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Here are two things Parks Canada could adopt to greatly reduce the environmental impact of caching:

 

1. No cache shall be located no more than 4 metres from a marked trail.

 

2. All caches must contain detailed descriptions on how to find the cache, to reduce the enviromental impact of searching an area that could have a radius of up to 25 metres (depending on satellite signal strength in an area.)

 

All of my non-urban caches have detailed descriptions on how to locate the cache, for exactly those reasons.

And another:

 

3. No cache may be within 500 metres of any other cache on Parks Canada property.

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Please keep this thread on a positive note on how we can improve our Geocaching methods within our National Parks, not pointing out the faults of others. Also remember the forum guidelines

 

Respect: Respect the guidelines for forum usage, and site usage. Respect Groundspeak, its employees, volunteers, yourself, fellow community members, and guests on these boards. Whether a community member has one post or 5,000 posts, they deserve the same respect.

 

Personal Attacks and Flames will not be tolerated. If you want to praise or criticize, give examples as to why it is good or bad, general attacks on a person or idea will not be tolerated.

 

Calling other idiots, while not directing any specific person I still consider a personal attack and will not be tolerated.

 

This is the only warning I am giving for Personal attacks and failure to respect your fellow community members.

 

Thank you.

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I think we'd all be better served if the "sniping" type of posts not be posted here. Cache Tech started this topic to bring a situation to our attention as a community. As a community we should respect each other, and each other's opinions. Resorting to "sandbox" type tactics only show immaturity.

 

Here are two things Parks Canada could adopt to greatly reduce the environmental impact of caching:

 

1. No cache shall be located no more than 4 metres from a marked trail.

 

2. All caches must contain detailed descriptions on how to find the cache, to reduce the enviromental impact of searching an area that could have a radius of up to 25 metres (depending on satellite signal strength in an area.)

 

I agree 100% with these ideas and I would support any park (Federal or Provincial), heritage site, conservation area policy that implemented rules like these. The problem would be policing the rules. There is no way a cache approver could know how far off the trail the cache is hidden.

 

[edit]

oops! I guess I was in the middle of composing my post when Cache-Tech posted his. It wasn't there when I started!

Edited by TrimblesTrek

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Here are two things Parks Canada could adopt to greatly reduce the environmental impact of caching:

 

1. No cache shall be located no more than 4 metres from a marked trail.

 

2. All caches must contain detailed descriptions on how to find the cache, to reduce the enviromental impact of searching an area that could have a radius of up to 25 metres (depending on satellite signal strength in an area.)

 

I agree 100% with these ideas and I would support any park (Federal or Provincial), heritage site, conservation area policy that implemented rules like these. The problem would be policing the rules. There is no way a cache approver could know how far off the trail the cache is hidden.

No, gc.com couldn't police that. But we could all easily police it ourselves.

 

If I found a cache that was 40 metres (for example) off a trail, I'd simply report it to gc.com and they'd shut it down. (I wouldn't be a stickler for a few metres deviation from the regulations though.)

 

If I found a cache without adequate explanation on how to find the cache, I'd simply write up a more adequate explanation as a cache comment.

 

If Parks Canada found our policing inadequate, then they'd eventually just ban all caches. The fault at that point would be our own.

Edited by dogbreathcanada

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No, gc.com couldn't police that. But we could all easily police it ourselves.

 

If I found a cache that was 40 metres off a trail, I'd simply report it to gc.com and they'd shut it down.

 

If I found a cache without adequate explanation on how to find the cache, I'd simply write up a more adequate explanation as a cache comment.

 

Some cache owners don't take too kindly to having extra explanations given in cache comments. Maybe a better way would be to contact the cache owner first and let them know that a better explanation may be needed.

 

Now if Parks Canada really want's to get involved with geocachers, they'll make the effort of making a policy that requires an approval by Parks staff before a cache is placed. This way, we follow the gc.com guidelines by having the listing approved by a cache approver, AND we follow the park policies too. There's no reason why any extra burden should fall upon the cache approvers.

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No, gc.com couldn't police that. But we could all easily police it ourselves.

 

If I found a cache that was 40 metres off a trail, I'd simply report it to gc.com and they'd shut it down.

 

If I found a cache without adequate explanation on how to find the cache, I'd simply write up a more adequate explanation as a cache comment.

 

Some cache owners don't take too kindly to having extra explanations given in cache comments. Maybe a better way would be to contact the cache owner first and let them know that a better explanation may be needed.

