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Guest Paul Lamble

Getting Permission

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Guest Paul Lamble

ssion from the proper authorities? I mean actually talk to someone who understands the purpose of the cache and says it's okay to stash it.

 

I read that LA Times article about a cache in a park and the rangers saying they didn't know about it but if they found it they would remove it. Obviously the stasher didn't get permission in advance.

 

As this gets more popular, this kind of thing could really hurt the sport. Am I wrong, or are most cachers not bothering with permission?

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Guest fiser

I'm a bit jittery about this aspect of things myself. I'm in the legal profession and have generally been taught to find the problems in a course of action before they happen. (see my posts in "environmental concerns"). I don't think I'd get disbarred for hiding a cache, but I'd rather not deal with the hassle of explaining things to a ranger.

I'm sure park rangers could issue littering tickets, or make a case for vandalism, but the big question is if doing so would be a priority for them. I'm guessing park managers are currently more interested in drunk tourists, people hassling wildlife, and making sure everyone paid to get in.

One thing I've been doing to prevent unwanted attention is to bury my caches, but have a visual clue at the coordinates to say "dig here". I usually put a small, flat-headed thumbtack on a *dead* tree. Difficult to find if you're looking for it, and largely unnoticeable if you're not. I suppose you need trees and loose soil to do this, but it works in the midwest.

Yes, there's been discussion about never burying a cache because of environmental impact, but how about the visual impact of rubbermaid containers, or those giant paint buckets everyone seems so fond of? The trade offs for me point to burying.

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Guest fiser

And, no, I haven't been asking permission.

icon_smile.gif

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Guest fiser

And, no, I haven't been asking permission.

icon_smile.gif

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Guest greg-o

This is a good reason to include the note found on the geocaching site on top in each cache you make.

I'd hope that a Ranger would take the time to open the cache. At which point he'd read the note, he'd be smart enough to realize what he had stumbled across. Maybe he'd even make the connection that it is actually a DRAW to his park, and that is (I'd hope) part of his job to promote people to come to the park!

 

Any ranger-types out there that could shed a bit of light on what they would do upon stumbling acorss a cache?

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Guest WrongWay

Placing caches on public land is a valid issue and something that's sure to come up as the activity expands.

 

For now, what we can do is concentrate on creating a good public image for the activity.

 

Someone mentioned policing litter while you are out caching. This is a great idea.

 

Camping is allowed on public land and just about all the popular campsites I've visited have an abundance of refuse.

 

Take a bin liner, fill it up and drop it off at the park/ranger station on the way out and tell them it's compliments of www.geocaching.com.

 

 

[This message has been edited by WrongWay (edited 03-01-2001).]

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Guest fiser

I like the idea of cachers getting credit for litter/trail maintenance. I've seen many posts about picking up litter as a trade-off for what we hide, but actually saying "Trail cleanup courtesy of www.geocaching.com is a great idea.

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Guest lynnwoods

Hey greg-o, I can give you a ranger opinion. If the cache isn't buried and it isn't in a dangerous or environmentally sensitive place I would leave it alone. Litter isn't an issue as far as I'm concerned, pick up a couple of beer cans and we are even. You might be interested to know that I don't stumble accross caches, I take my GPS and find them just like anybody else. I would like people to contact me before hiding anything here, that would give me the opportunity to OK the site and avoid having to remove one that I felt was badly located. I really think that digging holes is a very bad idea environmentally and I would hope no one would do that here.

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Guest Krepism

I would like to second that motion! I think that could be a good way of saying that we are helping and not hurting.

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Guest greg-o

Thanks for the Ranger POV, Lynn!

 

I agree that cleaning up litter is a great idea. Who knows. I may find a 'use' for some of it... I think there is a saying something like 'One man's trash is another man's cache!', or somthing like that. icon_smile.gif

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Guest greg-o

Thanks for the Ranger POV, Lynn!

 

I agree that cleaning up litter is a great idea. Who knows. I may find a 'use' for some of it... I think there is a saying something like 'One man's trash is another man's cache!', or somthing like that. icon_smile.gif

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Guest doc_api

LOL!

 

Look out! "Empty Pop Can Cache" coming soon to a hiking trail near you.

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Guest makaio

Since a geocache is neither carelessly dicarded (or discarded at all), nor refuse, it's technically not litter, therefore a summons would be invalid.

