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MnGCA/DNR Talks Begin

 
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Marsha and Silent Bob
Past MnGCA President


Joined: 02 Sep 2003

Posts: 6261

PostPosted: Wed Nov 30, 2005 8:53 am    Post subject: MnGCA/DNR Talks Begin Reply with quote

The MnGCA Board has contacted the Minnesota DNR in reference to their current geocaching policy. We have been fortunate enough to receive a positive response from our initial contact by several members of the staff including Brad Moore (Assistant Commissioner) and Courtland Nelson (Parks and Recreation Department Director) regarding reviewing and updating the current Minnesota DNR geocaching policy.

We are currently in the process of scheduling the first of several meetings with the first planned within the next several weeks. The first meeting will only be a preliminary sit down discussion that will focus on introducing the respective stake holders within the DNR as well establishing a relationship between the DNR and the MnGCA. We would like to be able to understand the issues as perceived by the DNR as well as letting the DNR know what the MnGCA perceives as the issues. The outcome of the discussions made during the preliminary meeting will determine the direction and frequency of future DNR meetings.

Included below is the text of a letter that was sent the day after the phone call was made. Please note that personally identifiable information including home addresses, phone numbers, e-mail addresses, and last names were removed from those individuals that are not a public figure (i.e. the MnGCA Board members and Three Rivers’ staff).

Letter included below:

Quote:
William [edited]
[street address]
Apple Valley, MN 55124
[phone number]
[e-mail address]

November 29, 2005

Mr. Courtland Nelson
Director, Minnesota State Parks
Minnesota Department of Natural Resources
500 Lafayette Rd
Saint Paul, MN 55155-4036

Mr. Nelson,

My name is William [edited] and I am the President of the Minnesota Geocaching Association (MnGCA) which represents a large group of active geocachers throughout the State of Minnesota. I am writing you to follow through on the phone conversation that you had with Terry [edited] on November 29th about setting up a meeting to discuss making an update to your current geocaching policy.

The MnGCA is interested in discussing and updating the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources’ geocaching policy. The current DNR policy has been in place since September 1st, 2005 but due to new limitations and restrictions put in place by the world’s largest geocaching listing service, Groundspeak’s geocaching.com, the current policy is no longer a valid option for geocachers in Minnesota and thus does not add any benefit to Minnesota DNR parks. We are looking to work with the DNR to make their geocaching policy an easy read and of benefit to all interested parties including the DNR, geocachers, and all park visitors.

The MnGCA has worked with Erin [edited], a Recreation Specialist from the City of Duluth Parks and Recreation Department, up through last May to create a useful and friendly policy that meets the needs of both the Duluth Parks and Recreation Department and geocachers. Building on the continued success of the Duluth policy, the MnGCA presented a similar policy to Tom [edited], Linda [edited], and Marlene [edited] of the Three Rivers Park District on November 10th, 2005 that integrated many of Three Rivers’ current requirements with the MnGCA’s suggested updates. The updated Three Rivers Policy is currently under serious consideration and we should hear back about its success in mid-December.

The MnGCA is interested in having an open discussion with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources on how we may be able to serve the needs of State Parks’ staff and geocachers throughout Minnesota. We appreciate the opportunity you have given us to present various statistics, other regional and local geocaching policies that have been in place and working for some time, and ways we can work to open up Minnesota State Parks to geocaching again. We look forward to meeting with you and your staff in the next few weeks.

Sincerely,



William [edited]
MnGCA President

CC: Brad Moore, MN DNR Assistant Commissioner
Kevin [edited], MnGCA Secretary

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Sad state of affairs.


Last edited by Marsha and Silent Bob on Sun Dec 25, 2005 6:17 pm; edited 1 time in total
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celticwulf
Geocacher


Joined: 24 Oct 2005

Posts: 685

PostPosted: Wed Nov 30, 2005 9:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Now this is too much Evil or Very Mad . Now you're telling us what you are doing!!! I must protest, how can people complain if you're being open about your communications with the DNR! Where is the secrecy of the board and mistrust of your members. How can you make yourself out to be our evil dictator if you're not being dictatorish!

Sorry SB, I had too Cool

Good job, hope things go well!

Celticwulf
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ice tres
Geocacher


Joined: 16 Aug 2005

Posts: 97

PostPosted: Wed Nov 30, 2005 10:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for starting the dialogue with DNR iin a timely manner and also for sharing the news with the members promptly. This is all good!
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Our enemies are innovative and resourceful, and so are we. They never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country and our people, and neither do we." -President Bush
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HugoBear
Geocacher


Joined: 21 Sep 2005

Posts: 68

PostPosted: Wed Nov 30, 2005 10:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

celticwulf wrote:
Now this is too much Evil or Very Mad . Now you're telling us what you are doing!!! I must protest...

