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The above Email address is the ONLY acceptable way to express your thoughts to Parks Canada.

I'm sorry, but I'm going to have to disagree with that. Whereas emailing Parks Canada is important, obviously the ideas they receive via email are going to receive a lower precedence of value over the "talking heads" that are representing Canada.

 

It's important to find out where the individual representatives stand on the issue, since it's their opinions and ideas that are going to hold the most weight with Parks Canada.

 

Parks Canada might glean some general opinions from the emails they receive, perhaps even an idea or two, but it's the direct face-to-face (and face-to-other medium) talks that Parks Canada is going to have with individuals they feel represent official geocaching organizations that will matter the most to them.

 

I thank you for stating who the OGA personnel are in the talks, but who are the MGA, BCGA, and GC volunteers involved? It would be nice to know who they are, as well as have them post with their opinions on the issue (i.e. how they feel Parks Canada can accomodate geocaching).

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I was online as the representative for the BCGA.

Cool. Thanks for the reply.

 

If you have a further moment, perhaps you can wax eloquent on your Parks Canada/Geocaching stance. How do you feel that geocaching can fit into Parks Canada's mandate? In what form do you envision geocaching as a qualified activity with the Parks?

 

Thanks,

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Hey, CoC. I was asked to copy the following question/reply here for you, since the person asking has no access to the GC forums or the GC mail system. Don't reply here, since I'm not going to play go-between beyond this one-time favour (:lol:) ... but they're a regular at http://sandbox.gocaching.com, so you can have a conversation with them over there if you're so inclined.

Thanks for forwarding the message DBC. I have been to the Sandbox before, but I don't feel inclined to return any time soon. One geocaching forum is enough for me at this time. I will respond to the relivent park of *their* message.

 

It matters because these people are representing us (whether we are members of the BCGA or not).  What is the problem with having a non-partisan representative?

I dissagree. The provincial associations do not represent all of canada, and certainly could not make any agreement with Parks Canada that they could enforce on everyone. Like the OGA Admin suggested, you are free to contact Parks Canada yourself to voice your opinion.

 

I think the purpose of the associations getting together is to form a collective agreement that they all stand behind together. No individuals. That is what I ment by my post. Sorry if you found it upsetting.

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If you have a further moment, perhaps you can wax eloquent on your Parks Canada/Geocaching stance. How do you feel that geocaching can fit into Parks Canada's mandate? In what form do you envision geocaching as a qualified activity with the Parks?

 

Thanks,

I believe that geocaching is a family sport and should be open and available in Parks. Of course this must be done in such a way that is environmentally sustainable and doesn't cause permanent damage. I feel that Parks are owned by the people of the country and we as geocachers should be allowed to participate in our activity within our parks. Our parks allow people to experience nature and natural history up close which is also one of the key aspects of geocaching that I love. Geocaching and parks seem like the perfect marriage to me.

 

I believe that physical geocaches can be placed and maintained within parks so that people can enjoy parks and geocaching. I think Parks should be using geocaching as a teaching tool and to fill out their mandate for the environment, history, health and family values.

 

Other park agencies allow geocaching within the boundries and it works fine. With the proper information, our parks departments should be able to see that geocaching offers great value to the parks. These parks are for people to use. Management exists to manage parks for everyone, not to own them.

 

I am pro-geocaching. That is why I want to be involved with these discussions. Please forward your comments and suggestions to Claire at Parks Canada. Claire is the goto person for the Parks Canada geocaching policy as she is collecting the information to form the policy. This is our time to be heard.

 

This is where I am coming from. :lol:

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If you have a further moment, perhaps you can wax eloquent on your Parks Canada/Geocaching stance. How do you feel that geocaching can fit into Parks Canada's mandate? In what form do you envision geocaching as a qualified activity with the Parks?

 

Thanks,

I believe that geocaching is a family sport and should be open and available in Parks. Of course this must be done in such a way that is environmentally sustainable and doesn't cause permanent damage. I feel that Parks are owned by the people of the country and we as geocachers should be allowed to participate in our activity within our parks. Our parks allow people to experience nature and natural history up close which is also one of the key aspects of geocaching that I love. Geocaching and parks seem like the perfect marriage to me.

 

I believe that physical geocaches can be placed and maintained within parks so that people can enjoy parks and geocaching. I think Parks should be using geocaching as a teaching tool and to fill out their mandate for the environment, history, health and family values.

 

Other park agencies allow geocaching within the boundries and it works fine. With the proper information, our parks departments should be able to see that geocaching offers great value to the parks. These parks are for people to use. Management exists to manage parks for everyone, not to own them.

 

I am pro-geocaching. That is why I want to be involved with these discussions. Please forward your comments and suggestions to Claire at Parks Canada. Claire is the goto person for the Parks Canada geocaching policy as she is collecting the information to form the policy. This is our time to be heard.

 

This is where I am coming from. :lol:

Sweet. Thanks. The time you took to write that is very much appreciated. I'm as satisfied as I was before (if not moreso) knowing that our opinions on the matter mesh. Again, thank you.

