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MN State Park Earthcaching and Virtualcaching Guidelines
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towlebooth
Past MnGCA Board


Joined: 26 Nov 2002

Posts: 1270

PostPosted: Wed Aug 10, 2005 6:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I also agree that we need to follow all stated rules every time.
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miles58
Geocacher


Joined: 07 Mar 2005

Posts: 196

PostPosted: Wed Aug 10, 2005 7:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Pear Head:

Go to Hawk ridge in mid September. Show me where caching has ever had that kind of impact anywhere in the state.

Do you think for a second that MNDNR would get away with even holding discussions about banning birding on state lands? Not a prayer.

The resources of the state belong to us, not MNDNR. They have no basis whatsover in fact to ban any type of cache on any lands. While there are very sensitive areas on state lands that need protection, those areas known are already protected by simple trespass law, and by banning of all access at certain times of the year or completely.

If MNDNR can permit ATV use (like up by Grace Lake) logging, snowmobiling and hunting and horse trails, then they damn well can explain how we can do any harm unless we start caching with stuff made by Caterpillar.

The reason (and the only reason) for them to ban it is to make their life simple, in that if it's banned enforcement is simple. This is *not* their personal fiefdom. It is our lands and waters. There is no way in heck we could possibly impact a boat launch in a year as much as is normally done in a single day by boat launching activity. Allowing MNDNR to regulate based on ignorant speculation of what *might* happen is not how we improve the situation in the future. It is not a rational path to future betterment. It is not rational management of the resources.

At best, it's allowing a usurper to have their way with us in hopes that they go away at some time in the future.

Until and unless MNDNR can show us that the state of Minnesota has suffered measurable damage or nuisance from caching they have no more (or less in appropriate circumstances) basis to ban it than hiking or birding.

They allow climbers in state parks. The local county sherrif gets to come and scrape them off the rocks on a regular basis. The ropes, the climbers and their permanent attachments all mar the beauty of the cliffs. And this is done on an organized, often commercial basis.

This regulation is dead wrong. We need to stand up and say it's dead wrong. We *can* be polite about it. We can help draft responsible regulation based on broad experience and understanding of what is and is not involved in caching.
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King Boreas
Geocacher


Joined: 16 Dec 2002

Posts: 2440

PostPosted: Wed Aug 10, 2005 7:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Indiana DNR/State Parks

http://www.indianageocaching.com

http://rampage.datacruz.com/apofus-cgi/forums/ikonboard.cgi?s=42fa061575edffff;act=ST;f=1;t=79
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Oneied Cooky
Geocacher


Joined: 06 Mar 2005

Posts: 453

PostPosted: Wed Aug 10, 2005 8:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

What a JOKE!!! Ive been a hunter a lot longer then a cacher! and have always felt the MnDNR was looking out for the state lands. Back in 2001 I spent the summer trying to hit all the state parks and do some camping and exploreing. Explore Mn. was there selling phrase. $20 for a yearly sticker $12 a nite camping fee Firewood, Ice. all things that were bought through the park. Then I started hunting tuppeware. And listening to the all the BULLSH#T! and again I say WHAT A JOKE!! The money they make on my hunt and fishing lic. is suppose to go to help keep Mn. land open to the public. But the DNR shot itself in the foot!! I WILL NOT SPEND 1 RED CENT on anything concerning Mn. State parks. In my year of travel I saw a lot of cool parks in the state! NONE were worth the sticker price and I will not PAY to enter somewhere to be told that I need a permit to tell the world about the history there! I guess the DNR has so much money that they don't need us Geocachers to stay at there parks! I'm with the rest of you that think the DNR can SHOVE IT!! If that is the best they can do then they are better off doing NOTHING! at least they are good at that!!
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rickrich
Geocacher


Joined: 06 Jul 2003

Posts: 673

PostPosted: Wed Aug 10, 2005 8:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tell us how you really feel, Oneied!!!!
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Oneied Cooky
Geocacher


Joined: 06 Mar 2005

Posts: 453

PostPosted: Wed Aug 10, 2005 8:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If I did that SB would be editing and deleteing half of what I think!!
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s4xton
Past MnGCA Board


Joined: 23 Mar 2003

Posts: 1070

PostPosted: Wed Aug 10, 2005 10:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

First off, there is not a unified opinion from the MnGCA Board. The following are my personal thoughts:

I believe that any negative or unproductive action against the DNR is not appropriate and I won't support it. It will make things worse for everyone.

