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Keith Watson

Ontario Parks And Parks Canada Petitions

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Some members have suggested contacted their local levels of government on the issue of banning geocaching in public parks. I have set up two on-line petitions you can sign to show your support for allowing caching in these parks.

 

Petitions link is http://www.ghcaching.com/petition/index.php

 

Make sure to sign both petitions if you can.

 

The text at the top of each petition is a little rough right now. If anyone is good at writing and would like to take a shot at fixing it please feel free and let me know.

Edited by Keith Watson

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The comment field isn't large enough. I had a lot more to say. I had to condense it into a statement that doesn't adequately represent my thoughts on the matter.

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I will definitely sign both, but can you please tell us if the Government(s) have actually stated a reason for the ban, or have they just said "no" and that's it?

 

I was thinking it might help our case if there was a logical argument we could put forth.

 

Chris

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I think that discussions about Parks Canada and Parks Ontario should take place in these threads.

 

Parks Canada

Parks Ontario

 

They've been over the 'official' stances of both Organizations, and any new information is likely to appear over there first ( plus, they've got 'sticky' status and will not drop off the list over time....)

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Response to the petitions seems to be slow. This can mean one of two things. Not many people really care or we need to get the word out. Go to your local groups and see if they help by adding links and notices to point people to the petition. Spread the word as much as you can.

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I signed the Parks Canada one. I don't live in Ontario, so I didn't sign that.

 

I think the reason people aren't signing the petition as quickly as you might like is twofold: first of all, not enough people have heard about it, and second of all, a lot of people don't really have any faith in petitions being effective at all. (I'm one of them, to be honest... but hey, it's worth a try.) I'll try to spread the word.

Edited by Tidalflame

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I hate to nitpick, but how affective is an online petition when people are signing them with user names instead of real names? For that matter, how affective are online petitions? I'm all for anything that will have a positive affect on this issue, but wonder what we can do to be heard and taken seriously.

 

Wulf

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That’s easy to answer. I print it off when we get enough signatures that we think will be effective and I hand deliver it to my MP and MPP.

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Perhaps an idea is to make a PDF that each of us can print, sign and then mail to Ottawa? Mail to your MP does not require a postage stamp.

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Perhaps an idea is to make a PDF that each of us can print, sign and then mail to Ottawa? Mail to your MP does not require a postage stamp.

Great idea. Anyone wish to write up a professional letter that we can all use? No point everyone trying to craft their own letters, especially the caustic individuals. :unsure:

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I have signed both documents online.

 

Should someone be willing to create a PDF version with more detail than is available online OGA would be willing to post them on our site.

 

I think that Keith Watson probably would too.

 

As long as we all have the exact same PDF. I think it is important that we all send the same message to our MP's/MPP's.

 

Would BCGA, MCA and any other provincial or large groups consider hosting the same documents, as long as they approved of the wording?

 

If I find some time this weekend, I will try my hand at typing something up, and post it here for feedback, and I encourage others to do the same.

 

:laughing: The Blue Quasar

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I think the powers that be would listen more to a collective plea rather than individuals acting on their own. If we can get enough signatures on the petitions then every one at that point could print out the petition and sent it to their own MP / MPP. I don’t think sending letters to Ottawa and Queens will get anyone’s attention if they trickle in. Every one hitting their MP / MPP with a petition will get attention.

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That's an even better idea.

 

I will try to get the link to the petitions put on the OGA site.

 

:laughing: The Blue Quasar

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Some people have asked for non-javascript code to place on cache pages. Here it is.

 

<TABLE BORDER="0" CELLPADDING="1" CELLSPACING="0" BGCOLOR="#000000" ALIGN="right"><TR><TD>

<TABLE BORDER="0" WIDTH="200" BGCOLOR="#ffffff">

<TR>

<TD ALIGN="center" VALIGN="bottom"><A HREF="http://www.ghcaching.com/petition/index.php" TARGET="_blank" TITLE="View the petition"><IMG BORDER="0" SRC="http://www.ghcaching.com/images/op.jpg"><BR><FONT SIZE="1">Ontario Parks</FONT></A></TD>

<TD ALIGN="center" VALIGN="bottom"><A HREF="http://www.ghcaching.com/petition/index.php" TARGET="_blank" TITLE="View the petition"><IMG BORDER="0" SRC="http://www.ghcaching.com/images/pc.jpg"><BR><FONT SIZE="1">Parks Canada</FONT></A></TD>

</TR>

<TR>

<TD ALIGN="center" VALIGN="bottom"COLSPAN="2"><A HREF="http://www.ghcaching.com/petition/index.php" TARGET="_blank" TITLE="View the petition"><FONT SIZE="1">Petition To cache in public parks.</FONT></A></TD>

</TR>

</TABLE>

</TD></TR></TABLE>

Edited by Keith Watson

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dogbreathcanada      British Columbia      Thu, 19 May 2005 02:37:28    A complete ban on physical caches in the parks is more than a little extreme...

