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Re: [gpsstash] Interview with a Park Ranger

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  • Bob Renner
    In response to the question below, I placed a cache in the Grand Canyon which was in reality an official visitor register book located in a wooden box inside
    Message 1 of 17 , May 1, 2002
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      In response to the question below, I "placed" a cache
      in the Grand Canyon which was in reality an official
      visitor register book located in a wooden box inside a
      rest house at the bottom of Bright Angel Trail.
      http://www.geocaching.com/seek/cache_details.asp?ID=1521

      The way the cache page is written it could give one
      the impression that the park rangers placed a geocache
      there themselves. They did not. In fact, when I
      previously asked one of the rangers about geocaching,
      he gave me the standard answer about it being
      considered abandoned property and that they disapprove
      of caches in general. I "placed" the cache in a way
      that would be acceptable to them since the log book
      was already there in a container which was already
      there.

      I have received log reports that the log book was
      full. I sent an email to the park about this and they
      have replaced the log book with a new one. While they
      are "maintaining" the cache, it was there for other
      purposes and I just turned it into a geocache.

      Bob Renner

      --- kgramp@... wrote:
      > The was an email on this list a while ago which said
      > that rangers in the
      > grand canyon had a different approach. They had
      > actually placed their own
      > cache. Is this true?
      >
      > Karl.


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    • patrick warnshuis
      I have one more suggestion for the interview preparation effort. That is, the very light use that geocaching imposes on a park. I would estimate that over a
      Message 2 of 17 , May 1, 2002
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        I have one more suggestion for the interview preparation effort. That is,
        the very light use that geocaching imposes on a park. I would estimate that
        over a year's exposure, a cache is visited on the average only about once a
        week. For example, how many year-old caches do we see with more than 52
        finds recorded? Yes, I know there are some, but the operative phrase here is
        "on the average". I will concede that when a cache is newly placed we often
        see signs of high traffic and trampling of vegetation in the immediate area
        and it this evidence that properly concerns the park personnel but, even
        after a couple of weeks of lesser activity, there is seldom any evidence of
        any activity at all.

        IMHO . . . . patrick


        ----- Original Message -----
        From: "gps_maps" <gps_maps@...>
        To: <gpsstash@yahoogroups.com>
        Sent: Tuesday, April 30, 2002 12:36 PM
        Subject: [gpsstash] Re: Interview with a Park Ranger


        > I like what
        > --- patrick wrote about a reoccurring comment from geocachers:
        > > "I've lived here all my life and never knew
        > > this was here"?
        [snip]
        > > - Doug Adomatis
        >
      • patrick warnshuis
        Very clever, Bob! This sounds like a virtual cache. How did the individuals verify their finds? Wouldn t it be ironic to use the park s very sign-in register
        Message 3 of 17 , May 1, 2002
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          Very clever, Bob! This sounds like a virtual cache. How did the individuals
          verify their finds?
          Wouldn't it be ironic to use the park's very sign-in register as the cache's
          log?
          ....patrick
          ----- Original Message -----
          From: "Bob Renner" <renner001@...>
          To: <gpsstash@yahoogroups.com>
          Sent: Wednesday, May 01, 2002 8:16 AM
          Subject: Re: [gpsstash] Interview with a Park Ranger