The MnGCA had nothing to do with this policy. The MnGCA President did not have any meaningful communication with the DNR, nor was any serious attempt made. There was a minor attempt by the Vice President to establish bidirectional communication with the DNR but I wouldn't consider it successful. The Treasurer, Secretary and Member at Large were not involved. Paklid, as far as I am aware, has been the only person directly communicating with the DNR from our membership.

I think the policy the DNR created is interesting at best. It's clear they do not understand geocaching. In my opinion, it seems like they're getting most of their information from Groundspeak, Inc. in their lobby to push Earth Caches, which in on track for them trying to control all aspects of the sport. Some may disagree with me and that's fine. It's my opinion.

It's too bad they don't understand how a policy like Duluth's Policy would actually reinforce existing laws while making very clear that geocaching should never interfere with the park or other park visitors' experiences. This includes preventing any and all damage that could potentially be created by hiding or finding a cache. Additionally the parks can have cache placers notify the park when a cache is placed so they always know where they are if they feel they want to track them. It also reinforces the authority of the parks to remove or ask to have removed any caches they feel violate the policy. It holds geocachers accountable for creating caches that don't violate the park, the rules and the law. Everything else would be unnecessarily restrictive opinion. I would like them to look down that road, which I feel is the opposite direction of the policy of the Three Rivers parks which I think is poor.

On a small and IMHO a humorous aside, what is stopping me from creating a website that has 15 interesting, informative, educational, beautiful and fun waypoints in every State Park in Minnesota? Wonder if on that website I allowed people to log online when they went to these waypoints? This would be no different than the DNR and Groundspeak, Inc.-specific implementation of this. I say this only to show how "interesting" this non-geocaching geocaching policy is.

As for the future from here: Instead of talking about the feelings of the current policy which we can't do much about, talk about what the policy should be a year from now after the DNR reviews the policy potentially changes it with input from people like you.

We, as members of the MnGCA, can be the primary and not-for-profit voice of geocachers in the state. If we are interested in helping the DNR create a policy that makes sense for both the parks and geocachers, let's be productive about it. My opinion is that we take the conversation in that direction.

-Aaron
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Pear Head
Past MnGCA President


Joined: 04 Apr 2004

Posts: 5697

PostPosted: Wed Aug 10, 2005 10:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

miles58 wrote:
The resources of the state belong to us, not MNDNR. They have no basis whatsover in fact to ban any type of cache on any lands. While there are very sensitive areas on state lands that need protection, those areas known are already protected by simple trespass law, and by banning of all access at certain times of the year or completely.


While the resources of the state DO belong to us, MNDNR is charged with protecting those resources so they will be here for years to come. Debating how they have protected them in the past or present isn't the issue. While they may have done a bad job in the past doesn't mean that they should continue to do a bad job.

While I agree that caching is a fairly low-impact sport, we've all found caches that have trails that lead over 100' through the woods right to them. These side caches are created by cachers and cachers alone.

Most of us have found poorly placed caches that are promoting erosion on hillsides. I for one have found numerous caches like this.

I'm not saying MNDNR is choosing the right path here, I'm saying that they are taking their time (which is hard for anyone to debate Smile ) in choosing the path.

Have they thrown us a bone in hopes that we'll quit pestering them? Maybe.. I'm not involved in the discussions with the DNR so it's hard to say. Those that are involved will be able to answer this question pretty quickly I would think.[/quote]

miles58 wrote:
This regulation is dead wrong. We need to stand up and say it's dead wrong. We *can* be polite about it. We can help draft responsible regulation based on broad experience and understanding of what is and is not involved in caching.


THAT's what I'm saying we need to do. We can't just ignore the regulation because we think it's crap and not enforcable. We need to help the DNR to fix it, and do it politely.

I don't look at the regulation as wrong as it doesn't address most other parts of caching. If this regulation banned traditional caches then I'd agree, it's wrong. This regulation only addresses two types of caches however. Omitting the other types of caches doesn't make it wrong to me. It leaves room for future regulations to OPEN the way for traditional caches.

Many of us know that cachers make government people nervous. They don't entirely understand what we're up to. If I were the DNR, wanting to see how we'd react, I'd start by issuing some rules that affected the lowest impact part of the sport. Then I'd give it a year or so, see how we did, and then go on from there. I think of this regulation as a test more than anything.
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sui generis
Past MnGCA Board


Joined: 17 Apr 2004

Posts: 608

PostPosted: Wed Aug 10, 2005 10:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
We can't just ignore the regulation because we think it's crap and not enforcable.