 

Ya' gotta admit, that's not gonna carry a lot of weight in Ottawa or Queens Park. :P

 

Bombarding your MP(P) with mail is going to carry more weight than a thinly worded petition with "CB handles". You need to reference the current "ruling" and put some names & titles of the parties involved on it too. Only in the smallest corner of Queens Pk & Ottawa has anyone heard of Geocaching. You need to quantify the number of people involved in the hobby, the growth since inception and projected growth over the next three to five years. Outline the benefits that this hobby has to Canadian peoples, the environment and education (and anything else you can think of). Qualify it with references to reputable groups within education and established groups (like Scouts Canada for instance). It also wouldn't hurt to back it up with some of our credentials. There are some mighty clever and well-positioned people involved in the hobby. Threaten to take it to the news media (which would could be a win-win :o.

 

Whatever we do, this is going to be very difficult I admit. The reality is that there aren't many Geocachers in the Country overall.

 

Of course, I could be wrong. :D

C-A

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It's been 6 weeks now that most of us found out about the Parks Canada ban and about a year and a half since the Parks Ontario ban. There has been a lot of talk in the forums during this time among the geocaching community, but other than the "talk" there hasn't really been much else done, atleast not that I can see that is visible to us. I have a strong feeling that at this rate the end of the year will come and we won't be in any different situation than we are now...I think it's time to take some action now...not wait til the end of the year, not in a month from now, not next week, but NOW! I think that getting the press involved through a press release or article on the ban/proposed ban is a good idea to get some awareness. Also there are several government initiatives that promote excercise and a healthy lifestyle, which I think that geocaching would definately be a good fit for. A new one by the Ontario Government is http://www.active2010.ca. It would be good if we can get these government program to support and promote geocaching. A press release, newspaper article, letter to the fitness related government organizations to promote geocaching, etc certainly can't hurt and I think it's needed if we want geocaching to excell. If anything, it gets people aware of geocaching and more people to join our wonderful activity. Most people that I mention geocaching to, still have never heard of it.

 

The petition is good...but perhaps only 10%, if that, even read the forums, so most probably don't even know about the petition...Keith or others, how about linking the petition on your cache pages...I'll put it on some of mine too if you want. I think that will draw lots more attention to it.

 

So I think now it's time for someone to step up and take the initiative and pledge to get things done, whether it's an individual or an organization (or even if we all just do our own little part by contacting the papers or government sponsered fitness places). I know this involves a strong committment from someone and someone that has some extra time on their hands, and there definitely seems to be a lot of people here strongly opposed to the ban, so hopefully those words can be turned into successful action.

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Ya' gotta admit, that's not gonna carry a lot of weight in Ottawa or Queens Park. :o

 

Bombarding your MP(P) with mail is going to carry more weight than a thinly worded petition with "CB handles". You need to reference the current "ruling" and put some names & titles of the parties involved on it too. Only in the smallest corner of Queens Pk & Ottawa has anyone heard of Geocaching. You need to quantify the number of people involved in the hobby, the growth since inception and projected growth over the next three to five years. Outline the benefits that this hobby has to Canadian peoples, the environment and education (and anything else you can think of). Qualify it with references to reputable groups within education and established groups (like Scouts Canada for instance). It also wouldn't hurt to back it up with some of our credentials. There are some mighty clever and well-positioned people involved in the hobby. Threaten to take it to the news media (which would could be a win-win :P.

 

Whatever we do, this is going to be very difficult I admit. The reality is that there aren't many Geocachers in the Country overall.

 

Of course, I could be wrong. :D

C-A

Agreed. Though their intentions were right, the petition will amount to nothing with the people it will be sent too.

 

A properly crafted letter (as you described in detail) available as a PDF which we can all print out, sign, and mail to our MP will be far more effective.

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I've added the petition link to the bottom of the description of my Silver Peak cache. Have a look. I think that all caches in Ontario Provincial or Canada parks should definately add these links.