          > In response to the question below, I "placed" a cache
          > in the Grand Canyon which was in reality an official
          > visitor register book located in a wooden box inside a
          > rest house at the bottom of Bright Angel Trail.
          > http://www.geocaching.com/seek/cache_details.asp?ID=1521
          >
          > The way the cache page is written it could give one
          > the impression that the park rangers placed a geocache
          > there themselves. They did not. In fact, when I
          > previously asked one of the rangers about geocaching,
          > he gave me the standard answer about it being
          > considered abandoned property and that they disapprove
          > of caches in general. I "placed" the cache in a way
          > that would be acceptable to them since the log book
          > was already there in a container which was already
          > there.
          >
          > I have received log reports that the log book was
          > full. I sent an email to the park about this and they
          > have replaced the log book with a new one. While they
          > are "maintaining" the cache, it was there for other
          > purposes and I just turned it into a geocache.
          >
          > Bob Renner
          >
          > --- kgramp@... wrote:
          > > The was an email on this list a while ago which said
          > > that rangers in the
          > > grand canyon had a different approach. They had
          > > actually placed their own
          > > cache. Is this true?
          > >
          > > Karl.
          >
          >
          > __________________________________________________
          > Do You Yahoo!?
          > Yahoo! Health - your guide to health and wellness
          > http://health.yahoo.com
          >
          >
          >
          > The gpsstash page
          > http://www.geocaching.com
          > The GPS Stash Hunt page.
          > http://www.triax.com/~yngwie/gps.html
          >
          > GeoCache HQ
          > http://www.braveheart.com.au
          > GPS Stash Hunt FAQ :
          > http://www.triax.com/~yngwie/stashfaq.txt
          > To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
          > gpsstash-unsubscribe@egroups.com
          >
          >
          >
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          >
          >
        • Bryan Roth
          Doug wrote: Can anyone cite any log files, or give other examples of rangers that have used one of the web sites to notify a cache owner that a cache is in
          Message 4 of 17 , May 1, 2002
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            Doug wrote: "Can anyone cite any log files, or give other examples
            of rangers that have used one of the web sites to notify a cache
            owner that a cache is in need of maintenance?"

            ---

            As a Groundspeak Lackey, I receive calls and emails every week from land
            managers, park rangers and others [mostly in the U.S.] requesting the
            removal, maintenance and relocation of caches.

            Oftentimes, the callers just want more information on Geocaching and are
            generally very cooperative once they realize that we are making a genuine
            effort to work with them.

            Once we receive notice of cache related issues, we contact the cache
            owner(s) [or local cachers if owners can not be found] and arrange for
            compliance with the request.

            Sincerely,

            Rothstafari, SoulAdventurer
            Groundspeak Lackey
            www.geocaching.com
          • gps_maps
            Thanks to many of you here, I was ready with good questions. Ranger Joe, gave me better answers than I had hoped for. You will find his words encouraging -
            Message 5 of 17 , May 12, 2002
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              Thanks to many of you here, I was ready with good questions. "Ranger
              Joe," gave me better answers than I had hoped for. You will find his
              words encouraging - if you are willing to play by the rules.

              A (.pdf) formatted version of the entire article is available at
              www.travelbygps.com/articles
              Your comments are invited.

              (Picking up the article after some introduction about getcaching...)

              To get a park ranger's perspective on the topic of GeoCaching, Joe
              Anderson
              has agreed to share his experiences with us. Joe is the manager of
              Mountain
              Bridge Wilderness Area in South Carolina, which includes Caesars Head
              and
              Jones Gap State Park. He represents the landowners on the Foothills
              Trail
              Conference Board of Directors and is a Search and Rescue Instructor.

              TbGPS: Joe, you must be familiar with GeoCaching because of all the
              caches
              in your area. Tell me, in general, about the experience you've had as
              a park
              ranger with GeoCaching in the Mountain Bridge Wilderness.

              JA: I've never found a GeoCache that wasn't in an interesting place,
              and I'
              ve never met a GeoCacher that wasn't an interesting person.

              TbGPS: What is your impression of the type of people that GeoCache?

              JA: GeoCachers are intelligent and educated, have a source of income
              and are
              interested in protecting our natural resources. The state parks do not
              necessarily need the support of the public, we need the support of an
              informed public - GeoCachers tend to be informed.

              TBG: Is there a specific story about a particular cache that typifies
              your
              experience?

              JA: Most of my pursuits have concentrated on those GeoCaches placed
              inside
              parks. I do not participate in the sport in the conventional way as
              your
              readers probably do. Though I have enjoyed using the GPS unit a
              couple of
              times, the majority of my finds were accomplished by tracking
              GeoCachers -
              identifying signs of impact for clues.

              TbGPS: If I told you I wanted to place a GeoCache here in the park,
              what
              would be your reply?

