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Geocaching Illegal In Boulder County?


jeff35080
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Hm. They don't make it clear what "Boulder County Open Space" is. I can't think of county-owned parks anywhere that I'm familiar with. City or town, states or federal, and privately-managed trusts are all I know, and I can't think how county commissioners could dictate what goes on there.

 

Sounds to me like that's a specific area or land management scheme. It's still a bad thing, of course.

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Like I said in another post when someone wanted to let their city/county council know about geocaching......

 

Once the government gets their claws into something they will find a way to regulate it. Either by banning it completely or by taxing it with permits.

 

I've always said what they don't know won't hurt them, but we are our worst enemy. In the effort to make the hide tougher to find the caches get smaller and the cachers get more clever. Yes it would be great if all our coord's were right on and we can walk right up to it without disturbing the surrounding areas but that isn't the case. We are our worst enemy!!!!!!

 

I have seen micros hung in bushes along side of an neighborhood path. You had to tromp through the landscaping in order to get to the cache. 1 or 2 people that would be o.k. but 15 +!!!!! That will hurt the flora.

 

Again we are our worst enemy and if we don't regulate it on our own, then somebody will and impose their will on us.

 

Ken

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Not sure about in CO, but around here, the number of folks that visit any particular cache can't really have an impact on the environment. In the course of a couple of years, if you have 75-100 people go after a cache, it's an active cache. Is 75 people over 2 or 3 years going to make an impact on an area vs say the hundreds/thousands in the area that don't geocache but use the same areas? I doubt it.

 

In addition, in many areas, there's trash that can be CITO'ed out, so obviously there are already people there, and those people aren't environmentally friendly.

Edited by Team DEMP
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It seems to me that many, many cache owners have never been exposed to the phrase "all things in moderation." It seems to me the greatest problem facing geocaching is the proliferation of caches.

 

For example, when I started geocaching, it was common for a "geocache adventure" to feature a pleasant hike to a scenic location. The cache would be hidden at or near this focal point of the adventure. But over time, other caches were placed along such routes/trails until the route became "saturated." To me, the question is: Does the increased number of caches improve upon or detract from that route's original "geocache adventure?" My opinion is it detracts from it, and in the most egregious examples totally obliterates it. But the facts seem to support the contention that the increased number of caches persuades more geocachers to "do the route." Geocaching most definitely IS a "numbers-driven" game.

 

Now, a land manager/Park Ranger might easily have been perfectly happy with the original route with its single cache, but horrified by the subsequent "development" of that route. Perhaps even worse, from the point of view of the land manager, it is rapidly becoming common practice for a cache owner to create a route that is "pre-saturated" in order to guarantee a substantial number of quick hits and/or group hunts.

 

I conclude the same things I have in the past:

 

1. The ".1 mile rule" is inadequate and rather than discourage cache placement in close proximity to existing caches actually serves to encourage a proliferation of caches.

 

2. Routes along which a high number of caches exist entice geocachers to visit an area once. Such routes are usually completed by the local caching community in short order, and then remain dormant and forgotten until someone visits from outside the area, or the annual piece about geocaching appears in the newspaper and a new batch of cachers is hatched. My position remains that there is little reason for a cache to remain active once it has been logged by the majority of the local caching community. It has served its purpose; caches are not intended to memorialize their owners "in perpetuity."

 

One potential solution is to place caches for a limited period of time. After that, the cache is removed and/or the area is reused for a different type of cache, or someone else is allowed the opportunity to use the area to create a cache. Such a policy would also tend to cause people to revisit those terrific areas we want them to discover and enjoy.

 

I strongly opposed geocaching being banned in National Parks, but looking back, the right decision was made, but for the wrong reasons. Damage to sensitive areas through over use wouldn't have been the greatest problem ... the proliferation of caches along routes/trails clearly would have been.

Edited by BassoonPilot
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I can't agree with your here BP. I think that more caches along a multi-mile hike makes for a more enjoyable loop. I don't see caches .1 mi away on the multi-mile hikes I take through Harriman, Ramapo, Ringwood, etc. though I'm sure anyone could find examples where such a thing exists.

