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Proposed MNDNR State Park Geocaching Policy
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Marsha and Silent Bob
Past MnGCA President


Joined: 02 Sep 2003

Posts: 6261

PostPosted: Tue Aug 23, 2005 7:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

ice tres wrote:
But I think we have to realize this is a political issue and if DNR is not moving on allowing traditional caches, then some of us--a group of 6-10 perhaps--should meet with a state senator or rep who is active in DNR matters to get their support.

They have offered, in their current policy, to open it up to discussion with geocachers and reassesment after one year. We are looking to build a new policy for them in that time and will present it during the course of the year.

Lobbying for DNR policy change is unnecessary at this point in time. If the DNR again resists our suggested changes to their current policy then it would be time to move forward with outside lobbying.

For the time being, why not use the energy you seem to possess and help Pear Head with policy research?
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ice tres
Geocacher


Joined: 16 Aug 2005

Posts: 97

PostPosted: Tue Aug 23, 2005 8:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

OK!

I'll contact him/her.

My current goal in life is to find enough distractions to avoid tiling the bathroom.

Laughing
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Marsha and Silent Bob
Past MnGCA President


Joined: 02 Sep 2003

Posts: 6261

PostPosted: Tue Aug 23, 2005 8:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

ice tres wrote:
My current goal in life is to find enough distractions to avoid tiling the bathroom.

I wish I could say the same about cleaning my garage. Thanks for your enthusiasm and support Smile

edit: spelling
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Pear Head
Past MnGCA President


Joined: 04 Apr 2004

Posts: 5692

PostPosted: Tue Aug 23, 2005 5:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

SB pretty muched summed up the way that *I'm* trying to approach it. The way that MnGCA as an organization approaches it may be my way or may be a different way.

My feelings are (as I've communicated to others in private and public forms) is that we approach the DNR and attempt to open a line of communication with them. In doing that, if it were me, I'd like to have a proposed policy ready to show them if they ask. If they turn us down, don't wish to meet, drag their feet for years, whatever, then I have no problem approaching this from a different angle.

I'd like to give the DNR the first chance though - many have said I'm wasting my time, and I may be, but I'd still like to try approaching them first. If they turn us down for whatever reason then we are no further in the hole than we currently are, except for we've spent a little extra time on the issue.

ice tres - I got your pm - thanks for the offer. What I'm looking for is comments/suggestions on the proposed policy at the top of this thread (on page 1). I typed up a quick policy based upon the Duluth Parks & Rec policy. I'm interested in comments about what should be added or subtracted from that proposal. My preference would be to post your comments in this thread but you can also email them to me privately if you would prefer.

I've done a little research in the last few days on what other states have for policies. It's good reading material that may give folks an idea of what we should or shouldn't have in a policy. Remember that the policy needs to be appealing to both us and MnGCA - I don't feel that it's reasonable to approach the MNDNR with a policy that has all of what we want and nothing of what they would want.

This process will have some give and take, no matter what approach is used.
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ice tres
Geocacher


Joined: 16 Aug 2005

Posts: 97

PostPosted: Tue Aug 23, 2005 6:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think we should provide a policy and also the policies of adjoining/key states as appendixes so they can see they're behind the curve without us explicitly saying so. Put together a binder with our proposed policy and then follow that with the policies in place elsewhere. Also, we should, if possible, have a contact name and phone number for key administrators in the other states. They probably mostly know each other.

In my opinion, the policy should be de-centralized such that each park ranger (or whatever they're called) can have some discretion re number of caches and no-go zones. We could offer to include, on the cache page, some cautionary words re getting to the cache. But mainly, I think we should model ours after other states because that should make it easier for them to approve.

Let me know how I can help. If you like the idea of getting key administrators from other states, let me know. We'll get a list of states and I can make some calls.

Here is an example of what I have in mind:

1. STATE NAME
2. STATE's POLICY
3. Names/contact info of several park rangers and quotes and/or names of administrative types who approve of liberal policy. Park naturalists and education people would be good to include. Naturalists to say no harm to environment and education folks to say it's a good thing to get people out in the woods. I like the suggestion of pushing cache in trash out.

I think we could get bogged down trying to figure out the best policy and debate it to death. But virtually any policy that allows a reasonable number of traditional caches in most state parks would be fine with most of us, I'd imagine. No need to re-invent the wheel on this one. It's the whole package we present that's most important.

