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Archived Caches Left In The Field


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Some quotes from the SBUX archival thread in the Northeast forum about the problem of archived caches in the field in general.

 

I would think if someone is going to archive a cache that has not been stolen or destroyed that it would be the cache owners responsibiltiy to retrieve the cache as part of the archive process. That is only be responsible.

This is the type of thing that a land manager would seize upon to validate a policy against geocaching. And this is a strand running through all land use and management issues.

I agree with Packanack that, by responding in a positive way to an unfortunate situation, we can demonstrate that geocachers act responsibly, even when one of us does not. This makes us look good for any land managers who follow these matters.

There response to this is somewhat impressive, but I wonder how much of this is related to the cacher involved. Would the same effort be put for all of the one-hit wonder caches out there?

Any thoughts on how to turn this into a more regional, broad base clean up of Geo-litter? There must be a donzens of cache that have randomly been archived by their owners, or SBA, especially multis. I know I've stumbled across a couple. Any chance the reviewers (or any cacher) can put together a list of possible pieces of Geolitter around certain regions?

How about a CITO event to clean up these forgotten caches?

I like this idea a cache CITO. A great way to make sure that any defunct caches do not become litter. Is it possible for the approvers to create a list of caches that have been archived but still need to trashed out?

For volunteer reviewers, archived caches show up in search results. So, if you were to specify a park or a state forest or just a 25 mile radius, with a little work a volunteer would be able to tell you where there might be geolitter.

It's great there is a widespread positive response and I agree with Ekitt10 that the same diligence should be applied across the board to one-offs. I have also found geo-litter left when I was placing a new cache close by.

If anyone from CNY is disappointed that there aren't any SBUX caches around, they could consider adopting or retrieving one of these (of course only the archived ones).

 

As Ekitt10 says, we need to have a cache CITO event, formal or informal, to clean up after ourselves. The reasons should be obvious, and many veteran cachers have found archived caches in the field, just sitting there as litter.

 

There is a great deal of attention to this presently based on the fact that a "celebrity" cacher left over 200 caches in the field. Enspyer brought to our attention that a cacher from his region may have left 50 or more archived caches in the field. And then there are the cachers who place one here and there and quickly leave the hobby, leaving their mess behind in the woods.

 

Whether it's done by individual cachers or by local groups, we (the geocaching community as a whole) need to check the list of archived caches to identify potential litter and check to remove it. We need the site's support in the form of complete lists of archived caches within a region.

 

Will the site owners please start providing the lists of archived caches so the local groups and/or interested volunteers can start this cleanup project? On behalf of my local group, I'd like the list of all archived caches in Virginia east of -77 degrees longitude, or (if a list based on radius is easier to produce) all archived caches within 50 miles of Hampton VA. Followup lists, perhaps in the same format as the new cache notifications, will be welcomed as well.

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If there is a particular cacher you are worried about that abandoned some caches, anyone is completely capable of looking through that person's hides to determine if any might have been left in the field.

 

But for a variety of reasons, the site is not going to release a list of archived caches. Most have been legitimately archived for a reason, and should not be publicized.

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Would it be possible for TPTB to work closer with local organizations to establish some type of procedure where the organization can evaluate and take appropriate actions?

 

I have always been concerned with caches that become litter, archived or not. I am not talking about poor SWAG in a perfectly good ammo can. Technically, that is still a valid cache. I am talking about broken cheap storage containers that has allowed desert creatures to move in.

 

Some of the local cachers (myself included) would be willing to retrieve and store these containers for a specified period of time just in case the owner actually wants to take custody again.

 

I do happen to have two containers (at least the log book and contents) in my possession now.

Hoover Dam was placed in a spot that is now restricted due to increased security.

Mini Port was run over by heavy equipment.

 

Edit: spelling

Edited by Moose Mob
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If there is a particular cacher you are worried about that abandoned some caches, anyone is completely capable of looking through that person's hides to determine if any might have been left in the field.

 

I'm aware of that. In our local group, I compiled a list of a couple dozen or so that I could find manually and at least two pieces of geo-litter were found and cleaned that way.

