 

Before even working on permission, why not go check out the best caches around you?  See what works, what doesn't, and see which ones you like to find.  Place viable caches to highlight great places nobody knew about, and other cachers will enjoy them, too.

 

https://visitcolumbusga.com/visit/riverwalk-geotour/

http://meriwethertourism.com/to-do/geocaching/

 

As with permission, caches require maintenance plans. How much work can you put into maintenance? Some of the cool caches on the Columbus river trail were recently under water when the river flooded.  Georgia rivers and reservoirs will flood at times. There are many decisions on where and how you will place a cache, and why.

 

 

 

Thanks for putting so much time into this response, it's great to hear from somebody near me, and to learn about my area!

 

I won't be making a cache for a quite while yet, I'm obviously very nooby, lol! Regarding cemeteries, the one I had in mind is on private property but has been flagged as "USED FOR RELIGIOUS BURIAL" on county records and is apparently open to the public, but it hasn't been maintained for a couple of years, the owners are in Texas. Obviously I would never go near a grave. I am a find-a-grave volunteer and I've photographed some of the tombstones there.

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Thanks everybody for your answers! I won't be placing a cache for a long time, I'm beginning to comprehend the responsibility!

 

I am still curious about how easements work, as far as who you would need to get permission from? The owner of the adjacent property or the city/county? (Seems it would be difficult either way, and yet they exist.)

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I don't know about your area, but here there are maps available on-line that will tell you who owns the land.  I wanted to put a cache in a park set up by a motor vehicle company and Friends of the ... River.  Unfortunately, the local maps show the spot as being owned by a railroad.  

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9 hours ago, stevnated said:

No, I didn't know what I was talking about, sorry!

 

No problem, don't worry. Now I understand.

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9 hours ago, stevnated said:

I am still curious about how easements work, as far as who you would need to get permission from? The owner of the adjacent property or the city/county? (Seems it would be difficult either way, and yet they exist.)

 

If it is a right of way easement, then the land still belongs to the landowner, the government just has the legal right to build and maintain a road there, and people have the right to drive on it.  So you'd ask the landowner then.  

 

Sometimes the property might actually change hands, though.  For interstate highways, it's normally not just an easement, the government takes title to the land through eminent domain.  So if you wanted to put a cache in, say, a rest area, In those cases, the state department of transportation might need to give permission.

 

It may be worth it to reach out to some of the local cache owners to get a feel for what they had to do.

 

One last note - the caching guidelines talk about "adequate" permission, not explicit.  So if a county has an open geocaching policy on park land, you don't need to ask, just make sure your cache follows whatever rules the county put out there.

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4 hours ago, hzoi said:

One last note - the caching guidelines talk about "adequate" permission, not explicit.  So if a county has an open geocaching policy on park land, you don't need to ask, just make sure your cache follows whatever rules the county put out there.

And note that the geocaching policy for any park or open space may overlap with Groundspeak's geocache hiding guidelines. (e.g., Do not damage property), or it may create additional restrictions beyond Groundspeak's guidelines (e.g., within a certain distance of a trail), or it may do both.

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When I approached the park ranger at my nearby State Park, I first sent him an email.  In this email I introduced myself and explained the hobby of geocaching.  For the state park, the hobby of geocaching could bring in a little extra revenue for those who choose to drive in (fee) versus walk in (free).  But also provide an extra activity which he could advertise as an added benefit to come visit his state park.  

We setup a time to meet.  I met him at the office in the park and I brought along a few examples of the types of containers I would place and a plan for how and when they would be placed.  I also assured him of both my commitment to the hobby and also my commitment to him to make sure he was always happy with our relationship.  He requested I start off small with just a few hides and after a few months he's left it to my discretion.  The philosophy we agreed on is less is more.  I maintain 12-15 hides within the park boundary and change them out every few years.  I provide brochures on geocaching which can be picked up at the park office and camp ground.  Even if someone didn't have the notion to geocache when they arrive, they'll see its available and may choose to participate.  As smart phone GPS are a little more reliable (and everyone has one), I'm introducing new folks to the hobby all the time.  

Bottom line....I believe it helps when you can demonstrate some level of value (not necessary monetary) when approaching for permission. I was able to prove geocaching would be of benefit to his park and also to those visiting the park.  It has worked very well in this situation.  

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