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Geocaching.com resondsibility


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So what should I do if I have worked really hard developing a relationship with a land management agency and they voice the following complaint:

 

They want to authorize geocaching, but they have a specific problem with a specific cache.

 

I forwarded the email to geocaching.com, but I get nothing.

 

Should I continue to promote geocaching>?

 

Why won't geocaching.com support itself?

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How long ago? I know the person who answers most of the email sent to gc.com is out near me on vacation the last week or so. I'm guessing that might slow things down a bit.

 

Tae-Kwon-Leap is not a path to a door, but a road leading forever towards the horizon.

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I'm by no means a legal beagle, but I think it is worth pointing out entities that charge for membership become responsible to a certain degree for their membership actions.

 

Take for instance... Napster.

 

Somebody in an official position within geocaching.com should at the very least respond in a positive manner to the issue at hand to prevent the same blackeye that Napster brought upon themselves by failing to take some responsibility until it was too late.

 

If that person is on vacation, it would be my hope the land management agency has enough patience to allow some time for this issue to be resolved in a manner which everybody can come out a winner.

 

Perhaps a temporary archive until resolution is at hand?

 

Cheers!

TL

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quote:
Originally posted by TotemLake:

I'm by no means a legal beagle, but I think it is worth pointing out entities that charge for membership become responsible to a certain degree for their membership actions.

 

Take for instance... Napster.

 

Cheers!

TL


 

Hmmmm, I don't think so. Geocaching.com does not charge to partake. They OFFER a membership you can pay for in order to get some additional services, but the basics, such as listing caches, and archiving them, or answering e-mail, is free. I don't think we should ask them to be responsible for each and every cache, rather, simply be responsible for putting out good guidelines and make a good faith attempt to enforce the guidelines as best they can. Cooperation with land managers is all well and good, but only if their requirements and demands are reasonable.

 

texasgeocaching_sm.gif

"Trade up, trade even, or don't trade!!!" My philosophy of life.

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quote:
Originally posted by Tennessee Geocacher:

solohiker if you would please send the e-mail to me I am the admin for AK, MS and TN and I will see what I can do.

 

Tennessee Geocacher

Geocaching.com Approver

 

Email sent.

 

 

send to:TennesseeGeocacher@geocachingadmin.com


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Napster didn't charge either....

 

Neither did or do Grokster and Kazaa....

 

Geocaching.com is not responsible for the actions of the cache or the cache placers. They are a medium for letting people know where the caches are. With the words from them especially on their stance on things like their logo and how it can be used and the legal mumbo jumbo, I assume they have legal guidance on what they can or can not do.

 

I'm a bit confused on the initial statement of this topic as it was not specific enough. The "land manager has a problem with a certain cache". Your cache, someone elses cache? What is their problem with it?

 

I think having to follow the strict rules of a land manager is somewhat better than not being allowed to place a cache at all. If you don't like their rules, then don't place one. If the cache belongs to someone else, let them know or let the land manager remove it. Also let the approver for that area know the rules of that land manager.

 

Brian Wood

Woodsters Outdoors

http://www.woodsters.com

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Fwiw, Napster did have a paid membership as well as freebie membership. But that's beating a dead horse these days.

 

I also didn't say paid membership was a requirment, merely pointed out geocaching.com does charge for membership.

 

But you folks really are missing the point here.

 

Geocaching.com does have some responsibility only in the fact there is an approval process in place for placing caches that may be associated with it. If it turns out the cache is in a sensitive area, then the cache approval is in error. You can go as far as to say the cache placer was responsible to ensure the proper permissions and the hide was properly in located, but when geocaching.com sticks their seal of approval on it, it does make them culpable to a certain defineable level.

 

That's the big reason why there is encouragement to have local approvers for the area. They normally will have a little more knowledge than say someone on the West coast about an area on the East coast. Granted, it is a big job, and it really does fall on the hider to ensure the appropriate steps have been taken, and the appropriate location has been chosen but the approval process unwittingly pulls in geocaching.com as partially responsible.

 

Napster learned the hard way they couldn't say they weren't responsible for the unchecked and unhampered file sharing of copyrighted material. They tried to argue that it was the file sharing member's responsibility not theirs. They lost that arguement because there was an approved process to allow it to happen.

 

Again, I'm not a legal beagle, but there are similarities here that bears the need to note the possibility. Merely change the unwitting approval of passing copyrighted material to the unwitting approval of hiding in sensitive areas.