              JA: Well I'd say, let's talk. How can your anticipated GeoCache
              experience
              complement my desired park experience? Then, we'll talk about some
              possible locations. I'd also ask you what your plans are for
              maintaining
              the cache.

              TbGPS: Alternatively, if I informed you that I had already placed a
              Cache
              here and now wanted permission (forgiveness), what would be your
              reply?

              JA: Of all the caches (there have been as many as 6 at one time)
              located
              within the boundaries of the park, no one has asked permission first
              and
              that disappoints me. Now, some have come after the fact and I've
              appreciated that. There are not so many that are impacting the park
              that I'
              m on a campaign to reduce the number, so I probably wouldn't tell you
              to
              remove it as long as it's in an appropriate location. The Mountain
              Bridge
              Wilderness Area will never become 'GeoCache State Park.' Too many
              GeoCache
              sites may impact the desired experience for those participating in the
              sport. At times I wonder though. when there does get to be too many,
              and
              someone does come to ask permission to place another cache. what
              about those
              who didn't ask permission first? Should those caches be removed to
              make
              room for a cache placed by someone who played by the rules?

              TbGPS: How many caches in your area would you consider to be too many?

              JA: GeoCaching is relatively new to the park. Though I do not have an
              answer
              to the question today, I do anticipate the day will come when I will
              be able
              to. I don't believe we have too many - yet. I do believe you can have
              too
              many in small areas. Sesquicentennial Park, for example, has 6 and I
              think
              that is too many.

              TbGPS: Tell me what you call a good cache or a bad cache?

              JA: Any cache that is in a dangerous or environmentally sensitive
              location
              makes me apprehensive. A good cache can become a not-so-good cache if
              its
              not properly maintained. The cache owner needs to be committed to
              making
              sure that 1) everyone looking for the cache has the desired
              experience, and
              2) the area around the cache is not being adversely impacted. I like
              the
              idea of virtual caches in locations where human impact has been
              anticipated,
              like caches placed at monuments. I have to back up a little and say
              that I'
              m not so sure that caches placed in and around historical structures
              are a
              good idea. For example, shell ring at Edisto Beach State Park that was
              built by the Native Americans. When pictures appeared on the web of
              people
              standing on the ring, the land manager had the cache removed and no
              longer
              tolerates GeoCaching on the property.

              TbGPS: How do you use the online forums to manage caches in the park?

              JA: Well for example, the Wildcat Wayside cache had been located
              within 30
              feet of an endangered plant and there were tracks all around it, some
              within
              inches of doing some real damage. I notified the cache owners by
              posting a
              message to the cache's online log. The cache owners were very
              responsive.
              They voluntarily gave a 30 day notice before moving the cache so that
              cachers currently seeking the cache would not venture all over trying
              to
              find it.

              TbGPS: Earlier you said that you GeoCache yourself - without a GPS.
              Explain how you do that.

              JA: Our agency has used GeoCache locations to train Search and Rescue
              teams. GeoCaching is a great tool to teach others how to track the
              movement
              of people through the natural and wilderness areas.

              TbGPS: How have you seen the Cache-in / Trash-out program at work in
              your
              area?

              JA: Caesars Head and Jones Gap State Parks collectively form the
              Mountain
              Bridge Wilderness Area. The "Trash-out" program complements
              our "Project
              Green" program. For example - Jones Gap is a "trash-free" park.
              Patrons to
              the park will find no trash cans - they are expected to comply with a
              higher
              standard of stewardship of "pack-it-in pack-it-out." Classified as a
              special
              resource, everyone is asked to participate in the stewardship of the
              place -
              whether picnicking, hiking, backpacking, or GeoCaching. The trash out
              program is an interesting campaign. Many of the opponents to
              GeoCaching
              consider the practice to be a form of littering in itself. I do not
              interpret the cache as a garbage or refuse form of litter. I see the
              sport
              as an interpretive tool and possibly a marketing opportunity. Case in
              point, simply by answering this question I have taken the opportunity
              to
              introduce our Project Green program to your readers.

              TbGPS: Do you have any other ideas about ways to have fun with GPS in
              the
              park?