 

Now if Parks Canada really want's to get involved with geocachers, they'll make the effort of making a policy that requires an approval by Parks staff before a cache is placed. This way, we follow the gc.com guidelines by having the listing approved by a cache approver, AND we follow the park policies too. There's no reason why any extra burden should fall upon the cache approvers.

I wouldn't want to burden Parks Canada with approving caches. That's not their mandate. And, since it isn't their mandate, nor do I think they want to give financial resources over to the task, it would take months to get caches approved through them.

 

Geocaching.com is in the business of approving caches, so seems reasonable that having cache approvers deal with the occasional (and it would be occasional) infraction, isn't beyond their current duties.

 

Simplicity. Come up with a plan that Parks Canada and us geocachers can live with. Something that protects the parks and promotes the hobby in a healthy and environmental manner.

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Here are two things Parks Canada could adopt to greatly reduce the environmental impact of caching:

 

1. No cache shall be located no more than 4 metres from a marked trail.

 

2. All caches must contain detailed descriptions on how to find the cache, to reduce the enviromental impact of searching an area that could have a radius of up to 25 metres (depending on satellite signal strength in an area.)

Those sound like reasonable guidelines that Parks Canada could adopt in a year (or more) when they finally make up their mind as to the future of caching in our parks. In the meantime, their policy is still "remove all existing caches and don't hide any more". I have problems with that sort of blanket, knee jerk reaction to something they obviously don't fully understand. Some day, if and when they get around to establishing a permanent policy that permits some form of caching in our parks, I'll look at the policy and decide whether or not I am prepared to jump through whatever flaming hoops they put in place for cachers to use our public parks. In the meantime, I'll go just go around the obstacle rather than bang my head against it or simply just give up and walk away defeated.

 

I believe you've been banned from the BCGA forums a couple of times yourself, Gorak.

I believe you would be 100% wrong about that. I've never been banned from any website. <_<

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I'll look at the policy and decide whether or not I am prepared to jump through whatever flaming hoops they put in place for cachers to use our public parks.  In the meantime, I'll go just go around the obstacle rather than bang my head against it or simply just give up and walk away defeated.

 

And what does that mean? You'll place caches in the Parks whether they're banned or not?

 

I believe you've been banned from the BCGA forums a couple of times yourself, Gorak.

I believe you would be 100% wrong about that. I've never been banned from any website. :blink:

Ah. My mistake then. I often just think of you and J5 as one and the same. <_<

Edited by dogbreathcanada

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Now if Parks Canada really want's to get involved with geocachers, they'll make the effort of making a policy that requires an approval by Parks staff before a cache is placed. This way, we follow the gc.com guidelines by having the listing approved by a cache approver, AND we follow the park policies too.

I think this is probably the best Idea I have seen in this particular topic. Certainly parks staff will be more than familiar with their own parks and particular areas that should be avoided and areas that might be more suitable.

 

I have found through working with Ontario Parks staff recently for an event that they were more than willing to listen to what I had in mind for different cache-style events. We ultimately need to work together with the parks staff. I think it seems logical that if they are involved in the cache location selection process that they will feel more in control of the situation.

 

It has been my experience that Provincial and Federal parks have always been very "Guidlines" oriented regardless of the activity. I don't believe following the guidelines will be a problem for any cacher I have ever met. It appears to be the establishment of these guidelines that obviously is the biggest headache.

 

On a side note, I can think of at least a few dozen or so different locations within different Ontario and Federal parks that are no more than 4 or 5 meters of the established trail that would be non ecologically intrusive, and would be great places for a cache.

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Now if Parks Canada really want's to get involved with geocachers, they'll make the effort of making a policy that requires an approval by Parks staff before a cache is placed. This way, we follow the gc.com guidelines by having the listing approved by a cache approver, AND we follow the park policies too. There's no reason why any extra burden should fall upon the cache approvers.

That sounds quite logical except for one thing. To pre-approve caches in our parks they would have to expend resources from budgets that have been cut to the bone. They only way they would be able to do that would be to charge a fee for that approval. I'm not sure I would like to see a system of fees and/or permits to place a cache in our parks like is happening in the US, although it would be a good tactic on their part that would seriously curtail caching in our parks while pretending to be supportive of the game.

 

On the flip side, I can't see Parks Canada agreeing to let a private American for-profit corporation approve new caches on their behalf. Stranger things have happened, though...

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I'll look at the policy and decide whether or not I am prepared to jump through whatever flaming hoops they put in place for cachers to use our public parks.  In the meantime, I'll go just go around the obstacle rather than bang my head against it or simply just give up and walk away defeated.

