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Ranger Approval?


Guest ruttencutter
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Guest ruttencutter

How many people here actually check with park officials before placing a cache.

 

Of those people, how easy was it to get permission.

 

Has anyone ever been asked to remove a cache?

 

What is the best way to contact park officials?

 

-S

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Guest Paul Lamble

I've placed three caches and got explicit permission for each one from the park manager. I showed her exactly where I intended to place them and made sure she had not concerns. Then I told her I'd have them there on a trial basis and we'd see how it worked out.

 

Of course, I had a good rapport with the park manager beforehand since I do so much volunteer work there.

 

I'm sure I'm in the minority, but I would NEVER place a cache without the permission of the park manager or the property owner.

 

Paul Lamble

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Guest suntzu

Who checks with city park officials when placing a cache in a city park? Who checks with the US Forest service before caching in a national forest? BLM? Soveriegn Lands? Since all these are public property, and a cache is not refuse and does not fit the "litter" description you are not breaking any laws. I always say, it's easier to ask for forgiveness, than it is to ask for permission. With that in mind, the important thing to remember is that state parks are regulated, and many have rules that include staying on established trails etc.

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Guest Lazyboy

Hey I always ask before I place a cache. I ask my wife if it's ok to go out for a couple of hours. I ask if it's ok if I take the truck. I ask what time I have to be home. It's the least I can do.

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Guest tecmage

We've asked for permission before the fact with a couple of the state parks here, and after the fact (sort of) for the local parks here in town. Both met with good replies once officials understood that our caches and Geocaching involved no digging.

 

I agree that the parks are public, but there are rules regarding their use. In asking permission, we were seeking to make sure we weren't violating any park rules, and make sure the parks folks understood what Geocaching is about. In addition, we were hoping to get their support beofre the local media picked up on Geocaching.

 

Richard

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Guest BGSkierNC

It seems to be best to ask first. At least this will set a better precedence when new (if any) rules come from the authorities.

As for the "litter" definition, we may not think that a chache box is litter, but some ranger might. I remember reading one definition on one of these discussion in here that defined litter as property that was abandoned or unattended for over 24 hours. That is so broad, it could include almost anything. It depends on your point of view.

BG

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Guest Markwell

quote:
Originally posted by ruttencutter:

How much truth is there to the rumors I have heard about park rangers in Chicago holding caches for cash (IE FINES) ransoms?


 

We in the Chicago area have been having a dialog with the DuPage County Forest Preserve (due west of downtown Chicago). "Bryan" and I have opened a conversation with a sector supervisor regarding their "Abandoned Trash" rule and the implications of Geocaching.

 

To read the whole story, check out our Chicago Area Geocachers page...

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/chicago_geocachers

 

To sum it up so far, they found a cache on Forest Preserve District (FPD) land, and were going to return the box to the owner (Bryan). Bryan invited me along to help him start a conversation to educate them on the benefits of Geocaching for the FPD. They have agreed to have some discussions internally and have us come in to provide further information (they're being VERY open-minded).

 

However, at this point, they've asked that the four or five caches that exist on FPD land be at least temporarily removed until a final decision has been made.

 

We're willing to try to work within any guidelines they are suggesting.

 

Markwell

MarkLent60544@aol.com

 

[This message has been edited by Markwell (edited 14 June 2001).]

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Guest c.mathis

quote:
Originally posted by Markwell:

To sum it up so far, they found a cache on Forest Preserve District (FPD) land, and were going to return the box to the owner (Bryan).


 

We try to hide caches in areas that can't be stumbled upon by anyone not looking for it. We also try to locate them so people won't see you when you're sitting there writing in the log.

 

Caches are only "trash" if you let the Ranger find them. icon_wink.gif

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Guest c.mathis

quote:
Originally posted by Markwell:

To sum it up so far, they found a cache on Forest Preserve District (FPD) land, and were going to return the box to the owner (Bryan).


 

We try to hide caches in areas that can't be stumbled upon by anyone not looking for it. We also try to locate them so people won't see you when you're sitting there writing in the log.

