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Forums —» General Caching —» General —» Roadside Cache Ban
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Roadside Cache Ban
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LordEd



Joined: Feb 03, 2008
Posts: 68

PostPosted: Thu Aug 18, 2011 6:53 am    Post subject: Roadside Cache Ban Reply with quote

Reviewer note excerpt:

Due to a recent complaint from the British Columbia Ministry of Transportation (MOT), reviewers have been asked by groundspeak not to publish any new geocache submissions along any highway or road that may be considered on or too close to the right of way property owned by the Ministry of Transportation. This is having a major affect on geocaching across the province as the MOT has not yet told groundspeak exactly what the boundary is. The notice is only a few days old and already there are over 200 caches on hold in geo purgatory waiting for a ruling.
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katcogo



Joined: Feb 21, 2009
Posts: 543
Location: Burnaby

PostPosted: Thu Aug 18, 2011 8:38 am    Post subject: Re: Roadside Cache Ban Reply with quote

Thanks for the heads up on this Lord Ed. I'll check with the reviewer to see what BCGA can do to get some clarification on this.
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LordEd



Joined: Feb 03, 2008
Posts: 68

PostPosted: Thu Aug 18, 2011 8:40 am    Post subject: Re: Roadside Cache Ban Reply with quote

Actually, here's the full message minus location info. Reviewer is scootch in this case.


I'm a reviewer checking caches in British Columbia. Thank you for submitting the "xxxxxx" series. I am posting this reviewer note on "xxxxxx #1" but this affects your entire series.

Due to a recent complaint from the British Columbia Ministry of Transportation (MOT), reviewers have been asked by groundspeak not to publish any new geocache submissions along any highway or road that may be considered on or too close to the right of way property owned by the Ministry of Transportation. This is having a major affect on geocaching across the province as the MOT has not yet told groundspeak exactly what the boundary is. The notice is only a few days old and already there are over 200 caches on hold in geo purgatory waiting for a ruling.

Unfortunately, the MOT complaint will have a major impact on the "Going Postill" series. Any caches close to the shoulder of the road, a pull out, or intersection cannot be published at this time. However, I've gone over your series again and noticed that there are a few caches far enough away from the road to be published.

I am writing to ask you how you would like to proceed. There are a few options.

You have the option of moving all caches no less than 50 metres away from xxxxxx Road. You can go ahead as planned and hope for the best on September 11th. Who knows, groundspeak may give reviewers the go ahead by that time. There are several caches in the series definitely far enough to be published now. You also have the option to get written permission from the local Ministry of Transportation in charge of Postill lake road. They could all be published with permission from the MOT I'm not sure if the latter would be the best course of action at this point in time, however, as the MOT is currently dealing with the issue on a larger scale.

After reading this, I have no doubt you're frustrated. Everyone is. You're caches were good to go last week. This week most are not. Please note that I'm personally working double time to salvage what I can of your series and the Okanagan Cache Fest. I'll be contacting several other cache owners who have placed OCF caches along roads.

Please email me back at yyyy @ zzz.com and we will work together to get some of the series published if you like. I could go over the series a third time and give you a list of what caches are OK and which are not.
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wizardofooze



Joined: Feb 08, 2011
Posts: 25

PostPosted: Thu Aug 18, 2011 9:06 am    Post subject: Re: Roadside Cache Ban Reply with quote

If you have comments or concerns with this matter, please do not contact the Ministry of Transportation directly. Groundspeak is working diligently on this matter and is negotiating with the MOT to work out a satisfactory solution for all concerned.

Please feel free to email Groundspeak with any comments -- contact @ groundspeak.com and include BC Ministry of Transportation in the subject line.

Thank you for your understanding,
Wizard of Ooze
Volunteer Cache Reviewer for BC
www.wizardofooze.com

_________________
I'm your friendly local geocache reviewer for BC. If you have questions about placing a geocache, please read the guidelines first! If you still need help, feel free to email me wiz@wizardofooze.com with specific questions or check out my blog and website: www.wizardofooze.com
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LordEd



Joined: Feb 03, 2008
Posts: 68

PostPosted: Thu Aug 18, 2011 9:16 am    Post subject: Re: Roadside Cache Ban Reply with quote

For quick clarification wiz, are forest service roads affected by this decision? These are managed by the ministry of Forests, Lands, and Natural Resource Operations and not the Ministry of Transportation. I had sent this to scootch as well (my series is on a FSR, but it may not be clearly identified as one on the map).
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LordEd



