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Current DNR Policy Discussion

 
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Arcticabn
Past MnGCA Board


Joined: 30 Nov 2003

Posts: 1846
Location: Lakeville, MN

PostPosted: Wed Aug 10, 2005 9:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

miles58 wrote:


My point is that unless we understand what the DNR did to us, how they did it and why they did it, there is no point in starting any action or plan to create any new proposal because we are walking into the same contest without understanding the rules again. That will buy us nothing and take a long time to get it. Precisely what we got this time around


Dave,

So what makes you think that by having an internal discussion among people that don't agree with a policy that:

1. You can understand what the DNR did to us.
2. How they did it?
3. Why they did it?

All of your discussion is supposition. Maybe some good based upon previous experience. But your just guessing as to the answers.

Their policy didn't do anything to us. It established a policy for the parks staff to follow based upon a type of outdoor recreational sport. You can argue the freedom of speach issues and such. But only if they actually tried to enforce the no posting rules. If anything, I do view it as a step foward, because now the Park Rangers in our local areas have the authority to discuss geocaching with us as individual cachers. Before it was simply NO. The rules say NO caching period. At least now we can open dialog with the locals and discuss the sport.
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miles58
Geocacher


Joined: 07 Mar 2005

Posts: 196

PostPosted: Wed Aug 10, 2005 9:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

[quote="Arcticabn"]

Dave,

So what makes you think that by having an internal discussion among people that don't agree with a policy that:

1. You can understand what the DNR did to us.
2. How they did it?
3. Why they did it?

This did not occur in a vacuum. Someone had discussion with MNDNR. Who discussed what with whom at the DNR is not supposition it is very important information. It is no less important for us to know before hand if in fact no one from MNGCA was involved in any way shpe or form.

Finding out the who and the content of the discussions that initiated this gives us the key to how and why.

The new reg most certainly did do something to us. It subjected us to regulation for activity that non-geocaching.com citizens are exempt from, and imposes sanctions should we fail to comply, sanctions that it cannot by definition impose upon everyone else. The act of lawfully visiting a site and observing the feature of the site while recording it's coordinates is wholly unrestricted for anyone but us. What anyone else may do with that lawfully gathered information is similarly beyond MNDNR's control. They can publish it anywhere they choose and/or for profit if they can.

If MNDNR published a reg with the intent of never being trying to enforce it (if that's what you were implying) such an action would when placed in this context would be nothing more or less than blatant intentional discrimination intended to inhibit lawful behavior.

I don't know about you, but I for damn sure didn't make sure I had my affairs in order when they sent my ship to go get the Pueblo back for any portion of my government to pull a stunt like that.

Dave
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pto
Geocacher


Joined: 18 Mar 2004

Posts: 136

PostPosted: Thu Aug 11, 2005 1:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

On one hand, simple proof of the obvious flaws with this policy is to go out, and get "arrested" for it, all while your wife films it.
(This is called bringing attention to a problem with our governement)

*poof* the email / FedX guy has got the goods and the Fox9 investigation crew is low on material. CirclyJerlkily roundyboutsy "policy", enforced on Only 1 person in a crowd of say 5 people.... Hmm...Interviews with cachers, on TV, Full explanation by the story editor (We get input here) so the "issue" goes out. Wanna talk now MnDnr?
Forget plastering mngca all over it. Its the Minnesota Cachers who should be concerned, not the mngca members, or board registrants. Really, its the users of the parks, as a Whole, isnt it?
I believe most people think Fair is Fair. This isnt Fiar to us. Is it?

Afterall, it all seems to be leg work for JOD, isnt it?
If posting the cache to a seemingly monopolistic listing service is the sole purpose if this whole action, then I'd rather sit on my couch.

For me, its Not about making a 'score' caching- its about watching out for my interests. I (used to)visit the parks. I dont want to jump thru the hoops this "policy" supposes - just so I can carry my stinking Gps'r to mark a rock formation I might want to, for example - send to Dave to go see. WTH?
I already paid for my sticker, got in the long registration months ahead of time for the good sites, waited in line to get in/out - paid for things at the store, cleaned my site better than 99% of people, and so on.

Meanwhile, Mr J Doe next to me can litter, burn plastics and uses a taped on sticker he and his large family all share AND stand Right next to me as I mark this rock formation.,

Hmmm...

I dont intend to DO anything. But I must agree something needs to be done more in the near future to address the public usage of public lands.

The media can move things.A topic should be covered. Action is available, but should be used wisely.

The Run Away bride is proof of that.
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sui generis
Past MnGCA Board


Joined: 17 Apr 2004

Posts: 608
Location: Eagan, MN

PostPosted: Thu Aug 11, 2005 5:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Their policy didn't do anything to us. It established a policy for the parks staff to follow based upon a type of outdoor recreational sport. You can argue the freedom of speach issues and such. But only if they actually tried to enforce the no posting rules.


This is not accurate. If the regulation goes into effect, those with posted virtuals in State Parks could have standing to press for an injunction prohibiting enforcement of the rule. There are also declaratory judgment avenues that can be pursued.
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Paklid
Past MnGCA Board


Joined: 09 May 2004

Posts: 656
Location: Eagan

PostPosted: Thu Aug 11, 2005 8:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Please read the policy again.

While it still flatly denies physical caches, it contains NOTHING about restricting an individuals rights to marking waypoints etc. Why is there so much angst about this "prohibition" when nothing like that is contained in the policy?