 

Everyone likes different things. I like long hikes that take all day and I like short hikes that I can attempt after work or in a morning or afternoon on the weekends. I even like no hikes. I like looking for hard caches and I like finding easy caches.

 

What doesn't make sense to me regarding your posting is that you seem to have BP noted on every log book I run into, so I guess all those caches, no matter where they are (in proximity to other caches for this discussion), aren't preventing you from going after them. I would think making a statement about a 5 cache/5 mile loop would be best be done by not doing it if you felt it wasn't "in moderation".

 

I think many of us would rather have a 5 cache loop over 5 miles then a 1 cache multi over those same five miles for no other reason then not finding a cache in a multi will prevent you from continuing while not finding cache #3 of a 5 cache loop allows you to continue on to the other caches with only logging a DNF on 1 cache but being able to continue. I'd point to Skully & Mulder's Africa Loop as a perfect example of this exact scenario happening.

 

Maybe you ought to stop geocaching since you don't enjoy it and it's not like when you started. I know *I* like geocaching more now then I did when I started as do my kids. I don't think my kids know what number of caches we've found, nor do they care. For them, the fun is in finding it, seeing who else logged it that they've come to know via logs or in person, and if they see something interesting, trading for it.

 

I think land managers/park rangers should care more about the rest of the crap going on in their park then a few ammo cans. I can't even tell you how many times I see bottles / garbage / vehicles / tires / who knows what is in that big drum / old fence / trash while going from the trail towards a cache. I can't even fathom how some of the crap gets in there, but they sure don't seem to care about it, so why care about a silly little ammo can that is bringing people to their park?

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I  would think making a statement about a 5 cache/5 mile  loop would be best be done by not doing it if you felt it wasn't "in moderation".

I regularly hike several "loop hikes" where there are now from 6 to 18 caches where one or two caches once "sufficed." Generally, I don't bother to seek the caches planted along the route for no purpose other than to entice a geocacher to continue down the trail (for the one-and-only time they will hike that trail) to the true focal point of the hike. Yes, I understand that a good number of geocachers don't really enjoy hiking. So the fact that they'll subject themselves to a long or difficult hike for 5 smilies that they wouldn't consider doing for one or two is baffling to me. "Everyone" might "like different things," but I do find it very strange that so many geocachers seem to value collecting "the smilies" more than the "outdoors experience."

 

Maybe you ought to stop geocaching since you don't enjoy it and it's not like when you started. I know *I* like geocaching more now then I did when I started as do my kids. I don't think my kids know what number of caches we've found, nor do they care. For them, the fun is in finding it

 

Thanks for the suggestion. Tell me; Do you take your kids on long hikes to log-only bison capsules, or only on short jaunts where they can collect "prizes?" (Never mind; you answered that question in a previous thread.) But speaking of kids, my daughter rarely goes caching anymore because she thinks the majority of caches are in lousy locations. For example, I see you and your daughter made a recent attempt on a local "historical interest" cache that turned out to be a mosquito-infested dumping grounds. Great cache page, though. How did the cache description read? "I also like this area because it is not built up yet and it still has a 1776 feel to it." Yeah, if the "1776 feel" includes rusted 55 gallon drums, plumbing fixtures, and modern garbage and refuse of every description. Perhaps that was old George's broken aluminum lawn chair? But the cache was typical of the many local caches I don't bother doing anymore. Hope you and your daughter enjoyed your shared experience; mine would have hated it.

 

I stand by my earlier post: The sheer number of caches placed, especially along established, popular trails, or land managers' fears of the sheer number of caches that might be placed along such trails, poses the greatest problem geocaching faces.

Edited by BassoonPilot
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Unless and until we hear from someone with personal knowledge that the Boulder County Open Spaces presently feature so-called "power trails" of closely spaced caches, or caches in unattractive areas, or any of the other maladies complained of in recent posts, kindly refrain from speculating about these issues. This thread is for discussing the proposed ban on geocaches in the Boulder County Open Spaces. Thank you.