And what does that mean? You'll place caches in the Parks whether they're banned or not?

It means that the concept of creating a private, by invitation only, caching club like I described in an earlier post is becoming more attractive all the time. Where those caches end up being hidden would be at the discretion of the cache owners. <_<

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I'll look at the policy and decide whether or not I am prepared to jump through whatever flaming hoops they put in place for cachers to use our public parks.  In the meantime, I'll go just go around the obstacle rather than bang my head against it or simply just give up and walk away defeated.

And what does that mean? You'll place caches in the Parks whether they're banned or not?

It means that the concept of creating a private, by invitation only, caching club like I described in an earlier post is becoming more attractive all the time. Where those caches end up being hidden would be at the discretion of the cache owners. <_<

Sounds like a lot of work just to amuse you and your eight friends, but to each their own.

 

Of course, we're not discussing little rebellious private personal solutions, but a solution for the entire geocaching community, as well as Parks Canada. Something everyone can live with.

 

I didn't think the point was to simply look for a solution that suited Gorak.

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I didn't mention the "sniping" type of posts did I, these are not helping our situation, please stop them.

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"We shrugged and continued on our way. Close to the water our GPSs honed in on the cache very quickly, so we decided to sign the log before anyone else arrived. Replaced the cache in its hiding place in order to allow the rest of the group to attain a full cache experience. As soon as the stragglers appeared, we told them we had a secret and chose a nice spot overlooking the ocean as a secret circle. We expected everyone would uncover the cache in short order, but to our amazement we were treated to the spectacle of the rest of the group wandering in circles, more or less tripping over the container from time to time without actually finding it. Standing alone in the secret circle, we began to feel almost alienated from the rest of our fellow cachers. As we seriously debated whether some clues needed to be proffered, somebody finally stumbled into the find. Slowly the rest - now having a restricted area to search - were able to discover the location."

 

My gosh! Who would write such stuff. Sounds to me like a bunch of people should be chastized for having too much fun. Once I track them all down, they will be severely punished for daring to enjoy a day of caching, and also sent back to polish up all the rocks they trod upon.

 

<_<

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There's a lot of talk about OUR parks. And how people will do what they want in OUR parks.

 

What those people are missing is that the parks aren't mandated to supply activities for geocaching and geocaching alone. If Parks Canada is concerned that extensive geocaching could adversely affect the ecology and environment of the parks, then it's in their mandate to protect those parks for ALL Canadians. Geocaching is not an inalienable right. Your tax dollars pay for the management of the parks, those tax dollars don't allow you to damage the parks (if that is what Parks Canada determines geocaching is doing.)

 

Unless some of you are funding the park systems all on your own, then your input is minimal. And Parks Canada's mandate to serve your needs alone is equally minimal. Geocaching is a fringe activity, but a fringe activity with the potential for much ecological and environmental damage.

 

This is why Parks Canada is involved. This is why Parks Canada is concerned. This is why they are looking to protect the parks for all of us. All Canadians. Present and future Canadians. The parks don't exist for geocachers alone.

 

If some compromise can be reached between Parks Canada and the geocaching community, then that would be the best solution. But if not, then oh well. Do you really need a plastic bucket hidden behind a tree as a reason to get out to a national park? If so, then that's a little sad.

 

Virtual caching is the way to go in the parks in my opinion.

 

(For instance, if I could have made my Lynn Headwaters (a park not administered by Parks Canada, just to be clear) caches VIRTUAL, I would have. That would have been my preference, so instead I stuck small caches in at the locations and supplied detailed instructions on how to locate them.)

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Of course, we're not discussing little rebellious private personal solutions, but a solution for the entire geocaching community, as well as Parks Canada. Something everyone can live with.

 

I didn't think the point was to simply look for a solution that suited Gorak.

Actually, I originally brought up the concept of multiple, private caching clubs as a viable solution for others in the caching community who wish to continue caching in our public parks. Such a concept would work quite well and fly well below the radar of Parks Canada or, for that matter, anyone else who has a burnin' yearnin' to quash our game. From my perspective, Parks Canada is not part of the solution. They're the problem that needs addressing and, given the stance that they are currently taking, I don't feel compelled to play by their rules to solve the problem.

 

I recognize that many others don't feel comfortable thumbing their nose at ridiculous bureaucratic policies by pursuing unconventional, creative solutions that don't involve the bureaucrats and I respect their desire to spend months or years working the system to seek a more conventional solution. In fact, I wish those people the best of luck and hope they are eventually successful at their endeavours. In the meantime, I'd rather be caching instead of lobbying.

