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The President's Cacheside Chat (January/February 2007)
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Pear Head
Past MnGCA President


Joined: 04 Apr 2004

Posts: 5692

PostPosted: Mon Jan 29, 2007 1:38 pm    Post subject: The President's Cacheside Chat (January/February 2007) Reply with quote

Merkman sent me a PM today that I've decided is best to respond to in a public forum (with his permission):

merkman wrote:
Is there somewhere that we can read up on what the MnGCA board has been doing and what direction they are heading? More for FYI than anything.

Thanks
-merkman


Thanks for pointing out that I've been lacking merkman! Life has been rather hectic for me outside of the MnGCA lately.

As you probably already know, the minutes from the board meetings are avaliable through your cacher profile already. If you (or anyone else) has questions on how to access them, please ask. The board has had one meeting, in the fall, and will be having another on in the next month or two.

The board has been involved in a number of issues in the past few months. I'll try and touch on those that I recall. If you have any questions on this or something I don't mention below, please ask. I'm more than happy to fill in details where I can.

If you aren't already a member, I would encourage you to join us as a member. It is a benificial relationship for everyone - it allows you to have a say in how the MnGCA performs it's business and lets us know how you, the cacher, want to be represented.

Committees:

We are currently solicting volunteers for two committees, a CITO event committee and the spring event committee:

http://www.mngca.org/forum/viewtopic.php?t=2848

Unfortunately, the initial response to this has been disappointing. Although we're still in the signup period for both, I've received emails/PMs from two folks that are interested in helping out for the spring event and none for the CITO event. Remember, while the board handles the day to day business of the association, it requires help from everyone to pull off some of the larger events. Even if you don't live in the metro and are willing to contribute please let us know. There are something things to do that anyone with a computer can handle - we just need the volunteers.

We will also be asking for volunteers to form a 2007 geocoin committee in the very near future - we're putting the finishing touches on the committee charter right now and I anticipate the call for help from MnGCA members in the next week or two.

Laker game:

The board actually began to evaluate the Laker game a few days before the current thread on the subject. While we are very appreciative of the effort and expense that has been put into the Laker game, we feel that the game has run it's course. I'll be posting more on this in the next day or so in the Cache Games forum. Look for the posting there and please contribute to the discussion with any ideas that you may have.

Taxes:

The MnGCA has been granted a tax exempt status by the IRS. We are in the process of filing for an exemption status with the MN Deptartment of Revenue. Read here for a little more:

http://www.mngca.org/forum/viewtopic.php?t=2818

Park Relations:

Park relations are still a large part of what the board is dealing with.

Through one of our members we are still interacting with the MnDNR on a very regular basis with regards to WMAs. Discussion regarding this is occuring here:

http://www.mngca.org/forum/viewtopic.php?t=2785

Through one of our members we are actively working with establishing a policy with Dakota County Parks.

We are also working on establishing a policy with Anoka County Parks as well. This has been a slow process as they have not, to this point, made any visible progress on the policy. I will be emailing them again this week to try and move the policy along.

----------------------------

Hopefully I've hit on all of the major highlights of what the board has been up to since we had our fall board meeting. If you have any questions about anything above or anything I didn't mention, please ask, now or in the future. We're not hiding anything, sometimes I just forget to communicate it to the membership (something I need to work on).

- Matt
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merkman
Past MnGCA Board


Joined: 03 Jun 2006

Posts: 2032

PostPosted: Mon Jan 29, 2007 2:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks!!!
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Marsha and Silent Bob
Past MnGCA President


Joined: 02 Sep 2003

Posts: 6261

PostPosted: Mon Jan 29, 2007 2:29 pm    Post subject: Re: The President's Cacheside Chat (January/February 2007) Reply with quote

Pear Head wrote:
Through one of our members we are actively working with establishing a policy with Dakota County Parks.

Just prior to my stepping down from the 2006 Board, we were informed by Dakota County that they were looking to create a policy and were interested in our input.

I asked the 2007 Board if I could stay on as the primary contact with Dakota County as I had already begun the talks with them and that they were looking for a Dakota County resident to discuss it with them (which I am).

We have had some lengthy e-mail chatter back and forth and then a long lull over the holidays which has just recently (end of last week) ended. They have said that they are pushing forward with the ideas that I have set forth and were just handed a GPX and CSV of all the geocaches currently located in their parks. They will be forwarding this on to their GIS department and then on to the rest for more policy discussion.

They have been extremely helpful and straight forward with the policy creation I should be hearing from them soon on a draft policy. I will be sure to keep everyone updated once a final policy comes down the pipe.
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Pear Head
Past MnGCA President


Joined: 04 Apr 2004

Posts: 5692

PostPosted: Mon Jan 29, 2007 6:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Someone mentioned to me that some of the links in my original post appeared broken.

Some of the links refer to posts made in the 'members-only' area of the forums. If you aren't registered as a MnGCA member you won't be able to access those posts.

