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Mndnr Abolishing Geocaching

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I finally got around to writing to the Department of Natural Resources Minnesota. They have abolished Geo-Caching and will destroy any caches they find on State Parks. I know that my letter in itself will not make them change their minds but I did ask them to review their position and maybe even come up with some guide lines or rules for placing caches. I also told them after many years of buying the State Stamp I would not be this year.

 

If any one else is interested in writing you can email at info@dnr.state.mn.us

 

murph

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Well, that's a kick in the crotch! I'm guessing they actually outlawed it, because you know as well as I do that they'll never out and out abolish it! :D

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The only thing that will turn them around is politics. The only thing that will motivate politicians is if they are geocachers, if some little orphan named Timmy with terminal cancer has as his dying wish to find a geocaching in a Minnesota park, or if politicians are made to be aware of the positive economic benifit of geocaching. More than one of us bought a geocaching rig. Amost all of us got a GPS, and a ton of us bought lunch in some one horse town that we would of never stopped at.

 

The letters get them to thinking, and that primes them for us to close the deal down the road and get geocaching back.

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The Minnesota State Parks' position is Well Established. Moving this topic to the Midwest forum.

I see now that Minnesota has been discussed before. Sorry to bring up an old thread. But I am also not sure this one should have been moved to the Midwest Forum. If Minnesota outlaws it so will other states. I wished there was a way to get a million people to address the MnDNR and ask to change their views. I know that the State Park system has been short of money for a long time, or at least they say they are short.

 

murph

 

ps. I will also write to our govenor

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Just found it interesting that on the Minnesota DNR Website just to the right of their notice prohibiting geocaches was the following quote:

 

State Parks Mission: We will work with the people of Minnesota to provide a state park system which preserves and manages Minnesota's natural, scenic and cultural resources for present and future generations while providing appropriate recreational and educational opportunities.

 

I lived in MN for three years and have spent many a dollar in MN State Parks. This is unfortunate. I have to wonder who it is that decides what is an "appropriate recreational opportunity." :D Hell, my wife and I honeymooned in a MN State Park! I will be composing my letter and email shortly.

 

Thanks for the reminder.

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the Department of Natural Resources Minnesota. They have abolished Geo-Caching and will destroy any caches they find on State Parks

What a bunch of wimps! Notice that they didn't try this with ice fishing. A kick to the crotch would be the least of their worries. :D

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I may be new to geocaching, but I've been enjoying state parks all my life. I fully agree with everyone. Geocaching is the least of their worries. In fact, it would probably bring much needed revenue to the park system. I have no idea how many local parks I've visited that normally I wouldn't have, all thanks to geocaching.

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I live in Michigan and as long as there is geocaching in Michigan State Parks, I will be buying the annual sticker. There are many caches in Michigan State Parks and I believe that they increase the usage of the parks. Same goes for Oakland County Parks and the MetroParks. All require a sticker and people come from out of state to geocache. Those people are park users. They pay entrance fees. They help support the park system.

Since I started geocaching I have cached in 30 states. I will continue to travel with geocaching in mind. When I get to Minnesota I will apparently be spared the cost of a State Park entrance fee.

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Oakland County and Metroparks are both very supportive of geocaching here (MI) and understand the benefits of the activiy as well as their avenue for resolution of issues. However, each of these groups has invested a lot of time into learning about it and figuring out how it benefits them.

 

I don't know exactly how to describe my experience with our state parks people. They seem to not be as "desperate" (which is a very poor choice in words) to attract people to their parks as the other groups. Maybe 'eager' is the better word. The local parks only get funding for things that are popular, and the more people coming the better. Geocaching kind of gurantees some level of draw per year and they love that.

 

State parks seem like they don't get enough money as it is which creates this really weird catch 22. They don't have enough money to support the facilities and visitors they have, so they aren't neccesarily interested in drawing in hundreds more. I can see how an under-funded agency might not be as excited about Geocaching as a smaller and better funded park system.

