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I do not support the concept of "cache adoption" unless the (original) owner of the cache has given explicit permission for the cache to be adopted.

 

If the owner of a cache denies permission for the cache to be adopted, but has made (over a prolonged period of time) no 'visible' effort to maintain the cache or remove it, the cache should be removed and archived by the local geocaching community.

 

If a cache has been reported to be in need of maintenance and its owner cannot be contacted through the e-mail address provided to geocaching.com, the cache should be removed and archived by the local geocaching community.

 

An attempt should be made (I suggest by a local reviewer) to contact any cache owner who has not logged into the geocaching.com website in the preceding six months. If the e-mail 'bounces,' the cache owner fails to respond, or is unable to demonstrate that s/he retains interest in and responsibility for the cache, the cache should be removed and archived by the local geocaching community.

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Why should a perfectly good cache in an interesting location be removed simply because the owner no longer wants to deal with it. If someone wants to assume responsibility for it than it is up to them and the reviewer. I fail to understand where this diatribe is coming from.

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whats the difference between archieving and starting a new cache in the same exact spot versus adopting? Makes more sense to adopt rather than make a willing cacher do lots more red tape over something a less thoughtful cacher left behind. If the cacher kept up with his responability and took the litter away himself there wouldn't be an issue so why should we try to be nice to him about?

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Nope, sorry - have to agree with Magellan315 on this one!

 

I recently noticed that 12 of 15 island caches on a local lake have not been visited since August or September of last year, and most of the logs from that time mentioned that maintenence was needed.

 

I wrote each owner asking if they had checked on them and offered to adopt them if they wanted - one owner of 3 caches was moving away and looking for an adopter, two other owners no longer cared to maintain the caches and let me adopt them, so I got 5 of the 15, and the rest of the owners are going to check on and replenish their caches.

 

By adopting these 5 I assured the geocaching community a chance to boat to some really interesting and fun caches and relieved the owners of a burden they no longer wanted.

 

Since very few folks can or want to hide boat-required geocaches I am not depriving geocachers of a place to put new caches - besides which there are hundreds more islands in lakes throughout Alabama!

 

I see it as a win for everyone!

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I disagree.

 

I recently adopted a cache that was placed in 2001 by somebody that logged exactly 2 finds and had the one hide. They did not log into the site after March of 2002. The email address listed no longer worked. I un-officially adopted and took care of this cache for a long time. After it went missing, I replaced the container with new goodies and adopted it into my name.

 

Nobody is allowing irresponible adoptions that I am aware of. Are you saying that you are aware of allowed adoptions that were improper????

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If anything I think the rules on adoption are too strict. There was a group of cachers in my area that quit due to reasons that wont be mentioned, but suffice it to say they had a lot of caches hidden. I adopted 3 of them and got the required permit for one that was in a state park. The other two are along a really cool gorge trail, and in between them is another cache that's been abandoned since July 24, 2004. It was getting to be in bad shape, and eventually it went missing.

 

I contacted someone about adopting it but they told me I needed permission from the owner. After over a month of trying to contact her I came up empty handed. Even her personal friends hadn't heard from her in months. After this I tried to get a "non-consensual" adoption. I wanted to replace it, but I was told to hold off on doing so, because if TPTB see it's there and being logged they wont think there's something wrong and would deny my request for the adoption. One month and a day later I was told I couldn't adopt it, and the cache could be archived if I wanted to place my own there. Needless to say I replaced it after getting that email. If I wanted to see a 2002 cache get archived I could have posted the needs to be archived note myself.

 

Finally, about 3 months later I've gotten word from a friend that she's been in contact with the owner. She's not really even on the internet anymore, and I'm hoping she'll decided to put all of her caches up for adoption. She has caches hidden all over the state and many are in need of maintenance. If she doesn't I'm afraid they'll all just sit there as geo-trash sometime in the future.

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If the cacher kept up with his responability and took the litter away himself there wouldn't be an issue so why should we try to be nice to him about?

Responsible cache owners have 'done the right thing' all along, so I see no reason why a responsible cache owner would argue against the OP. The problem is that so many cache owners fail to fulfill their obligations as cache owners. That is the issue being addressed in the OP. Clearly, it is practically impossible to force responsibility upon an unwilling/uncooperative person, so I suggest strong, objective policy needs to be established that deals with the mess they leave behind ... the mess that reflects so poorly upon geocaching and its participants.

