View Full Version : Legality and Guidelines vs. what is good for the sport



brdad
04-10-2010, 07:37 AM
I felt this was a topic worthy of it's own thread. Please be careful and respectful in your postings since a specific cacher was mentioned.


Better hurry...Maine Sleddah archived his entire mini stud mill series based on what I felt was an over top and inapproriate log posted by some "wanna be real estate lawyer" type. Not to hijack your thread, but if a landowner shows concern then err on the side of archiving but in this case there were no landowner issues raised, just the opinion of a cacher who apparently doesn't understand that we have a Maine Reviewer who scrutinizes the placements.

I'm headed to that area today.

brdad
04-10-2010, 07:38 AM
There allegedly was a landowner concern on one of the caches (#6) where a new house was built 100 feet from the cache (I am presuming not on the homeowner's land) and the presence of cachers made the one of the homeowners nervous. While the cache placement is legal in the eye of the publisher and gc.com guidelines and probably state laws as well, sometimes public relations is more important. It seems that removing or moving this one cache would have made us as cachers look much better than all of the negative logs that have been posted from both sides of the argument.

This is just a game people. There are a million places left to hide caches. If we don't make an effort to respect and accommodate the few non-cachers whose lives we may be interfering with, we're going to end up with a lot less places to hide caches. I'm not saying there aren't times when we should not fight for our rights, but if there were people regularly hanging out in front of your house and it was making your wife nervous, wouldn't you want to take what measures you could to do something about it?

WhereRWe?
04-10-2010, 07:52 AM
Better hurry...Maine Sleddah archived his entire mini stud mill series based on what I felt was an over top and inapproriate log posted by some "wanna be real estate lawyer" type. Not to hijack your thread, but if a landowner shows concern then err on the side of archiving but in this case there were no landowner issues raised, just the opinion of a cacher who apparently doesn't understand that we have a Maine Reviewer who scrutinizes the placements.


I'm not familiar with this cache or the series, so I can't comment on them specifically. But I've been to several caches that I thought were inappropriately placed, and I said so in the log. I don't believe this makes me a "wanna be real estate lawyer", just a cacher who expresses his opinion.

And in defense of the geocache approver, he can only evaluate the cache based on what's in the listing or (rarely) an attached note. He can't physically visit every cache, and could well be completely unaware that the placement of a specific cache may be completely inappropriate.

:D:D

LaughingTerry
04-10-2010, 08:18 AM
I had a great puzzle cache along the pole line in Skowhegan. I hadn't checked on it in a while and since it was along a snowmobile trail I rode over and found someone was building a house about 100 feet away. I pulled it just because. Don't you hate it when the world intrudes on our hobby? LOL

NativeMainer
04-10-2010, 08:56 AM
Couldn't the one that was in question be archived without taking down the whole series? If I understand it correctly (by looking at the logs), it was just #6, not the rest of the series that was in contention with the land owner.

brdad
04-10-2010, 09:38 AM
And in defense of the geocache approver, he can only evaluate the cache based on what's in the listing or (rarely) an attached note. He can't physically visit every cache, and could well be completely unaware that the placement of a specific cache may be completely inappropriate.:D:D

True, and as is in this case, approvers can never predict how people living nearby will react to cachers.

Maine Family
04-10-2010, 11:30 AM
We have archived some of ours because when we placed them, we had permission. But over time land sold, new town officers came in, state changed the laws, or any number of situations. We don't have permission with them so we go and ask again. If we can't get permission then we archive it. Even though they were reviewed and approved as the owner I make it part of cache maintenance to make sure nothing has changed and permission is still granted.
I went to check on one of our caches where things had changed but when I got there there was a note from the police and town manager. There had been a theft in the town and they had searched the cache and approved it to remain. They knew the cache was there so the bomb squad wasn't called in for the ammo can.
I have given all the police departments in our area the web address to geocaching.com and how to look for caches in the area so if someone calls in suspicious activity they know about caches and how quickly caches are added.
We do what we can to make it safe and enjoyable to geocachers and non geocachers.

brdad
04-10-2010, 11:55 AM
Sounds like you're doing the right thing and more, Maine Family! Kudos to you...

dubord207
04-10-2010, 06:10 PM
I cached in the Kennebunk area today. I have 3 logs to CO's about very questionable placements. One of the CO's is not happy with my comments but the cache he placed is in a subdivision hanging from shrubs clearly on private property. He says " You can reach it from the sidewalk, therefore it meets the guidelines!" I don't think so.

Another of the caches is on shrubs placed at a building housing a bunch of lawyers. Well, not that I'd be overly cautious here, but I would not place a cache that one cacher said he was able to grab without getting out of his vehicle!