 

Jeremy et al have taken large strides to educate and try to keep this from happening because they did recognize the partial responsibility and are very encouraging to their members to be aware of their individual responsibility. If you take a look at the rules for placing a cache, you'll see there is a requirement in place for the approval of the hide to happen. Another step largely promoted here is CITO because it is a very public advertisement of how sensitive we, as a membership, are to the nature of our natural resources.

 

Btw, this all really hinges on whether geocaching.com did approve the cache or not. Because the cache ID was not identified here (and wisely so), this discussion is merely academic.

 

Personally, I applaud Tennessee Geocacher for stepping up to see what can be done.

 

Cheers!

TL

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Sometimes you have to take matters in your own hands.

 

Depending on the nature of the cache, the cache owner, the land manager, and your own feelings, you might have to get more aggressive than a single email to contact@geocaching.com.

 

If the land manager wants the cache gone then it's his right for it to be gone, simple as that. If he wants it moved, then it should be moved.

 

Contacting your local approver--found by looking at the bottom of your own cache pages--will get a faster response. Though I did get an email from Jeremy directly on the first I had problems with, the approvers are much quicker in this respect. TPTB have a lot on their plate and minutiae is better handled by local/regional approvers.

 

Here's what I would do:

 

- Email the owner and voice the land manager's concerns. Work with the owner if need be to get things corrected. Always try to work with the cache owner first before taking more drastic steps on your own.

 

- If no response for cache owner, ask the land manager what he wants. If he wants it gone, post a note to the cache with "Should be archived" and the reasons. If not prompty archived, email an approver to bring it to their attention.

 

If the land owner wants it gone NOW, then I suggest picking it up and posting such on the cache. Make sure to explain to him that until the cache is archived and everyone gets the message they might have a couple more visitors. Put out something that is obivous and in the open in the location of the cache, or first leg of the multi, stating the cache is no more.

 

It is my not-so-humble opinion that it's better to keep the land owner happy than the few people that might hunt a recently archived/removed cache. You show that we as a group are willing to work with them then they are less likely to ban caching on their property.

 

Another thing we have to consider is the fact as more people drop out--whether by design or drifting off--we, as a community, have to take care of those abandoned caches however it needs doing. Maybe an official guidelines of handling problem caches are in order?

 

CR

 

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Totemlake, I understand what you are talking about and somewhat agree to a point. Especially the "approval" system now in place.

 

But I tend to think there is some difference in the two (Geocaching.com and Napster). Napster says, we aren't do anything wrong. Yes they were promoting trading copyrighted material. They knew it was happening and still allow it. They were guilty because they were a "hub". The files were coming through them and not going between the filesharers like Grokster and Kazaa does (and many others). That is why until now, that they haven't been able to go after those type of companies like Napster. They are now talking of lawsuits against individual file sharers. So be it.

 

Geocaching.com doesn't promote the placing of caches on private property or other properties not wanting Geocaching allowed. Thus the thread that Solohiker started about the Arkansas State Parks system. They didn't want it, but have made some ammends to allow it somewhat under their guidance and control. Giving what an approver is probably given and knowing what they know, it's hard for them to know exactly what is allowed and where. If they had to seek out permission from everyone that owns or manages land on caches, then it would take a lot longer for a cache to be approved. I think responsibility needs to be placed more on the placer and cacher than the Geocaching.com website. Geocaching.com is similar to a newspaper. They publish what others read. They can not be responsible for the content. People who read the paper are subscribers and pay for the service. Geocaching.com puts the facts out. The subscriber takes the information. If someone takes out an ad with the newspaper and an error was made by the placer of the ad, then is the newspaper in the wrong for that?

 

I do agree that the approval system could use some work. It's up to them to learn it proactively or reactively.

 

Brian Wood

Woodsters Outdoors

http://www.woodsters.com

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Ah these are the debates I live for. icon_biggrin.gif

 

Woodsters Outdoors,

 

I agree with you in content. Please allow me to nitpick just one thing in your comments. Ads not withstanding... If a newspaper falsely publishes what the subscriber reads, they are liable for libel and damages in spite of their first ammendment blanket. So they do what they can to corroborate the facts prior to publishing and make corrections when required to do so. Otherwise they lose a reputation which is most harmful to the paper.

 

Geocaching.com does the same thing in as much as they can and make corrections on the fly when required to do so. That's taking ownership of their part of the responsibility. They do have a disclaimer, but by nature, these are tough to defend until the courts recognize them as valid and toss the lawsuits out as frivolous.

 

Ads are a different kind of beastie altogether but I understand your analogy. Where does the responsibility start and stop? and that's a good question. Well... this is an evolving sport, even as baseball and football still are, and most notable, soccer with the proposed play changes now on the table. The level of responsibility will slide back and forth as this sport grows.

