Jump to content

Unfavorable news report from Phoenix area paper


Csquared
Followers 0

Recommended Posts

Check out this: Az Republic article

 

Not sure which caches this refers to or who has been out there but remember this people - collecting ANY artifacts can be a federal offense. I know you might think that one tiny piece of pottery isn't a big deal but multiply that by the hundreds of people who may vist an area and it can be swept clean. That stuff has been laying there for a hundred or more years, leave it alone for the next hundred. I know it's tempting but please let's try to follow the old adage: "Take only pictures, leave only footprints."

 

Thanks for your cooperation,

 

Tim Coble

Tucson, AZ

Team CSquared

 

Csquared - Tim & Karen

Link to comment

This seems to sum up the attitude of the stewards of the PUBLIC land in the area:

 

"In Arizona, geocachers can stumble upon Indian ruins, artifacts and petroglyphs, much to the dismay of the sites' stewards" icon_confused.gif

 

I guess no one should visit these places other than the stewards icon_mad.gif

 

Utahbill

Link to comment

This seems to sum up the attitude of the stewards of the PUBLIC land in the area:

 

"In Arizona, geocachers can stumble upon Indian ruins, artifacts and petroglyphs, much to the dismay of the sites' stewards" icon_confused.gif

 

I guess no one should visit these places other than the stewards icon_mad.gif

 

Utahbill

Link to comment

While I agree that some caches may have inadvertently been placed in sensitive areas and should be relocated, I have a problem with some things the article mentions.

 

The fact that they found "ATV tracks" and trash near the sites does not mean they were created/left by geocachers. To imply that geocachers caused the damage simply because they found a geocache near the site is ridiculous.

It's a well known fact that artifact hunters exist and could well have caused that damage themselves - totally unrelated to geocaching.

 

quote:
"We've got these sites that are so remote, and nobody is supposed to be able to get to them."

 

quote:
""I have no problem with the game itself, as long as they stay away from our archaeological sites."

 

Are these sites on private property? If not, why do they refer to them as 'their sites' and imply the general public has no right to visit them?

 

I can understand they don't want people taking artifacts from such places, but I don't see how they can legally prevent people from visiting them, whether a physical cache exists or not.

 

IMO, the author of this article did not do adequate research, rather she simply published one persons opinion of the sport based upon her perception. Next time maybe she'll print facts and not conjecture.

 

-

Link to comment

Not sure how that one should be handled. Reminds me of that cave in France with the prehistoric paintings. When they found that the C02 people were breathing out in the cave while looking at the paintings was causing harm to the artifacts, they just closed it up. Maybe they should put up a 100 Square miles of fencing.

 

I think that geocachers, because of these disscussion forums, should be, or have the oppertunity to be, well-informed about the environment and maintain a healthy reasonable respect for habitat(not to the extreme of course, but I'm sure many of us don't geocache with gas-powered weed-wackers that cut a trail right through the undergrowth to the cache).

 

I think it is obvious that most non-geocaching journalists who do articles on geocaching just hit the main site and do not dwelve into the forums for their research.

 

Cheers!

Link to comment

It looks like the newspaper article makes some generalizations and unfortunatly some conclusions that stereotype us as possibly damaging these sites. There are unthinking and careless people in every group, ours included.

 

I encourage everyone to be sensitive to these valid concerns in cache placement and cache hunting, let these concerns remain in the minority. If a cache is seen to cause damage to the environment encourage the cache owner to relocate it, please.

 

~erik~

Link to comment

Sounded a lot more like an Op/Ed piece than a news article.

Don't people who head out into the mountains and deserts to build Meth labs also stumble across pottery shards?

More proof to me of the number of narrow minded people who want to turn public land into their own private playgrounds.

 

boo2.jpg

 

 

Ahhhh......the moist nose of a German Wirehaired Pointer!

Link to comment

There is an email address at the bottom of the article. If you'd like to put together a well-written response to the reporter, by all means. Keep it civil though.

 

My major concerns about this article are that a) No one contacted me or any other admins on the site and :) we have responded to the Arizona park managers, so I don't understand why it says we haven't.

 

I agree that the article was one-sided, and I believe that we're receiving a "guilt by association" verdict. Person sees cache. Person sees tracks. Person points finger at geocacher. Guilty before proven innocent.

 

Since I'm not local to AZ, can someone from the area respond to this question? Is an archeological area marked as such (Signs, information post, etc)? Would I know if I were in an archeological area? It seemed by the article that they are very well hidden in such a way that no evidence points people there. I would argue that an average person like myself couldn't tell a broken pot from trash, though maybe I could. I don't know from this far northwest.

 

Is it me or are we moving to a Habitrail society? I look forward to the day when we will walk through tubes at parks.

 

space_setup.jpg

 

Jeremy Irish

Groundspeak - The Language of Location

Link to comment

This is the statement I have a problem with:

 

quote:
There are more than 10,900 known archaeological sites in Maricopa County, and more than 50,400 in the state, not including those on tribal lands. Most of the locations have been kept secret for years, and officials have even required new stewards to sign confidentiality agreements.

 

If they have all these sites but no one is supposed to know about them how are we supposed to know we are on restricted land?? The article is totally bised and one sided. It's obvious to me that the writer didn't do enough research, or choose to ignore the positive information about geocaching.

 

Jeremy's letter idea is a good start but sometimes actions speak louder than words. So

here's a challange to the Arizona cachers out there. Send the reporter an e-mail (and the paper's editor for that matter) and invite her on a real cache hunt. See if you can show her what it is really about, and get her to change her opinion. It could be a chance to emphasize the Cache In/Trash Out policy and to explain how we as a group are trying to work with the land managers to avoid sensative areas (when we know about them).

 

Just MHO.

 

smile02.gif If ignorance is bliss, why aren't there more happy people??

Link to comment

What's a PWC?

 

"Most of the locations have been kept secret for years, and officials have even required new stewards to sign confidentiality agreements."

 

-I also wonder if many people visit these sites and don't even know that they are at an archaeological site? Humans from the past would have been attracted to interesting rock formations, sheltered areas in the desert, stream beds, etc. .- just like we are. If the area is not marked in some way, what makes a visitor a "vandal"?

