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Parks Ontario

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I'm a long time enjoyer of our provincial parks and am new to the wonderful world of Geocaching. How can help to get geocaching in our provincial parks? Is there a letter writting campain to the Minister of Natural Resources going on? If this question has already been answered, than my appologies (I did check through the previous three pages of posts), and could you than point in the right direction for an answer.

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I'm a long time enjoyer of our provincial parks and am new to the wonderful world of Geocaching. How can help to get geocaching in our provincial parks? Is there a letter writting campain to the Minister of Natural Resources going on? If this question has already been answered, than my appologies (I did check through the previous three pages of posts), and could you than point in the right direction for an answer.

 

I'm pretty new here too... :D

 

But I think there's a link to a petition in this thread

http://forums.Groundspeak.com/GC/index.php...575&hl=petition

 

Question to anyone,

Does anyone know if this has affected anything with the NCC (ie. Gatineau Park?)

 

Zeph.

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Currently Ontario Parks is reviewing the activity. They have asked our patience, and have also asked for any additional information that may be of assistance be sent to regional@ontgeocaching.com

 

However, if you prefer to try to contact Ontario Parks on your own, or want to write a letter to the Minister of Natural Resourses, that is always an available option to you.

 

There is also the possibility that Ontario Parks is waiting to see the outcome of the Parks Canada project. For obvious reasons, a consistent policy set would be in the best interest of various levels of government parks.

 

To the best of my knowledge, governements do not consider online forums or petitions as valid. So while they might be reading this thread, they would be more likely to base their decisions on first hand experience and internal discussion hopefully with consultation with participants of the activity.

 

:ph34r: The Blue Quasar

Edited by The Blue Quasar

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To the best of my knowledge, governements do not consider online forums or petitions as valid. So while they might be reading this thread, they would be more likely to base their decisions on first hand experience and internal discussion hopefully with consultation with participants of the activity.

 

:ph34r: The Blue Quasar

 

Actually they do.

The petitions process

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I wasn't trying to start an arguement. I was stating what Parks Canada told me about the need for people to send in their concerns via the established (at the time) email provided by Parks Canada. The contat for Parks Canada told me that they were only willing to review content that was supplied to them via that email previously mentioned.

 

I'm glad that the petitions that you started, and I signed in support of your efforts, are valid. I've read the content on your petitions to gather more infomation about the feelings of the entire community.

 

Here's hoping your efforts are successful. We are all in this together, regardless of our approach.

 

:ph34r: The Blue Quasar

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I see at http://ghcaching.servehttp.com/petition/in...?petition_id=OP we have 149 names on the petition.

 

Any updates on this?

 

I camp at several provincial parks every year. It would be really cool if the park staff could put a few out. They would be really good for education about the park. (not to mention bring in the extra revenue to keep up the parks)

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April 20

 

To all,

 

As an update Ontario Parks has a policy in place for geocaching. Only "virtual" caches are allowed at the Park Superintendent's discretion. This then would only be suitable for the Waymarking site. Your best bet is to write letters supporting geocaching as an "active" lifestyle choice, also copy the tourism, rec. minister - as there is a mandate there - in support of geocaching. If you want to see virtual geocaching at work in a park consider the National Cache event on Sunday, July23. See the geocachingontario website - new details within the next two weeks. Parks Canada has a policy and in essence - is the same.

 

Bill Steer bill@canadianecology.ca

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Only "virtual" caches are allowed at the Park Superintendent's discretion.

One doesn't need permission to record a Waymark for a location in any park. Parks Ontario is grasping at straws if they think they have any legal foothold on denying or approving the listing of geodetic coordinates.

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I believe that Ontario Parks is waiting for the outcome of the Parks Canada policy as I have had no further instructions. Considering Virtuals are no longer listed on Geocaching.com and this has been discussed with Ontario Parks as not a viable solution, the final policy has not been set or changed at this time. I am hoping for a more finalized policy once Parks Canada has devised their policy. By all means tho, contact the parks concerning geocaching in support.