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I no longer live in the area, but this sounds very typical of Boulder politics.

 

Reminds me of my wedding day when the vehicle my now ex-wife and I were to leave the church in was ticketed for parking in the "No Parking" zone directly in front of the church steps despite the fact that it was decorated with flowers and Just Married signs.

 

The "No Parking" zone was created by request of the church to ensure that there would always be a space available for church functions. After this ticket, I heard a story that a hearse was also ticketed for parking in front of the church during a funeral.

 

Just pray that there is not a Boulder meter maid on the committee planning to ban geocaching on public lands. . .

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Ask them about the information they *must* have compiled to make these decisions informed ones. Ask them how many people per day/week/month visit these areas? What number of those are identified as geocachers?

 

How many people bring in coolers/bottles/cans/alcoholic beverages with them to these areas each day/week/month? How many of those are identified as geocachers?

 

Ask what documented cases of damage in the area do they have? How many of those cases were identified as caused directly by geocachers?

 

Make them realize that geocachers are a minuscule population and likely one that is more aware of the environment.

 

Best of luck!

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I stand by my earlier post:  The sheer number of caches placed, especially along established, popular trails, or land managers' fears of the sheer number of caches that might be placed along such trails, poses the greatest problem geocaching faces.

I think ignorance by those not fully aware of geocaching is the greatest problem the hobby faces.

 

I don't think the numbers matter at all. If they did, I'm sure in many of the larger respected parks I've been to, the number of abandoned vehicles and dilapidated/abandoned structures on the land far outnumbers the quantity of caches.

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I don't think the numbers matter at all. If they did, I'm sure in many of the larger respected parks I've been to, the number of abandoned vehicles and dilapidated/abandoned structures on the land far outnumbers the quantity of caches.

Or, as I've read in various reports, the expense incurred to remove the vehicles, etc., combined with the resulting damage the surrounding area would incur outweighs any benefit from removal. Meaning, I take it, "ashes to ashes, dust to dust" sometimes is the better option.

 

I think ignorance by those not fully aware of geocaching is the greatest problem the hobby faces.

 

I'm sure that is a contributing factor, but it would be extremely naive to believe that land managers would even potentially allow such a game to continue to expand unchecked and uncontrolled. Land managers fear geocaching because of the reputation we geocachers have given to the game. One doesn't have to spend much time or effort reading through these forums or through cache logs in order to determine how irresponsibly geocachers can behave; how quick we are to ignore not only the rules and guidelines of the game, but also of the land owners/controlling agencies.

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I think ignorance by those not fully aware of geocaching is the greatest problem the hobby faces.

 

I'm sure that is a contributing factor, but it would be extremely naive to believe that land managers would even potentially allow such a game to continue to expand unchecked and uncontrolled. Land managers fear geocaching because of the reputation we geocachers have given to the game. One doesn't have to spend much time or effort reading through these forums or through cache logs in order to determine how irresponsibly geocachers can behave; how quick we are to ignore not only the rules and guidelines of the game, but also of the land owners/controlling agencies.

Forums aren't a good measure of what is going on in total. It's a measure of what people feel there are issues with. Like most "support" type forums, folks post their issues and not what they aren't unhappy about, so forums are typically negative.

 

In addition, look at the user base of geocachers to the total population that visits their area of concern and my guess is it is a meaningless small percentage. Focusing on a meaningless percentage is irresponsible and a financially unsound decision.

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[in addition, look at the user base of geocachers to the total population that visits their area of concern and my guess is it is a meaningless small percentage. Focusing on a meaningless percentage is irresponsible and a financially unsound decision.

Have to disagree here.

 

If you consider the Power statistic, you can have two small groups that are radically different and even with the small groups, you are going to have a statistically significant impact of one or two more into one of the subgroups.