Edited by dogbreathcanada

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I wonder if form-mailed letters would be effective... I'm not suggesting that we spam them; that would just be bad. However, as many people who feel strongly about this issue likely do not have the time, knowledge or skill necessary to write a letter to Parks Canada themselves, perhaps an effective tactic would be to get someone to write out a nice, brief formal letter which could then be form-mailed to them.

 

I think it might give them a better idea of the number of people who feel strongly about this issue, but on the other hand it might just annoy them and/or make us look lazy.

 

Thoughts?

Edited by Tidalflame

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From the linked article:

"There might be an increase on off-trail travel in those locations which could displace animals and wildlife or perhaps lead to trampling and erosion, " Parks Canada spokeswoman Claire McNeil told CBC News.

Once again, Parks Canada has demonstrated ignorance of the geocaching community and the activity in general. Nice work. Perpetuating this inaccurate information on Canada's national broadcasting network is a very serious error in judgement.

 

-TT-

 

cc to rec.activities@pc.gc.ca

 

:)

Edited by TrimblesTrek

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I have sent the following to the CBC.

 

Please feel free to contact myself, or any other member of the Ontario Geocaching Association if you wish to learn more about our efforts to educate Parks Canada on the realities of Geocaching, and how it could have been a part of their mandate.  We would be happy to provide the facts of Geocaching that Parks Canada seems to ignore.

 

I wish that the One Year Evaluation would have been observed by both parties.

 

Seems that both the individual from NL as well as the Rep from Parks Canada has decided to abandon the One Year Public Feedback that was originally agreed upon.

 

I don't know who felt it was necessary to go to the Media, and ruin the hard work that numerous people have devoted a great deal of time and invested their own personal money to try to prevent.... now we might never get Parks Canada to talk again!

 

NICE JOB IDIOT!

 

 

I cannot write anymore.... I am too angry

 

BQ

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I have sent the following to the CBC.

 

Please feel free to contact myself, or any other member of the Ontario Geocaching Association if you wish to learn more about our efforts to educate Parks Canada on the realities of Geocaching, and how it could have been a part of their mandate.  We would be happy to provide the facts of Geocaching that Parks Canada seems to ignore.

 

I wish that the One Year Evaluation would have been observed by both parties.

 

Seems that both the individual from NL as well as the Rep from Parks Canada has decided to abandon the One Year Public Feedback that was originally agreed upon.

 

I don't know who felt it was necessary to go to the Media, and ruin the hard work that numerous people have devoted a great deal of time and invested their own personal money to try to prevent.... now we might never get Parks Canada to talk again!

 

NICE JOB IDIOT!

 

 

I cannot write anymore.... I am too angry

 

BQ

Just my 2 cents here but, I don't think taking a swipe at the Media and accusing Parks Canada of ignoring the facts is any way to advance the cause.

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Just my 2 cents here but, I don't think taking a swipe at the Media and accusing Parks Canada of ignoring the facts is any way to advance the cause.

 

I don't really see any "taking a swipe" at the media here. Care to explain? Although you don't have all that much geocaching experience, I'd be interested in your reason for a comment like that?

Edited by TrimblesTrek

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Just my 2 cents here but, I don't think taking a swipe at the Media and accusing Parks Canada of ignoring the facts is any way to advance the cause.

 

I've read the posts from above and I'm still scratching my head over your comments. I did not see any comment where a "swipe" was taken at the media. As for Parks Canada ignoring the facts, they were presented with a case study of a long term cache clearly showing that there was no damage to the surrounding environment. In fact the only signs of damage that were visible were from authorized activities on the main trail. After being presented these facts and to come out and express that geocaching damages the environment would seem to me to be ignoring the facts.

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QUOTE

Just my 2 cents here but, I don't think taking a swipe at the Media and accusing Parks Canada of ignoring the facts is any way to advance the cause.

 

I've read the posts from above and I'm still scratching my head over your comments. I did not see any comment where a "swipe" was taken at the media.

 

I have to agree with Logger & Trail and TrimblesTrek. Can't see it as an attack on the Media at all. Maybe the poster ZoopD|ngle was a bit quick to hit the reply button. :)

 

I am hoping that this 'glitch' will not affect our relations with Parks Canada can be smoothed over so we can continue to talk about our mutual concerns.

 

Hopefully CBC will learn some more about the sport - after all they placed a cache themselves!

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Just my 2 cents here but, I don't think taking a swipe at the Media and accusing Parks Canada of ignoring the facts is any way to advance the cause.

 

I don't really see any "taking a swipe" at the media here. Care to explain? Although you don't have all that much geocaching experience, I'd be interested in your reason for a comment like that?

The "NICE JOB IDIOT" is a pretty good swipe in my opinion.

 

However, it's possible that the swipe was at the unnamed individual who first contacted the media and not the media itself; it's not that clear in BQ's post. Perhaps we should refrain from any name calling, especially in a forum that might be read by the people we are trying to win over.

