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carleenp

Possible Lincoln, Nebraska City Parks Issue.

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Recently a possible issue with the Lincoln City Parks has arisen. Right now the details are sketchy. Here is what happened: As part of organizing their CITO event with the Wilderness Park program, LRLC from Get Lost in Nebraska was asked some questions about caches in the parks, where they were located, and was given an indication that the parks may have been somewhat offended or confused about why permission was not asked. They also indicated that they might institute a caching policy. They seemed most concerned with the Pioneer's Park Nature Center and Wilderness Park, but may have been concerned about other parks as well. They did not give LRLC a lot of information and while she thought she calmed down any concerns, she is not sure where they currently stand on the matter.

 

I have spoken with LRLC over the phone about the matter and am about to send an extensive information package to the parks system about caching, CITO and various city parks policies that are friendly toward caching. LRLC has also given them information. I am explaining why cachers tend to not ask for permission in the absence of a specific policy on public land and offer apologies if they were offended by past caches that were placed. I am also asking them what their policies are and asking that we be involved with any policy decisions. I am also offering to help assure them that caches are responsibly placed. The package contains extensive contact info including the Nebraskache board, Get Lost in Nebraska, Great Plains Geocaching, the Nebraska approver info and a Groundspeak contact, who I thank for allowing me to provide that info. They are also getting an issue of the recent Nebraskaland Magazine which states a pretty liberal State Parks policy (Whew! Glad I bought 4-5 issues of that and now might buy more). The package will be mailed Monday with a request that they contact me. LRLC and I will coordinate with each other if we hear from the parks and will keep everyone informed. She had spoken with a different person than the person that I am sending the package to and I might look at sending a duplicate package to the person LRLC talked to.

 

For now, if anyone is considering placing a cache in a Lincoln City Park, it might be a good idea to hold off for a week or two and see what the response to the letter/package to them is. In the alternative, it would be good to ask permission. Unfortunately, I am not sure at this point who the best person to ask about permission is. That is something I hope we will learn more about after they receive the package. At this point, the parks alternately seemed concerned but then maybe less concerned. Like I said, they did not provide LRLC with a lot of information, but did ask her quite a few questions and she and I are concerned about where the situation is headed.

 

For now, I would ask that people don't deluge the Lincoln Parks with letters or email on the issue. LRLC has spoken with a parks person and I am sending them plenty of reading material and I don't want to overwhelm them. I fear that letters and email could escalate the issue. However, if anyone really wants to write a polite letter explaining how caching is ecologically and socially responsible etc., if you email that to me ASAP (by late Sunday evening), I can include it in the information package.

 

I will keep everyone updated. I also thank LRLC and Get Lost in Nebraska for bringing this to our attention and for being very helpful in working with the park system and arranging what looks to shape up to be a great CITO! Hopefully everything with the Lincoln Parks will all work out!

 

On a side note, if people have questions about the State Parks or Omaha City Parks, I can tell you this: The State Parks allow caches without specific permission in Wildlife Management Areas and with the permission of the Park Superintendent in State Recreation Areas and State Parks. Caches are not allowed in State Historical Areas. We know that Caches are welcome at Two Rivers State Park and Schramm State Park. In Omaha, Spinwebby from Great Plains Geocaching some time ago received permission for caches from the Omaha Parks System.

 

I am also in the process of writing to the State Parks seeking contact information for park Superintendents for cachers to receive permission because in many cases it is not clear who the Superintendent is. When I get that information, I will let you all know. As far as I know, the State Parks have never turned down a cache when permission was sought. Instead, they have been very enthusiastic about it.

 

Also, since I have put together a comprehensive information package, if anyone comes across new park issues, feel free to email me and I can duplicate the package, but customize it to your situation (e.g. talk about you and who you are working with etc.) and send it as additional support from Nebraskache. You can also always completely throw it at us and a Nebraskache board member can deal with it if you don't want to have it on your hands. In many cases though, a local person dealing with the parks also can be a very good thing, especially if that person has already had some contact with them. There, Nebraskache is always happy to provide a back-up package. If anything, I will try to upload to the Nebraskache group the contact sheet, which has the info for Nebraskache, Get Lost in Nebraska, Great Plains Geocaching, local approver, Groundspeak, etc., which any parks system could find useful (I will edit out a Groundspeak phone number and ask that you seek that from them, but will give an email). I'm guessing that Get Lost in Nebraska and Great Plains Geocaching would also be happy to make that document available. I'll check with them on that. I'll try to do that next week sometime, and regardless, it is always available through email.

 

Feel free to email me with questions.

 

Carleenp

 

P.S. I am cross posting this on the Geocaching.com forums and the Nebraskache listserve, and emailing it to LRLC, who will then put it on the Get Lost in Nebraska page and in their forums.

 

Nebraskache

Get Lost in Nebraska

Great Plains Geocaching

Edited by carleenp

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