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Turtle3863

A Sad Day In Charlestown State Park, In.

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For those of you who have not been there. Charlestown State Park in Southern Indiana is a former reclaimed Army Bomb plant. There were as of last week over 50 Geocaches in this park. This park is not that developed and Geocaching had been one of the main reasons to go to this park. After the new guidelines came out, the park ranger went out and removed all the caches in the main park and the others in the more remote areas will be removed this weekend. All of these caches were placed by some of the finest and most responsible cachers in the nation and it is a sad day when we the taxpayer are not able to use our parks. Of course I am sure this will not stop the average Joe from going out to the park and throwing his or her six pack of beer cans in the forest.

Because of the limited trails in the 2000 acre park only 5 caches will be allowed back in, but I don’t think there will be any takers. They might as well give it back to the army and let them blow the place to smithereens.

Edited by Turtle3863

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I am really sorry to hear this, although I suspected it would happen. We love to camp and try to combine geocaching with our camping outings. This park was on our list of ones to go camping in, in part because of the wealth of geocaches, but now I'm not so sure I want to go there. It's not that we wouldn't still have fun. I'm just having trouble with irony of the DNR complaining about declining/stagnant usage fees that have, in some cases, led to cutbacks at various properties and their apparently hostile position (at least it feels that way to me) regarding an activity that brings more people to their parks. As the OP mentioned, cachers certainly can't do any more damage than those buffoons who can't seem to make it to the nearest trash can with their garbage.

 

As for us, maybe we'll just take more of our camping dollars across state lines to "friendlier" parks - Wisconsin comes to mind. I wish I knew an appropriate, respectful way to protest this policy, but I don't want to harm efforts others are making to work within the new guidelines.

 

JMHO,

Mrs. Car54

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Regulating geocaching takes time and money. So long as a cache group is willing to make sure caches don't end up as geo-litter when they are archived, any park that has recreation as it's purpose doesn't really need to even bother with geocaching.

 

The only time they should start to regulate and worry about caches is when preservation of something like a historic building, a wetland, or historic species. Then they should protect the resource, but if that leaves the other 200 acres free, then they should not worry about that section of their park.

 

My thoughts on it.

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I'm just having trouble with irony of the DNR complaining about declining/stagnant usage fees that have, in some cases, led to cutbacks at various properties and their apparently hostile position (at least it feels that way to me) regarding an activity that brings more people to their parks.

 

JMHO,

Mrs. Car54

Let's see, 50 geocaches, if each one is visited just once a month for the 6 mounths that there is a fee (Summer months). $5 x 50 X 6 =$1500. Wow that sure would be nice revenue for DNR. If this were to repeat itself throughout the parks system, they would be in a money crunch in a hurry ;) .

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Sad to see. I'm proud I was able to get down there before it was too late.

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Sometimes, only sometimes, small potato government officials get really full of themselves, lose all perspective in their quest for power and control over others. Their self-importance leads to all sorts of obsurd situations. The only reason to licence is to control or raise money--In the case of the IDNR, control is not an issue except in preserves and wetlands waterfowl areas and etc. , and since they

are not charging money for their licenses, the whole thing dissolves into a petty Italian Police keystone Kops comedy of errors... Just go to one of the parks and witness the gestapo-pickup (complete with mattress in bed for naps) truck cruising the campgrounds to catch evil campers tying ropes to trees...

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Sorry to hear it. We found our 1000th last April in southern Indiana. The half day or so we spent in the nearby Clark State Forest(hopefully it's not effected) was one of our most enjoyable caching days ever. Because we enjoyed the area and because of the cache density we'd planned on trying to get down to the area again. Hopefully we still will someday but always sorry to see a big chunk of caches disappear.

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WHY were these caches removed?Were geocachers destroying the area where the caches were placed?

The beer-drinkers on their ATVs were upset that the cachers kept picking up their messes and they couldn't find their party spots the next weekend.

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WHY were these caches removed?Were geocachers destroying the area where the caches were placed?

According to the new DNR guidelines, you can only have X amount of caches per X amount of acres. There are 2000 acres in the park, they are only counting the ones that have trails which add up to the 5 caches that will be allowed and those have to be newly placed and have a permit that last only a year then are removed so someone else gets a chance to place a cache and the cycle repeats itself every year :lol: .

Edited by Turtle3863

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The new administration might have a different take on the geocaching issue. Could be better or could be worse. Has anyone chatted with the new "powers that be" concerning geocaching? I would bet the new administration would not be happy to see taxpayer money (DNR effort) being dumped into chasing geocaches.

