View Full Version : Land Owner permission



attroll
05-12-2008, 10:57 AM
It is time to bring it to the foreground and everyone’s attention once again. Land Owner permission is needed before placing caches. I know a lot of caches in Maine get placed without land owner permission. We need to start doing it correctly or it is going to hurt the Geocaching sport here in Maine

Here is some contact information for the Arboretum in Augusta. This place is a 224 acre area with some nice walking trails. Caches are permitted by permission only. If you have a cache there and have not gotten permission to place it there then it will be removed. If you have a cache there and have not gotten permission then you need to contact them and get permission before it gets removed. If you would like to place a cache in the Arboretum then you can contact them with this information below.

Stephen Oliveri
executive director
PineTreeState Arboretum
153 Hospital St.
Augusta, ME04330
207-621-0031
ptsaso(at)roadrunner.com

TRF
05-12-2008, 11:44 AM
Rick, was there a complaint from the arboretum? I ask simply because of the specifics of your thread.

I agree with getting landowner permission, always have and always will.

darterkitfox
05-12-2008, 07:34 PM
I asked permission from the town of Norway to place one in a new park and we ended up having to go to the selectmen's meeting and speak before them. They had no clue what caches were until we explained. Funny thing is, there are two other caches placed on town property. How was permission given for those others? Or was it?

al'Thor
05-12-2008, 07:44 PM
I asked permission from the town of Norway to place one in a new park and we ended up having to go to the selectmen's meeting and speak before them. They had no clue what caches were until we explained. Funny thing is, there are two other caches placed on town property. How was permission given for those others? Or was it?


Wouldn't the park be considered "Public Land" and fair game, or am I wrong? That is the way I understood things.

brdad
05-12-2008, 07:58 PM
Wouldn't the park be considered "Public Land" and fair game, or am I wrong? That is the way I understood things.

National parks are public land, but they don't allow caches as a rule. Some parks are considered multi-use, which should include caching, but unless some listing specifically mentions it, you can assume it may not be allowed.

I think it's odd people think it's ok to place one at Wal-Mart or fast food places without permission, and those are not public property.

tat
05-12-2008, 08:16 PM
From the Geocaching.com Guidelines:

Off-limit (Physical) Caches "By submitting a cache listing, you assure us that you have adequate permission to hide your cache in the selected location. However, if we see a cache description that mentions ignoring "No Trespassing" signs (or any other obvious issues), your listing may be immediately archived. We also assume that your cache placement complies with all applicable laws. If an obvious legal issue is present, or is brought to our attention, your listing may be immediately archived."

al'Thor
05-12-2008, 08:16 PM
National parks are public land, but they don't allow caches as a rule. Some parks are considered multi-use, which should include caching, but unless some listing specifically mentions it, you can assume it may not be allowed.

I think it's odd people think it's ok to place one at Wal-Mart or fast food places without permission, and those are not public property.

I knew about anything "national" was a big no - no and I also do not consider business parking lots to be public places (I know this from being a police officer.) It was my understanding that marked public town parks were ok as well as places like state Public boat landings / picnic areas and public revserved land would just be ok.

I would never feel comfortable leaving anything on someones private land let alone inviting others on to someones land. Getting the permission may be a pain in the rear but it will save someone a lot more pain later on.

al'Thor
05-12-2008, 08:34 PM
I asked a question about this in a forum last year. I don't know how to post the link to it but it was titled Cache Placement on 10-23-07.

I have placed quite a few caches on public resevered land and on public boat landing / picnic areas. I guess I could pull them. Would be easier then trying to deal with getting permisson from the state? Any suggestions?????

firefighterjake
05-13-2008, 07:58 AM
Wouldn't the park be considered "Public Land" and fair game, or am I wrong? That is the way I understood things.

