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There is a new article regarding the Parks Canada Interim Policy on Geocaching.

 

You can find it here

 

Sept 28th - Jasper Booster

 

Even though it is not in Ontario, the OGA Exec discussed this article and we were quite happy to see a well quoted section from the Parks Canada representative.

 

This article was much more like the type we would hope to see, as there is the clear indication that Parks Canada is willing and wanting to work with the Geocaching community.

 

OGA - Admin

 

If you are new to this discussion, even if observing, we at OGA encourage you to submit your thoughtful input and suggestions to the Parks Canada rep.

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

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

Whether you like it or not, Chuckles, physical caches are banned in the Parks. New caches are not allowed to be approved. Considering cache-advance is Canadian, it's odd that he missed it. Or perhaps he decided on his own that townsites are acceptable. If the latter, that wasn't a decision for the approver to make on his own. Ibycus did the right thing posting an SBA log entry on the cache.

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It's within Banff town limits. Who gives a rip. Maybe they should remove the nearby Golf Course.

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Any word on what's going on here? Are caches allowed within the Banff town limits? What policy did I miss that had this in it?

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Any word on what's going on here? Are caches allowed within the Banff town limits? What policy did I miss that had this in it?

Seems like a case of the local approver for Alberta deciding to make his own policy, with no regard for the interim ban on all caches in all national parks. That cache should have been archived. This is going to reflect badly on geocaching with Parks Canada when the interim policy is up and it's time for them to implement a permanent policy.

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Any word on what's going on here? Are caches allowed within the Banff town limits? What policy did I miss that had this in it?

Seems like a case of the local approver for Alberta deciding to make his own policy, with no regard for the interim ban on all caches in all national parks. That cache should have been archived. This is going to reflect badly on geocaching with Parks Canada when the interim policy is up and it's time for them to implement a permanent policy.

Lets not jump to any conclusions...

 

Got a message back from Hydee on this one, apparently in a reviewer note (which was archived once the cache was approved), the cache placer explained that they got permission from the park manager to place the cache within the city limits.

 

I still probably wouldn't have approved it without a bit more (after all, can the Banff park manager overwrite the National Parks authority about it? even if it is in his own park).

 

Definitely one to watch anyways.

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I still probably wouldn't have approved it without a bit more (after all, can the Banff park manager overwrite the National Parks authority about it? even if it is in his own park).

A park warden can't override Parks Canada policy. And the approver/reviewer is familiar enough with Canadian parks and government bureaucracy that they should know better.

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Have you ever been to the town of Banff? There is nothing environmentally sensitive about it. It's a grimy little town. There are a lot of activities that are banned in national parks that occur on a daily basis in the town of Banff. You're wrong. Get over it.

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Have you ever been to the town of Banff? There is nothing environmentally sensitive about it. It's a grimy little town. There are a lot of activities that are banned in national parks that occur on a daily basis in the town of Banff. You're wrong. Get over it.

You don't decide Parks Canada policy. And I have been to Banff. Many many times.

 

I don't agree with your assessment of grimy, though. But you're apt to try to put a little spin on anything.

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You don't decide Parks Canada policy

And you don't enforce it...unless I missed something

You missed something.

 

Everyone plays the game their own way. Some people are into FTF's, some like placing urban micros, some like to write overly critical and/or judgmental cache logs and some like to enforce rules. We all play for different reasons. :unsure:

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You don't decide Parks Canada policy

And you don't enforce it...unless I missed something

You missed something.

 

Everyone plays the game their own way. Some people are into FTF's, some like placing urban micros, some like to write overly critical and/or judgmental cache logs and some like to enforce rules. We all play for different reasons. :unsure:

Or perhaps one day I'd like to see caching in our national parks ... so by following the rules they set out in, perhaps they'll allow it. But by not following their policy we likely doom ourselves to a permanent moratorium.

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Or perhaps one day I'd like to see caching in our national parks ... so by following the rules they set out in, perhaps they'll allow it. But by not following their policy we likely doom ourselves to a permanent moratorium.

Or perhaps they won't. I never took you for an optimist. There already is a moratorium and I have very little confidence that will change any time soon.

 

Personally, I have no intention of violating their moratorium. Nor do I have any intention of paying to park in their parking lots, paying to camp in their campsites, paying to eat in their park lodges or patronizing any of the other businesses operating within their park boundaries.

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Or perhaps one day I'd like to see caching in our national parks ... so by following the rules they set out in, perhaps they'll allow it. But by not following their policy we likely doom ourselves to a permanent moratorium.