My personal practice is that if somebody, especially a supposed landowner questions are activities, we ought to err on the side of backing away instead of engaging in an argument that we'll never win.

tat
04-11-2010, 07:23 AM
The following is a quote from a reviewer and forum moderator Keystone. It was written quite a few years ago, but it may help explain why a cache can meet all legal requirements yet still not be eligible to be listed.


In most other cases -- ranging from suburban parks to shopping centers -- it is up to the cache owner to determine what constitutes "adequate permission." One cache owner might conclude that no formal permission at all is needed for a particular spot, while another will obtain written or oral permission for a different cache location because their instinct tells them that permission is a good idea. If the cache owner arrives at an unwarranted conclusion, the listing service will react to questions about permission. First, if a land owner / land manager requests removal of a cache placed without permission, Groundspeak's policy is to archive the cache unless and until the hider is able to straighten things out and provide an explanation of clear permission. Second, if another geocacher sees a cache location which causes them to have doubts about permission, they are welcome to raise their concern with the cache owner. If that is not productive, the geocacher may contact the website, contact a volunteer reviewer, or place a "needs archived" log on the cache page. The system is thus largely self-policing in this majority of circumstances.

The guidelines are a means to align cache hider and cache finder expectations. Cache finders can and do expect all laws to be followed and also expect all guidelines to be followed. When there are issues, the resolution must address not only the law, but also the guidelines.

Cache finders can expect adequate permission even if there is no outward indication that permission has been obtained.

If anyone wants help in securing permission, contact a volunteer reviewer or post a thread on the Groundspeak forums or here.

Mapachi
04-11-2010, 08:46 AM
I have had the same thing happen to my cache "The Crystal Apple". A house was built "down the road" then soon the little parking area along the dirt road got paved along with that section of the road. Now, apparently, signs stating "Entrance, with land owner permission only". My cache is placed on the "other side of the stream that dissects that property (I think) But caches will be confused by the signs, so I guess, after I check on it, I will Archive it and find another place for it. Unless I manage to talk to the land owner. I have had no complaints but I will take care of it before I do.
When I placed this, it was on a muddy old dirt road with no houses in sight. Just a pretty little stream with a place to pull off and enjoy.

CARoperPhotography
04-11-2010, 09:10 PM
The problem is that the archive log by the reviewer says that it was archived due to an "abutting landowner" request. With that definition, I could surmise that ANY and ALL caches have the potential to be archived on a whim. I don't like this at all. The same thing has happened to a few of my caches, due to cachers logs, and not due to a landowner request, even caches which were OBVIOUSLY on public property.

CARoperPhotography
04-11-2010, 09:14 PM
I agree with Dubord on the cache in the subdivision. I just did some intuitive reasoning and figured out which cache this was.... the cache owner in particular is known for VERY VERY VERY bad cords, and when I got there and found it a few months ago, I was thinking the same thing. I just read Dubord's DNF log on it and I think that THIS is a valid example of a cacher posting a solid and valid log regarding issues like this, but in the case of mini-Stud Run, that is downright absurd.

brdad
04-11-2010, 09:39 PM
I think the reviewers generally take the safe route, trusting the cacher who wrote the log. Unless they know a particular cacher to purposely like to get caches archived, it seems they would have to believe the person who claimed a nearby homeowner had a problem with a cache as much as he believe Dan's claims. I'm sure it is aggravating when it is your own cache, but I think most of the time if a cacher takes the time to post a warning the cacher's concerns are probably valid.

CARoperPhotography
04-11-2010, 09:55 PM
There is just something about "abutting landowner request" that rubs me the wrong way. Please read the log by Mscrep for my Kennebunk Gorge cache GC25JY9 and tell me your opinions..... personally, I think that HIS log is the better way to approach this type of issue. Honestly, there IS NO issue in the case of my cache, but I could imagine the same cacher who was successful in getting the mini Stud Run archived, having the same experience that Mscrep had here....

Ekidokai
04-11-2010, 10:52 PM
Right or wrong, the way to look at it is how the people that own the property in the surrounding area take to the geocaching. If they see a lot of characters wandering around in the woods behind your house for any reason it might be disturbing no matter what they are doing. Another good example of requiring stealth when your out there. Had people not been spotted no one would have known anything was going on. Which brings up placement. If the cache was hidden that close to where building was going on, maybe a little more secluded area could have been found. Again if we hide these things shouldn't we try to make and keep the hide hidden?

Up here we have some caches that have been hidden 10 feet from no trespassing signs and others obviously on peoples private property. Many other issues have arisen with this hider. I and a few others have communicated with this hider with very little response. Results are that his hides are not getting much action. If it becomes much more of an issue his resistance will be futile. You have to give people a chance. Work with them and offer assistance. If they reject it, that's their loss.

What I'm trying to say is, if this is to remain a fun activity we must work together, both as hiders and finders.