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unconventional, creative solutions

Unconventional? Yes.

 

Creative? Not really.

 

You forgot to mention unmanageable, ponderous, and uncontrollable.

 

Do you honestly think people are going to spend any time searching out these underground groups, and then managing their time and resources between the slew of them? How do you manage the fact that at some point (if you even attract a membership) that the site will be on the radar of the parks services? Do you shut down and begin the whole operation again from scratch?

 

Doesn't strike me as a solution, just a headache. But all power to you in that endeavor. Judging by the ever dwindling lack of interest in Moving Caches, this new project should be an even more startling success.

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I'd like to point out that geocaching seems to violate several sections of the Canada National Parks Act and its regulations. In other words, the activity as it stands has probably been unnacceptable from the start.

 

So, it's not like Parks Canada is being reactionary, they're basically just enforcing the rules as they stand. It seems like they are open to changing those rules to allow some form of geocaching, so that seems to me like a good thing.

 

In the meantime, ya gotta play by the law. As some have pointed out, they are our parks, but they are also our laws.

 

Regards,

Anthony

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unconventional, creative solutions

Unconventional? Yes.

 

Creative? Not really.

 

You forgot to mention unmanageable, ponderous, and uncontrollable.

 

Do you honestly think people are going to spend any time searching out these underground groups, and then managing their time and resources between the slew of them? How do you manage the fact that at some point (if you even attract a membership) that the site will be on the radar of the parks services? Do you shut down and begin the whole operation again from scratch?

I'm not talking about another listing site that caters to various underground groups. I'm talking about private initiatives by groups of cachers who have the desire and ability to setup an exclusive website or mailing list restricted to their group. Attracting a large membership would be neither a goal nor even desirable. I would think that anything over a dozen members would be too big.

 

Once you have your group established and have setup some form of secured group communications, every member hides a few caches. Once everyone in the group has found a particular cache, or after a predetermined period of time, the cache owner retrieves the cache and recycles it into a different cache in a different location. This ensures that there is a constant supply of new caches for the group to find.

 

This solution is also quite environmentally friendly since the caches are only visited a small number of times before they are removed unlike conventional caches that could conceivably have dozens and dozens, if not hundreds, of visits compounding the environmental impact of the cache placement.

 

Doesn't strike me as a solution, just a headache.  But all power to you in that endeavor. Judging by the ever dwindling lack of interest in Moving Caches, this new project should be an even more startling success.

I see no need for your continued attempts to make this a personal issue.

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In the meantime, ya gotta play by the law. As some have pointed out, they are our parks, but they are also our laws.

Good point. However, British Columbians have a long history of practising civil disobedience in our forests when we feel the laws are just wrong. <_<

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There will be a contact email address provided by Parks Canada

Has this been provided yet?

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There will be a contact email address provided by Parks Canada

Has this been provided yet?

The address have been activated, but not provided yet. It will accompany the final draft policy that is being revised and provided in both official languages.

Edited by cache-tech

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Are there cachers who place caches in sensitive locations....YES

 

Do they do it on purpose....NOT LIKELY

 

Are there cachers who sometimes get overzealous when searching for a cache....YES

 

Are they the majority....NO

 

I'd love to see some statistics on the number of geocaching related visits in the parks as compared to the number of non-geocaching related visits. I'd be suprized if we were anywhere close to 1/10th of 1% of the total. Am I trying to downplay any of Parks Canada concerns, absolutely not, they are completely valid. But is the grand scheme of things I think it would be pretty safe to say that there is probably more damage caused by tourists than by cachers. If fact there is probably more damage caused by the park inhabitants (animals) than by cachers.

 

We have a great opportunity here to educate not only those at Parks Canada, but ourselves as well.

 

Here in Victoria we've seen a number of instances where someone visits a cache and notices that an area may be showing some signs of over use - a friendly note to the cache owner and the cache is either disabled or moved. I've yet to see anyone refuse to look after the situation.

 

The solution is pretty simple - a workable set of guidelines for us to follow combined with self-policing.

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If fact there is probably more damage caused by the park inhabitants (animals) than by cachers.

OMG ... you're kidding right? You have to be kidding. *shakes head* *tries hard not to say anything that might belittle the person who made the comparison, even if they deserve it*

Edited by dogbreathcanada

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If fact there is probably more damage caused by the park inhabitants (animals) than by cachers.

OMG ... you're kidding right? You have to be kidding. *shakes head* *tries hard not to say anything that might belittle the person who made the comparison, even if they deserve it*

Prove me wrong and I'll gladly stand corrected.