Or perhaps they won't. I never took you for an optimist. There already is a moratorium and I have very little confidence that will change any time soon.

 

Personally, I have no intention of violating their moratorium. Nor do I have any intention of paying to park in their parking lots, paying to camp in their campsites, paying to eat in their park lodges or patronizing any of the other businesses operating within their park boundaries.

That is your right. And it's my right not to care. :unsure:

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And it's my right not to care. :ph34r:

Now you've hurt my feelings. :unsure:

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Can you people knock it off?!?!?

 

That actually isn't a request.

 

The number of recent garbage posts is sickening.

 

Contribute, or be mute!

 

We all get it... you guys don't like each other... whatever.

 

Does anyone here think that Claire wants to read that drivel? How about any of the Geocaching Community?

 

Unless you are coming in here, prepared to work toward a solution, even if it involves limiting the availability of Geocaching in Parks Canada.

 

This thread is for open discussion, to bring suggestions that might lead to solutions, and ideas to move things forward for all parties. Not some Jerry Springer free-for-all.

 

Get back on track, or find a new hobby... none of us need to read what is getting posted over the past few days.

 

I'm not naming names, and I am certainly not 100% innocent... but grow up, cause you are going to ruin everything for everyone.

 

:unsure: The Blue Quasar (Just fed up with the poor content of late)

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Question to Parks Canada:

I have a question ... are caches placed in townsites okay? For instance, Banff? A recent cache was placed near the Banff townsite. Geocaching.com approved it, because supposedly the cache owner got permission to place their cache from the park warden or the Banff municipality.

 

Reply from Parks Canada:

With regards to your question, I am looking into the townsite issue already for Edmonton geocaching folks, as I just want to double check before I give you an official answer.  I'll try to get an answer for you tomorrow.

 

Anyhow, it will be interesting to see whether municipalities within national parks have control over their jurisdictions, or whether Parks Canada has complete control. (I'm guessing the latter, though, since, if I recall correctly from my Calgary days, the Banff municipality was in a snit because it couldn't allow new building permits and town expansion without first going through Parks Canada.) Anyhow, if the latter, I wonder whether Parks Canada will alter their interim policy to allow for caches within the municipalities. If I had to bet, I'd say nom they won't, but that Parks Canada is looking into it is a promising turn of events in a way -- it wasn't an out-and-out no.

Edited by dogbreathcanada

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Personally I agree with dogbreathcanada. It is important that we self enforce the rules that exist. It shows Parks Canada that we can self police, even in a case of a 'reviewer goof up' which this may or may not have been. If we can't self-police on even the simplest 'no caches in the parks' then how can we possibly be expected to self-police if they come out with anything even remotely more complicated?

 

If it does turn out that there are exceptions to the rules, perhaps on any caches that are exceptions, there should be a clear statement on the cache page as to why this particular cache was approved. I was really surprised not to see the cache owner on this one post a note to the page with an explanation of what was going on so that everyone could see it (they did e-mail me with an explanation, after my SBA note).

 

So what is/should be the official proceedure for reporting a cache which probably doesn't fall within the guidelines?

 

My first response was an SBA log. I feel it gives the cache owner a chance to state their case openly on their cache page, and keeps things fairly public as far as what is going on.

Others e-mailed the cache owner, and I'm sure others e-mailed cache-advance.

 

What was I expecting as a response? Some kind of information from someone (be it cache-advance or the cache owner) explaining why the cache was approved contrary to stated parks canada policy (like it or not, it was pretty obvious this one was going to cause some consternation). Cache-advance can't possibly be expected to know for sure the details of the relationship between parks authorities and Parks Canada. If permission was given the park manager, (which to be honest I have doubts about) then there is no reason that cache-advance shouldn't approve the cache, but there should have been something on the cache page with some kind of an official looking 'this is who in the parks system approved this cache's placement'.

 

Just my two cents anyways.

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Further responses from Parks Canada concerning caches in park townsites:

 

Hi everyone,

Just wanted to apologize that I won't be able to get a response to you

before next week about placement of caches in townsites.  Since there are 7

townsites within national parks, I need to do a little bit of information

gathering before firing off a response, and so far although I have put a

few calls in, I am just playing phone tag.  The answer may not be as

straightforward as you might think.......or at least that is what I am

guessing, and that is why I am doing some research before responding to the

question.

 

I won't be in the office tomorrow, but this will be at the top of my pile

next week.  I do appreciate that all of you took the time to contact me and

to question whether placement of a cache in the townsite was acceptable,

which I recognize as further evidence of the geocaching community(ies')'s

willingness to act as stewards of their activity.