              JA: The fun in GeoCaching is the hike. Many of the caches I found
              outside
              the park have taken me to places that I didn't know existed, which I
              have
              since returned to enjoy. For example, I liked the Furman University
              cache
              because it was right off the running trail so there was no additional
              impact
              with all the traffic the location gets anyway. I never knew about that
              trail, but I liked it so much that I've returned to Morgan Meditation
              with
              my wife and kids to enjoy sunny afternoons.

              TbGPS: What can you tell me about decisions that are being made in
              South
              Carolina with regard to GeoCaching?

              JA: The South Carolina State Park Service has taken notice of the
              sport. I
              trust that any policy we adopt will be based on informed decisions.
              We are
              in the process of establishing guidelines for GeoCaching activities
              on state
              parks. Currently, the individual park management plans will guide park
              managers when making decisions about the recreational activities
              managed on
              the park.

              TbGPS: Any final thoughts you like to leave our readers with?

              JA: GeoCaching is a great tool for introducing visitors to the real
              value
              of a park's resources. Properly informed, the people coming to
              GeoCache in
              the park can be real assets to helping us protect not only the park's
              flora
              and fauna, but also the recreational opportunities it has to offer.
              As one
              who has been entrusted with the stewardship of these resources, I
              believe
              GeoCaching, like any other recreational activity the park has to
              offer, can
              be managed to maximize the benefits to all park visitors.

              TbGPS: Thanks Joe.

              by Doug Adomatis
              www.travelbygps.com
            • Glenn
              http://www.geocaching.com/seek/cache_details.asp?ID=8133 November 28th entry. Glenn Nash www.GeoStl.com ... From: Bryan Roth [mailto:bryan@groundspeak.com]
              Message 6 of 17 , May 16, 2002
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                http://www.geocaching.com/seek/cache_details.asp?ID=8133

                November 28th entry.

                Glenn Nash
                www.GeoStl.com

                -----Original Message-----
                From: Bryan Roth [mailto:bryan@...]
                Sent: Wednesday, May 01, 2002 12:23 PM
                To: gpsstash@yahoogroups.com
                Subject: [gpsstash] Re: Interview with a Park Ranger

                Doug wrote: "Can anyone cite any log files, or give other examples
                of rangers that have used one of the web sites to notify a cache
                owner that a cache is in need of maintenance?"

                ---

                As a Groundspeak Lackey, I receive calls and emails every week from land
                managers, park rangers and others [mostly in the U.S.] requesting the
                removal, maintenance and relocation of caches.

                Oftentimes, the callers just want more information on Geocaching and are
                generally very cooperative once they realize that we are making a genuine
                effort to work with them.

                Once we receive notice of cache related issues, we contact the cache
                owner(s) [or local cachers if owners can not be found] and arrange for
                compliance with the request.

                Sincerely,

                Rothstafari, SoulAdventurer
                Groundspeak Lackey
                www.geocaching.com






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              • Bob Renner
                Patrick, The cache is not really a virtual cache since there is a log book and container, even though I did not place it there myself. Judging by the number
                Message 7 of 17 , May 16, 2002
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                  Patrick,

                  The cache is not really a virtual cache since there is
                  a log book and container, even though I did not place
                  it there myself. Judging by the number of logs that
                  have been posted to the cache, I don't think anyone is
                  falsly claiming to have visited the cache. Also,
                  since I have been there several times myself, I am
                  familiar enough with the area that I have recognized
                  the features and sights which the visitors have
                  described in their logs. Verification of visits to
                  this cache are the same as visits to any other
                  traditional cache - by the log book.