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If fact there is probably more damage caused by the park inhabitants (animals) than by cachers.

OMG ... you're kidding right? You have to be kidding. *shakes head* *tries hard not to say anything that might belittle the person who made the comparison, even if they deserve it*

Prove me wrong and I'll gladly stand corrected.

It's not a matter which has to be proven or unproven. The wildlife are the inhabitants of the parks. Cachers are not. It's a specious argument.

Edited by dogbreathcanada

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One point that I feel is important : in some parks, you are actually ALLOWED to walk outside of the trails.

 

I know that in some parks you have to stay on the trails in the whole park or in some areas that have more fragile vegetation or particular dangers, but that is not the case everywhere.

 

For example, the Pink Lake area of Gatineau Park is sensitive to erosion and has lots of small open mining shafts. Therefore, signs tell you to stay on the trails in that area (and you really should!). But in most of Gatineau Park, you are allowed to walk wherever you want. This is because the local forest vegetation is not so fragile that someone walking through the forest will kill it.

 

Gatineau Park is close to a large populated area where Geocaching is very popular. Still, most caches in the Park see only one or two visitors a week in the busiest months. That is not such a number of people that a trail will be formed to the cache or vegetation will get destroyed.

 

I believe the Parks Canada officials might greatly overestimate how many people are looking for the caches in their parks if they are looking at the numbers of people visiting urban caches or, even worst, if they are looking at the numbers for some US states.

 

To me, Geocaching definitively falls into the "low-environmental impact activities" category, along with hiking and bird-watching. Do you really think they should forbid those activities too?

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It's not a matter which has to be proven or unproven. The wildlife are the inhabitants of the parks. Cachers are not. It's a specious argument.

Hardly, but let's leave the wildlife discussion for the time being.....can you prove to me that cachers are causing more damage than hikers, picnicers, bird watchers, fisherman, partiers, tour groups, mountain bikers and on and on?

 

I don't think you can - how do you propose to deal with those groups? Should all activities be banned in our parks?

 

This is a clear case where one particular issue gets the attention and the blinders go on and block out everything else that is happening.

 

You don't solve world hunger by feeding one person - you won't solve this problem by banning geocaching either.

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This solution is also quite environmentally friendly since the caches are only visited a small number of times before they are removed unlike conventional caches that could conceivably have dozens and dozens, if not hundreds, of visits compounding the environmental impact of the cache placement.

 

Interesting point you made there. For a group of dedicated people it sounds like a good idea, albeit a bit too exclusive for my liking.

 

I still wouldn't condone doing it in National Parks against their wishes though, and it still doesn't address the problem of what the other thousands of geocachers are supposed to do.

 

Regards,

Anthony

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Can you prove to me that cachers are causing more damage than hikers, picnicers, bird watchers, fisherman, partiers, tour groups, mountain bikers and on and on?

No. But all those acitivities are already regulated by the park. You can only hike on the trail system. Mountain bikes are only allowed on pre-designated trails. Fishing is only allowed during certain times of the year and in certain locations. Etcetera. Etcetera. Etcetera.

 

The parks are also covered for liability for all those activities, in the event something accidental or horrible happens to a visitor.

 

If you were expecting that geocaching would just slip under the radar, remain unregulated, when the Parks already regulate all those other activities you offered as counter examples, then you were kidding yourself.

 

A permanent ban isn't a solution. But while Parks Canada determines how to to deal with geocaching, banning for a year is probably not a bad idea (though I would have allowed current caches to remain and their impact be studied). Parks Canada need to figure out how to manage it, they need to figure out what their liability is, they need to figure out the effect it will have on the parks, etc.

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No. But all those acitivities are already regulated by the park. You can only hike on the trail system. Mountain bikes are only allowed on pre-designated trails. Fishing is only allowed during certain times of the year and in certain locations. Etcetera. Etcetera. Etcetera.

 

The parks are also covered for liability for all those activities, in the event something accidental or horrible happens to a visitor.

 

If you were expecting that geocaching would just slip under the radar, remain unregulated, when the Parks already regulate all those other activities you offered as counter examples, then you were kidding yourself.

 

A permanent ban isn't a solution. But while Parks Canada determines how to to deal with geocaching, banning for a year is probably not a bad idea (though I would have allowed current caches to remain and their impact be studied). Parks Canada need to figure out how to manage it, they need to figure out what their liability is, they need to figure out the effect it will have on the parks, etc.