That's the way I interpreted it as well . . . however folks should probably be clear as to who actually owns what . . . for example, there is a park in town where I live that is actually now owned by the College even though it is very public and in placing one of my caches near a spring I learned that while the town owns the spring the rest of the area around the spring is private property -- the actual town-owned land was rather small.

tat
05-13-2008, 10:23 AM
I asked a question about this in a forum last year. I don't know how to post the link to it but it was titled Cache Placement on 10-23-07.

I have placed quite a few caches on public resevered land and on public boat landing / picnic areas. I guess I could pull them. Would be easier then trying to deal with getting permisson from the state? Any suggestions?????

As many of you know, I am also the volunteer reviewer for the state of Maine. The opinion below is my personal viewpoint and not necessarily that of Groundspeak.

Adequate permission is always required, but what is adequate permission? The guidelines are written for a worldwide activity. Adequate permission varies in different localities.

Generally, when a property has a clear contact posted, it is best to attempt to get permission. If the contact person responds favorably, (they may have additional requests which should always be met) you can place the cache. If the contact person denies the cache placement, do not even attempt to place the cache.

The contact person may not respond or there may not be a known contact person. The cache hider should obey all posted rules, such as "leave no trace", "trash in, trash out", "do not make new trails", "no hiking off trail", "stay on trail", etc.

Making Geocaching attractive to land owners helps. Be very careful when hiding a cache and treat the property better than any of the other visitors. If there is a sign "stay on trail: Do not allow your placement to create new trails, for example. Don't hesitate to shut down your cache if problems develop.

Don't forget to consider the reaction of non-cachers. No land owner wants the bomb squad called in because of suspicious activities!

If you make contact with a land manager, and develop a cache placing policy, let your local reviewer know!

So, to answer your question, I would not remove caches that are in place and have no complaints. But, it is worth the effort to attempt the formal permission process.

al'Thor
05-13-2008, 10:56 AM
As many of you know, I am also the volunteer reviewer for the state of Maine. The opinion below is my personal viewpoint and not necessarily that of Groundspeak.

Adequate permission is always required, but what is adequate permission? The guidelines are written for a worldwide activity. Adequate permission varies in different localities.

Generally, when a property has a clear contact posted, it is best to attempt to get permission. If the contact person responds favorably, (they may have additional requests which should always be met) you can place the cache. If the contact person denies the cache placement, do not even attempt to place the cache.

The contact person may not respond or there may not be a known contact person. The cache hider should obey all posted rules, such as "leave no trace", "trash in, trash out", "do not make new trails", "no hiking off trail", "stay on trail", etc.

Making Geocaching attractive to land owners helps. Be very careful when hiding a cache and treat the property better than any of the other visitors. If there is a sign "stay on trail: Do not allow your placement to create new trails, for example. Don't hesitate to shut down your cache if problems develop.

Don't forget to consider the reaction of non-cachers. No land owner wants the bomb squad called in because of suspicious activities!

If you make contact with a land manager, and develop a cache placing policy, let your local reviewer know!

So, to answer your question, I would not remove caches that are in place and have no complaints. But, it is worth the effort to attempt the formal permission process.

Thanks for the insight. It helps to get info directly from a reviewer. I will attempt to speak with someone about my current cache placements. It will be a little wierd because the caches are already placed ("Hi, I'm asking permisson to place a cache, oh by the way it has already been placed"). Better safe then sorry though. I certainly will be a little more careful with "public" lands and will not "assume" anything for any future cache placements. We all know what they say about "assuming". Thanks again.

Kacky
05-26-2008, 08:45 AM
The Androscoggin Land Trust is another group that allows cache placement but only with permission. You have to show them on an aerial map where the container will go, or give the co-ords and let them go out and check the spot. The contact is Mike Auger mauger@androscogginandtrust.org (-mauger@androscogginandtrust.org) or call him at 782-2302.

