Reading the new(ish) Earthcache guidelines

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darth trader
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Reading the new(ish) Earthcache guidelines

Post by darth trader » 29 July 13 9:18 pm

Since I last listed an earthcache, the guidelines have been updated. (January 1 this year).

Now there is a permission requirement in play.:
3. Permission

Landowner or land manager permission is required for most EarthCache locations.

It is important the land manager understands that your EarthCache may bring more people to the site. This will allow managers to plan for any challenges that might arise from the EarthCache publication. We want land owners/managers to be aware of the role EarthCaches can play in attracting visitors.

When providing the permission, post a Reviewer Note with the name, title, and contact information of the person who granted permission. You may also wish to include a copy of the email that they sent to you. All Reviewer Notes are auto-deleted before a cache is published, but the information is available to Groundspeak staff and volunteers should the need arise in future.

Public lands are managed in different ways throughout the world; therefore, there are some instances where the land owner's/manager's permission is not required. Your local EarthCache reviewer may be able to help determine if permission is required or not, but if you are certain that the location requires no permission, please explain this to the reviewer in a Reviewer Note on the cache page.
I am looking at setting up an earthcache on lands managed by the NPWS (National Parks and Wildlife Service) in NSW and am wondering if anybody else has had any experiences to share in this situation.

I am especially interested in the best person/department to contact, whether I also need to fill out the http://www.geocachingnsw.asn.au/index.p ... -form.html NPWS consent form, and if there is any cost involved.

Thanks in advance for sharing your experiences and wit.

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Yurt
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Re: Reading the new(ish) Earthcache guidelines

Post by Yurt » 29 July 13 9:45 pm

I noticed this change when I went to place my first Earth cache earlier this year. It was going to be in Brisbane Water National Park not too far from some grandfathered geocaches. The site was a good 5-6km walk in. I drafted the whole thing and then emailed the local NPWS office (found their email online) and waited. A week or so later I got a "not at this time" response because they are concerned about the impact the "additional traffic" may have on the 'degraded' environment (their words).

So that was that. I could have told them it would probably mean an additional four or five visitors a year. I could also have pointed out that the site is in much better condition than when I first visited some 20 years earlier. But I didn't bother.

This probably doesn't help you though.

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Re: Reading the new(ish) Earthcache guidelines

Post by Richary » 29 July 13 11:15 pm

There is certainly no cost involved with filling in the National Parks form, and perhaps we (as the Association) need to find out from our contacts if the normal form should be used, or if it is just a phone call to the local office.

After our AGM on Saturday we will add this to the list of agenda items to follow up here in NSW. I can see the advantage of the form in that it goes to the person who in theory knows about geocaching, whereas a call may end up with someone who doesn't, and of course No is the easiest answer. But at the same time the form might need to be revised to indicate there is no physical container there.

Of course if lucky we might get an answer based on the original negotiations about non physical waypoints that they don't need to be approved, as long as the journey doesn't take you "off track" which was also one concern.

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Re: Reading the new(ish) Earthcache guidelines

Post by darth trader » 30 July 13 8:03 am

No, Yurt, that is helpful to know.

It makes me realize that step 2 (after considering the site) is to apply for permission to place the earthcache, because they are quite a bit of effort to set up for geologists and non-geologists alike.

Thanks for considering this point for the agenda, Richary. I think it is worthy because the NPWS may not know of the distinction between earthcaches and geocaches. The earthcache is actually encouraging the national parks ethos (IMHO) of visit, appreciate and consider.

The earthcache sites in most cases would probably already be 'on track' as they are already often the same site the NPWS are encouraging the public to visit.


cheers,
=D>
appreciating the discussion.

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Re: Reading the new(ish) Earthcache guidelines

Post by Browngang » 30 July 13 3:07 pm

At the bottom of page 5 in the DECCW (National Parks) Geocaching policy, under "Permissibility and consent requirements". Point 3- "Given that virtual caching, including EarthCaching, does not involve leaving any physical object in a Park, it does not require consent under the NPW regulation. Although legal approval is not needed to develop virtual caches, virtual caches can impact on Park values and visitor safety if they are located in unsuitable areas".

Just down the page under General Principles -Point 8- "Due to the educational merit of EarthCaches and their potential to raise visitor awareness of Park values, the activity of EarthCaching will be given favorable consideration in Parks".

Looks to me like they are a goer to me.

Best idea to go into the local office and talk to someone.