The article says there are over 50,000 in AZ + those on tribal lands. It makes me wonder how many of them are just a spot where one pottery shard or arrowhead was found?

 

"All the artifacts, mostly pottery shards, at one rock shelter in the White Tank Mountain Regional Park were stolen, making the site meaningless."

- So were these shards just allowed to sit there? If they had archaeological value, why weren't they taken to a museum? I realize all the sites can't be archaeologically excavated immediately, but if shards are visible on the ground, why weren't they catalogued? I'm certainly not defending "pothunting," but if the items are left there unprotected, why should anyone be surprised that eventually somebody will take them?

Link to comment

Well, the article did bother to solicit feedback from local enthusiasts, and quoted other agencies as not having observed any problems.

 

If the core assertion, that despite geocaching.com's rules some caches are at archeological sites, then you better save your breath complaining about the stewards and do a better job of self policing...

 

-jjf

Link to comment

I received an email from an outdoorsman in Arizona, and just asked to see if I could repost their email. The gist was that archeological spots in Arizona are not marked at all, so to a reasonable individual it may not be obvious.

 

Regardless, permission should be given before placing a cache. Unfortunately in the "real world," many people are introverted and this is a difficult step to take for many.

 

Jeremy Irish

Groundspeak - The Language of Location

Link to comment

Just read the article at lunch at work and immediately came here! I can't believe that a "reporter" would print such an article (FRONT PAGE TOO!) without including any quotes or information from Geocachers... just from some cranky people who seem to be trying to keep people AWAY from our natural and historical resources. I would think that these "stewards" would be proud to share these archaeological sites with the rest of us. But alas, is doesn't seem to be so.

 

It is also unfortunate that this "reporter" (and I will keep that term in quotes since it applies so very loosely) didn't even seem to bother to do any research connected with this article. When I logged on to geocaching.com today the FIRST thing I noticed was the large "Cache in, Trash out" notice on the front page of the site. Hmm... yes, sounds like a site for a bunch of vandals. How very frustrating to have your state's most popular newspaper depicting you as a vandal, trespasser, and criminal on the front page of the paper. It seems that this Shelly Rasmussen called up the paper and got her side of the story told and that the reporter wasn't intellegent enough or thoughtful enough to recognize that there are two sides to every story.

 

Now that I'm done venting, I'd like to personally encourage all of the Arizona geocachers that see this to write a coherent, non-ranting letter to the Arizona Republic, christina Leonard (the author), and heck... maybe even this Shelly woman decrying your outrage at such a slanderous piece of "journalism".

 

Last side note (I swear): Doesn't it make you wonder about all those other articles you read in the paper? Journalism slanted? NEVER!

Link to comment

The article erroneously represents Geocachers as being only motivated by the selfish personal gain of collecting treasure from caches, and that they selfishly use public lands for their materialistic quests without any consideration or respect for the environment on which they play.

 

Hikers, are perceived as good, because they roam for the pure pleasure of being in the great outdoors. Geocachers, are perceived as bad because they trample the environment in their unrelenting quest for material gain (kind of like the mining industry). Unfortunately, I believe that the concept of the "physical cache" is what easily allows this distorted perspective to occur.

 

I speak only for myself, but I do not believe the game would be greatly diminished if some physical caches were replaced by really good virtual ones. My main motivation for Geocaching is to get out into the fresh air and visit really interesting out-of-the way sites, that I would have never normally gone to. Virtuals are not quite as fun as looking for the "treasure", but for me treasure hunting is a very minor (almost insignificant) part of the game.

 

Whether we like it or not, I think that virtual caches will necessarily become much more prevalent in sensitive areas. They will reduce the potential for criticism and will take away a public land managers’ ability to interfere with the game. I am not advocating the elimination of physical caches, but I don’t think it can hurt to encourage really good virtual caches.

 

You may not agree with what I say, but I will defend, to your death, my right to say it!(it's a Joke, OK!)

Link to comment

I think Seneca is on to something very important. The perception that we are on a quest for an item, rather than the experience of the quest. Sadly mistaken, I'm sure most will agree. It will stink when the day comes that all caches need to be virtual.

 

By the way, was a cacher ever found with pottery shards in hand? Or can all of the truly evil "archeological relic hunters" (a huge racket by the way) use the same foot trails that we as cachers use to get into these sensitive areas? (not saying we created the initial trails BTW)

 

It's a game folks..........

Link to comment

I think the article is a free advertisement for GeoCaching .. although as everyone has mentioned somewhat slanted to the typical news negative. No one wants to read that the geo cache folks came and did good, possibly picking up trash along the way, it just isn't good Front Page material. Truman Peters says "its not a good game" .. Based on what, his expert opinion? Based on all of the geo cachers that he has met and interviewed? Based on the fact that he took a cache because he didn't know what it was? He is a steward at Lake Pleasant and guess what, its not a good lake. People die there all the time. I don't know how the AZ Republic article relating to damage to these sites ties to GeoCaching specifically, I still think its the typical .. If you don't understand it, it must be bad.

Link to comment

[Not sure how that one should be handled. Reminds me of that cave in France with the prehistoric paintings. When they found that the C02 people were breathing out in the cave while looking at the paintings was causing harm to the artifacts, they just closed it up. Maybe they should put up a 100 Square miles of fencing.]

 

Wasn't there a museum a couple of years back that wanted to ban all elderly folks because they were ruining the paintings with their flatuence?

 

I guess geocachers are the new target of the PC crowd. Sure, I love the forests and nature and all that, but I don't think God (is it pc to mention Him?) put them there to be looked at in pictures and not physically enjoyed. icon_rolleyes.gif I don't bushwhack or destroy the land but I'm going to enjoy life.

 

Hamsters - buy 2 get 10 free!

Draykoh, Yorik, Senyth, Harry, Hermione, Ron, Rubeus, Minerva, Ginny, Jumper, Pounce, Lenny, Squiggy, Micro-Sprite, Midgey and our much loved Boru (RIP)

Link to comment

[Not sure how that one should be handled. Reminds me of that cave in France with the prehistoric paintings. When they found that the C02 people were breathing out in the cave while looking at the paintings was causing harm to the artifacts, they just closed it up. Maybe they should put up a 100 Square miles of fencing.]

