GCA listings of caches in areas where geocaching is banned

Geocaching Australia governance issues

Should GCA STOP listing new caches in banned zones?

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

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

Post by Papa Bear_Left » 20 December 09 11:13 pm

This situation reminds me a little of Oliver Wendell Holmes' comment of "The right to swing my fist ends where the other man's nose begins."

While I'd normally endorse a cache placer's right to break the law if they really wanted to, it's the whole activity of geocaching that would suffer if this infringing placement was discovered and became an excuse for even more stringent measures and derailing any future discussions about lifting bans, etc.
Banning geocaching in these areas will not always result in less "litter".
In much the same way as unpublished vacation caches or archived unmaintained caches on gc.com probably remain as litter, at least there's a message that ignoring the rules won't be rewarded with an active cache, making it more likely that a placer will check before going to the effort and expense of placing the box.

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

Post by caughtatwork » 20 December 09 11:17 pm

Excellent response.

As another thought for feedback then, if (when) we end up not listing caches in banned zones, how can we encourage people to check the area they are thinking of hiding a cache before they head out?

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

Post by theUMP » 20 December 09 11:53 pm

caughtatwork wrote:As another thought for feedback then, if (when) we end up not listing caches in banned zones, how can we encourage people to check the area they are thinking of hiding a cache before they head out?
Oh, if someone can come up with a good answer to this one, can I borrow it to apply to gc.com guidelines?! [-o<

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

Post by bean_counter » 21 December 09 9:21 am

It's rather annoying that sometimes you HAVE to be a scrub turkey because the cache is hidden under a meter of leaf litter. Or the co-ords are off by 7 or 8 m so you have to disturb more area than required. I try to be gentle and lift the litter then put it down again, so it doesn't appear as though a cyclone has gone through the area, but a clever placement would have prevented this 9 times out of 10.

If an area is sensitive, a photo of GZ and the cache container helps. Or, go to the point of making the placement obvious. Hang it in a tree, paint it fluro orange, flashing lights... if it is in an area that only a cacher would go to, there is no need to make it difficult to find.

Personally, I think that GCA should NOT list sites is banned areas. This is a family activity and I'd hate to be caught out doing the wrong thing while trying to teach my children about fun and adventure and the great outdoors. If geocaching wants the respect from National Parks officials, we should go about this the right / legal way.

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

Post by GammaPiSigma » 21 December 09 9:22 am

Just so my position is clear.

Yes, ban physical object placements only as is already the case with caches listed on the secondary( :lol: ) site.

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

Post by PesceVerde » 21 December 09 3:16 pm

I voted NO don't ban anything, yet.

Free and open, means free and open. Yes? Or does it mean free and open some times but not others? What would banning some cache listings on GCA be intending to achieve? Protect the environment in National Parks? Appease authorities? Would banning some GCA cache listings set a precedent (intentionally or not)?

Geocachers know about good caching practice now, or should do if we've ever cared to read anything about placing or finding a cache on any listing site that I'm aware of. Information is all about us.

:?: Would something like a requiremement to correctly answer questions about cache-hiding-good-practice before publishing be worthwhile?

IMHO it would be more beneficial to demonstrate goodwill to parks officials by 1.voluntarily not hiding new caches in affected areas or 2.voluntarily choosing obviously environmentally friendly cache hides. Searchers, be obviously environmentally friendly when searching.


If self-regulation is still too unworkable then ban them.

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

Post by CraigRat » 21 December 09 6:37 pm

My feelings are this:

We have all the NPWS boundaries in our system, we KNOW that by law it is illegal for people to hide a cache there.

Given we know these things and can do something about it, we may have a duty of care to prevent the listing going live, if only to be a good caching citizen. It's the 1% of hiders who ignore the warnings who will ruin things for others.

'Free and Open; refers to the data,and access of it by all, not to knowingly breaking the law or allowing someone to do so.

(I'd use as an analogy the recent case against The Pirate Bay, while they didn't actually host any pirated stuff, they knowingly facilitated in the breaking of the law, and lost in court)

Thi NPWS issue isnt aGeocachign Rule issue, it's a Legal-with-real-fines issue.