Ice Tres
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ice tres
Geocacher


Joined: 16 Aug 2005

Posts: 97

PostPosted: Tue Aug 23, 2005 6:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

What would you guys think about a $25 Geocaching permit or some such user fee for the cache-hider? Do you think that would work for us/them such that we're saying we'd cover their administrative costs? Or would that put King Boreas out on the streets?

Ice Tres
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Moe the Sleaze
Geocacher


Joined: 10 Jan 2003

Posts: 1145

PostPosted: Tue Aug 23, 2005 6:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ice tres wrote:
What would you guys think about a $25 Geocaching permit or some such user fee for the cache-hider?


I think it would set a horrible precedent.
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Pear Head
Past MnGCA President


Joined: 04 Apr 2004

Posts: 5692

PostPosted: Tue Aug 23, 2005 7:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think Moe's right. From my research that I posted here a couple of days ago, no other state that I researched has imposed such a fee that I recall. The one state that considered it (Iowa?) determined that it would probably cost more to collect the fee then what they would gain BY collecting it.

I don't believe that geocaching in the state parks will take any more than 10 or 15 minutes of a park employee's time once the process gets started. It would simply be a few minutes that they would end up chatting with the cache hider, and filing some paperwork. The money that they are likely to gain through the daily and annual permits of the cache finders should outweigh the money they spend in administering this. This is my feeling anyway - I don't have any documentation to back it up - it seems like common sense to me I guess.
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Pear Head
Past MnGCA President


Joined: 04 Apr 2004

Posts: 5692

PostPosted: Tue Aug 23, 2005 7:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ice tres wrote:
I think we should provide a policy and also the policies of adjoining/key states as appendixes so they can see they're behind the curve without us explicitly saying so. Put together a binder with our proposed policy and then follow that with the policies in place elsewhere.


That would be a good idea to have that information on hand. It's hard to say what information we want to physically give them and when - it's more of a on-the-spot decision that will need to be made by those involved in the actual contact. We don't want to push things before they're ready.

Quote:
In my opinion, the policy should be de-centralized such that each park ranger (or whatever they're called) can have some discretion re number of caches and no-go zones. We could offer to include, on the cache page, some cautionary words re getting to the cache. But mainly, I think we should model ours after other states because that should make it easier for them to approve.


I'm curious if you've read the proposed policy I've posted. It requires notification to the state park. It allows the MNDNR to deny caching in any area. This could come from the park itself or the organization I would think (the policy doesn't specify).

Quote:
Let me know how I can help. If you like the idea of getting key administrators from other states, let me know. We'll get a list of states and I can make some calls.


I guess the way I would like to approach this would be to contact the geocachers involved in creating the policies for other states. Get some of their feedback. Find out *through them* if there are contacts we can make in their state DNRs to find out more information and pass on to our DNR if that's what it comes to. I don't think I'd want to go around the cachers involved in creating the policies as it may hurt other state organizations (I'd rather that out-of-state cachers deal through MnGCA when trying to collect information about policies in Minnesota rather than dealing with the government organizations involved). The reasoning behind this is that some of the organizations may be happy that a policy was issued and then forgotten - I wouldn't want to upset a sensitive balance anywhere else.

Quote:
I think we could get bogged down trying to figure out the best policy and debate it to death. But virtually any policy that allows a reasonable number of traditional caches in most state parks would be fine with most of us, I'd imagine. No need to re-invent the wheel on this one. It's the whole package we present that's most important.


I'm not sure if you don't want to debate the policy here in the forums or with the DNR. I'm not worried about debating it to death here in the forums - there has been extremely little comments on the text of the policy I've proposed. We'll have to debate it some with the DNR as they hold a lot of the cards.
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King Boreas
Geocacher


Joined: 16 Dec 2002

Posts: 2440

PostPosted: Tue Aug 23, 2005 7:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
would that put King Boreas out on the streets?


Dude,

I'm not sure what your intention is here. The last time I looked, this state had several dozen active cache-hiders, if not several hundred.

Take a look at my profile photo:

http://img.groundspeak.com/user/display/cb623acb-16f1-4150-ba31-53e131abbb4d.jpg

I've been living on the street for years.