 

Wasn't there a museum a couple of years back that wanted to ban all elderly folks because they were ruining the paintings with their flatuence?

 

I guess geocachers are the new target of the PC crowd. Sure, I love the forests and nature and all that, but I don't think God (is it pc to mention Him?) put them there to be looked at in pictures and not physically enjoyed. icon_rolleyes.gif I don't bushwhack or destroy the land but I'm going to enjoy life.

 

Hamsters - buy 2 get 10 free!

Draykoh, Yorik, Senyth, Harry, Hermione, Ron, Rubeus, Minerva, Ginny, Jumper, Pounce, Lenny, Squiggy, Micro-Sprite, Midgey and our much loved Boru (RIP)

Link to comment

Has anybody noticed the picture in the article? It doesn't exactly look like she is hiking an any trail and the photograher probably had to damage some rare habitat or plantlife to get the picture!

 

Hamsters - buy 2 get 10 free!

Draykoh, Yorik, Senyth, Harry, Hermione, Ron, Rubeus, Minerva, Ginny, Jumper, Pounce, Lenny, Squiggy, Micro-Sprite, Midgey and our much loved Boru (RIP)

Link to comment

PWC is a personal watercraft or other known as jetski/waverunner. Many people who own boats hate them and this is the same way where there are people that own pwc's and drive responsible but it's a select few that give them a bad name. There's more but that is the basics and this a geocache site!!!!

Link to comment

I read the article this morning and was saddened by the many assumptions made by the author. You know what? The author probably cares less about geocaching than taking a picture, getting back into the air conditioned vehicle she rode up to the archaeological site, and printing a bunch of garbage.

 

It would be hilarious if someone would cut out the article and start circulating it in the caches themselves!

 

I am new to geocaching and apart from NOT being a "granola" I think this is a great game! I prefer urban caches anyway. I am an air conditioning freak myself.

 

Here's a real challenge...

name of cache: WORD TO YOUR MOTHER

type: virtual

location: photo the Gang tags in south central phoenix without being seen or shot!

 

I'm a little off the point now, but I was obviously disappointed by the negative press. Someone should call out the geocache goons to pay her a vist.

 

What the heck though, tomorrow, no one who was that interested in the article to begin with will remember it anyway.

 

DOWN WIT THE REPUBLIC!!!!!

 

Oh! By the way, did you hear about the guy in yugoslavia that fell asleep in shallow ocean water on the beach and woke up with a barnacle attached to his...well... you get the idea. The nurse couldn't get it off with a pair of tweezers, but that old barnacle finally came off after the guy had an "unplanned" erection! WHOA!

Link to comment

The area around where I live used to be home to the Caddo Indians. Not that any one around here would know that if you ask 'em. There are still arrowheads found everywhere out here. Yikes! We must have developed land over ancient archaeological sites!! Ruined forever! It is true - we do destroy archaology daily. Why there is a secret society in Arizona to protect the sacred shards of pottery there and not here is beyond me.

 

Those of you in Manhattan better watch out.... Just don't pick up junk jewelry in Central Park. It could have been used to purchase the island!!

 

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

wavey.gif Go! And don't be afraid to get a little wet!

Link to comment

As an avocational archaeologist who has excavated throughout North America, I realize the importance of protecting these sites. But to blame Geocachers, without any hard evidence, for their destruction is ridiculious. Pot hunting has been the bane of archaeologists for a long time and has been a major problem in the southwest well before Geocaching started. It is likely that these sites were looted by pot hunters, but because of the presence of a Geocache in the area, we get the blame. I take particular exception to Mr. Peter's comments where he basically lumps us Geocachers with pot hunters.

 

I'm not saying that no Geocacher ever did anything to damage any of these sites, but I doubt that many (if any) did so purposefully. It may well be possible that some well meaning Geocacher found a site littered with broken pottery shards and pulled out his trusty garbabe bag to "trash out".

 

I agree that these areas are not appropriate for placing caches, but since they are largely unlabled as such, it isn't entirely the fault of the cache placer. Even getting permission to place a cache is not necessarily a remedy, since one government agency may not have a clue as to what another is doing.

 

This article is one-sided and poorly researched and the author should be ashamed of herself.

 

"Life is a daring adventure, or it is nothing" - Helen Keller

Link to comment

From: Noll, W E(Z01981)

Sent: Wednesday, August 07, 2002 10:42 AM

To: Geocaching.com

Subject: Arizona Republic Article

 

Good morning. Yep, I'm from Arizona, and know firsthand the parks and types of archaeology they were talking about.

First off, I think the article was middle of the road. If you read the article online, then you may have missed an excellent graphic about how geocaching works and the 'rules'. Obviously, most people (especially in the media) have no clue what a GPS even is, let alone about the great outdoors.

Well, I've been a hunter / hiker for over a dozen years here in Cental Arizona, and have hunted / hiked / climbed from one end of the state to the other. I also own an evil Polaris ATV (and three GPS units)! Most "archaeological sites" are petroglyphs, or rock art. In most cases, they are not marked at all. Some hiking guides will tell you where you can find them, and in some cases, they are as plain as day on well-worn county hiking trails.

In some circumstances, there are cliff dwellings and other very remote sites that are maintained with a high level of state secrecy to prevent the vandalism of sites that may not be easily accessible or thoroughly studied (academically).

Several of the "stewards" consider some rock with writing on it theirs. (In the past, some of these people have removed these artifacts for their backyards!) If you ask me, I believe in respecting the artifact, but in reality, original rock art was nothing more than graffiti and vandalism in their day. Often, you will see "graffiti" marks on petroglyphs from very early settlers and pioneers, evidenced by dates from the 1800s. Was that vandalism, or merely adding to the storybook that a petroglyph is supposed to represent?