 

The whole equation is a complete mystery to me. These are some of my observations though.

 

MN has a state group, has MnGCA been in contact with the DNR at all yet?

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That's too bad. I wonder what the triggering event was.

 

The thing state park systems haven't figured out is how to make money off of it. Once they do, it will be come one, come all to the * state geocache park.

 

I suggest a $5 per cache fee. This will get them some money, disincentivize the "dump and run" lame trads as well as the 17 step hike all over a park just to come to a box full of mctoys near the entrance.

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MN has a state group, has MnGCA been in contact with the DNR at all yet?

Yes, well someone has anyways. But as the way of red tape, one hand needs to get in touch with the other to make sure they agree. Theres an old but ongoing thread here.

 

Bigredmed, I agree that if a park is lacking money and personnal they are not going to want to take on more visitors people viaing for their time. However, I don't think waving money around is the best idea, someone might notice and deside to see just how much profit a cache is worth. In which case many cachers lose :D. How much would you pay for finders pass? ;)

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i'd suggest you get involved with mngca.org if you really want to try to help on this issue.

 

For those other states.....don't get mislead.......its just soooo new to the state and they don't see the benefits of geocaching yet and I'm sure a "study" is in place.

 

Well as a matter of fact the "university of minnesota" is doing a research study on advantages/disadvantages of geocaching. I'm sure they are finding out that tourism $$$ is in a major plus.

 

And as far as Minnesota goes...they are very proud of tourism $$$ that is spent in our fine state.........

 

So don't cancel that trip to Minnesota and visit some of our great caches and stop by the Mall of America......visit the cache there and spend spend spend.....it will help us with the DNR.

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I finally got around to writing to the Department of Natural Resources Minnesota.  They have abolished Geo-Caching and will destroy any caches they find on State Parks. 

I wrote them an open letter last month, CC'd to the Governor's office and my state reps. See: http://forums.Groundspeak.com/GC/index.php...topic=58068&hl=

 

I did get a reply, and they stated the ban was only temporary until they can develop a policy in the spring of 2004. They said that they are already working with the MNGCA to develop guidelines.

 

I'm not sure what would take so long to do so... IMHO, all that has to happen is to find the rules for hiking and use search/replace to switch all hiking references to geocaching... :o

 

Here is the reply I got. Since my letter to them was an open letter, I would assume the reply is intended to be open as well.

 

Date: Fri, 21 Nov 2003 09:26:26 -0600

From: "Ed Quinn" <ed.quinn(AT)dnr.state.mn.us>

To: <gregg(AT)69cents.com>

Subject: MN State Parks & Geocaching

 

[Dear me],

 

Your e-mail regarding your concerns about MN state parks current

geocaching policy was forwarded to me by the DNR Information Center.

 

You may not be aware that we have been working with the MN Geocaching

Association to develop a policy that would provide opportunities for

geocaching in designated areas of state parks.  We had hoped to have

this in place this fall, but an important review of policies and rules

by the Commissioner's office will likely mean it will be 2004 before

this is instituted.

 

We felt that a moratorium on geocaching in state parks was appropriate

while we developed a policy because numerous caches had been placed in

state parks without a single individual asking permission first.  Some

caches were placed in areas that were unsafe for visitors to go and

others were in areas that were not suitable for high visitor use.

 

MN Statutes (86A.05 subd. 2c) mandates that we manage state parks in

the following manner: "State parks shall be administered by the

commissioner of natural resources in a manner which is consistent with

the purposes of this subdivision to preserve, perpetuate, and interpret

natural features that existed in the area of the park prior to

settlement and other significant natural, scenic, scientific, or

historic features that are present.  Management shall seek to maintain a

balance among the plant and animal life of the park and to reestablish

desirable plants and animals that were formerly indigenous to the park

area but are now missing.  Programs to interpret the natural features

of the park shall be provided.  Outdoor recreation activities to utilize

the natural features of the park that can be accommodated without

material disturbance of the natural features of the park or the

introduction of undue artificiality into the natural scene may be

permitted.  Park use shall be primarily for aesthetic, cultural, and

educational purposes, and shall not be designed to accommodate all forms

or unlimited volumes of recreational use.  Physical development shall be

limited to those facilities necessary to complement the natural features

and the values being preserved."