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:huh: Typically, I am a lurker on the forums. But, I am so angry over the disregard the Charlestown State Park Ranger have shown towards the geocachers they had befriended in the past, that I have to speak up.

 

I have posted the following on my cache that was pulled from the park without my knowledge. There is one of my caches that has not be removed. I'm sure it is because like many of you, they can't find it. I had disabled it but was talked into enabling it just to see how long it would take the rangers to find it!

 

On the the post for the removed cache:

 

This cache has been disabled under protest.

 

The Charlestown park rangers, DNR and the State of Indiana have decided to remove all caches from The Charlestown State Park. Although many park managers (including some in Indiana) have embraced the sport of Geocaching it is obvious that the powers that be here do not care about their patrons. Common courtesy would have been to notify the geocaching group in this area that there IS a new policy. It is not like they did not know that the

caches existed or who to contact. We have held a CITO in "their" park with their permission. They have discussed caching in a friendly manner with many cachers, asking if they found the cache when they see them coming off

the trail, etc. They have been on the geocaching site and could have easily notified cache owners or attended one of our InKy socials to discuss the issues. Why all of the sudden, do they pretend that we, their patrons,

are unreachable?

 

It is my opinion that the DNR built regulations based on poor knowledge of the sport. Although, Indy Diver may have been included in limited discussion, his knowledge of the sport was not a factor in building the policy. This decision was made before he ever become involved. The policy supposedly was made to keep people on the trails (a very small portion of the park); however, no regulations were made for hunters, picture takers, partiers, etc. Just geocachers!

 

Although the government is supposedly for the people and by the people that apparently excludes the parks. Apparently, they are to look at them from a distance only. What a waste of money! Why not just develop them like the rest of the state and lower our taxes with the income. Why spend tax money on parks that the tax payers can't use! Can't use them, don't need them!

 

Boy, I feel better after saying that, but, as usual no one will care to listen!

 

Supposedly, the rangers say that only one geocaching team is upset with the policy and that anyone is welcome to discuss the decision with them. WRONG, every geocacher I have discussed this with is furious!!!!!! Now, they want us to approach them to beg for 5 little caches in this vast wilderness that we are paying for. Bet they don't have any takers for new caches in this park unless it is a novice who knows nothing about what has transpired. If a new cache is placed in the park, I will not hunt it, but will post a note as to the unfairness of the policy!

 

The rangers has told one geocacher they are willing to discuss the policy with the geocachers. Well, ITS TOO LATE! They should have STARTED with DISCUSSING THE POLICY with the geocachers before any decisions were made!

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I'm posting this as unknown. Only a couple of caching teams know what my actual log-in is. This is to keep the specific DNR property unknown and safe from the "higher ups". Anyone that has been in the military or have had much to do with governmental affairs know how powerful unwritten orders and policies are.

 

This past spring I placed 2 caches at a Fish & Wildlife Area in Indiana. Although the "non-rule" policy was in effect, I stopped in and conferred with the property manager about placing them. There was a half-dozen caches already on the property. At several thousand acres, no problem.

 

I asked if he was familiar with geocaching and the caches there. He was. I asked permission to place two more. The response was " I'd rather you didn't". Somewhat perplexed with the answer, I asked, "what do you mean?" "I was told by the higher-ups to discourage it", was the reply. So, essentially, an attitude against geocaching was already in place last spring, by they who are in power.

 

Anyway, going on, he grinned a bit and said, "Now that out of the way, where do you have in mind to place them?" "There are a few ecologically sensitive areas here."

 

The sensitive areas are in the most formidable areas of the property. Where no cacher in his right mind would ever put one or even hunt for one. Hunters don't even go there. The caches were placed soon after.

 

The property manager expressed the opinion that this was in fact a multiple-use property and should be open to all for recreation. After trying geocaching, he felt that it wasn't really for him, but certainly could see where vast numbers of people, of all ages, would enjoy the sport. And yes, he used the word "sport". He even felt that it would be an excellant use of the property during off peak times. (peak is spring & fall)

 

In summation, the caching rules on DNR properties now exist. We will have to abide by them. The individual property managers, be it state parks, recreation areas, fish & wildlife areas or state forests, they all have the final say in what we may or may not do at their property. We can only hope that they are not influenced to a high degree by the upper echelon in their decisions, as their attitude towards geocaching appears to be negative. Hopefully in time, with effort, we, in the caching community will be able to rectify this attitude and opinion.

