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Park Hours for night caching
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Grey Wolf and Wild Rice
Geocacher


Joined: 31 May 2005

Posts: 384

PostPosted: Thu Nov 06, 2008 10:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

As responsible cachers, why should anyone be in a park in the first place? Caching outside of park hours will raise some red flags when law enforcement is spending time chasing cachers out of parks. Next step: Ban caching.

The MnGCA should be supporting following the law.
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LucidOndine
Past MnGCA President


Joined: 17 Jan 2006

Posts: 1931

PostPosted: Thu Nov 06, 2008 11:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

As with cache placements, the MnGCA has no official role as enforcers of individual cacher behavior. That has to come at the individual level. Idea
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Grey Wolf and Wild Rice
Geocacher


Joined: 31 May 2005

Posts: 384

PostPosted: Fri Nov 07, 2008 6:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Certainly the organization is not and should not attempt to be in any enforcing role. I am not advocating that. This (adhering to park hours) is one of many things that can be done to improve the credibility of the sport, sponsor.........topics........about responsible land use and geocaching, and to work with local, county, and state governments to promote geocaching. It seems to one of the key reasons the MnGCA has formed. Park hours and the need to follow them appears on any Geocache registration form I have submitted. It's important to them.

Quote:
The MnGCA was formed to provide a resource for Minnesota geocachers to organize activities and events that will improve the credibility of the sport and protect our natural resources. Our responsibilities include holding educational and informational activities to increase public awareness of our activities; to sponsor reports, meetings, and workshops for MnGCA members and the public on a wide area of topics, primarily about responsible land use and geocaching; to work with local, county, and state governments to promote geocaching as a family oriented outdoor activity; and to organize, promote, and participate in programs to help in the maintenance of parks and trail systems.


If caching activity in parks outside established hours is brought to the attention of the decision makers, it'll be one of the easiest way for a municipality to adopt a restrictive geocaching policiy.

My point is that by actively promoting responsible geocaching, these situations can be heading off early through education. It's going to be a hard sell to get an area opened back up after violations occurred.
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bflentje
Geocacher


Joined: 29 May 2006

Posts: 4067

PostPosted: Fri Nov 07, 2008 7:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just so we're clear here, you have 4,664 finds, and not a single one of them was found while being in the wrong place at the wrong time? Not even by accident? And I clearly state, I am NOT advocating violating park rules or hours. I just think a log delete is a little over the top when a simple request to remove references to park hours would do.

We certainly do all play the game differently.
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Draconisdax
Geocacher


Joined: 02 Nov 2007

Posts: 982

PostPosted: Fri Nov 07, 2008 8:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I guess if people are going to throw some arrows...give 'em a toss my way. I agree with Grey Wolf!!!

If a park has posted hours and one made the choice to be in past posted hours...seems pretty simple that one is breaking the law...

And...to cut another one off at the pass (or to jump in front of an arrow so to speak)...yes, early on in my history, I did enter at least one local park knowing I was breakin the law...almost 2 years ago...have I done it since...not to my knowledge. Honestly, if I am going after a cache and see posted hours...and it means I get one less find...then so be it...

It's in the past...what is done is done...nothing I can do about it anymore...but I can do something about my future actions...and learn from my past mistakes...
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Pear Head
Past MnGCA President


Joined: 04 Apr 2004

Posts: 5711

PostPosted: Fri Nov 07, 2008 9:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

While the MnGCA can't be an enforcer, it can promote and encourage good, safe, and legal caching. In the end it's up to the individual how to play, hider and seeker.
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Paklid
Past MnGCA Board


Joined: 09 May 2004

Posts: 656

PostPosted: Fri Nov 07, 2008 1:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Two topics:
* the sin of being in a park after hours, against the law
* deleting logs if this sin is exposed in a log

I like to think of myself as Pure and Innocent, but I admit to having a half dozen or so very late at night hunts with FTF on the line. That incentive has been more or less eliminated since Surfer Joe doesn't publish at midnight like MTN-Man used to. Without the tug of an FTF, it's pretty easy to use the legal 16 or so hours these parks are open for business everyday for our recreation.

I do see how if it becomes commonplace to see geocachers frequenting parks after hours, it could be a public relations problem with potential negative policy consequences. On an individual basis, I never felt like my own transgression was worse than the speeding I did to get to the park, or the jaywalking to cross the street to it. But I do see if HUNDREDS of cachers were desperados like me, the liklihood of consequences would be increased. So either the rest of you desperados need to shape up, or I'll have to reduce my own transgression rate to less than the 6 times in 55 months I've sinned to date.

Regarding log deletion: I know most people seem to be much more willing to use their deletion power than I am.

In the 123 caches I've hidden, I've had cachers post 7500 logs (6600 finds, 500 DNFs, 400 notes). I haven't deleted a single one of them. I don't expect I ever will (short of someone getting profane). I've asked on two or three occasions that a log be modified, but that's about it.

I have on occasion written park hours into a cache description. I applaud cache owners who do this every time. That plus info on forbidden areas and trails seems to be very relevant information to put on a page. (oh no. I guess my writing incomplete cache descriptions in MANY cases is a bit of a sin as well).

