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Approver Help Please?


nfa
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Hi,

 

I have q problem/question. It took 8 days to get a traditional cache on my own property (GCJ6GM) approved by mtn man, which is no big deal really (although it is longer than it has seemed to take in other cases), but I understand he was sick, and he is a volunteer, and they are really busy this time of year, and ....

 

The weird thing was the constant harassing reviewer notes I got suggesting that the cache was actually on state land, or that a cacher would have to cross state land to get to it (which really, why would this be a problem even if it was the case, since lots of cache hunts cross or even finish on state land).

 

This is not the case in the case of my cache however, it is for certain on my land, and the land is accessible from many sides without trespassing on private property other than mine (which cachers have my permission to do) or even stepping on state land. He also suggested that I was trying to weasel out of the DEC permit process somehow.

 

Anyway, the cache was eventually approved...but...with a note on it for potential visitors that said:

 

April 22 by mtn-man (654 found)

The cache owner has assured me that this cache is on private property and that no state land must be crossed to access the cache. If there are any problems the cache will be archived.

 

I've visited some other listings for caches on private land, and haven't seen this kind of warning/bad press on any of them...what's the deal?

 

Can somebody please access a decent mapping program and verify my cache is in fact on my land...or since I am a paying member of gc.com in good standing, give me the benefit of the doubt (god forbid).

 

I resent the ongoing implication that this cache is not on my land, and that I am involved, through this cache, in some sort of wrong-doing or sneakiness.

 

I would like the unfriendly note removed from my cache listing when, and if, somebody takes the time to check their facts thoroughly.

 

I am a newbie to gc.com, and love most of what I have experienced here, but this listing experience has left a bad taste in my mouth.

 

Thanks to all of the volunteers who work so hard to help make geocaching.com possible. I will continue to use this service even if nothing is done to remedy my current complaint, but would hope that it could be addressed despite whatever grievance mtn man thinks he has with me. I bear him no ill will, I simply want my cache posted the way it should be.

 

Thanks again,

 

NFA

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If you feel that an approver has mistreated you, send an email to the contact@ address. Jeremy will look into it and decide if something needs to happen.

 

As far as the note posted by Mtn Man, I don't see a problem with it. It lets cachers know that if they are trespassing on state land they are in the wrong place.

Edited by Team GPSaxophone
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I'll admit that I haven't looked at the cache in question, nor plotted it on a map, but I can tell you that mtn-man has 'been there, done that'. He's a straight-up kinda guy and just wants to protect our sport and hobby. I know that mtn-man can defend himself, but I have found him to be an invaluable resource for geocaching info and help with caches. I'll admit that it's rare that I post to threads about geocache approvers, but in this case I felt that I had to do so. If mtn-man were to question one of my hides, and I have 35 thus far, I would not take it personal but would work to make it acceptable for inclusion on the site. I hope that after you have been involved with the sport a bit longer that you will come to see that the approvers are simply trying to preserve our sport/hobby. Happy geocaching!

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I'll admit that I haven't looked at the cache in question, nor plotted it on a map, but I can tell you that mtn-man has 'been there, done that'. He's a straight-up kinda guy and just wants to protect our sport and hobby. I know that mtn-man can defend himself, but I have found him to be an invaluable resource for geocaching info and help with caches. I'll admit that it's rare that I post to threads about geocache approvers, but in this case I felt that I had to do so. If mtn-man were to question one of my hides, and I have 35 thus far, I would not take it personal but would work to make it acceptable for inclusion on the site. I hope that after you have been involved with the sport a bit longer that you will come to see that the approvers are simply trying to preserve our sport/hobby. Happy geocaching!

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Topics have been merged. Please continue the topic at hand.

 

Seemed like a reasonable post. mtn-man is a good guy and the Georgia Geocacher's Association (of which he is a member) is the oldest and one of the most well respected organizations around. At one time geocaching was banned in Georgia state parks, so he does his best to ensure this does not happen again.

 

Many posts online can sometimes be perceived a different way than the poster intended. Don't overanalyze the post.

 

(note to self. double check writing before posting)

Edited by Jeremy
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I took a look at the cache coordinates in question and can see why the approver was questioning the location. Mapping software shows that whole area as state park land for which this web site requires permission for placing a cache. I'm sure the questioning wasn't meant to harass, but just to be sure about the location. Keep in mind that there has been trouble in the past with caches being placed where they are forbidden, and the approvers are trying to protect the sport.

 

If the state lands are open to the public, then even better, it shouldn't be a problem with people crossing them.

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http://www.geocaching.com/seek/cache_detai...e4-d07203312f7d

 

Your cache has been approved, can't we just be happy about that learn some things to speed up approval in the future?