 

Claire

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ibycus Posted: Oct 13 2005, 06:41 AM  It is important that we self enforce the rules that exist. It shows Parks Canada that we can self police, even in a case of a 'reviewer goof up' which this may or may not have been. If we can't self-police on even the simplest 'no caches in the parks' then how can we possibly be expected to self-police if they come out with anything even remotely more complicated?

 

Definitely.

 

There should be a mechanism in place to bring forward issues with existing Geocaches, regardless of where they are placed.

 

Making a big public spectacle is not the best approach in my opinion. Subtle is more than effective. I've done it wrong before too, and had quite the backlash from some Hamilton area Cachers... and I have learned better methods.

 

So, just as a suggestion...

 

If someone is aware of an exisiting cache, new or old, that they perceive has an issue, they could...

 

Send a note to the Cache Owner through the Cache Owner's profile, outlining the possible issue and why it appears to be an issue. State that a copy of the note will be sent to the local approver as well. Be sure to quote how it might be an issue and if there is a solution it should accompany the note.

 

As an example.

 

"Hello ABCacher. You might not be aware of the Interim Policy for Parks Canada. I was looking at your new cache, since it seems to be located in a Federal Park. At the moment, Parks Canada is not permitting any physical caches on their land, more information is found at Parks Canada's page on Geocaching. You might wish to disable your cache until you can find a solution although you might have to remove it until caches are allowed. A copy of this note has been sent to the local reviewer, Counterfeit-Cache."

 

After the resolution of a Cache placed in a restricted area, a summary should be sent to the local reviewers, so when they talk with the local land owner they can present a list of how the community is able to self-monitor and supervise itself.

 

:bad: The Blue Quasar

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If we're talking about impact to the environment, everything impacts the environment. I would consider Geocaching as a low impact pastime. I could see Parks Canada, setting a set of guide lines, to cache by. Will banning Geocaching make a noticeable impact? Does Parks Canada just want to be in control of something, they can’t control? I would argue that they stop wasting their recourses trying to stop a family friendly and for the most part environmentally friendly pastime. In the end it’s just that, a game and, probably not worth getting all worked up over. Defiantly not worth getting banned or whatever over. Maybe I’ll take up four wheeling as a pastime. I wonder what the environmental impact of that is? :bad:

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I would consider Geocaching as a low impact pastime.

It depends on the hide, the clues, and the finder.

 

For instance, if a small cache is hidden in dense woods where satellite signal strength will be weak, and the clue is "At the base of the tree", then that is, more than likely, going to cause a high impact search to occur.

 

On the other hand, if the cache is hidden in the same forest, but in a different spot, and the clue says "Under the boulder", and there only one boulder visible for 100 metres, then that's going to result in a low impact search.

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Baloney. :)

Tha will create just as much of an impact cause this will make a perfect trampled trail to the bolder, and since it's the only one and can see it from farther away, probably a very long trampled trail. I know this from one of my caches, good hide, but after a few finds it became easy because an actual straight line to the cache had formed. :D

Edited by AV Dezign

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The key is to find a location that can support several people walking there. Areas that have prominent weeds or high grass are more likely to develop paths than plain soil with fallen leaves and little growth.

 

I have been to numerous heavily forested areas that you couldn't tell that people had been there at all, but it is also true that I have been to city parks where you can see the Geo-trail going right to the cache.

 

To me, it isn't that simple... saying that Trails get formed because of the number of people looking for the cache.

 

It is the specific terrain... the ground cover... the plant life (and not just protected plants, but weeds too).

 

I can surely understand that Parks Canada doesn't want a ton of new "Social Trails"...

 

But with proper observation, maintenance and moving the cache from time to time, the impact can be lessened if not removed.

 

No one can make statements so general about the impact of caches, unless they consider where the cache is placed and the environment of the area.

 

I know it not the best way to make this point but... I have a cache in a Provincial Park... it is about 400 meters off trail.

 

Guess why there is no Social Trail to it?

 

Right.. everyone takes a different approach to get to it. This coupled with the fact that the ground cover in that area is not impacted by people waking there. The ground is hard, and covered with fallen leaves and sticks and logs.. normal everyday forest.

 

:( The Blue Quasar

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I know it not the best way to make this point but... I have a cache in a Provincial Park... it is about 400 meters off trail.

 

Guess why there is no Social Trail to it?

 

Right.. everyone takes a different approach to get to it. This coupled with the fact that the ground cover in that area is not impacted by people waking there. The ground is hard, and covered with fallen leaves and sticks and logs.. normal everyday forest.

