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Feds Issue Warning About Geocaches in National Parks


americasroof
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This was in this morning's National Park Service Morning Report (Monday, March 11):

 

02-056 - Lake Roosevelt NRA (WA) - Geocaching Incident Rangers recently conducted an investigation into geocaching in the park. Geocaching is a sport in which individuals or organizations cache materials at particular locations, then provide the GPS coordinates via the Internet so that other people can attempt to find them. Some times caching entails digging, which presents obvious problems in national parks. On February 27th, Patrick Hall asked permission to bury a geocache within the park's historic Fort Spokane Unit. During the conversation, Hall made several statements which revealed that he'd previously been investigated by the US Fish and Wildlife Service for this same activity, and that other geocaches might already be buried within the park. Ranger Jaime Green investigated and found that two caches had already been buried near Fort Spokane by a geocache player known as "Fuzzybear." Additional investigation uncovered a connection between "Fuzzybear" and Hall. Hall was interviewed and admitted placing both caches. Parks concerned about this activity within their boundaries may go to http://www.geocaching.com and search for caches located in their areas. [Chris Rugel, DR, Fort Spokane District, LARO, 3/8]

http://www.nps.gov/morningreport/msg01095.html

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There is no direct contact link for the daily report, but I suggest sending feedback here indicating the horrible inaccuracy of the message. I was appalled to hear that they were buried as well (but they were not), so I'm sure there are plenty of other knee jerk reactions occuring at the park level.

 

Ultimately, however, they are right. Geocaching is off-limits in NPS lands, buried or unburied.

 

Jeremy

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quote:
Originally posted by Jeremy Irish:

The early maps did not reveal NPS lands. The new maps do. However, they do not generate until they are approved, so they still slip through.


 

When I looked at fuzzybear's two caches, I used the topozone link on the details page, that's where I saw it was NPS land. Are these topozone maps new then? I thought they had been around for awhile... Or do the approvers not pull up the topo maps as part of approving? Just wondering...

 

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Mostly folks who approve caches look at the text of the cache and the map generated on the page. At times there are 30+ in the queue, so some slip through. We do the best we can. We do rely a lot on the community to let us know when a cache is inappropriate.

 

Jeremy

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Gotcha, and my question wasn't to be taken as a criticism. Not knowing what the actual approval process is prompted my question. Obviously, the approvers are volunteers, and their work is appreciated by all of us. On the flip side, these types of incidents might be caught by the approval process and the cache owner corrected before the NPS officials get involved, saving us some face.

 

This in no way negates the cache owner from the responsibility of reading the instructions posted on your website. Any cacher that does not know NPS lands are off limits bears the responsibility of not having read the very clear instructions you've posted, which by his own admission, fuzzybear did not do.

 

Again, thanks to all the approvers for your work.

 

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Not accusing anyone of anything, but isn't it possible that the description of a cache could have been changed after approval (or even after attention has been brought to it), from describing it as buried to describing it as simply hidden?

 

Tough to police every cache page all the time....

 

Even the coordinates can be changed after approval, true?

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quote:
Originally posted by Jeremy Irish:

Mostly folks who approve caches look at the text of the cache and the map generated on the page. At times there are 30+ in the queue, so some slip through. We do the best we can. We do rely a lot on the community to let us know when a cache is inappropriate.

 


 

Suggestion: Have each cache approved by someone, then the approval checked by someone else to make sure it should have been approved. Then there would be less chance of these and other undesirable caches slipping through.

 

Groover

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The author appears to be:

 

Christopher S. Rugel (Chris ) PARK RANGER (PROTECTION) 509-633-3830 x32 LAKE ROOSEVELT NRA

 

Superintendent/Site Manager: Vaughn L. Baker

1008 Crest Drive

Coulee Dam, WA 99116-1259

 

Visitor Information: www.nps.gov/laro

Business Offices: 509-633-9441

Fax: 509-633-9332

EMAIL: LARO_Superintendent@nps.gov

 

I'd suggest a polite letter/e-mail to them citing that buried caches don't exist (that I've seen) and that we are as much a caring part of the outdoors as anyone, even more so than many. We have to show them we are normal, intelligent people and this isn't some extreme sport tearing up their terrain.