 

It's the caches that we don't know about that are worrisome. The ones that have their caches archived for non-response to problem reports. The cacher who archives based on a single missing report (we've all been fooled from time to time, so one DNF doesn't mean the cache is gone). And some cachers just leave quietly, so they archive their caches to stop the email.

 

Not every cacher is remembered, nor is every cache. Hence the request for a comprehensive list.

 

But for a variety of reasons, the site is not going to release a list of archived caches.

 

Sir, can you please list the reasons for not releasing a list of archived caches? I'd like to compare the site's reasons for this decision against the probability of geo-litter being left in the field by geocachers.

 

Most have been legitimately archived for a reason, and should not be publicized.

 

I'm speaking about a systematic review of archived caches to search for potential geo-litter, done by volunteers concerned that the sport will suffer a poor reputation (and bad publicity) if we are caught leaving litter behind.

 

It's not a publicity thing, it's a responsibility thing. Based on the fickleness of some land managers, it may also be an access preservation thing.

 

In the SBUX thread, an approver specifically praised members of the caching community for acting to correct the irresponsible actions of one certain cacher. I'm just asking for the resource to do the same for whatever number of less active, but equally irresponsible cachers. That resource is a comprehensive list of archived caches for my local area. Hit or miss map searches or profile searches aren't sufficent. This list needs to be complete.

 

Please, no more excuses. Provide the list that we need for a proper geo-litter search.

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I'm speaking about a systematic review of archived caches to search for potential geo-litter, done by volunteers concerned that the sport will suffer a poor reputation (and bad publicity) if we are caught leaving litter behind.

Couldn't you already do this by keeping track of area caches???

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This is something that all local area's can do for themselves .

Very true, but there are some areas of the country (Northern Jersey included) that have no organization.

 

I've created a CITO event (sort of a reverse CITO, but we can have that discussion another time) that should provide an impetus to better internal maintenance.

 

Here's my CITO listing..... http://www.geocaching.com/seek/cache_detai...2d-741913620412

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But for a variety of reasons, the site is not going to release a list of archived caches.

 

Sir, can you please list the reasons for not releasing a list of archived caches? I'd like to compare the site's reasons for this decision against the probability of geo-litter being left in the field by geocachers.

1. First and foremost, this is a listing service and responsibility for maintenance and cache removal remains with the owner, not the listing service. That being said, local organizations and individual geocachers, often with special but limited assistance, do excellent work in keeping after geo-litter confirmed to be in place.

 

2. Caches remain the property of their owners. Before I whisper to someone that there may be geo-litter at coordinates X, Y, I make sure that several attempts have been made to contact the owner. We look for bounced e-mails, weeks with no response to e-mails that went through, lack of response to notes left on the cache page, and the owner's continuing geocaching activity or lack thereof. Releasing a list of archived caches shortcuts this intentionally deliberative process.

 

3. The cache could have been archived on this site but listed on a different listing service. While it isn't practical to check all other listing services, part of the reason for trying to contact the owner is to get them to say that this is what's happened. It does nothing to promote harmonious relations among listing services if Geocaching.com members remove an active Othersite.com cache just because the listing is archived on this site.

 

4. Some caches are archived for very good reasons relating to safety, trespassing, etc. It is far preferable for a human to review the circumstances and decide whether a cache rescue mission is appropriate, as opposed to an en masse release of the coordinates to archived caches.

 

5. There is no functionality for providing the data conveniently on a mass basis, even if that were advisable, since pocket queries don't return archived caches. They'd need to be compiled individually.

 

I could go on, but I'm late for work! I dealt with a slew of cache maintenance and adoption requests this morning. This is ongoing work that happens day-in, day-out.

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I agree with Keystone Approve. Well then why am I positng. I guess the question I have is how do you know a container is still there???? I am assuming you planning to go to every archived cache site and assume you can find the container and remove it. But unless you can find it your never know if it exist or not. Besides as stated by KA the cache belings to someone. It is a noble effort but some people just assume to much.

cheers

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Besides as stated by KA the cache belings to someone.

Very good points!

 

However, we could adopt a '30 day' rule for archived caches. That should be enough time for the owners to retrieve it. They can also put a note in the online log saying that it has been retrieved.....

