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Bad Press For Cachers


splicingdan
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In this month's issue of National Geographic (April 2004) there's a story on the Badlands of South Dakota. Here is an excerpt:

 

When the bones of the Badlands turn up in the wrong hands, "Rachel Benton is the first person we call," says Lopez. "She has to tell us what we're looking at." Benton, the park paleontologist, is a busy person. "Besides outright theft, now we have to worry about geo-caching," says Lopez. In this latest twist to a treasure hunt, people hide a container and perhaps a trinket, take the GPS coordinates, and put the coordinates on the Internet. Other people go to the locationand try to find the cache.

Although a treasure hunt may seem a nuisance at worst, and can have the positive effect of getting people out in nature, Lopez warns of an escalation: Some geo-cachers are finding fossils in park rocks and putting those coordinates on the Web. Anyone can then come to look - or to take.

Edited by splicingdan
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Maybe she should stop doing interviews and find the freaking fossils! :D

Really - is she more upset about geocaching, or that amateurs are finding fossils while the pros aren't?

 

That's like a homocide detective being ticked off that a geocacher finds a body instead of the detective!

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This was discussed in about 8 threads in the general forum. Basically the ranger has no idea what he's talking about. There is one virtual cache in this park and its along a trail called the "Fossil Trail" that is a featured attraction in the park's own literature. It's not like the geocachers are posting the coordinates of secret spots.

 

Do a forum search on "geographic" and you'll find a number of discussion threads addressing this subject.

Edited by briansnat
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Hmmm...I always thought the wilderness areas were set aside so that people could experience the outdoors and the unique aspects of different areas. God forbid people go outside with there eyes open. Seems they should have hid the Badlands better if they don't want people going there. But then again even if they did hide it all of us fosill stealing, plant trampling, dirt digging, animal chasing, rare bug eating geocachers would post the coordinates anyway. :o

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I know this is a bit after the fact but I read this article whilst in the waiting room for my Dentist in the UK.

 

I was so disgusted with this poorly researched article that I sent them an Email:

 

I was disappointed to read the disparaging comments you magazine made about Geocaching in your American Landscapes reefs in a prairie sea article. I found this quote particularly offensive ‘Although a treasure hunt may seem a nuisance at worst….’ I am sorry but in my opinion a paleontologist causes far more damage digging big holes everywhere than a small number of people pursuing a hobby that gets them to see places they would not otherwise visit. What’s more most fossil thefts are conducted by professional teams and not somebody looking for a box with a GPS receiver. My suggestion is that you would rather have people sitting on their backsides reading NG magazine and looking at the pretty pictures rather than going to see these places for themselves.

 

Most geocachers are responsible and caring. Geocaching.com (The Geocaching website) has an ongoing trash collection campaign called ‘Cache in, trash out’ and many events are arranged with the purpose of collecting trash whilst Geocaching. Check www.Geocaching.com for more information.

 

Your comments would be appreciated.

 

That will be the last time I read a National Geographic magazine.

 

Thanks

 

Chris

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That will be the last time I read a National Geographic magazine.

 

Thanks

 

Chris

Now don't quote me on this , but i was once told about how N/G ran and article about the papermills on the N.E . and how all the ink/dyes etc make the paper non recyclable and how these companies were big pollutiants to the enviro, yet there mag was printed by these compaines, with these dye techniques

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