However, someone with an existing virtual in a state park (I have one posted on Navicache.com) would arguably have standing to seek injunctive relief prohibiting the enforcement of this regulation based upon the constitutional violations (free speech). This regulation seeks to silence, or at least severly limit, the voice and method by which we are entitled to report a place of interest we are legally entitled to be with threats of criminal liability. There are no regulation prohibiting writing a paragraph describing the location, nor are there regulations prohibiting the posting of pictures of the locations. Just prohibiting the posting of geographical coordinates of the locations.
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s4xton
Past MnGCA Board


Joined: 23 Mar 2003

Posts: 1070

PostPosted: Wed Aug 10, 2005 11:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sui-

I agree that you possibly could seek injunctive relief prohibiting the enforcement of this regulation, but I also think that the time and effort spent there could be better used to help the DNR understand geocaching better and help them correct their policy to be more fair and legal in a more helpful manner.

It is going to be reviewed anyway. The MnGCA is the most logical body to help them review it. Let's talk about how they can have a better policy, and help them understand and fix the potential legal problems they may have with it as well.

-Aaron
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Oneied Cooky
Geocacher


Joined: 06 Mar 2005

Posts: 453

PostPosted: Wed Aug 10, 2005 11:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

s4xton, you are absolutly correct in saying that we need to focus on a year or 3 down the road. I've always said "You can't teach stupid!" and who ever is in charge in the DNR sounds like they don't want to learn anything about Geocacheing. If they did the MnGCA would have been involved from the start. THEY would have contacted some one on the board and tried to come to an agreement or at least tried to learn more about it! I don't think anyone said anything about doing negitive things to the DNR! I said I will not spend MY money at a state park! there is nothing there that is worth the sticker price to enter! Even if they allow virts and earthcaches I still won't spend the money! But that is MY opinion.and if the VP of MnGCA is the only one that has even spoke with the DNR I guess I don't get it! Whats stopping you from getting together and going to the DNR and tell them This will not do please try and come up with something better! I'm not saying to go and fill a bag with dog poop and light it on fire on the DNR door step But stay on them and keep on them if for no other reson so they learn something about the sport!!
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towlebooth
Past MnGCA Board


Joined: 26 Nov 2002

Posts: 1270

PostPosted: Wed Aug 10, 2005 11:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Members of the 2002/2003 MnGCA board (first year) did reach out to the MN DNR regarding their ban. It was the main reason there is an MnGCA.

At that time the DNR was polite but not willing to discuss it with us.
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miles58
Geocacher


Joined: 07 Mar 2005

Posts: 196

PostPosted: Wed Aug 10, 2005 11:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

sui generis wrote:
There are no regulation prohibiting writing a paragraph describing the location, nor are there regulations prohibiting the posting of pictures of the locations. Just prohibiting the posting of geographical coordinates of the locations.


There is nothing that MNDNR can do to me for publishing the coordinates of anything inside a state park. Under this reg they can whack me on the pp for doing so if I do it as part of geocaching.

Because I am, and only because I am doing it as part of geocaching.

Should I do so as part of some commercial enterprise and publish it to an audience however wide I am perfectly free to do so, I could even as I read the reg do it and charge for the information and require the same conditions be met as on geocaching.com. Just so long as I don't do so as part of geocaching and call it an earth cache or virtual cache.

This is the discrimination, what anyone else can do we cannot.
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Moe the Sleaze
Geocacher


Joined: 10 Jan 2003

Posts: 1146

PostPosted: Wed Aug 10, 2005 12:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Pear Head wrote:
we've all found caches that have trails that lead over 100' through the woods right to them. These side caches are created by cachers and cachers alone.


I totally disagree with this statement. The only obvious volunteer trails to caches that I have found are when the cache is within a few feet of an established trail which, ironically, is what many of the park districts require! When caches are well off of established paths, if there are trails to the cache they generally appear to me to be game trails that the hider made use of when placing the cache.
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Marsha and Silent Bob
Past MnGCA President


Joined: 02 Sep 2003

Posts: 6261

PostPosted: Wed Aug 10, 2005 12:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have no issues with people expressing their questions, comments, concerns, or praises over this (or any other) particular issue. I do ask, however, that we remain family friendly and above comments referring to genetalia and feces even if they are in their most juevenile forms.
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