I think I can say, without a doubt, that the new sport / game of geocaching is not having an effect on artifact sites. I can't even consider counting the thousands of hours or hundreds of miles I've spent in the desert or in the woods, and I've NEVER found a pottery shard! So in most cases, sites are NOT marked. In Arizona, most 'major' sites are already National Parks or Monuments. If geocachers were the ones stealing from a site, logically, the FIRST person would raid the site, sell the artifacts to galleries in Scottsdale ($$$), and never make mention of it! Also, they fail to mention that almost all of the states forests were closed this summer to ANY activity. People love the outdoors in this state, and probably many people who would have ventured North this summer remained local, and instead visited the desert mountain parks (which are almost always dead in the summer due to the intense heat / lack of water).

W Noll

Tonopah, Arizona

Link to comment

quote:
Originally posted by Jeremy Irish:

Since I'm not local to AZ, can someone from the area respond to this question? Is an archeological area marked as such (Signs, information post, etc)? Would I know if I were in an archeological area? It seemed by the article that they are very well hidden in such a way that no evidence points people there. I would argue that an average person like myself couldn't tell a broken pot from trash, though maybe I could. I don't know from this far northwest.

 

Is it me or are we moving to a Habitrail society? I look forward to the day when we will walk through tubes at parks.

 

Jeremy Irish

Groundspeak - The Language of Location


 

I wrote a rather civil letter explaining that sensationalism sells papers, but humanistic views develops loyal readers. icon_wink.gif

 

Want to share an epiphany? Take a deep breath, hold it, close your eyes and picture how many people have been breathing the same air as you are holding in your lungs right now. Adam and Eve? Possibly. Same thing with water. None of it has been created since the dawn of this world.

 

So, with every breath, you are breathing in an archeological treasure. icon_biggrin.gif

 

Now, I do have a problem with removing artifacts; however, these artifacts should also be cataloged and mapped. When would happen if a sudden storm blew threw, or a herd of animals trampled the area?? I know, we would get balmed for THAT too.

 

Bear

 

I thought I was a little off, then I looked at my GPS and discovered I accurate to 12 ft.

 

Geocachers don't NEED to ask for directions!

Link to comment

quote:
Originally posted by Jeremy Irish:

Since I'm not local to AZ, can someone from the area respond to this question? Is an archeological area marked as such (Signs, information post, etc)? Would I know if I were in an archeological area? It seemed by the article that they are very well hidden in such a way that no evidence points people there. I would argue that an average person like myself couldn't tell a broken pot from trash, though maybe I could. I don't know from this far northwest.

 

Is it me or are we moving to a Habitrail society? I look forward to the day when we will walk through tubes at parks.

 

Jeremy Irish

Groundspeak - The Language of Location


 

I wrote a rather civil letter explaining that sensationalism sells papers, but humanistic views develops loyal readers. icon_wink.gif

 

Want to share an epiphany? Take a deep breath, hold it, close your eyes and picture how many people have been breathing the same air as you are holding in your lungs right now. Adam and Eve? Possibly. Same thing with water. None of it has been created since the dawn of this world.

 

So, with every breath, you are breathing in an archeological treasure. icon_biggrin.gif

 

Now, I do have a problem with removing artifacts; however, these artifacts should also be cataloged and mapped. When would happen if a sudden storm blew threw, or a herd of animals trampled the area?? I know, we would get balmed for THAT too.

 

Bear

 

I thought I was a little off, then I looked at my GPS and discovered I accurate to 12 ft.

 

Geocachers don't NEED to ask for directions!

Link to comment

quote:
Originally posted by seneca:

I speak only for myself, but I do not believe the game would be greatly diminished if some physical caches were replaced by really good virtual ones. My main motivation for Geocaching is to get out into the fresh air and visit really interesting out-of-the way sites, that I would have never normally gone to. Virtuals are not quite as fun as looking for the "treasure", but for me treasure hunting is a very minor (almost insignificant) part of the game.

 


 

U R right, I don't agree with what you say. I like virtuals too, sometimes. But, what I like the most are the multi-part caches that lead you into historic areas, like civil war cemetaries, and teach you history. In the end, though, a little cache trading for the kids as an incentive to sit through all this is better than some over-priced gift shop.

 

Bear

 

I thought I was a little off, then I looked at my GPS and discovered I accurate to 12 ft.

 

Geocachers don't NEED to ask for directions!

Link to comment

When I emailed the reporter, I pointed out that her graphic made no mention of asking permission before placing caches, which was one of her complaints (that people don't ask permission.)

 

I thought her entire article was based on really flimsy evidence, but the graphic really seemed to me to be in poor judgment.

 

Also, upon reading the article, it seemed to me that one volunteer ranger panicked, and didn't take the time to check her facts before calling the media. Knee-jerk reactions will help nobody.

 

Shannah

Link to comment

Just re-read the article and wanted to point out the following:

quote:
There are state and federal laws concerning damaging archaeological sites, and those who geocache could violate a slew of other rules and policies such as trespassing, littering, hiking off-trail and using the land without permits, depending on the land manager.

 

It is very important for ALL persons to obtain a permit from the AZ State Land Department if you plan to use AZ State Trust Land. Over 9.4 million acres are managed by the state and it is mixed in with private and BLM land. If you are involved with OHV use in Arizona you should know some of the best trails run thru the trust land and local law enforcement agencies are becoming more involved in patrolling and ticketing unauthorized users (fines up to $2500).

 

Permits are cheap - $15/yr for an individual, $20/yr for a family (immediate family members). Call for an application (602) 364-2753. For more information check out: ASLD Rec Permit Info

 

Have fun but be smart & safe,

 

Tim

 

Csquared - Tim & Karen

Link to comment

I have noticed at my cache site that all the weeds have been trampled leading up to the cache and I have noticed this on alot of the caches that I have visited. The article mentions that one particular site had never shown any signs of visitors until it was posted on this web site, is this so hard to believe, I don't think so! Were my cache is hidden I don't think there would have ever been enough traffic there to trample all the weeds with out my cache being there. I have seen caches archived here for being religous in nature, but there are numerous caches on this site that are hidden in national parks but yet are never archived, and you would be hard pressed to get me to believe all of these were placed with the permission of the park district.

 

Quote:

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

So, with every breath, you are breathing in an archeological treasure.