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However, it's possible that the swipe was at the unnamed individual who first contacted the media and not the media itself; [snip]

That's how I interpreted it. I don't see how media involvement is so negative, though. IF we could get them to broadcast our side of the story, it might even be helpful... the linked story seemed fair enough, actually.

Edited by Tidalflame

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CBC might be on strike by this time Monday.

 

Maybe OGA should go to CTV with a pro Geocachaching story.

 

:)

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Now that is a constructive and good suggestion!

 

And it is also informative.

 

I will reply about my personal feelings regarding how both Parks Canada and the Geocaching Commuunity have been put on the spot by this sudden situation that neither group wanted.

 

That is why I am mad!

 

We, both Parks Canada and the Geocaching Community, have been working together for quite some time. Together we were trying to see the concerns of both sides, and no firm decisions had been made either way.

 

Now, because someone took it upon themselves to go to the Media without consulting anyone from the Geocaching Community, Parks Canada had to make a statement

 

They had no choice, and it probably is not the only thing they said... there was probably positive stuff in there too that didn't make the final edit.

 

But not withstanding.... now everyone has to discuss with the Media the effects, policies and concerns of Geocaching before everyone was ready to do so.

 

So THAT is why I was motivated to make such a statement... it showed NO THOUGHT to the doezens, if not hundreds of people that enjoy Geocaching, have been sending their comments to Parks Canada, and have spend hundreds of dollars and countless hours working on this situation.

 

Thanks for wasting my time, Parks Canada's time, and everyone else that has been sending suggestions that actually might have been seen in a positive way.

 

I wouldn't blame Parks Canada in the least if they saw this rogue attack on their procedures as another sign that the Geocaching community cannot self-regulate itself.

 

So, thanks a ton for knocking back our efforts.

 

GM100Guy.... I like your suggestion, and I will be discussing with the rest of the OGA Exec what we will be doing immediately. We talked about it for over an hour today already.

 

:) The Blue Quasar

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This is a follow up to my earlier post

 

If this is the first post you see Claire.. read the ones up higher first, cause I was nicer to you there.

 

But one other thing, and I would not be wrong in saying this in my opinion

 

The quote from the Parks Canada rep as follows:

 

"There might be an increase on off-trail travel in those locations which could displace animals and wildlife or perhaps lead to trampling and erosion, " Parks Canada spokeswoman Claire McNeil told CBC News.

 

This is exactly the kind of negative image we hav been trying to correct from the first meeting.

 

While it is true that some caches are placed off trail, we (OGA) have always maintained that with a proper set of guidelines that the responsible Geocaching community would not allow this. If a Geocache was placed in such a way, it would be identified and removed or relocated.

 

That is what would happen. The "Assuming that we are an environmentally irresposible" group is a total fabrication, and just because a few members have in the past been guilty of this sort of thing does not mean that the community on the whole is.

 

For the Parks Canada rep to even say this statement is totally irresponsible, and makes us look bad to the public.

 

I bet she wouldn't like it if we treated her this unfairly, and smeared her efforts in the Media, no matter how many non-commital adjectives like "might" or "could" or even "perhaps" that we used.

 

Parks Canada should have never said that! Period!

 

We have been working and trying to assist the Parks Canada rep to understand how we can help them develop policies, and without fail we get some statement like the one quoted from CBC that illustrates again and again that they are not even so much as willing to see things any differently than they "locked themselves into" back earlier this year.

 

So it MIGHT be in the best interest of the Geocaching community, if we COULD talk to her superiors and PERHAPS seek to have her issue a public apology for her harsh, inflamatory remarks about our group that she made to the Canadian Public. If she COULD actually not say things that offend people on a frequent basis, PERHAPS we could actually work towards promoting Parks Canada locations and they MIGHT actually see some benefit from a group that actually likes their parks, and isnt stuck in some burocratic narrow minded trap that issues forth statements that SUGGEST that we are POSSILBY destroying this so called fragile ecosystem that seems to survive the onslaught of campers, mountain bikers, photographers and hundreds of others that trample the very locations that Parks Canada is intending to protect.

 

I might have said things that have offended people in the past, but at least I didn't do it to a Nation wide media service that will cause people to judge us as a reckless group that wantonly tramples plant life and ruins breeding grounds.

 

Once again, several mispoken words have come out.... and this time we can see clearly who said them!

 

Not me !

 

A very disappointed BQ!

 

edit: typos

Edited by The Blue Quasar

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:)

...especially in a forum that might be read by the people we are trying to win over.

Actually, in another stunning display of indifference, Claire has made it very clear that she is not interested in the content of this forum topic. She is ONLY taking her input from the email sent to rec.activities@pc.gc.ca. The one place where the geocaching community comes together to discuss the issue, and she's not interested. :D

 

The only way to have any hope of understanding what geocaching is all about is through participation. Participation can take many forms including taking part in these forum discussions, or God forbid, actually hitting the trails! :)

 

- The existing Parks Canada policy was created without input from anyone within the geocaching community. This is a problem.

- The policy implemented was to ban all geocaching activity within Parks Canada properties. This was nothing more than a knee-jerk reaction. Knee-jerk reactions most often cause problems.