 

The Shadow................Thanks to SDT!

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:(

 

Sadly, I believe it is I who is mentioned as the only one upset about the new rule. I say sadly, because apparently our letters are the only ones getting to the DNR. They don't read the forum posts.

 

While I believe the posts are a good place for us to get information on what works and does not work, We really need to let them know personally how we feel. I have been concetrating my letters to the IDNR with very little response. I believe they think I will give up and with no other response from other Geocachers I am the lone nut out there.

 

Those of you who are familiar with the workings of the State Parks over the years, may have noticed the foloowing. When Indiana has a Democrat as a governor, the State Parks programs had little to offer the public. Spring Mill. one of our favorite parks, seemed to suffer the most. When a republican governor was in power the Parks became more fun. This is not only our observation, but also that of the volunteers and people working in the parks.

 

The geocaching rule #46 was started during a democratic governor's regime. Maybe if this observation is correct our new governor's administration is our best bet for rule change.

 

We, like law abiding citizens, tried to play their game and follow the rules. We applied for our cache permits early. tentative approval was given to 2 of them. This did not stop the park from forcibly taking them out just as Daggy had stated earlier.

 

The permit applications can be found at the Indiana forums page. Indiana Forum

 

No one has mentioned yet that the rule was only written for Geocaching. What about Letterboxing and the other types of caches out there? They are unregulated by this rule.

 

Please write to the representives and let them know we are united in this. Let others know what response you get. Maybe together we can get them to relax abit.

 

Geode Hunters and The Little Dog Tue

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Daggy,

 

I wasn't going to admit this, but your post changed my mind - I don't want you guys thinking you're alone in your opinion. I called and talked to Larry Gray at Charlestown SP using the phone number provided in one of the affected cache logs. I told him we were members of a pop-up camping group that liked to visit IN state parks to camp and enjoy the parks in various ways, including geocaching. I mentioned that we were long time DNR supporters - I've attended BOW workshops, we subscribe to Outdoor Indiana, buy fishing licenses, annual parks passes, patronize the lodges, etc. etc. I told him we were thinking of a week-long camping trip to his park given that #1 - his park is listed as one of the "7 Jewels" - undervisited parks with reduced camping fees to encourage folks to come and #2 - the wealth of geocaches in his park. I told him that while I respected his position, I disagreed with it and was going to vote with my camping dollars.

 

He stated that they were removing the caches because "the new policy has been in effect since January and STILL (his emphasis, not mine), the cache owners have not retrieved their caches". He also stated that this action was taken "for the safety of park visitors, who could get lost or hurt on the trail". I pointed out that hikers can get lost or hurt without any geocaching being involved and while he agreed with that, he seemed upset that people were hunting them at all hours - he made the point that folks were deliberating doing them at night, as late as "2 in the morning!" (again, his words). He cited privacy rules in declining to say whether geocachers had actually been injured or lost and required ranger assistance.

 

The entire conversation was very polite and I stressed that I was simply trying to register my feeling that the IN DNR has put out the "unwelcome" mat to geocachers and that under the theory that for every customer who takes the time to complain, there are 10 other unhappy ones who won't bother contacting them, there are a lot of folks who will no longer be visiting his property.

 

FWIW, last year I had tried to work with the Prophetstown State Park management and got nowhere. Another cacher has now taken over that effort, but I don't know how it's going. Perhaps if enough of us respectfully and politely voiced our disappointment with the direction of the DNR policy, something could be done. Or then again, maybe not. :(

 

Rochelle of Car54

 

Edit to state that I called Larry Gray on March 9, so according to the post above mine, they HAVE heard from more than one geocacher!

 

Edited a 2nd time to correct the name of the Charlestown Property Manager.

Edited by Car54

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Thank you.

 

We too have made it known how much of our monies are spent on things like outdoor Indiana and the Heritage trust plates. We are seriously rethinking how we are spend the 80 dollars per year on the plates. Can't believe I would spend money to take more property away from us. At least as private property we can ask for permission.

 

Bet this calculation will work in most parks.

 

It does not seem fair, that we are limited to a very small part of the properties, they so eagerly call our state parks.

 

Charleston's Trail 1 is 2.2 miles long,

Trail 2 is 1 mile long,

Trail 3 is 1.8 miles long

And Trail 4 is listed as 2.5 miles long

 

That gives a total of 7.5 miles of trails. Say each trail is about 10 feet wide. that gives us 9+ acres to explore and interact with out of 5100?

