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Pro-Geocaching Land Managers - Correspondance


briansnat
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This thread starts with a post from an Oregon parks employee about geocaching. It's a copy of a letter he sent to his supervisors regarding our sport. As you see, the letter is very positive.

 

I'm sure there are more examples out there of similar pro-geocaching posts, comments, or letters from rangers, naturalists, land managers, etc...

 

Does anybody know of others? If so, kindly post them here. And if you are a land manager or parks employee with something positive to say about our sport, please feel free to add your comments to this thread.

 

Perhaps we can use this thread as a repository of pro-geocaching correspondances from various land managers. Then we'll we have something to show local bureaucrats when asking permission to place caches, or when they are formulating Geocaching policies for their areas.

 

"It has been my experience that folks who have no vices have very few virtues" - Abraham Lincoln

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This guy visited a local cache in August, and had some nice comments. I traded a few emails with him after his visit, and he said that he had been to LNT's Master Course, and would be holding a Trainer Course.(That was in Sept. and Oct.)

 

The Log:

"August 14 by Iowa LNT Advocate (1 found)

This is my first one that I looked for... and I found it. I was looking to see what kind of damage occurs around a Geocache and I was pleasantly surpised to see that people are being careful in their use of public lands. I hauled out some trash left by fishermen and I left three LNT pack tags, one for the owner of the cache and the others for future finders. Sam [my son]took the necklace. To help minimze impact, check out www.LNT.Org Thanks for the adventure."

 

from the Pot o' Gold cache.

 

waypoint_link.gif22008_1700.gif37_gp_logo88x31.jpg

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quote:
The Arkansas State Parks thread is about the parks department adopting a new policy to allow geocaching. That seems pretty positive to me!

 

The Arkansas State Parks regulations are incredibly restrictive. So much so, that they seem to have turned a lot of people off to the idea of placing caches their parks.

 

What I'm looking for are land managers, park rangers, et. al. who have had positive experiences with the sport. Hopefully, if we get enough positive input here, we can prevent what is happening in Arkansas in the future.

 

"It has been my experience that folks who have no vices have very few virtues" - Abraham Lincoln

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quote:
Originally posted by BrianSnat:

 

The Arkansas State Parks regulations are incredibly restrictive. So much so, that they seem to have turned a lot of people off to the idea of placing caches their parks.

 


 

I couldn't help notice that many of the negative comments on the ASP thread were yours. I think we can expect to see more restrictions on geocaching rather than less. The more land managers who have a policy allowing geocaching the better in my opinion, restrictions or not.

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quote:
I couldn't help notice that many of the negative comments on the ASP thread were yours. I think we can expect to see more restrictions on geocaching rather than less. The more land managers who have a policy allowing geocaching the better in my opinion, restrictions or not.

 

That's correct, because I felt the rules were arbitrary and overly restrictive. I disagree with you on policies. I support well reasoned policies, but policies like they put in place in ASP will only discourage the sport. As I recall, I wasn't the only one with negative comments in that thread.

 

If we can demonstrate the positive aspects of geocaching to land managers, et. al., it would go a long way towards their implementing reasonable policies (like the state of Florida parks). One of the best ways to do this is through testimony from other land managers who have had positive experiences with geocaching.

 

"It has been my experience that folks who have no vices have very few virtues" - Abraham Lincoln

 

[This message was edited by BrianSnat on January 04, 2003 at 08:16 AM.]

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quote:
Originally posted by BrianSnat:

 

That's correct, because I felt the rules were arbitrary and overly restrictive. I disagree with you on policies. I support well reasoned policies, but policies like they put in place in ASP will only discourage the sport. As I recall, I wasn't the only one with negative comments in that thread.

 

If we can demonstrate the positive aspects of geocaching to land managers, et. al., it would go a long way towards their implementing reasonable policies (like the state of Florida parks). One of the best ways to do this is by testimony from other pro-geocaching land managers.