Joined: Feb 03, 2008
Posts: 68

PostPosted: Thu Aug 18, 2011 9:17 am    Post subject: Re: Roadside Cache Ban Reply with quote

(and by 'on', i mean 'near')
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wizardofooze



Joined: Feb 08, 2011
Posts: 25

PostPosted: Thu Aug 18, 2011 9:29 am    Post subject: Re: Roadside Cache Ban Reply with quote

LordEd wrote:
For quick clarification wiz, are forest service roads affected by this decision? These are managed by the ministry of Forests, Lands, and Natural Resource Operations and not the Ministry of Transportation. I had sent this to scootch as well (my series is on a FSR, but it may not be clearly identified as one on the map).

As Groundspeak is the one who is handling this, I'm going to ask you to contact them with any questions so all information is coming from one source point. I'm sorry not to have much information on this matter, but this has all come up in the past few days and I don't want to speculate on what the correct answer to your question might be.

Thanks for your understanding...

Wiz.

_________________
I'm your friendly local geocache reviewer for BC. If you have questions about placing a geocache, please read the guidelines first! If you still need help, feel free to email me wiz@wizardofooze.com with specific questions or check out my blog and website: www.wizardofooze.com
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MaliBooBoo



Joined: Jan 06, 2007
Posts: 100
Location: Kamloops

PostPosted: Thu Aug 18, 2011 9:40 am    Post subject: Re: Roadside Cache Ban Reply with quote

An FSR would not be under MOTI jurisdiction.
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CAMOKELLY



Joined: Mar 24, 2008
Posts: 482
Location: Abbotsford BC

PostPosted: Tue Aug 30, 2011 12:25 pm    Post subject: Re: Roadside Cache Ban Reply with quote

Update:

Groundspeak has just invited the BCGA to be apart of the negotiations with the Ministry of Transportation. The executive will be formulating our first contact letter to the MOT and will update you all once he have a responce from them.
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scruffster



Joined: Sep 29, 2004
Posts: 1207
Location: Burnaby

PostPosted: Tue Aug 30, 2011 6:13 pm    Post subject: Re: Roadside Cache Ban Reply with quote

Remember that tourism agencies across the province are promoting geocaching. Pemberton even has a sign saying it is a geocaching friendly community. I would contact ex BCGA president Chris Edley as he has been working with BC Parks for a while and some of the highest levels of government (Environment Minister Barry Penner) have endorsed geocaching. The MOT must know it's not just about them and cachers. Other levels of government are involved.

Geocachers are not supposed to place caches where people should not normally go. That should be a given. There are some old caches that are questionable but that is the exception, not the norm.

I'm surprised more people aren't talking about this. If the MOT digs in their heels it could result in the loss of 15% or more of all geocaches in British Columbia.
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LordEd



Joined: Feb 03, 2008
Posts: 68

PostPosted: Tue Aug 30, 2011 8:14 pm    Post subject: Re: Roadside Cache Ban Reply with quote

I think the reason its not being talked about is nobody knows anything. All I knew is a number of my unpublished caches for CacheFest were no longer acceptable due to MOT putting out a blanket request to block anything near a road, and the reviewers having to use 50m as the guideline (which is well beyond what should be in their (MOT not reviewers) realm of control). If I didn't have any caches in queue, I wouldn't have had any idea there was a problem brewing.
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Fonty Family



Joined: Nov 15, 2009
Posts: 149
Location: Kelowna

PostPosted: Wed Aug 31, 2011 6:17 pm    Post subject: Re: Roadside Cache Ban Reply with quote

Perhaps, the onus is on geocaching.com, MOT and the BCGA to engage the membership and the BC caching community as a whole.

This can easily be done by providing the community a description of the issues, so we can have a frank discussion about the MOT concerns and then the BCGA can formulate a response based on the community's comments.

My concern is this whole issue is currently behind closed doors and it impacts every BC cacher and every BC cacher should have the opportunity to provide input (should they wish). Personally, I would like to at least know what the issue is/was?
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Fonty Family



Joined: Nov 15, 2009
Posts: 149
Location: Kelowna

PostPosted: Wed Aug 31, 2011 6:18 pm    Post subject: Re: Roadside Cache Ban Reply with quote

Oh I forgot to mention, I did e-mail Groundspeak and still am waiting for a response...
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CAMOKELLY



Joined: Mar 24, 2008
Posts: 482
Location: Abbotsford BC

PostPosted: Wed Aug 31, 2011 7:40 pm    Post subject: Re: Roadside Cache Ban Reply with quote

Fonty Family wrote:
Perhaps, the onus is on geocaching.com, MOT and the BCGA to engage the membership and the BC caching community as a whole.