What a deal!

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The sad fact is that Charlestown State Park is really a wonderful area. The bluffs overlooking the Ohio River are awesome. Some of the stonewalls are centuries old. Rose Island is as much a piece of Indiana history as the Falls of the Ohio or steamboats. This being the former site of the Army Ammunition Plant the area is full of old concrete bunkers. foundations and many more unexplained "things". All of these can only be seen by going "off trail". How many times can you hike on 4 trails before you get bored and go elsewhere? I was buchwacking in the park long before Geocaching. Geocaching showed me more wonderful sites that I had missed. The 9 acres of trails we are suppose to stay on does not even touch the surface of what there is to be seen in the park. There is not way I will stay on the trails. I can guarantee that I will revisit the Rose Island area, which is totally undeveloped. I have taken hundreds of photos in this park. What is wrong with these people trying to take all this away from us?

 

Deermark

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[Larry Gray] also stated that this action was taken "for the safety of park visitors, who could get lost or hurt on the trail"

 

Normally I lurk on this site, but I just had a thought that was bothering me.

 

1. If i am a well prepared geocacher, how would I get lost if I have GPS, maps, compas (etc...) :ninja: Just a thought.

 

2. what would I have to do to be ON the trail and get hurt? are the trails not safe? If they are not paved, is it not public knowledge that it is "enter at your own risk"? :ninja:

 

Please correct me if I am wrong.

 

-LM

 

PS I hope things end well.

 

EDIT: corrected name in quote

Edited by Lone Monkey

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Here are some contact email addreses we have sent letters to. Has anybody found others ?

 

http://www.in.gov/dnr/about/executivestaff.html

http://www.in.gov/dnr/contact/

 

From the " Contact us" tab, We have submitted letters to the DNR's:

Executive office,

State Parks and Reservoirs,

Public Information and Education

 

John Bergman > jbergman@dnr.state.in.us

Annette Brown > abrown@dnr.state.in.us

 

Larry Gray > lgray@dnr.in.gov

Property Manager at Charlestown State Park

 

Steve Lemen > slemen@dnr.state.in.u

Jon Stegemiller > jstegemiller@dnr.state.in.us

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Geode Hunters,

 

Thanks for the contact list. I'll have to come up with a letter expressing my views and send it to some of those folks. Also, I've edited my earlier post to correct the name of the Charlestown Property Manager. Just a further comment on my conversation with him: although he never said this, I got the clear impression that he was glad to have this new policy that allowed him to get rid of these "pesky" geocaches. B)

 

Lone Monkey,

 

I believe Mr. Gray's comments referred to the fact that geocachers usually go "off-trail" to find the cache. I asked him if it was really DNR's intent that park visitors never go off-trail (with the obvious exception of nature preserves). I mentioned the many times I've taken my kids (when they were young) to Turkey Run and a great deal of their fun occured climbing rocks "off-trail". I pointed out that ANY person wandering around a state park runs the risk of slipping, falling or otherwise hurting themselves. Banning geocaching won't eliminate that possibility.

 

Rochelle of Car54

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One of our caches that did not survive the inquistition WAS within arms reach of the trail. We had tentative approval on it and have the signed paperwork to prove it. It met every criteria. Two others were off trail and did not surprise me they would not be approved under the current rule.

 

I think if a precedent for off trail hiking was found and this part of the main rules were relaxed we would then only have to prove how conscientious our group is.

 

some notes I have found on other DNR properties:

 

"Off trail camping is required for the Knobstone Trail.

Primitive, backpack camping is allowed along the trail only on public lands (marked on the map) at least one mile, by trail, away from all roads, recreation areas, and trailheads, and out of site from the trail and all lakes. There are no designated campsites. Although it is not required, overnight trail users should consider registering at one of the nearby property offices.

 

Organic wastes are to be buried in a 4 to 8-inch hole, at least 200 feet from the trail, water, and dry gullies."

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I too am a ‘lurker’ on the forums BUT I must admit I am very upset over this issue. (Especially since I just learned about this and just this weekend placed a micro in Angle Mounds.) We will most likely buy our annual park pass this year but if this Bulletin is enforced in all parks with the same vigor as Charlestown SP, we will not be back. We too will take our state park pass buying, map purchasing, CITO, stopping for dinner locally money out of state.

 

My biggest fear is that local governments will get wind of this and implement it in city parks. I can just see financially strapped city park departments charging a fee for the permit to place a cache.

