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Plan To Ban Geocaching East Of Bend, Oregon


jeff35080
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I see you have since changed the title to "Geocaching Possible Ban In Bend OR"

 

Actually I didn't change it and I would appreciate it if whatever mod changed it would have actually at least noted that they changed it.

 

Secondly, this matter affects geocachers everywhere, not just those in OR.

 

Geesh...

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It seems very short-sighted to ban geocaching in parks. To me, it seems like a matter of awareness and education on the part of Land Managers. Maybe an intelligently written, downloadable brochure on how geocaching expands low-impact, environment friendly recreational use of land is in order?

 

Some emphasis on the cache in/trash out activities as well as drawing some comparisions between geocachers and hikers/outdoors people. Most Land Managers reject the new out-of-hand -- Mountain Biking, Snowboarding, and Rock Climbing have all faced similar challenges.

 

As this activity matures, the methods involved in participation will also need to mature. Sure, the sub-culture aspect will fade as things get more "mainstream", but an intelligent approach makes the most sense.

 

I'm looking to Groundspeak to provide some direction and tools that I can use with Land Managers in my area. Consistency will be key and a unified direction would probably work best. If anyone wants a copy of my "Please let me place a cache on your property" letter -- just let me know.

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I think he meant to say "affects" and it does so by setting a precedent.

Thank you and I can NEVER remember affect vs effect. Turns out the person I asked was wrong too. But stuff like this does affect everyone. While dealing with a land manager recently they had 14 different "local" policies from around the country and were looking at them all.

Edited by CO Admin
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ahh whadya expect when alabama is probably smaller than harney county? this is all relative. i have been with the government 30+ years and am very familiar with govspeak and govthinking. some people are afraid for their little jobs, and when they finally have a safe chance to bitch about something that won't undermine their position and possibly make themselves look a little bit good for their next fitness report they complain about something like geocaching, ignoring the obvious such as has been mentioned atv's, trail riders, etc (honorable pursuits all, just talking about possible environmental damage). i have personally fought it out and lost with environmentalists here on the army depot (26 miles around) over training army troops off the hard ball roads. they will not let me take them off the roads into the brush to train (army must train like it fights), because of the valuable steppes. well, they forgot that this whole darn thing was bulldozed over in the 40's and 50's and has since overgrown again with sage, juniper, etc. anyway, i sent some guys to iraq whom didn't get off the road and still feel bad about that. i guess my point is to keep plugging away at the government agency in question and possibly sooner or later you will reach a reasonable ear (best case scenario). i do not advocate caching when it is banned, as that will further inflame some plush bottomed self important bureaucrat into plugging even more rules into the system. we (cachers) need to become somewhat subversive in that we learn to speak their language and approach it from that side. as in the wise suggestion to involve scouting groups, youth activities, senior groups, homeless groups, inner city folks (makes some government folks look good, and that is very important to them) and so on. there are a lot of bright minds out there amongst the cachers, so i am sure we can come up with a strategy to overcome this developing situation.

 

cachers unite!! :D

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I've been to this area... and I wouldn't call it an especially environmentally sensitive area. We are talking small bushes and some trees... but mostly rock and hard ground.

 

This is a bit of a misconception. Desert areas often get a bad rap as being not environmentally sensitive....A desert habitat has more subtle attributes then a forest, for instance. They recover much slower from abuse then a wetter area. Deserts because of their dry nature, do not cover over or reclaim area that have been beaten down by atv's, or the repeated trompings of people on a single trail. We have a road on our desert property that we have been trying to recover for 4 years, that is still clearly visible. While the junipers, rocks, and sage of the Badlands may not appeal to some as beautiful, the Badlands is a wonderfully unique high desert habit that deserves the careful consideration by the many groups that it is getting.

 

Should geocaching be banned there? I don't think so. But I do understand the concerns the stewards of this area are having. It's an area that's been badly abused and they are trying to recover it from these years of misuse. The central Oregon geo cachers are doing a masterful job of working with BLM. My hat is off to them.

 

This thread is valuable as a way to work with the various government groups who control our public lands. And Oregon land managers have been very responsive to different groups needs. For instance, the llama industry worked hard to get llamas allowed in national forest and wilderness areas. It was a matter of education, understanding, the issues, and cooperation.

 

And for the record...Portland and Bend are 180° different in location and habitat. Portland is in the wet area of Oregon, Bend and the Badlands east of Bend are in the high desert. The title of this thread is way off.

 

HWyatt

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A few years ago, caches placed along the rim above Crater Lake caused some people to trample on sensitive off-trail vegetation, said Peter Reinhardt, the park's acting chief ranger.

 

"It caused some problems for us because it concentrates the use," he said, and "we manage (the park) to protect those natural resources."

 

In the Badlands, the BLM has concluded that geocachers traversing the shrub steppe landscape or scrambling over rocks pose a threat to the delicate ecosystem. 

 

 

I can see where the BLM has some legitimate points. There can be no denying the fact that a cache brings increased traffic to an area, and to a very concentrated area at that. How many cache logs do you read where you see comments like "I never would have come to this area if not for Geocaching."? How many times have you been to a cache and discovered that the area has been totally dismantled by people turning over every log, poking in every hole and generally being a nuisance in the pursuit of the cache? Geocachers on the whole are very sensitive to the environment, but it is the visible minority who will make the news and colour peoples' perceptions of the activity.

 

The park wardens do have a responsibility to protect the natural areas. In the Crater Lake example, either the people who placed the caches in such a way that people naturally trampled "sensitive off-trail vegetation" either did it because they didn't care about the environment or they were ignorant of the consequences of their actions. Either way, the park wardens stepped in and put an end to it -- as is their right, regardless of whether it is public land or not.