This can easily be done by providing the community a description of the issues, so we can have a frank discussion about the MOT concerns and then the BCGA can formulate a response based on the community's comments.

My concern is this whole issue is currently behind closed doors and it impacts every BC cacher and every BC cacher should have the opportunity to provide input (should they wish). Personally, I would like to at least know what the issue is/was?


Onus might be a bit of a strong word here. I don't agree it is the MOT's or Groundspeak's duty or responsibility to keep individual Geocachers engaged in all things Geocaching. We must respectfully remember this is Groundspeak's invention we are engaging in and we are bound to play by their rules and guidelines to the sport we are privileged to participate in.


An open discussion might be the best senario the BCGA and its members could hope for to be sure however one must remember that the BCGA is your voice when it comes to Geocaching in our Province. You vote in an executive each year to deal with just such things that have come up in the past and will continue to do so in the future. We would love to be able to keep you all completely informed as to what is happening however we only have the same information that has already been shared through the Groundspeak letters to cache hiders and the information provided to us though our reviewers.

We are glad that Groundspeak has agreed to include us in the handling of this problem and I personally as President promise you all that I will not be handling this alone that’s for sure. When we are given permission we will be including and informing all our members what information we can share and will fully engage all BC Geocachers in an online discussion of this matter so you can have your voice heard and together as an association we can response to the MOT and Groundspeak with what the BC caching public have to say.
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CAMOKELLY



Joined: Mar 24, 2008
Posts: 482
Location: Abbotsford BC

PostPosted: Wed Aug 31, 2011 7:50 pm    Post subject: Re: Roadside Cache Ban Reply with quote

Fonty Family wrote:
Oh I forgot to mention, I did e-mail Groundspeak and still am waiting for a response...

As individuals we do have the right to contact Groundspeak if we choose just remember 1, 10, 100, 1000 individual emails to them will only slow this whole process down. I would suggest it best to use your association as the voice in this matter. Send us your emailed concerns and we will include them in our discussion to Groundspeak and the MOT.
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CAMOKELLY



Joined: Mar 24, 2008
Posts: 482
Location: Abbotsford BC

PostPosted: Wed Aug 31, 2011 8:00 pm    Post subject: Re: Roadside Cache Ban Reply with quote

scruffster wrote:
Remember that tourism agencies across the province are promoting geocaching. Pemberton even has a sign saying it is a geocaching friendly community. I would contact ex BCGA president Chris Edley as he has been working with BC Parks for a while and some of the highest levels of government (Environment Minister Barry Penner) have endorsed geocaching. The MOT must know it's not just about them and cachers. Other levels of government are involved.

Geocachers are not supposed to place caches where people should not normally go. That should be a given. There are some old caches that are questionable but that is the exception, not the norm.

I'm surprised more people aren't talking about this. If the MOT digs in their heels it could result in the loss of 15% or more of all geocaches in British Columbia.

Thank you Scruffster this is the exact kind of input we will be needing when we have our chance to respond in this matter. Don't count yourself out as one of the first choices of people we will be needing in the discussions to solve this problem. There are many charter members we will need to be hearing from to caption just what Geocaching means to us all in this province and what we as an association are willing to do in making sure any problems that arise can be fixed or changed so that we might be allowed to continue engaging in our beloved sport here in BC.
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Fonty Family



Joined: Nov 15, 2009
Posts: 149
Location: Kelowna

PostPosted: Thu Sep 01, 2011 8:45 am    Post subject: Re: Roadside Cache Ban Reply with quote

TESKELLY wrote:
Fonty Family wrote:
Oh I forgot to mention, I did e-mail Groundspeak and still am waiting for a response...

As individuals we do have the right to contact Groundspeak if we choose just remember 1, 10, 100, 1000 individual emails to them will only slow this whole process down. I would suggest it best to use your association as the voice in this matter. Send us your emailed concerns and we will include them in our discussion to Groundspeak and the MOT.

No problem, I was following wizard of ooze's directions previously listed in this forum. Perhaps, you could let me know who is the elected board member for the thompson/okanagan?