Next.
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ice tres
Geocacher


Joined: 16 Aug 2005

Posts: 97

PostPosted: Tue Aug 23, 2005 9:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

OK, here is my effort on drafting a policy. I took the state's virtual caching regulations and tweeked them. The main changes are sections 2.5 and the very end. I read Pear Head's Duluth policy but I figured that ours should look as much like theirs as possible. I put in a part about moving the traditional caches each year to reassure MDNR that there will be no lingering impact on the environment. At the end I defined a traditional geocache as park property and therefore not abandoned. Thoughts?

Ice Tres
======================================
1.0 INTRODUCTIONS & BACKGROUND

1.1 Purpose
To provide a framework for the management of geocaching (earth, virtual and traditional) in Minnesota State Parks, so it is done in a manner that provides for the safety of all users, minimizes conflicts with other users and ensures the protection of the natural and cultural resources. These guidelines are intended to acknowledge the use of certain areas within the state park system as permissible for geocaching so that the park's natural and cultural resources are not being irrevocably altered, and to establish a permitting system for their use.

1.2 Policy Statement
Section 86A.05 subd. 2c of Minnesota Statutes states that outdoor recreation activities, which will not cause material disturbance to the natural features of the park or introduce undue artificiality into the natural scene may be permitted. The geocaching policy for Minnesota State Parks is based on the understanding that, 1) Geocachers have expressed an interest in pursuing this activity in state parks, 2) Certain types of geocaching fit within the statutory framework and rules of recreational activities that may be permitted, and 3) Minnesota State Parks will be required to develop guidelines to manage this activity and its impact on park resources and other park users.

1.3 Participant Input
Minnesota State Parks will periodically seek input from interested individuals on geocaching issues, in order to identify needs of geocachers and stay current on changes in this recreational activity.

1.4 Information and Education
Park management will work with the geocaching community to develop information and education materials, which foster an environmentally friendly geocaching ethic for MN State Parks. Information kiosks or bulletin boards may be used to provide a communication link between geocachers and park management. All materials to be posted in a state park or state recreation area must be approved by park management.


1.5 Definitions
Cache
Traditional cache: A waterproof container with a logbook. The containers vary from plastic see-through types to camouflage painted surplus military ammunition cans..
Virtual cache: A GPS coordinate that refers to a location, such as a scenic overlook, historic site, geologic feature, etc. No logbook or container with items is used.
Earth cache: An Earthcache is a virtual cache that people can visit to learn about a unique geoscience feature or aspect of our Earth. Earthcaches include a set of educational notes and the details about where to find its location (latitude and longitude). The educational notes and features of all earthcaches are reviewed by the Geological Society of America for accuracy before being posted on the internet.

Geocaching
Geocaching is a recreational activity involving the use of GPS (Global Positioning System) to locate “caches” whether virtual (a scenic overlook) or real (a container including a logbook.). Participants use information and location coordinates they look up on the Internet ( e.g., www.geocaching.com) to find the caches.

Caching Permit
A document that when completed by an individual geocacher and approved by a state park manager allows the advertisement of a traditional or virtual cache at a specific location in a state park.

GPS
The Global Positioning System is a worldwide radio-navigation system formed from a constellation of 24 satellites and their ground stations. GPS uses these "man-made stars" as reference points to calculate positions accurate to a matter of meters.

Letterboxing
Letterboxing is an activity similar to geocaching. Waterproof containers are hidden at interesting spots and clues are written to help people find them. The clues may or may not include compass directions or GPS coordinates. When box is discovered, the person uses their personal rubber stamp to mark the enclosed logbook to document that they found it.

Minnesota State Parks, MN State Parks
A division of the MN Department of Natural Resources. Lands managed by MN State Parks that are covered under this policy include: State Parks, State Recreation Areas, and State Waysides. In this document, the word Park or Parks will be used to identify these lands.

Organizational Virtual Caching Permit
A permit for organizations or institutions, designed for a short-term sponsored event or an event held for educational purposes.

