GCA listings of caches in areas where geocaching is banned

Geocaching Australia governance issues
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Should GCA STOP listing new caches in banned zones?

Yes
157
64%
No
89
36%
 
Total votes: 246

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caughtatwork
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Re: GCA listings of caches in areas where geocaching is banned

Post by caughtatwork » 23 January 10 1:07 pm

PesceVerde wrote:Very nice. But sadly way too many areas red I think! :(
Is a decision about the GCA cache listing in banned areas any closer at this stage??
There is no decision at this time. The results (so far) indicate a clear indication that the YES should win. Of the YES votes however some 30% are by people who do not find caches at Geocaching Australia. Of the NO votes some 20% are by people who do not find caches at Geocaching Australia.

That split needs to be taken into account, but not on a one-for-one basis.

This question will be put to the Senate when we elect a new senate. The Senate nomination and vote process should be underway soon.

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Re: GCA listings of caches in areas where geocaching is banned

Post by Gamma Dei » 24 January 10 7:29 pm

Not sure if I can vote but I would vote yes. I think it is best to work with the authorities than to antagonize them. I hope the virtual caches are an option for national parks as many geocachers know of so many wonderful places. The game is more in the finding and discovering than in the swapping items. There have been many good points said in this forum. I can see a lot of thought goes into these sort of discussions and most of it is worth consideration.
Thanks to all who run the GCA. It is appreciated.

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Blind Betty
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Re: GCA listings of caches in areas where geocaching is banned

Post by Blind Betty » 27 January 10 4:38 pm

Sadly, I'd have to say yes. The last thing I'd want us to be seen as is a bunch of renegade environmental mess makers or clumsy people with good solictors... Not that we are, but if there's a way around it (such as a virtual cache) then I would rather we don't annoy the powers that be. We're better off trying to educate them about caching or at the very least, tow the line til one of them gets addicted to caching and changes the rules.

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Re: GCA listings of caches in areas where geocaching is banned

Post by caughtatwork » 27 January 10 4:58 pm

Blind Betty wrote:clumsy people with good solictors.
We don't even had bad solicitors :-) Thanks for the feedback though. All opinions are accepted with grace.

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Blind Betty
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Re: GCA listings of caches in areas where geocaching is banned

Post by Blind Betty » 27 January 10 5:31 pm

caughtatwork wrote:
Blind Betty wrote:clumsy people with good solictors.
We don't even had bad solicitors :-) Thanks for the feedback though. All opinions are accepted with grace.
Where's Judge Judy when you need her? Actually, forget I said that... she'd spend all her time sorting out my mishaps to figure out anyone elses. :lol:

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sirius Tas
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Re: GCA listings of caches in areas where geocaching is banned

Post by sirius Tas » 27 January 10 8:29 pm

My vote is NO....quite frankly I'm sick and tired of being told what and where I can take my trusty old companion already..let alone have caches banned too. Good heavens...if a magnetic micro or similar can't be placed without environmental damage...then I'll go heave. As always it's up to individual geocachers to do the right thing. If a cache has been placed in an unfriendly manner...then lets tackle the cacher concerned...and not ban all caches.

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Re: GCA listings of caches in areas where geocaching is banned

Post by Cheesy pigs » 27 January 10 9:21 pm

sirius Tas wrote:My vote is NO....quite frankly I'm sick and tired of being told what and where I can take my trusty old companion already..let alone have caches banned too.
I want to preface this by saying that I totally agree with Sirius on this matter. I am totally against the modern concept that individuality is discouraged and that we let the government decide things on our behalf and go along with the rest of the sheep. (some of you may find that odd considering my occupation but I can tell you some stories).

Anyway I can see both sides of this argument. I want to have the freedom to walk, camp, cache, fish or do anything else in the environment that I choose to do, where I choose to do it. BUT that is tempered by responsibility. When I camp I rehabilitate the site before I leave, for me "leave no trace" includes ashes from a fire, and all refuse. All of the cachers I have met, walked with and cached with are of the same view which is what we want to encourage.