 

Caches are only "trash" if you let the Ranger find them. icon_wink.gif

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Guest Paulwhy

Geocachers:

Perhaps a generic letter to Park rangers telling about the (proposed) placement of a cache might be a good idea, like the generic letter to cache finders. It could list the geocaching suggestions on placing a cache, concerns of other parks about geocaching, how we will mitigate these concerns, and most importantly, how geocaching helps the parks!

 

If others are interested, Ill try to do a first draft, but Id like to see it edited by someone with more experience.

 

Another thing that might help is a list of parks or park organizations that have approved of geocaching, and a list of parks or park organizations that would prefer we take our business elsewhere. Perhaps we could quietly and politely lobby the latter group and change their minds.

 

What do you-all think?

 

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

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Guest Markwell

quote:
Originally posted by c.mathis:

We try to hide caches in areas that can't be stumbled upon by anyone not looking for it.


 

"Bryan" (the hider) placed this one called "Toy Stash" with his kids as a level 1/1 specifically so that other young kids and/or beginners would have an easy one to find. Even so, I didn't find it the first time out. It wasn't like we had a neon sign "CACHE OVER HERE!!!" flashing, but admittedly, it wasn't the most difficult cache I've found either. :-)

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Guest ClayJar

Paulwhy, please do the first draft. I am exceedingly interested, and I'll help how I can (I'm just not good at first drafts).

 

As for a database of geocaching's status at parks and park organizations, that would be very useful, IMHO. If it's not something that could be easily done on Geocaching.com (or if it doesn't fit there, your call on both, jeremy), I'd be willing to host it and assist in the tech side of things. I have web space, database access, and plenty of time to spend on it, if we want it.

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Guest jeremy

quote:
Originally posted by ClayJar:

As for a database of geocaching's status at parks and park organizations, that would be very useful, IMHO. If it's not something that could be easily done on Geocaching.com (or if it doesn't fit there, your call on both, jeremy), I'd be willing to host it and assist in the tech side of things. I have web space, database access, and plenty of time to spend on it, if we want it.


 

If you want to work on such a project, go for it! Definitely a good idea. I'd be happy to link to your site from the hide a cache page to ensure that people know what's going on.

 

One thought may be to make a shapefile of parks and label them off limits, open season, etc. so folks could see visually what's what. I'm working on dynamic mapping so I could plunk such a shapefile into the system so you can see them (and there are free shapefiles out there of park lands to use as a baseline).

 

It is a huge project, however. To be honest, it would be a great project for not only geocaching, but base jumping, mountain biking, hangliding, etc etc.

 

Jeremy

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Guest ClayJar

quote:
Originally posted by jeremy:

One thought may be to make a shapefile of parks and label them off limits, open season, etc. so folks could see visually what's what. I'm working on dynamic mapping so I could plunk such a shapefile into the system so you can see them (and there are free shapefiles out there of park lands to use as a baseline).


 

I have a lot to learn, I am sure, but I've started taking some looks around the Net about mapping, GIS, shapefiles, and all the like. If you want to point me to any useful resources for someone as green as myself, I'm in a listening mode, to be sure.

 

Now, as for actually starting the work on planning the implementation of what I've signed up to do (oh, my), if anyone wants in on the ground floor, come on in. I imagine I'll set up some sort of a development system shortly, but I know for sure that I don't know everything that this kind of "directory" should have in it. I'm a feedback-powered geek, too; so it'd be nice to have at least a few people to tell me when I'm stupid (or cool, as the case may be), at least until there are users. icon_wink.gif

 

Anyway, if you're interested in being part of a fun and rewarding project in... oh, wait, that sounds a bit too much like Sally Struthers. Um, if this sounds like a project you might like to help with, discuss, test, or whatever, post (here, I guess) or e-mail me at gps@clayjar.com.

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Guest ClayJar

quote:
Originally posted by jeremy:

One thought may be to make a shapefile of parks and label them off limits, open season, etc. so folks could see visually what's what. I'm working on dynamic mapping so I could plunk such a shapefile into the system so you can see them (and there are free shapefiles out there of park lands to use as a baseline).


 

I have a lot to learn, I am sure, but I've started taking some looks around the Net about mapping, GIS, shapefiles, and all the like. If you want to point me to any useful resources for someone as green as myself, I'm in a listening mode, to be sure.