The proposition that IF the few virtuals that currently exist are declared null and void by the State that the "owners" of these virtuals would be damaged and would have a cause for some action is about as close to any harm that this proposed policy might cause. I don't believe that any finding of damage would be attainable since nothing is owned by the cache "owner", he has just had something published by a third party - at the third party's discretion.

We basically submit requests to GC.com to publish something on THEIR website. They either choose to do so or they don't. It's THEIR website. No free speech issues for us exist - all we are doing is asking them to publish.

Here's what the State Parks says their action will be if they determine that a virtual needs to go.

2.5 Termination Clause
If the conditions of the virtual caching permit are not met,
the state may make the webpage for the virtual cache
unavailable without prior notice.

Now THAT clause oversteps their authority considerably. About the closest they can get to enforcing that is ASKING GC.com to make the webpage unavailable. GC.com CHOOSES to follow the policies of local authorities in order to avoid conflict that may set back the growth of the "sport".

Any of you who are outraged (you still own your own feelings) have the right to publish your own cache listings. You'd be the mosquito on the elephant - IF they became aware of it, it's unlikely they'd care since the probablility of developing a wide audience is low - possible, but low probability. I personally don't particularly enjoy visiting or owning virtuals (beyond getting the icon), so nothing short of a policy that allows physicals in some way generates much interest from me.

Their own new policy requires that they seek out input from geocachers to further develop and review policy. That's better than ignoring us and leaving a total ban in force indefinitely.
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miles58
Geocacher


Joined: 07 Mar 2005

Posts: 196

PostPosted: Thu Aug 11, 2005 10:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Paklid wrote:
Please read the policy again.

While it still flatly denies physical caches, it contains NOTHING about restricting an individuals rights to marking waypoints etc. Why is there so much angst about this "prohibition" when nothing like that is contained in the policy?


WRONG!!!

It requires a geocacher to get permission, register it with the park and then restricts the number of such caches.

If Paklid decided to publish somewhere other than geocaching.com, like say in a magazine for Airstreamers, then by definition he is not geocaching and the self same activity is unrestricted and unregulated by MNDNR. You can log and publish as many such locations as you choose and their clause about penalty for failure to register and comly with the limit cannot be applied or enforced on you.

The only way the reg applies is if you create a virtual geocache or earth cache and publish it on geocaching.com. As sui posted, his cache not being a geocache virtual falls outside the reg and is not affected.

We were better off without the reg. They have to either outright proscribe a specific activity (like a virt or ec) or classify it as something they have already proscribed.

The very act of singling us out because we publish a specific location to a specific website is discrimination in the simplest sense of the word. If you take a picture of it and publish the picture and description, there is no difference whatsoever in net result. Someone else is encouraged to visit and maybe a lot of someone elses.

Singling us out was done not as a means to assist us in our sport. This is a simple offensive action taken to block us by people well trained to do just that. This was done by people with degrees in public management, and by lawyers. Note the use of the plural. Lawyers from more than one department at MNDNR reviewed this before it was signed. If I am not mistaken, Merriam is a lawyer too. I did some work with him while he was a senator and ISTR he was.

YOU DO NOT GET THROUGH LAW SCHOOL EVEN IN THE ISLANDS IF YOU ARE TOO DUMB TO FIGURE THIS OUT.

This reg is not an attempt to accomodate us! This reg is an attempt to limit geocaching as much as they think they can get away with and still pretend they are trying to accomodate us. They know well how to find any or all of us to help them craft a policy to accomodate geocaching if that's what they want to do. They are competent well trained professionals.

You have a choice: believe they are borderline too stupid to live and couldn't write a decent policy to do what they want, and thus made a simple mistake which they should be eager to rectify if we just speak up, or, they are competent and know exactly what they are about. It's that simple.
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ice tres
Geocacher


Joined: 16 Aug 2005

Posts: 97

PostPosted: Wed Aug 24, 2005 11:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree with Miles58 on this matter. Specifically, I agree that

1. It would be very helpful to know what if any contacts MnDNR has had with geocachers before they developed their "trojan horse" policy. The more we know about who made the decision to ban by regulation normal geocaching and why they made it would help us target our responses.

2. While I will try to help develop a new proposal for MnDNR regarding traditional caches in state parks, and recently posted a draft attempt on another thread, I have very very little confidence that they will be adopted because MnDNR has made it clear they simply don't want traditional caches in state parks and don't intend to budge. The same individuals will very likely make the same decision in a year, and unless we get creative, we will have lost the one year mandatory review offered in the current policy.

3. It would be very helpful we did have a discussion as to how to effect change at MnDNR as I do not believe begging will have any effect whatsoever. However, I do believe there are things we can do if we flex a bit of muscle.

4. The current policy is worse than no policy in most respects. It was drafted to shut us up and was not meant to do us any favors.

5. MnGCA administrators need to be more transparant as to why they choose to ban a thread or pursue a state park geocaching policy in a certain way. (I do think this is starting to happen.)

6. You cannot successfully sue a state agency for making an administrative decision like this and many of the suggestions in this and prior threads regarding legal recourse do not apply to administrative law. We have very little legal recourse once a final administrative decision is made as long as they allow us to have our say and their rulemaking is not arbitrary and capricious. No court will overturn their policy decision once finalized and so this year is make or break. Their current policy will absolutely hold up in state court. Waiting to go all out for a policy change until the final administrative decision is reached (after the one year review period that has now begun) is a very bad idea, as that final decision will be written in stone and virtually unreviewable.

Ice Tres
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