Though I probably wouldn't, I could see myself writing an email to someone asking them to modify the log of their midnight adventure afterhours in a park so it was kind of "time neutral" in nature. If I made that request and they refused, I would likely make the park hours in the cache description more prominent. I wouldn't delete the log though.
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Dances With Beehives
Geocacher


Joined: 12 Sep 2003

Posts: 671

PostPosted: Fri Nov 07, 2008 3:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If someone wants to break the law and mention it in their post, Iíd say it was up to them. Donít see why anyone should feel the need to delete it. Maybe post a note saying it wasnít recommended. Only log Iíve ever deleted was a double post.
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spinowner
Geocacher


Joined: 25 Nov 2004

Posts: 589

PostPosted: Fri Nov 07, 2008 11:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The cache owner is sort of like the webmaster of a web site; s/he is entitled to delete any log s/he views as unacceptable for whatever reason. I hadn't thought about deleting a log on a cache of mine if the find was made using illegal means but I find myself agreeing that it is justifiable, especially if it is spelled out on the cache page.
We all have our pet peeves; mine is caches hidden on private property without permission. I think being concerned about caching illegally is certainly valid. In this case deletion of a log is one way of spreading the message that breaking the law while caching is not acceptable.
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Paklid
Past MnGCA Board


Joined: 09 May 2004

Posts: 656

PostPosted: Sat Nov 08, 2008 10:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree that the power to delete logs does rest partly with the cache owner. Use that power very sparingly - you know, like for the lovely caches that require you to walk backwards while singing Yankee Doodle Dandy or some other equally compelling logging requirement.

Otherwise, you end up with a situation like the one we witnessed almost two years ago...
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Dec 25 2006
FTF! at 12:02 am

After we returned home from Christmas Eve service and had our dinner, we had a great time around the fire, joking and telling stories. The kids were excited to get in bed so Santa would have easy access to the house. So we shuffled them off and tucked them in. Before I hit the sheets myself, I checked the computer for emails.

A new listing, and just a block from my house!!!

After thinking it over, I decided - what the heck.... I went into the kid's room. They weren't yet asleep. I told them the plan and they JUMPED at it.

We walked the block to the hiding spot. The falling snow and the stillness of the evening made the walk magical. We found the cache in short order and couldn't believe all the goodies inside. After signing the log and trading trinkets, we closed it up and started walking home.

On the way home, we saw Santa land his sleigh on a neighbor's roof. The kids went ape! We rushed in and they flew into bed so Santa would stop at our house as well.

This was the best caching experience we ever had. Thank you so much for providing us with the opportunity to share in it.

________________________________

This log was deleted by the cache owner a couple hours after it posted. The neighborhood park in which the cache was hidden closes every day at 10:00 pm. The cache never had a FTF, because the next person to find saw a log already entered in the book.
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bflentje
Geocacher


Joined: 29 May 2006

Posts: 4067

PostPosted: Sun Nov 09, 2008 1:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Maybe I've got a bad attitude because some cache owners have deleted my logs over the most ridiculous things. I don't need to go into the details or name names. But I've had logs deleted for some pretty benign things.

The only time I'd delete a log is if someone crossed the line to profanity or divulged something about my cache that they shouldn't have (after failed warning). But to be the judge and jury about park hours, to me it's a little over the edge. I would hope then, in those that would delete a log over hours, that you would also delete a log that hinted at anything illegal in the caching process.. parking, speeding, climbed fence, etc etc.
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tesser
Geocacher


Joined: 24 May 2006

Posts: 159

PostPosted: Sun Nov 09, 2008 6:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The whole reason for this thread was to help us be aware of parks that can be cached, legally, after sunset during the dark months of winter.

I believe we should encourage people to follow the law, so that we can keep on good terms with local law enforcement. I have chosen to break park hours laws before, and I have been caught once. No ticket, but if we keep repeating this, we will get on the nerves of the local law officials.

As a cache owner, I would like to disuade a seeker from nightcaching after hours so I don't get blamed for inticing people to come after hours. I know it's not fair to blame me, but I would be blamed nonetheless.

I also believe this list can be used to take a look at parks with really short hours, and perhaps advocate for more park hours in our communities. Someone posted about caching in the 16 hours available. Well, in Maplewood and many other communities, its only 10 hours and less in the winter, and I have to work 8 hours plus travel time. I really hate parks that close at sunset (or 30 minutes after). What a waste of our parkland for us to not be allowed to use it those extra 4-6 hours less than other municipalities.

As far as deleting posts: if a cache owner says they'll delete posts that describe finds outside of park hours, then they gave fair warning. It's part of the rules of his/her cache. I have deleted a couple of posts, or asked someone to change a post, when they give away how it's hidden, or if they post without completing cache requirements.
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Jonas
Past MnGCA Board


Joined: 30 Nov 2005

Posts: 672

PostPosted: Mon Nov 10, 2008 9:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great thread, this information has been added to the MNGCA guidelines page.
http://www.mngca.org/guidelines.php

Thanks for starting this thread Tesser!
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Draconisdax
Geocacher


Joined: 02 Nov 2007

Posts: 982

PostPosted: Mon Nov 10, 2008 9:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jonas wrote:
Great thread, this information has been added to the MNGCA guidelines page.
http://www.mngca.org/guidelines.php

Thanks for starting this thread Tesser!

Given that Rochester Parks vary...and vary often...I am not sure i would actually have Rochester listed under the current column ("Parks Open For Evening Caching")...maybe something different...or...by itself given it seems to be alone for the moment...
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King Boreas
Geocacher


Joined: 16 Dec 2002

Posts: 2443

PostPosted: Tue Nov 11, 2008 8:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just cache in State Forests. Most areas are "open" 24 hours!
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