 

Now, as for actually starting the work on planning the implementation of what I've signed up to do (oh, my), if anyone wants in on the ground floor, come on in. I imagine I'll set up some sort of a development system shortly, but I know for sure that I don't know everything that this kind of "directory" should have in it. I'm a feedback-powered geek, too; so it'd be nice to have at least a few people to tell me when I'm stupid (or cool, as the case may be), at least until there are users. icon_wink.gif

 

Anyway, if you're interested in being part of a fun and rewarding project in... oh, wait, that sounds a bit too much like Sally Struthers. Um, if this sounds like a project you might like to help with, discuss, test, or whatever, post (here, I guess) or e-mail me at gps@clayjar.com.

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Guest tecmage

Hey Paulwhy,

 

Tracy and myself already have a letter that we used with the state parks local to us. We placed one in a park, after having a 15 minutes talk with the ranger. We spent most of that time talking about how small gps units have gotten since he was given one for work. He then gave us a tour of the park.

 

Richard

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Guest Paulwhy

please check us out at www.geocaching.com. Geocaching is a new sport invented in May 2000. The object is simple; a geocacher hides a container with a logbook, pencil, and small treasures for other geocachers to find. He then places the latitude and longitude coordinates of the cache on the Internet, and other geocachers use their GPS receivers to find the hidden cache and sign in the logbook. It is also customary to take one small treasure from the cache and leave another behind for future geocachers, and record the search on the Internet. Most caches receive as many as 1-2 visitors a week or as few as 1-2 per month. There are over 2000 geocaches hidden worldwide.

Most parks find geocaching is a fun and appropriate use of public park land. Geocaching is an excellent excuse to hike and explore a park where one has never been before. The geocache logs are full of comments by geocachers on how they found a beautiful a view, unusual terrain, or interesting wildlife or plants while searching for a geocache.

Some parks have concerns about geocaching, of course, and geocaching is not an appropriate activity in all parks. The concerns include the possible disturbing of endangered wildlife, plants, or geologic, historic or archeological artifacts. Some parks claim that geocaches are in fact litter. We understand these concerns and are very willing to mitigate them. We will not place a geocache in a location that would disturb wildlife or sensitive plants, and is well away from geologic, historic or archeological sites. As far as littering, the cache will be hidden from public view to prevent it from being vandalized or stolen by those not interested in participating in this sport. Geocaching typically requires some off-trail hiking, if this is not appropriate or not allowed at this park, please let us know. Perhaps we can find a hiding location right on a trail, or perhaps another park nearby is better suited for geocaching.

The location we have picked for this geocache is:

(Approximate latitude and longitude)

To reach this location, (describe the closest trail head, and shortest paths, and distances to cache, and off trail bushwacking in specific details)

Some geocachers may approach the cache from other directions. (Describe other bushwacking and trails that may be used)

The cache will be hidden (describe how you will hide the cache. Please no digging. Digging scares rangers!)

The terrain, flora and fauna that surrounds the proposed location is (describe this stuff).

The cache itself will be (describe the container and the contents in full)

If you feel this location is not appropriate for a geocache, please let us know and we can discuss alternative locations in this park, or other parks. If you agree to this location, but find in the future that it is not an appropriate location, we will be responsible for the cache?s immediate removal and we will discuss potential new locations with you.

We hope you approve of this cache placement, and that this cache brings the benefits to your park that it has brought to so many others worldwide.

I will contact you again in a few days for your answer, or feel free to contact me at the e-mail below. In the meantime, please visit www.geocaching.com and read how others enjoy this new sport!

 

Signed,

 

Your Name

Your e-mail address

Your street address

Your phone

 

Sorry for the length, Jeremy, if I can email the Word 97 or a tesxt file to you, would that be better?

 

Paulwhy

 

 

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Guest bacpac

Forget it Paul. No one is going to read past the intro on that letter. Too wordy and dull as toast.

 

Three short paragraphs, tops. The sale has to be made in the first sentence.

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Guest Scout

quote:
Originally posted by Paulwhy:

OK, heres my first draft, all criticism welcome, good and of course, bad.


 

With all the specific detail in your letter, every geocacher wanting to place a cache in that park would need to obtain a separate authorization.