 

One of the things we like the most about this sport is the ability to go to parts of parks that most people never get to. If that is true, then we have the classic example of a small N size with a Huge difference causing that group to have a significant impact. We don't just stay on the bike trail or go to the lap pool, we are the people to go to the far corner of the park and risk falling off the cliff to get to the geocache. Others are content to pay their money and sit around the winnebago, we are not. We may be small in number, but we are big in impact.

 

What we need to do is to demonstrate that this is a game that can self-regulate itself, can modify its manner of play so as to fit in with other needs, and can evolve from a geo-pyramid scheme into something more durable.

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BigRedMed... I don't see how going to less traveled areas of the park has an impact on things. At least for the caches I've done, specifically focusing on those in State/County Parks, I'm on the trails 99.9% of the time and typically off the trail .1% and likely much less. In some cases, the cache is on the trail.

 

If I compare a few geocachers a weekend going a hundred feet off trail with the hundreds of non-geocachers, that are off-trail in streams, camping, picnicking, partying, swimming, picking blueberry's, having sex in the woods, riding their mountain bikes, etc I'd say we're back to an insignificant percentage.

 

And though I've never seen a geocacher litter or leave something behind, I'm sure it happens. Contrast that to the garbage I see (old and new) around the parks and why focus on some group so small that regulating them would provide no benefit other then in a status report.

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One of my friends graduated from CU in Boulder. He was also stationed in East Berlin when the wall was up. I think it is telling that when asked what he thought of Boulder as a place to live, he said "they ought to rename it the People's Republic of Boulder and put up a wall." :lol:

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I'm not saying I agree with the Boulder County people (heck, if they have an opinion, generally the opposite opinion makes the most sense), but I do feel they have one issue that indeed has merit. One thing I've noticed frequently in cache's I've visited is a pretty obvious "geocacher trail" where the vegetation has been beaten down headed towards the cache. I've even had at least one cache where I decided not to do it, because I could tell where it was, and didn't feel like it was appropriate to do the damage on the vegetation to get to it. The more people leave the trail and end up causing a distinguishable trail, the more other people are going to try following it just to see where it goes.

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Here is a thought. Lets just wait until after the meeting tomorrow to understand what they mean and want. Trying to figure out before doesnt do any good and can spread ill will at a time that we need to be friends with the County of Boulder.

 

Negative comments about the city and county of Boulder are against the forum guidelines and will not help my meeting tomorrow

Thank you all

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Negative comments about the city and county of Boulder are against the forum guidelines and will not help my meeting tomorrow

Really? There's a forum guideline about dissing the city of Boulder? Huh.

 

I'd be surprised if the county council is a regular reader of the forums. But on the bright side, if they are, you won't have much to explaining to do tommorrow.

 

On the other hand, if they are, I can't guess how the hearing will come out...

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Very typical of Boulder County, The problem is there are so many great caches in this area for example check out:

Well nevermind, because geocaching.com if not up. The thing is Boulder county covers a lot of ground to include, Lafayette, Superior, Louisville, and Niwot to name a few. Open Space abounds in the area. Most all of the caches I have been to in Boulder County open space, are not more than a 4 meters from the trail. Boulder has a reputation of going to extreme measures to protect flora and fauna in this county, however, this seems like a knee-jerk reaction if ever there was one. I currently live in Adams County which borders Boulder county, and my next cache will definately be in Adams.

 

P.S. my avitar is taken in Boulder County, I better erase it before the Boulder Law comes looking for me, for as you can plainly see I am not on the trail :D

Edited by Cwiggum
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Very typical of Boulder County, The problem is there are so many great caches in this area for example check out:

Well nevermind, because geocaching.com if not up. The thing is Boulder county covers a lot of ground to include, Lafayette, Superior, Louisville, and Niwot to name a few. Open Space abounds in the area. Most all of the caches I have been to in Boulder County open space, are not more than a 4 meters from the trail. Boulder has a reputation of going to extreme measures to protect flora and fauna in this county, however, this seems like a knee-jerk reaction if ever there was one. I currently live in Adams County which borders Boulder county, and my next cache will definately be in Adams.