 

If they don't pick it up in 30 days, it's considered litter.

 

Just a thought......

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I have one archived (on this site) which is still in the field.

 

The reason is that after placing it, a few weeks later I couldn't find a way to get back in to the parcel of public land that it is on without crossing through private property signs. Spend an entire day looking.

 

So, I archived the cache here, but left it listed elsewhere. It has since had finders who are able to magically tell the "bogus" private property signs from the real ones. B)

Edited by Mr. Snazz
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How do you know a container is still there? You check.

 

During the micro roundup, we went and did every cache by a couple that had did about a dozen crappy caches and picked them all up. A few were missing, but we found five or six - including a full sized ammo can.

 

Another cacher from KY had hid a bunch in N'ville and they were being found regularly, but then one day he decided for no reason to archive them all - and left the containers in place. We've retrieved two of them, but I'm sure there's at least a dozen around still.

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Here is my take on the situation.

 

I think we need more attributes to be set when a cache is archived, giving attributes in the database to give some detailed view of why the cache was archived.

 

For starters,

 

1. To your knowledge, is the cache container still there Y N Dunno

2. Would it still be permissable to seek a cache in this location Y N

3. Would you object to the cache being adopted by another cacher Y N

 

It would then be a simple matter to place the cache in either

 

1. No one should see this listing (i.e. not permissable to seek the cache)

2. Cache should be in an adoption/rescue cue (cache *might* still be there)

 

Just a thought anyways. In cases where someone is leaving the game, their caches could all be set to Dunno, Y, N, until they were either removed/adopted, or confirmed missing.

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Every last archived cache should be verified as removed or listed somewhere else.

 

Either by the owner at the time of the archival. Or if they won't confirm it's listed somehwere else or they pulled it, but the site. My view is that a new one time cache called a "Cache Rescue Mission" cache is created automaticly so someone can pull it or verifiy it's gone.

 

Just build it into the process and cover the mechanices in the TOS you agree to when you list it.

 

MiGO does something similar. But a listing site is in a better position to do it.

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I think it is a shame that all these caches are just being archived with out being retrieved from their hiding spots. I think it is worse for people who have travel bugs in those caches. The 2 that are near me are micros so no worries.

 

If the archived caches do not show up in any kind of search someone who does not read the forms will no know the story. And therefore will not know to go retrieve the travel bugs. They may be there for a while. Will PQs give you a listing of those caches that have travel bugs so they can be given a higher priority?

 

Paul

 

gotta learn how to type

Edited by Team Dougherty
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Couldn't you already do this by keeping track of area caches???

I manually had such a list when the cache counts were lower and I could tell by memory what disappeared when the number went lower. At present cache volumes, I can't do that anymore.

 

If there is a way that this could be easily done at today's volumes, please advise.

This is something that all local area's can do for themselves . Take for example the Michigan Geocaching Org. , they developed there own way of dealing with archived caches so they were not left out there as liter.

See:

MiGo Rescue Mission

That's exactly what I'd like to do. There's a small database table that I put into the local yahoogroup that has a list of the archived caches that I could find manually. The whole purpose of this request is to get the complete list, at least for my home region.

When a cache is archived on geocaching.com, the approver reads the logs and tries to determine if the container for the cache has been properly removed.

That's nice of Michigan's approver. To my knowledge, no where else is there even a systematic review of archived caches at all. If every approver would do this, that would be cool.

 

But most reviewers seem to be too busy for such help. That's why I'm seeking the list of prior archived caches and a mechanism to be notified of newly archived caches. Just because the balance of the reviewers don't have time to do this, doesn't mean that it shouldn't be done. It's up to others to step forward to do this.

1. First and foremost, this is a listing service and responsibility for maintenance and cache removal remains with the owner, not the listing service. That being said, local organizations and individual geocachers, often with special but limited assistance, do excellent work in keeping after geo-litter confirmed to be in place.

Would a list of previously archived caches qualify as "special but limited assistance"? If not, please tell us what assistance is available.

2. Caches remain the property of their owners. Before I whisper to someone that there may be geo-litter at coordinates X, Y, I make sure that several attempts have been made to contact the owner. We look for bounced e-mails, weeks with no response to e-mails that went through, lack of response to notes left on the cache page, and the owner's continuing geocaching activity or lack thereof. Releasing a list of archived caches shortcuts this intentionally deliberative process.