I don't subscribe to the theory that geocaching is just another use of public lands and so it wouldn't require permission. Leaving something there is not usually on the list of intended uses for a public park.

darterkitfox
06-16-2008, 06:43 PM
Today we walked a trail on Paris Utility District property with the director so that he could see where we planned to place a cache before he would grant approval. During our talking, it came to his attention that there is a cache of the Maine Counties series (Oxford) placed on their property without permission. It is located at the bottom of a roadsign near a guardrail but the road is private and not a town road. He wasn't pleased as it was located pretty close to a dangerous abandoned building and someone with an inaccurate GPS (such as mine) might lead one to think it was in the building. A few cachers have said that you don't need to get permission in a public park or some other places. I guess that is fine if you know EXACTLY who owns the property. I would highly suggest getting permission from someone whether it is placed in a state road guardrail or Wal-marts parking lot. We could have had our next cache or someone elses denied because of this incident.

Kacky
06-26-2008, 01:08 AM
I hear ya. There's one placed not far from me on private property and I am having an anxiety attack that this will mean the end of caching in our town if the corp. that owns it finds out about it, and the police have to get involved. We have permission from the town clerk but only on public property and only if it won't inconvenience any work crew or any member of the public, or lead to property destruction.

kymeejay
04-14-2009, 08:12 PM
I know this is an old thread but I have a question that pertains. If you are going to a cache and are walking by No Trespassing signs is it safe to assume that the cache owner got permission before placing the cache? I certainly respect people's property and don't want to be somewhere I shouldn't. Any thoughts?

Haffy
04-14-2009, 08:57 PM
If it were me and I had to cross no trepassing signs then I would not trespass. Maybe a note to the cache owner and see what he had to say.

tat
04-14-2009, 09:36 PM
I know this is an old thread but I have a question that pertains. If you are going to a cache and are walking by No Trespassing signs is it safe to assume that the cache owner got permission before placing the cache? I certainly respect people's property and don't want to be somewhere I shouldn't. Any thoughts?

First, you should never cross onto land that is posted no trespassing to get a cache. Keep in mind, there may be another way, even a much longer way to get to the cache that does not require trespassing.

Also, some access and trails are quite narrow with posted lands on either side. In that case, "walking by" signs on either side of a public trail would not be trespassing.

When in doubt, email the cache owner!


From the guidelines:
"However, if we see a cache description that mentions ignoring "No Trespassing" signs (or any other obvious issues), your listing may be immediately archived."

brewmaine
04-14-2009, 09:51 PM
I also agree about asking for land owner permission I know there is a cache near the wire bridge in New Portland and its located on my father in-laws land. He knows nothing of geocaching or was asked to have a cache placed there he was asking me all kinds of questions about it and I was answering them honestly and telling him its nothing illegal about the sport but I agreed with him when he said they should have asked him because it will draw people to go on his land to get to it. I don't think he has a problem with it but its just the point he should have been asked.

attroll
04-14-2009, 10:10 PM
I agree 100% that landowner permission should be asked first before placing a cache private land. The biggest issue with geocaching and cachers is that probably 95% of the cachers never ask for permission by the landowner first before placing a cache. I think the reason for this is because it would take to much work for them to find out who owns the land or they just think since there are no houses around then it is not going to bother or hurt anyone.

kymeejay
04-14-2009, 10:29 PM
I certainly appreciate your responses to my question. Thank you.

dubord207
04-15-2009, 06:20 AM
I agree 100% that landowner permission should be asked first before placing a cache private land. The biggest issue with geocaching and cachers is that probably 95% of the cachers never ask for permission by the landowner first before placing a cache. I think the reason for this is because it would take to much work for them to find out who owns the land or they just think since there are no houses around then it is not going to bother or hurt anyone.

While I completely agree that landowner permission must be mandatory before placing a cache, I think it's a bit rash to think 95% of we cachers who are placing caches are doing so without permission. First of all, a good deal of them are placed on State of Maine property...guardrails. Should the DOT be notified for each placement?

