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Earthcache vs Virtual
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eagleyes
Geocacher


Joined: 03 Jun 2003

Posts: 743
Location: NE & E CENTRAL, MN

PostPosted: Thu Jun 02, 2005 7:53 am    Post subject: Earthcache vs Virtual Reply with quote

http://www.geocaching.com/seek/cache_details.aspx?guid=23355c4f-7dd6-4e5e-8f5a-3dc01e971211&log=y&decrypt=

By my thoughts- this is a virtual in a mn state park- i may be wrong- so why wasn't my earthcache virtual allowed to be opened for cachers?hmmm?
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Arcticabn
Past MnGCA Board


Joined: 30 Nov 2003

Posts: 1846
Location: Lakeville, MN

PostPosted: Thu Jun 02, 2005 9:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I had a discussion about this last night. I believe that you are correct that an EC and a Virtual are the same thing. The virtual you referenced was approved when virtuals were still allowed by GC.com. At the time I don't believe that the DNR had established a policy.

Since that time a more formal policy has come out that essentially states "No Caches" period. Therefore even a new virtual would be disapproved.

I can't understand the DNRs policy even on virtuals but until they change I still refuse to visit any of their parks. I'll go across the border and visit the ones to the East, West and South and leave our own state parks to be towrn up by the 4 wheelers and snow mobiles.
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eagleyes
Geocacher


Joined: 03 Jun 2003

Posts: 743
Location: NE & E CENTRAL, MN

PostPosted: Thu Jun 02, 2005 10:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The answer I got was that they want to make sure the virtual earthcaches are not in any environmentally sensitive area in the park where people would do damage just getting to the cache.
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BananaForce
Geocacher


Joined: 09 May 2005

Posts: 72
Location: Minneapolis

PostPosted: Thu Jun 02, 2005 10:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

eagleyes wrote:
The answer I got was that they want to make sure the virtual earthcaches are not in any environmentally sensitive area in the park where people would do damage just getting to the cache.


Maybe you should do the earthcache in the part of the park where ATVs and snowmobiles are allowed to go. The educational aspect could contrast the effects of these vehicals with the effects of cachers.
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sui generis
Past MnGCA Board


Joined: 17 Apr 2004

Posts: 608
Location: Eagan, MN

PostPosted: Thu Jun 02, 2005 10:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Interesting thing is, if you post coordinates to either a virtual cache or an earth cache in a park, the park has absolutley no recouse what-so-ever. How can the park possibly prohibit anyone from posting the coordinates of a view? It would be like telling people they can not post pictures of thier visit to the park and its views on a website. Can't be done, and arguably infringes upon free speech. They can enforce rules prohibiting people from going off trail, visiting restricted areas, etc. Just like they can prohibit leaving something physical in the park. They can not prohibit a virtual cache though. How can they order it removed? They certainly can't order anyone to remove a post of coordinates. I've posted a virtual in a State Park on Navicache. It is accessible by a maintained trail, etc. There is nothing the parks can do other than close the trail to their feature, or, I suppose, destroy the feature.

The only reason I see to pay this any attention at all is cooperation in the hopes of getting physical caches placed someday.
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Pear Head
Past MnGCA President


Joined: 04 Apr 2004

Posts: 5690
Location: north of Duluth

PostPosted: Thu Jun 02, 2005 11:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

sui generis wrote:
The only reason I see to pay this any attention at all is cooperation in the hopes of getting physical caches placed someday.


BINGO. Why would the DNR allow us to eventually place physical caches again when we can't appear to follow the current rules?
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sui generis
Past MnGCA Board


Joined: 17 Apr 2004

Posts: 608
Location: Eagan, MN

PostPosted: Thu Jun 02, 2005 12:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't believe they ever "allowed" us to place physical caches in the first place. Unfortunately, I am not holding my breath for cache placement in MN State parks. They have had more than enough time to consider the matter and have done nothing. All we have are vague statements and that something is being considered. In the mean time, if you see a neat site or feature at a State park, don't tell anybody... they don't want that. It is rediculous that we are discouraged from posting coordinates to features that are usually advertised by the DNR themselves as spots in the park to visit. My virtual is to a rock formation the DNR has created trails to and posted informational plaques around. How can trying to prohibit the posting of coordinates to sites like that even remotely rational?
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Marsha and Silent Bob
Past MnGCA President


Joined: 02 Sep 2003

Posts: 6261

PostPosted: Thu Jun 02, 2005 12:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Pear Head wrote:
BINGO. Why would the DNR allow us to eventually place physical caches again when we can't appear to follow the current rules?

Because there is no one to help enforce those rules on Grounspeak's side. mtn-man, while doing what he can from his post 1000+ miles away, cannot possibly handle every single unique situation (i.e. know where every SNA/WMA is).

What Groundspeak and the DNR need to do is get a local approver that is in constant communications with all three interested parties and make certain that every cache follows the guidelines set by Groundspeak and the DNR.

Sadly, while Groundspeak seems mildly interested in helping to get a local approver for us, the DNR seems completely unwilling to work with the MnGCA Board to resolve any issues they may have.