 

_"It has been my experience that folks who have no vices have very few virtues" - Abraham Lincoln_


 

I think that that "tough rules" will assure a better chance that Geocaching will survive. It is obvious that without policing of our sport it will die. Many Geocachers think that it is too much problem to obtain permits, ask permission or follow the already published guidelines. I am a land manager and I do allow Geocaching on the property I manage but I do have problems with Geocachers who just refuse to simply give me a call and let me know they want to hide a geocache. I will go out of my way to help them. As a matter of fact, I am delighted when someone wants to hide a Cache on one of my Parks but many Geocachers refuse to play by the rules. I love the sport but it will die without rules. Just face it, in the future you are going to have rules, which means you are going to be bothered about where, when and how to hide a Geocache, that's a fact. If you can't live with that, you won't be part of this sport. I think you would do better to educate Geocachers about the importance of getting permission before they hide first, and then work on the land managers. Most of us are open to allowing Geocaching but past experiences have put a bad taste in our mouths. You must remember that land managers are bound by laws and policies and our jobs depend on not allowing the resources to be harmed in any way. You definition of hurting the resource may not be the same as the land managing agency, so don’t blame a manager for doing his/her job. All he/she is trying to do is do their job and keep their job. You talk about demonstrating the positive aspects of Geocaching. This can be done better through our practices rather than our preaching. I personally wish that every land management agency in the world allowed Geocaching. I also wish every Geocacher would follow the rules. I am afraid that neither will happen. Good luck with your task. icon_razz.gif

 

15777_2200.gif

 

[This message was edited by BrownMule on January 04, 2003 at 06:49 AM.]

 

[This message was edited by BrownMule on January 04, 2003 at 06:54 AM.]

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Brown Mule, I'm not against rules being put in place. I just don't think they should be arbitrary.

 

If a rule is implemented it should be for a good reason. Many of the rules I've seen aren't thought through. They are made by some guy sitting behind a desk, who has little or no experience with Geocaching. For example the 4 month time limit on caches in ASP. Rather than protecting the area around the cache, it will cause a concentrated amount of activity around in it over a short period of time, as people rush to get there before it's removed. This will INCREASE the impact on the surrounding area.

 

Also their insistence on clear containers. I don't understand the reasoning for this, but the commonly available clear containers are used food storage containers. Peanut butter, pretzel jars, etc... This can attract animals no matter how well we think we've washed them. I've seen caches in these containers gnawed through, or otherwise trashed by animals. In fact I read of another agency that REQUIRED animal proof containers (like ammo boxes) for caches. To me THAT is a reasonable policy.

 

"It has been my experience that folks who have no vices have very few virtues" - Abraham Lincoln

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quote:
Originally posted by BrianSnat:

Brown Mule, I'm not against rules being put in place. I just don't think they should be arbitrary.


 

I hear what you are saying and I agree thay some rules, in my opinion, make little since. I can only respond by saying we need to get any rule we can in favor of Geocaching and not be hostile against it. Time has a way of educating people and Land Managers are people too.

 

15777_2200.gif

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Last week I went to check on one of my caches in a Texas State Park. When I checked in with the office (as I usually do when doing maintenance on the cache), the ranger told me that a geocacher who posted a find had described an illegal deer feeder. The ranger was able to get in touch with the geocacher and find out exactly where it was located so that they could dismantle it. The staff at the state park were very thankful for this, and like that geocaching brings new people to their park!

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I have to agree the Arkansas state parks regs are too restricive.

 

To comply you have to hide the cache to get the infomation you need to get the permit. All for 4 months.

 

Given that they should hide their own caches and fill out their own permits. Which brings up a valid point.

 

Don't like geocachers placing caches in your parks. Hide your own. Be proactive.

 

Wherever you go there you are.

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quote:
That's what Cleveland Metroparks did although it appears they pulled them for the winter and il re-plant them when it warms up.

 

Anyone else have any links like that? I'm trying to come up with a booklet of screen prints to show parks managers how their counterparts use geocaching to attract users to the park.

 

I don't have time to afix the links right now but I already have a Geocache site application from the St. Johns River Water Management District in Florida; the same thing from the State of Maryland; the web site of "National Forests in Alabama" mentions geocaching as approved with prior arrangement. I also have caches posted by Warner Parks in Nashville, TN; and the Geauga Park District in Ohio.