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Dumb question, but I have been wondering about this and no I don't have any plans on doing this.

 

Can a multi be made where the 1st stage is some kind of informative sign in a Provincial Park where the cacher would get some numbers off of it and then do some math in order to find the final which would be outside of the park? Same question applies to Parks Canada land. Would that kind of cache get approved?

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Dumb question, but I have been wondering about this and no I don't have any plans on doing this.

 

Can a multi be made where the 1st stage is some kind of informative sign in a Provincial Park where the cacher would get some numbers off of it and then do some math in order to find the final which would be outside of the park? Same question applies to Parks Canada land. Would that kind of cache get approved?

 

I know Parks Canada has no issue with using a plaque or sign leading to a cache off of Parks Canada site as long as no site rules are disregarded (trespassing, graffiti and so on to leave a clue to the cache). This would work with most historic sites and canals, not sure how well it would work with the National Parks due to size and if there is an entrance fee.

 

As far as Ontario Parks, especially with most having an entrance fee as who wants to pay to get some info from a sign and then leave. I am not sure if they would allow this, really you have not left anything but virtual points in the park but with their policy of requesting permission for even a virtual, this will a question I will bring up the next time. I am not going to argue any merits of the allowance or disallowance of virtual waypoints in a park as the only thing a superintendent will see if they check is the cache originates in their park and may request it removed and archived anyways. One concern with Ontario Parks is cachers or any park visitors entering the park at other points other then the main gate to avoid paying the entrance fee. This has been pointed out in some of the removed caches where it is stated on the cache and in the logs where to enter to get the cache, this will be a concern with any multi cache also.

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I am new to the forum and relatively new to geocaching as well. I have had some wonderful experiences with geocaching in Ontario Parks, particularily in Algonquin Park.

 

While it concerns me that geocaching and Waymarking have been effectively disallowed, it concerns me more that members of the geocaching community within the province are essentially taking a "Just try to stop me" attitude.

 

Having studied the Criminal Code of Canada, and some of the associated acts, I am going to right now confirm that Ontario Parks does have the authority to prohibit geocaching and Waymarking, and to impose legal action on anybody who does so without their permission.

 

Under Canadian law, Ontario Parks and their agents are deemed to be an occupier. The occupier has the authority to deem which actions are prohibitted on the real property which they have authority for. And anybody engaging in an activity which is prohibitted is in violation of the Trespass to Property Act, and can therefore be arrested and charged with trespass.

 

Those people who are trying to tell Ontario Parks what they can and cannot do, or engaging in the activities anyways, despite the regulations of Ontario Parks, are only serving to lose this battle for us. The OGA admin and Cache-Technician are correct in their views that we can only be heard if we are seen to be following the regulation outlined by Ontario Parks.

 

Think about it. If you tell people not to geocache on your own property, and they do it anyways, or argue with you that you can't stop them, then you are only going to strengthen your resolve that geocaching is never going to be acceptable on your land. If however they respect your wishes, they have demonstrated that they are able to follow the rules you set, and therefore you are more likely to permit them to do so with certain rules in place, since it has already been established that they can follow the rules.

 

This goes for anything in life.

 

I intend to continue to respect the directives of Ontario Parks, even while working to change those directives. That's the only way for us to get even a semblance of what we really want.

 

What Ontario Parks wants most is to ensure that certain habitats and ecosystems are not destroyed. Many people have cited logging as a far worse thing than Geocaching, and that is true. However you are only looking at the side of the story that you want to see.

 

Yes, logging occurs in a number of Ontario Parks. Let's use the example of Algonquin Park. It has been logged for many, many years. Note please that the areas which are being logged today are areas that have already been logged once, twice, thrice, etc. The forests that are being logged are not "virgin" forests as many would like to believe. Also note that many areas have been reclaimed from the tragic results of logging. The area of impact is less than it was many years ago.

 

Ontario Parks permits logging to provide funding to keep the park open. This is true. However also realize that some of the logging contracts in place are like the 99 year provincial lease on the 407 ETR. Ontario Parks cannot simply say "pack up your equipment and get out" because of these contracts, many of which are decades old.