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

Reaching just a little here aren't we!

Link to comment

I'm gonna weigh in here. We're AZ people and have hiked and driven Jeep trails, etc. and have also never come across ruins or any archaeological sites that we know of. If we did, we'd look but not touch because we're pretty responsible about things like that. But I resent these people being so extreme as to wanting to make it so no one can ever see any of these things in person, just in pictures. Great way to sell magazines and books I guess. Sure, idiot geocachers that leave trash and destroy things should be punished. But I can see these guys trying to pass laws about geocaching just like they're trying to keep Jeeps and other 4x4's from being able to drive anywhere but paved roads and highways. I think the majority of geocachers are good people who play by the rules. The majority of Jeep people we go out with also play by the rules.

 

-----------

Bill

Jeeps Only!

http://www.jeepsonly.com

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

Link to comment

You are correct that the article did mention the input by a geocacher. It also did mention that there are land stewards that haven't noticed any problems. It also mentioned one person Rand Hubbell, a spokesman for the Maricopa County Parks and Recreation Department. was reported to have said, he supports geocaching and believes most people wouldn't knowingly destroy archaeological sites. The article also states, The Web site does have rules: The game cannot be played on lands maintained by the National Park Service nor on or near archaeological or historical sites. It also advises users to ask permission before hiding on private land. but then rebuts, Still, there are at least 18 known Arizona caches listed on the Internet that are on or near archaeological sites. leaving an impression that we say one thing but don't really care about these sites. It also rebuts the Hubble quote with a comment that he had contacted the website about having caches removed that are on county property and has not heard back yet.

 

The point of my post here is to address the, appearently common, practice of beating somebody, some cause, some organization or some issue to death in the first couple of paragraphs then be fair by pointing out some balance in the middle or end of the story and rebut all the balance with a big WONK on the head.

 

This article was in no way fair or balanced in this issue. It was mentioned by Jeremy that My major concerns about this article are that a) No one contacted me or any other admins on the site and :) we have responded to the Arizona park managers, so I don't understand why it says we haven't The writer, as I pointed out states that Hubble did contact Geocaching.com but didn't get a reply. Based on Jeremy's statement, whether it is the writer or Hubble, someone is mistaken here. None the less, it makes us look like irresponsible, unresponsive and uninterested in the archealogical or environmental concerns. All olive branches that are offered in the article are immediately burned in the the following statements.

 

What really bothers me is that it gives an ILLUSION that the article is unbiased or balanced. It also may recognize that many people will read the first couple paragraphs and formulate their opinions and reactions and move on to the next article. The problem is the other side is offered well after that point where the reader has moved on or formed an irreversable opinion. For those who are willing or interested in reading the whole article it then takes all the statements on the other side and refutes or deminishes them.

 

Going into the 5th paragraph of this post now, most readers have probably moved on long ago. I will end with my concern that,

 

combined with all the ASSUMPTIONS based on what could be coincidence

 

or with no evidance that the ATVer was a cacher

 

or if he/she was, that, that person took a single piece of pottery,

 

or with no evidence other than a trail leading to a cache to PRESUME that the existance of the Lat: Lon: coordinates here on Geocaching.com led some looters to this archealogical site

 

it is clear to me that this story had a predetermined motive and biased conclusion and that the writer and those other land stewards who contributed really didn't seem to have an interest in both sides of the story. They are trying to eliminate Geocaching from the parks or are trying to project blame for other established activities onto the activities of a much smaller less organized group before their popularity and straingth gets too big to deal with.

 

I would agree that the editor, writer and the various agencies mentioned in the article should be contacted with appropriate, fair and rational rebuttals to the concerns and points made. It should be made clear, even if it is with a published editorial reply, that there is a whole other side to the stories assertions that were not adequately solicited before the article was published.

 

 

quote:
Originally posted by jfitzpat:

Well, the article did bother to solicit feedback from local enthusiasts, and quoted other agencies as not having observed any problems.

 

If the core assertion, that despite geocaching.com's rules some caches are at archeological sites, then you better save your breath complaining about the stewards and do a better job of self policing...

 

-jjf


Link to comment

I have noticed at my cache site that all the weeds have been trampled leading up to the cache ... I don't think there would have ever been enough traffic there to trample all the weeds with out my cache being there.

 

Are you planning to move the cache?

 

In my limited experience geocaching I've never actually seen anywhere with significant trampling, but that may be because the areas around here aren't very weedy/grassy, so there's little to trample.

 

There's only one cache I've seen that made me uncomfortable due to its placement; it was in an area that clearly stated to remain on the trail, yet it was unreachable from the trail, and though the cache page said 'no bushwhacking' there's no way anyone could reach it without breaking the brittle branches of the bushes in which it was hidden. I tried to be careful, but couldn't avoid everything; in retrospect, I shouldn't have attempted to retrieve it. It's hard to resist, but the guilt just isn't worth it.

Link to comment

I've mentioned many times that, if it weren't for my daughters, I wouldn't cache at all. All in all, I'd rather be climbing.

 

But, I think that the activity is harmless enough that it should be given reasonable access on public lands, particularly parks and recreational areas.

 

That said, you die hards had better get a clue. If you get worked up because you don't like being portrayed as driven by Happy Meal toys, you really should relax. The fact is, from the outside world's point of view, being obsessed with the hunt, is little better.

 

Regardless of rather it is the trinket or the hunt, the point is that some supposedly sensitive areas are being visited, not for their own sake, but purely for the pursuit of a game.

 

People here can hem and haw, but when you have cachers going out at night, by headlamp, to get the 'first' certificate from a new cache, it is pretty clear that, for some, the surroundings are secondary (if they matter at all).

 

Why should this matter? Math. There are hundreds of millions of people in the US, billions of people on the planet. Most public 'natural' areas would be eradicated if every single person exercised his/her legal right to visit them and perform whatever activity he/she felt like. So, land managers have to balance keeping something of what makes the area worthwhile and allowing people to enjoy it. To them, distinguishing between people who are there to look and enjoy, and those who are just passing through to find a tinker toy is, without cooperation, education, and support, a reasonable point of view.