For the archived caches that I have found in the listings, that process usually takes place before the cache is archived, at least when it's archived by the site approvers. If the owner is the one archiving the cache, the last few logs can tell you if he is trying to retain some sort of ownership in the cache.

 

I hope you are not misunderstanding the request. I'm not looking for the site volunteers to do all the contact work or otherwise vet these lists. That's what I (probably with help of others in the local cache group) intend to do.

3. The cache could have been archived on this site but listed on a different listing service. While it isn't practical to check all other listing services, part of the reason for trying to contact the owner is to get them to say that this is what's happened. It does nothing to promote harmonious relations among listing services if Geocaching.com members remove an active Othersite.com cache just because the listing is archived on this site.

There are two of those in my area. The owner was very clear in his farewell logs that this occured. His will be left alone. I'm quite confident that anyone who removes a listing here to list exclusively on another site would be experienced enough to say that they've done that in their log as well.

4. Some caches are archived for very good reasons relating to safety, trespassing, etc. It is far preferable for a human to review the circumstances and decide whether a cache rescue mission is appropriate, as opposed to an en masse release of the coordinates to archived caches.

I know that a few cachers post in their pet's name, and even post in the third person viewpoint of such pets. But I'm quite confident that everyone willing to review lists of archived caches will be human. We're capable of making safety judgements, and capable of researching land ownership, and capable of reviewing prior logs for other problems, and capable of reviewing prior logs for a statement of removal.

5. There is no functionality for providing the data conveniently on a mass basis, even if that were advisable, since pocket queries don't return archived caches. They'd need to be compiled individually.

 

I could go on, but I'm late for work! I dealt with a slew of cache maintenance and adoption requests this morning. This is ongoing work that happens day-in, day-out.

If there is a way to do this ourselves COMPLETELY (no gaps for forgotten trailnames when searching by profiles, no gaps because the radius lists leave gaps, no gaps because the radius searches on the maps only offer 25 total caches at a time), please advise. I'd love to do this without adding to the approvers's workload. Right now, I can't figure out how. That's why I'm asking for help.

Here is my take on the situation.

 

I think we need more attributes to be set when a cache is archived, giving attributes in the database to give some detailed view of why the cache was archived.

 

For starters,

 

1. To your knowledge, is the cache container still there Y N Dunno

2. Would it still be permissable to seek a cache in this location Y N

3. Would you object to the cache being adopted by another cacher Y N

 

It would then be a simple matter to place the cache in either

 

1. No one should see this listing (i.e. not permissable to seek the cache)

2. Cache should be in an adoption/rescue cue (cache *might* still be there)

 

Just a thought anyways. In cases where someone is leaving the game, their caches could all be set to Dunno, Y, N, until they were either removed/adopted, or confirmed missing.

That's a good starting point for a system to handle future caches. It would be great to see something like this implemented. An addition of an option for those leaving for a competitive listing site would be needed.

 

Option #2 might be a status parallel to disabled, where it's on the active list until adopted or cleaned. I saw a reviewer leave an abandoned cache in disabled status for that very purpose. But that's far from a standard practice.

Every last archived cache should be verified as removed or listed somewhere else.

 

Either by the owner at the time of the archival. Or if they won't confirm it's listed somehwere else or they pulled it, but the site. My view is that a new one time cache called a "Cache Rescue Mission" cache is created automaticly so someone can pull it or verifiy it's gone.

 

Just build it into the process and cover the mechanices in the TOS you agree to when you list it.

 

MiGO does something similar. But a listing site is in a better position to do it.

MiGO apparently has someone from the site helping, help that the rest of us aren't getting. Frankly, I think the current slate of site volunteers have plenty to do. I'm willing to handle the list of archived caches in my region, and I hope that others would step forward for theirs. All we need are the lists, which is all the help that I've sought from the listing service.

 

My home area is fortunate that we few of the land manager restrictions that other areas have. We're just trying to show some responsibility to try to keep it that way.

 

How about some help from the site?

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