 

PS I might need your help if the govs up here (Canada) need convincing.

 

Park2

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This is a letter I sent to the Lake Roosevelt NRA Superintendent, Chris Rugel's office. The link to the site with the email address is HERE.

 

Please be responsible in sending them letters. Don't want to give them more ammo to kill our activity.

 

To Whom It May Concern,

 

This note is a response to a comment in the NPS Morning Report - Monday, March 11, 2002. The comment at issue is the one made by Chris Rugel, DR, Fort Spokane District regarding the recreational activity known as "Geocaching".

 

Mr. Ruger states, in part, that "Some times caching entails digging, which presents obvious problems in national parks." While this may unfortunately be true, the code of conduct for geocachers specifically prohibits this. Mr Ruger continues, "On February27th, Patrick Hall asked permission to bury a geocache within the park's historic Fort Spokane Unit. During the conversation, Hall made several statements which revealed that he'd previously been investigated by the US Fish and Wildlife Service for this same activity, and that other geocaches might already be buried within the park. Ranger Jaime Green investigated and found that two caches had already been buried near Fort Spokane by a geocache player known as "Fuzzybear."

 

The comments referring to "Fuzzybear" burying caches is unfortunately inaccurate. In fact, there appears to be no evidence that neither "Fuzzybear" nor anyone else has ever buried a cache within the Fort Spokane Unit or any other National Park Unit in that vicinity. Whereas these caches have been hidden from view and camoflauged, it is unlikely true that ground was dug up, the cache placed in a hole, and soil placed over the container.

 

The geocaching community is struggling to work with National Park authorities to reach agreements which would allow a very very small population of United States Citizens to exercise their right to enjoy without damaging or compormising the pristine lands of our nation.

 

Irresponsible comments such as those by Mr. Rugel in today's Morning Report can inflame other rangers and the community of citizens who want to greedily enjoy the parks for themselves only. This can only result in a very low general perception of the authorities sworn to protect these lands for all people.

 

Geocaching in National Parks can work. It can also improve the quality of the parks, especially in high traffic areas through our Cache-In, Trash-Out creed. It can encourage people to visit the parks who have had no previous desire to do so, increasing their knowledge and appreciation for the land.

 

I would like to ask for Mr. Rugel's comments to be promptly and officially rewritten accurately and redistributed in a subsequent Morning Report.

 

Thank you very much for your consideration of this matter, and your time to read this letter.

 

Sincerely,

Name, Address, Phone Number

 

Venture Forth, out to the wild, wet forest...

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Why not Just use a virtual cache and let them confiscate that. Just a thought. Obvisously we don't harm the park and in many cases we even pick up the trash. We are the good guys at the park. I wish the NPS would work with us. What a combination that would be. It may even increase their Park attenance. Here in TN we have several wilderness areas that are pristine. Many are owned by company's that let hikers, campers and anyone that wants to visit the area use it free of charge. Rarely do you even see any trash and in no instance have I seen any destuction. This site is a good example. http://www.tntech.edu/www/life/orgs/grotto/Gulf/bowater.html

 

BTW one on the best caches ever is in this wilderness. http://www.geocaching.com/seek/cache_details.asp?ID=10896

 

[This message was edited by welwell on March 11, 2002 at 04:13 PM.]

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It is bad enough when we do stupid things that bring the spotlight upon us. It is worse when folks who know/understand little/nothing about geocaching start talking to the press. I only wish that some form of authority would see these forums, and take the time to read through all the threads we post in an attempt to disseminate information, and make geocaching more geo-friendly. I have learned a lot about what not to do in these forums, and its sad that no one outside our small circle take the initiative to do the same. icon_rolleyes.gif

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quote:
snipped... It may even increase their Park attenance. ...snipped

 

As a newspaper person that has had contact with NPS over the years, I can honestly say that I believe they do NOT want people to visit the parks. There are increased attempts by the park service to limit more and more areas of parks by closing roads etc.