 

Granted, math is easily dismissed. After all, if people were better at it, Lotto wouldn't be popular. So folks yak about animals making trails without ever stopping to consider that there are probably 10-20 times more people in the LA basin than bears on the whole planet, and than most other large mammals in North America combined.

 

But, land managers, as imperfect as they are, can't ignore math. They are, for the most part, trying to preserve what they are responsible for and keep access as far away from the 'habitrail' experience as supply, demand, and budget will allow.

 

Now, you can all vent that the problem is the stewards, and say the problems they see don't exist, in which case, you will continue to have access problems and bad press. Or, you can take a clue from the other activities that have successfully used advocacy and cooperation to maintain (and, in some cases, expand) access on public lands.

 

-jjf

Link to comment

I do recall another post in another thread where you voiced a similar sentement. However I have to greatly dissagree with you. I think you penned in with a comment when we were discussing the MN situation where an employee of a state park wrote some unprofessional and antagonistic log entries. If I am wrong here, I apologize.

 

However, the issue here is not tearing down the land stewards as much as the improper and unfair assumption that a cache was in the vacinity, therefore it WAS cachers that looted the pottery shards. I am all for the concerns that you mention. Rangers, Stewards, Park Directors... all have the responsibility to preserve and protect the parks for which they are entrusted.

 

In your paragraph, Why should this matter? Math. There are hundreds of millions of people in the US, billions of people on the planet. Most public 'natural' areas would be eradicated if every single person exercised his/her legal right to visit them and perform whatever activity he/she felt like. So, land managers have to balance keeping something of what makes the area worthwhile and allowing people to enjoy it. To them, distinguishing between people who are there to look and enjoy, and those who are just passing through to find a tinker toy is, without cooperation, education, and support, a reasonable point of view. The problem is, THAT IS NOT A REASONABLE POINT OF VIEW. We are dealing here with a policy that is being formulated by many land managers where THEY are determining the value in a park users pursuits. I would ask you, What is the difference in the following scenarios? First, a bird watcher who while wandering through the woods sees a bird perched on a branch of a distant tree. That bird is a little too distant to get a good view. There is also a tree in the way of the birdwatcher. Therefore the person walks, OFF THE TRAIL, into the brush to get a better vantage point to view or photograph the bird. He/she, tramples a patch of a protected plant. Then there is the geocacher who determines there is a cache in a brushy area off of a trail. He/she, ventures off into the brush to look for his prized happy meal toy.

 

The issue here is that both activities are equally destructive to the environment but we are not hearing mention of the birdwatchers destroying the environment. Both are engaging in the exact same pursuit. Hiking, Biking, Climbing... We both have a prize at the end of our hunt. Them a view at a pretty bird or maybe a photograph. Us a happy meal toy. Who has the right to say that I am not permitted to hike through the woods or desert for a dime store rubber lizzard while the other person can trample anything they want because their reward is more valuable. After all, as has been mentioned, it may not be the lizzard that we are seeking. It may be the thrill of the hunt. Just like the birdwatcher may not really be out there seeking a log entry of a rare bird but the thrill of hunting it down and bagging it on film. Or, maybe both the cacher and the birdwatcher may be grossly obese and in desparate need of some exercise and this is the pursuit that they choose to get off their fat #$$3$ and get the cigarette smoke out of their lungs and loose some weight.

 

I guess I have ranted a little but to me the issue is that we are all tax paying owners of these wilderness and archealogical sites. We all have equal right to enjoy these resources. What the issue is here is fairness. It is not up to the forest rangers to determine if my health, prized bird photo or happy meal toy is worthy of being pursued in his park or forest. It is his job to make sure that EVERY HIKER regardless of what they are hiking for, is pursuing their recreation in a legal and permissable fashon. If these land stewards were talking about pursuing those looters that are taking archealogical treasures and holding them responsible that would be one thing. But the article in this issue did not express that. It expressed, unfairly I believe, a desire by the land stewards to blame the theft of these artifacts on Geocachers. An assertion that I feel is not adequately supported by evidence.

 

As for your statements, Now, you can all vent that the problem is the stewards, and say the problems they see don't exist, in which case, you will continue to have access problems and bad press. Or, you can take a clue from the other activities that have successfully used advocacy and cooperation to maintain (and, in some cases, expand) access on public lands. First, I didn't hear anyone state that the problem IS THE STEWARDS, or that the problems they see don't exist. What I have read is that there are SOME stewards that are seeking a path of least resistance by trying to attribute these problems on us when there are people engaging in other activities, many the same as ours, that may also be responsible. And, that their ignorance of others possible responsibility is unfair to us. And, I point out that it is not just land stewards, rangers or park directors. It is also reporters and certain environmental groups that are unfairly attributing these damages on us without seeking our input. To me, the problem has nothing to do whether we are hunting ammo boxes or an elusive beaver in the woods. As I said, we are all hikers, bikers, climbers...

 

Your point about advocacy and cooperation? That is the loundest point that I hear on all these threads. I have heard time and time again about inviting the reporter or a ranger on a cache hunt and explain it to them. Write a rational and non ranting letter asking to have a meeting with a ranger and discuss the concerns. The problem is that LIFE IS A TWO WAY STREET. Just like they said in the article that Rand Hubble(?) tried to contact Geocaching.com for assistance and has not received a reply, I have heard many cachers say they emailed wrote or called their parks or forest officials and have not received a response. You are right though. Advocacy or lobbying and cooperation is the proper path to take. However I think cachers have a right to be concerned about the press that is being put out there. And if we have to rant a bit that is fine too. I would just ask, Keep it civilized though.

 

OK, I am done ranting for now. Maybe more later. icon_biggrin.gif

Link to comment

I do recall another post in another thread where you voiced a similar sentement. However I have to greatly dissagree with you. I think you penned in with a comment when we were discussing the MN situation where an employee of a state park wrote some unprofessional and antagonistic log entries. If I am wrong here, I apologize.

 

However, the issue here is not tearing down the land stewards as much as the improper and unfair assumption that a cache was in the vacinity, therefore it WAS cachers that looted the pottery shards. I am all for the concerns that you mention. Rangers, Stewards, Park Directors... all have the responsibility to preserve and protect the parks for which they are entrusted.