I recently went into my local office and they were most helpful and enthusiastic to help out.
Maybe it was just because I was trying to stay out of the park :-"

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Re: Reading the new(ish) Earthcache guidelines

Post by Browngang » 30 July 13 3:18 pm

It looks like the permission you are seeking via GC.com is not required as they (DECCW) say in the policy you don't need it.
I guess if you haven't already been talking to a reviewer, they would be the place to go.

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Re: Reading the new(ish) Earthcache guidelines

Post by Big Matt and Shell » 31 July 13 10:29 am

Browngang wrote:It looks like the permission you are seeking via GC.com is not required as they (DECCW) say in the policy you don't need it.
I guess if you haven't already been talking to a reviewer, they would be the place to go.
Yep, to me if the land owner has specifically stated in their policy that permission is not required for this type of cache, quote it in your reviewer note to the Geoaware and noting your EC is based in an area that has exisiting paths that is not going to cause damage, to me their should be no problem listing it.

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Re: Reading the new(ish) Earthcache guidelines

Post by tronador » 31 July 13 8:52 pm

I just checked NSWPWS policy and it too only mentions physical caches needing permission. So I'd try again Yurt to publish the cache. It may have been a case of misunderstanding by whoever you contacted.

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Re: Reading the new(ish) Earthcache guidelines

Post by Yurt » 01 August 13 10:04 am

They were pretty clear in their email. On re-reading they are basically saying they pretty much don't want anyone going there. I don't know how they can limit numbers seeing as it's only accessible via a long walk from Wondabyne station - you don't exactly park the car and pay the ranger.
In accordance with the Brisbane Water National Park Plan of Management - due to overuse and vandalism, ... area is presently being managed to promote its restoration. Commercial groups and recreation activities are therefore being monitored with restrictions on the numbers of visitors per day and a no camping policy at the ... site. Also previous publication proposals have been requested not to promote the ... area until remedial works are completed.
*

I don't know what the remedial works are. The track is not signposted and is becoming difficult to follow in places. Perhaps this is a unique situation and no one should be put off by this.

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Re: Reading the new(ish) Earthcache guidelines

Post by PesceVerde » 01 August 13 12:03 pm

Hi. In some SE Queensland parks, track damage and land slips are still being repaired from the wet summer two years ago. Mostly areas of high (people) traffic are being fixed first and for some reason it's taking a long time. :(

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Re: Reading the new(ish) Earthcache guidelines

Post by darth trader » 20 August 13 5:55 pm

Big Matt and Shell wrote: Yep, to me if the land owner has specifically stated in their policy that permission is not required for this type of cache, quote it in your reviewer note to the Geoaware and noting your EC is based in an area that has exisiting paths that is not going to cause damage, to me their should be no problem listing it.
So I took your advice and quoted the line from the NPWS geocaching policy http://www.environment.nsw.gov.au/resou ... aching.pdf on the bottom of page 5 that states:
"Given that virtual caching, including EarthCaching, does not involve
leaving any type of physical object in a park, it does not require
consent under the NPW Regulation."

and my cache http://coord.info/GC4HC4H Edgeworth David Quarry was published.

Normally, a long process of getting the geological facts right is also required on my part, yet this one was published immediately, even before I got to make the HTML pretty.

thanks for all your help people.

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Re: Reading the new(ish) Earthcache guidelines

Post by LouiseAnn » 20 August 13 6:57 pm

Yay!!! Congrats :)

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Re: Reading the new(ish) Earthcache guidelines

Post by juc_cacher » 19 September 13 9:24 pm

Yurt wrote:They were pretty clear in their email. On re-reading they are basically saying they pretty much don't want anyone going there. I don't know how they can limit numbers seeing as it's only accessible via a long walk from Wondabyne station - you don't exactly park the car and pay the ranger.
In accordance with the Brisbane Water National Park Plan of Management - due to overuse and vandalism, ... area is presently being managed to promote its restoration. Commercial groups and recreation activities are therefore being monitored with restrictions on the numbers of visitors per day and a no camping policy at the ... site. Also previous publication proposals have been requested not to promote the ... area until remedial works are completed.
*

I don't know what the remedial works are. The track is not signposted and is becoming difficult to follow in places. Perhaps this is a unique situation and no one should be put off by this.
The bolded bit looks like the key to me. Basically, as you say, they don't want people going there and they don't want it "promoted" in any way.

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