I am a libertarian by my very nature, but I don't feel this is a grey area. It's illegal, we can do something to prevent it, perhaps we should.

I have always been of the opinion that we are 'No rules, other than where mandated by common law' and as such I have to put myself in the 'no list' camp.

And also, the lazy side of me doesnt want to continually have to chase people up about their caches in dodgy spots.

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

Post by The SBI » 21 December 09 6:38 pm

doesn't a ban mean that if you are caught, you are "in trouble"?
so basically this implies that you can place the cache all you like but if anyone is caught finding it, or for that matter the cache is found you are "in trouble"

ban it or not this is similar to caches in dangerous area, but instead of stuff up and you die, it is stuff up and you cop a fine, or a jail term, the difference being that whether you stuff up is not entirely at your control

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

Post by CraigRat » 21 December 09 6:42 pm

The SBI wrote:doesn't a ban mean that if you are caught, you are "in trouble"?
so basically this implies that you can place the cache all you like but if anyone is caught finding it, or for that matter the cache is found you are "in trouble"
Yes.
In this cache both the hider and the seeker could face prosecution.
The SBI wrote:ban it or not this is similar to caches in dangerous area, but instead of stuff up and you die, it is stuff up and you cop a fine, or a jail term, the difference being that whether you stuff up is not entirely at your control
A dangerous hide is a relative thing, what's dangerous to you may be safe for me as I have all the equipment.
This is as cut and dry as being caught driving drunk without a seatbelt.

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

Post by CraigRat » 21 December 09 6:43 pm

If things change and caching is allowed, but under permit or whatever, it wouldn't be too hard for us to re-jig things.

I'm hoping thats what ends up happening.

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

Post by Hunter-Finder » 21 December 09 7:33 pm

What would be the fine if a bushwalker following a path came across a cache? They weren't geocaching but were caught with or near a cache? Guilty until presumed innocent?
I have been in the LaneCove National Park and have seen more damage caused by trailbikes than cachers yet they seem to get away with it.
Personally I would vote NO as it should be up to the cache hider to know the rules and boundaries.
Beside we are over regulated enough.

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

Post by Papa Bear_Left » 21 December 09 9:58 pm

seeker wrote:I have been in the LaneCove National Park and have seen more damage caused by trailbikes than cachers yet they seem to get away with it.
"Get away with it" is the pertinent phrase: it's illegal and, if they get caught, they'll be punished, presumably with a fine.
(I've had words with a local drongo who doesn't think the "no vehicles" rule in the local NP applies to him. After the second run-in, I've assured him that, since the rules about motorbikes don't seem to apply to him, I'll assume that the rules about assault and battery and criminal damage also don't apply to him. Yes, I do usually carry a big stick when I'm out walking!)
seeker wrote:Personally I would vote NO as it should be up to the cache hider to know the rules and boundaries.
That's a pretty big ask, though. I mean, geocaching was banned in NSW NPs for quite awhile before any of us became aware of it! Someone who doesn't read these forums wouldn't really have any way of knowing about that ban, and even asking a Ranger might not enlighten them!
Ask i,riblit how many NP caches he knocks back in Qld and NSW in a typical week, and whether that number's gone down much over time...

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

Post by Facitman » 21 December 09 10:29 pm

As we are wanting to engage with NSWNP and other authorities about easing the ban on Geocaching I see it only as a positive for us to show these organisations that we take their "rules" seriously.
Restricting cache listings based on known zones would be showing them that we are keen to play within the rules. A much better position to bargain from than one of "we are openly are ignoring the ban" and then trying to argue that "Geocachers are good law abiding citizens"

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

Post by tronador » 21 December 09 10:43 pm

No no no please don't turn into another gc.com. I like the free and open of this site.

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

Post by ruzzelz » 21 December 09 11:02 pm

Papa Bear_Left wrote:
Ask i,riblit how many NP caches he knocks back in Qld and NSW in a typical week, and whether that number's gone down much over time...
This might be useful in my discussions with QP&WS :-k

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