If you want more tourism related benefits, you could also include the Gold Country geocaching series, I believe that was funded by government grant.
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Fonty Family



Joined: Nov 15, 2009
Posts: 149
Location: Kelowna

PostPosted: Thu Sep 01, 2011 9:36 am    Post subject: Re: Roadside Cache Ban Reply with quote

TESKELLY wrote:
Fonty Family wrote:
Perhaps, the onus is on geocaching.com, MOT and the BCGA to engage the membership and the BC caching community as a whole.

This can easily be done by providing the community a description of the issues, so we can have a frank discussion about the MOT concerns and then the BCGA can formulate a response based on the community's comments.

My concern is this whole issue is currently behind closed doors and it impacts every BC cacher and every BC cacher should have the opportunity to provide input (should they wish). Personally, I would like to at least know what the issue is/was?


Onus might be a bit of a strong word here. I don't agree it is the MOT's or Groundspeak's duty or responsibility to keep individual Geocachers engaged in all things Geocaching. We must respectfully remember this is Groundspeak's invention we are engaging in and we are bound to play by their rules and guidelines to the sport we are privileged to participate in.


An open discussion might be the best senario the BCGA and its members could hope for to be sure however one must remember that the BCGA is your voice when it comes to Geocaching in our Province. You vote in an executive each year to deal with just such things that have come up in the past and will continue to do so in the future. We would love to be able to keep you all completely informed as to what is happening however we only have the same information that has already been shared through the Groundspeak letters to cache hiders and the information provided to us though our reviewers.

We are glad that Groundspeak has agreed to include us in the handling of this problem and I personally as President promise you all that I will not be handling this alone that’s for sure. When we are given permission we will be including and informing all our members what information we can share and will fully engage all BC Geocachers in an online discussion of this matter so you can have your voice heard and together as an association we can response to the MOT and Groundspeak with what the BC caching public have to say.

I will respectfully agree to disagree with you on your first point, the onus is on the MOT to inform the general public on any rulings they make with respect to their mandate (ie roadways etc...) They would typically do this through press release and/or MOT website postings. None of this was done. But I do agree they do not need to inform the specific geocaching community.

As for groundspeak and its reviewers, they are just now informing the geocaching community (through the wiz's blog posting). But in the beginning only individual affected cache owners were being contacted with respect to a new guideline. I would be happy to discuss with you the many unintended impacts this caused but do not believe this is the correct forum to do so. That being said groundspeak is caught in the middle, especially given the vagueness of the MOT directive. I value the work they do and feel sorry for the position they are in.

It is nice to know that the BCGA will be acting as my voice, and I look forward to being part of the consultation process as a BCGA member. And hope this consultation process will be inclusive of all regions of BC and be inclusive of all BC cachers that want to participate in the process.
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CAMOKELLY



Joined: Mar 24, 2008
Posts: 482
Location: Abbotsford BC

PostPosted: Thu Sep 01, 2011 10:27 am    Post subject: Re: Roadside Cache Ban Reply with quote

Groundspeak has been dealing with new submitted caches and owners only to date as they are the only caches being affected at this point. There is no "New Guideline" as you put it in effect yet. The MOT has only asked that no more additional geocaches be approved for now until a solution and understanding of expectations is finalized.

I wouldn't say that Groundspeak is caught in the middle. This is apart of Groundspeaks responcibility as owners of the listings website for Geocaches. They have the experience in dealing with many governing bodies all over the world when it comes to Geocaching. I'm confident they will be able to sort out some kind of a mutually agreeable solution to the MOT's concerns.

If we can be apart of those discussion even better. However when that meeting does occur we the BCGA will need to have our members concerns ready to be added into the discussion as I doubt the MOT OR Groundspeak will be willing to hold off on the decission making process while the BCGA consults it's members.

My suggestion is that we as an association start our discussion on this matter now so we are prepared for any such meeting in the future. That is why I have asked to be filled in with all the details that lead up to this complaint. When we have those details we will start the discussion here on the forums.
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HwyGuy



Joined: Oct 25, 2005
Posts: 129
Location: Langley BC

PostPosted: Thu Sep 01, 2011 7:36 pm    Post subject: Re: Roadside Cache Ban Reply with quote

I worked for the MOT for almost 30 years. They are a world unto their own and have the Transportation Act behind them. It is an all encompassing document that allows a multitude of permits etc to be required to do anything even remotely associated with roads in the province.