ROFL
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Let me not be confused forever.
-Christopher Columbus
For a moment, nothing happened. Then, after a second or so, nothing continued to happen.
-Douglas Adams "The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy"
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towlebooth
Past MnGCA Board


Joined: 26 Nov 2002

Posts: 1270

PostPosted: Wed Nov 30, 2005 12:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

celticwulf wrote:
Now this is too much Evil or Very Mad . Now you're telling us what you are doing!!! I must protest, how can people complain if you're being open about your communications with the DNR! Where is the secrecy of the board and mistrust of your members. How can you make yourself out to be our evil dictator if you're not being dictatorish!


That was my immediate response too - but you beat me to it.

Keep up the good work board. Cool
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tomslusher
Geocacher


Joined: 02 Jan 2003

Posts: 182

PostPosted: Wed Nov 30, 2005 5:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

celticwulf wrote:
Now this is too much Evil or Very Mad . Now you're telling us what you are doing!!! I must protest, how can people complain if you're being open about your communications with the DNR! Where is the secrecy of the board and mistrust of your members. How can you make yourself out to be our evil dictator if you're not being dictatorish!

Sorry SB, I had too Cool

Good job, hope things go well!

Celticwulf


I have to agree with Ice Tres, I applaud the efforts and the openness. Thank you, and please keep us updated.

I find it hard to believe that someone as assumably smart (finished high school, I assume) as celticwulf or towelbooth would actually think that this type of openness is what people were complaining about. I think it was the exact opposite and maybe, just maybe that the "vocal minority" were able to help achive this openness. We have never seen it in the past (especially on the DNR issue) and I'm sure all welcome it. Maybe it was what was intentioned from the get-go, but that was never relayed to me or anyone else that I am aware of.

Again, thanks for the update and the effort.

tomslusher
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Rouster
Geocacher


Joined: 04 Jan 2004

Posts: 104

PostPosted: Wed Nov 30, 2005 7:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I had a hard time deciding whether to reply here, since I am "watching from afar".

Between this, and the PP presentation posted earlier, the Board has made great strides in the communication effort.

Thank You.
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HugoBear
Geocacher


Joined: 21 Sep 2005

Posts: 68

PostPosted: Thu Dec 01, 2005 10:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

tomslusher wrote:
I find it hard to believe that someone as assumably smart (finished high school, I assume) as celticwulf or towelbooth would actually think that this type of openness is what people were complaining about. I think it was the exact opposite and maybe, just maybe that the "vocal minority" were able to help achive this openness. We have never seen it in the past (especially on the DNR issue) and I'm sure all welcome it. Maybe it was what was intentioned from the get-go, but that was never relayed to me or anyone else that I am aware of.

Again, thanks for the update and the effort.

tomslusher


Sometimes it was hard to tell. Admittedly, I'm new around here but WOW did things seem to get hot really quick around the boards. I applaud the passion you showed, as well as the dedication of ALL involved in getting this issue resolved with the DNR (etc.). I guess I don't like it much when Mom and Dad argue... [Wink]
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Let me not be confused forever.
-Christopher Columbus
For a moment, nothing happened. Then, after a second or so, nothing continued to happen.
-Douglas Adams "The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy"
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ice tres
Geocacher


Joined: 16 Aug 2005

Posts: 97

PostPosted: Thu Dec 01, 2005 11:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

As one of the "complainers" I must reiterate I am far happier supporting the Board and MnGCA and their work on our behalf (and contributing what I can to the efforts) than I am complaining from the sidelines.

No complaints here.

Only praise.

Yes, the Board may still fail in getting a good policy from MnDNR, but now because of the information sharing and the Board's efforts, I am proud of their work whether it results in ultimate success or failure.
_________________
Our enemies are innovative and resourceful, and so are we. They never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country and our people, and neither do we." -President Bush
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northtrekker
Geocacher


Joined: 23 Jul 2004

Posts: 115

PostPosted: Thu Dec 01, 2005 2:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That letter is well written! Thanks for your efforts.
As someone who does (yeah I admit this) utilize
state parks throughout the year, geocaching is
quite the plus to the enjoyment situation. Or.. do I
mean that the park situation will be a plus to the
geocaching.. yeah that's it! Anyways, thanks for
representing us in the manner that you do! Wink
~nt
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