- Ignoring expert advice and opinion provided during a face-to-face meeting is a problem.

- Not participating in open discussions is a problem.

- Hiding behind Parks Canada's doors in Ottawa is a problem.

- Not doing anything to promote park useage is a problem.

- Providing CBC with misguided information is a problem.

 

The saying goes, "If you're not part of the solution, you're part of the problem."

The corollary is "If you're part of the problem, you're not contributing to the solution." :)

 

Come on Claire. Take up the challenge and respond here, in this forum. The recent sniping and bad-blood is simply born of frustration with Parks Canada. If you folks would actually talk to us ALL, HERE, this would stop.

 

-TT-

 

:)

Edited by TrimblesTrek

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The following is not an attack on any individuals or organizations. It is merely my observations and some suggestions to help move this problem to a resolution.

 

It would seem the posters that are most outraged by the recent publication by the CBC are posting remarks complaining about one sided public statements. I would like to remind everyone that these forums are also public. Though you do not appreciate the article in what was said, and by whom, re-reed the above postings and you will see the same type one sided opinions from the other side. Understanding is a three edged sword, your side, their side, and the truth. At this point both sides have taken a stand and posted their beliefs. All be it the forums chosen to broadcast the opinions are different. If booth side continue to posture in this manner a solution will never be found.

 

I challenge the OGA and BCGA to resolve this matter in a professional manner and accept the results. Smearing, whining and complaining is not a mature activity and does not display good leadership. If the OGA/BCGA wishes to be nonpartisan than its executive should abide by that position and refrain from making public comments that may be considered in contradiction of the OGA’s/BCGA’a positions on this matter.

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The CBC already knew about geocaching so the latest little rant is not helping much.

At least one person that works at the CBC already knew about geocaching, and placed This Geocache for the program "The Hour".

 

Also, why would the person in the maritimes know, or care about the Ontario or British Columbia geocaching associations. They have their own local representation, that will act in what it believes to be the best course of action for the local geocachers. This story at cbc.ca quotes somebody from Newfoundland as their probable source. Not everybody at geocaching.com reads the Canada forums. In all likelihood they have no idea this thread even exists.

 

If a federal level geocaching association is needed to keep everybody sailing in the same general direction, perhaps it's time to create one. Bearing in mind that an account at geocaching.com does not bind one to the decisions of the local hobbyists that get together at the moment.

 

Perhaps a 'club affiliation' similar to the Bruce Trail Association is needed, with Geocaching.com appointing someone to speak for me. Of course nobody at Navicache.com would be oblidged to listen to the Geocaching.com spokesperson, so the problem still occurs. I would like to think that I have the capability to, for example, write to my Member of Parliment without getting singled out by the OGA/BCGA/whoever in these forums.

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I think you guys are getting really wound up over nothing, as far as the CBC story goes. Take it from me, thousands of Canadians aren't tossing and turning tonight wondering how to keep those awful geocachers from destroying out natural heritage.

 

It's only a game, after all.

 

Regards,

Anthony

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I wonder if our geocaching community can possibly turn this all around and use it to our advantage. While the poker is hot why not contact the CBC, find out the name of the journalist and request an interview to air our opinions and feelings. We certainly do not want to further damage the lines of communication that have been established to date with Park authorities so keeping it factual and level headed will put us in a good light. Getting into a peeing contest can only end up one way and we'll be the ones to suffer, not Parks Canada. However they did fire the first shot and a little defence is certainly justified.

 

The CBC website does list an Audience Relations dept. contact information.

 

Cheers, Olar

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I got a reply back from Parks Canada.

 

Among other things the reply stated "In actual fact it was a very positive interview, however they chose to only post the concerns instead of all the things that I said which were positive."

 

It may be true that I shot my mouth off inappropriately... (happens all the time, one of the hazards of being an idiot I suppose), but the fact remains that the CBC chose to air only what they did.

 

I agree with Olar, and I and a couple of others have already sent "feedback" to the CBC site requesting an audience with the author. If anything, we could use the CBC to put out the positive spin on geocaching.

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I agree with Olar, and I and a couple of others have already sent "feedback" to the CBC site requesting an audience with the author. If anything, we could use the CBC to put out the positive spin on geocaching.

Now that would be a good use of everyone's time. I've seen bit parts on the CBC about geocaching, but wouldn't it be great if The National ended up spotlighting our hobby in a positive way....

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That would be great. I do hope that this unexpected turn of events can in someway promote a positive view of Geocaching.

 

I have not read my email at the time of this posting, so who knows what awaits me there but I did want to say one thing back about the one-sided statements.

 

I know that I have strong beliefs and sometimes I don't express them as eloquently as I should. But as I review the content of this thread, whether I am writing as The Blue Quasar or OGA - Admin I feel that for the most part I have been supportive of most of the concerns that Parks Canada has had and/or brought to our attention. I can't put it into numbers but I feel that I am far more often in agreement with Parks Canada than opposed to them. Their concerns are very valid in my eyes.