 

It would be better if you could write a generic letter that would seek authorization for *all* geocaching activity in that particular park, provided it conforms to certain guidelines outlined in the letter.

 

In other words, seek to obtain authorization for geocaching, not for a single geocache.

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Guest Paulwhy

Thanks, Bacpac,I was thinking it is too long, too. (dry as toast - ouch!) If you have an opening sentence, please post it. I was writing the letter to a ranger that is unfamiliar with geocaching and would say 'no' if they did not feel comfortable with it. Thus, I put in some (lots of?) information they could lean on to say yes. If you know the ranger is already familier and a proponent of geocaching, you could eliminate paragraphs 2,3,and 4.

And thanks, Scout. You could probably modify the letter to obtain carte blanche authorization, by making geocache plural and eliminating the the specific cache information. You might leave in or modify the part about being willing to move the cash if it creates problems. It might be easier to get carte blanche approval verbally, or after a ranger has some good experiences with other caches. In fact, seeking verbal approval might be better in many cases. Be prepared with some good facts in mind, to counter and negative arguments.

C.mathis - thanks for the encouragement.

Perhaps we can get some feedback from a geocaching ranger? There must be some out there, and some reading this thread!

Paulwhy

 

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

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Guest WaylandersMA

Great letter. I made it through the whole thing and If I was a ranger who had never heard of GC I would have let you plant one.

I also liked the details of the plant. The ranger gets one of these with the first few stashes in her park and she gets used to the idea and sees how unobtrusive it is.

From then on you see several stashes in that park and presume de-facto approval.

 

Paul

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Guest Exocet

I've never asked a park ranger or park management yet. Not that I don't feel a tad bad about that, but as someone else said, "it's easier to ask for forgiveness..."

 

I read the entire letter that is posted above. I don't think that it's too long, although it could be shortened and made more generic if the attempt was to obtain "carte blanc" or full access to a park.

 

The only problem I see with "verbal" authorization is that it's verbal. There is nothing written, no documentation. It can be rescinded at any time, quite easily.

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Guest c.mathis

quote:
Originally posted by Exocet:

I've never asked a park ranger or park management yet. Not that I don't feel a tad bad about that


 

You should only feel bad if you placed it illegally.

 

I think people are making this issue more complicated than it needs to be.

 

If there are existing rules against caching in a particular park, DON'T place a cache.

If there are no written rules, place the cache.

 

If the cache is placed in an appropriate place, the authorities aren't going to know it's there anyway.

 

[This message has been edited by c.mathis (edited 18 June 2001).]

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Guest Markwell

First, I think this IS a big deal. It's been said before, but as more and more caches are placed and media coverage wants to know what's going on, the inevitable will happen. A pencil pushing upper echilon park dude will be watching the 10 o'clock news and a report will come on about Geocaching. "We're out it WayOutBack State Forest with a local Geocacher, who is using his GPS to find buried treasure in this pristine wilderness." The bureaucrat gets his hackles up and summarily bans all geocaching in that state's parks just because he wasn't asked first.

 

Paulwhy, I have a slightly modified version in progress to capture permission for all caches in the area, but I'm still working on that opening attention grabbing line. Drop me an e-mail at MarkLent60544@aol.com and I'll send a copy your way.

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Guest ClayJar

WARNING: Technical discussion follows. If you don't want to read it, please don't. icon_wink.gif

 

Okay, time for a little update on the GADB project. GADB stands for "geocaching authorization database", although you can change the first word to "geographic" or whatever if the project grows to encompass other games/sports/etc -- thanks for making me think ahead, guys. icon_smile.gif

 

I'm still figuring out exactly what information needs to be in it, but the GADB project is starting to roll... slowly. The avalanche has not yet begun, though, so there's plenty of time for the pebbles to vote.

 

I'm seeing it as a basic tree structure, with the earth as the root container and everything else filling it in. Actually, considering that it is described so well by a tree, I was wondering what I should use to implement it. Should I do the whole thing using LDAP or something? (A SQL database would require me to code more logic, but it might be more portable when mirrors come around.)

 

I don't want to be stuck processing authorization notices for all contries, states, and localities on earth; so by its very nature, the project requires some type of distributed organizational structure. And, since I don't have infinite bandwidth, making it mirrorable is a fairly important design ctiterion.