One section states:

According to Section 63 of the Transportation Act, "A person must not use, occupy or construct/deposit anything to a highway, or to any land or improvement related to a highway, without written authorization from the minister, or as otherwise authorized by law."

If the Ministry believes that the highway is being used or occupied without authorization, staff take the following steps:

they notify the land owner or occupier where the problem exists
the notice specifies the action the responsible person must take, the date by which the situation is expected to be remedied, and the consequences of non-compliance
if the owner or occupier does not fix the problem, Ministry staff can enter land and carry out any remedial action required at the expense of the responsible person.

Police can also issue tickets or lay charges for specific offenses, including failure to comply with a notice to remedy a situation on the highway.


I would assume this is the one that Groundspeak is trying to negotiate. They would NOT want to deal with costs associated with removing caches.

Every highway and side road in the province, not in a municipality, is in essence controlled by the Ministry of Transportation and Infastructure. If the various Maintenance contractors grade the road, clear snow, or paint a line on a road - the MoTI makes the rules.

We REALLY want our Executive to be prepared and be able to help Groundspeak convince the MOTI to relax this regulation for geocaching.
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LordEd



Joined: Feb 03, 2008
Posts: 68

PostPosted: Thu Sep 01, 2011 7:49 pm    Post subject: Re: Roadside Cache Ban Reply with quote

Groundspeak is a listing service. They don't actually place caches (mostly), so they would just archive caches that are an issue.
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CAMOKELLY



Joined: Mar 24, 2008
Posts: 482
Location: Abbotsford BC

PostPosted: Thu Sep 01, 2011 7:54 pm    Post subject: Re: Roadside Cache Ban Reply with quote

HwyGuy wrote:
I worked for the MOT for almost 30 years. They are a world unto their own and have the Transportation Act behind them. It is an all encompassing document that allows a multitude of permits etc to be required to do anything even remotely associated with roads in the province.

One section states:

According to Section 63 of the Transportation Act, "A person must not use, occupy or construct/deposit anything to a highway, or to any land or improvement related to a highway, without written authorization from the minister, or as otherwise authorized by law."

If the Ministry believes that the highway is being used or occupied without authorization, staff take the following steps:

they notify the land owner or occupier where the problem exists
the notice specifies the action the responsible person must take, the date by which the situation is expected to be remedied, and the consequences of non-compliance
if the owner or occupier does not fix the problem, Ministry staff can enter land and carry out any remedial action required at the expense of the responsible person.

Police can also issue tickets or lay charges for specific offenses, including failure to comply with a notice to remedy a situation on the highway.


I would assume this is the one that Groundspeak is trying to negotiate. They would NOT want to deal with costs associated with removing caches.

Every highway and side road in the province, not in a municipality, is in essence controlled by the Ministry of Transportation and Infastructure. If the various Maintenance contractors grade the road, clear snow, or paint a line on a road - the MoTI makes the rules.

We REALLY want our Executive to be prepared and be able to help Groundspeak convince the MOTI to relax this regulation for geocaching.

Bang on HwyGuy. This is exactly what concerns me and the rest of the executive. We are all volunteers here and not even close to being experienced enough to go butting heads with a government agency such as this without knowing exactly what to say and how politely to say it. It only takes one hot headed person who thinks they have all the rights to end geocaching for all of us in any area even remotely close to any road or hwy in the province.

That is why I am hoping this situation can be cleared up by Groundspeak before we even need to become involved. We are a passionate group of Geocachers here in BC that is for certain but now is not the time for us to start waving our banners and writing emails demanding what we think is our rights when we have no idea what those rights even are.
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CAMOKELLY



Joined: Mar 24, 2008
Posts: 482
Location: Abbotsford BC

PostPosted: Thu Sep 01, 2011 8:00 pm    Post subject: Re: Roadside Cache Ban Reply with quote

LordEd wrote:
Groundspeak is a listing service. They don't actually place caches (mostly), so they would just archive caches that are an issue.

