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National Forest-Park Service Permission

#1 User is offline   FireDr@gon 

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Posted 13 October 2010 - 04:34 PM

Has any one received permission to place a cache In a National Park? Seems geocaching.com has a new policy regarding this?

Blm has no problem with geocaching . Seems there is little or no information from the National Park Service.


I contacted a local office they said they did not know what geocaching was. Once i informed them they said "no you can no place geocaches in the National Forest Service.


Anyone have any exp. with this?

Thanks

J .S.

#2 User is offline   Keystone 

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Posted 13 October 2010 - 05:15 PM

First off, you seem to be confusing National Parks (beginning of your post) and National Forests (end of your post).

National Parks are administered by the National Park Service, a part of the Department of the Interior. NPS properties include special places in the USA like Yellowstone, Yosemite, Acadia, Vicksburg Battlefield, the National Mall and Independence Hall.

National Forests are administered by the United States Forest Service, a part of the Department of Agriculture. National Forests are managed for a number of recreational and natural resource purposes, and in a national forest one can encounter everything from campsites and marked trails, managed logging and mining operations, and "leave no trace" wilderness areas.

Historically, US National Parks were "off limits" to physical geocaches. The root cause can be traced back to a buried cache found by a ranger and reported nationwide to NPS employees. Over the years, efforts by the geocaching community (including everything from CITO Events, one-on-one meetings, lobbying by Groundspeak, and the GSA's EarthCaching program) have resulted in significant improvements. Now, the official NPS position is to leave decision-making on geocaches within the authority of the local NPS facility management. Some facilities continue to ban physical caches, some permit them with express permission, some allow only earthcaches, and some welcome physical caches so much that the unit hides its own caches. (Look at the "Star Spangled Banner" series in Maryland as a prime example.)

National Forests have always left geocache decision-making in the hands of the local Forest unit. Many welcome geocaches placed under a published policy, other Forests tolerate caches without regulating them, and some areas have specific rules. The most important example is the general prohibition of geocaches in designated "Wilderness Areas."

Since the answer will vary from one Park or Forest to the next, it is best to check at the local level, both with the agency and with knowledgeable local geocachers. You can also ask your helpful Volunteer Cache Reviewer for assistance. In my review territory, I keep track of policies covering areas as diverse as the Wright Brothers birthplace, the 9/11 Memorial in Shanksville, PA, and the Wayne National Forest in southeast Ohio.

#3 User is offline   geodarts 

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Posted 13 October 2010 - 06:26 PM

View PostKeystone, on Oct 13 2010, 06:15 PM, said:

Historically, US National Parks were "off limits" to physical geocaches. The root cause can be traced back to a buried cache found by a ranger and reported nationwide to NPS employees.


That explains why the NPS guidelines for gps and location-based activities equate geocaching with buried treasure:

The notion of a “treasure hunt” immediately sets off an alarm for NPS managers because it implies that the “hunters” will be placing caches in unapproved areas, digging up park resources and damaging the park environment. Obviously, much as we want park visitors to enjoy their experience, we cannot allow a GPS activity if it would lead to destructive behavior. Burying caches would generally violate 36 CFR 2.1(a), and could violate other regulations, as well.


But they are actually quite receptive to letterboxing:

However, it is entirely possible that some parks, particularly those with a vast expanse of backcountry, will have locations where a letterbox could be concealed and sought out without causing unacceptable impacts.


Although the NPS has become a earthcaching partner and supportive of the Star Spangled Geotrail project (you can ask for a cache at a visitor's center), our local administrators told me that although earthcaching was a "cool idea" they would never approve traditional caching as long as they were in charge. I have not gotten any of our local jurisdictions, which control vast amounts of land out here, to budge on that one.

This post has been edited by mulvaney: 13 October 2010 - 06:33 PM


#4 User is offline   FireDr@gon 

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Posted 13 October 2010 - 08:17 PM

Thanks for the replies. I am dealing with the National Forest Service. They did not even know what geocaching was. So it hard for me to see how they could have a policy that does not allow.

It seemed like hey we don't want to deal with that stuff so no.

BLM on the other hand seems more conservative and their rules allow for geocaching. Just disappointing I guess.

Thanks

J.S.