 

In your paragraph, Why should this matter? Math. There are hundreds of millions of people in the US, billions of people on the planet. Most public 'natural' areas would be eradicated if every single person exercised his/her legal right to visit them and perform whatever activity he/she felt like. So, land managers have to balance keeping something of what makes the area worthwhile and allowing people to enjoy it. To them, distinguishing between people who are there to look and enjoy, and those who are just passing through to find a tinker toy is, without cooperation, education, and support, a reasonable point of view. The problem is, THAT IS NOT A REASONABLE POINT OF VIEW. We are dealing here with a policy that is being formulated by many land managers where THEY are determining the value in a park users pursuits. I would ask you, What is the difference in the following scenarios? First, a bird watcher who while wandering through the woods sees a bird perched on a branch of a distant tree. That bird is a little too distant to get a good view. There is also a tree in the way of the birdwatcher. Therefore the person walks, OFF THE TRAIL, into the brush to get a better vantage point to view or photograph the bird. He/she, tramples a patch of a protected plant. Then there is the geocacher who determines there is a cache in a brushy area off of a trail. He/she, ventures off into the brush to look for his prized happy meal toy.

 

The issue here is that both activities are equally destructive to the environment but we are not hearing mention of the birdwatchers destroying the environment. Both are engaging in the exact same pursuit. Hiking, Biking, Climbing... We both have a prize at the end of our hunt. Them a view at a pretty bird or maybe a photograph. Us a happy meal toy. Who has the right to say that I am not permitted to hike through the woods or desert for a dime store rubber lizzard while the other person can trample anything they want because their reward is more valuable. After all, as has been mentioned, it may not be the lizzard that we are seeking. It may be the thrill of the hunt. Just like the birdwatcher may not really be out there seeking a log entry of a rare bird but the thrill of hunting it down and bagging it on film. Or, maybe both the cacher and the birdwatcher may be grossly obese and in desparate need of some exercise and this is the pursuit that they choose to get off their fat #$$3$ and get the cigarette smoke out of their lungs and loose some weight.

 

I guess I have ranted a little but to me the issue is that we are all tax paying owners of these wilderness and archealogical sites. We all have equal right to enjoy these resources. What the issue is here is fairness. It is not up to the forest rangers to determine if my health, prized bird photo or happy meal toy is worthy of being pursued in his park or forest. It is his job to make sure that EVERY HIKER regardless of what they are hiking for, is pursuing their recreation in a legal and permissable fashon. If these land stewards were talking about pursuing those looters that are taking archealogical treasures and holding them responsible that would be one thing. But the article in this issue did not express that. It expressed, unfairly I believe, a desire by the land stewards to blame the theft of these artifacts on Geocachers. An assertion that I feel is not adequately supported by evidence.

 

As for your statements, Now, you can all vent that the problem is the stewards, and say the problems they see don't exist, in which case, you will continue to have access problems and bad press. Or, you can take a clue from the other activities that have successfully used advocacy and cooperation to maintain (and, in some cases, expand) access on public lands. First, I didn't hear anyone state that the problem IS THE STEWARDS, or that the problems they see don't exist. What I have read is that there are SOME stewards that are seeking a path of least resistance by trying to attribute these problems on us when there are people engaging in other activities, many the same as ours, that may also be responsible. And, that their ignorance of others possible responsibility is unfair to us. And, I point out that it is not just land stewards, rangers or park directors. It is also reporters and certain environmental groups that are unfairly attributing these damages on us without seeking our input. To me, the problem has nothing to do whether we are hunting ammo boxes or an elusive beaver in the woods. As I said, we are all hikers, bikers, climbers...

 

Your point about advocacy and cooperation? That is the loundest point that I hear on all these threads. I have heard time and time again about inviting the reporter or a ranger on a cache hunt and explain it to them. Write a rational and non ranting letter asking to have a meeting with a ranger and discuss the concerns. The problem is that LIFE IS A TWO WAY STREET. Just like they said in the article that Rand Hubble(?) tried to contact Geocaching.com for assistance and has not received a reply, I have heard many cachers say they emailed wrote or called their parks or forest officials and have not received a response. You are right though. Advocacy or lobbying and cooperation is the proper path to take. However I think cachers have a right to be concerned about the press that is being put out there. And if we have to rant a bit that is fine too. I would just ask, Keep it civilized though.

 

OK, I am done ranting for now. Maybe more later. icon_biggrin.gif

Link to comment

...the earth, the air we breath, and the water we drink has all been around for millions of years, in one form or another.

 

On another note, as I stated, I wrote a civil letter to the reporter and got a response. She would like to talk to me concerning my letter and the points I made.

 

Bear

 

I thought I was a little off, then I looked at my GPS and discovered I accurate to 12 ft.

 

Geocachers don't NEED to ask for directions!

Link to comment

quote:
Originally posted by Kite & Hawkeye:

Are you planning to move the cache?


 

The point that I was trying to make was by placing a cache you get quite a few people visiting the same concentrated area, so the surrounding area around the cache takes a beating. I personally don't see the harm done by the article in the paper, I think the placement of the caches in question is what has caused the harm. People are going there looking for caches and whether intentional or not they have to be making an impact on the ground surrounding the cache. The cache that I have placed is off the trail and none of the plants are protected plants, just weeds. It would be a good idea to move it periodically to lessen the impact it has on the surrounding vegetation. It just seems that if anyone says anything bad about geocaching there written off as if they don't know what there talking about, the article made some valid points.

Link to comment

Jar,

 

If photosynthesis rids the earth of water, we are in quite a predicament. Perhaps this is why bottled water is so expensive?!

 

Anyway, Photosynthesis is the process of constructive metabolism by which carbohydrates are formed from water vapor and the carbon dioxide of the air in the chlorophyll-containing tissues of plants exposed to the action of light.

 

(inhale)

 

The by product of photosynthesis is the oxygen we breathe. (sniffffffff ahhhhhhhhh).

 

Now, we know that only God can create something from nothing (ex nihlo), so where does all of the water come from?