Very true and that would be a huge number of caches indeed. That scenario would almost completely end the concept of drive up caches in our province.
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Fonty Family



Joined: Nov 15, 2009
Posts: 149
Location: Kelowna

PostPosted: Fri Sep 02, 2011 8:08 am    Post subject: Re: Roadside Cache Ban Reply with quote

@ TESKELLY - there is a new guideline in place, this guideline is temporary until the issue is resolved but it is a guideline none the less...the wiz on her blog on August 29th posted the following:

"As a result of a complaint lodged by the Ministry of Transporation, Groundspeak (Geocaching.com’s parent company) has asked that no roadside geocaches be published until further notice in BC. This means no caches by a highway, road, lane, pullout, intersection, traffic circle, median, highway rest stop, boulevard or any land or equipment that may be remotely considered owned or maintained by the Ministry of Transportation, unless you are able to provide written/emailed proof of permission from the BC MOT or other agency (local highway department, public works department, etc.) who may have jurisdiction over the location of your cache."

Personally, I want to respect the land owners wishes in this issue and it will be unlikely that I would ever attempt to place a roadside cache. And I realize this is my choice. But I also would like a clear and reasonable guideline. Also note, it was never my intention to imply that it is our right or we are entitled to place caches where ever we want.

This issue now has two major impacts to cachers in BC who want to place roadside caches
1) this guideline now extends beyond MOT controlled roadways and
2) We are required to get explicit permission instead of having adequate permission to place roadside caches on roadways outside MOT control.

As the BCGA is now part of the "process", could we please have the following items clarified moving forward

The "new guideline" should state what is meant by the word "by" is this 10 metres, 50 metres 200metres etc...

Furthermore, can we get some clarification for places like public parks, property, etc that run immediately adjacent to any roadway? Are we required to provide explicit permission for these caches also?
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HwyGuy



Joined: Oct 25, 2005
Posts: 129
Location: Langley BC

PostPosted: Fri Sep 02, 2011 10:23 pm    Post subject: Re: Roadside Cache Ban Reply with quote

I would assume that "by" a road, highway etc would mean from the centerline of the said road, highway etc to the edge of the right of way, which is where private property starts - where caches are not allowed.

I would guess someone in the hierarchy of the MOTI read something about the Alien Highway or spoke to someone at a conference or there has been an incident on a highway in BC arising from geocaching, much like the original cause of the ban in Nevada.

If we as geocachers manage to annoy the wrong person by saying or doing the wrong thing at this critical time - it will be very hard to get a bureaucrat who is concerned with protecting his butt, to rescind any bans that may occur.

Picking nits as to what "by" means could easily be that wrong thing.

I urge everyone to just let Groundspeak handle this. They seemed to smooth the feathers of the DOT in Nevada and allow the Alien Highway to be reinstated.

Hopefully we can have the same successful resolution here.
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bushdude



Joined: Apr 27, 2008
Posts: 5
Location: Gold River

PostPosted: Thu Sep 08, 2011 9:16 am    Post subject: Re: Roadside Cache Ban Reply with quote

Let's not forget that BC highways are located on PUBLIC land and therefore available to everyone including the geocaching community. I don't believe that a single government ministry has the right to tell me what I can and can not do on public land. As long as what I'm doing is safe for myself and other users of the land, is not adversely affecting the environment, and is not harming any infrastructures, I really don't see a problem here. What's the issue and what am I missing here?

In my opinion, most of the highway caches I've found or have placed are located in safe environments well off the travelled portion of the road with adequate & safe off highway parking.
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HwyGuy



Joined: Oct 25, 2005
Posts: 129
Location: Langley BC

PostPosted: Thu Sep 08, 2011 9:37 pm    Post subject: Re: Roadside Cache Ban Reply with quote

You can do a lot of things on public land. Most of them just require a permit or some other form of permission (cutting trees, taking minerals, placing items on the right of way, camping, driving, boating, etc). The MOTI is withholding that permit in this case.

You can go out, wander around and place caches - Groundspeak is just choosing not to break the law in BC by "advertising" non permitted placements. If they did - they would be libel for any costs incurred in the removal of the caches as per the Highways Act. That document - which runs 230+ pages - is a legal document that gives the MOTI authority over everything that occurs inside its right of way (culverts, signs, driving, stopping, walking, etc). I believe it used to give the MOTI authority over approval of new subdivisions up to 800 m from its right of way on major highways.

So yeah - they have the authority to stop caching on the highways and side roads of BC. If they do - will the Ministry of Forests be far behind?

What we all may be missing is just the information as to what brought geocaching to the MOTI's attention.

It could be as simple as word of mouth, a bad experience of some bureaucrat who had one of us walk across the highway in front of him, or open a door as he was approaching, a geotrail up a freshly hydroseeded bank, damage to a sign that looked like a likely spot for a hide, or any of a thousand other small incidents.