 

There are over 235 federal or state endangered, threatened or special

concern species found in state parks at > 1300 locations.  In addition,

we protect a vast array of cultural resources, > 1000 historic

builidngs, archaeological & cemetary sites and the landscapes of 65

National Historic Districts. State parks also has some of the finest

examples of natural communities like tall-grass prairie, oak savannas

and rare wetland types along with > 1/3 of all the old-growth forest

found on state lands.  Given the value of these resources ecologically

and as part of the natural heritage we help preserve and manage for our

visitors and the citizens of MN we felt it was very important to take

time to develop a policy which protects the resources we are responsible

for managing and also provide for recreational opportunities that are

consistent with statute.

 

The position presently held by MN State Parks regarding geo-caching is

not inconsistent with other agencies that have similar mandates.

Currently, all units of the National Park System, Ohio Wildlife areas &

State Nature Preserves, MN Scientific and Natural Areas program prohibit

geocaching to name a few. In fact, an informal poll done last year of

state park systems showed that most states had no policy at all.

 

As you noted in your message, there are other activities currently

allowed in state parks which have some similar issues to geocaching

(visitor safety, resource concerns, etc).  One of the key differences

between these and geo-caching is that geocaching would be a new

acitivity.  Whenever a new activity such as this is incorporated into

the system, there is a certain amount of costs that go along with

administering it in a manner consistent with our statutes.  At times

like these when budgets are very tight and staff are already overloaded,

careful consideration is necessary before adding additional tasks.

 

Thanks for taking the time to provide us with your thoughts.  Please

keep an eye on our web pages as we move into the spring of 2004 to see

if we have been able to finalize our geocaching policy.

 

 

 

Ed Quinn

Natural Resource Program Coordinator

Minnesota Department of Natural Resources

Division of Parks and Recreation

500 Lafayette Road

St. Paul, MN 55155-4039

651-297-1158

ed.quinn(AT)dnr.state.mn.us

Edited by B3Fiend

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Since they reference Ohio, I thought I'd put a word in.

 

We've had great contacts with ODNR officials. It started with a Deputy Director stopping in at a meeting last year in Columbus. The required paperwork doesn't quite fit a geocache and I'm sure someone will volunteer an alternative soon (might be me...but not tonight). However, it exists and the exclusion of Wildlife Refuges and Preserves is in compliance with Federal guidlines, as it was explained to us.

 

If they are talking with Ohio people, then you're likly to get some cooperation. I would even say that the Ohio Forestry contact I have is excited to have some caches in his areas. Just have to close out Shotgun season and then the year.

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I have just written to Ed Quinn and offered my assistance. I can provide plenty of names of Iowa naturalists and some from other states as well. We also have an article regarding best practices as well as a model policy for parks.

 

Lets hope we can turn this into a good open communication channel and get geocaching back in Minnesota. I know the MNGEO group has been working on it for some time... I hope we can help.

 

If anyone has contact info for any Minnesota rangers supportive of geocaching, please send that to me. If we can get a hearing with policymakers, we'll need rangers willing to help the cause.

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I am VERY happy that the state of MN has abolished geo TRASHING! i too look forward to helping do the same thing in the state of oregon, as all that i have ever found near any so called "cache", is damage to the environment, garbage, misuse of trails, and its nothing more than hiding non degradable TRASH in our beautiful public lands. Not to mention, the HUGE amount of fuel used to arrive at such destinations adding even more damaging green house emissions.

 

Geo TRASHING should be illegal and punishable just like trespassing and damaging / defacing public lands.