Park Management
(1) MN State Parks central office and regional administrative staff. (2) Central office, regional, and area resource management staff. (3) Individual park managers and assistant managers.
2.0 GEOCACHING GUIDELINES

2.1 Virtual and Traditional Caches Allowed in MN State Parks
a. Traditional caches, Virtual caches, and types of virtual caches, like earthcaches are allowed on lands administered by MN State Parks.
2.2 Individual Permits for Virtual Caching
a. A person must first obtain approval and a permit for a virtual or traditional cache site on State Park lands from the park manager before the site can be advertised or posted on the web.
b. Contact information for individual parks can be found at: http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/state_parks/index.html or by calling (651) 296-6157 (Metro area) or (888) MINN-DNR (elsewhere).
c. Applications for traditional or virtual caching permits are available during regular business hours at a park office (or through the mail by writing the park office).
d. After review and approval, permits will be available for pick-up at the park office or sent to the applicant via U.S. Mail. Permits are valid only for the park where issued.
e. Individual virtual or traditional caching permits are valid for one year and expire one year from the date of issue.
f. Virtual or traditional caching permits may be denied or may contain restrictions to avoid environmental damage, overuse, pre-emption of virtual caching areas, or displacement of other park users.
g. No fee is charged for individual geocaching permits, however, all other regular state park fees, like vehicle permits, camping fees, etc remain in place.

2.3 Organizational Permits for Virtual Caching
a. Organizational virtual cache permits are for institutions or organizations. Entities such as schools, universities, businesses, etc that would like to sponsor events or provide instruction for geocachers in MN State Parks must first obtain an organizational virtual caching permit.
b. Organizational virtual cache permits are issued for a specific date or series of dates, and shall specify the location(s).
c. Organizational permits may be denied or may contain restrictions or limitations to avoid environmental damage, overuse, or displacement of other park users.
d. These permits may be allowed in addition to a park’s three-cache limit.
e. Organizational virtual caching permittees are required to furnish a certificate of insurance valid for the effective dates of the permit, listing the State of Minnesota as a named insured. The amount of coverage shall be at least as much as the state's limits of liability under the Minnesota tort claims act, Minn. Stat. ' 3.736. As of January 2000, these limits are $300,000 per individual and $1,000,000 per incident.

Warning and liability disclaimer. Geocaching is a recreational activity with many participants of different physical abilities. The State of Minnesota does not rate virtual or traditional caching locations to determine their safety.

2.4 Virtual Cache Locations
a. Approval of virtual cache sites will be based on visitor safety, resource protection, educational opportunities, compatibility with other uses, aesthetics, access, and other management goals.
b. Virtual caches are not allowed in Scientific and Natural Areas, areas identified as restricted, picnic areas, play areas, golf courses, beaches, or campgrounds.
c. No more than three virtual caches will be present in a park at a given time, and no one individual may have more than one virtual cache at a particular park.
d. MN State Parks reserves the right to make a virtual cache unavailable if it is determined that overuse is a problem, a safety issue develops, or other circumstances arise which are deemed inconsistent with the mission and statutes of the MN State Park System. If such a situation arises, park staff will make every effort to coordinate these actions with the person responsible for the site.
e. Individual virtual caching permits are valid for one year and expire one year from the date of issue.
f. Access to caches will be subject to MN State Park Rules and Statutes including hours of operation, designated trail uses, maintenance standards and natural resources management activities.
g. Virtual caches will generally be located within 40 feet of designated trails, or other areas which can be accessed safely by visitors and without material harm to the natural or cultural resources of the park.

2.5 Traditional Cache Locations
a. Approval of traditional cache sites will be based on visitor safety, resource protection, educational opportunities, compatibility with other uses, aesthetics, access, and other management goals.
b. Traditional caches are not allowed in Scientific and Natural Areas, areas identified as restricted, picnic areas, play areas, golf courses, beaches, or campgrounds.
c. No more than three traditional caches will be present in a park at a given time, and no one individual may have more than one traditional cache at a particular park unless the park management deems that additional traditional geocaches would not have an adverse impact on the parks natural resources. Traditional caches must be moved each year when the relevant permit expires to minimize the impact on the natural environment of the park unless an exception is approved by park management. Once moved, there must be no remaining trace of the cache.
d. MN State Parks reserves the right to make a traditional cache unavailable if it is determined that overuse is a problem, a safety issue develops, or other circumstances arise which are deemed inconsistent with the mission and statutes of the MN State Park System. If such a situation arises, park staff will make every effort to coordinate these actions with the person responsible for the site.
e. Individual traditional caching permits are valid for one year and expire one year from the date of issue.
f. Access to caches will be subject to MN State Park Rules and Statutes including hours of operation, designated trail uses, maintenance standards and natural resources management activities.
g. Traditional caches will generally be located within 40 feet of designated trails, or other areas that can be accessed safely by visitors and without material harm to the natural or cultural resources of the park. Traditional caches cannot be buried or mechanically attached to any natural feature of the park. The traditional cache may not be placed such that it damages any natural feature of the park. The cache must not be visible to any park user who is walking on a park trail or otherwise placed such that it detracts from the experience of any other park user in the sole discretion of the park management. While the traditional cache, once approved, will be considered the property of the state park wherein it lies, the cache must be maintained by the permit holder as deemed necessary by the park management.

