That does mean that abandoned or muggled and not maintained caches will remain in the system for ever.
1 month after a cache is marked as temporarily unavailable, an email is sent to the owner requesting action.
2 months after, a reminder.
3 months after, the cache is automatically archived by the system.
Just thinking of anouther dimension of this debate.
In the interests of Treading Lightly, maybe we need to think about getting removing abandoned and archived caches removed from their hiding spots and not remain in the envioment for ever.
My thoughts are that either:
A) there could be a list by state of caches that have been archived by the above process.
B) They could still come up in the normal listing on the website but with a "remove me " type status.
Cachers could see there is a old cache in the area, remove it and then log that is has been removed and then fully archive it.
Or a local could may log that they will take ownership of a particular cache and be responsible for either adopting it, or removing from the enviroment.
Just a thought