 

Ya, and I was the one who took the longest approach. :( Actually I wouldn't class that area as a "normal everyday forest" but it is a very good example of a cache placement that has minimal impact potential on the surrounding environment even if every seeker were to take the same route in. During the Spring/Summer/Fall seasons it's not hard to see if off-trail hiking is going to cause damage. A winter placement can be inspected in the Spring to verify suitability.

 

Cheers, Olar

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I have been to numerous heavily forested areas that you couldn't tell that people had been there at all, but it is also true that I have been to city parks where you can see the Geo-trail going right to the cache.

 

To me, it isn't that simple... saying that Trails get formed because of the number of people looking for the cache.

 

It is the specific terrain... the ground cover... the plant life (and not just protected plants, but weeds too).

 

I can surely understand that Parks Canada doesn't want a ton of new "Social Trails"...

 

B

 

:(  The Blue Quasar

 

You know as an old time deer hunter though I haven't hunted in quite awhile now. BUT...I can tell you something about trails and how they disappear over time cause mother nature surely does a great job on here own, at least up in canada.

 

You remove that cache and give it a year or so and you'll never be able to tell a cache was here.

 

Like I've been saying, It's over rated, especially geocaches in park and blah, blah, blah, and I don't quite understand what all the fuss is about except...some people like to make life difficult.

 

Therefore I say " Baloney" eventhough it's probably spelled wrong.

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The Banff Billy Goats Gardens cache demonstrated that it is the geocachers who will make it work, not GC or Parks Canada, it is up to geocachers. The cache owner managed to convince the reviewer that a cache was possible. Geocachers, working together, caused this cache to be reassessed and archived. Geocaching.com will list caches, that is why it exists, geocachers have to become proactive or we will continue to lose access to parks. Geocaching is an activity that is dovetails extremely well with other forms of recreation. Geocaches can enhance almost any location.

I am not sure about hard and fast rules but I think the ban might be insurmountable if a specific set of suggestions are not put forward.

The fact that Parks Canada is willing to listen is a great starting place but only if we actually say something. People should take the time to write a note or letter to Parks Canada at rec.activities@pc.gc.ca, make sure they hear you.

Geocaches are physical containers, this is the what we want to retain, in some shape or form we wish to continue having geocaches, physical containers, placed in National Parks. My opinion ? Strict rules, no problem, permits, no problem, limited lifespan, no problem, just allow geocaching.

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Zoom Zoom said:

You know as an old time deer hunter though I haven't hunted in quite awhile now. BUT...I can tell you something about trails and how they disappear over time cause mother nature surely does a great job on here own, at least up in canada.

 

You remove that cache and give it a year or so and you'll never be able to tell a cache was here.

 

That is my point, you said it better.

 

People in this thread keep suggesting that these social trails only exist in areas where people go off trail.

 

I disagree. I think that social trails are created when people venture off trail in areas that have higher than ankle (as a description, not a finite term) grasses or weeds. There are many forests, let's say pine tree as an example, or even heavy deciduous ones like oak... whatever, you get my point, that you can walk around like a "conga line" or "doing the locomotion" and you can't see it at all.

 

And there are some locations, where even just two people looking around and you can tell. To the unknowning eye, it might look like a deer trail, but with a GPS in hand you know what it is.

 

But to try to claim that this is restricted to large and forested parks is wrong.

 

It is not a problem in many locations, it is not about off trail. It is about off trail in a specific area where the plant life will show that a trail is forming. If the ground is hard packed and is only covered by fallen leaves and dead branches... no trail will form.

 

And I totally agree that these trails that some people are going on about, that they will disappear soon after a cache is removed.

 

I don't know how to express it very well, but making a general statement that social trails happen solely because of HOW geocaches are hidden is not accurate. It has more to do with WHERE it is hidden, in my opinion. If people are going to be thinking about a creative and enjoyable cache, they should be considering how to make it so that every person that seraches for the cache will feel like they are the First to Find.

 

Seeing a social path to the cache is boring. Those happen, no matter what the location, due to picking a bad spot. But there are far more placements that are well thought out, where the person that put it out either thought about the ground or just got lucky, and when you get there after 25 people have found it and you cannot tell anyone was there and there are no trails or trampling in the area.

 

But like ZoomZoom suggests... time heels all wounds. Moving the cache or removing after a set amount of time, will regenerate any area. And pretty quickly.

 

Don't turn this into a crusade about cache locations... this kind of idea that we need to regulate geocache placements should ONLY apply to "Environmentally Sensitive Areas" where people shouldn't be in the first place. But to suggest that an entire park, measuring hundreds or even thousands of hectares cannot support even a single Geocache is totally unrealistic.

