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EBRPD Banning Geocaches?


r.haus
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I just received a call from EBRPD to update me on Geocaching. Wow, I didn't expect that. The "issue" will be visited sometime this year but as of yet there is no set date. I am on the list to receive agendas of upcoming meetings. Our time to act is now before it even gets to the agenda. We have the greatest chance of shaping opinion. I am going to form a yahoo group comprised of interested parties to help plan our course of action. The CITO continues to be a great oppurtunity for the geocaching community but I would like to have our approach nailed down before then. When I get it set up I will post a notice here and also email those listed on the short list above. (This might take a couple of days so be patient) In the meantime if you want to help just email me. Thanks.

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Even though I no longer live in the Bay Area, these parks are my home. These are the places I grew up in, they are the inspiration behind me becoming a biologist. With that said, I would like to be kept informed of, be a part of, and voice my opinion in whatever discussion takes place with EBRPD. Please sign me up! I can go to meetings, take notes, post information, etc. Please USE ME! This is a topic that is very near and dear to my heart and really don't want to see the wonderful people who participate in this hobby to be misaligned before any governmental body. I am currently a stay at home dad, so I could make the trip into the BA to participate in meetings you working stiffs are unable to attend.

 

Again, please just let me know what I can do!

 

Peace!

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I spoke to the Point Pinole Park Supervisor yesterday. He was very nice, very polite, and a bit apologetic. He said that he is an employee of the parks and must follow the direction of his superiors, and they told him to remove the caches. He said that he can not allow the caches to be replaced until his superiors allow him to do this. He said that his superiors do not allow geocaches because they are worried about possible liability created by the caches.

 

He made a big point that the parks belong to the people of the east bay and are paid for with money provided by the people of the east bay. He and all park district employees are simply caretakers of the park and responsible for spending the money that runs the park. He said that the EBRPD has been very good at reducing their liability and have not been spending much of our money on lawsuits or damages due due negligence. Therfore, until it is shown that geocaching is more of a benefit than a liability, then they will not be allowed.

 

He said the park district is a bit bureaucratic and that it is difficult for employees to get policy changes. He said it is far easier for citizens to get policy changes. He recommended we contact the board of directors and ask for a change.

 

http://www.ebparks.org/district/board.htm

 

This Park Supervisor really has the best interests of the park and the citizens of the east bay at heart, and I believe there are a lot of others like him in the park system. I think that if we show the board that the benefits of Geocaching to the east bay far exceeds the liability, then they will be allowed.

 

JHorner and ALemley: You can add my name to the list. I can Help.

 

PaulWhy

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Perhaps I am missing something here, but I fail to see how geocachers are possible liability risks for the parks and non-geocachers aren't. Every cache we hide or find comes with a liability waiver prominently displayed on it and we all know that we cache at our own risk. Do other users of parks have the same?

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I think this "policy" is soley based on a fear of the unknown. The higher ups don't understand what it means to geocache but can understand it as a potential liability. Yes, we all know it doesn't make any sense.

 

An official policy is just around the corner. I and about ten other cachers (so far) are getting together (online) to work out a plan to educate and influence the decision makers of EBRPD. Soon, I will close this thread and start a new one to discuss this process and solicit support. Again anyone interested in helping ensure future caching in the parks email me or post a reply.

 

(Note: I have set up a space to meet and am putting the finishing touches on it right now. I will email all that have expressed an interest with the details as soon as it is ready.)

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Again anyone interested in helping ensure future caching in the parks email me or post a reply.

 

(Note: I have set up a space to meet and am putting the finishing touches on it right now. I will email all that have expressed an interest with the details as soon as it is ready.)

Please add my name to the list of people interested in helping out.

 

--Marky

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I don't live in the East Bay (went to school there, though), but I would be very interested to see some sort of uniform policy/procedure/whatever come out of this dilemma that can be used whenever this situation comes up. My guess is that this is not the first time this problem has arisen (I am rather new at this), nor will it be the last. If cachers had, with the blessing of the geocaching gods at GC, some document or PowerPoint that laid out our case accurately and compellingly, I think that would be a very helpful thing. For everyone, not just you East Bay folks.

 

:)

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Sign us up. We live in the East Bay (Pleasanton). Geocaching has brought us to parks we probably never would have visited. It would be a crime to have it banned because of ignorance or misconception.

 

Just a note: we have a cache approved by the Executive Director of a local, county run animal shelter. I met with him face-to-face and had a wonderful conversation regarding the benefits geocaching might bring to his establishment. He was a pleasure to talk to and work with. Might this help add weight to our case? He might even be willing to write a letter of recommendation, if asked.

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Like several that have added their names to the list I'm a public employee and would be happy to help. My job requires that I attend bi-monthly board meetings and regulalrly respond to public comment. I have to be honest and say that most speakers during public comment are extremly boring and rarely armed with acurate facts. Should this group find themselves attending a public meting might I suggest the following:

 

Research, research research. Understand the issue from our perspective as well as the boards perspective.

 

BE BRIEF - public comment is normally limited to three minutes per speaker. Have one person speak for the group, get to the point and have a recomended action for the board. Don't go beyond three minutes, 2 and a half is even better. As a minimum request the board add the item to a future agenda.

 

Understand who is on the board and why they are there. Are they elected or appointed? Know each board members personal "agenda / issues". Whenever possible get to board members in advance of the meeting you will be at. Give them an executive summary of your issue and offer to help them with thier issues.

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