                  Bob

                  --- patrick warnshuis <patw@...> wrote:
                  > Very clever, Bob! This sounds like a virtual cache.
                  > How did the individuals
                  > verify their finds?
                  > Wouldn't it be ironic to use the park's very sign-in
                  > register as the cache's
                  > log?
                  > ....patrick
                  > ----- Original Message -----
                  > From: "Bob Renner" <renner001@...>
                  > To: <gpsstash@yahoogroups.com>
                  > Sent: Wednesday, May 01, 2002 8:16 AM
                  > Subject: Re: [gpsstash] Interview with a Park Ranger
                  >
                  >
                  > > In response to the question below, I "placed" a
                  > cache
                  > > in the Grand Canyon which was in reality an
                  > official
                  > > visitor register book located in a wooden box
                  > inside a
                  > > rest house at the bottom of Bright Angel Trail.
                  > >
                  >
                  http://www.geocaching.com/seek/cache_details.asp?ID=1521
                  > >
                  > > The way the cache page is written it could give
                  > one
                  > > the impression that the park rangers placed a
                  > geocache
                  > > there themselves. They did not. In fact, when I
                  > > previously asked one of the rangers about
                  > geocaching,
                  > > he gave me the standard answer about it being
                  > > considered abandoned property and that they
                  > disapprove
                  > > of caches in general. I "placed" the cache in a
                  > way
                  > > that would be acceptable to them since the log
                  > book
                  > > was already there in a container which was already
                  > > there.
                  > >
                  > > I have received log reports that the log book was
                  > > full. I sent an email to the park about this and
                  > they
                  > > have replaced the log book with a new one. While
                  > they
                  > > are "maintaining" the cache, it was there for
                  > other
                  > > purposes and I just turned it into a geocache.
                  > >
                  > > Bob Renner
                  > >
                  > > --- kgramp@... wrote:
                  > > > The was an email on this list a while ago which
                  > said
                  > > > that rangers in the
                  > > > grand canyon had a different approach. They had
                  > > > actually placed their own
                  > > > cache. Is this true?
                  > > >
                  > > > Karl.
                  > >
                  > >
                  > > __________________________________________________
                  > > Do You Yahoo!?
                  > > Yahoo! Health - your guide to health and wellness
                  > > http://health.yahoo.com
                  > >
                  > >
                  > >
                  > > The gpsstash page
                  > > http://www.geocaching.com
                  > > The GPS Stash Hunt page.
                  > > http://www.triax.com/~yngwie/gps.html
                  > >
                  > > GeoCache HQ
                  > > http://www.braveheart.com.au
                  > > GPS Stash Hunt FAQ :
                  > > http://www.triax.com/~yngwie/stashfaq.txt
                  > > To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
                  > > gpsstash-unsubscribe@egroups.com
                  > >
                  > >
                  > >
                  > > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to
                  > http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
                  > >
                  > >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  > ------------------------ Yahoo! Groups Sponsor
                  >
                  > The gpsstash page
                  > http://www.geocaching.com
                  > The GPS Stash Hunt page.
                  > http://www.triax.com/~yngwie/gps.html
                  >
                  > GeoCache HQ
                  > http://www.braveheart.com.au
                  > GPS Stash Hunt FAQ :
                  > http://www.triax.com/~yngwie/stashfaq.txt
                  > To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
                  > gpsstash-unsubscribe@egroups.com
                  >
                  >
                  >
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                  >
                  >


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                • John Elftmann
                  FYI, when trying to go to www.travelbygps.com/articles I receive an error message: Directory Listing Denied This Virtual Directory does not allow contents to
                  Message 8 of 17 , May 16, 2002
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                    FYI, when trying to go to www.travelbygps.com/articles I receive an
                    error message:

                    Directory Listing Denied
                    This Virtual Directory does not allow contents to be listed.



                    g> A (.pdf) formatted version of the entire article is available at
                    g> www.travelbygps.com/articles
                    g> Your comments are invited.
                  • gps_maps
                    ... I just realized I hadn t responded to this. Thanks for pointing this out John. The complete link is http://www.travelbygps.com/articles/archives.htm ,
                    Message 9 of 17 , Jun 11, 2002
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                      --- In gpsstash@y..., John Elftmann <rainmakr@e...> wrote:
                      > FYI, when trying to go to www.travelbygps.com/articles I receive an
                      > error message:

                      I just realized I hadn't responded to this. Thanks for pointing this
                      out John. The complete link is
                      http://www.travelbygps.com/articles/archives.htm
                      , Doug
                    Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.