 

;) The Blue Quasar

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I believe the "hitchiker" they are referring to is a Travel Bug"

I know. But the term "hitchhiker" is not a term I've ever heard any geocachers use. They just pulled it out of the geocaching.com glossary it would appear, assuming it's part of our usual lexicon. Obviously the reporter isn't a geocacher themselves. <_<

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Very hastily written! And don't you think it just kind of petered out at the end??

 

Poor writing, and questionable "facts" too...

 

- "new high-tech game" - hardly "new"

 

- "sometimes real treasures like money " - I guess.. if you count Loonies as a "real treasure" (and if you igonore the Team KFWB GPS caches)

 

- "from about $100 US" - um... isn't CBC supposed to be CANADIAN???

 

-TT-

Edited by TrimblesTrek

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I believe the "hitchiker" they are referring to is a Travel Bug"

I know. But the term "hitchhiker" is not a term I've ever heard any geocachers use. They just pulled it out of the geocaching.com glossary it would appear, assuming it's part of our usual lexicon. Obviously the reporter isn't a geocacher themselves. <_<

It's a letterboxing term.

http://www.letterboxing.org/faq/faq.html#027

"A Hitchhiker is a letterbox that is placed in another letterbox, and is moved from box to box as it is found. It is typically simply a stamp and a logbook, although it can have its own container as well."

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Looks like a hastily written article.  I believe the "hitchiker" they are referring to is a Travel Bug"

Yep, back in the day, before all those shiny Travel Bug tags were created, cachers would create "Hitchikers" with brief instructions and an eMail address on them to help track their movements. Here's a link to one of the better organized "Hitchiker" sites: The Monkey Cache You don't see many hitchikers around these days. Though I guess you could still try and use one as a poor man's travel bug... :D

 

TOMTEC

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Parks Canada puts brakes on geocaching

Last updated Oct 17 2005 06:23 AM NDT

CBC News

Parks Canada has temporarily banned the increasing popular sport of geocaching to help protect sensitive areas in the national parks system.

 

Participants in geocaching hunt for hidden "caches" using a global positioning system (GPS) unit.

 

Outdoor enthusiasts, scouts and technophiles are among those have taken a shine to the burgeoning sport.

 

"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 says.

 

The games have been banned until a policy is devised, likely next year.

 

The caches – a camping term for the hiding of provisions – usually contain a logbook for entries by successful locators and other items, but not food. Finders are allowed to take an item from the stash, but must replace it with something else.

 

EXTERNAL SITE: Geocaching

While it would seem to be an easy task to find a cache if given the co-ordinates, considering that GPS devices measure in latitude and longitude down to less than 10 metres, game organizers maintain it isn't.

 

Maps and compasses also come in handy. Canadian parks officials are concerned that gamers in this country may inadvertently trample sensitive areas, such as the nesting areas of rare birds.

EXTERNAL SITE: Parks Canada

Corner Brook enthusiast Michael Newton says park officials are misjudging those who like the sport.

 

"The people who go geocaching are environmentally conscious and don't intentionally want to harm the environment," Newton said.

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This article appears in todays Toronto Star. Funny how, according to MNR/Ontario Parks, kilometers of logging roads seem to be ok for the enviroment, but a few geocachers straying 10 meters off a trail will cause irreparable harm.

 

Logging roads criss-cross Algonquin

8,000 kilometres inside park lands MNR map doesn't

 

reveal full network

 

COLIN PERKEL

CANADIAN PRESS

 

Despite its reputation as a vast untapped wilderness area, two environmental groups say they have discovered that Ontario's Algonquin Park actually has four times as much logging road as it does canoe trails.

 

The estimated 8,000 kilometres of roads, usually hidden from view and closed to the public, are detrimental to the area's habitat and run counter to the park's wild and pristine image, the groups say.

 

"If this was called the Algonquin Industrial Zone, it would be reasonable to be doing this, (but) it's called a park because it's supposed to be protected," said Evan Ferrari, director of the Wildlands League.

 

An official map of the park produced by the Ministry of Natural Resources in response to a Freedom of Information request by the Sierra Legal Defence Fund shows only about 1,300 kilometres of primary and secondary roads.

 

A more detailed map obtained by the Wildlands League reveals a network of logging roads through much of the park, about three-quarters of which has already been logged.

 

"For every kilometre of canoe route in Algonquin Park, there are more than four kilometres of road," said Anastasia Lintner, a lawyer with the defence fund.

 

That would mean there are more kilometres of road in the 765,000-hectare park than in the city of Toronto, or running between Halifax and Vancouver.