 

Enough for now, I’m off to write a letter to my State Congressman, State Senator and ‘That Guy Mitch’

 

IMHO

 

David - :rolleyes: - DnrDmr

 

PS: Please note DNR are my initials and I am in no way affiliated with "The DNR"

Edited by dnrdmr

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I was lucky enough to come down on January 29th and find a bunch of the caches in the park including "Remembering Rose Island". It's sad that no one else will be able to go on such a great trek again. It was one of my favorite finds.

 

Scoob

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I spent more money on Indiana parks last year than I ever have before. The only reason: geocaching.

 

I've been looking at the caches on my "nearest" list and I really need to hit Turkey Run, but I have no idea if the caches are still there or not. I'll have to hold off until I have some confirmation.

 

By the way, why is it that here in Illinois there are trash cans all over our parks and admission is free but in Indiana they charge you to get in and they ask you to haul your own trash out? You'd think with all the money they make off their parks they could buy some trash cans.

 

Just wondering.

 

Bret

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By the way, why is it that here in Illinois there are trash cans all over our parks and admission is free but in Indiana they charge you to get in and they ask you to haul your own trash out? You'd think with all the money they make off their parks they could buy some trash cans.

 

Maybe because your gasoline tax is $0.30/gal while ours is $0.18? That your sales tax is 6.25% and ours is 6% (just recently hiked to that level), that your "tax freedom day" is Apr. 11 and ours is Apr. 7th? Perhaps your parks are subsidized by all those extra taxes.

 

BTW: The above is somewhat tongue-in-cheek. It would be nice to have better Indiana state parks.

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your "tax freedom day" is Apr. 11 and ours is Apr. 7th?

You mean we Indiana Slaves get released off the Plantation 4 days earlier than they do? Yipeeeee!!!!!! :D

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One thing I have learned in my many years in Law Enforcement is that the "crap" rolls down hill and everyone is told to do something by someone else just above them. So the way I see it, is that everyone is trying to deal with the DNR by following the chain of command to the top of the DNR and we are not getting anywhere. Well, only God doesn't have a boss or someone telling him what to do and if whomever heads or is the top dog of the DNR has it in his mind to squash geocaching, the simplest soulution, is.............politics. Yep, I hate it too, but to get anywhere in government you have to play politics. So let's not deal with the DNR anymore but the ones who control the DNR, and if necessary their boss, etc. Ultimatley, go over their head until we get what we want. It's amazing what happens when you call in a political favor behind the scenes and no one even knows whats going on, but you call in that favor and that person makes a few calls and the next thing you know, the head of the DNR goes home unhappy because he does what he is told if he still wants to bring food home to the table. The DNR doesn't care one bit about if they are making money as long as his boss doesn't care, so we make them care, by making an issue not weather or not the DNR makes any money, but weather the head of the DNR makes his money (pay check) or not.

I will check with some of my political contacts and see if we can't put some pressure on his pay check and get some things changed. The key is to have the right political favor to call in. So I will do my best to make some magic happen, but if anyone else has any political ties, try yours too. I don't think that if "we" the taxpayers grouped together to call in or write that they would make a difference, it's only going to happen with political favors, so if you don't have any connections it probably won't do any good just to contact your representative freely.

Wish me luck and hope I have the right favors to call in. :blink:

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this is so sad to hear. ive been hiking and going to this park for years now, since i live within 10 minutes of it. basicly just walking the trails, but thats gotten old. ive just recently come to find out about geocaching and was very excited to go do the finds in CSP after i purchase a GPSr this weekend. but i guess ill never get to now. it wont keep me from going to some of the old spots though (like "remembering rose island")

 

i hope all of the indiana state parks dont start enforcing and taking the new policy as far as charlestown is. it seems to be the only park so far being so hard headed about it. and its funny cause they dont have any visitors as is.

 

maybe we could get a petition going and all of us indiana geocachers could get people to sign agreeing its a waste of tax dollars to be enforcing rules for people who arent hurting anything. the effort could be used to help cut back on litter in the parks or stop poachers, but instead theyre regulating people who for the most part seem to be outdoors loving people. people who leave the place ceaner than they found it.

 

ive never seen a park ranger picking up any trash, but i know i have!

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Regulating geocaching takes time and money. So long as a cache group is willing to make sure caches don't end up as geo-litter when they are archived, any park that has recreation as it's purpose doesn't really need to even bother with geocaching.