 

I haven't even gotten into a visual interface design. If GADB is designed well, it should be relatively simple to link it into the existing geocaching maps sites, which is a primary design criterion. My goal for the database is for it to be a reference built by the people for the people.

 

The only restriction I see that needs to be put on the data is that if it is published (Internet, paper, etc.) it must be accompanied by a notice that it is non-authoritative and telling where authoritative data can be found, and once everything's stable, anyone should be able to set up a mirror (which will/must be updated automatically if it is to be a mirror).

 

So, what does anyone think? Any strong feelings on implementation specifics? Let's see, I'll at least need something like: Area_Name, Coordinates (shapefiles?), Contact, Last_Updated, Authorization (including "NOT!"), Organization, and other things, but speak up and tell me where I'm right or wrong or missing or whatever. (And state your opinion on LDAP/SQL/flat-files/etc.)

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Guest ClayJar

WARNING: Technical discussion follows. If you don't want to read it, please don't. icon_wink.gif

 

Okay, time for a little update on the GADB project. GADB stands for "geocaching authorization database", although you can change the first word to "geographic" or whatever if the project grows to encompass other games/sports/etc -- thanks for making me think ahead, guys. icon_smile.gif

 

I'm still figuring out exactly what information needs to be in it, but the GADB project is starting to roll... slowly. The avalanche has not yet begun, though, so there's plenty of time for the pebbles to vote.

 

I'm seeing it as a basic tree structure, with the earth as the root container and everything else filling it in. Actually, considering that it is described so well by a tree, I was wondering what I should use to implement it. Should I do the whole thing using LDAP or something? (A SQL database would require me to code more logic, but it might be more portable when mirrors come around.)

 

I don't want to be stuck processing authorization notices for all contries, states, and localities on earth; so by its very nature, the project requires some type of distributed organizational structure. And, since I don't have infinite bandwidth, making it mirrorable is a fairly important design ctiterion.

 

I haven't even gotten into a visual interface design. If GADB is designed well, it should be relatively simple to link it into the existing geocaching maps sites, which is a primary design criterion. My goal for the database is for it to be a reference built by the people for the people.

 

The only restriction I see that needs to be put on the data is that if it is published (Internet, paper, etc.) it must be accompanied by a notice that it is non-authoritative and telling where authoritative data can be found, and once everything's stable, anyone should be able to set up a mirror (which will/must be updated automatically if it is to be a mirror).

 

So, what does anyone think? Any strong feelings on implementation specifics? Let's see, I'll at least need something like: Area_Name, Coordinates (shapefiles?), Contact, Last_Updated, Authorization (including "NOT!"), Organization, and other things, but speak up and tell me where I'm right or wrong or missing or whatever. (And state your opinion on LDAP/SQL/flat-files/etc.)

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Guest ruttencutter

I would be willing to help, potentially, if we got a design doc for this website going. I think that it would be a good tool to possibly integrate into geocaching.com to list parks and other areas where caching is or is not permittied.

 

Give me a buzz at my email address.

 

-S

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Guest Byron

a cache is found the worst they can, or would do is put it in the garbage. They pick lots of garbage every day. Why would a small tupper ware box be any different?

 

4. The only time I know of litter laws being enforced is when there are large amounts of trash dumped.

 

5. Most cashes are place or attempted to be place in such a manner as to prevent accidental discovery.

 

I could see that there might be a problem if everybody was placing 5 gal. buckets or bigger. If a cache is placed on private property that it would be a good idea to get permission. I wouldn't want to do otherwise. But placeing in National Forests and BLM land is not going to be a problem, which is my preference. Placing in Parks shouldn't be a problem.

 

It might be interesting to check with "Letter Boxing" to see if they have had any problems.

 

Just my humble opinion.

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Guest Waypoint Wherehouse

Easier to ask for forgiveness, than to ask for permission?...