 

Environmentalists say the logging roads — about 20 metres wide to accommodate heavy equipment — have a "huge" impact on the eco-system because of the habitat fragmentation they cause.

 

"We completely change the plants and animals that are in an area once we continue to cut up the forest," said Ferrari.

 

In last week's throne speech, the Liberal government promised legislation to "ensure our precious provincial parks are protected forever."

 

Natural Resources Minister David Ramsay said in an interview he had no plans to end logging in Algonquin Park as the environmentalists want.

 

"Historically, Algonquin Park area has been a mixed-use area," he said in an interview. "That's just the way it's been."

 

Environmentalists worry that logging interests in Algonquin, considered the jewel in Ontario's parks system, will win the day and end up destroying the park completely. They want Ramsay to order a comprehensive review of all impacts of logging.

 

"We can't stop logging tomorrow and throw people onto the street," said Ferrari. "(But) how do we make that a park instead of an industrial zone?"

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"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 says.

 

Unbelievable, as if it never was that way before caching.

 

They kind of remind me of the TLC group here on the island where they lie to the public to acquire land, to save the land they say,etc..., then they turn around and blast rock, built roads and campsites...just for themselves from what I hear, ( Harbourview for example) :D I'll never support them and their lies.

 

Aside from the USA and Canada, is there anywhere else in the world that geocaching is creating the destruction of earth, I wonder?

 

But...whatever, glad I could visit some of those parks while I had a reason to be there.

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But...whatever, glad I could visit some of those parks while I had a reason to be there.

I hiked and camped in our national parks long before geocaching. I imagine I'll continue to do so no matter what policy decisions come down the pipe regarding geocaching.

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Don't forget to pay for parking now in that parking lot where wild animals once roamed.

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I hiked and camped in our national parks long before geocaching. I imagine I'll continue to do so no matter what policy decisions come down the pipe regarding geocaching.

So you're one of them that could displace animals and wildlife or perhaps lead to trampling and erosion???

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For the english speakers, please excuse this long post in French. But since I beleive Canada Park is monitoring this discussion, I would like to leave this long argument in favor of geocaching.

 

My basic argument is: if sticks, shoes and umbrellas are physical tools helping people discovering the beauty of our parcs, Geocaching is one of the rare intellectual too does that too!

 

____________________________

Bonjour,

Dans le cadre de la consultation publique sur l'usage de "géocaches" à l'intérieur des parcs publiques du Canada, j'aimerais vous soumettre les arguments suivants.

 

En dehors des différents points de vues qui sont proposés à la fois dans la politique intérim du gouvernement et par les différentes discussions par des géocacheurs, je comprends à la fois la position de Parc Canada sur ses réserves face à la conservation du patrimoine et le respect de l'environement. Cependant, il est à se demander si les dangers du géocachings ne sont pas sur-estimés surtout vis-à-vis les avantages du géocaching: amener les citadins à la nature.

 

Celui qui veut implanter une géocache, quelle qu'elle soit, doit se soumettre à un certain nombre de règles qui sont vérifiées et validées par des pairs géocacheus avant l'acceptation de publication sur le site de géocaching. Ces règlement portent sur des notions de civisme qui sont en accord, je crois, avec votre politique. L'un de ces règlement veut que celui qui place une géocache, doit pouvoir garantir sa maintenance. Ceci implique une connaissance du terrain ainsi qu'une proximité d'habitation avec le lieu de la cache.

 

Si l'on se demande qui sont les utilisateurs potentiellement négligeant des principes de conservation, on pensera surtout aux citadins néophytes que ne connaissent pas ou ne saisissent pas bien l'importance du respect de ces règles. Or, il est très improbable que ce soient eux qui "placent" des géocaches dans les parcs nationnaux. Seul un géocacheur habitué aux parcs et au "trekking" sera en mesure de placer une cache et de garantir sa maintenance (pour acceptation). Par ailleurs, ce géocacheur saura qu'il devra rendre sa cache accessible aux géocacheurs urbains ou encore indiquer qu'il s'agit de géocaches particulièrement ardues et qui visent les habitués des forêts et parcs.

 

Les parcs doivent être protégés et conservées par respect pour leur faune et flore, ainsi que pour les citoyens du Canada et leurs générations futures. Si des parcs ont des sentiers, on peut croire que ces sentiers sont pour l'usage des citoyens et que ces citoyens - citadins ou non - ont tous avantage à les visiter. Le géocaching a cet avantage que peut d'autre moyen - marketting ou autre - ont: ils stimulent directement la visite des sentiers et parcs nationnaux. Selon moi, l'importance du géocaching sur la venue de nouveaux visiteurs dans les parcs - qui n'y serait pas venus autrement - est beaucoup plus grande que tout risque encourrus sur la conservation des parcs par cette activité. J'irais même jusqu'à suggérer d'intégrer les géocaches dans les dépliants explicatifs des parcs nationnaux!