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dogbreathcanada      British Columbia      Thu, 19 May 2005 02:37:28    A complete ban on physical caches in the parks is more than a little extreme...

 

Ya' gotta admit, that's not gonna carry a lot of weight in Ottawa or Queens Park. :wub:

 

Bombarding your MP(P) with mail is going to carry more weight than a thinly worded petition with "CB handles". You need to reference the current "ruling" and put some names & titles of the parties involved on it too. Only in the smallest corner of Queens Pk & Ottawa has anyone heard of Geocaching. You need to quantify the number of people involved in the hobby, the growth since inception and projected growth over the next three to five years. Outline the benefits that this hobby has to Canadian peoples, the environment and education (and anything else you can think of). Qualify it with references to reputable groups within education and established groups (like Scouts Canada for instance). It also wouldn't hurt to back it up with some of our credentials. There are some mighty clever and well-positioned people involved in the hobby. Threaten to take it to the news media (which would could be a win-win :wub:.

 

Whatever we do, this is going to be very difficult I admit. The reality is that there aren't many Geocachers in the Country overall.

 

Of course, I could be wrong. :D

C-A

As is stated when I started this thread, any help in the wording at the top of the petition would be greatly appreciated. If anyone can improve on the text please speak up. As for the signatures not being real names, most signers so far are using their real names.

 

Before anyone goes to the media or Ottawa or Queen’s Park, it would be nice to see how many people care about the issue. We have seen what happens when a few individuals try to deal with this problem. Let’s get the word out, get as many people as we can to sign the petition. Then bombard everyone we can with a list of all the people we can, with a list of people who want it changed. Saying 2,000 people geocache in Canada will cary a lot more weight if we provide a list showing 2,000 people want to geocache in parks.

 

As for the code, I have modified the code a bit. Just paste it into an html document, including your cache description, and it will work.

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I have updated the code. It is now cache page freindly.

 

<TABLE BORDER="0" CELLPADDING="1" CELLSPACING="0" BGCOLOR="#000000" ALIGN="right"><TR><TD>

<TABLE BORDER="0" WIDTH="200" BGCOLOR="#ffffff">

<TR>

<TD ALIGN="center" VALIGN="bottom"><A HREF="http://www.ghcaching.com/petition/index.php" TARGET="_blank" TITLE="View the petition"><IMG BORDER="0" SRC="http://www.ghcaching.com/images/op.jpg"><BR><FONT SIZE="1">Ontario Parks</FONT></A></TD>

<TD ALIGN="center" VALIGN="bottom"><A HREF="http://www.ghcaching.com/petition/index.php" TARGET="_blank" TITLE="View the petition"><IMG BORDER="0" SRC="http://www.ghcaching.com/images/pc.jpg"><BR><FONT SIZE="1">Parks Canada</FONT></A></TD>

</TR>

<TR>

<TD ALIGN="center" VALIGN="bottom"COLSPAN="2"><A HREF="http://www.ghcaching.com/petition/index.php" TARGET="_blank" TITLE="View the petition"><FONT SIZE="1">Petition To cache in public parks.</FONT></A></TD>

</TR>

</TABLE>

</TD></TR></TABLE>

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The petition is good...but perhaps only 10%, if that, even read the forums, so most probably don't even know about the petition...

 

I know this is true for me. I normally don't read the forums so I just now came across the petitions.

 

The links in the profiles is good, but I think something more should be done too, like emailing members or creating some sort of "protest cache" or something. A cache (or a number of caches) that is there to inform about the situation and give ways to help.

 

:D

Edited by Team Katamari

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I challenge all Canadian geocaching groups to display the links prominently on their web site. This should also help spread the word.

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I have updated the code. It is now cache page freindly.

 

Works great. Thanks!

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I am certain I had posted in this thread before. I can't find my log entry. Was it deleted?

 

Anyways, the people I have talked to, and incuding myself, are waiting to the final draft of the Petition before signing. I am not about to sign my name to a document before it is written. That would be foolish. I mean you could change the petition to say 'We will burn down the forests if you don't meet our demands!' and you have a list of 80+ people who signed that they back you up. Not that I think you will write that, but you see my point. How can I say that I back you up, when I don't know what you intend to say.

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If you want to spread the word to Canadain GeoCachers, and everyone who enjoys geocaching in Canada, make up a .PDF file of small business cards explaing the issue. Everyone can print out a lot of them out an place a bunch them in every cache they go to.

 

Have it so the finder can take the card home (so they don't forget).