 

Parks Canada is concerned about the off trail nature, and so are we. That is why we suggested they might consider setting a limit of so many meters off of the sanctioned trail.

 

Parks Canada has been concerned about impact to historic sites, and we agreed totally that our activity should have no actual physical contact with any actual building etc.... but suggested that multi's be used to move people away from areas that Parks Canada would like showcased yet not impacted upon.

 

I even supported the idea of pulling out all of the existing caches. I don't agree with it, but I supported it. I see the rational, and I can get behind that idea.

 

So, if people are suggesting that I have been one-sided in this venture, I do not agree.

 

Another little thing.... everyone in this forum knows that I have said things that I could have worded better, and when I have made mistakes I always post a public apology and point out that I was wrong.

 

But as for being more professional, or business minded or however you might wish to express it. People are emotional about things they care about. I will not become an automaton or Vulcan in my thoughts. Feelings are a powerful form of expression, and no one should just play it safe and roll over.

 

There are numerous people in here that we all have read comments from. I am listing only a few, and they range widely. People like Gorak, Keith Watson, Parker2, GM100Guy, Trimbles Trek, DogsBreathCanada, CircleofConfusion, and others including myself.

 

We don't always agree with what they or I say, or sometimes they are dead on the money right, sometimes we rally behind them, other times shake our heads wondering what they are thinking.

 

But for all of them, one thing is true that no one can deny.... Each of them is passionate in their beliefs and in their views on Geocaching. That is the important difference between the casual Geocacher and those that get involved in the Forums. They all want their input to mean someting. They all have valid ideas to bring forward, right or wrong, and all deserve to express them.

 

It is true that not one of us knows the lengths that each other have gone through to be where we are today, or how hard they feel about the issues. But before anyone starts judging the statements people make in this public forum, consider that they probably have a very good reason for feeling the way they do. And often, they might not be able to tell you why.

 

I am annoyed at the way the CBC represented Parks Canada (the title of the article is very harsh towards Parks Canada), and like I said before... I strongly suspect that Parks Canada had some or many good things to say. I just wish they hadn't said that one negative statement that go published about Geocachers. And I wish that the CBC would have consulted with someone wiht vast experience in Geocaching. Cache-Tech and the Parks Canada rep probably could have provided that easily. I didn't like the way our community was represented at all, as I don't believe that the interviewed Geocacher has the expertise.

 

It would have been so nice to see a statement like this.

 

BQ makes up a quote - this did not happen "Parks Canada has been working with individuals that participate in Geocaching, in an effort to prevent any accidental damage to wildlife or possible erosion, and we are creating policies to protect our park lands"

 

That, to me, sounds a lot more positive for all parties invloved.

 

But again... it's time to move forward....

 

:rolleyes: The Blue Quasar

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Thanks to a certain person, I have the actual article that the CBC made in full.

 

After reading the article, it is clear that the 'snippit' that is online is not a fair synopsis of the content or opinions of Parks Canada.

 

In the article there are many statements made by Parks Canada that clearly demonstrate a clear understanding of the basics of Geocaching and that they are working towards a better handling of our activity.

 

We are hoping to post this article on our site, so that people can read it when they want, but if anyone wants a copy of it they can send me an email and I will forward it.

 

I must say that is was quite a relief to see the full article, and even though Parks Canada is not in position to make a final decision yet, we can see that they definitely have a better grasp on things than was originally indicated.

 

OGA - Admin

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I have seen both the full CBC article as well as the one posted in the "The Humber Log" (Corner Brook, NL weekly paper)

Both actually never said anything bad about Geocaching, but the fact that we are working together to come up with a fair policy for all that are involved. It would be great if we could get more positive media on the policy as well as Geocaching in general.

 

parker2

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I have yet to meet any of the front line Parks Canada people who have even heard of the cache ban. Two of my students worked in Gros Morne and L'Anse aux Meadows during the summer and hadn't heard of it. More recently someone at the front desk at Gros Morne eagerly showed me Geocaching.com printouts of Park caches and the possible ban was news to him. Personally I have no problem with virtual caches only. Much of the Gros Morne environment is very delicate and cannot take too much traipsing around off the marked trails and board walks. (I haven't read all the posts on this topics so may not be completely upto date with the debate. I did a CBC interview about the Parks proposed policy just a couple of days before the lockout, so it was canned.)

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From the linked article:
"There might be an increase on off-trail travel in those locations which could displace animals and wildlife or perhaps lead to trampling and erosion, " Parks Canada spokeswoman Claire McNeil told CBC News.

Once again, Parks Canada has demonstrated ignorance of the geocaching community and the activity in general. Nice work. Perpetuating this inaccurate information on Canada's national broadcasting network is a very serious error in judgement.

 

-TT-

 

cc to rec.activities@pc.gc.ca

 

:P

:huh: Late joining the discussion, but I just read this article to see what everyone was upset about. Didn't see anything, so I scrolled up to find this post.

