Lactodorum Posted May 5, 2005 Share Posted May 5, 2005 You may have gathered from the recent postings about landowner permission discussions that with the growth of Geocaching in the UK (and Ireland) that the sport is becoming ever more "visible" to the world at large. As a consequence, Eckington and I are getting an ever growing number of requests from various landowners to "do something" about existing caches. This ranges from the fairly positive "we are happy with the cache but we would like to have been asked" to "we want this cache and all others on our land archived and the container removed immediately". I have spent a large proportion of the last two days working on a number of such concerns. This is in addition to my normal reviewing/moderating activities. Fortunately I have had the time to do this. Eckington and I have discussed the changing situation at some length and we have agreed that we need to change our procedures to try and ease things. A common theme has emerged in all the enquiries we have received and that is simply that the landowners have not received any request to place caches on their land, nor have they given permission. Everybody reading this post is well aware of the general Geocaching.com guidelines and in particular the Section on Off-limit (Physical) Caches In particular this statement: "By submitting a cache listing, you assure us that you have adequate permission to hide your cache in the selected location. However, if we see a cache description that mentions ignoring "No Trespassing" signs (or any other obvious issues), your listing may be immediately archived." When you submit your cache you indicate to the reviewers that you have complied with this requirement by ticking the "I have permission" box. As well as the GC.COM guidelines we have adopted a set of "Best Practice Guidelines", which were originally developed by the GAGB, in the Uk to help with UK specific situations. As far as the mechanics of the review process is concerned, this is what we have done up to now. When a cache arrives in the review queue we assume that permission has been obtained. We first check the listing to make sure it is in line with GC.COM guidelines. If not, for instance it may be an inappropriate virtual cache or too close to an existing cache, we usually put it on hold and e-mail the owner suggesting changes. We then plot the co-ordinates on an "Electronic map" to check for anything untoward. We also look for attempts to place a "holiday" cache too far from a person's normal base. Finally we look for breaches of the UK guidelines, such as a cache being placed in a Dry Stone Wall and again we would normally hold the cache and e-mail the owner. At the same time we try to be aware of agreements with local/national bodies and if the cache is covered by such an agreement, for instance it may be in a Forestry Commission wood, we hold the cache again until the requirements of the agreement are met. Once everything is OK we then list it on the website. In those cases when a cache has been held, if the original problem cannot be resolved we archive the listing. Unfortunately putting caches on temporary hold during this problem resolution is also starting to cause us problems as not everybody replies to our e-mails. This means we have to go through each one trying to match responses (or lack of them) to each cache. As more and more get held this takes longer and longer. We are proposing to try and streamline the process as outlined below. We will continue to make the same sort of checks as before but from now on if there is a problem we will immediately "Archive" the cache with a full explanation of the problem. We will consider this archiving only to be a temporary measure until our queries have been answered. We will expect that the cache owner will reply to us via e-mail (and this will be mentioned in the archive note). If and when the problem has been sorted out we will unarchive the cache and list it. The advantage to us is that we won't have a large list (currently two whole pages) of caches on hold which we must keep checking. If the cache owner doesn't get back to us by e-mail, the cache just "dies", so the onus is very much on the cache owner to contact us. In addition to the existing checks we shall be looking for situations where it is obvious that a landowner needs to have given permission for the cache. This could be because it is on Forestry Commission land, on a SSSI or Nature reserve, in a local authority owned/managed Country Park etc. In all such cases, if you have permission you should include details in the Note to Reviewers' section at the bottom of the cache submission page. That way we can list the cache straight away. If there is no mention of permission we will temproarily "Archive" these as well. Hopefully this should mean that the majority of caches can be reviewed more quickly and should lead to fewer queries from disgruntled landowners. Remember, we want your caches to be listed! It makes our lives ever so much easier if we can read through a new cache submission and just "press the button" to list it. Quote Link to comment
Join the conversation
You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.