 

I recently was contacted by GIS person in the state parks dept. He told me to remove a cache from a particular park, giving no other reason than "there is no policy, but other parks have been removing these things." Now, I don't want to do anything wrong or upset a potential business contact so I told him I'd ask for forgiveness - which I have:

 

Mr. (park superintendent),

 

I?m writing to ask forgiveness. I placed a GeoCache* near (geographic place name) without first asking permission. If it is OK with you to let it remain, then - great! - let the fun continue. On the other hand, if it must be moved, then I will move it.

Please reply.

Doug Adomatis

hometown, state

 

*GeoCaching is a game for GPS enthusiasts. A container with a log book is hidden by someone who then publishes the exact latitude and longitude coordinates for others to find it. When someone finds the cache, they make an entry in the log book and leave it for the next person to read. It's fun!

------

 

Notice I didn't mention specifics, say anything about policy, or give out any URLs or coordinates.

 

After reading over what I have just written, I want to make this clear: I don't want anyone to think that asking for forgiveness is better than asking for permission.

 

I have placed caches in several states and ? after what happened to me, reinforced by this thread - I'm beginning to feel like GeoCaching is a dirty little deed I do. I don't like having to ask for permission or forgiveness. So, I've promised myself reconsilliation. I will contact the authorities of all locations where I have caches to obtain a policy statement, permission, or whatever it takes. And I'm more than willing to share my results.

 

Would someone leading the effort of compiling a GeoCaching policy database contact me directly at mailto:adomatis@waypointwherehouse.com

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Guest c.mathis

quote:
Originally posted by Waypoint Wherehouse:

I recently was contacted by GIS person in the state parks dept. He told me to remove a cache from a particular park,. . .


 

How was this GIS person made aware of your cache?

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Guest Betty

Here is ane-page "approval letter" I just sent. Havn't got a response yet, but person I talked with and gave it to sounded aggreeable. By all means, everybody feel free to use it. You must change just a few things of course. Perhaps I can underline them.

 

Date of letter

 

Name of some person there, not necessarily the one who will approve

His/Her email address if you know it

His/Her title if you know it

Name of the institution

It?s address

It?s city, state and zip

 

Greetings:

 

I solicit approval by the **** administration for me to place a geocache on the *** grounds, to publish on the Internet directions for others to seek and find it, and for them to be permitted to do that.

 

A geocache is a hidden shoebox-sized container, which contains a logbook and a number of low-cost trinkets. It is concealed in an out-of-the-way spot on the grounds of an appealing outdoor location such as a park or trail. People search for the cache by using a handheld electronic global positioning system device (GPS). Finding it, they sign and write comments in the logbook, then take one trinket and leave another. Returning home, finders also report on the global administering Internet site a finders? log that is published as a growing addendum along with that cache?s description/location information page.

 

The location of a cache, and a description of its site, is published free on the Internet site: geocachers.com. This site administers the publishing of descriptions and directions to sites located around the world. It also publishes the personal reports made by people, registered with the site, who hide, seek and locate the caches. As of today, there are 2873 active caches in all 50 states and in 48 countries. In the last 7 days, there have been 1777 new cache-finders? reports written by 826 account holders.

 

An important ancillary benefit of this low-impact family-oriented outdoor hide-and-seek activity/sport is to point out to people at large, interesting-, perhaps nearby- attractions that they may not have been aware of. This benefits the local community, as well as them, by spreading the word about its attractions and by actually inducing people to come visit them. The cache-site description page can include photos of the site?s nearby attractions which may appeal to and attract cache seekers. Once there, they may visit or later return to such other community attractions that they were introduced to in their quest for the cache.

 

I, a **-year resident of ****** County, will assume responsibility to create and hide the cache and to create and post its description. Thereafter I will monitor its condition as well as any impact seekers may be making on its environment, this throughout the duration, perhaps years, that it may remain there. It can be moved or removed entirely (along with its Internet listing) at any time any such impact may be found to be damaging or undesirable.

 

I intend to hide the cache in the rough non-mowed natural growth in the area between the gymnasium and the day care center. Seekers will be walking about in the grassy areas south of the music hall as well.

 

The *** body should have no responsibility or liability for any aspect of this innocent, non-commercial, harmless and safe public outdoor activity.

 

Thank you for your consideration.