#5 User is offline   BuckeyeClan 

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Posted 13 October 2010 - 08:43 PM

View PostFireDr@gon, on Oct 13 2010, 09:17 PM, said:

Thanks for the replies. I am dealing with the National Forest Service. They did not even know what geocaching was. So it hard for me to see how they could have a policy that does not allow.

It seemed like hey we don't want to deal with that stuff so no.

BLM on the other hand seems more conservative and their rules allow for geocaching. Just disappointing I guess.

Thanks

J.S.


Which National Forest? I think each one has it's own policies. In NM, the Lincoln NF allows geocaches, no express permission needed, just not in parts that are designated Wilderness. (As Keystone wrote.) We've also found caches here in the Tahoe NF in CA, but I don't know what their policy is. Try to find out who the reviewer is for the area, and contact them. Maybe the person you talked to just doesn't know what you are talking about.

#6 User is offline   Keystone 

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Posted 13 October 2010 - 08:57 PM

I believe that the thread was prompted by a cache submitted for review, which was put on hold by the reviewer for proof of permission. The cache is in a designated Wilderness Area within Coronado National Forest.

Most National Forests who have geocaching policies will exclude Wilderness Areas from the places where caches are permitted. So, the reviewers generally question any submission in a Wilderness Area.

To the OP, please keep in mind, talking to one employee of the National Forest does not necessarily mean that nobody associated with that National Forest knows about geocaching. Sometimes it's a matter of finding the right contact person.

#7 User is offline   tomfuller & Quill 

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Posted 13 October 2010 - 09:21 PM

Having been a USDA Forest Service employee for the past 3 summers, I know that many of their employees at least know about geocaching if they aren't a cacher. I have 20 caches on 4 different National Forests.
I also have 1 cache on BLM land.
The virtual at the Forest Service Information Center in Washington, DC is the only virtual that I got SWAG from.
I enjoyed finding finding virtuals and Earthcaches in National Parks and National Monuments.
Nearly all of the National Forest lands are open for geocaches except for Wilderness areas. Check with a reviewer if you have any doubt as to where you can place a cache.

#8 User is offline   FireDr@gon 

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Posted 14 October 2010 - 10:58 AM

View PostKeystone, on Oct 13 2010, 09:57 PM, said:

I believe that the thread was prompted by a cache submitted for review, which was put on hold by the reviewer for proof of permission. The cache is in a designated Wilderness Area within Coronado National Forest.

Most National Forests who have geocaching policies will exclude Wilderness Areas from the places where caches are permitted. So, the reviewers generally question any submission in a Wilderness Area.

To the OP, please keep in mind, talking to one employee of the National Forest does not necessarily mean that nobody associated with that National Forest knows about geocaching. Sometimes it's a matter of finding the right contact person.




Its Obvious that you looked up my account and then posted based on my account details that are not public information and cannot be accesed with out a userid and password. I guess my account does not entitle me to any privacy.

You actually have more congruent information than i was able to get from my local Forest Service. If you know this information and can be that specific about it . How is it that there are other geocaches in the wilderness area already?

#9 User is offline   Panther&Pine 

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Posted 14 October 2010 - 11:01 AM

View PostFireDr@gon, on Oct 14 2010, 10:58 AM, said:

View PostKeystone, on Oct 13 2010, 09:57 PM, said:

I believe that the thread was prompted by a cache submitted for review, which was put on hold by the reviewer for proof of permission. The cache is in a designated Wilderness Area within Coronado National Forest.

Most National Forests who have geocaching policies will exclude Wilderness Areas from the places where caches are permitted. So, the reviewers generally question any submission in a Wilderness Area.

To the OP, please keep in mind, talking to one employee of the National Forest does not necessarily mean that nobody associated with that National Forest knows about geocaching. Sometimes it's a matter of finding the right contact person.




Its Obvious that you looked up my account and then posted based on my account details that are not public information and cannot be accesed with out a userid and password. I guess my account does not entitle me to any privacy.

You actually have more congruent information than i was able to get from my local Forest Service. If you know this information and can be that specific about it . How is it that there are other geocaches in the wilderness area already?

Keystone has site privalleges that the rest of us do not.

#10 User is offline   Keystone 

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Posted 14 October 2010 - 12:36 PM

Wow. I'm done trying to be helpful here. Work with your local reviewer.