 

P.S. my avitar is taken in Boulder County, I better erase it before the Boulder Law comes looking for me, for as you can plainly see I am not on the trail :D

Everyone, its easy to take shots. I am requesting that it stop. THis is not helpful to the concept of keeping Geocaching in Boulder county.

 

The meeting is tomorrow at 2:pm. lets wait and see what happens

 

Please.

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Isn't that the area where (per Readers Digest) the mountain lion problem is so bad that the people are being attacked, and one high schooler went out running and got eaten (partially)? And yet, officials keep protecting the lions?

I think that was Tucson, AZ, but I could be wrong.

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Forums aren't a good measure of what is going on in total. It's a measure of what people feel there are issues with.

Those issues are sometimes even addressed from a variety of interesting and informative points of view. But representative of "the total" or not, a land owner or controlling agency would visit a website such as this one, and peruse forums such as these as well as logs posted to geocaches in their region, in order to learn more about the game, its management, and its players. Actually, I think that IS a very good representation of "what is going on in total."

 

Like most "support" type forums, folks post their issues and not what they aren't unhappy about, so forums are typically negative.

 

I don't necessarily agree with that. People who religiously "toe the party line" (those who support the positions of the website administration without question) always, ALWAYS make sure their voice is heard. Often in great numbers through an organized behind-the-scenes (albeit transparent) effort. It is VERY common that such people have absolutely NOTHING at all to say regarding a topic, but will go to great lengths to "shout down" any/every suggestion or opinion that is not the "official" position or opinion. THAT, in my opinion, is the root cause of a great deal of the negativity found in forums such as these.

 

In addition, look at the user base of geocachers to the total population that visits their area of concern and my guess is it is a meaningless small percentage. Focusing on a meaningless percentage is irresponsible and a financially unsound decision.

 

What are you saying? If geocachers were to comprise .1% of the visitors to an area but were to leave behind 75% of the items hidden in that area, that would be an entirely legitimate concern for the land manager. If geocachers were to comprise .1% of visitors to an area but were to account for 25% of the people caught bushwhacking 50 yards off-trail in an area where the regulations clearly state that "Hikers must remain on designated trails at all times," that would be an entirely legitimate concern for the land manager. Etc., etc..

Edited by BassoonPilot
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Isn't that the area where (per Readers Digest) the mountain lion problem is so bad that the people are being attacked, and one high schooler went out running and got eaten (partially)?  And yet, officials keep protecting the lions?

I think that was Tucson, AZ, but I could be wrong.

If you go hiking in an area with a wildlife-attacking-humans problem, it is not prudent to be there, unless you're prepared! If it is on a known hiking trail, especially, Article II abounds.

 

Please people, protect yourselves! A Kimber .45, S&W .357, or the like on your hip in plain view (so it can be drawn quickly) is prudent for areas such as this.

 

It's your right. It's necessary in some areas. No one should be eaten by a mountain lion! We're the top on the food chain. Enough said. No entity, gov't and/or otherwise has the right to keep you from being protected in a dangerous area. You're your only You, keep yourself safe!

 

Warm regards from,

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BP: I completely disagree with your assessment of the contents of forums such as this and since I actively participate in many, it's not just a guess on my part but practical hands on observations. Take your digs at others if you must in your comments, but my observations are correct. And I don't think others reflecting on their observations because they disagree with yours or whoever has different views makes any topic negative.

 

To illustrate my point, please reference multiple posts related to the following non-negative threads:

- Found a cache container that had no issues (vs ones that have issues)

- Found a cache at a location with pretty flowers (vs a location that would be less then optimal for someone)

- Got my PQ delivered immediately (without referencing a past delay issue)

- Website is responding fast (without referencing it being slow at some previous time)

 

What you'll find is there's no real reason for people to post those things. They post because they want a reaction or a response to a problem. If there's no problem, then people tend not to post. I think if there's any chance for finding those threads above, they will be in the regional forums where there's more friendly discussions vs site or general geocaching discussions.