 

Can anyone "markwell" me to others?

 

Thanks!

 

~erik~

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We don't need more rules.

Rules will be made.

More rules will be made.

More rules and more restrictions will lead to "illegal" cache placement.

More rules will be made.

Geocaching will not be nearly the fun it is now.

More "illegal" caches will be hidden.

More rules.

Organized geocaching will cease as we know it.

Geocaching will go back to the newsgroups and there will be no rules at all.

Land managers will scratch their heads and wonder why people are entering the parks illegally at night, not "trashing out" anymore, ignoring the trails, and are thumbing their noses at the land manager's authority.

 

Your government spent a lot of your tax dollars training me to move through the woods without being seen. Let's rock.

 

BTW, I actually do believe in getting permission to place a cache whenever possible. I really do.

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Dinoprophet, geospotter, and Warm Fuzzies - Fuzzy

thanks for the additional links. I've printed out the cache pages for my binder.

 

If there are any other website URLs that I could use - either a park's web site or a cache posted by a park let me know please.

 

Thanks again!

 

~erik~

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Thanks BrianSnat. I printed out that one as well.

 

I'm getting quite a folder together. Any others out there? I know North Carolina and Arkansas have approved geocaching under some restrictions, are there any other states? I thought NY State Parks had authorized geocaching utilizing a "special use permit" with fees waived.

 

What I'm looking for is a web link or official document as a .pdf I can use to document these approvals. If there are any other state, county, or municipal parks who have a documented pro-geocaching policy let me know please.

 

Thanks!

 

~erik~

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There are Arkansas State Parks, Pennsy State Parks and MD State Parks, but some of their restrictions are quite ridiculious. You might not want to use them as examples because other agencies may latch onto their dumb ideas. NC is another place that has draconian restrictions, including (from what I read) a $25 fee that is good for 4 months.

 

One place with very reasonable rules is the St. Johns River Water Management District in Florida.

Here is a link to their website. You'll see the rules are reasonable and the process quite easy. THIS would be a great model for others to follow.

 

I'm not aware of any statewide policy in NY. It seems that the individual park managers are setting their own policies. Some park authorities actively seek out, and remove caches (Catskills, Minnewaska SP are two I can think of) while others seem to ignore the sport (Harriman SP).

 

"Paternalism is the greatist despotism" - Emmanual Kant

 

[This message was edited by BrianSnat on January 09, 2003 at 05:22 PM.]

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Yep, I have Haw Ridge, and exchaged e-mails with the website owner to be sure he was ok with it being held up as and example. I had St. Johns River too. That one will probably go on top of the stack icon_wink.gif

 

Some of the state parks do have "draconian" policies, but I see it as getting a foot in the door. Hopefully those at the local park level who actually interface with the public have some flexibility in administering the official policy. I suspect in some cases it's a matter of getting to know the park manager to establish some level of trust. Time will tell.

 

~erik~

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quote:
Originally posted by Renegade Knight:

I have to agree the Arkansas state parks regs are too restricive.

 

To comply you have to hide the cache to get the infomation you need to get the permit. All for 4 months.


 

The Arkansas State Park regs allow you to get a new permit when the old one expires. (They are free) As the rules are written, the old cache has to be removed. Moved and removed are basically the same thing. Move the cache and change the coordinates on the web site. Fill out a new permit.

 

The intent is to force cache owners to vist their caches at least every four months. Wouldn't that be nice!! If you have cached for any length of time I am sure you have come across caches that are grossly ignored. If you develop a relationship with the park supervisor he may allow you to keep the cache in its original location. A lot of authority is given to the local park superintendent. Local control is a good thing in my opinion.

 

On a side note, I make it a point to meet and communicate with all my elected representatives. Many of them know me by my first name. They are people too. Even if I didn't vote for them they have the opportunity to hear my opinion. Actually if I didn't vote for them they usually have multiple opportunities to hear my opinion. icon_smile.gif

 

If you don't talk to your politicians it is your fault not theirs.