 

If he was doing something bad, then as has been said, report him.

No offense, but your description doesn't make it clear what land the cache is one. You suggest people CITO in hopes of improving relations with DEC. Yet future down you say you'll be crossing private property...

The easiest way to clear that up would probably be to start out saying something like: "this cache is on private property. The owner has given permission for the cache to be there, and you do not need to cross state land to get to the cache".

Why would it matter if it was on state land? You tell me. What are the current regs about caching on DEC and other NY state lands? I would suspect there was a reason Mtn-Man questioned you about it. If you ask nicely he might even explain what they were.

 

If the shoe doesn't fit, then it must not apply to you. The approvers would get a lot of flak if they let one slop that was one 'permit needed' land.

 

You are probably able to remove the log (is there a delete link when you view the page?). However, I would leave it. It makes it clear to any seekers that if visitors become a problem, the listing will be shut down.

 

No deal, important caches get special notices :D

 

Mapping programs are nice, but only helpful. Since Mtn-man can't go check right now, he'll have to look at the maps, and listen to what you tell him. And I plan out refuse to given you benefit of doubt on how much money you've sent to Groundspeak. On your being a cacher, your trying to hide whats looks to be nice cache, and you promote CITO, maybe, but not on premium status.

 

I hadn't noticed the implication untill you brought it up. Ill put this on my watch list to see how it ends up :D (im kidding you, don't take it seriously)

 

Have you checked to see if you can remove it? That would probably be quicker than getting some approver to do it. Fact checking is likely in progress, but may take 4-6weeks :D

 

I think its going to be nice weekend, lets everyone go caching :D

 

Uh?? you've lost me. Other than wanting the note removed, what is wrong with the cache posting? :o:D

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Hi NFA! Welcome to caching! From what I can tell, it looks on various maps like the cache is in park property. In many areas there are very specific regulations about that and people have fought to avoid caching being banned in some areas. It could risk enjoyment of caching for many if a cache was listed in a regulated area without following the rules. So, everyone has to be very careful about it. I am facing something similar in terms of working with parks in my own area and cringe at the idea of anyone placing a cache in an area of concern while things are being worked out. Mtn-Man is a great guy and I have always been impressed with him. If he had concerns with your cache, I am sure it was for valid reasons. I see that you must have changed the page to reflect some of the suggestions here and I thank you for that. Basically, it is good to try to anticipate problems and address them on the cache page. That helps the reviewer and is good for the cachers when they seek the cache as well. For example, if I saw a cache placed that looked like it was somewhere it should not be or had not followed regulations, I would not seek it. Anyway, be patient when there are issues and politely address them. That always helps and is good for everyone!

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It is important to consider cache submissions and complaints against the volunteer reviewers in the total context. I think it relevant for readers of this topic to know that the same cache owner submitted virtual caches for "the lower jaw of a large carnivore," "a bunch of beaver-chewed sticks," and "a deer skull with antlers." Each cache page included a note to the reviewer saying that getting permission from the New York DEC is "too much hassle" so virtual caches were being submitted.

 

In this context, ask yourself, if you were the reviewer of the physical cache placed on this geocacher's private property, would you be cautious when dealing with that submission?

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The weird thing was the constant harassing reviewer notes I got suggesting that the cache was actually on state land, or that a cacher would have to cross state land to get to it (which really, why would this be a problem even if it was the case, since lots of cache hunts cross or even finish on state land).

 

A reviewer asking questions about a cache placement is harrassment in your eyes? :o Geez, and I thought it was their job. Since you are new, you might not be aware of the issues surrounding placing caches in the Adirondack Forest Preserve and other DEC lands.. There is currently a discussion going on with the DEC and a cache placed against their wishes could jeopardize any progress being made. This is why your cache received extra scruitny. Be thankful that Mtn-Man and others like him are responsible stewards of this sport and have its best interests in mind. I think you owe him and all approvers an apology for your rant.

Edited by briansnat
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mapping programs are often in error in showing boundaries to state and federally owned lands. on some programs my family's homeplace farm is shown almost in its entirety to be owned by the state, which it most certainly is not. i'm sure that a similar error is what caused the approver concern. glad your cache got approved. good luck. -harry

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It is important to consider cache submissions and complaints against the volunteer reviewers in the total context.  I think it relevant for readers of this topic to know that the same cache owner submitted virtual caches for "the lower jaw of a large carnivore," "a bunch of beaver-chewed sticks," and "a deer skull with antlers."  Each cache page included a note to the reviewer saying that getting permission from the New York DEC is "too much hassle" so virtual caches were being submitted.