 

People that do visit national parks are being squeezed into smaller and smaller places they can visit. Lined up like sheep and shoved into buses.

 

There is a proprietership (sp?) attitude on the part of many park employees that it is THEIR park — which exclude the general public.

 

Part of the problem in the desert is the thinking that the Mojave National Preserve is a "park". To me a park is manicured and taken care of with carefully planned walkways and such. Come to think of it that is what they have done to many national parks. Wildlands are no longer wild. The Preserve is no longer wild. It and Death Valley are being sanitized to death!

 

I don't think there is anything geocachers can do to change their attitude towards the sport.

 

The Park Service follows their own rules, which do not always follow the law, like the Antiquities Act.

 

But I digress...

 

Ok, enough of rant. :-)

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Perhaps it was just someone that came across the notification and found the site that way?

 

There is some irony that I'm trying to help out the Washington National Park fund. Washington State alone has lost over 10 million dollars of their budget, which is why they don't want anyone visiting. It's hard to keep a park clean with out the folks to help out.

 

Jeremy

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I would only make one change and remove the word "irresponsible" from,

"Irresponsible comments such as those by Mr. Rugel"

 

Mr Rugel had reports coming into him that stated various things. He didn't seem to be embellishing or acting irresponsibly, he was just reporting the incidents that the other rangers had unsurfaced.

 

nb. I used to read these morning reports all the time. The weirdest stuff happens in NP's and the rangers for the most part do a great job. Personally I wish they would rip out every tarred road and ban RV's from NP's (trolley them in), and many rangers wish that too. But they have to manage what they have.

 

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My gosh! What are these NPS people so paranoid about! As far as I know, I'm not a terrorist who enjoys geocaching! Besides, they shouldn't be worried since none of the caches I've hidden and found were buried and all I hide inside the ammo cans are knives, cutters, bullets, matches, lighters and firecrackers. Sheeeshh!

 

Have GPS, Will Travel.

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quote:
Originally posted by Paul Morrison WaylandersMA:

I would only make one change and remove the word "irresponsible" from,

"Irresponsible comments such as those by Mr. Rugel"


 

Perhaps you are right. 20/20 hindsight is always nice. I tried my derndest to keep my emotions in check. This slipped. I guess it was because of the comment he made telling other rangers to go to geocaching.com to find caches in their parks to remove them. I agree, they shouldn't have been there in the first place, but I thought it was hateful.

 

That being said, the use of the word "irresponsible" wasn't that far off base. He DID misrespresent the state of the cache, which is, in fact, the irresponsible dissemination of information. It shows that either he received wrong information, or he is carelessly using the word 'bury'. Either way, he didn't have the facts right. The word, though strong, needs not necessarily be taken harshly.

 

I hope I hear back. I really really want them to be our friends and our allies. Though I live no where near Washington State, I feel that their national representation equally effects me way down the heck here in Texas.

 

Thanks for your support everyone. Send those letters. Let's kill 'em with kindness, love and Coca Cola!

 

Venture Forth, out to the wild, wet forest...

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I think it's ridiculous that we can't place geocaches in national parks. And I'm aiming that at NPS, not geocaching.com. We're hiding them in all of our other parks. What if the city, county, and state decide to follow the NPS lead?

 

What exactly is the NPS ruling? Is it law, code, or just inter-office memo? Surely they must have to answer to somebody. What if Congress passed a law specifically allowing geocaching on NPS land? After all, we ARE paying the taxes to support them. I believe that most geocachers think of themselves as stewards of public lands.

 

Our presence in parks is doing a lot less damage to the planet than most other human endeavors. As a liberal, tree-hugging child of Gaia, I think that geocaching is a great way for us to "get close to nature" without destroying it.

 

I understand the concerns about bringing too much carbon monoxide, trash, noise, etc. into wilderness areas. But I suspect that the Brilliant Geocaching Community could help identify problems and solutions that would help the NPS cause and our sport. Can we get a seat on some committee?!

 

My two cents for the morning...

