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Permission in parks


Guest kayjay
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Guest kayjay

We're new to the sport. We'd like to stash our first cache. What is the deal with neighborhood, town or city parks? Do we ask for permission? Whom do we ask? We've read some of the postings about National parks, but not the smaller ones. Help!

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Guest y2kmagazine

You are supposed to ask permission. But me, being very jaded to bloated gov't. feel it's an excersize in how to waste a morning (or likely even longer). You'll call the rec department and spend a 1/2 hour explaining what you want to do. they will either forward the call to someone else in the department and you explain it all over again (if they are in - more than likely 'that person is out of the office right now' and you play phone tag for a week, only to find out 'oh, you should be talking to that department' or 'hmmm, I don't think I can decide that, not sure who you should talk to' or they pass you to public works, or somewhere else. And after you explain yourself 5 more times, you'll likely get shrugs, or maybe even a yes or no. But no matter, because there is some other department that you didn't talk to, that has their hands involved in that park in some other, obscure way and THEY have some rule or statute that will reverse whatever answer you got above. There is talk of a database on this site where you can note who you got the OK from. So the next person that wants to place a cache in that park or another park in the same town or county, might not have to reinvent the wheel completely. It comes down to me seeing soo much trash in my searches that my view is that 1 more item - a tupperware container, can't be that bad. And I am not getting paid to wind my way through the bureaocracy. They may be there to collect paychecks and drag out any situation presented to them so they have something to do in their social welfare job, but I am not going to be part of that morass if I can avoid it.

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Guest Cape Cod Cache

I asked the head of my town's Conservation Dept., and got a "sure,try it", he went to the cache with his kid and is totally in favor now. Also have the blessing of the town's Historical Society, they love seeing people walking around trying to look inconspicuous with a GPS.

Now I have to go to the adjoining towns till I get the whole Cape, the hit the state parks. I think if we start small and then go to the next step, geocaching will gain acceptance. Kind of an exponential thing.

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Guest Chris Juricich

(we won't go into bureaucratic psychological profiling here).

 

So-- here are your choices: ask permission and expect a few hours of run-around with 'I don't know' or an immediate 'no'. Anticipate that if you get 'no' right away, any self-respecting geocacher (well, you know what I mean) will be so disappointed you'll follow the route you did with your Mom and Dad back whenyouwere a kid-- ask until somebody says yes or 'maybe'. Either way, it's a few hours of your day.

 

Oh, the choice? Place the cache anyway or find another place. The other choice? Spend the morning on the phone or not.

 

Isn't freedom wonderful?

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I have to admit I went ahead an placed my cache after three weeks of phone tag with the local parks and rec. After placing I called and attempted to leave the message, "This is what I've done, I'll take you to the site for full understanding of the game if requested, notify me if it needs removed." I say attemted because the secretary started to take the message and upon hearing transfered me to the previously unavailable director, who hung up on me rather than taking the call. So I'm still playing phone tag.

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Guest PharoaH

I think its time for a success story.

 

Local cachers have created the Georgia Geocachers Association for the express purpose of promoting geocaching in Georgia State Parks. GA State Parks outlawed and removed caches earlier this year. Unfortunately, someone placed a cache in a protected area, under a protected rhododendron, AND the ranger who stumbled upon it found some unsavory items in the cache. Another geocache was reportedly placed in close proximity to an indian burial mound. So, geocaching got off to a bad start in GA State Parks.

 

After all that, a Park Manager and a higher ranking parks official were still willing to attend our meeting this weekend. They came very well prepared and generally gave a favorable account of geocaching. They provided our group with a workable list of concerns and even proposed ways to make geocaching work in state parks. We anticipate that geocaching will return to Georgia State parks by the end of the year.

 

And next month... Cobb County Parks and Recreation is hosting our meeting at one of their facilities. All indications are that geocaching will be a "GO" in Cobb County parks also. Officials will be at the meeting and we plan to make it a working session to establish acceptable use policies.

 

<--- BEGIN RANT --->

I don't have any place for those folks that complain about parks officials. These folks are tasked with protecting the experience of everyone who visits the parks, not just geocachers. They are also tasked to protect certain historical artifacts and lands. Still yet, they are responsible for protecting sensitive wildlife. On top of all that, our parks officials understand that they exist to make the parks available to us citizens. In my experience, the parks officials want the extra traffic in the parks, they just want geocaches to be approved by the individual park managers. After all, who would be better than the park managers to certify that we are not damaging the environment or ruining someone else's visit? Neither of the aforementioned atrocities would have occurred if the cachers had only asked first and worked with the parks officials.