 

Well, Jars, I'm glad you asked. The fact is there is no more or less water on the earth than when it was created. WHAT?! YES! ITS TRUE!

 

The Hydrologic Cycle (tecnically called the "water cycle") consists of a series of transfers of water involving the atmosphere, soils, plants, rocks, rivers, lakes, oceans and glacial ice. Water may occur as a liquid, solid (ice) or a gas (water vapor). Water drops are made up of thousands of water molecules, two atoms of hydrogen and one of oxygen, (H2O). An individual water molecule may move rapidly through the hydrologic system in the space of a few days or may be in storage (for example as ice or ground water) for hundreds of years.

 

In short, our friend is correct in saying the air we breathe is the same air that has been around for quite some time (it may consist of Hamster's recycled farts, but hey!) and the water we enjoy while geocaching is a recycled version of itself.

 

Did you guys here about that guy in Yugoslavia?

 

icon_eek.gif

Link to comment

Jar,

 

If photosynthesis rids the earth of water, we are in quite a predicament. Perhaps this is why bottled water is so expensive?!

 

Anyway, Photosynthesis is the process of constructive metabolism by which carbohydrates are formed from water vapor and the carbon dioxide of the air in the chlorophyll-containing tissues of plants exposed to the action of light.

 

(inhale)

 

The by product of photosynthesis is the oxygen we breathe. (sniffffffff ahhhhhhhhh).

 

Now, we know that only God can create something from nothing (ex nihlo), so where does all of the water come from?

 

Well, Jars, I'm glad you asked. The fact is there is no more or less water on the earth than when it was created. WHAT?! YES! ITS TRUE!

 

The Hydrologic Cycle (tecnically called the "water cycle") consists of a series of transfers of water involving the atmosphere, soils, plants, rocks, rivers, lakes, oceans and glacial ice. Water may occur as a liquid, solid (ice) or a gas (water vapor). Water drops are made up of thousands of water molecules, two atoms of hydrogen and one of oxygen, (H2O). An individual water molecule may move rapidly through the hydrologic system in the space of a few days or may be in storage (for example as ice or ground water) for hundreds of years.

 

In short, our friend is correct in saying the air we breathe is the same air that has been around for quite some time (it may consist of Hamster's recycled farts, but hey!) and the water we enjoy while geocaching is a recycled version of itself.

 

Did you guys here about that guy in Yugoslavia?

 

icon_eek.gif

Link to comment

quote:
Why should this matter? Math. There are hundreds of millions of people in the US, billions of people on the planet. Most public 'natural' areas would be eradicated if every single person exercised his/her legal right to visit them and perform whatever activity he/she felt like.

 

Yes, most areas would be ruined. But most people don't visit these areas, so it is unnecessary to impose rules AS IF they will. EXAMPLE: Say a town has a municipal swimming pool- everyone in town has a right to visit it, but many people DON'T. Would it make sense to only allow people to stay for five minutes so that they only use their fair share? Now, it WOULD make sense if everyone else was lined up around the block (or we might say first come, first served and have an occupancy limit). The place would probably become a public health hazard very quickly as well- stricter rules would need to be enacted. We might make odd&even days, hold a lottery, build another pool.

It seems that maybe in CA and a few other parts of the country, the "public pool" is indeed getting too crowded. (Some might even compare LA to a large public urinal- but I wouldn't want to be associated with that kind of childish bashing of the Golden State icon_wink.gif). There are many great smaller parks in my local area that get very little traffic except for "leaf-peeping" season. This is to say that one size doesn't fit all, and I guess we need to work with land managers in responsible ways that are pertinent to local conditions.

 

quote:
It is also reporters and certain environmental groups that are unfairly attributing these damages on us without seeking our input.

Yes, they are getting lots of free press by playing off the novelty of geocaching. It seems all you have to do is call a reporter, blame those pesky new geocachers, and you get a front page story about your cause/concern/pet-peeve. Free publicity for a private organization (help us raise funds to stop the scourge!), or a leverage point for more funding for public sector organizations. (What, me? Cynical?) I would expect many more of these stories to come.

>>Ramping up the "trash-out" photo album eluded to on the main page of the website might be a good way to generate some positive press. It's always better to be on offense.

 

Let the flames begin.

Link to comment

quote:
Why should this matter? Math. There are hundreds of millions of people in the US, billions of people on the planet. Most public 'natural' areas would be eradicated if every single person exercised his/her legal right to visit them and perform whatever activity he/she felt like.

 

Yes, most areas would be ruined. But most people don't visit these areas, so it is unnecessary to impose rules AS IF they will. EXAMPLE: Say a town has a municipal swimming pool- everyone in town has a right to visit it, but many people DON'T. Would it make sense to only allow people to stay for five minutes so that they only use their fair share? Now, it WOULD make sense if everyone else was lined up around the block (or we might say first come, first served and have an occupancy limit). The place would probably become a public health hazard very quickly as well- stricter rules would need to be enacted. We might make odd&even days, hold a lottery, build another pool.

It seems that maybe in CA and a few other parts of the country, the "public pool" is indeed getting too crowded. (Some might even compare LA to a large public urinal- but I wouldn't want to be associated with that kind of childish bashing of the Golden State icon_wink.gif). There are many great smaller parks in my local area that get very little traffic except for "leaf-peeping" season. This is to say that one size doesn't fit all, and I guess we need to work with land managers in responsible ways that are pertinent to local conditions.

 

quote:
It is also reporters and certain environmental groups that are unfairly attributing these damages on us without seeking our input.

Yes, they are getting lots of free press by playing off the novelty of geocaching. It seems all you have to do is call a reporter, blame those pesky new geocachers, and you get a front page story about your cause/concern/pet-peeve. Free publicity for a private organization (help us raise funds to stop the scourge!), or a leverage point for more funding for public sector organizations. (What, me? Cynical?) I would expect many more of these stories to come.

>>Ramping up the "trash-out" photo album eluded to on the main page of the website might be a good way to generate some positive press. It's always better to be on offense.

 

Let the flames begin.

Link to comment

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
Followers 0
×
×
  • Create New...