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 » 16 February 10 10:15 pm

Probably not. We don't have a powerful enough machine to run every cache though the zone calculator and then include warnings before we send them off.

I appreciate what you are saying though.

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

Post by ruzzelz » 16 February 10 11:11 pm

caughtatwork wrote:
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.

Interesting points to note and shows how the world and maybe even opinions may have moved on since the voting has commenced on this issue. :-k I must say I voted strongly for one option initially but would spend time re-evaluating my position if given the chance to vote again. 8-[

My ongoing discussions with Parks authorities sway me one direction while my support for an open caching site sway me another. :|

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

Post by caughtatwork » 17 February 10 8:19 am

You can change your vote. Click the other radio button and hit submit your vote.

The discussion is worth more than a simple yes / no and the whole discussion from start to end as it evolves will enable the senate to form a position on the direction of the website in this matter.

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

Post by Richary » 17 February 10 7:06 pm

caughtatwork wrote:Probably not. We don't have a powerful enough machine to run every cache though the zone calculator and then include warnings before we send them off.

I appreciate what you are saying though.
I didn't realise that they are analysed "on the fly" so to speak as you view the cache page though it makes sense as zones will get updated.

Maybe a process that runs the analysis once a week and modifies the cache description with an extra line of text at the top if they appear to be within a zone? Just a thought.

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

Post by MC KENNA » 20 February 10 10:59 am

Caught At Work - your personal comments are great and I agree. Yes it is one of the bettter solutions to advise that a cache is in or near a banned zone. Let the responsibility be on the hider and cacher as you are correct that someone very likely would point the finger at you.

Cheers and thanks for the effort you put in to the caching game. Volunteers are not thanked enough and the time and effort is appreciated. so thankyou to you and the team of volunteers who work behind the scene.

MC KENNA

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

Post by darth trader » 27 February 10 9:03 pm

ok stupid question: are willderness areas national parks?

I would love to go caching in a national park, but i totally understand the reasons for this being frowned on.

but don't the national parks encourage responsible recreation? or maybe we could just use the picnic tables as a log book like most previous visitors to these areas already do?

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

Post by riblit » 27 February 10 9:23 pm

darth trader wrote:ok stupid question: are willderness areas national parks?
No, but they come under DECC control and are subject to stricter rules than National Parks.

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

Post by blossom* » 08 March 10 7:50 pm

Hi ticktock123. If you read through all the forum posts on this you will see that geocaching is banned becasue of various perceived problems. Searching in environmentally sensitive areas can cause a lot of damage so it is natural that National Parks would be concerned about this. There are also a few other aspects such as animals eating geocaching things such as plastic containers and swaps, obviously not so good for our wildlife. It's possible that a cache could turn into rubbish if it's not properly constructed and maintained too and quite a lot of focus is put on the "littering" aspect of leaving a cache hidden in the bush.

There are quite a few people working to make caching better understood by the various governing areas and hopefully there will be some agreements made and we'll be allowed to cache in these areas as long as we follow guidelines.

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

Post by Tuena » 08 March 10 11:02 pm

You can cache in National Parks in NSW - look for trigs or virtuals. Just as rewarding.

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

Post by caughtatwork » 11 March 10 9:17 am

Robust discussion is now occurring between the senators.

I encourage you to vote if you haven't and provide a comment or two on why GCA should or should not stop listing caches in areas where geocaching is banned.

Even if someone has "said it before", we encourage all feedback so we can understand the various positions and passions.

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

Post by Xorg and Pixelwarrior » 11 March 10 12:15 pm

Some people will do the wrong thing no matter what we or National Parks decide. In an ideal world we could set up a system to guarantee that people will only place well-maintained caches in non-sensitive spots, but some people will always cross the line ](*,) . I think maybe if we can educate as much as possible and try where possible to gently notify those who have crossed the line, it would be great. But I would not personally be comfortable volunteering to be a policeman of this nature [-X , it would be a thankless task. So I think that wherever caches are banned by government bodies we should actively discourage them. Actually it would be good if all those who visit National Parks would be those who want to be there for the National Parks themselves and not just to notch up another number on their tally. (again, in an ideal world :? ) or better still be there for BOTH reasons :D

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

Post by homedg » 11 March 10 12:23 pm

If you seriously want to tread this path then you must realise that you must exclude just about every physical cache placement that does not have the express permission of the land owner eg. Placing a cache in the local park is technically littering which is a breach of the law. A much more serious offence than breaching a NPWS guideline.

And let's face it, national parks position is not a new thing. We all used to hide, find and enjoy caching in these environs until people started to raise the issue of whether it was legitimate and now we are where we are.

Apart from some "teasing" of the Lane Cove ranger, I have never heard of or come across anything negative or damaging about caching in these areas.

I say "live and let live" and let caching continue. Our own community will police and self regulate any problems.

I've only got a dollar so can I have 98 cents change please......

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

Post by Tuena » 11 March 10 2:47 pm

Geocaching in National Parks in NSW has been illegal since October 2002. Geocachers have simply not checked whether NPWS had a policy on geocaching or if they did, chose to ignore it. We should not put our collective heads in the sand by continuing to ignore the law. If we do then the work being done by various parties to have the policy changed in favour of geocaching cannot possibly succeed. GCA has the means to identify areas under the protection of NPWS just as Groundspeak does. Groundspeak doesn't allow caches to be placed in National Parks in NSW & neither should GCA. If we don't stop caches being placed in National Parks in NSW then the time will come when we are asked by DECC to remove the lot. As an alternative, GCA should actively promote virtual caches & trigs.

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

Post by Tuena » 11 March 10 4:08 pm

Just as well you removed that comment C@W!

If you don't want comments then don't pretend you do my uttering the likes of:

"Even if someone has "said it before", we encourage all feedback so we can understand the various positions and passions."

At least I know what direction your robust discussion will take. Pretty poor form.

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