My point exactly - and we finally see eye to eye on something. All those other activities were regulated, not banned. An outright ban along with a requirement that all caches be removed until a final policy is developed is a knee jerk reaction. I don't believe that any of those other activities were banned while regulations were developed.

 

As I previously stated, there are some valid concerns. But I strongly feel that an outright ban and removal of all caches is not warranted. We should be working in conjunction with parks to regulate this activity.

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No. But all those acitivities are already regulated by the park. You can only hike on the trail system. Mountain bikes are only allowed on pre-designated trails. Fishing is only allowed during certain times of the year and in certain locations. Etcetera. Etcetera. Etcetera.

 

The parks are also covered for liability for all those activities, in the event something accidental or horrible happens to a visitor.

 

If you were expecting that geocaching would just slip under the radar, remain unregulated, when the Parks already regulate all those other activities you offered as counter examples, then you were kidding yourself.

 

A permanent ban isn't a solution. But while Parks Canada determines how to to deal with geocaching, banning for a year is probably not a bad idea (though I would have allowed current caches to remain and their impact be studied). Parks Canada need to figure out how to manage it, they need to figure out what their liability is, they need to figure out the effect it will have on the parks, etc.

My point exactly - and we finally see eye to eye on something. All those other activities were regulated, not banned. An outright ban along with a requirement that all caches be removed until a final policy is developed is a knee jerk reaction. I don't believe that any of those other activities were banned while regulations were developed.

 

As I previously stated, there are some valid concerns. But I strongly feel that an outright ban and removal of all caches is not warranted. We should be working in conjunction with parks to regulate this activity.

But the government does slap moratoriums on activities while it studies them. It does it in fisheries all the time. I'm sure there are examples in the Parks (I just don't know how to do the research to find out) where activities have been banned while they were studied, then re-implemented at a later date with different regulations slapped onto them.

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A moratorium while it is studied would more than likely be acceptable to most people - but requiring that all caches be removed in the meantime does not make sense. How do they hope to study the impacts or benefits if all of the caches are removed?

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A moratorium while it is studied would more than likely be acceptable to most people - but requiring that all caches be removed in the meantime does not make sense. How do they hope to study the impacts or benefits if all of the caches are removed?

I agree. I hope whoever is discussing this issue with them, will bring that point up.

 

Or at least suggest that Parks Canada create a few new test caches, in new areas, and then study the effects caching has on those areas. (But I doubt Parks Canada will do this, which is unfortuante, because it seems like the logical path to me.)

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This solution is also quite environmentally friendly since the caches are only visited a small number of times before they are removed unlike conventional caches that could conceivably have dozens and dozens, if not hundreds, of visits compounding the environmental impact of the cache placement.

 

Interesting point you made there. For a group of dedicated people it sounds like a good idea, albeit a bit too exclusive for my liking.

 

I still wouldn't condone doing it in National Parks against their wishes though, and it still doesn't address the problem of what the other thousands of geocachers are supposed to do.

 

Regards,

Anthony

As more and more regulatory bodies ban geocaching from parks, crown lands and other public places, I see this sort of solution as the future of caching if it is to survive at all. Either that or virtuals. One only has to look to the US to see this happening. How many more caches are going to get blown up by bomb squads before some cities/counties/states start passing laws to prohibit all caching for security concerns? Once it happens in the US, how long before Canada follows suit?

 

Caching has simply grown too big and has been, and continues to be, too overexposed for the game to escape the attention of politicians, security professionals, environmentalists, government bureaucrats, etc. who don't fully understand the game and, as a result, feel that it should be prohibited for whatever reasons. Even if we were able to educate all of these people, it's only a matter of time before some nutbar decides to boobytrap a cache or some ultra-right wing malcontent disquises a bomb as a cache. Watch how fast caching is banned when that happens.

 

The handwriting is on the wall. Caching as we know it has reached it's peak and is starting a slow, painful decline. I predict that by the end of the decade there will be virtually no physical caching permitted in most parts of the US. Canada won't be far behind.

 

If physical caching is too survive, it has to go underground in small groups to escape the attention of those who would regulate it out of existance. The model I presented is only one hastily concieved solution to underground caching. I sure other people with more creativity will come up with other solutions.

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The parks are also covered for liability for all those activities, in the event something accidental or horrible happens to a visitor.

Are you suggesting that the liability insurance carried by the parks specifically excludes cachers? How are they any different than other who use the parks? In fact, how are cachers in the parks at any more risk than any other person using the park?

 

I highly doubt that liability insurance issues even factor in to the decision to ban caching or that their existing liability coverage would exclude a cacher who is using the park.