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

3.0 POLICY CHANGES & APPLICABLE LAWS & STATUTES

3.1 Policy Changes
A review of this policy will be conducted approximately one year after enactment. A group comprised of park management, resource specialists, members of the geocaching community and other interested individuals will conduct the review. Policy revisions will be incorporated into a draft proposal and made accessible to interested individuals for comment prior to final implementation. Subsequent reviews will occur as needed.

Comments on the policy may be submitted in writing to:

Department of Natural Resources
Minnesota State Parks
Operations Manager
500 Lafayette Rd
St Paul, MN 55155-4039

Alterations in policy, park closures to virtual caching, park specific virtual caching issues will be posted at the DNR website, www.dnr.state.mn.us and available by request from the Department of Natural Resources, Division of Parks and Recreation.

3.2 Applicable Laws, Statutes, and Rules

6100.0525 PENALTY.
A person who violates any of parts 6100.0100 to 6100.2400 is guilty of a misdemeanor and subject to immediate removal from the state park or forest lands and to other appropriate legal action, including revocation of any permits issued.

6100.0500 DEFINITIONS. Special event.
"Special event" means an event held in a state park or on forest lands that is not normally allowed, that causes significant environmental effects, or that is likely to attract large numbers of people that could disrupt normal use of the state park or forest lands. Special events include, but are not limited to, motorcycle, snowmobile, and sports car rallies, races, or enduros; orienteering trials; group campouts that do not occur at designated group camps; dog sled races; dog trials; and commercial uses.

6100.0650 RESTRICTED AREAS.
It is unlawful to enter by any means a restricted area that has been posted to prohibit entrance. It is unlawful for a person to use a state park or forestlands facility that requires a special use permit or a fee, without first obtaining a permit or paying the fee.

6100.0900 ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION.
Subpart 1. Generally. Unless otherwise provided by law, no person in a state park or forest recreation area shall disturb, destroy, injure, damage, deface, molest, or remove any state property, including, but not limited to, wildflowers or vegetation of any kind dead or alive, ruins, wild animals, geological formations, historical or archaeological artifacts or sites, historic structures, signs, or facilities, except edible fruit, mushrooms, legally taken wild animals, and vegetation unavoidably damaged or destroyed by the ordinary recreational uses of these areas as specifically permitted by parts to. Collections for scientific and educational purposes may be made only with the written permission of the commissioner. It is unlawful to damage vegetation or damage and deface rock formations with rock-climbing equipment.

6100.1650 STORAGE AND ABANDONMENT OF PERSONAL PROPERTY.

Subpart 1. Obstruction of passage. No person shall leave standing, whether attended or unattended, a motor vehicle, trailer, boat, fish house, or other equipment or personal property so as to block, obstruct, or limit the use of a road, trail, waterway, water access, parking area, or winter sport facility.

3.2 Applicable Laws, Statutes, and Rules (continued)

Subp. 2. Abandonment. No vehicle, trailer, boat, fish house, or other equipment or personal property may be stored or abandoned in a state park or on forest lands. In state parks, overnight parking and storage of equipment is permitted only in connection with the use of campsites or fish houses, except by prior approval of the park manager. The temporary storage of personal property by a person who remains in the immediate vicinity is permitted. In state forest campgrounds and forest day use areas, overnight parking is permitted in designated parking areas.

Subp. 3. Disposal. A vehicle, trailer, boat, or other equipment or personal property left for a period longer than 14 days, except fish houses located on the ice surface of a body of water, shall be deemed abandoned and shall be transferred to the custody of the commissioner of administration for disposal in accordance with state law.

Subp. 4. Geocaches. A properly licensed and approved traditional geocache shall be deemed the property of the state park wherein it lies and as such is not abandoned personal property under these applicable rules.

(signed copy on file with Operations Coordinator)
___________________________
Courtland Nelson - Director
Division of Parks and Recreation


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ice tres
Geocacher


Joined: 16 Aug 2005

Posts: 97

PostPosted: Tue Aug 23, 2005 11:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Duuuude!

