CoyoteRed, on Jan 6 2005, 07:58 PM, said:
...there are times where you simply will not get permission but the steward doesn't care if there is a cache there or not. I've been told, "Well, the area's whole purpose is for recreation, but our lawyers advise that we don't want to know if there is this activity on our lands." I've not once had a problem with a cache be it with permission or without.
Unless, someone can come up with a foolproof way to word the one that is already there so everyone will understand it, I say it stands.
We expect that people will "Check if public land has a geocaching policy and respect existing policies" - why would we have a lower standard for private property?
Let me share an experience that leads me to worry about the current wording, and suggest another alternative that parallels the wording we used for public property:
We have a local, private, not for profit agency called the "Save the County" land trust (See my STC #2
cache for more information). They buy land for conservation purposes and make it available for certain public uses (e.g. hiking, bird watching, etc). They develop and maintain trails on some of their properties, and all of their land is "generally open to public access", although hunting is prohibited.
Syrwin and I were negotiating to place caches on their lands (they have 37 separate natural areas totalling over 2000 acres). We obtained permission to place two caches on a trial basis, with the caveat that we not place caches in certain environmentally sensitive properties or parts of properties.
We had just placed the first two caches and someone came along and plunked a cache down right in the most environmentally sensitive area that they asked us not to put a cache in. Syrwin and I scambled to contact that cacher, explain the situation, ask him to remove his cache, and offered to let him place the next cache in the series in an approved location. Fortunately, he agreed to remove his cache. We then scrambled to explain to the STC board that this was a mistake and to make amends. It all worked out in the end, and we now have five caches on their properties and a good relationship with them. However, if we hadn't happened to have been right on top of the situation (pure luck), they would have a very negative view of geocaching and would have banned caches on all of their properties (they were close).
I understand what you're saying about situations where they don't care but don't want to officially sanction a cache, and my previous suggestion went too far in the other direction (I was trying to keep it short and simple). But there is a legitimate concern here. Leaving the example out is counter to the purpose of having examples - i.e. to clarify the Creed and avoid misunderstandings and missteps like we had locally. How about:
"Check if permission is required before placing a cache on private property, and respect the landowner's wishes".
This wording doesn't prevent you from placing a cache if the landowner has a "don't ask, don't tell" policy, and establishes the same standard for private property that the Creed has for public property.