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The parks are also covered for liability for all those activities, in the event something accidental or horrible happens to a visitor.

Are you suggesting that the liability insurance carried by the parks specifically excludes cachers? How are they any different than other who use the parks? In fact, how are cachers in the parks at any more risk than any other person using the park?

 

I highly doubt that liability insurance issues even factor in to the decision to ban caching or that their existing liability coverage would exclude a cacher who is using the park.

I'm suggesting that the "act of caching" may be excluded. Insurance companies are sticklers, after all. If it's not an activity the park regulates (like hiking, camping, fishing, etc.) then the park itself may be liable for injury during a caching incident.

 

The liability insurance issue certainly factored into a caching ban in some parks in New York State recently.

 

Take one of our local Vancouver caches as an example. It's placed on a fairly steep slope. At the top of the slope is a hiking trail. At the bottom of the slope is a roadway, without barriers. Cacher is on slope looking for the cache, (s)he slips, tumbles down the hill, into the roadway, and his hit by a car.

 

Who's at fault? The driver? The cacher? The cache owner? The park for not regulating caching properly? Is geocaching automatically covered by the park's liability insurance? Or will the insurance company try to invalidate liability for geocaching?

 

I was on that hill recently and noticed the danger to someone who might slip. I was quite careful while searching the area. So the liability angle is a real issue and a real concern.

 

It's certainly not as black & white an issue as you'd like to pretend it is.

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This solution is also quite environmentally friendly since the caches are only visited a small number of times before they are removed unlike conventional caches that could conceivably have dozens and dozens, if not hundreds, of visits compounding the environmental impact of the cache placement.

 

Interesting point you made there. For a group of dedicated people it sounds like a good idea, albeit a bit too exclusive for my liking.

 

I still wouldn't condone doing it in National Parks against their wishes though, and it still doesn't address the problem of what the other thousands of geocachers are supposed to do.

 

Regards,

Anthony

As more and more regulatory bodies ban geocaching from parks, crown lands and other public places, I see this sort of solution as the future of caching if it is to survive at all. Either that or virtuals. One only has to look to the US to see this happening. How many more caches are going to get blown up by bomb squads before some cities/counties/states start passing laws to prohibit all caching for security concerns? Once it happens in the US, how long before Canada follows suit?

 

Caching has simply grown too big and has been, and continues to be, too overexposed for the game to escape the attention of politicians, security professionals, environmentalists, government bureaucrats, etc. who don't fully understand the game and, as a result, feel that it should be prohibited for whatever reasons. Even if we were able to educate all of these people, it's only a matter of time before some nutbar decides to boobytrap a cache or some ultra-right wing malcontent disquises a bomb as a cache. Watch how fast caching is banned when that happens.

 

The handwriting is on the wall. Caching as we know it has reached it's peak and is starting a slow, painful decline. I predict that by the end of the decade there will be virtually no physical caching permitted in most parts of the US. Canada won't be far behind.

 

If physical caching is too survive, it has to go underground in small groups to escape the attention of those who would regulate it out of existance. The model I presented is only one hastily concieved solution to underground caching. I sure other people with more creativity will come up with other solutions.

This is all off-topic. You should really start a new thread, and we can discuss your doom and gloom prophecies there.

 

"The Death of Caching by 2010"

 

and

 

"Underground Caching"

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No. But all those acitivities are already regulated by the park. You can only hike on the trail system.

 

Actually, as I said before, this is not the case in many parks. And as a geocacher is simply a hiker carrying a GPS (and some non-geocaching hikers also carry GPS by the way, so how are park officials supposed to recognize geocachers?), geocachers have as much right as any other hiker to walk everywhere that walking is allowed.

 

Also, we are not in the US and litigation crazy. AFAIK, no one has ever sued Park Canada because they got hurt while hiking off-trail. And I know a lot of people who did get hurt off-trail, mainly orienteers and adventure racers. The only way the Park could be held responsible is if you got hurt on the trails because of obvious negligence on their part... for example, if a badly maintained bridge collapsed while you are crossing it.

 

So, unless you expect the insurance company in such a situation to say "the guy who fell down with the bridge had a GPS, so we`re not covering him", there is no way an insurance covering hikers would not cover Geocachers.

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This is all off-topic. You should really start a new thread, and we can discuss your doom and gloom prophecies there.

I suggest you leave the moderating to the moderators. :laughing:

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So, unless you expect the insurance company in such a situation to say "the guy who fell down with the bridge had a GPS, so we`re not covering him", there is no way an insurance covering hikers would not cover Geocachers.

I agree ...