 

As for my statement on the insignificance of the number of geocachers, your response might hold water if all I saw in parks was nature and the cache container. That's not the case, in any park I've been at, so why not focus on the issue currently adversely effecting their areas vs one that might (and certainly might not) ever be an issue.

Edited by Team DEMP
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BP: I completely disagree with your assessment of the contents of forums such as this and since I actively participate in many, it's not just a guess on my part but practical hands on observations. Take your digs at others if you must in your comments, but my observations are correct.

To quote the late, great Ronald Reagan, "There you go again." Of course your observations are correct, and of course your point of view is the only point of view. You win. :) :) :lol::):lol::lol:B):)B):lol:

Edited by BassoonPilot
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I think that the argument that geocachers damage the environment by "disturbing the foliage" and "running roughshod off the trail" is invalid. First, the number of geocachers is not high enough to cause any measurable damage. Second, as anyone who is knowledgeable about forest management issues in the US will say, most forests in the US are overgrown and their structures are unhealthy: overcrowded, too much brush, too much undergrowth (the number one cause of uncontrollable forest fires)! In fact, the US Forest Service has active projects to thin the forests by cutting down or burning up the brush and the smaller trees. If anything, geocachers can only do good by breaking off a few small branches of bushes or small trees.

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I think that the argument that geocachers damage the environment by "disturbing the foliage" and "running roughshod off the trail" is invalid. First, the number of geocachers is not high enough to cause any measurable damage. Second, as anyone who is knowledgeable about forest management issues in the US will say, most forests in the US are overgrown and their structures are unhealthy: overcrowded, too much brush, too much undergrowth (the number one cause of uncontrollable forest fires)! In fact, the US Forest Service has active projects to thin the forests by cutting down or burning up the brush and the smaller trees. If anything, geocachers can only do good by breaking off a few small branches of bushes or small trees.

Unfortunately blanket statements (from either side of the issue) are useless. There will be social trails that destroy animal habitats/behaviors and trample sacred endangered flowers. There will be areas where a bit of visitation and human influence will be useful. The problem is that an agency such as Boulder Co Open Spaces needs to set a rule. If it is too narrow or difficult to enforce ("ohhhh, *that* specific species of flower is protected by 30 feet...but I had to get 30 feet to know that!") than it's a useless rule. If it's too broad it only affects the 300 geocachers in the greater Boulder area. Therefore, they will err on the side of broadness and use the newness of geocaching and its easily isolatable influence on the land and say "no geocaching".

 

The only defense that will work is to demonstrate that geocaching is not the sole cause (or even the major cause) of the problem they're hoping to alleviate and demonstrate that geocachers bring far more benefits to the table than problems. We can concede to work with the local enforcement on our placement to eliminate truly invasive in-trailing in sensitive areas, since our mantra has always been to do no harm in our search for entertainment. At the same time, we can request that they concede to allow us to continue to use the great land that we all share custody of and concern for.

 

Making blanket statements (and I'm not singling the above quoted comments or even geocachers' comments out for this) is not helpful or useful to the entire process.

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OK

getting back on topic

 

the issue was the addition of Rule #22 "A total and complete banning of Geocaching in Boulder open space"

 

The end results. The commissioners voted to not pass rule 22 and ordered the Parks and open space people to meet with local ecologist and the local Geocaching Representative(me). to "Find a way to allow Geocaching in Boulder County open spaces"

 

I love my job.

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OK

getting back on topic

 

the issue was the addition of Rule #22 "A total and complete banning of Geocaching in Boulder open space"

 

The end results. The commissioners voted to not pass rule 22 and ordered the Parks and open space people to meet with local ecologist and the local Geocaching Representative(me). to "Find a way to allow Geocaching in Boulder County open spaces"

 

I love my job.

Fantastic CA! Great job educating the bureaucrats.

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