 

The only time they should start to regulate and worry about caches is when preservation of something like a historic building, a wetland, or historic species. Then they should protect the resource, but if that leaves the other 200 acres free, then they should not worry about that section of their park.

 

My thoughts on it.

I would like to add that another reason to restrict caching is if the park is an open space preserve, where native habitat is being preserved and reinstated.

Doesn't sound like this is the case in the park you talk about, but you might try opening some dialog with the rangers. My husband is one, and we cache too (not that often lately, life took some odd twists). He admins the caching in the park he works in, and is pretty fair about it. What we have found is that many people don't bother to learn the rules, or open communication, so from time to time, he still needs to step in. For the most part though, the local community has had little problem with the caching policy and such.

 

www.sdrp.org for more info. the library area has the caching policy.

 

good luck with your situation. I hope you can find a ranger to work with there.

 

jen

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Any chance the Charlestown SP caches can be made virtual? Having the finders post a pic of the old hiding spot...

 

Just a question.

 

David

DnrDmr

 

 

Edit - Correct typo.

Edited by dnrdmr

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What we have found is that many people don't bother to learn the rules, or open communication, so from time to time, he still needs to step in.

IMHO: Talk about communication and the rules... I have looked everywhere for the geocaching rules and the permit. Nothing is available from the DNR or the state. The only way I could find the form was in this forum. Now that is lousy communication.

 

It is kind of like having a secret policy. Why not make that information available in placed that it can be found?

 

Again, these people do not have the time or funding to be chasing after geocaches. Implementing the policy was not wise on behalf of the DNR.

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Wow! And on the front of the DNR News section too. I am impressed. Sill not glad that we have the policy, but it is good to see it posted is a visible spot.

 

Thanks for the feedback on the ISQs. I am seriously considering upgrading #141 to a regular size cache. It looks like there might be room for it in the same spot.

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Just had a shiver as I was writing to the senators. I imagined "no trespassing" signs in our state parks along the trails.

 

Guess they are there, as virtuals, aren't they. Step off the trail and become trespassers.

 

I can see protecting fragile species, but what are they saving all the vistas for?

 

I know of at least a dozen tree stands in the Charlestown Nature Preserve. At least one is brand new out of the Cabelas catalog. (very nice almost took it). I don't see the parks going after them with the same vigor.

 

Maybe we should a-line ourselves with the hunting and fishing enthusiasts. They seem to have it figured out.

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I know of at least a dozen tree stands in the Charlestown Nature Preserve. At least one is brand new out of the Cabelas catalog. (very nice almost took it). I don't see the parks going after them with the same vigor.

 

Maybe we should a-line ourselves with the hunting and fishing enthusiasts. They seem to have it figured out.

I just thought of a new angle to geocaching. Hunting Geocaches literally, you know with a gun. Good chance to use that high powered scope, no need to get off the trail just shot the cache from .25 miles away ;) .

Edited by Turtle3863

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Yeah, that's the ticket. The cache is a paper target, and to sign the "log" you have to punch a hole in the target from the trail--kind of like an archery trail we have here on a DNR property...Wait, could we have "pop up" targets? You find them with your GPS, then...8D

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......... We applied for our cache permits early. tentative approval was given to 2 of them. This did not stop the park from forcibly taking them out .........

Still no word about final approval. A few more months and maybe we will apply again for next year.

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I know of at least a dozen tree stands in the Charlestown Nature Preserve. At least one is brand new out of the Cabelas catalog. (very nice almost took it). I don't see the parks going after them with the same vigor.

 

Maybe we should a-line ourselves with the hunting and fishing enthusiasts. They seem to have it figured out.

I just thought of a new angle to geocaching. Hunting Geocaches literally, you know with a gun. Good chance to use that high powered scope, no need to get off the trail just shot the cache from .25 miles away :rolleyes: .

Not all DNR regulated properties are under the same rules for intended use.

 

State parks are specificly "no gun zones". It is not permitted to have a firearm in the park for any reason or of any type. Not a bow and arrow. Not even a BB gun.

 

Except for, always an exception, specific designated herd reduction hunts. The park is closed for all other uses during these hunts.

 

I'd advise against disturbing tree stands or other hunting equipment. This is an extremely touchy subject among the hunting community and likely to lead to no good for anybody. Indiana DNR rules allow for tree stands to be left on public property during the hunting seasons where hunting is allowed, but they are supposed to be removed at dates specified in the DNR rules.