Or it could be a lawsuit stemming from this:

www.torontosun.com/201...n-bc-cliff

It states the cacher climbed over a roadside barrier - in this litigious society - who knows if the MOTI is having to defend itself about knowledge of placement on MOTI right of way, height of barrier, warning signs about the height of bank, the lack of a MOTI geocaching policy or a myriad of other "stupid" things a lawyer could think up to get a settlement from the government.

I seem to remember a memo we got after a rock fell and killed some one on the Squamish Highway. If the MOT had known about that specific rock and done nothing they were at fault, but if they didn't bother checking it out, even though the danger of rocks on that slope was well known - the MOT was not libel.

Well - now the MOTI knows there is danger a geocacher can fall - on its right of way - and they need to stop the activity or have a policy to make sure the MOTI can not be found libel in the event of another incident.

This is all just speculation - and hopefully it can be resolved - we just need to be patient and use a little restraint and give any support required to the Executive and Groundspeak.
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vanislelady



Joined: Jan 20, 2007
Posts: 230
Location: Campbell River

PostPosted: Fri Sep 09, 2011 9:28 am    Post subject: Re: Roadside Cache Ban Reply with quote

HwyGuy wrote:


Or it could be a lawsuit stemming from this:

www.torontosun.com/201...n-bc-cliff


AS my mind respects what you say and acknowledges your point I just have to say when I read this that although the cacher climbed unnecessarily over a guardrail to find a geocache, that the MOT has to use common sense and realize that it cannot remove say, the scenery. This could have happened by someone wanting to get a better picture for instance. We, as cachers, and the general public, must take responsibility for our actions. We must use common sense and know our limitations.

That said, Groundspeak has the experience to deal with this issue and has allowed us some feedback on this issue.
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LordEd



Joined: Feb 03, 2008
Posts: 68

PostPosted: Fri Sep 09, 2011 12:23 pm    Post subject: Re: Roadside Cache Ban Reply with quote

vanislelady wrote:

That said, Groundspeak has the experience to deal with this issue and has allowed us some feedback on this issue.

If, at some point, we are actually told what the issue is.
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bushdude



Joined: Apr 27, 2008
Posts: 5
Location: Gold River

PostPosted: Fri Sep 09, 2011 7:25 pm    Post subject: Re: Roadside Cache Ban Reply with quote

[quote="vanislelady"]
HwyGuy wrote:


AS my mind respects what you say and acknowledges your point I just have to say when I read this that although the cacher climbed unnecessarily over a guardrail to find a geocache, that the MOT has to use common sense and realize that it cannot remove say, the scenery. This could have happened by someone wanting to get a better picture for instance. We, as cachers, and the general public, must take responsibility for our actions. We must use common sense and know our limitations.
.

My point exactly. What's next? Will MOT deactivate all scenic viewpoint pullouts because of some people's unsafe behaviour?

I think that MOT (and other government agencies) sometime forget who they really represent and work for - the taxpaying public! And not simply to satisfy their own agenda that they feel they may have.

I think it would be prudent for MOT, or someone, to let us know exactly what the real issue here is. Otherwise all we're doing is speculating and can't provide any real concrete advice for the "powers that be".
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IRLPGUY



Joined: Mar 01, 2007
Posts: 174

PostPosted: Thu Sep 15, 2011 7:29 pm    Post subject: Re: Roadside Cache Ban Reply with quote

bushdude wrote:


What's next? Will MOT deactivate all scenic viewpoint pullouts because of some people's unsafe behaviour?

I think that MOT (and other government agencies) sometime forget who they really represent and work for - the taxpaying public! And not simply to satisfy their own agenda that they feel they may have.

I think it would be prudent for MOT, or someone, to let us know exactly what the real issue here is. Otherwise all we're doing is speculating and can't provide any real concrete advice for the "powers that be".

I don’t think there is much doubt that the concern by MOT and “The Government” is liability. Many years ago you could ride your dirt bike, ATV or snowmobile on old logging roads in the Province without insurance, because of liability concerns most of those roads were de-activated in an attempt to keep people out. BC Forest Service was performing due diligence in de-activating those roads, thereby lessening the likelihood of a successful lawsuit should someone be injured who went past the de-activation. Today you must carry liability insurance to ride on any of these roads and trails.