 

Sure, there are park rangers out there who will say "NO" to a cache, just to fuel their own egos and not base the decision on any sort of rational thought. But, I think we would find that, again, they are the visible minority. (And, no, that doesn't refer to skin colour!) :D

 

Just because land is "public", doesn't mean we can do whatever we want on it. After all, I can't go on to public land and set fire to it even if my tax dollars pay for its upkeep. Maybe we need to face the fact that some areas are environmentally sensitive enough that we SHOULDN'T be placing caches there in the first place -- especially caches that require bushwhacking or other "off the designated trail" uses.

 

Let's work with the BLM and other agencies, rather than painting them all with the same brush. Let's try to make sure that the media highlight things like CITO and make sure we have permission to place a cache so we don't damage our reputation. OHV (off highway vehicle) users have a reputation for environmental damage -- whether it is deserved or not is not for this discussion. But, as caching becomes more and more mainstream, we need to be very careful about how others percieve us, otherwise one day anyone spotted with a GPS will immediately be branded as some ground churning, plant stomping, environment damaging trespasser.

 

Sorry for the length of this post, I just get really passionate about things like this that could have long lasting repercussions on this hobby. :D

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ahh whadya expect when alabama is probably smaller than harney county? this is all relative. i have been with the government 30+ years

 

:D

 

I also work for a government agency, so I have a bit of knowledge of how the 'wheels' spin.

 

I really don't appreciate the negative comments about Alabama. Not only is this immature and uncalled for, but also quite rude.

 

Happy geocaching.

 

:D

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I can see where the BLM has some legitimate points. There can be no denying the fact that a cache brings increased traffic to an area, and to a very concentrated area at that. How many cache logs do you read where you see comments like "I never would have come to this area if not for Geocaching."? How many times have you been to a cache and discovered that the area has been totally dismantled by people turning over every log, poking in every hole and generally being a nuisance in the pursuit of the cache? Geocachers on the whole are very sensitive to the environment, but it is the visible minority who will make the news and colour peoples' perceptions of the activity.

 

The park wardens do have a responsibility to protect the natural areas. In the Crater Lake example, either the people who placed the caches in such a way that people naturally trampled "sensitive off-trail vegetation" either did it because they didn't care about the environment or they were ignorant of the consequences of their actions. Either way, the park wardens stepped in and put an end to it -- as is their right, regardless of whether it is public land or not.

 

Sure, there are park rangers out there who will say "NO" to a cache, just to fuel their own egos and not base the decision on any sort of rational thought. But, I think we would find that, again, they are the visible minority. (And, no, that doesn't refer to skin colour!) :lostsignal:

 

Just because land is "public", doesn't mean we can do whatever we want on it. After all, I can't go on to public land and set fire to it even if my tax dollars pay for its upkeep. Maybe we need to face the fact that some areas are environmentally sensitive enough that we SHOULDN'T be placing caches there in the first place -- especially caches that require bushwhacking or other "off the designated trail" uses.

 

Let's work with the BLM and other agencies, rather than painting them all with the same brush. Let's try to make sure that the media highlight things like CITO and make sure we have permission to place a cache so we don't damage our reputation. OHV (off highway vehicle) users have a reputation for environmental damage -- whether it is deserved or not is not for this discussion. But, as caching becomes more and more mainstream, we need to be very careful about how others percieve us, otherwise one day anyone spotted with a GPS will immediately be branded as some ground churning, plant stomping, environment damaging trespasser.

 

Sorry for the length of this post, I just get really passionate about things like this that could have long lasting repercussions on this hobby. :D

II agree with most of your post, but its a civil rights issue and a proportional issue.

 

1. Civil Rights. We are all to be treated equally before the law. We are all to be given equal rights and provided with means of redress of grievances with our government. When some faceless bureaucrat can (often at a whim) ban a sport, and face no consequences for his action as there is no effective means of redress, this is not the kind of activity that we want to see in a government. Who is next to get banned? Picnic'ers? After all, they spread blankets on the delicate vegetation and leave a lot of trash behind. They burn fires to cook their hot dogs, etc.

 

2. Proportionality. We may cause damage, especially in fragile areas or in the case of popular caches. Do we REALLY cause the kind of damage that mountain bikers, ATV riders, snowmobilers, horseback riders, or moutain climbers cause? If we are so terribly dangerous, why not make this sport illegal outright? (Cause it would have to have public hearings, and testimony, etc, and would never pass muster?) The response of banning caching while allowing other things that are obviously more destructive is out of proportion. As we have no effective means of redress for these kind of decisions, this kind of disproportional response in government needs to be opposed by those who are concerned that government at the level of the mandarins is getting out of hand.

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Devil's Advocate:

 

There are other tax-paying, yadda yadda, people who would prefer that the land not have *any* human recreational activity on it. Their opinions are just as valid as your's. While geocaching was easiest and earliest to add a ban upon, it is not where they'd prefer to draw the line. To say "how come ATVs...but not us..." is a red herring, since their argument is "when I get to ATVs, I will".

 

What makes *our* desires to use the land for geocaching more righteous than their desires to have the land completely unused?

 

Just food for thought when you get on your high horse (however dead it may be becoming).

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Arrrgggh... I live in Portland and it irritates me that someone thinks that having an innaccurate headline that tells a real untruth about my city is actually an important thing to do.

 

If I were to make a headline about a place, I would actually CARE about making sure it is accurate about whatever it is talking about... and thus give a darn about other cachers who are living there. Please have truth! Thank you. angryfire.gif

Edited by Sparrowhawk
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