 

I'm very "green" on the subject of Geo Cacheing so please excuse me if I get terminology wrong, but I'd suggest the form of cache that involves taking a picture to verify your acheivment and virtual logging on line would be much more acceptable to all property managers.

 

In fact I don't see any way they could stop it at any time of year. I think it would be wise to give due consideration to the hunting seasons when cacheing but I don't think it could be stopped if you want to be beligerant. I think the hunting community could be one of your largest alias if they were courted to participate.

 

I myself only learned for the first time of Geo Cacheing in a newspaper hunting column a few weeks ago.

 

Best of luck and good caching to all,

JPR

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Although I have not closely followed the DNR's evolving Geocaching policy over the past year or so, I cannot help but get the impression that the State Park's policy on the hobby is, at least in part, a reaction to the continued reductions in DNR funding due to the state budget deficit. I base this theory partly on a newspaper article I read a couple of years ago which reported that the State was considering closing a brand new boat ramp and fishing pier which had been constructed on Patoka Lake and only open for a few weeks. Now I recently hear they have shut down the privately run horse barn at Spring Mill State Park. These items among other DNR related changes I have observed over the past few years make me wonder if the DNR is practicing a policy of service cutsbacks specifically designed to educate, alarm or even anger the pubic about their lack of state funding and possibly help to eventually increase the DNR budget.

 

As I said this is only a theory and I want to make it clear I DO NOT agree with the DNR's GEO policy for whatever reason it was initiated. I had a lot of fun doing caches in several of our beautiful State Parks and was introduced to a couple of them (including Charlestown S.P.) thru the hobby of Geocaching.

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Jack Ryan stated:

I'm very "green" on the subject of Geo Cacheing so please excuse me if I get terminology wrong, but I'd suggest the form of cache that involves taking a picture to verify your acheivment and virtual logging on line would be much more acceptable to all property managers.

 

That would be considered a "Virtual Cache " and these are virtually unaccepted by gc.com . Have a Look at the Guidelines .

 

Star

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Team Tigger is right, such a cache is a virtual cache and CGing.com limits these to areas where a real cache can not normally be placed, say inside an airport terminal or under a bridge or where land manager permission can not be obtained. Often, however, with a bit of creative thinking it is possible to make a virtual cache into a real cache via placing a container close to the site in question and then making the hunt into an "offset" or "multi-cache." Some people have the opinion that if we, as a group, just "give up" and take the easy route of placing a virtual instead of going through the hurdles of placing a real cache then the land managers will eventually say "look, why bother ever having real caches when virtuals are good enough?" I.e., we need to assert our rights to be able to place caches on public lands. All of the above are some reasons why, I believe, GCing.com limits virtuals.

 

That being said, there are some DNR properties where caches can not be placed. Nature preserves in particular. In those spots virtuals will be placed. The DNR's non-rule #46 talks about virtual caches and does not limit them.

 

As I have mentioned in my posts about Prophetstown SP, obtaining DNR permission can be a pain especially compared to just being able to put out caches whenever and whereever we wanted such as we were able to do in previous years. However permission is supposed to granted unless there is a good reason. By working with them the park managers can actually come up with improvements to our cache placements. After all they probably know the park better than most of us. I encourage anyone who wishes to put a cache in a SP to go through the permission process and place a real cache instead of just going the virtual route.

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Now I recently hear they have shut down the privately run horse barn at Spring Mill State Park.

I too was concerned with this issue. I have since learned the hourse bars were shut down due to enviromental concerns with the waste run off.

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Team Tigger is right, such a cache is a virtual cache and CGing.com limits these to areas where a real cache can not normally be placed, say inside an airport terminal or under a bridge or where land manager permission can not be obtained.  Often, however, with a bit of creative thinking it is possible to make a virtual cache into a real cache via placing a container close to the site in question and then making the hunt into an "offset" or "multi-cache."  Some people have the opinion that if we, as a group, just "give up" and take the easy route of placing a virtual instead of going through the hurdles of placing a real cache then the land managers will eventually say "look, why bother ever having real caches when virtuals are good enough?"  I.e., we need to assert our rights to be able to place caches on public lands.  All of the above are some reasons why, I believe, GCing.com limits virtuals.

 

    That being said, there are some DNR properties where caches can not be placed.  Nature preserves in particular.  In those spots virtuals will be placed.  The DNR's non-rule #46 talks about virtual caches and does not limit them. 

That explains a lot of your problems. You THINK you have a right to use public ground how ever you please.