Caches placed in preserves or reserved lands require permission and I have seen good efforts by a lot of cachers to acquire appropriate permission.

While there may be few caches placed without appropriate landowner permission, almost all the cachers that I have met seem polite and not reckless trespassers. Suggesting that 95% of the caches are placed inapproriately doesn't do our sport any good whatsoever and is not the reputation our group deserves IMHO.

brdad
04-15-2009, 06:37 AM
I think if the DOT was notified about placement of every GRC, many of them would not be approved by the state. Personally I think there is a liability issue with many GRCs. I know a few GRCs were placed with permission, however.

While I don't necessarily agree with Attroll on the actual percentage, I think the number of caches placed without permission is quite high. I also think the percentage has dropped a fair amount in recent years, partly because of awareness, and partly because some areas don't allow placement without permission.

I have five hides, four placed with no permission, and one placed with a "yeah, whatever..." permission, given possibly from someone with no say in the matter.

WhereRWe?
04-15-2009, 07:36 AM
While there may be few caches placed without appropriate landowner permission,

I think you'll find that NONE of the ubiquitous LPC's (light post caches) in malls/shopping centers/fast food joints have the property owner's permission for placement! LOL!

But I do believe that any cache placed on private property should have a statement in the cache listing attesting to the fact that the property owner's permission has in fact been obtained.

RULOST2? and I have been to several caches lately - on private property - where the cache was placed by a relative of the property owner and the listing stated that the property owner enjoyed reading the logs and watching cachers search for the cache. No problem with this... :D:D

WhereRWe?
04-15-2009, 07:39 AM
While I don't necessarily agree with Attroll on the actual percentage, I think the number of caches placed without permission is quite high.

I agree. In addition to my examples above, stop and think about how many caches you've been to that were in/near a cemetery, an old church or one-room school, etc. Lot and lots... :D:D

attroll
04-15-2009, 08:29 AM
While I completely agree that landowner permission must be mandatory before placing a cache, I think it's a bit rash to think 95% of we cachers who are placing caches are doing so without permission. First of all, a good deal of them are placed on State of Maine property...guardrails. Should the DOT be notified for each placement?

Caches placed in preserves or reserved lands require permission and I have seen good efforts by a lot of cachers to acquire appropriate permission.

While there may be few caches placed without appropriate landowner permission, almost all the cachers that I have met seem polite and not reckless trespassers. Suggesting that 95% of the caches are placed inapproriately doesn't do our sport any good whatsoever and is not the reputation our group deserves IMHO.
I can not tell you the actual percentage. When I said 95% I was only referring to private land and not including DOT, gaurdrails, parks and things like that. It was only a guess on my part from talking to other cachers I have met. I have met a lot of cachers and lots find a good spot for a cache and put a cache there and don't bother to asking anyone. I am not saying every cacher does this but I am making this assumption from cachers I have met and talked to. I could probably drop it down to 90%. I know I have been guilty in the past of doing this.

brdad
04-15-2009, 09:23 AM
I am not sure why there is a difference between private property and those owned by governing bodies. I think one deserves permission as much as the other.

attroll
04-15-2009, 10:22 AM
I am not sure why there is a difference between private property and those owned by governing bodies. I think one deserves permission as much as the other.
I agree with you on this as well.

Mapachi
04-15-2009, 10:45 PM
I have at least 30 plus caches on private land and preserves.......all with permission. All it takes is the time to ask and explain what geocaching is. Sometimes all it involves talking to a town code enforcement officer for town owned property! It's not hard and makes everyone involved more comfortable.