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quote:
Originally posted by Renegade Knight:

I have to agree the Arkansas state parks regs are too restricive.

 

To comply you have to hide the cache to get the infomation you need to get the permit. All for 4 months.


 

The Arkansas State Park regs allow you to get a new permit when the old one expires. (They are free) As the rules are written, the old cache has to be removed. Moved and removed are basically the same thing. Move the cache and change the coordinates on the web site. Fill out a new permit.

 

The intent is to force cache owners to vist their caches at least every four months. Wouldn't that be nice!! If you have cached for any length of time I am sure you have come across caches that are grossly ignored. If you develop a relationship with the park supervisor he may allow you to keep the cache in its original location. A lot of authority is given to the local park superintendent. Local control is a good thing in my opinion.

 

On a side note, I make it a point to meet and communicate with all my elected representatives. Many of them know me by my first name. They are people too. Even if I didn't vote for them they have the opportunity to hear my opinion. Actually if I didn't vote for them they usually have multiple opportunities to hear my opinion. icon_smile.gif

 

If you don't talk to your politicians it is your fault not theirs.

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Just so everyone knows, the Arkansas State Parks have revised their proposed rules, and although a permit is still required, it is good for one year and renews automatically unless it appears the cache is harming the area. Also the container restriction is lifed. The only requirement now is that you get the container and location approved by park staff, who will issue you a permit sticker to put on the container. I consider that quite fair, and a significant improvement over the originally proposed rules.

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quote:
Arkansas State Park Rules

 

Just so everyone knows, the Arkansas State Parks have revised their proposed rules, and although a permit is still required, it is good for one year and renews automatically unless it appears the cache is harming the area. Also the container restriction is lifed. The only requirement now is that you get the container and location approved by park staff, who will issue you a permit sticker to put on the container. I consider that quite fair, and a significant improvement over the originally proposed rules.


 

YES!!

Now this seems very reasonable, and doable!

I hope this is the new direction Park officials will take....

 

As to NC's $25 fee......WTF!?!?!

 

I'm sorry, but I would NOT pay THAT much to place a cache....

 

Where does the money go? What do they do with it?

Maybe $3-$5 might be reasonable, but $25!!!???

 

A lot of parks already charge ADMISSION. Meaning you already pay each time you PLACE, SEEK, & MAINTAIN a cache.

 

If they are looking for a cache-cow (sorry, had to! icon_smile.gif), the activity itself should bring more people to their parks, hence increase in revenue from admission fees....Why would they need $25 for each cache, for only 4 months?

 

Thats just ridiculous GREED in action!! icon_mad.gif

 

Art

 

www.yankeetoys.org

www.BudBuilt.com

http://www.ttora-ne.mainpage.net/

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quote:
Arkansas State Park Rules

 

Just so everyone knows, the Arkansas State Parks have revised their proposed rules, and although a permit is still required, it is good for one year and renews automatically unless it appears the cache is harming the area. Also the container restriction is lifed. The only requirement now is that you get the container and location approved by park staff, who will issue you a permit sticker to put on the container. I consider that quite fair, and a significant improvement over the originally proposed rules.


 

YES!!

Now this seems very reasonable, and doable!

I hope this is the new direction Park officials will take....

 

As to NC's $25 fee......WTF!?!?!

 

I'm sorry, but I would NOT pay THAT much to place a cache....

 

Where does the money go? What do they do with it?

Maybe $3-$5 might be reasonable, but $25!!!???

 

A lot of parks already charge ADMISSION. Meaning you already pay each time you PLACE, SEEK, & MAINTAIN a cache.

 

If they are looking for a cache-cow (sorry, had to! icon_smile.gif), the activity itself should bring more people to their parks, hence increase in revenue from admission fees....Why would they need $25 for each cache, for only 4 months?

 

Thats just ridiculous GREED in action!! icon_mad.gif

 

Art

 

www.yankeetoys.org

www.BudBuilt.com

http://www.ttora-ne.mainpage.net/

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