 

The displacement of "animals and wildlife" (like they're two different things) is a bit of a stretch, but surely we must agree that trampling and erosion can be valid concerns. At a recent caching event, I had a late start in the day, so I was able to see a lot of the effects we had on the environment. Harmless geo-trails will of course be created. These probably will have no permanent effect on the spot. However, there were places where the "damage" done was actually quite shocking, to the degree that I wondered whether we would be allowed back in that park.

 

I do believe that many, if not most of us, are environmentally aware and use the areas with care, but as the number of people involved in our hobby has grown, so has the traffic near cache sites and some people just don't seem to care about their impact.

 

Of course, this is not just limited to geocachers. The same kind of "absence of care" or responsibility has been and can be seen in other outdoor hobbies, such as camping or hiking. It is mind-blowing to walk the Bruce Trail, for example, and see how much litter is being left on the ground. I will never understand the mind of someone who would do such a thing, but unfortunately they are out there and we (geocachers) have them too.

 

If the statement quoted is not entirely reflective of the whole truth (people do damage, as opposed to geocachers do damage), neither is it so far-fetched as to invoke one's anger. Is it? :cry:

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I am really glad that Algonquin Bound brought this forward.

 

I too have noticed the effects at Events. And as AB said

At a recent caching event, I had a late start in the day, so I was able to see a lot of the effects we had on the environment. Harmless geo-trails will of course be created. These probably will have no permanent effect on the spot. However, there were places where the "damage" done was actually quite shocking, to the degree that I wondered whether we would be allowed back in that park.

 

I read this entry at lunch today, and thought a great deal about it over the afternoon.

 

Here's the thing... I totally agree that when a large number of people walk on the same route over a short period of time, that trails will form and this is a cause for concern.

 

I also know that this happens at Events, because of the 'carnival atmosphere' that is generated. And to some degree this also happens with regular physical caches too.

 

But at the same time, I have been to visit some caches that have been in place for over two years and I couldn't see any trail to the cache even though it's been found over 50 times.

 

Guess why? Because near the beginning of a Geocache's life, there is a lot of visits. As time passes, less people visit, or should I say that the time between visits increases. And as such the vegetation grows back.

 

So, since it seems that most of the ideas for Policies revolves around a few key ideas, one that is a constant is the 'one-year lifespan'. I like the idea that a cache cannot remain in the same location for more than a year. This would allow the area to fill back in. Move the cache and give that spot a chance to grow back, while shifting the activity along closer or further on the trail.

 

I know that people might not like this.. but here goes.

 

Visiting a Geocache is like drinking alcohol, in this respect. If you drink a lot and often, you will cause damage to your body. But if you drink a little from time to time the health benefits are actually well documented.

 

So, if 100 people seek a cache in one week... there is a lot of trampling... but if those same 100 do it over a year, the damage is minimal, if at all. Guess what... I don't think there is a cache in Ontario that has had 100 finds in a year.

 

So, when you look at the long term affects of people in the same area repeatedly, there might be some evidence. But if caches are managed properly, they can have almost no effect on the landscape.

 

I dunno about how Events could be better... but it is something we should think about. But let's be sure that we are comparing apples to apples when it comes to impact on the terrain.

 

:rolleyes: The Blue Quasar

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Guess why? Because near the beginning of a Geocache's life, there is a lot of visits. As time passes, less people visit, or should I say that the time between visits increases. And as such the vegetation grows back.

... or hide them in the Winter like I do. I hid several caches during February - March when the vegetation didn't care who was walking on it. By May the DNF's were coming in as nobody could find anything remotely close to the main trail nevermind a geo-trail :rolleyes:

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Guess why? Because near the beginning of a Geocache's life, there is a lot of visits. As time passes, less people visit, or should I say that the time between visits increases. And as such the vegetation grows back.

Yes thats true in a lot of cases usually when the vegetation involved is weeds and grasses. However when it falls into the category of a more exotic sensitive plant-life we may have destroyed it with no chance of regrowth or at least have delayed it's original growth by a year.

 

So, since it seems that most of the ideas for Policies revolves around a few key ideas, one that is a constant is the 'one-year lifespan'. I like the idea that a cache cannot remain in the same location for more than a year. This would allow the area to fill back in. Move the cache and give that spot a chance to grow back, while shifting the activity along closer or further on the trail.

Why move it if the vegetation will grow back once the number of visitors drops off? The criteria should be to place the cache originally in a non-sensitive area where the effects of trampling are minimal or non-existent.

 

... or hide them in the Winter like I do. I hid several caches during February - March when the vegetation didn't care who was walking on it. By May the DNF's were coming in as nobody could find anything remotely close to the main trail nevermind a geo-trail

I am by no means any kind of expert on this matter but I'm willing to bet that in late Winter and early Spring some vegetation does care. I've seen caches that had been placed during Winter snowcover that had you walking (trampling) through patches of Trilliums in the Spring. Unless you are intimately familiar with an area and know what usually grows there then it may be best to choose another spot or wait till Spring.