EMSDanel
04-15-2009, 11:17 PM
Time for me to weigh in on this one. Every one of my caches on private property have prior approval from the land owner. Period, without exception. Public access caches vary: guardrail caches I have just placed, assuming no permission needed. Boat launch caches I have touched bases with town officials...parks and recreation or public works. My Ellsworth Harbor cache (completely open to the public at a public park) I did not go to the city council for approval but brought an Ellsworth Police Dept. Sgt to the cache to show him so that he could spread the word to others in the P.D. at a staff meeting so there are no reports of "suspicious character" at ground zero. My "No Rest For the Weary" caches have prior approval from Maine DOT. A cache at Walmart deserves the permission of the store manager, as does a cache at an LL Bean outlet in Ellsworth and a cache at the Lucerne Inn (all granted). The point is this: private property absolutely needs permision from the owner; public places get permission whenever possible (which is most of the time); and guardrail caches are so numerous and so NOT on private property/are so public that I just assume it's OK. One final word......if you are placing a cache at a cemetery you cannot assume it is a public place. I learned very early on that most of these cemeteries have a sexton who takes care of the property and a board of directors who oversee the property. It is necessary to get the approval of all involved. In each and every case I have mentioned above....in my experience...all you need to do is have the courtesy to simply call and ask. It really is that simple.

HappyTogether
04-16-2009, 10:21 PM
I think the reason for this is because it would take to much work for them to find out who owns the land or they just think since there are no houses around then it is not going to bother or hurt anyone.

I agree that many people think its alot of work to find out who owns a property.

When in doubt who the owner of a property is, a short stop at the town office and a look at the tax maps can usually provide you with the owners name and mailing address.

WhereRWe?
04-17-2009, 06:40 PM
One series I'm concerned about is Laughing Terry's snowmobile caches. Sheesh! Twenty-something of them?? LOL!

Yo, Terry! Are these accessible "off-season"? Since a lot of them are close to us, we'd like to do them, but it seems like you have to cross private property to get to them.

I know that snowmobilers will have no problem as permission has been given for the snowmobile trails. But what about the rest of the year??

:confused::confused:

pjpreb
04-17-2009, 09:43 PM
I agree. In addition to my examples above, stop and think about how many caches you've been to that were in/near a cemetery, an old church or one-room school, etc. Lot and lots... :D:D


Denmark's Cache is in a Quaker cemetery with permission from the Shakers. At the time we requested permission, they did not know there was a slave buried there.

Team Richards
04-18-2009, 07:19 AM
We have had mixed luck asked for permission. We asked a hotel for permission, spent a two week period explaining geocaching Showed the manager the web site. walked the grounds and was told they didn't want to have a cache on their land. A few months later a different cacher asks a different Manager and get an approval. Bummer for us but still better to ask.
I think it gets back to the "NEED TO RED" the cache pages as well. We have been guilty of coming up on a cache and saying lets to this one. There was not a great trail but a game trail and so we went in, only to find when we got home and read he page that we entered from the wrong side and was on private property.
As darterkitfox said earlier, I think it is also important when hiding a cache to think about where people will look and make sure there are not dangers. Not everyone caches with kids, but those that do need to look at things differently.
Is it safe to walk on the side of this road, should kids stick their hands in that lamp post etc.

WhereRWe?
04-18-2009, 12:26 PM
We have been guilty of coming up on a cache and saying lets to this one. There was not a great trail but a game trail and so we went in, only to find when we got home and read he page that we entered from the wrong side and was on private property.


We've done this many times, and it's especially bad with mapping software on the GPSr that routes you to a place close to the cache, but you can't get to it from there. :D:D

brdad
04-18-2009, 04:05 PM
Another issue cachers have regarding permission is not being sure if permission has been granted when they come upon a no trespassing sign or blocked gate or road. When a cache is placed the hider should consider stating clearly that permission has been granted and specify approved entry locations if there are any, as well as any other pertinent details.

Quick stats - 151 of 4842 caches placed in Maine have the word "permission" in the cache details. 122 of 3807 active caches in Maine have the word "permission" in the cache details.

If you have not done so already, vote on the How many caches have you placed with permission? (http://www.geocachingmaine.org/forum/showthread.php?t=3826) poll.