 

- Seth!

 

[This message was edited by Seth! on March 12, 2002 at 08:51 AM.]

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I don't understand the problem. Geocaching is a form of recreation. Has the National Park system forgotten who funds their forest operations. WE own the public lands THEY are the stewards that help maintain the parks. If we have found a new way to recreate than we should at least be given the option to do so on public lands as long as we are not destroying habitat for endangered animals and making it difficult for park "rangers" to follow rules and regulations set forth by our government. Since I have been geocaching I have visited more parks in more states than I ever have in my life just in the last month. I have also spent more money on camping sites and park passes than I ever have previously. The NPS needs to recognize this as a legitimate hobby and not bite the hand that feeds. I don't understand how they can allow liabilities such as hunting in some parks but yet a few tupperware containers "laying on the ground" are a problem.

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First, let me start by saying that I believe the NPS stand on NO geocaches is too harsh.

 

But, if I may play the devil's advocate for a moment...

 

I've run across a number of caches that were placed by people on vacation. Looked like a nice spot for a cache, so 'what the heck'. Let's assume (I know assume makes an a** out of Uma Thurman), let's assume that a particular National Park gets 20,000 visitors a day. I don't really know how many visitors any particular park gets, but I would think that maybe Yellowstone gets at least that many. If only one-tenth of one percent thought 'nice place for a cache - what the heck' that would be 20 caches a day or 7,300 new caches each year in that ONE park - from absentee cachers! Personally, I don't want that. Now how do we know that's the real Plymouth Rock? It must be, dear. Look at all the tupperware containers.

 

Now, having said that. I am sure that we and the NPS could work together in SOME way. As has been said, geocachers are probably more aware of nature than most. But instead of bashing the NPS (and their bashing us), let's give them some ideas, stats, etc.

 

(OK, let the flaming begin.

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Geospotter, I think I can take most of the sting out of those arguments. First of all, 20,000 visitors a day is way out of line for most parks. Yellowstone gets about 7,400 visitors on average per day. Mount Ranier is about half that. (Great Smokey Mtns--one of the busiest--gets closer to the 20,000 figure, though.) But those are REALLY big parks.

 

But more notable is the geocaching tradition of not placing geocaches too close together. Once there are a handful of geocaches in Yellowstone, people won't be likely to place more. Twenty hides per day there is just unrealistic.

 

One thought would be that geocaching.com could limit the number of active geocaches it would post in a given area. That could even be negotiated with NPS if it would make them feel better.

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Seth,

 

Thank you for your more accurate figures. And while it takes some of the sting out, the sting still hurts.

 

With Yellowstone getting over 3 million visitors per year, and still using the one-tenth-of-one-percent (also probably high), that still means 3,000 unmaintained caches per year in Yellowstone. THAT'S what the NPS is worried about! And while Yellowstone is a pretty big place, most of those caches will be concentrated near visitor centers.

 

What if it's only 200 unmaintained caches per year, is that any better?

 

Even with our tradition (this sport is only 100 weeks old - how can we have traditions) of not placing caches too close together, most placers won't check all of the other cache locations before placing theirs.

 

Your suggestion to work with the NPS to limit the number is a good one. We need more suggestions like that. Keep 'em coming

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quote:
Originally posted by Seth!:

One thought would be that geocaching.com could limit the number of active geocaches it would post in a given area.


I’m sure I don’t need to point out that geocaching.com is not the only site listing caches, and since this is the case:

quote:
Originally posted by Jeremy Irish:

Mostly folks who approve caches look at the text of the cache and the map generated on the page.

Jeremy


it appears more help is needed to approve/disapprove caches. Once caches no longer appear on NPS land (yes, I know it’s OUR LAND…don’t nitpick here), then, and ONLY THEN (IMHO) might the NPS give geocachers the time of day.

 

It's my opinion and I'm sticking to it.

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Now that it has been established that the caches in question were not buried, I would like to further point out that the caches were not in a National Park. The “Morning Report” indicates that the caches were in the Lake Roosevelt National Recreation Area.