Mr Boreas, you are the most clean-cut upstanding looking geocacher I have ever had the pleasure to view. We are all beautiful in the eyes of the particular diety we may happen to tithe on a regular basis. I will not assail you with a pic of my own depraved mug.

Although somehow I managed beautful children. (Reversion to the norm, as geneticists would say....)

Mr. Ice Tres.
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WindChill
Geocacher


Joined: 02 Aug 2005

Posts: 40

PostPosted: Wed Aug 24, 2005 2:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Pear Head wrote:
ice tres wrote:
I think we should provide a policy and also the policies of adjoining/key states as appendixes so they can see they're behind the curve without us explicitly saying so. Put together a binder with our proposed policy and then follow that with the policies in place elsewhere.


That would be a good idea to have that information on hand. It's hard to say what information we want to physically give them and when - it's more of a on-the-spot decision that will need to be made by those involved in the actual contact. We don't want to push things before they're ready.


A couple of words on the Iowa policy.

As Pear Head noted, the policy was drafted in 2003. As far as I can tell nothing more has come of it. Usage and enforcement seems to be spotty. I emailed a state park manager for permission and metioned that I had heard there was a draft policy. He confirmed there was a draft then proceeded to approve my cache without the permit, or even asking where it would be in the park.

When you are ready, you can contact Jerry Keys (one of the authors of the Iowa policy) at jkeys at storycounty dot com. He is an IGO member and has always been willing to talk to the county park rangers when they contact us.
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ice tres
Geocacher


Joined: 16 Aug 2005

Posts: 97

PostPosted: Thu Aug 25, 2005 11:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think it's important for you guys to understand what the MnDNR is doing. They are making administrative law, or regulations. To make such regulations, they are required to first propose regulations by publishing them (which they've done), allow and seek public response for a given period of time, and then make a final administrative law (regulation). This is a normal process and to be expected. If they didn't allow a period of public comment, their regulations would be subject to successful challenge in the courts. They are not allowing us this year before the regulations become final because they're nice guys, they are doing it because they have to in order to make their final regulations unchallengeable once made.

Once the final administrative decision is made (which appears to be to ban all but a few virtual caches in state parks) then the decision will be almost impossible to change. At the very least, the regulation, once finalized, will be far far harder to change than the proposed regulations during this period of public comment. WE SHOULD NOT WAIT UNTIL AFTER THE YEAR PUBLIC COMMENT PERIOD TO CHALLENGE THIS PROPOSED REGULATION OR IT WILL BE TOO LATE!!

The address they gave us is for comments, and at the very least, we should all write reasoned letters supporting the policy we come up with in the next few weeks. We should submit information about other states, and we should get others from other states to submit comments to the same address. We should also officially request one or more public hearings once we get our policy and other stuff together and as many of us as possible should show up. This is critical. If we can get political types to support us, all the better.

Again, to wait for the year to pass and the regulations to become final is absolutely fatal to our cause.

Ice Tres
(an administrative law guy who has worked for Sierra Club Legal Defense and the EPA)
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Marsha and Silent Bob
Past MnGCA President


Joined: 02 Sep 2003

Posts: 6261

PostPosted: Thu Aug 25, 2005 11:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

ice tres wrote:
The address they gave us is for comments, and at the very least, we should all write reasoned letters supporting the policy we come up with in the next few weeks.

You are free to submit letters on your OWN behalf at anytime. Please be aware that you should not be trying to represent anyone other than yourself (i.e. the MnGCA or geocachers as a whole) when you submit those letters.

While I applaud your energy and enthusiasm in trying to get people organized, I want to mention that the MnGCA, as an association, will take the time to research, draft, and present our own letters and proposed policy to the DNR on our own timeline. We are always better off as a unified front rather than loose-knit and scattered individuals. I know you understand that better than anyone else here (being that you worked on policy for both the EPA and the Sierra Club) but I'm just rehashing old stuff as new for the benefit of others.

Quote:
Again, to wait for the year to pass and the regulations to become final is absolutely fatal to our cause.

What we absolutely need to do is slow down, take the time to properly research and draft our proposed policy, and then present it to the DNR with serious backing from various sources. IMHO, knee-jerk reactions without a solid foundation will get us nowhere.
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