Ekidokai
04-11-2010, 10:58 PM
There is just something about "abutting landowner request" that rubs me the wrong way. Please read the log by Mscrep for my Kennebunk Gorge cache GC25JY9 and tell me your opinions..... personally, I think that HIS log is the better way to approach this type of issue. Honestly, there IS NO issue in the case of my cache, but I could imagine the same cacher who was successful in getting the mini Stud Run archived, having the same experience that Mscrep had here....

If this was my cache I would move it so that that abutter doesn't see or encounter caches. No need to stir up confrontation when it could be all good. This way you still get to win even if he doesn't know it.

CARoperPhotography
04-11-2010, 11:21 PM
Its not getting moved. It is in a huge Gully. The abutting land owner pretty much was a nosy bastard who wanted to try to act big and tough.

brdad
04-12-2010, 05:50 AM
There is just something about "abutting landowner request" that rubs me the wrong way. Please read the log by Mscrep for my Kennebunk Gorge cache GC25JY9 and tell me your opinions..... personally, I think that HIS log is the better way to approach this type of issue. Honestly, there IS NO issue in the case of my cache, but I could imagine the same cacher who was successful in getting the mini Stud Run archived, having the same experience that Mscrep had here....

You have two different situations here. In the case of your cache, it was assumed the nearby landowner was ok with the cache placement. At the other cache, the nearby landowner was not ok with the cache being there. Also bear in mind, all that ws posted to the other cache was a "needs maintenance" log and there were a few days when the cache owner could have verified the landowner did have an issue with the cache.

For your cache, in my opinion the best approach would be approach the landowner and verify how he does feel about the cache placement instead of calling him names. Next best action would just be to pay attention to the upcoming logs and take action then, hoping the presence of the police car was unrelated. There is a good chance if he did confront he police about it, he was informed legally they can not do anything if it's not his property - which brings us to the subject of this thread - Just because it might be legal doesn't mean it is good publicity for the sport.

dubord207
04-12-2010, 06:36 AM
I politely suggested to CO of GC23KH7 that based on the landowner's reaction and the prior posts that he consider archiving the cache. His response "Cache was placed within the Guidelines." I doubt it but making a "Needs Archiving" post is not something that will put you on the Christmas list of the CO. But with an upset landowner and clearly a poorly placed cache, should I recommend the Archiving of the cache? Curious what others might do.



I think the reviewers generally take the safe route, trusting the cacher who wrote the log. Unless they know a particular cacher to purposely like to get caches archived, it seems they would have to believe the person who claimed a nearby homeowner had a problem with a cache as much as he believe Dan's claims. I'm sure it is aggravating when it is your own cache, but I think most of the time if a cacher takes the time to post a warning the cacher's concerns are probably valid.

pm28570
04-12-2010, 07:22 AM
I politely suggested to CO of GC23KH7 that based on the landowner's reaction and the prior posts that he consider archiving the cache. His response "Cache was placed within the Guidelines." I doubt it but making a "Needs Archiving" post is not something that will put you on the Christmas list of the CO. But with an upset landowner and clearly a poorly placed cache, should I recommend the Archiving of the cache? Curious what others might do.

Interesting question that you pose. In that we are generally a self-policing activity, it has to entail a degree of responsibility on our collective parts. And often, being responsible means ticking people off. To address your question "Do I recommend archiving?", I think you just did. To log it as such, I would like to think that an experienced and responsible cache placer would understand the issues surrounding the placement. A lesser experienced placer hopefully would heed the experienced.

My view has been that when I seek a cache that turns out to be either too close to private property or there is not a clear delineation of where private ends and public starts, I pass on the cache.

While I can't comment on the cache that your discussing in that I have not been to it, common sense goes a long way.

brdad
04-12-2010, 07:24 AM
I politely suggested to CO of GC23KH7 that based on the landowner's reaction and the prior posts that he consider archiving the cache. His response "Cache was placed within the Guidelines." I doubt it but making a "Needs Archiving" post is not something that will put you on the Christmas list of the CO. But with an upset landowner and clearly a poorly placed cache, should I recommend the Archiving of the cache? Curious what others might do.

Hmmm... It seems quite obvious that the CO has made up his mind so any further logs would probably start a battle of the cache logs making cachers look like a bunch of buttheads like some of the logs in other caches, so if it were me I think I would just report it to a volunteer or directly to groundspeak and ask that they take a look at it and make a decision what action to take based on the logs.

This is exactly what this thread is about. I don't know why some people think that the law or guidelines is all that matters. You'd think these caches were so valuable the way some COs try to protect them. They often don't see the connection between how they react to these situations and the future of geocaching.

WhereRWe?
04-12-2010, 07:31 AM
Another point to consider: After reading the cache description and doing a quick Google, it's obvious that a lot of the material in the description was lifted verbatim from Wikipedia, without attribution.