 

In this context, ask yourself, if you were the reviewer of the physical cache placed on this geocacher's private property, would you be cautious when dealing with that submission?

Hi,

 

as long as we're getting the whole story let's do that...the DEC has ruled that no physical caches will be allowed within the Adirondack Park, due to the constitutional restrictions placed on the park. Once I found that out, I altered the traditional caches I had placed in state land to virtual caches. I did it incorrectly (by focussing the geocacher on non-permanent found objects of interest like beaver chewed sticks and deer skulls in the areas).

 

Once I was told that this was not in accordance with the guidleines for virtual caches, I altered the caches (again) to reflect and meet the gc.com policy by making the focus of the caches permanent and beautiful adirondack landmarks...this was ignored, and the caches remained in limbo...water under the bridge (which is why I didn't mention them).

 

I mentioned the cache on my land, because I had been working to place numerous caches for over a week without success, and when one was finally accepted, it was done with what I took to be a warning about the cache's quality. I was defensive at that point...wrong, maybe, but some of you might understand the post I made last night in light of "the whole story".

 

at any rate, I got an email from mtn man last night, somebody who was involved in a lot of the dealing of the last day, and can speak to what actually happened, and he took issue with my post...rightfully.

 

I was in error in both the tone and content of my post, and wish to apologize to mtn man and to others (read approvers here) who took offense or felt insulted by my post. Below you will find a copy of the email I sent him this morning in response to his email...

 

Hi,

 

I had a moment last night, once I had posted the unfortunate forum topic...I'm sorry for the tone and content of my post, and will say as much in a post to that topic right after I send this email to you...I took personally something that you did for the good of geocaching in general, and that was wrong.  I was upset at the cache listing taking 8 days to get approved, but this also was not your fault.  I was trying to get some caches approved that I had originally listed as traditional caches, and was a little slow on the uptake on the guidelines...they were altered to match the guidelines for virtual caches, but were still archived...on this point I'm still a little confused as to why (since they were no longer focused on temporary items, but permanent landmarks...but no matter).

 

Anyway, I apologize for the tone and content of my post, I was feeling defensive about what I took to be a personal thing, that was in reality simply a move to protect geocaching for everyone, which is your job. 

 

Thanks for getting in touch with me, and for your help over the last several days.

 

NFA - Jamie

 

Mea Culpa, Mea Culpa!

 

I hope this topic can now be put to rest...rest assured I will think long and hard before criticizing the good people who make geocaching.com possible, the volunteers who help the whole process work as well as it does.

 

NFA - Jamie

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NFA,

If you want to “lock/close” this topic, you can do so as the “topic starter”. Look at the bottom left of this thread, and you should see this option. It might be a good idea, because some people will not read everything, like your apology, and continue to beat this to death.

Hi,

 

I figure I'm probably due a little more beating, and it'll probably do some people some good to vent at the dumb newbie (it doesn't hurt me any).

 

Thanks for the advice though, I'll probably shut it down in a day or so, after the people involved have had a chance to see me eat a little crow.

 

bye,

 

NFA

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NFA,

 

You've learned from the "mistake", which is good. Some of the people come here, have the same thing (or similar) happen, and leave in a huff when the approvers are just doing what they're supposed to do.

 

I applaud you for sticking around and learning from it. I'm sure your future caches you intend to place will be a lot easier to approve and everyone will be better off for it.

 

Take care. :o

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First approvers can vary in the amount and kinds of questions they ask on approving a cache. Some ask things out of curiosity. Some ask things if they think they might be able to improve the cache experience.

 

Some are "once bitten twice shy"

 

It's entirely possible that mtn-man has personl cache experience in that area and while it may be your property other caches have been an issue. This is all speculation.

 

My direct experiene is that GC.com uses a "Trust but verify" approach. Normally this would mean trust the owner but verify using other sources. (Check the county tax maps for example). GC.com approvers don't really have 'other sources' other than personal experience. Thus the problem with this this approach is that they end up both trusting us as cache owners but then having to turn around and verify with us as cache owners. This leads to goofy questions at times.

 

I am not a fan of approvers having the first log on the approved cache. Mostly because that's reserved for the finder logs espeically FTF in my mind. It steals the thunder of a fresh clean cache page. mtn-man's log is one where it's clear he had a concern of some type probably based on his experience*. However whatever his intentions may be (and I trust them) one result is that it's an the cache, and the cache owenrs have had their name, cache, and work called into question on their own cache pge for in front of the geocaching community. Of course the owner reacted.

 

Edit: *They do have access to online maps etc. Those same maps can put you on the wrong side of a river while hunting for the cache or the wrong side of a park line.