There are some cachers out there, and I don't know who they are, who go into a cache hunt with all the subtlety of stripminers. I remember a Scotty and Lochie cache that was archived because an unknown team actually pulled the flowers out of a garden bed looking for the cache. I am realistic enough to know that not all cachers will treat an area with the respect that it deserves. We therefore do have a responsibility, both to the environment and to caching to consider the pros and cons of placing a cache in a sensitive area.

Part of this has been discussed in other threads, esp the concept of "training" cachers in how to place appropriate caches, which I think also rolls into this idea. I don't want to see GCA or even GC becoming the cache police, but I wonder if it is in the long term interest of the activity that certain areas are off limits, at least for physical caches.
sirius Tas wrote:Good heavens...if a magnetic micro or similar can't be placed without environmental damage...then I'll go heave. As always it's up to individual geocachers to do the right thing. If a cache has been placed in an unfriendly manner...then lets tackle the cacher concerned...and not ban all caches.
Yes and at the same time no. I actually think that less damage is caused by having a large cache than by scouring an area for a micro. It's not the placement of a cache that can cause the damage to the area, it's the hunt for the cache. I can't see any reason why sensitive areas can't be restricted to a virtual cache, much like a trigpoint, a photo of the cacher and their GPS coordinates at the location, or an emailed description of a rock or a hut will cause no damage, but still lead to a rewarding caching experience.

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Re: GCA listings of caches in areas where geocaching is banned

Post by MC KENNA » 13 February 10 4:06 pm

Probably too late for my input but here it is.....

Rather than GCA being cache police stay as you are and in your guide lines advise people against NSW Nat parks and make the link to the map obvious and take the option of inform not dictate.

In the suggestions for hiders and seekers be environmentally sensitive - if we teach and peer suggest it will be far more acceptable than dictating. As for listing after viewing the map - dialog with npws is required as there is too much red on the map.

It is a shame that the actions of a few spoil it for the many. Like others I spend a lot of time out hiking and bushwalking and camping in Nat Parks and always leave the area as it was and likewise caching whether in Parks or not.

The discussion is of great value and at the moment my vote is no no no
EDUCATE NOT DICTATE please

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Re: GCA listings of caches in areas where geocaching is banned

Post by blossom* » 13 February 10 6:27 pm

MC KENNA wrote:Probably too late for my input but here it is.....


The discussion is of great value and at the moment my vote is no no no
EDUCATE NOT DICTATE please
It would be nice to have the option of education rather than outright banning of cache placement in NPs in NSW. However, it is actually illegal to place a cache in a NSW NP. Quite a number of such caches have been removed by rangers to date here, and I believe in other states sometimes too. In this situation, it's really important to prove to the NSW NPs that we are responsible, in the hope that we can come to an agreement with them on guidelines that will allow caching again in future.

Maybe the GCA action could be restricted just to the states where caching is currently illegal?

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Re: GCA listings of caches in areas where geocaching is banned

Post by CraigRat » 13 February 10 8:21 pm

blossom* wrote:Maybe the GCA action could be restricted just to the states where caching is currently illegal?
That is ALL we are proposing.
Only if it is illegal as in set in legislation/rulings as per NSW, not if it's an 'interpretation' of a littering rule or similar.

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Re: GCA listings of caches in areas where geocaching is banned

Post by Big Matt and Shell » 15 February 10 9:25 pm

CraigRat wrote:
blossom* wrote:Maybe the GCA action could be restricted just to the states where caching is currently illegal?
That is ALL we are proposing.
Only if it is illegal as in set in legislation/rulings as per NSW, not if it's an 'interpretation' of a littering rule or similar.
As much as I hate moving down the path of dictating to cachers, the point above is the very important one to remember. It is illegal in NSW to place a cache in a NSW National Park managed area

As much as I don't like it, I feel by people blatantly breaking the law we only cause more harm than good and I'm sure NPWS don't differentiate between GC and GCA they would just see it as Geocachers breaking the rules and would be unlikely to change (or release) their restrictions.

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Re: GCA listings of caches in areas where geocaching is banned

Post by WanderingAus » 16 February 10 8:29 pm

I don't think promoting illegal activity helps our cause at all. Like it or not certain authorities don't permit geocaches on land they control.