=============

While I'm happy that progress is being made to permit greater geocaching activities, I'd obviously like to see more freedom for Geocaching in Ontario Parks. And I am willing to assist Ontario Parks as much as required, with paperwork, etc, if it will allow myself and others more freedom to enjoy an activity that I love within some of the most beautiful spaces in Ontario.

 

Edit: spelling

Edited by Pythagoras6(MM)

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Hi everyone,

 

Has there been any updates since the last reply (July 2006)?

 

I would like to encourage people to discover the Kawartha Highlands Provincial Park (a non-operating park that use to be crowned land, and is now being made into a provincial park) North of Peterborough through Geocaching, but I want the legal aspects and park support to be in place first.

 

I've been camping in the park ever since the mid 1980's (long before it even was a park).

It's all back country, no facilities or fees. You need a canoe to get to most of the designated campsites (the way camping should be) :blink:

 

Absolutely beautiful area I know others would love to explore.

I do understand why Ontario Parks is hesitant about allowing certain activities in the parks.

I hate packing in, only to discover a ton of garbage left at a remote campsite by some ignorant weekend warriors.

The parks also want to have enough people to patrol and police all activities over a huge land area, which with their budgets, isn't possible yet.

 

I've found reference on the Ontario parks website to Geocaching in the Kawartha Highlands.

Here's the PDF document: http://www.ontarioparks.com/ENGLISH/planni..._manage_opt.pdf

 

It states:

 

"Geocaching may be allowed by interim procedure under strict conditions – no off trail access"

 

which seems fair to me. Always protect the natural environment first, and place the fun activity second. But from reading this forum post, I'm getting a completely different message that the cache would not be supported.

 

Is this another case of one government agency not knowing that the other is doing? :o

 

Cheers for any info.

Hope that document helps!

Edited by JaggedPath

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Is this another case of one government agency not knowing that the other is doing? :)

 

I think it is more along the lines of - Lets make rules FOR and AGAINST it so that if we choose to take any action we want, we CAN, and have backing from previous documentation saying that we DID. But that is how it works.

 

I have gone camping there as well every summer the last few years, but as soon as it became an ontario park the entire group of us agreed - we will no longer be visiting.

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There has not been any further updates since the initial ban placed on all Ontario Provincial Parks that came into effect in around May of 2003.

 

However, existing caches were allowed to remain and in fact the person that is heading up the review of Geocaching has reportedly told all Park Superintendents that no caches are to be removed without his permission.

 

There is speculation that Ontario Parks is awaiting the finalized policy on Geocaching that is in final development from Parks Canada, and may then use the PC document as a template for their own version. Again, this is just a rumour.

 

We at the Ontario Geocaching Association still maintain contact on an occasional basis with Ontario Parks, but as there has been no relevant changes from Ontario Parks there has been nothing to update here.

 

From what I've experienced from Parks Canada, and this is just my impression, the individual Park Superintendents have the final say on all activities that occur in their parks. But based upon the current Provincial Park ban on Geocaching, all listings will be declined by volunteer Groundspeak reviewers unless you can provide contact information of the specific park superintendent that granted you permission to place a physical cache in the park.

 

So unless you are able to speak to a Park Superintendent and gain permission as well as a verifiable method for the reviewer to contact the Park Superintendent, there is no point even placing the cache as it would be declined and you would have to remove the physical cache or possibly face charges under the Provincial Park Act for littering.

 

Hopefully there may be some progress later this year.

 

[8D] The Blue Quasar

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As with everything to do with the government, unless it's something that can help them win an election, it drags on and on for years, and they hope that it will eventually go away so no-one has to do anything about it. I see this topic was started 4-5 years ago, and caching has grown and evolved greatly in that time. It's a shame that the government can't do something faster, but then that's only one term in office.

 

Greywynd

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I had contacted Grundy Lake Provincial Park and they said that they don't have polices against it. They park doesn't do there own geocaches. I would suggest contacting the park that you are staying to see if they have restrictions.

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