 

Sincerely,

 

Your name

Your address

Your city, state and zip

Your phone number your email address

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Guest Betty

ountry and in the state. Also attach a printout of an appealing, typical "cache description" page (complete with some of the "finder's reports") from geocacheing.com of a site in your area. You might also attach (separate from the letter) a draft of the nice things you're going to say about the site you're appealing to.

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Guest ClayJar

Okay, since we seem to have two topics going in one thread, I'll take the liberty of breaking the authorization database thread into a new topic (that way we can keep the revised letters going in here).

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Guest Waypoint Wherehouse

I dunno... I'd tend to believe that GIS guys are into GPS stuff, maybe even own one. It's no stretch to think that he may surf the new looking for waypoints of places he's familiar with. Anybody searching Google for "GPS Maps" will find my site.

 

quote:
Originally posted by c.mathis:

How was this GIS person made aware of your cache?


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Guest Markwell

quote:
Originally posted by Byron:

The chances of outlawing Geocaching is about as good as outlawing the internet...it would not be enforcable.

 

1. Most of us use a nick name or just a first name. Hard to trace.

2. Odds are not very good of any law enforcement agency going after you. They don't even try to catch car thieves. Why would they bother with somebody leaving a tupperware box hidden behind a stump or bush?

3. If a cache is found the worst they can, or would do is put it in the garbage. They pick lots of garbage every day. Why would a small tupper ware box be any different?

4. The only time I know of litter laws being enforced is when there are large amounts of trash dumped.

5. Most cashes are place or attempted to be place in such a manner as to prevent accidental discovery.


 

My point is not about "getting caught." My point is that I know Geocaching to be a wholesome activity that is great for me, my kids and the parks. Since I take my 5-year-old hunting with me, I'd rather be participating in a sport acceptable to all concerned, including the rangers - rather than having to sneak around to Geocache.

 

I'd rather be a good role model to my son and take it up with the authorities that are in charge, and win them to our side. Makes me feel better, and makes me feel better about what I'm teaching my son.

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Guest Betty

I suppose one ought to ask if there are any restrictions or specific prohibitions etc. that the organization might want to specify. I think a blanket permission (allowing any future people to hide caches without further specific permission for each one) may not be good because then the 1st person (and only one) to get permission would in effect have to answer for all of any future hiders' actions.

quote:
Originally posted by Don&Betty:

Here is ane-page "approval letter" I just sent. Havn't got a response yet, but person I talked with and gave it to sounded aggreeable. By all means, everybody feel free to use it. You must change just a few things of course. Perhaps I can underline them.

 

Date of letter

 

Name of some person there, not necessarily the one who will approve

His/Her email address if you know it

His/Her title if you know it

Name of the institution

It?s address

It?s city, state and zip

 

Greetings:

 

I solicit approval by the **** administration for me to place a geocache on the *** grounds, to publish on the Internet directions for others to seek and find it, and for them to be permitted to do that.

 

A geocache is a hidden shoebox-sized container, which contains a logbook and a number of low-cost trinkets. It is concealed in an out-of-the-way spot on the grounds of an appealing outdoor location such as a park or trail. People search for the cache by using a handheld electronic global positioning system device (GPS). Finding it, they sign and write comments in the logbook, then take one trinket and leave another. Returning home, finders also report on the global administering Internet site a finders? log that is published as a growing addendum along with that cache?s description/location information page.

 

The location of a cache, and a description of its site, is published free on the Internet site: geocachers.com. This site administers the publishing of descriptions and directions to sites located around the world. It also publishes the personal reports made by people, registered with the site, who hide, seek and locate the caches. As of today, there are 2873 active caches in all 50 states and in 48 countries. In the last 7 days, there have been 1777 new cache-finders? reports written by 826 account holders.

 

An important ancillary benefit of this low-impact family-oriented outdoor hide-and-seek activity/sport is to point out to people at large, interesting-, perhaps nearby- attractions that they may not have been aware of. This benefits the local community, as well as them, by spreading the word about its attractions and by actually inducing people to come visit them. The cache-site description page can include photos of the site?s nearby attractions which may appeal to and attract cache seekers. Once there, they may visit or later return to such other community attractions that they were introduced to in their quest for the cache.