 

Cheers, Olar

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The problem isn't just trails getting there, it's the sometimes-intensive search techniques. I've been to areas where people have torn apart logs, flattened large areas of bushes or grass, moved stuff around... Sure, it grows back but it looks like hell, which is kind of the main thing when you're trying to go for the whole "leave no trace" thing. Maybe you need to have a mandatory hint or spoiler pciture that will make sure people aren't tearing up the bushes looking for that little box.

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Maybe you need to have a mandatory hint or spoiler pciture that will make sure people aren't tearing up the bushes looking for that little box.

That's what I do. Detailed instructions on finding the cache, as well as photos if possible. For my provincial park caches, as I have no national park caches.

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Identification of "Environmentally Sensitive Areas" is a key concern.

 

Most locations don't require much thought, but the difficulty is when an area is sensitive but no one knows it.

 

If you have an area that requires protection, but the rules say that people must stay on the trail... the idea is that no signage is required. However, that isn't really correct.

 

And this seems to be the case, as I am noticing signs posted along paths, no where near the Geocache I am on my way to find. Signs that inform that the area is 'out-of-bounds' makes sense.

 

People (not just Geocachers) will go off trail to look at pretty flowers, or taking a bird photo, or kids chasing something, even a dog seeing a rabbit.. whatever. And most people cannot identify the various plant varieties, so they have no hope of knowing this information.

 

Another thing that came up in a recent talk with a good caching friend of mine... people believe that these so-called "recreational trails" are being formed by Geocachers.

 

I believe that some are, but most are not 'created by', rather 'utilized by'.

 

People think that the location of the cache was unspoiled at the time of placement.

 

But I've placed caches, and a few others I've done whenthey first been put out illustrate a different approach.

 

When a Geocacher goes out to place a Geocache, they follow already established trails, and when they come to a 'spur' or 'side trail' they follow it. They might end up on an already formed 'social' trail, or even an animal path.

 

That only makes sense... most people have no interest, when placing a Geocache, to fight through tough vegetation to find some location 50 meters away from any usable trail... more than likely the trail, unsanctioned or not, is already there.

 

<_< The Blue Quasar

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I've read through a couple pages of this thread (1,2 & 6) and I think someone posted some concerns about insurance. Are any of you aware of the NFA (National Firearms Association) and their insurance policy. I haven't looked at it for a geocaching purpose, but the archery club that I run has this insurance. This may be something that the provincial organizations of geocachers can get for their members (if it can apply to them) and then the individual is covered by a decent policy that is North America wide. Briefly looking at it, it covers "all legal hunting activities" which is where geocaching may come into play. I know here in NB if a person walks through the woods with the hope of taking a picture of a deer, then they are actually "hunting" deer... even though they have no firearm or bow on them. Most people don't realize that as they automatically interpret "hunting" with the act of harvesting game. Based upon the legal interpretation of "hunting" geocachers may be able to get liability insurance. If not, one never knows, maybe the act of geocaching could be added to the policy with little or no impact on the fee structure. The insurance is definately affordable and by taking this to places like Parks Canada telling them that we are now insured to do these things, that may go a long way to show them that we are, as a community, organized.

 

I'm sure that insurance is a lot of the problem facing them. Chances are people geocaching are not covered by their policy and they are being forced to try and stop the activity just to cover their behinds in the case of an accident.

 

If we as a geocaching community can come up with some viable solutions and present these ideas to Parks Canada, that may show them that we are responsible enough to keep this activity.

 

I'm not saying that the NFA insurance policy is what we want, but was just a thought that came into my head and I'm not sure if anything else is around out there that we could utilize.

 

Just had a thought come through my head... maybe Parks Canada would allow some "approved" caches right on the main trails hidden with certain guidlines. Say, for example, a bench for hikers to sit and rest upon at a specif spot with a scenic view. The hikers see a bench, the geocachers know that the seat part folds up and a cache is inside the bench. Voila... no environmental impact at all because the cache is on the trail and can be used by anyone. This type of thinking may provide a middle ground upon which to start an understanding where we can keep this activity going. Even at the least, if Parks Canada would allow, say a sign or plaque, showing some scenic view, or important plant life, etc, with a small GCXXXX in the lower right corner to signify a cache, then we can just take a picture of it with our GPS, face, etc and we have a cache. The log book then can become virtual by e-mail contact to the owner of the cache and everyone is happy. So we don't get to take or leave an item... but we do get to take a journey and leave with memories.

 

Surely there is some common ground that can be attained if we start thinking towards solutions.

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Well if anyone is watching, all Jasper area caches have been confiscated. Someone called al.mckeeman has removed the caches in accordance with the interim policy.

Too bad.

I’ve been asked to organize a cache event. I was thinking of an east meets west event or maybe even a Canadian Geocache Woodstock! The event would be in either Banff or Jasper. With all the campsites and hotel rooms, there would be room for all of us!

Now with Geocaching being put in the same category as crime, that idea is out the door. Too bad. From here in Prince George, Jasper is only a 4 hour drive. I try to get there at least once a month. When I go, I generally contribute $200 to $500 to the local economy. Think about that. If one person spends that much, how much would 100 spend? 200? 500?