Edited by Renegade Knight
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After reading NFA's response in this topic and the copy of his e-mail to mtn-man, I for one do not see any reason to "bash the newbie." You have learned from the experience and apologized. That's good enough for me.

 

I know that it is frustrating to have impediments to cache placements, such as an evolving and somewhat unclear land manager policy. Just try to remember that it is not the volunteer reviewer's fault. In fact, one of the reasons that mtn-man and myself pitched in to help clear out the backlog of New York caches was because the regular volunteer reviewer for that area is spending so much time on the DEC issue. We hope for a positive outcome just as much as you do, and we work very hard to make those outcomes happen, with the cooperation of local geocachers like yourself.

 

It's helpful to remember that the volunteer reviewers are rabid geocachers who love the sport so much that we willingly devote hours of time to the volunteer job each day. We WANT to list more geocaches. I open each new cache page with the expectation that it will be listed, and I am disappointed when I see one that does not meet the listing guidelines. In that case, I have no choice but to enforce the guidelines I've been asked to follow. But even then, I am happy to work with the owner to try and modify the cache in a way that allows it to be listed, if that is possible. That is true even when the cache owner gets a little.... ummm... upset.

 

We have very thick skins and we wear kevlar flak jackets on top of that. You are not really in trouble until mtn-man throws an Admin Brick at you. :o

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Here, 403684_tn.jpg It'll help the crow go down a little better. :o Welcome to the wonderful world of geocaching. And I'd like to throw in a thanks to everyone at GC.com for the last two years of fun, hiking, and new friends. It's my 2 year cachiversary today! :D

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NFA,

If you want to “lock/close” this topic, you can do so as the “topic starter”. Look at the bottom left of this thread, and you should see this option. It might be a good idea, because some people will not read everything, like your apology, and continue to beat this to death.

Hi,

 

I figure I'm probably due a little more beating, and it'll probably do some people some good to vent at the dumb newbie (it doesn't hurt me any).

 

Thanks for the advice though, I'll probably shut it down in a day or so, after the people involved have had a chance to see me eat a little crow.

 

bye,

 

NFA

In my opinion NFA, you are a class act. It would be easy to just slink away but you even are allowing others the oppourtunity to "beat you some more" :o On the other hand what is happening is you are getting lots of praise. Pretty crafty :D

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Here, 403684_tn.jpg It'll help the crow go down a little better. :D Welcome to the wonderful world of geocaching. And I'd like to throw in a thanks to everyone at GC.com for the last two years of fun, hiking, and new friends. It's my 2 year cachiversary today! :D

I didn't realize you joined after I did. My cachiversary was a few days ago :o

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QUOTE (Planet @ Apr 24 2004, 12:32 PM)

Here,  It'll help the crow go down a little better.  Welcome to the wonderful world of geocaching. And I'd like to throw in a thanks to everyone at GC.com for the last two years of fun, hiking, and new friends. It's my 2 year cachiversary today! 

 

I didn't realize you joined after I did. My cachiversary was a few days ago 

 

Wow :D I have been a member longer then both of you. :o LOL

 

Oh yeah, NFA

 

I learned the hard way. Their site and their rules. You have to follow the guidelines to play. I see the lynch mob is rolling in here a little. I am sure glad I changed my attitude to positive. :D

 

Upinyachit :D

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Welcome to caching NFA. :o Your post and replies are examples of how others should handle problems.

 

In case any other newbies are reading this and have had similar experiences, I would like to say that all approvers are top notch and that's why they have the job of approving. Don't take things personal, they are here to help you.

 

El Diablo

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Back on topic, there are many plots of private property in many states that are totally surrounded by state or federal land. Of course, they are on public roads, but they are surrounded on all four sides.... I'm not saying that's the case here, but just food for thought... CAche on!!

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QUOTE 

April 22 by mtn-man (654 found)

The cache owner has assured me that this cache is on private property and that no state land must be crossed to access the cache. If there are any problems the cache will be archived.

 

Im gonna lean the other way on this. Very good that mtn-man is srutinizing and trying to do the best he can for our hobby but i dont think the "log" above should have been added to the cache page. NFA worked worked with mtn-man and explained this cache to him. Theres no point for this "log" inclusion. If for some reason there is a descrepency, then it will most likely appear soon after the first few find logs and at that point more appropriate action can be taken. Probably not a big deal for most of you but, if it was my cache it would bug me too!

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The log appears to be an attempt to double-check that the information given is correct. The owner says the cache is on their property and so has been approved, but if searchers get into trouble with a state lands person who claims the container is actual on state lands, that's important for Mtn-Man to learn of.

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