 

I, a **-year resident of ****** County, will assume responsibility to create and hide the cache and to create and post its description. Thereafter I will monitor its condition as well as any impact seekers may be making on its environment, this throughout the duration, perhaps years, that it may remain there. It can be moved or removed entirely (along with its Internet listing) at any time any such impact may be found to be damaging or undesirable.

 

I intend to hide the cache in the rough non-mowed natural growth in the area between the gymnasium and the day care center. Seekers will be walking about in the grassy areas south of the music hall as well.

 

The *** body should have no responsibility or liability for any aspect of this innocent, non-commercial, harmless and safe public outdoor activity.

 

Thank you for your consideration.

 

Sincerely,

 

Your name

Your address

Your city, state and zip

Your phone number your email address


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Guest Paulwhy

Markwell,

 

I read your revised letter and I like it. You add in the possibity of carte blanche with a suggestion, and cleaned up some other wording. I was thinking of changing Treasures to Trinkets. What do you think?

 

I like Don and Bettys letter, too. It is more legal looking. I am sure that approach will work better with some rangers, while a friendlier approach will work with others. The trick is to try to know in advance what approach a ranger will listen to, or what they will ignore or reject.

 

What do we do now? How can we post this for Geocachers to use?

 

Paulwhy

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Guest Markwell

I'm not really completely happy with it. I like to "wordsmith" a little to make sure I've captured the nuances of exactly what I'm trying to say.

 

Let me re-read it over the weekend, and then I'll see if I want to post the letter either here or on a website...

 

Markwell

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Guest Cache-potato

It seems to me that if money makes the world go 'round we need that as an angle. Tourism is the chief means by which these parks keep the doors open and the ranger his paycheck coming in each week. IMO the fact that geocaching is bringing in others from near and far to search and hide is ultimately beneficial to the park system. The geocacher is going to have to eat, gas up and generally spend some 'cache' on their visit. These tourism dollars mount up. I believe it to be a mutually benefical simbiotic relationship. This angle should be played up as much as possible. In essence we are no different from the people in the campgrounds, on the boats, generic hikers, birders or site seers. We will spend money on our visit and that influx of money into the community and park systems should in and of itself make us welcome visitors.

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Guest Betty

quote:
Originally posted by johnny:

Don&Betty,

 

It appears as though you gave the wrong URL - geocachers.com. Did you meant to write www.geocaching.com ?


 

Oops, yes, geocaching.com, of course, not geocachers.com. Thanks for catching that.

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Guest sbell111

I would also mention 'Cache In-Trash Out'. It should be noted that we not only make an effort to make no impact on the land, but we strive to leave it better than we found it.

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Guest johnny

s would be minimized. If this location is unacceptable, I?d be open to suggestions for an alternate location.

 

Cache Details

For a cache container I would use a translucent 2 ? 3 quart Rubbermaid container. Original contents of the cache will include some toys purchase at Nobbies, including a squirt gun, glow in the dark insects, key chains, and possibly a compact disc or two. People who discover the cache will replace these items with other trinkets. Also in the cache would be a logbook and pencil, as well as a one-time use camera so cache finders could take a picture of themselves that will be published on a web site later. The cache will be hidden on the surface, no digging will be required to hide or find the cache.

 

Cache Maintenance

As caches are discovered, cache hunters typically log their cache in the logbook that stays with the cache and on the Geocaching web site. The Cache owner (the person who placed the cache) is notified via e-mail that the cache was discovered. As the cache owner, I would monitor the number of visits to ensure that there isn?t too much traffic to the cache, thus creating a trail to it. As mentioned previously, Geocaching is relatively new and local participation is currently low. I would also visit the cache during my normal visits to the park, verifying that it is still in good shape and the surrounding area isn?t ?getting trampled to death.? To date, this hasn?t been a problem for any of the area caches, but traffic has been a concern with caches placed near more heavily populated areas, namely California. Should it be determined that the cache is having a detrimental effect on the park, I would promptly remove or relocate the cache at your request.

 

I hope you will approve the placement of a geocache in Parkname. If you would like more information or would like to see the cache I want to place in Parkname, please contact me.

 

Sincerely,

John

 

[This message has been edited by johnny (edited 28 June 2001).]

 

[This message has been edited by johnny (edited 28 June 2001).]

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