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I am VERY happy that the state of MN has abolished geo TRASHING! i too look forward to helping do the same thing in the state of oregon, as all that i have ever found near any so called "cache", is damage to the environment, garbage, misuse of trails, and its nothing more than hiding non degradable TRASH in our beautiful public lands. Not to mention, the HUGE amount of fuel used to arrive at such destinations adding even more damaging green house emissions.

 

Geo TRASHING should be illegal and punishable just like trespassing and damaging / defacing public lands.

 

So when are you planning on removing YOUR cache Bart's Box GC1XGZT ?

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I am VERY happy that the state of MN has abolished geo TRASHING! i too look forward to helping do the same thing in the state of oregon, as all that i have ever found near any so called "cache", is damage to the environment, garbage, misuse of trails, and its nothing more than hiding non degradable TRASH in our beautiful public lands. Not to mention, the HUGE amount of fuel used to arrive at such destinations adding even more damaging green house emissions.

 

Geo TRASHING should be illegal and punishable just like trespassing and damaging / defacing public lands.

 

 

:rolleyes: Huh? You not only own a cache, but your logs sound like you had a blast!

 

 

" like it! this was a fun one :ph34r:"

 

"beautiful area! good choice."

 

" was with a "seasoned" geo man to find this one. sneaky! i like it! giggles!"

 

"VERY easy find and a great stop! set aside several HOURS for the museum."

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I am VERY happy that the state of MN has abolished geo TRASHING! i too look forward to helping do the same thing in the state of oregon, as all that i have ever found near any so called "cache", is damage to the environment, garbage, misuse of trails, and its nothing more than hiding non degradable TRASH in our beautiful public lands. Not to mention, the HUGE amount of fuel used to arrive at such destinations adding even more damaging green house emissions.

 

Geo TRASHING should be illegal and punishable just like trespassing and damaging / defacing public lands.

:):laughing::laughing:

 

Wow...way to dig up an old...and outdated thread!!!

 

Minnesota DNR was been working with the local Geocaching Association for a while now...even worked with them directly last year for a Geocaching Adventure throughout the state...heck...the MN DNR even has its own geocaching program going for state parks!!! Geocaches were allowed back into state parks in late 2006 after a policy was created and adopted (in cooperation with the Minnesota Geocaching Association)...

 

http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/geocaching/index.html

 

However...if you really meant Geotrashing...then yes...I agree...glad to see trashing things has been abolished!!!

:D:D:D

 

I now return you to your regularly scheduled program...

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..." was with a "seasoned" geo man to find this one. sneaky! i like it! giggles!"...

 

That explains a lot about stpacific. I've deleted my other post with my better understanding.

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I am VERY happy that the state of MN has abolished geo TRASHING! i too look forward to helping do the same thing in the state of oregon, as all that i have ever found near any so called "cache", is damage to the environment, garbage, misuse of trails, and its nothing more than hiding non degradable TRASH in our beautiful public lands. Not to mention, the HUGE amount of fuel used to arrive at such destinations adding even more damaging green house emissions.

 

Geo TRASHING should be illegal and punishable just like trespassing and damaging / defacing public lands.

 

I didn't see any mention of how much trash this guy pulled out of any of the areas he had visited. I am getting ready to place a cache in an area that is always trashy. Why would I do such a thing? Not to bring more people into the area to dump trash, but because geocachers are known for their love and respect of the environment. I can expect that anyone that goes to that area for my cache will CITO the area, if only a little bit.

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I am getting ready to place a cache in an area that is always trashy. Why would I do such a thing? Not to bring more people into the area to dump trash, but because geocachers are known for their love and respect of the environment. I can expect that anyone that goes to that area for my cache will CITO the area, if only a little bit.

Be prepared for cachers who may complain about the trashy area you choose to place your cache in. I bet there are many who will not to want wade through garbage to find it. I do applaud your good intentions and hope many will help CITO the area.

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