 

The NPS lists the following definitions here:

 

quote:
National Park: These are generally large natural places having a wide variety of attributes, at times including significant historic assets. Hunting, mining and consumptive activities are not authorized.

 

quote:
National Recreation Area: Twelve NRAs in the system are centered on large reservoirs and emphasize water-based recreation. Five other NRAs are located near major population centers. Such urban parks combine scarce open spaces with the preservation of significant historic resources and important natural areas in location that can provide outdoor recreation for large numbers of people.

 

Heaven forbid if a few of the large numbers of people geocache.

 

[This message was edited by Whidbey Walk on March 12, 2002 at 02:05 PM.]

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Buried caches do exist. I've commented before about how badly this can portray our activities, but people still insist on doing it. People also place food in caches. This is just as bad for the same reason.

 

Why is it that there are always boneheads messing up the things I like?

 

Yes, yes, I know the caches in the NPS report are not actually buried. We do still, however, have morons burying caches. When you bury one, you introduce the concept to the newbie that it is acceptable to bury any and all caches. After all, it's really hidden if it's buried... icon_rolleyes.gif

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quote:
Originally posted by Whidbey Walk:

...I would like to further point out that the caches were not in a National Park. The “Morning Report” indicates that the caches were in the Lake Roosevelt _National Recreation Area._


Sorry, but I'm missing your point here. The rule is that we are not allowed to put caches on any land administered by the National Park Service. This includes but is not limited to National Parks, NRAs, and National Monuments. So I'm missing the significance of your post. Below is directly off the Geocaching.com site, note it does not diferentiate between NPS areas:

quote:
You will be in violation of federal regulation by placing a cache in any area administered by the National Park Service (US).

 

Member:

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Being an "off highway" enthusiast, I am very familiar and used to the struggle of fighting public misinformation in regards to my sport. Even though the majority of 4wd users are responsible and stay on designated trails, clean up trash and actually do more benefits to the environment than harm there are always the few irresponsible buffoons that ruin it for everyone else by blazing new trails through sensitive areas, leaving trash and showing a general disregard to the land. Most 4x4 users cringe every time a car manufacturer runs a commercial that shows their latest/greatest 4x4 vehicle bonzaiing across the countryside. Unfortunately the public perception of “off roading” is this created image. Traveling off highway is usually done at a snails pace barely faster than a person can walk. I am a newbie to geocaching, barely a month old. The last thing I could have imagined when I took up this hobby was that I would face similar opposition. All I can advise is that we need to stand united and fight to educate policy makers about our hobby. Once big money anti-multiuse environmental groups like the Sierra Club get you in their sights they will use every unethical tactic in the book to shut you down. If you think the use of the word “burying” was an innocent error in verbiage than you had better think again.

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Sorry about the length of this post! First, I will state right up front that, I too, disagree with the categorical decision to not allow geocaches on NPS managed land. But you have to think about it from their perspective - not ours. Yes it's true, they manage our public lands. But, unlike the BLM and USFS, they THINK of the national parks first and foremost as special places to be protected for future generations. They have to! The other two agencies have a multiple-use policy that is much more open to various types of recreational use. That is where we should concentrate our efforts to have geocaching thought of in a receptive light and prove that geocaching is compatible with other uses.

 

If the NPS starts letting geocaching take place in one or two parks in some inocuous, out of the way corner of a park, they have to then wonder how will they draw the line when the next person wants to hide a cache under Yosemite Falls, next to the General Sherman Tree, by a memorial in Gettysburg, etc.?

 

The rangers that protect our unique places in this country are always dealing with idiots who steal the signs, deface the monuments, spraypaint grafitti on the rocks, steal petrified wood, steal saguaro cacti in the desert, carve their initials in the benches, dump their trash, poach the wildlife, walk off the trails, drive off the roads, etc., etc. If they have a distrustful attitude toward buried ammo cans, I can understand it!