I'm guessing that there are a few folks that think they are registered as members when they may just be registered as a website user. You can check your registration (and change it if you so desire) by making sure you are signed in here:

http://www.mngca.org/cacher.php

And then visiting this page:

http://www.mngca.org/register.php
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King Boreas
Geocacher


Joined: 16 Dec 2002

Posts: 2438

PostPosted: Thu Feb 22, 2007 1:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Is the WMA negotiation with the DNR for the benefit of the MNGCA members, or for the benefit of Minnesota geocachers?
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Paklid
Past MnGCA Board


Joined: 09 May 2004

Posts: 656

PostPosted: Thu Feb 22, 2007 8:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I wonder what the previous post means.

It's as understandable as a "Heh" to me.
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Marsha and Silent Bob
Past MnGCA President


Joined: 02 Sep 2003

Posts: 6261

PostPosted: Thu Feb 22, 2007 8:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Paklid wrote:
I wonder what the previous post means.

It's as understandable as a "Heh" to me.

Heh
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King Boreas
Geocacher


Joined: 16 Dec 2002

Posts: 2438

PostPosted: Thu Feb 22, 2007 11:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Paklid wrote:
I wonder what the previous post means.

It's as understandable as a "Heh" to me.


Quote:
Park relations are still a large part of what the board is dealing with.

Through one of our members we are still interacting with the MnDNR on a very regular basis with regards to WMAs. Discussion regarding this is occuring here:

http://www.mngca.org/forum/viewtopic.php?t=2785


Quote:
Someone mentioned to me that some of the links in my original post appeared broken.

Some of the links refer to posts made in the 'members-only' area of the forums. If you aren't registered as a MnGCA member you won't be able to access those posts.


WMAs are public lands. The MnDNR is a State Agency.

Why does the MnGCA need to keep the thread "members-only"

Is the "interaction" only for the benefit of the members?
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celticwulf
Geocacher


Joined: 24 Oct 2005

Posts: 685

PostPosted: Fri Feb 23, 2007 8:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

King Boreas wrote:
Is the WMA negotiation with the DNR for the benefit of the MNGCA members, or for the benefit of Minnesota geocachers?


Well, I was hoping someone else would say something sensible in regards to the question, but obviously not, so I'll see what I can come up with.

Per the MNGCA bylaws:

Quote:
to work with local, county, and state governments to promote geocaching as a family oriented outdoor activity


From that, and looking elsewhere, I can't see anything that states "only for MNGCA members" in regards to opening parks or opening caches. The bylaws state "to promote geocaching", so I read that as stating promote geocaching in general, not a private club...but since I also don't really see the MNGCA as a private club, I guess that throws my opinion somewhat.

I'd say the main reason that some of the discussion is taking place in a members only area is because the board is only responsible to the MNGCA members, and therefore may want to keep discussion to those who activly participate in the MNGCA. But that's just my thoughts for now, and others are able to tell me if I'm wrong...

Celticwulf
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Marsha and Silent Bob
Past MnGCA President


Joined: 02 Sep 2003

Posts: 6261

PostPosted: Fri Feb 23, 2007 8:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

IMHO, the discussions about how to approach and deal with the DNR are for the MnGCA Members only. If someone is interested in changing how the MnGCA works with park districts, they should become a member and voice their opinion.

In the past, we were only accountable to our membership but the benefits of our work has been for the benefit of all geocachers statewide. It's not as if the State Parks, State Forests, Three Rivers, etc, etc, etc are only open to MnGCA members who want to place caches.
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Pear Head
Past MnGCA President


Joined: 04 Apr 2004

Posts: 5692

PostPosted: Fri Feb 23, 2007 10:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think CW and SB have covered the answer pretty good.

The MnGCA is negotiating for it's members. As such, the discussion thread is open to the members. The board is guided by the membership, not all cachers in the state. We try to update the membership with our progress periodically.

State cachers as a whole will likely see any benefits that come out of the process.
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King Boreas
Geocacher


Joined: 16 Dec 2002

Posts: 2438

PostPosted: Fri Feb 23, 2007 10:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
I think CW and SB have covered the answer pretty good.

The MnGCA is negotiating for it's members. As such, the discussion thread is open to the members. The board is guided by the membership, not all cachers in the state. We try to update the membership with our progress periodically.

State cachers as a whole will likely see any benefits that come out of the process.


"HEH"
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Paklid
Past MnGCA Board


Joined: 09 May 2004

Posts: 656

PostPosted: Fri Feb 23, 2007 12:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Pear Head wrote:
State cachers as a whole will likely see any benefits that come out of the process.


So I guess you're saying if anything positive comes from the DNR exploring the possibility of including geocaching as an appropriate use of WMA lands that it would benefit all Geocachers Exploring Minnesota...

HEH.
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Marsha and Silent Bob
Past MnGCA President


Joined: 02 Sep 2003

Posts: 6261

PostPosted: Fri Feb 23, 2007 12:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

HEH
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King Boreas
Geocacher


Joined: 16 Dec 2002

Posts: 2438

PostPosted: Fri Feb 23, 2007 1:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You past board members are WAY too frickin' funny.
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