 

Cheers!

TL

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Hmm. I differ with you somewhat too. Aren't debates great!?

 

A newspaper would be responsible only for what they write. For example an employee of theirs. A person can write a 'Letter to the Editor' and are not responsible for it. Of course they hopefully would use good judgement and not print anything that would discriminate or offend, but of course that doesn't happen. People are offended all the time or at least sya they are.

 

An approver would hold the same place as an ad placer or typesetter. They don't have any responsibility over the article or ad. Same as Geocaching.com does not promote responsibility for caches. They simply have somewhat rules in place to go by so that people will not be freely posting a lot of crap. Even when searching for caches on their site, each and every cache page has a disclaimer that they are not responsible. They also have the following placed on the guidleines for placing caches "You are ultimately responsible for the cache so make sure you know the rules for the area where your cache is being placed."

 

Brian Wood

Woodsters Outdoors

http://www.woodsters.com

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About lawsuits...if they are going to happen, they are going to happen. Someone will be offended by a travelbug somewhere. Yeah it will be stupid, but it will happen. Who will be responsible for it?

 

Also, here's another point. I saw a thread and have not even read it but it's title was list of Wheelchair Accessible caches. It's a very good point. Now is geocaching.com going to responsible for not promoting caches exclusively for handicapped? Hopefully you don't have to go through a door somewhere that a wheelchair can not go through.

 

Is geocaching.com responsible for those who get hurt while searching for a cache? I'm sure some courts will see the lawsuits as frivolous. But, it will happen. It's a matter of time. I think Jeremy has or at least hope he has some legal guidance there and has to let them handle the headaches as they come. If not, then no one could anything. Just hopefully courts will start turning the books on frivolous lawsuits and start holding the one suing responsible for the time and assess additional penalties.

 

Brian Wood

Woodsters Outdoors

http://www.woodsters.com

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I think we are in agreement it is a grey area that bears thought. This is the only reason I brought it up in the first place. As noted by virtue of the way the thread started, somebody already felt geocaching.com is in a position of responsibility by means of approving the cache. I don't think this will be the last time we'll see this assumption.

 

Most of us are aware of the hazards of hiking and tresspassing, amd are aware of the sensitivity of our ecosystem. But there will be those that expect to be led by the hand and those whom say screw the rules and land management relationships, and that is where the problem begins. Even though approval really means the cache "appears" to meet the provided guidelines to be allowed to be listed on geocaching.com, there will be the underlying assumption which is still easily construed, that approval means everything required of the hider has been validated, including permissions and the avoidance of sensitive areas.

 

Cheers!

TL

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quote:
Originally posted by TotemLake:

I think we are in agreement it is a grey area that bears thought. This is the only reason I brought it up in the first place. As noted by virtue of the way the thread started, somebody already felt geocaching.com is in a position of responsibility by means of approving the cache. I don't think this will be the last time we'll see this assumption.

 


 

Right on!

 

Brian Wood

Woodsters Outdoors

http://www.woodsters.com

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A. It would help immensely if you actually indicated *what* cache you have problems with in this post.

 

B. Geocachers are responsible for their own caches, and their own listings. We are, as other said, a listing service. If you do not believe that consider yourself informed. If you do not agree, REMOVE your account from this site NOW. We never indicate that we own your cache. The listing itself can be removed from the site and volunteers help with that process.

 

Napster was trading files. Until we start placing caches for you to find with illegal software in them, we can neither acknowledge their placement or be responsible for them. We're more like eBay, or a newsgroup.

 

Unfortunately for folks that seem to not understand the various requirements for viewing caches on this site we may have to go to a full implementation of "register to view" or "click to agree" regulations. Thanks! Great to know we have to create more hoops for you to jump through.

 

C. I looked up any emails received by solohiker's email address on file. No emails have been received so far from that address. However I do know there are 250 emails in the queue at the moment. This is, of course, a vacation week and I've already spent the last two FULL days answering emails. Sorry I can't respond to your delicate timeline. I do know by late last evening I was down to 3 days ago.

 

D. You know that "This cache should be archived" log type? Use it. It goes to a faster queue for reviewing caches.

 

E. Lastly, email the cache owner next time if you have a problem with a cache, leave a note on the cache page so people know about it. There are many other ways to help resolve a cache that shouldn't be there without a "shoot an email and forget" on Thursday night at 9:00pm.

 

frog.gif Jeremy Irish

Groundspeak - The Language of Location

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I think there are two different issues being discussed here.