 

But what if a cache was hidden under the wooden bridge when it fell on the cacher looking for the cache? If it wasn't for the cache's location, why would any hiker have ventured under the bridge to begin with?

 

A highly unlikely event, to be sure, but that's exactly why organizations have liability insurance, to cover them in the event the unlikely occurs.

Edited by dogbreathcanada

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Time for a different direction......in the Parks Ontario thread Cache-Tech mentioned the idea of log book only caches as a way of controlling what is in the cache. Personally I'd have no problem with that at all - I don't cache because of trade items.

 

Taking the idea one step further - what if we worked in conjunction with Parks Canada when placing caches. Instead of log books and trade items, they contained a log book and special info about the park in question. It could be as simple as a brochure, or something special created which gives information about a special part of the park. I know that if I was out caching and came across some special or significant info I would want to check it out.

 

The cache owner would be responsible for maintenance, and the material could be produced or at least approved by local parks staff. It would be a great way to work together and it could include monitoring the site as well.

 

This would also help Parks Canada to meet their mandate of public education.

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Time for a different direction......in the Parks Ontario thread Cache-Tech mentioned the idea of log book only caches as a way of controlling what is in the cache. Personally I'd have no problem with that at all - I don't cache because of trade items.

Neither do I. My caches in the Lynn Headwaters Regional Park are both logbook only caches. Check out Lynn Peak and Norvan Falls.

Edited by dogbreathcanada

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If all of your assumptions were fact, which is highly unlikely, then you present a good argument for banning all people for using our public parks. In fact, I'll wager that there are several orders of magnitude more hikers, birders, photographers and campers using the parks than cachers.

 

Are you willing to apply your reasoning to those people as well? If not, why not?

 

Other than the presence of a plastic or metal box in the woods, how are cachers any worse than anyone else using the park?

 

Who, if anyone, do you think should be using the parks and why do you think those people would cause less impact than a small handful of cachers?

 

First of all, the numbers I'm going to throw out there are simply guesstimates. But I feel they well within reason, and I'd be willing to wager (were a study to be done) that these numbers would in fact be an underestimation.

 

I'd gather that a single average cacher does environmental damage equal to about 250-300 regular-use hikers in a national park.

 

The vast majority of hikers in the national parks (99.5%, in my estimation) stay on the marked trails (if the percentage were lower, we'd see far more damage in the backcountry than we do). Caching by its very nature forces a cacher to leave the trail (physical caches). You can't very well hide a cache in the middle of a marked trail. Thus, the moment a cacher leaves a trail, he's engaging in a environmentally damaging activity, an activity that the vast majority of park users do not engage in. You don't often see a non-geocaching hiker stomping about in circles off-trail, do you?

 

(Granted, some cachers are far more careful than others, which is why I'm simply using the term "average cacher".)

Edited by dogbreathcanada

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I'd gather that a single average cacher does environmental damage equal to about 250-300 regular-use hikers in a national park.

I think that is a rather preposterous estimate. Can you back that up with any kind of facts whatsoever?

 

And, to be fair, you've really quoted me out of context. You really should have also quoted the message from Kermode that I was replying to or, at the very least, linked to the thread in question.

Edited by Gorak

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I'd gather that a single average cacher does environmental damage equal to about 250-300 regular-use hikers in a national park.

I think that is a rather preposterous estimate. Can you back that up with any kind of facts whatsoever?

Just experience. I've done a lot of hiking for the last 20 years, mainly in Banff, Jasper, Yoho, Kootenay, and Waterton. And a lot in far more provincial parks across Alberta, BC and Saskatchewan. I rarely see hikers leave the trail. There's rarely any reason to do so.

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OMG ... you're kidding right? You have to be kidding. *shakes head* *tries hard not to say anything that might belittle the person who made the comparison, even if they deserve it*

:laughing:

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OMG ... you're kidding right? You have to be kidding. *shakes head* *tries hard not to say anything that might belittle the person who made the comparison, even if they deserve it*

:laughing:

I assume you (incorrectly) think it's a one-to-one relationship? A geocacher is as damaging to a park as a single non-geocaching hiker?

 

I'm sorry, but a geocacher will always leave the trail and start stomping around off trail the moment they get near their cache coordinates.

 

The vast majority of non-geocaching hikers will never leave the trail.

 

You're kidding yourself if you think otherwise.

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Don't assume......you know what they say.

 

I didn't say that it was a one to one ratio, but 250-300 to 1.....you're the one who is kidding yourself. You've got nothing to back that up whatsoever, and I find it insulting to geocachers in general.

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