 

Lets learn to be good neighbors in all the city, county, and state parks and take advantage of all the other public lands managed by the US Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management, first. Lets prove we can geocache without impacting the resources we love, figure out how to police ourselves from thoughtless, indiscriminate geocachers and provide an opportunity for folks to get out and enjoy the rest of the outdoors. There is a lot of land out there and we can get by without the National Parks. The Rangers that patrol the public lands are all part of a network that work together and share information. They all train at the same academies and get together for conferences and to help each other out. If the NPS rangers start to really get upset and share their sentiments with the USFS and BLM rangers, it will only have a negative impact for everyone.

 

So instead of fighting it, lets accept their position for now and go prove our good intentions elsewhere. And just so you all know, the Bureau of Land Management has an official policy allowing geocaching without a permit and considers it a legitimate recreational activity. This is significant out west where I live! What follows is an excerpt from there policy. Let's work hard to show it is a wise one!

 

quote:
Policy/Action: A special recreation permit (SRP) is not required if the geocaching activity is casual use and where it is not a specific event. The following conditions apply for casual use: it is not commercial, complies with land use decisions and designations, i.e., Special Area Designations and Wilderness Interim Management Policy and, does not award cash prizes, is not publicly advertised, poses minimal risk for damage to public land or related water resource values, and generally requires no monitoring. If you determine the use to be casual but have some concern about the use, such as, placing the caches in Congressionally designated Wilderness or Wilderness Study Areas, at cultural resource sites or other areas with threatened and endangered species or any other special fragile area, it would be appropriate to issue a letter of authorization with special stipulations attached that would address those concerns.

 

If the geocaching activity or event does not meet the above conditions the event should be treated as any other organized recreational group or competitive activity or event for which BLM would require the event organizer to obtain an SRP.

 

The BLM believes that geocaching is an appropriate casual use of the Public Lands. But, as use increases or becomes a management issue in a particular area the following minimum steps should be taken: 1) try to locate a person or group that is responsible and have them register the cache with the BLM, make sure the cache is safe and environmentally sound, 2) prepare an Environmental Assessment or other appropriate National Environmental Policy Act document, 3) issue a letter of authorization or SRP with special stipulations to mitigate concerns, 4) if sites are not registered within a reasonable amount of time after notification then the cache should be removed from the Public Lands, usually they are determined to be abandoned property after 72 hours unless they have the appropriate authorization, 5) monitor the use to assess public health and safety and environmental protection issues, 6) if the sport gets too large and begins to conflict with other authorized use appropriate steps should be taken to properly manage the activity.


 

If anyone wants a copy of the whole policy, feel free to e-mail us.

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Maybe I'm not reading this thread right, but the concern was over misinformation (for the most part).

 

I personally agree and disagree over the NPS stance. My wish list (ha!) is that they sponsor their own "caches" in their parks that we can go seek out. However, given the budget in our own state for National Parks, I doubt that would ever happen.

 

Jeremy

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First to Team CacheCows. I admit I did a poor job of conveying it, but my point was that it doesn’t seem logical that the NPS should classify the lands they manage for different uses depending on the unique properties of each area but bar geocaching in a wholesale manner on all their lands.

 

Secondly, Maps-R-Us I have tried on a few occasions to put in writing my thoughts on why we should honor the NPS’s rules for cache placement. I have never been satisfied with my efforts, but your reasoning is very close to my own thoughts and well written.

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That was a great and well thought out post, Maps. I completely agree that we should "prove ourselves" where we are already granted permission. I would personally really like to see more caches placed in BLM areas which require the use of letters of authorization and environmental impact letters. That will start a paper trail of evidence which can be used to open up the more sacred lands of the USFS and NPS and *GASP* perhaps even wilderness areas.

 

We must act responsibly. Back on topic here: We must make issue when representatives of lands forbidding our activity send official memos which may contain careless or intentionally inflammatory misinformation. It it our responsibility to let them know that they are being watched. But they need to know that those watching them are not a bunch of screwy teenagers or 1st Amendment extremist activists who want to go rip out every spotted owl from their nest.