Well I’m glad they still get busloads of tourist stopping to take pictures of themselves in front of an old train or a wooden bear, but I bet none of them have ever hiked the 20 Mile Loop, Valley of the Five Lakes, Overlander Trail or the Skyline Trail. How many go past the third bridge in Maligne Canyon? These are where some of the Jasper caches were. Great spots to see.

Anyway, I’m ranting.

I’ll miss going to Jasper. I guess I’ll be spending more time elsewhere where I’m not considered a criminal. I never thought using a GPS receiver would be considered a crime.

Strange thing is, when I was last in Jasper I shot footage for the Videozine. I still intend to use it, I’ll just have to turn it into a history piece.

Thoughts?

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Strange thing is, when I was last in Jasper I shot footage for the Videozine. I still intend to use it, I’ll just have to turn it into a history piece.

Thoughts?

You've pretty much covered most of the geocaching topics, with respect to finding them, logging them, creating them, camouflaging them, etc.

 

How about an episode devoted to hoe geocaching can benefit an area, specifically how geocaching can benefit Parks Canada, how geocaching fits into the Parks Canada mandate, etc. That seems a worthy exercise. I'm sure once finished, people will send the video to TPTB for their perusal. Heck, if done well enough, and with good enough arguments in favour of geocaching in the Parks, it could be used to educate law makers in general.

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Sounds like a plan for episode 6!

I'm wondering if the Park dude is checking out the cache contents. I left copies of the Videozine in a couple of Jasper caches.

Parks Canada! If you're reading this thread, grab the VCD from "West of Hinton" and watch it!

Cheers!

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Sounds like a plan for episode 6!

I'm wondering if the Park dude is checking out the cache contents. I left copies of the Videozine in a couple of Jasper caches.

Parks Canada! If you're reading this thread, grab the VCD from "West of Hinton" and watch it!

Cheers!

Given what you've already done with the videos, if you make good enough arguments on the benefits, and visually show some of those benefits, such a video could prove to make a stronger case to the government than any "talks" that are currently going on.

 

Probably best to just refer to Parks Canada in the video as "parks" in general, then such a video could be used worldwide. And Canadians can use it with respect to both provincial and national parks when making cases on the benefits of caching.

 

Just some ideas.

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Sounds like a plan for episode 6!

I'm wondering if the Park dude is checking out the cache contents.  I left copies of the Videozine in a couple of Jasper caches. 

Parks Canada!  If you're reading this thread, grab the VCD from "West of Hinton" and watch it!

Cheers!

Given what you've already done with the videos, if you make good enough arguments on the benefits, and visually show some of those benefits, such a video could prove to make a stronger case to the government than any "talks" that are currently going on.

 

Probably best to just refer to Parks Canada in the video as "parks" in general, then such a video could be used worldwide. And Canadians can use it with respect to both provincial and national parks when making cases on the benefits of caching.

 

Just some ideas.

I second that motion, Canada PArk is not the only place where bans are occuring, we have the same probllem in places in Ontario and Quebec, and all over. Making the argument for all parks would benefit everyone. Thanks in advance!

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Icenrye Posted on Oct 6 2005, 02:39 PM

  Well if anyone is watching, all Jasper area caches have been confiscated. Someone called al.mckeeman has removed the caches in accordance with the interim policy.

 

If you know of any Travel Bugs that were in those Caches, you can contact the Parks Canada contact and request a pick up rendez-vous.

 

She understands the importance of Travel Bugs and why they must not be simply discarded.

 

We rescued a USA Geocoin, and I consider that a victory, as it also allowed one of our Members to meet with a Parks Canada Warden/Ranger and talk about concerns face to face.

 

OGA - Admin

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Well I’m glad they still get busloads of tourist stopping to take pictures of themselves in front of an old train or a wooden bear, but I bet none of them have ever hiked the 20 Mile Loop, Valley of the Five Lakes, Overlander Trail or the Skyline Trail.  How many go past the third bridge in Maligne Canyon?  These are where some of the Jasper caches were.  Great spots to see.

Anyway, I’m ranting.

<nostalgia mode> ahhh yes. the skyline trail. wasn't even a geocacher when I went up there, but still left with the memories of a lifetime. nothing like watching the sunrise at 9,000 feet or so. </nostalgia mode>. Too bad the caches are gone now, but we knew that was coming. I wonder sometimes if caches are allowed in the actual town sites in Jasper and Banff, or if the ban covers those spots too (I doubt the athabasca inn is an ecologically sensitive area....)

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I wonder sometimes if caches are allowed in the actual town sites in Jasper and Banff, or if the ban covers those spots too (I doubt the athabasca inn is an ecologically sensitive area....)

A cache was just approved last week in Banff. It has all us locals baffled.

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I wonder sometimes if caches are allowed in the actual town sites in Jasper and Banff, or if the ban covers those spots too (I doubt the athabasca inn is an ecologically sensitive area....)

A cache was just approved last week in Banff. It has all us locals baffled.

Who's your cache approver? They likely don't know any better.

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Well someone posted an SBA note ... so it will likely be archived soon.

Phew! Thank goodness for that....... :laughing:

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