 

En tant que citoyen canadien, je suggère fortement d'appuyer le géocaching dans les parcs nationnaux. Étant foncièrement "urbain" moi-même, je n'ai jamais porté d'intérêts aux parcs ou aux activités "outdoors". Le géocaching cependant, m'a tout de suite séduit. Une fois avoir découvert des caches urbains, je me suis aventurés lentement sur les sentiers des forêts. Je reviens tout juste d'un magnifique mois de voyage où j'ai visité maints parcs nationnaux dans les rocheuses canadiennes, le parc Stanley, l'île de Vancouver ainsi que plusieurs parc américains (Zion, Yosemite, Inyo, et autre): l'un des plus beau voyage de ma vie. Et c'est mon GPS et ses multiples géocaches qu'il m'a guidé de parc en parcs, de sentiers en sentiers, de nouveaux intérêts en nouveaux intérêts. La personalisation d'un parc par les commentaires d'autre géocacheurs est un trésor qui est difficile à trouver autrement. Et finalement, les "caches virtuelles" sont portées à disparaître bientôt et, franchement, ont un intérêt supericiel. Il serait triste de voir les géocaches disparaître des parcs.

 

Si l'on permet les batons de marche, les souliers ou les parapluies, se sont des outils qui facilitent physiquement l'accès aux parcs. Le géocaching est l'un des rares outil qui facilite intellectuellement l'accès aux parcs.

 

Cordialement,

 

Lloyd Keays.

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The CBC aricle was poorly written, or copied from pre-existing documents from other sources, IMHO.

 

It is not reflective of the Geocaching community OR the full position of Parks Canada.

 

OGA placed a request to CBC for an interview, they have not responded as of this time.

 

However this article, as incomplete and biasing as it is, may provide additional exposure for both groups and ultimately add more people willing to develop a working relationship.

 

After all, was there a huge negative fall out from the Law and Order: Criminal Intent episode that featured Geocaching where they inaccurately suggested that we dig up the caches and bury them? I haven't heard of anything. In fact, the people that are our friends and family called us up and said "They got it totalliy wrong didn't they?"

 

B) The Blue Quasar

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For the english speakers, please excuse this long post in French. But since I beleive Canada Park is monitoring this discussion, I would like to leave this long argument in favor of geocaching.

Have you e-mailed this to the rec.activities address? That is where opinions, and ideas on how this might work are being solicited. Have you read through the interim policy in detail? It discusses exactly what their concerns are (and they are very reasonable)

 

As far as your comment about new cachers not being likely to place a cache in a national park, did you follow the discussion on the "Banff Billy Goat Garden" cache (see above for a link to it). Placed in a national park, during the ban, by a cacher who had been registered less than a week (looking at their finds, looks like they live very close, or in Banff).

 

I would try to keep your comments focused on things that Parks Canda has actually said they have a problem with. Most caches aren't placed directly on the trail. Some people *will* insist on going off trail way too early to get to a cache, and bush crash way too much. They may end up in areas that they shouldn't be (may be closed if you access them from an official trail.) How are we going to address these issues? My solution would be for Parks Canada to provide us (or at least reviewers) with trail data for the parks. Then they could enforce a maximum distance from trail rule. (if we had them then it would be easier for people to stay on the trails right up to the caches). We also need to be provided with specific exclusion areas (or at least the reviewers do), so we can avoid placing caches in particularly sensitive zones.

 

Ibycus

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"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 says. 

 

I hiked and camped in our national parks long before geocaching. I imagine I'll continue to do so no matter what policy decisions come down the pipe regarding geocaching.

So you're one of them that could displace animals and wildlife or perhaps lead to trampling and erosion???

Not at all. Like the vast majority of hikers, I stay on the trail. It's poorly placed caches that give the geocaching-hiker an excuse to leave the trail.

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It is a challenge to believe for one second that caches can be placed "On Trail", in the same way that flowers can be placed "On-Road".

 

There might be the occational exception. But that does not mean that it is the only acceptable method for cache placement.

 

It is not about being 100% on trail, it is about placing a cache in an area that the Parks have determined it is allowable for people to step moderately off trail, like bird watchers and nature photgraphers do, to find a cache. This distance need not be a defined distance, but even if it is set at five meters, it would establish a rule. And from that rule, the community could prove itself to be responsible and self-moderating.

