NPWS Suggestion

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Is this a suitable compromise for both communities?

Don't know
1
4%
Perhaps
5
21%
No
6
25%
Yes
6
25%
I'm going to wait for more people to vote and be a sheep
6
25%
 
Total votes: 24

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Bronze
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NPWS Suggestion

Post by Bronze » 09 May 10 12:48 pm

I was woken early this morning with a thought. They don't happen often so I thought I better not go back to sleep and forget about it.

Being Mothers Day we had to get the Bacon and Egg Breakfast out of the way but after that I've sat down at the computer to see if the same suggestion has been made. Seems like it hasn't. Of course I could be wrong. I was wrong on two other occasions, some say three but that's a matter of opinion. I digress. Apologies.

Imagine this:

Scenario 1: (For people who just need 1 example)
Geocacher arrives at the main entrance of the national park or the main office if the park has multiple entry/exit points. There they find a designated cache provided and maintained by 1 geocacher who is attached to that one park. They must of course be a local or live nearby.

All points of interest in the park by default become 'virtual caches' and have their general co-ordinates listed. Upon exiting the park the Cachers return to the cache and tick-a-box and comment on the locations they visited with their GPS. Alternatively this can be done online if they could not physically return to the cache a second time. Cachers can log each listed 'Virtual Cache' for that particular park. (In case your numbers driven)

Scenario 2: (For people who don't quite get it yet)
So for example Mr. and Mrs. Tetley arrive from out of state to stay two days at the Park in their new Caravan. They are from Victoria. Apparently "it's the place to be" but on this occasion they are somewhere else. Lets say in this example Queensland. Like, how else can the terrorize another state along the way. I digress. Apologies. They locate the cache and read the comments in the log, just like a visitors book. Prior to arriving they also read the comments online (probably while driving at 70 along the F3 north of Sydney). After reading most of the recent entries they decide that previous caches recommended this particular water fall during this season and a meadow was particularly pretty also as it was in flower. Mr. and Mrs. Tetley visit both locations using their GPS and return to log each prior to leaving. They get to cache in the NP, chalk up three finds (one phy + two virtual) and the Ranger happily waves to them as they leave the park with thirteen cars lined up behind.

Mr. Chai is a bureaucrat. He is also the Park Administrator. He is a bean counter but can't be trusted with money so must count something else like visitors. He likes this idea because he has an idea how many geocachers are visiting what points of interest when. He can see this both in the visitors log in the cache and also online. Mr. Chai get a woody whenever he has to write reports to his powers that be. He's doesn't have to worry about any physical containers littering and polluting the park and the geocaching community can pass on coordinates of particularly beautiful locations via their logs.

Non PCers may now go ahead and post their thoughts.

My suggestions is complete but for those who are into PC you will have to read on. (PC= Political Correctness = Equity to the 9th degree). Sorry.

Now, with Australia being so politically correct and sensitive these days some here may have noticed I have mentioned two males and only one female to this point. For this I apologise profusely. Luckily I have kept a female current affairs reporter in the wings who is operating under the pseudonym of Ms Chamomile due to a recent stalking incident (another story). She has reported on this story because one of her transsexual researchers discovered in a blog (which linked to this thread) and considered it news worthy enough to present with a completely objective perspective biased only towards whoever owns the television station or the very next time slot program. Lets hope it the Sydney Weekend or Great Outdoors.

She found the blog post and forum thread to be suitable for sensationalism and forced the National Parks to capitulate under days of media pressure to compromise and allow geocachers the pleasure of entering their parks like any other suntanned nerd without a GPS (or iPhone with a GPS app).

PCer's please post your thoughts. Make sure you stay equitable now.

B. :D

Damo.
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Re: NPWS Suggestion

Post by Damo. » 09 May 10 1:01 pm

I spy a teacher avoiding doing marking. :P

Good suggestion. This can currently be done with virtuals and waypoints with no physical object left behind still permitted in national parks.
Has anyone recently listed a cache which does require visits to places in a National park but the physical cache is outside? How successful has it been? (Given that multi caches get comparatively fewer visits than trads.)

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Bronze
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Re: NPWS Suggestion

Post by Bronze » 09 May 10 1:07 pm

You spy right. =D>

I do my best work when procrastinating.

B.

petan
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Re: NPWS Suggestion

Post by petan » 09 May 10 5:11 pm

Herbz recently (March 2010) listed a 5/5 Multi: Springbrook Pinnacle (GC25F4Z)

I haven't done it but my understanding is you need to climb to the top of the Pinnacle in Springbrook NP (behind the Gold Coast) look for some naturally occuring numbers leading to a GZ outside the park boundary.

Is this what you mean Damo?

Damo.
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Re: NPWS Suggestion

Post by Damo. » 09 May 10 5:20 pm

petan wrote:Herbz recently (March 2010) listed a 5/5 Multi: Springbrook Pinnacle (GC25F4Z)

I haven't done it but my understanding is you need to climb to the top of the Pinnacle in Springbrook NP (behind the Gold Coast) look for some naturally occuring numbers leading to a GZ outside the park boundary.