 

The fact is YOU HAVE NO RIGHT to use public ground in any manner not prescribed.

 

When you recognise this difference and begin seeking permiission instead of asserting a nonexistant right, I suspect you will enjoy a much different expirience with the property managers.

 

It some how was seeming to me, the inability to place an actual cache pretty much summed up the situation we were addressing here. If that is not the case I'm sorry. I missunderstood the situation.

Edited by Jack Ryan

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The fact is YOU HAVE NO RIGHT to use public ground in any manner not prescribed.

In order to deflect this discussion from the personal "you" to the universal "you", I point out that of my 10 cache hides most have land manager permission. After all it is only polite to ask.

 

Now taking the discussion into a more general direction, I (and many others) do assert that public ground is subject to proscription instead of prescription; in order words to a list of "can not" rather than a list of "can." As examples, public lands do not have lists that says "picnics are allowed", "playing frisbee is allowed", "wading the creek is allowed", "bicycle riding is allowed" or even "hunting is allowed." These are assumed rights for American public lands. Instead public lands are subject to a list of forbidden activites such as "no hunting" or "no mountain bikes" (both almost universally regulated these days) or "no off-trail hiking" and so on.

 

Of course proscribed lists can not cover all circumstances nor list all forbidden activites. The lists have to be general. Many geocachers subscribe to the "frisbee" theory; i.e., if frisbee playing is not barred in the public land then geocaching (unless specifically prohibited or regulated) is also not forbidden. As a general rule of thumb this idea seems to be a good one.

 

It some how was seeming to me, the inability to place an actual cache pretty much summed up the situation we were addressing here. If that is not the case I'm sorry. I missunderstood the situation.

 

The original couple of posts were bemoaning the fact that the Charlestown SP managers removed pre-existing caches without notifying the cache owners or a caching organization. Further posts talked about if caches were even going to be allowed in Charlestown and, if so, the number allowed. We are getting off of the specific topic of Charlestown into a more general topic. If you feel like continuing this discussion then a new forum topic should be started. I point out that the current topic -- public land rights -- has been debated many times before and I urge you to read past forum postings before starting up this topic again.

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Team Tigger is right, such a cache is a virtual cache and CGing.com limits these to areas where a real cache can not normally be placed, say inside an airport terminal or under a bridge or where land manager permission can not be obtained.  Often, however, with a bit of creative thinking it is possible to make a virtual cache into a real cache via placing a container close to the site in question and then making the hunt into an "offset" or "multi-cache."  Some people have the opinion that if we, as a group, just "give up" and take the easy route of placing a virtual instead of going through the hurdles of placing a real cache then the land managers will eventually say "look, why bother ever having real caches when virtuals are good enough?"  I.e., we need to assert our rights to be able to place caches on public lands.  All of the above are some reasons why, I believe, GCing.com limits virtuals.

 

    That being said, there are some DNR properties where caches can not be placed.  Nature preserves in particular.  In those spots virtuals will be placed.  The DNR's non-rule #46 talks about virtual caches and does not limit them. 

That explains a lot of your problems. You THINK you have a right to use public ground how ever you please.

 

The fact is YOU HAVE NO RIGHT to use public ground in any manner not prescribed.

 

When you recognise this difference and begin seeking permiission instead of asserting a nonexistant right, I suspect you will enjoy a much different expirience with the property managers.

 

It some how was seeming to me, the inability to place an actual cache pretty much summed up the situation we were addressing here. If that is not the case I'm sorry. I missunderstood the situation.

Wonders where JR got that from reading that post ? :(

 

Most of us want to work with the DNR and the Parks Departments . Just like the Hunters and Fishermen have to work within the structures they set forth .

 

What if they said you couldn't hunt, fish or hike these lands ? How would you feel then ?

 

Star

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The fact is YOU HAVE NO RIGHT to use public ground in any manner not prescribed.

In order to deflect this discussion from the personal "you" to the universal "you", I point out that of my 10 cache hides most have land manager permission. After all it is only polite to ask.

That was the particular sense of the word "you" I intended. Sorry for any confusion.

 

In the future unless otherwise noted all use of the word 'you' by myself, is with the intent to indicate the general population of Indiana.

 

My apologies for any misunderstanding.

 

I don't believe I've ever run across any park or property rules written specificly for any one particular "you" or "me". As far as I know all rules and regulations apply to the general sense of the words "you, we, me, and you'ns". Not to include park personel or law enforcement. They are exempt from all regulation.

Edited by Jack Ryan

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