:eek::eek:

Mapachi
04-12-2010, 08:57 AM
OK...Here I go!
I have a LOT of cache hides, so I know a little about this. The first time I archived a cache, it was because of an abutting landowner (He did not own the land the cache was on and I had permission for the placement, from the actual landowner.)
It seems a fellow cacher lost a Gun (pistol) at the cache site. He questioned who he thought was the landowner, if anyone had found his gun! This upset the guy and he asked for the cache to be removed because of the danger it posed! He couldn't be reasoned with, so I begrudgingly did so. I fumed over it for a while....especially a year later when some other cacher place a cache there!
As time has gone by I find myself less attached to my caches. I will archive them as needed now and just find another place to put the cache or just forget about it. I was treating my caches like they were my children!
Again, I reiterate....This is just a game; no more, no less! It's supposed to be fun, not infuriating! Enjoy your geo-buddies, and ignore the geo-jerks.

benandtina
04-12-2010, 02:20 PM
Personally, if I visited a cache and found a grumpy land owner I would e-mail the cache owner privately. Based on what I am understanding of this situation, I think the CO didn't necessarily have to archive it but I think doing so is (in my opinion) "the right thing to do" for everyone involved. I think archiving it was good for the sport since if it was left there we could be pretty certain that those landowners would never want to join our caching community and they would have tons of negativity about the sport to pass on to their friends.

I don't really know about the series or understand why the entire thing was archived... I think it's unfortunate that the CO put so much work in to all his caches and then had to get rid of them all. It would have been nice if maybe as a compromise only the cache in question was archived.

firefighterjake
04-12-2010, 02:30 PM
Happy to say we didn't have any issues when we did the Mini SMR . . . but some caches did seem pretty close to homes.

My own take on things is that I try to place my caches in areas away from prying eyes . . . or at least away from homes where people might get a bit uneasy with folks driving by all the time and stopping . . . or at least in public places where you might expect to find folks.

That said I do have a few caches out there that are close to homes. In one case I deliberately ask cachers to park at a certain point and walk down a certain path to the cache. In the case of my RFD cache the cache is on my property but within the sight line of the neighbor across the way. In both of these examples I took the time to inform the nearby neighbors of the caches . . . it's the right thing to do . . . cachers can rest easy knowing the neighbors know what is going on and the neighbors know not to get too concerned when they see a car parked in a certain spot . . . plus it gives some of the neighbors some free entertainment. :) ;)

benandtina
04-12-2010, 02:39 PM
I do agree that giving the neighbors a head's up is a nice thing to do - for the neighbor and the cacher. We found a cache that was near private property and the neighboring land owner had no clue. We accidentally went on his property for it. He was outside while we were looking around so I told him what we were doing. When we found out we were on his land I asked for permission to continue and he said we could, but I can't imagine how awkward it would have been if he'd told me to get out! He had no idea about the cache so I told him how to get the cache description and cache owner's contact information, but he seemed more than happy to let us explore his property. In fact, he even told us the best way to climb up some boulders on his land... I'm not entirely sure what would have happened if we had climbed up there and gotten hurt, LOL.

LaughingTerry
04-12-2010, 03:08 PM
That said I do have a few caches out there that are close to homes. In one case I deliberately ask cachers to park at a certain point and walk down a certain path to the cache. In the case of my RFD cache the cache is on my property but within the sight line of the neighbor across the way.

SheWolf and I met that neighbor. He came out and told us not to park there. He said it wasn't safe so he had us park in his driveway because he didn't want someone hitting the car sitting on the side of the road. Very nice guy.

firefighterjake
04-12-2010, 03:23 PM
SheWolf and I met that neighbor. He came out and told us not to park there. He said it wasn't safe so he had us park in his driveway because he didn't want someone hitting the car sitting on the side of the road. Very nice guy.

No disrespect intended . . . but the parking coords are actually for the entry into the field . . . although I mention the trail is across the road so some folks may read the description and see the trail entrance and think they should park there instead of the entrance to the field.

In any case, hakuna matata . . . no harm, no foul . . . and the neighbors there are pretty decent . . . some are even relatives.

-----------

The first stage of this cache will give you the coords to the second (final) stage. Please park at N 44.35.060, W 069.11.150 when attempting the second stage -- this is an entrance to a field. It is also coincidentally the parking spot for my Win or Lose cache. The walk from this parking spot to the second (final) cache site is approximately a 1/2 mile.

Once you have parked your vehicle cross the tar road and head down the hill towards Thorndike. On your right (almost across from the gravel road and well before you get anywhere near any homes) you should see an opening in the woods which is a snowmobile/ATV trail.

Walk down this trail until you reach N 44.35.232, W 069.11.178 which is an opening in the woods to your right. . . .