Is this what you mean Damo?
Yeah! That's the kind of cache I mean. =D>

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Team Wibble
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Re: NPWS Suggestion

Post by Team Wibble » 09 May 10 6:53 pm

This is pretty much along the lines of what I consider to be a viable option. Of course, in theory Wherigo caches could fulfill this niche pretty well too - you and your GPSr will need to physically at a certain location(s) within the park before the final (out of the park) coordinates are unlocked. Of course, this is limited by Wherigo's difficult builder and limited compatability.

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Re: NPWS Suggestion

Post by Damo. » 09 May 10 7:00 pm

Team Wibble wrote:This is pretty much along the lines of what I consider to be a viable option. Of course, in theory Wherigo caches could fulfill this niche pretty well too - you and your GPSr will need to physically at a certain location(s) within the park before the final (out of the park) coordinates are unlocked. Of course, this is limited by Wherigo's difficult builder and limited compatability.
Check out www.gpsmission.com
Location based game like wherigo but a lot more accessible. You might be able to integrate it into a Puzzle cache if Groundspeak haven't banned mention of it as a requirement for listing caches there. (I had a cache listing refused until I removed a mention of a Geocaching Australia cache nearby. They may feel the same about gpsmission!)

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The Spindoctors
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Re: NPWS Suggestion

Post by The Spindoctors » 09 May 10 7:34 pm

Bronze: There is merit in it and it's certainly allowable at this stage.

This is what Geocaching NSW published in March 2009.
We have also received clarification of NPWS stance on virtuals, EarthCaches and waypoints for multis on NPWS managed land.

Their response was:
“A multi-stage geocache that involved reading a sign in a park to discover a cache outside the park is not, in my opinion, an activity which is covered by the ban.

Similarly, I have advised one of our field staff that a virtual cache [including EarthCache] was, in my opinion, also not covered by the ban.”
This would mean that geocachers may began a multi-cache in a NSW Park, as long as nothing is left, modified or damaged inside the park and the container is outside the park’s boundaries.

EarthCaches still require land owner approval (as per EarthCahing guidelines), and this should be sought from the ranger of the relevant National Park.

Please note this ‘ruling’ is in regards to the current policy and could change if a new policy is adopted. However, it is our opinion that any changes that may occur under a new policy would be positive.
Unless we are informed by our members to do otherwise, we are pushing for an amended policy to allow the placement of traditional geocaches (ie physical containers). Although progress is slow, it is happening.

I was encouraged to hear an interview on 1233 Newcastle (in your neck of the woods), in which the NPWS sounded very positive about geocaching. There is a summary on the ABC Newcastle website http://www.abc.net.au/local/stories/201 ... 879099.htm. I'll post the full audio on the Geocaching NSW website this week.

Once again, it's a great idea and one I like to see NPWS adopt, as well as allowing geocachers to place more of their own.

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SecretSquirrel-BJC
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Re: NPWS Suggestion

Post by SecretSquirrel-BJC » 09 May 10 8:57 pm

Some National Parks are actively discouraging bushwalking offtrail without banning it - so they wouldn't be happy at anyone visiting that flowering meadow for a virtual cache.

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Bronze
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Re: NPWS Suggestion

Post by Bronze » 09 May 10 9:54 pm

Thanks for the replies.

Yes Darren it was the 1233 article posted on Geohavoc.org that got me thinking about it last night before I fell asleep. I didn't know where was an audio interview. I'd only read the article (below)

Link: http://www.geohavoc.org/2010/05/geocach ... e-media-2/

Thanks for the update Spindoc. Thats what I spent the morning searching the forum for. Some sort of stance by NP's and clarification of do and don't by GC.au

I will certainly check out 'Gpsmission' and 'Wherigo' for sure Damo. Both terms are new to me.

Petan: Appreciate the example. Nice to read there are good quality caches being hidden.

Still will be watching the poll with interest. I like the idea of visiting the physical elements within the park to collect the clues as such for finding a cache outside the park.

Of course finding a physical container within the park would be more appealing I can just see both sides and understand why they don't want an army of boots tramping through their flower meadows.

Appreciate the input by people so far.

B.

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Richary
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Re: NPWS Suggestion

Post by Richary » 09 May 10 10:38 pm

It sounds like a positive plan, though at the moment technically disallowed because we can't place a real container inside the park (even inside the visitors centre). That said it is certainly a change that we could suggest. Also of course we need to remember that many parks outside the metropolitan areas don't have any sort of visitor centre or head ranger station, you need to go to the nearest big town to find the ranger's office.

But the same idea could be adapted with a container just outside the park entrance performing the same function.

As for the flowery meadow - there is nothing to suggest there isn't an existing trail heading through/next to it.

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The Cash Man
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Re: NPWS Suggestion

Post by The Cash Man » 14 May 10 5:03 pm

Whilst Bronze's ideas have merit I don't think we should be looking for a compromise.
Remember you are allowed to camp in National Parks.
Surely this is more damaging than leaving a box in a stump.
Sure there are sensative areas that we won't be allowed to go and wouldn't want to go.
But if there are marked walking trails in the National Park there should be no problem placing caches there.

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