 

whats the difference between archieving and starting a new cache in the same exact spot versus adopting?

 

Would the adopted cache necessarily be hidden in "the exact same spot" in the exact same manner as the original? If not, it is not the same cache. Would the adopted cache feature the original container and the original logbook? If not, it is a different cache. (It must be noted that many, if not most, of the abandoned caches people seek to 'adopt' are missing or are in a deplorable state; in many cases, the cache container, its contents (and logbook) have already been replaced several times by members of the geocaching community.) I see little point in preserving the former listing for what is essentially a new cache.

 

Makes more sense to adopt rather than make a willing cacher do lots more red tape over something a less thoughtful cacher left behind.

 

No, it doesn't. Besides all of the above, it's unethical to recycle the content of a cache page without the permission of its author.

Edited by srehcacoeG EMCA
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... Finally, about 3 months later I've gotten word from a friend that she's been in contact with the owner. She's not really even on the internet anymore, and I'm hoping she'll decided to put all of her caches up for adoption. She has caches hidden all over the state and many are in need of maintenance. If she doesn't I'm afraid they'll all just sit there as geo-trash sometime in the future.

The responsible thing to do, then, would be for the local geocaching community to remove the caches and submit SBA logs that clearly state that the caches were removed.

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...Besides all of the above, it's unethical to recycle the content of a cache page without the permission of its author.

Simply give credit where credit is due.

 

Something like: Originally hidden and posted by JoeSmith - edited by me on Jan 1 2005.

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... Finally, about 3 months later I've gotten word from a friend that she's been in contact with the owner. She's not really even on the internet anymore, and I'm hoping she'll decided to put all of her caches up for adoption. She has caches hidden all over the state and many are in need of maintenance. If she doesn't I'm afraid they'll all just sit there as geo-trash sometime in the future.

The responsible thing to do, then, would be for the local geocaching community to remove the caches and submit SBA logs that clearly state that the caches were removed.

Or simply offer to adopt and care for them........

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...Besides all of the above, it's unethical to recycle the content of a cache page without the permission of its author.

Simply give credit where credit is due.

 

Something like: Originally hidden and posted by JoeSmith - edited by me on Jan 1 2005.

That would be a nice thing to do on the newly created cache listing ...."This cache was inspired by the cache originally placed in this area by Joe Smith on xx/xx/xxxx."

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The responsible thing to do, then, would be for the local geocaching community to remove the caches and submit SBA logs that clearly state that the caches were removed.

Should her caches that are in fine shape be archived, too? For someone with nothing but a travel bug logged you seem to have formed a very steadfast opinion on what should be done with abandoned caches. From what other people have said it seems the majority of cachers would prefer that the caches remain. It may not be the original container, in the same spot, etc. like you said, but it's still a cache that can be found.

 

I do agree with you that nothing, if possible, should be changed on an adopted cache. On mine I just added "(Adopted)" to the end of the name and didn't change anything, including the hiding spot. As for the history being save, yeah it is, but on a totally different page that no one will see unless you link to it (and people actually click on it).

Edited by Vårgseld?
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I guess we will just have to agree on disagreeing here.

 

It is beginning to sound as though you are upset at the 528' rule and are looking for creative ways to "push" out caches so that you can hide new ones nearby. Maybe I am wrong but that seems to be the gist of your argument.

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While this site does not seem to have a written policy on cache adoption, where approvers have mentioned what they do about it in the forums I'm in agreement.

 

If the owener is MIA and the cache is good it doesn't need to be adopted out. If someone makes the request though, and the site makes a reasonable effort to contact the owner and hears nothing, then adopt it out.

 

Where the owner agrees, No problem adopt it out.

 

Any cache archived for any reason should be confirmed as gone, verified as listed on another site, or pulled. The owner should be given as much time as they need to pull it themselves if they are interested in doing it.

 

That's my two cents worth.

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...If the owner of a cache denies permission for the cache to be adopted, but has made (over a prolonged period of time) no 'visible' effort to maintain the cache or remove it, the cache should be removed and archived by the local geocaching community....

Funny I actually avoid visiable efforts when it comes to maintainnig my caches locally. There is a reason for that and it's a valid reason.