#11 User is offline   jholly 

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Posted 14 October 2010 - 12:39 PM

View PostFireDr@gon, on Oct 14 2010, 11:58 AM, said:



Its Obvious that you looked up my account and then posted based on my account details that are not public information and cannot be accesed with out a userid and password. I guess my account does not entitle me to any privacy.


You do realize that Keystone is also a reviewer, don't you? That probably gives him access to the reviewer queue so he can look up things on caches that mere mortals can't see. As for privacy, for most mortal users you have plenty of privacy, but lackeys have full access to your account, and reviewers have full access to what is in the queue.

#12 User is offline   Panther&Pine 

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Posted 14 October 2010 - 12:40 PM

View PostKeystone, on Oct 14 2010, 12:36 PM, said:

Wow. I'm done trying to be helpful here. Work with your local reviewer.

I've always thought it was really handy that you guys could look and see what exactly I was doing wrong. It makes it easier.

Maybe the OP thinks that any of us can look at that info?

#13 User is offline   Chokecherry 

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Posted 14 October 2010 - 01:03 PM

It sounds more to me like one is looking for external permission to place a cache somewhere.

#14 User is offline   Ltljon 

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Posted 14 October 2010 - 02:51 PM

View PostFireDr@gon, on Oct 14 2010, 10:58 AM, said:

Its Obvious that you looked up my account and then posted based on my account details that are not public information and cannot be accesed with out a userid and password. I guess my account does not entitle me to any privacy.

Yea man, that's the best way to handle these situations. Pizz off the Reviewer & Moderator, then wonder why your cache doesn't get approved. B)
How's that working out for you so far? :)

#15 User is offline   Don_J 

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Posted 14 October 2010 - 03:36 PM

View PostFireDr@gon, on Oct 14 2010, 11:58 AM, said:





Its Obvious that you looked up my account and then posted based on my account details that are not public information and cannot be accesed with out a userid and password. I guess my account does not entitle me to any privacy.




Nobody looked up your personal account information.
A reviewer looked up a cache page that you had submitted for review.

#16 User is offline   FireDr@gon 

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Posted 14 October 2010 - 07:42 PM

I just stated an observation. I guess in all fairness i was kicking some elses cat. Flame on.

#17 User is offline   Don_J 

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Posted 15 October 2010 - 12:55 PM

View PostFireDr@gon, on Oct 14 2010, 08:42 PM, said:

I just stated an observation. I guess in all fairness i was kicking some elses cat. Flame on.


You consider someone explaining something in simple terms to be an Internet Flame?

Keystone was only trying to help you get your cache published. He did not, nor can he, access any of your personal information.

He is a reviewer. Once you submit a cache for review, it is viewable by any reviewer.

I appreciate that some reviewers participate in this forum, and take the time to help cachers outside of their review area, get their caches published.

#18 User is offline   edscott 

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Posted 19 October 2010 - 03:28 PM

View Postmulvaney, on Oct 13 2010, 10:26 PM, said:

View PostKeystone, on Oct 13 2010, 06:15 PM, said:

Historically, US National Parks were "off limits" to physical geocaches. The root cause can be traced back to a buried cache found by a ranger and reported nationwide to NPS employees.


That explains why the NPS guidelines for gps and location-based activities equate geocaching with buried treasure:

The notion of a “treasure hunt” immediately sets off an alarm for NPS managers because it implies that the “hunters” will be placing caches in unapproved areas, digging up park resources and damaging the park environment. Obviously, much as we want park visitors to enjoy their experience, we cannot allow a GPS activity if it would lead to destructive behavior. Burying caches would generally violate 36 CFR 2.1(a), and could violate other regulations, as well.


But they are actually quite receptive to letterboxing:

However, it is entirely possible that some parks, particularly those with a vast expanse of backcountry, will have locations where a letterbox could be concealed and sought out without causing unacceptable impacts.


Although the NPS has become a earthcaching partner and supportive of the Star Spangled Geotrail project (you can ask for a cache at a visitor's center), our local administrators told me that although earthcaching was a "cool idea" they would never approve traditional caching as long as they were in charge. I have not gotten any of our local jurisdictions, which control vast amounts of land out here, to budge on that one.


Your quoted a small part of a 7 page document. If you go by the rules and have a receptive and progressive park manager you can get traditional caches approved. I currently have 4, two of them at their request.

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