 

Send realistic suggestions to Parks Canada, and post them here if you like.

 

Trying to suggest that other groups, or even individuals do not leave the trail, even if is to recover a dropped water bottle, or smell a flower... sorry... not buying it. Neither do I buy it that this causes irreparable damage.

 

Find solutions, don't cause misinformation or mistrust. It doesn't benefit anyone.

 

OGA - Admin

 

{edit: typo and the opening words to remove it appearing opinionated}

Edited by OGA - Admin

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I like how Point Pelee is run for the everyday visitor (non geocaching). When you pull up to the gate and give them your money, they hand you a little newspaper like pamphlet that also contains the map listing the spots they'd rather you didn't walk due to ecological or even pollution reasons (yes there are places there that are not healthy for people). The rest of the park is go whereever you want, and they've signed off the areas to avoid.

 

Granted this might be a bit much for the larger parks, but even Banff and Jasper post notices about where not to go when the bears are a bit touchy.

 

The Bruce Trail association also tends to post notices along certain sections of the trail that are more vulnerable than others for erosion or ecological damage.

 

Nothing wrong with identifying some areas that could be harmed by the proliferation of humans, be it the one that dropped the camera or the ones seeking tupperware. As long as the area is not 100% of the park. I seriously doubt that the parking lot for the Athabasca Inn in Jasper is a sensitive area. I'm also a fan of the Hamilton Conservation model - they're watching the cache placements and actually approving them if they like the spot. Not sure what I think about the limits on cache placements by one cacher though.

 

I hope Parks Canada are busily identifying the areas that would be harmed by (more) humans wandering around, but I have difficulty being that much of an optimist at this point.

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northernpenguin Posted on Oct 18 2005, 07:43 PM

  I like how Point Pelee is run for the everyday visitor (non geocaching). When you pull up to the gate and give them your money, they hand you a little newspaper like pamphlet that also contains the map listing the spots they'd rather you didn't walk due to ecological or even pollution reasons (yes there are places there that are not healthy for people). The rest of the park is go whereever you want, and they've signed off the areas to avoid.

 

Granted this might be a bit much for the larger parks, but even Banff and Jasper post notices about where not to go when the bears are a bit touchy.

 

The Bruce Trail association also tends to post notices along certain sections of the trail that are more vulnerable than others for erosion or ecological damage.

 

Nothing wrong with identifying some areas that could be harmed by the proliferation of humans, be it the one that dropped the camera or the ones seeking tupperware. As long as the area is not 100% of the park

 

Excellent points.

 

I have been to Point Pelee for my 10th Anniversary. Near the tip, there is no way on Earth that a Physical Geocache should be allowed due to the erosion factor. When I was there, we were all told "Do not remove ANYTHING beyond this point"... some tourist didn't listen... the trolley drive took the stones right out of her hand and pitched them back into the forest. "You were told to not remove ANYTHING, get on board"

 

I applauded I was so happy. (well inside I did, and muttered nasty things at the tourist too)

 

But that was the tip of the point.

 

That park is huge, and only one of five National Parks in Ontario (not counting Fathom 5). I do believe that there are areas that could support a physical Geocache in there, and if developed in concert with a park directive, it would be such a great thing. The Geocacher could own and maintain the caches, and the park could have a self-guided tour.

 

Sure they could do it themselves, but with a huge free marketing vehicle like Geocaching.com they would attract more people. I know that commercial is not allowed, and that is not what I mean.

 

What I mean is that more and more people are planning their vacations around Geocaching. Like Swifteroo did with Banff. People look for a neat place to go, and if they can spend some amount of times collecting "Smile Icons" then they are more inclined to choose that as a destination.

 

For those that vacation and Geocache, I think they only look at Geocaching.com for their Geocaching needs, and considering the vast amount of info that Parks Canada probably (and rightly so) has on their own site for Point Pelee, it is far more effective and successful to house it at Geocaching and have it maintained by non-staff. Less work for them, all the benefits, and probably more successful.

 

If I had to search through a site for a National or Provincial park trying to find out GPS activities, it would take me too long. I look at their site for camping and most popular activies... Geocaching is not mainstream enough to get the top billing for me to find it anywhere else but on the Geocaching.com site.

 

OGA - Admin

 

P.S. We are always in communication with Parks Canada, and enjoy an open exchange and informative updates as events warrented. Until such time that Parks Canada is prepared to meet with OGA or other groups, there is nothing to report, our position at OGA has not changed. This is so that Parks Canada can take full advantage of the input provided by all Geocachers.

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