 

Matt

 

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

www.gpscache.com

10 507069E 5038901N

45.50361N -122.90951W

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Guest Cape Cod Cache

HOW did I guess then Ranger Lynn would answer this ? LOL Alot of the woods that I had as a child are gone now, sub-divisions... The irony was,fire roads were illegal to travel on, but now ruined by houses that don't blend into the landscape. I won't put anything out on the Water Dept roads I bicycle on, I can drink out of the tap better water than can be bought.There isn't an old growth tree for miles, they were taken in 1640-1800's. I'm bringing people away from the 'Tourist' areas to areas I know of because this is my home. I don't piss on my carpet, and won't allow others to mess up my home area either.

KEEP OFF THE DUNES AND BEACH GRASS !

See Ya after Memorial Day !

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Guest trilobites

I've placed 4 caches here in Missouri, one private land, two in city parks, and one in a park operated by a private foundation. In each case, I contacted the responsible agency, explained what I wanted to do, and discussed the possible benifites and disadvantages of placing a cache (there are both). Many here in MO are not aware of the sport and appreciate the "education" and advance notice. In all but one case, I have been given permission with a "look-and-see" attitude. I follow the phone conversations with a letter requesting written permission to place the cache. This may be overboard, but the caches I'm placing are along historic trails or near historic sites and all it takes is one misplaced cache to cast a cloud over the sport. I've seen some rather poorly placed caches already--such along RR right-of-ways which would not make the RR or local officals happy.

Placing caches without informing park managers is inviting trouble. Most park managers I've talked to are not opposed to the idea of caches but some are concerned about high density traffic in a small area. I have already seen trampling around the Santa Fe Trail #1 cache placed in Kansas City a month ago. We may, in fact move that cache to a nearby area where foot traffic off the designated trails may cause less of an impact.Looking at the cache visits, this seems to be more of a problem near urban areas. May caches out in the "sticks" have far fewer visitors. I work for the USGS and am in contact with Park managers all the time. Some managers actually see caches as a way of steering people to places of interest. I would be careful buring caches, some areas have archeological resources that are not made known to the general public (with good reason) and these could be impacted by a cache. The general read I have from park managers is that a few caches are probably fine but none seem to want very many in a given area.

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Guest Paul Lamble

As interest in this sport continues to explode, it is inevitable that as many people are going to find fault with it as there are those who find fun in it.

 

We have to be proactive about winning the public relations war to win public favor or at least tolerance for our sport. Getting permission to place a cache is probably the best thing we can do to achieve this. It implies official acceptance of the sport. Cachers who pick up trash at a site also help the cause. Thoughtful placement of caches to avoid causing environmental issues is yet another.

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Guest BigFig

I have to weigh in with letting the Park/Forest officals know what you are doing.

I really do think that most geocachers are going to cause a lot less damage than yahoos tromping around off the trail and throwing down their beer cans and candy wrappers. I just sent email to the district office of the forest I'm caching in - it's just common sense. This sport is growing by leaps and bounds and it would be unfair to the Forest Service for us to have them find out they have caches hidden on their lands when a reporter or whatever else shows up in their face wanting to know what's going on. Certainly there are areas we don't belong, but the area I live is overrun already by off-road vehicles, lots of foot traffic, MT. bikes, horses - you name it. I can't imagine the forest service getting bent out of shape over an environmentally proactive group like geocachers.

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Guest TLP

I would strongly recommend letting the local federal Land Managers know what you are up to. There are such things as archaeological sites (known and undiscovered) and endangered species out there. Digging on public lands - for whatever reason - can get you hauled off to jail under more than one federal law. BUT - if you have a use permit - you are ok - as long as you cleared it with the front office. Because they won't give you a permit w/out knowing what you are up to . . . And another thing - who is to say your cache is not in the next area to be logged - or marked for a new horse trail - or the next campground sites? Your cache would be destroyed.

And of course - there is always the "public use" issue. National Parks and Forests have management plans that list their uses by the public, frequencies, and numbers of the public that visit. It would be to the land managers' advantage to increase public "uses" or visitor totals for their park or forest- that is how they get their $allotment$ from Congre$$. More people=more use= more money to support that new use. Look at all those sponsored triathlons and bike races and horse trails in our parks and forests. They are supported by the land managers because they are legitmate uses by the public!

Our public lands are ours - but they are federal properties -THERE ARE RULES TO FOLLOW.(And besides, you might not be on YOUR 1/15th acre of land!)

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