 

Balance, respect, and decorum are a must for establishing a trust with land management authorities. We often don't think they deserve it and perhaps rightly so. But the more you allow them to think that we're giving it to them, the better they'll feel. The better they feel, the more likely they'll be to start listening to us - maybe not 'til we're old and grey, but it could happen to us.

 

-------------------

I'd like to buy the NPS a Coke and teach them harmony...

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quote:
Maybe I'm not reading this thread right, but the concern was over misinformation (for the most part).

 

Sorry, Jeremy, if I got off topic. I just think the underlying thoughts of the rangers who post those warnings, misinformation or not, is the real thing to be aware of. Sure, we should try to give the real information about caches being "buried" or not. But buried caches is not the real concern with the NPS. And I don't think we should take on the NPS policy from the top down but rather work up from the grass roots level, building trust with the other agencies first.

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The Ranger's letter has a certain tone that indicates to me that using reason and logic on this person is probably a waste of time. I agree that someone should point out that these caches are not buried, and that digging is discouraged in our sport. Also point out that the geocacher in question obviously did not know of the Park Service policy restricting the placement of geocaches. Beyond that, we should place non-virtual caches in locally administered parks (city, county, state) and wait to see if our activity continues to grow. If it does, there may come a day when we have sufficient political power to make our case with those who may actually help us on this issue, members of the US Congress. In the meantime, be cool.

 

FWIW,

CharlieP

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The hobby has just run head long into one of the hottest debating points in the backcountry -- the "leave no trace" ethos.

 

The trend -- as exemplified by National Park Service policy -- is to stridently enforce this. As a result, we're seeing summit registers removed from mountain tops, a reduction in trail signs and the tearing down of trail cairns.

 

The NPS Morning Report follows a chain of command from the field offices. This particular report came from a lesser known National Recreation Area. No doubt the office probably was not totally attune to the subtle differences between "stashing" and "burying." There probably wasn't a conspiracy to create misinformation. The Park was merely strictly enforcing its "leave no trace" mandate.

 

The "leave no trace" in National Parks mandate incidentally is also recognized by Geocaching which specifically prohibits the geocaches on NPS property and won't permit them to be posted if they are on NPS property. Unfortunately, there was human error.

 

Since this is a hot topic, the hobby will encounter more such bumps even on other public parks/forests.

 

The rhetoric used in these encounters should definitely be toned down to reflect an understanding of valid pressures and concerns. You will catch more flies with honey...

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quote:

 

The "leave no trace" in National Parks mandate incidentally is also recognized by Geocaching which specifically prohibits the geocaches on NPS property and won't permit them to be posted if they are on NPS property. Unfortunately, there was human error.


 

Then there are several errors because there are more caches on NPS managed land that are still on the site: including Mojave National Preserve and Death Valley. Cachers need to be more aware of the NPS rule and pay attention to it.

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My nickels worth is that as of now, "We" are not "allowed" to cache on NPS land.

 

Period.

 

Until that changes, "we" as a group should and must help Jeremy and his people watch all new cache placements. "We" all look at the newest cache placements and "we" all should be policeing the "newbies" planting their first few caches. I have experince with locating and removing "misplaced" caches and e-mailing Jeremy with cache pages of the newly planted caches in the "wrong" spot.

 

There is a nice little link called "contact us" on the main page and every cache page. Inapproprate cache ? Use the button and let the powers that be know. Couple of key strokes and the owners will be notified and the cache page pulled.

 

Okay, maybe more than a nickles worth but you know how it goes.

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There are several problems with your take. First of all, stands spread. If the National Park Service doesn't like Caches how long before the BLM thinks "fire hazard" from people driving on roads that have been used for years and bans, then the Forest service. Oppostions to the ban by the park service should be vocal, and ongoing with no let up. Why? To prevent the spread of closing down the sport. To try to be allowed to place caches in a park. The park service has the ability to license a cache, place their own cache, or a number of things that will minimimize impact. The park service works for the governement, and the government works for us (and large well funded corporations). We can make our stand. Not only that we should be joining other groups such as off-road clubs who have the same problems. "Go with it" we have not choice, but we don't have to roll over and play dead either.

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