 

The problem here is defining what's visable and what's valid mantenance. I only worry about most of my caches when there is a problem reported to me by a finder or someone else who is familiar with the cache or area. Once a problem is reported I'll schedule a trip that direction and make a cache day out of it, and either maintain the container or pull it and archive the cache. That works for me. To remove it for me against my will is theft.

 

Edit: I've also maintained a cache when my 6th sence told me I needed to. Good thing that saved me a lost logbook with 100 findes in it.

Edited by Renegade Knight
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The site's written policies about non-consensual cache adoptions can be found here: Groundspeak Knowledgebase. A volunteer reviewer needs to get involved when the geocacher requesting the adoption does not have consent in hand from the original owner. Once the reviewer is satisfied that adequate efforts to contact the owner have been made (allowing for the passage of time in case of vacations, illness, etc.), he or she forwards the adoption recommendation to Groundspeak and it's processed very quickly.

 

The delays can be frustrating, but we are trying to minimize the odds that the original owner will later come out of the woodwork and complain that their cache was "stolen." Documenting contact efforts through posts to the cache page help to mitigate this problem. Still, it continues to occur from time to time.

 

The reviewer may also engage in a dialogue with the adopting owner to ascertain their plans for the cache. If the goal is to preserve the original hide, then this points in favor of an adoption. If the owner just wants to free up the area, and plans a different hiding style in a different spot, then archiving the first cache and setting up a new one may be the best route.

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It is beginning to sound as though you are upset at the 528' rule and are looking for creative ways to "push" out caches so that you can hide new ones nearby. Maybe I am wrong but that seems to be the gist of your argument.

Yes, you are wrong. The issues are irresponsible and/or inactive cache owners, the caches they leave behind, and how the problem should be addressed. Nothing more; nothing less.

 

Cache saturation is off-topic for this thread, but you are right; I don't like the 528 ft rule ... I think cache separation should be at least a quarter mile, and preferably 1/2 mile or greater. While I have no desire to place any caches at this time, it would not sadden me in the least to read that any or all of the dozens of abandoned caches in my region had been removed and archived.

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I also disagree. I recently adopted a cache. The owner had found 3 caches and had not logged on in at least a year. I emailed them over a period of about six months and got no response. By adopting I kept the cache intact and allowed the cache history to continue. I see no reason to archive and then place another cache in the same location. If the owner does come out of the woodwork he will see that the credit for the original hide was given to him and that it was adopted by me. If he would like to reclaim ownership I would gladly agree.

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This web site tells us, correctly, that they are a listing site, not the caching authority for the planet. With that in mind they have no power beyond stating what they are willing to list. Thus we are at a point where one persons morality can be at odds with that of another.

Yeah, we all know that there are other listing sites and we also know that they vary in the types and specifics of what they will list. But the mere fact that they exist makes this a difficult question to discuss. Could they already be in the process of assigning adoption rights?

Sometimes, if a cache is obviously not being maintained then discussions can start on adoption but remember, the problem that this site has is that they are working on the word of others as regards re-assigning ownership of something that, to a degree at least, is the property of someone else. Or is it? What is the legal standpoint when one places a container full of small items under a tree and walks away? Who really owns it? Now we are at a point where we can ask if it is legally wrong when someone 'finds' a cache and takes it home.

So, finally, my question is, does ANYONE have the authority to remove a cache without the permission of the owner? (this excludes any consideration, at this point, of the status of the agents of the authority over the land - rangers, police, what ever)

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I also disagree. I recently adopted a cache. The owner had found 3 caches and had not logged on in at least a year. I emailed them over a period of about six months and got no response. By adopting I kept the cache intact and allowed the cache history to continue. I see no reason to archive and then place another cache in the same location. If the owner does come out of the woodwork he will see that the credit for the original hide was given to him and that it was adopted by me. If he would like to reclaim ownership I would gladly agree.

Good point there - if it is clearly stated that a missing owner can come along at any time and re-claim a cache, would you still be willing to adopt it?

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..... it would not sadden me in the least to read that any or all of the dozens of abandoned caches in my region had been removed and archived.

Dozens??? Are you saying that there are dozens of planted caches (near you) that Geocachers can and are still finding that have owners who have been inactive in any way for 6 months or more?!!!???

 

And just why wouldn't adoption by active cachers satisfy you?

 

(BTW - I apologize for my earlier comment about saturation)

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