Unfortunately lots of cachers only become aware of such a ban on placement when they submit a gc cache, as happened to me last year when I placed one on a gun in the City of South Perth, where the restriction is "only with permission" or something like that.

I also became aware of the decision by the management of Kings Park to ban caches in the park only because I included "Archived" in my notifies.

I note that neither of these Western Australian zones is included in http://geocaching.com.au/zone/au.kml - is it possible that these can be added?

I should mention that I only learnt of this topic when I looked up the forum discussion on the mysterious cache Come In Sucker after urch and others mentioned it. That probably makes the fourth time I've visited the forums in almost three years, maybe I should visit more often.

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Re: GCA listings of caches in areas where geocaching is banned

Post by caughtatwork » 16 February 10 8:36 pm

If you can make a zone it will be included.
GCA is for the people, by the people.
CraigRat and I don't have the world at our fingertips, nor access to shape files for any given region / zone.
I don't know the areas you mention (I live on the other side of the country), so please help the site to help everyone.

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Re: GCA listings of caches in areas where geocaching is banned

Post by caughtatwork » 16 February 10 8:48 pm

Big Matt and Shell wrote:
CraigRat wrote:
blossom* wrote:Maybe the GCA action could be restricted just to the states where caching is currently illegal?
That is ALL we are proposing.
Only if it is illegal as in set in legislation/rulings as per NSW, not if it's an 'interpretation' of a littering rule or similar.
As much as I hate moving down the path of dictating to cachers, the point above is the very important one to remember. It is illegal in NSW to place a cache in a NSW National Park managed area

As much as I don't like it, I feel by people blatantly breaking the law we only cause more harm than good and I'm sure NPWS don't differentiate between GC and GCA they would just see it as Geocachers breaking the rules and would be unlikely to change (or release) their restrictions.
At the moment, if you list a cache at GCA in one of the banned zones it tells you in great big letters. Well, normal sized letters but you can't miss the message.

As the other sites say, we are a listing service. We can not stop you PLACING a cache in a banned zone. We can offer a suggestion that listing the cache is not a clever idea. At the moment we don't STOP you listing the cache. After all it's THERE in the banned zone.

If a cache is listed, then people will seek the cache. That's not a good thing. When you visit a cache page that has a cache in a banned zone you are given another warning. YOU choose to ignore that warning and go find the cache.

So there are two parties involved here. The hider who ignored the warning and the finder who also ignored the warning.

Add to this that GCA does not have perfect shape files for zones. If it's INSIDE a zone it could be outside the true zone. We don't know that nor do we have the infrastructure to support perfection. A few million dollars might let us get better data and faster processing. By the same token if it's OUTSIDE a zone it could in inside the true zone. We just can't be meter perfect.

So let's say the cache is INSIDE the zone, but OUTSIDE the zone co-ordinates. We allow it to be listed. Someone goes to find it and gets fined. Or the person hiding it gets sprung and gets fined. Who do you think they'll yell at? Themselves for being irresponsible and not checing what they should or should not do or GCA because we didn't tell them how to act responsibly.

So at the moment, rather than be the bully boy and say no, we say yes and ask you to be responsible. The vast majority of cachers are of adult age and can make decisions for themselves. We are not the listing police, we are not the metre perfect place to check for legality or illegality, we are not your mummy.

If the choose to hide a cache in a banned area or they choose to find a cache in a banned area, we can do nothing about it. People need to take responsibility for themselves.

Mind you, this is only my opinion. It is not the formal position of the site, the senators or other developers. The discussion will be of great value when we get the new senate in place and the discussions continue with THEM making the final judgement call.

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Re: GCA listings of caches in areas where geocaching is banned

Post by Richary » 16 February 10 9:56 pm

C@W - A question about finding caches in a banned area.
When you visit a cache page that has a cache in a banned zone you are given another warning. YOU choose to ignore that warning and go find the cache.
I haven't checked because I can't think of any immediately, but like I suspect many others I usually don't look at the online cache page before I go to find a cache. That's partly as some of my finds are opportunistic depending on where work may send me for the day, so I just use the listings I have downloaded into GSAK and are on the laptop.

So if it doesn't already happen, can I make a suggestion that the warning be automagically added to the GPX downloads available here for GCA caches?

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