 

One is the legal responsibility of geocaching.com for caches placed. Because of geocaching.com's position of only being a listing service and the fact there are completing websites out there that the cache can be listed, they are not responsible for the cache and any harm that comes to or by it. Even if the cache were to be listed on a highly sensitive military base, GC.com is not responsible for any issues that might arise because unauthorized persons might try to access the cache.

 

Same goes for liablity for physical damage to property or self. You should know your limitations physically and mentally, you should know where you are at all times, and you should know what you are doing is legal at all times. This is called personal responsibility. Certainly we know about frivilous lawsuits because people seem to not be able to take personal responsibility, but then I guess for people to not know about the disclaimer link on every cache page then I don't know what more Jeremy can do.

 

Now on to the other issue. GC.com's responsibility to the geocaching community. I think this very evident that TPTB take responsibility for promoting a positive atmosphere for geocaching. They have policies for placing caches only where authorized and to avoid negative perceptions to land owners. But this not any more of a responsibility than any of us. If a cache is placed where only a handful can legally access the cache, it is our responsibility to request the cache be archived. If the cache is dangerous, like on active RR tracks, it's our responsibility to point out the cache should not have been approved. It is then GC.com's responsibility to research the issue and archive it if it is indeed placed illegally. We, as a group, have this responsibility and GC.com being part of this group is responsible, as well.

 

So, is GC.com responsible for listing or de-listing a cache? Yes, but no more so than the geocaching commmunity at large.

 

So who has the ultimate responsibility of listing or de-listing a cache? The owner. They are the one's that actually own the cache and cache discription. They are the ones that can most easily remove and archive the cache. They are the ones who put it there in the first place. (...or adopted it.) They can list it on another site. The cache owner is the one who can do what they will with a cache. Therefore, they have the ultimate responsibility.

 

In short, GC.com is no more responsibile for any particular cache than the rest of us as a whole.

 

But we all are somewhat responsible for all of the caches around us. Let's not forget that.

 

CR

 

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quote:
Originally posted by Jeremy:

So you start with a cheap shot and your response is a one liner? Thanks.

 

frog.gif Jeremy Irish

Groundspeak - The Language of Location


 

I forwarded you an email. It would help if your email address did not have [NOSPAM] in the middle of it. Maybe you will get the last one I sent.

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quote:
Originally posted by solohiker:

quote:
Originally posted by Jeremy:

So you start with a cheap shot and your response is a one liner? Thanks.

 

frog.gif Jeremy Irish

Groundspeak - The Language of Location


 

I forwarded you an email. It would help if your email address did not have [NOSPAM] in the middle of it. Maybe you will get the last one I sent.


Yeah, and open up to forum-scouting programs that harvest email addresses?

 

Took sun from sky, left world in eternal darkness bandbass.gif

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Bracket, you don't tell the boss to shut up...lol...just kidding...

 

Solo, alot of people put the NOSPAM in the middle so they won't get spammed. They do that because bots will forage email addresses and spam them. I can forward you over a 100 a day I get, give or take 10, if you would like. I personally have not added the spam in my email addresses to include my email addresses on my outdoors website. As a result, I get more than enough, but I don't complain about it except to my wife. And even then I accuse her of submitting my email addresses for the Viagara ones and oenile implants...lol icon_eek.gif

 

Brian Wood

Woodsters Outdoors

http://www.woodsters.com

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quote:
Originally posted by solohiker:

I forwarded you an email. It would help if your email address did not have [NOSPAM] in the middle of it. Maybe you will get the last one I sent.


 

quote:
Originally posted by solohiker:

Believe me I know about spam.

 

Can you say spam filter?

 

They work.

 

How does someone run a business without posting a valid email address? I guess they run it like this.[


Uhmmmm.... Where the hell where YOU looking?

The email address I see listed at the bottom of every forum page is a valid email, without NOSPAM inserted in it.

The Contact Us link thats posted on EVERY page of geocaching.com has the same VALID address listed more times then I even care to count. Even Jeremy's PERSONAL profile page lists the VALID email contact.

I would think just about everyone who has been online more then 2 weeks knows that if you do see myNOSPAMaddress@email.com as a persons email, that you delete the caps. Come on!

 

Tae-Kwon-Leap is not a path to a door, but a road leading forever towards the horizon.

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Thanks. I received the email but other than mentioning the general area, I don't have the actual cache listing to go on. Whatever you see first, this post or the email, please let me know what the waypoint name (GC code), coordinates, or nickname of the cache so I can actually find it. Any more info would help.

 

Use the "Contact US" link on every page of the web site. The email is easily clickable on that page and does not contain NOSPAM in it. My profile is me, and as indicated in my profile do not email me directly. We pay a lot of money to manage emails coming into Geocaching.com and ensure they are tracked and responded to.