<--- END RANT --->

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Guest erik88L-R

As the person who took the gamble of inviting the Program Manager for Georgia State Parks & Historic Sites to our meeting I second PhaoroH's rant. We were told that the parks do change with the times: rock climbing, rapelling, and frisbee golf were activities initially deemed unsuitable for the parks - but now accepted where appropriate. We do have to educate the parks folks before we can seek their approval. Luckily in our state the offcials were clever enough to do their own research at www.geocaching.com.

That brings up another subject - be careful what you write when you log your find. The ranger and official at our meeting were not favorably impressed reading that someone "beat the ranger to the cache...".

However they saw enought positive things on the site that they were willing to join us in a dialog. They invited us to get back to them with solutions to their objections and then we should be able to move forward.

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Guest Paulwhy

I asked permission to place a cache near the top of Mount Whitney, I was concerned as it is a designated wilderness area and you need a permit to hike there. I spoke to a Inyo National Forest Ranger and faxed her a letter from a previous ranger approval thread here, and some information on Geocaching. The info never got to her, and she said no, unless I could convince another person she refered me to. I spoke them and they said no, but the location was actually not in their forest, but in the neighboring Sequia National Park and I could contact them to try to get another answer. I think their no answers were rather quick and they did not have time to explore the impacts of geaocaching completely. I was considering lobbying them some more, asking them to do some geocaching (this seems to work) or sending another letter pointing out that geocaching does not involve drilling, motor vehicles, jumping off rocks with parachutes, amplified sound, thousands of nakid people, or any those other activities that cause greif, hard work, or bad press to rangers. But now I see there is a virtual cache on Whitney so Ill just let this one pass....

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Guest Ttepee

Georgia and Utah! Great to hear good news for a change. Unity and communication seems to be key factor in cooperation... Imagine that icon_wink.gif

 

Kudos for all your time and efforts to get the tables turned. Now if the rest of us would stop whining and get it/us together to make a difference we could stop worrying and get back to the fun icon_smile.gif

 

Ttepee

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Guest Ttepee

Georgia and Utah! Great to hear good news for a change. Unity and communication seems to be key factor in cooperation... Imagine that icon_wink.gif

 

Kudos for all your time and efforts to get the tables turned. Now if the rest of us would stop whining and get it/us together to make a difference we could stop worrying and get back to the fun icon_smile.gif

 

Ttepee

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Guest CaptHawke

quote:
Originally posted by bob_renner:

I believe there is a mountain peak register there. What's the difference between that and a geocache???


 

The register is not hidden and is there for the enjoyment of all park visitors who reach the summit.

 

The geocache is hidden and is there for the enjoyment of a select few. We don't think of ourselves as excluding others, but in the eyes of the park folks we are some kind of secret society and they haven't quite figured us out yet. Use of the internet makes us suspect automatically.

 

For the time being, if they say no then go for a virtual cache and don't do anything to agravate the situation. In time our numbers will grow, we will become an accepted family activity, the park managers won't see us as a bunch of hooligans and maybe, just maybe, we can get a few real caches on the lands they oversee. I hope so.

 

Cephas H.

NH

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Guest PharoaH

Regarding summit registers...

Couldn't you just make a virtual cache with the coordinates of the register? You would have to state the nature of the cache in order to prevent someone leaving their McDonald's toy. Would that be a breach of ettiquette or a clever way to geocache?

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Guest Paulwhy

I have some personal data on the 'open to everyone' Geocaches and summit registers.

 

Geocaches were not REALLY open to me until I heard about them 3 months ago. They WERE some kind of secret internet society thing, that I didn't know about. And I didn't know that I didn't know. Then I read a story on geocaching in a newspaper, easily found more information on the internet, and now they are open to me, too. Yeah!

Summit registers are still not really open to me. I found one once while geocaching (See: Queen Cache) and since I did not know the "rules" I simply enjoyed reading some of the entries and then put it back like I found it. I tried to research Summit Registers and find out more, but I have been unable to find out who put them there, or why, where to find them or how I can participate. They must be only open to some ultra-secret hiker society.

 

I'm Just kidding of course. All hobbies are only open to those that know about them and want to participate.

 

BTW, there is a register on Whitney at the Simthsonian Hut there. I don't know who supports it, but I did sign in there as the 'rules' were obvious: it had columns for Name, Date, Home city, state and country, and Comments. I felt kinda proud. Summit registers are probably a fun thing to participate in. Somebody please post information here on how to find out more! (unless it really is a secret!)

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I HAVE PERMISSION NOW! And we've set a meeting with the parks dept. supervisors for 11am for a full demonstration! ALSO at an orientation at our local college, I was talking about geocaching and they are going to take it to the History and Geography departments to get involved. I'm about to burst with excitement!

 

 

[This message has been edited by G1B (edited 19 August 2001).]

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