The current MnGCA Board has worked with the City of Duluth (see here) to create a geocacher and landowner friendly policy. We are willing to work with any other landowner interested. Unfortunately, at this point, the DNR refuses to create an exclusion to their current rules that disallow abandoned property for geocaches. Because of that, we are unable to advance in any positive direction with them. We would really appreciate an open dialogue with them but as of yet we have been unable to open those communication lines.

Hopefully in the near future, after the acceptance of the Earthcaching policy (6/10/05), we will be able to have a more open working relationship with the DNR.
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Pear Head
Past MnGCA President


Joined: 04 Apr 2004

Posts: 5690
Location: north of Duluth

PostPosted: Thu Jun 02, 2005 3:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Marsha and Silent Bob wrote:
What Groundspeak and the DNR need to do is get a local approver that is in constant communications with all three interested parties and make certain that every cache follows the guidelines set by Groundspeak and the DNR.


I know you've been an advocate of that for a long time and I can't help but agree. Rather than having one approver doing the work for many states, it would be nice to have one approver doing the work for us (MN). One that can interact with the local clubs and levels of government to try to ensure that caches are placed where they are welcomed and registered where necessary.

Quote:
the DNR seems completely unwilling to work with the MnGCA Board to resolve any issues they may have.

I guess I wasn't aware of this (maybe I missed it in the forums..) The last thing I remember (remember being the key word here) was that the board was still in discussions with the DNR. I thought they were making (slow) progress. I'm still hopeful that we will eventually see some headway, but am also aware that it may be years down the road.

See y'all at Lester!
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eagleyes
Geocacher


Joined: 03 Jun 2003

Posts: 743
Location: NE & E CENTRAL, MN

PostPosted: Thu Jun 02, 2005 4:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My last question to them has gone unanswered- it was concerning geocaching being targeted when letterboxing goes about its own way - with no concern from the DNR about them. in fact I asked this of the duluth people and never got an answser- like why gcing was just mentioned and if they are doing the same thing for letterboxing of which there are 3 very near the EVENT on sat.
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Marsha and Silent Bob
Past MnGCA President


Joined: 02 Sep 2003

Posts: 6261

PostPosted: Thu Jun 02, 2005 5:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

eagleyes wrote:
My last question to them has gone unanswered- it was concerning geocaching being targeted when letterboxing goes about its own way - with no concern from the DNR about them. in fact I asked this of the duluth people and never got an answser- like why gcing was just mentioned and if they are doing the same thing for letterboxing of which there are 3 very near the EVENT on sat.

Because letterboxing doesn't show up in the distorted media (i.e. Law and Order digging for caches, reports of geocaches being blown up by LEOs, and the completely made up stories of people booby-trapping caches).

If letterboxing had attracted the following that geocaching does and the media coverage that comes with it then it too would be attacked by knee-jerk reactions.
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Marsha and Silent Bob
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 02, 2005 5:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Pear Head wrote:
Quote:
the DNR seems completely unwilling to work with the MnGCA Board to resolve any issues they may have.

I guess I wasn't aware of this (maybe I missed it in the forums..) The last thing I remember (remember being the key word here) was that the board was still in discussions with the DNR. I thought they were making (slow) progress. I'm still hopeful that we will eventually see some headway, but am also aware that it may be years down the road.

I don't exactly consider "allowing" virtual geocaching three years after it was banned "working with" us.
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Pear Head
Past MnGCA President


Joined: 04 Apr 2004

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Location: north of Duluth

PostPosted: Thu Jun 02, 2005 6:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Marsha and Silent Bob wrote:
Pear Head wrote:
Quote:
the DNR seems completely unwilling to work with the MnGCA Board to resolve any issues they may have.

I guess I wasn't aware of this (maybe I missed it in the forums..) The last thing I remember (remember being the key word here) was that the board was still in discussions with the DNR. I thought they were making (slow) progress. I'm still hopeful that we will eventually see some headway, but am also aware that it may be years down the road.

I don't exactly consider "allowing" virtual geocaching three years after it was banned "working with" us.


I guess my take on it is that I'm willing to give the MNGCA board time to work with the DNR to see what can be done. We don't have much to loose in the process (since we've pretty much lost it all). My hope (if that's what you call it) is based somewhat on Aaron's comments here:

Arrow thread

I know that some feel that plenty of time has passed - while that may or may not be true, the bottom line is we have no recourse other than boycott..
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Moe the Sleaze
Geocacher


Joined: 10 Jan 2003

Posts: 1145
Location: Champlin, MN

PostPosted: Thu Jun 02, 2005 7:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My understanding of what happened is that the DNR was finally ready to create a policy allowing geocaching in some manner when they discovered that they didn't legally have the power to do so without legislation. Apparently thay can create a policy banning us on their own but need the legislature to let us in!!!
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Pear Head
Past MnGCA President


Joined: 04 Apr 2004

Posts: 5690
Location: north of Duluth

PostPosted: Thu Jun 02, 2005 7:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I guess I'd like to hear from those involved in the process currently to see where it is at. If they are able to share some of the why's then all the better...
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