-The card should inform the finder about the situation and the solution you are looking for with the petition.

-Have the link to the petition.

-Have a link to the .PDF file so they can print more cards if they want to distribute them.

-Tell the Finder to place the card in another cache (or otherwise pass it on) when they are finished with it.

 

I think you should have the petition statment finalized before making the cards...

 

just an idea.

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I don't think you have to worry about the text at the top changeing very much. First, no-one has volenteered to provide anything better, and second, the comments by the signers speak for themselves.

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I am certain I had posted in this thread before. I can't find my log entry. Was it deleted?

No, it was not deleted.

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We (OGA) are going to be posting a link to this petition very soon.

 

I have always intended to do so, along with the released policies as they affect Ontario.

 

Keith has been very patient in this respect, and I thank him for that.

 

I suspect the link will be up with the policies by the end of the month.

 

But don't wait for us.... sign the petitions now, as they are Keith Watson's and he deserves the credit for taking the initiative.

 

:lol: The Blue Quasar

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I have typed up what I feel would be an approprate opening statment for the Parks Canada Petition. Feel free to edit or add to it. (Or modify it for the Ontario Parks Petition). I am not one who normally writes up these kinds of things, so it might be kind of rough (and probably some grammar mistakes thrown in there).

 

Parks Canada

 

To whom it may concern,

 

  We of the geocaching community are contacting you about the upcoming Geocaching policy on federally run parks.  We here in, strongly believe that Geocaching and Parks Canada can work together in preserving the future of your nation’s parks for all to enjoy, for generations to come.

 

  Geocaching is great way of promoting interest in not just federal parks, but all Canadian Parks.  Geocaching can be used as a great medium to teach both young and old about nature and the importance of sustaining it for the future.  Geocaching also gets people out of there homes and out to the parks and encourages an active lifestyle.

 

  The Geocaching community realizes that guidelines need to be put in place to preserve the sensitive habitat that our parks boards work so hard to protect.  We feel that Physical Caches can coexist in our nation’s parks and are looking forward to being able to work together on finding a solution that works for maintaining the Habitat, but also keeps the parks usable for all who would enjoy its wonders.

 

  We pledge to do whatever is necessary to work with Parks Canada to find a mutually agreeable policy on Caching in this Nations Parks.

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Circle of Confusion:

 

That is a very well written statement in my opinion.

 

It could be very useful for Geocaching groups or individuals, should the time come.

 

:ph34r: The Blue Quasar

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Found a problem with the link code. This should correct it

 

<TABLE BORDER="0" CELLPADDING="1" CELLSPACING="0" BGCOLOR="#000000" ALIGN="right"><TR><TD>

<TABLE BORDER="0" WIDTH="200" BGCOLOR="#ffffff">

<TR>

<TD ALIGN="center" VALIGN="bottom"><A HREF="http://www.ghcaching.com/petition/index.php" TARGET="_blank" TITLE="View the petition"><IMG BORDER="0" SRC="http://ghcaching.servehttp.com/images/op.jpg"><BR><FONT SIZE="1">Ontario Parks</FONT></A></TD>

<TD ALIGN="center" VALIGN="bottom"><A HREF="http://www.ghcaching.com/petition/index.php" TARGET="_blank" TITLE="View the petition"><IMG BORDER="0" SRC="http://ghcaching.servehttp.com/images/pc.jpg"><BR><FONT SIZE="1">Parks Canada</FONT></A></TD>

</TR>

<TR>

<TD ALIGN="center" VALIGN="bottom"COLSPAN="2"><A HREF="http://www.ghcaching.com/petition/index.php" TARGET="_blank" TITLE="View the petition"><FONT SIZE="1">Petition To cache in public parks.</FONT></A></TD>

</TR>

</TABLE>

</TD></TR></TABLE>

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signed the Park Canada petition with the following comment....

 

Geocachers cause no more damage to the environment than any other park users, likely less since many of us are very careful about such things. Hence I request a removal of any existing bans, and/or a halt to future bans.

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Just a note that the Ontario Parks petition still has the final line "We pledge to do whatever is necessary to work with Parks Canada to find a mutually agreeable policy on Caching in this Nations Parks." Shoud it be "We pledge to do whatever is necessary to work with Ontario Parks to find a mutually agreeable policy on Caching in this Province's Parks."? Also, should there be an apostrophe in Nation's Parks?

 

Thanks for you hard work. I will also be sending an email to the Parks Canada address. I hope we get an outcome that is good for everyone!

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