 

I looked up history for the email address you sent me and, again, no email was received from you. Since you indicated you may have forgotten to remove the NOSPAM I will assume we never received an email from you. Try not to jump to flawed conclusions next time.

 

Yes, I've read about these so called "spam filters" - what incredible feats of technology! However I don't really plan to help them out any more than I need to. Again - personal profile, "Contact Us" link on every page of geocaching.com

 

frog.gif Jeremy Irish

Groundspeak - The Language of Location™

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OT: Re: Spam Filters

 

SpamAssassin is da bomb. If it weren't for SA, e-mail would be useless to me. I get about 300-400 spams per day and SA catches every one, with the only false positives being stuff I didn't really need to see anyway (who REALLY needs to see the newsletter from Bigfoot.com?)

 

Other than that, I'm staying out of this thread, except to say that I agree with CR about people not taking their own personal responsibilities seriously (of course the coffee is hot - Duh!).

 

We now return you to your regularly scheduled bickering.

 

--

Random quote:

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My original email was sent to one of the approvers. Admittedly I have had problems with my ISP server connecting with AOL accounts, but I had no indication that this email was not delivered.

 

Bringing this issue up in the forums was probably not the best tactic, but it seems to be an effective solution.

 

Thanks to everyone at geocaching.com for their support.

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quote:
Originally posted by solohiker:

Believe me I know about spam.

 

Can you say spam filter?

 

They work.

 

How does someone run a business without posting a valid email address? I guess they run it like this.


 

I don't think that was a fair comment to Jeremy or Geocaching.com in whole. Mopar cleared up that there were email addresses all over the site without the NOSPAM in it. When you sign up it tells you that you can put the NOSPAM in your email. It doesn't even have to say NOSPAM, it can say whatever it wants. Stating that a business or someone should have a spam filter is just plainly stupid. They have have one. It says NOSPAM in their email address and it was cheaper and easier to use than any other spam filter product on the market. It didn't take anytime to download, setup or maintain. It's one less program running in the background, taking up resources and one less headache that could cause software conflicts.

 

Brian Wood

Woodsters Outdoors

http://www.woodsters.com

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quote:
Won't be in Arkansas for sure, been there...scared the crap out of me...

 

I guess you folk from Arkansas won't be shopping at his website anytime soon.

 

Any other states you wish to malign?

 

[This message was edited by BassoonPilot on July 05, 2003 at 04:47 AM.]

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Ah, but see you read into something that is not there. Let me explain why it scared me...

 

Was married to an ex wife (just married for about a month or so). We were living in California and had flown home to Augusta, Georgia for someone elses wedding. We picked up her car there at home and were driving back to California. Her parents are from Arkansas, just west of Little Rock and she still had cousins, aunts, uncles, and a grandmother that still lived there. She hadn't seen them in a long time and wanted to stop by on our way through, which we did and spent the night. Her relatives lived in the mountains. They all lived within a a mile of each other. The aunt we stayed with had a cemetary next to the house. Let's just say they don't believe in street lights or proch lights. It was a spooky and terrifying experience, especially not knowing this "clan". The next morning we left we even saw a burning car. It scared the crap out of me.

 

Brian Wood

Woodsters Outdoors

http://www.woodsters.com

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quote:
Won't be in Arkansas for sure, been there...scared the crap out of me...

quote:
Ah, but see you read into something that is not there.

 

Save the revisionism for someone who cares; I certainly don't. I responded to the text you posted. Its meaning was clear ... you intended to malign the state of the person you were disagreeing with.

 

I expect this post will be followed by (at least) one of your lengthy rejoinders, so save yourself the effort ... I won't be taking the time to read it ... and I sure won't be spending any money at your site.

 

[This message was edited by BassoonPilot on July 05, 2003 at 05:48 AM.]

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La Dee Dah (I thought his post was funny, but of course he won't be taking the time to read this thread again). frog.gif

 

p.s. Feel free to malign NJ - we can take it!

 

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Take everything you like seriously, except yourselves. - Rudyard Kipling (1865 - 1936)

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Ok. I'm a bit peeved.

 

I received the two cache IDs that I was informed were placed without permission. I disabled both caches and informed both of the owners that the land managers did not give permission to place these caches.

 

Both have emailed me back. They had both received permission to place their caches from the local land managers.

 

One even had a picture of the state trails coordinator beside his state car right after a geocaching workshop.

 

Do your homework. You should probably discuss whatever issues to whoever you're speaking with so they know which end is up.

 

frog.gif Jeremy Irish

Groundspeak - The Language of Location™

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