The “Government” has not forgotten whom it is they represent and work for, they are safeguarding the taxpayers money by trying to avoid the huge expense of a lawsuit and payout by taking due diligence in closing certain area’s, and perhaps not allowing certain activities unless by permit. I would rather not be able to place a cache on a viewpoint than have my tax dollars go toward settling an enormous lawsuit and lining the pockets of some lawyers. I have a cache or two that would be affected in case anyone is wondering.

It is tragic that a geocacher fell to his death in an attempt to log a geocache on, in or near a viewpoint or anywhere for that matter, however perhaps the MOT has decided because this did happen, it would be prudent to lesson the possibility of themselves being named in a lawsuit by not allowing these items to be placed on their “right of ways”.

I suggest that if we demand the right to place caches wherever we see fit, we will far more quickly lose our right to place them on any “public” property. It may be frustrating at the moment but let Groundspeak deal with this issue. If they are unable to have the rule rescinded then we will have to abide by the rule.
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bushdude



Joined: Apr 27, 2008
Posts: 5
Location: Gold River

PostPosted: Thu Sep 15, 2011 8:18 pm    Post subject: Re: Roadside Cache Ban Reply with quote

IRLPGUY wrote:


... because of liability concerns most of those roads were de-activated in an attempt to keep people out. BC Forest Service was performing due diligence in de-activating those roads, thereby lessening the likelihood of a successful lawsuit should someone be injured who went past the de-activation.

Actually, (from my years of experience) the real reason for road deactivation is to reduce potential future "environmental" damage. This is the first I heard of government deactivating roads to keep people out???

Regardless, just because a road is "deactivated" doesn't mean that people are not allowed to use them. I walk/drive/quad on deactivated roads all the time with no issues.
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LordEd



Joined: Feb 03, 2008
Posts: 68

PostPosted: Mon Sep 19, 2011 7:43 am    Post subject: Re: Roadside Cache Ban Reply with quote

We're still just guessing. Is there any updated real information?
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wizardofooze



Joined: Feb 08, 2011
Posts: 25

PostPosted: Mon Sep 19, 2011 8:36 am    Post subject: Re: Roadside Cache Ban Reply with quote

LordEd wrote:
We're still just guessing. Is there any updated real information?

There is no updated information at this point. Groundspeak is working on this issue with the Ministry, but at this time there is nothing to report. Reviewers are still disabling any cache which could potentially be within the Ministry's jurisdiction (see Hwyguy's earlier post in this thread for more details) until we hear otherwise from Groundspeak.

I wish we had better news, but nothing has changed since the initial order came from MOTI. Your patience and understanding is appreciated -- this is as frustrating for the reviewers as it is for the cachers affected by this policy.

Wiz.

_________________
I'm your friendly local geocache reviewer for BC. If you have questions about placing a geocache, please read the guidelines first! If you still need help, feel free to email me wiz@wizardofooze.com with specific questions or check out my blog and website: www.wizardofooze.com
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Mr Kaswa



Joined: Oct 23, 2006
Posts: 45
Location: Surrey

PostPosted: Mon Sep 19, 2011 3:40 pm    Post subject: Re: Roadside Cache Ban Reply with quote

In agreement with Scruffster earlier in the thread...

What steps is the BCGA taking to help gather support for our cause? Are we in contact with towns, cities, municipalities, park boards, other government ministries, tourism groups, etc. that can/would/will offer their support? We may need all the help we can get here.
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IRLPGUY



Joined: Mar 01, 2007
Posts: 174

PostPosted: Mon Sep 19, 2011 6:57 pm    Post subject: Re: Roadside Cache Ban Reply with quote

Mr Kaswa wrote:
In agreement with Scruffster earlier in the thread...

What steps is the BCGA taking to help gather support for our cause? Are we in contact with towns, cities, municipalities, park boards, other government ministries, tourism groups, etc. that can/would/will offer their support? We may need all the help we can get here.

I would again encourage everyone to pause for a moment and allow Groundspeak to work at resolving this issue. I am sure they have been in communication with BCGA and will certainly seek the support of the local community through BCGA should they determine it necessary. At this point in time it might be more damaging to our cause to alert other Government agencies that one of their own has seen fit to banish caches within their area of control. I would be more concerned with the possibility that other agencies might follow suit rather than being supportive. Why involve any other Ministry or group in an issue which may be resolved without them becoming aware of the it at all.

What it was that precipitated this action may be of great “interest” to everyone, but really makes little difference at this point. Groundspeak was contacted by the Ministry and instructed not to approve caches in areas under their control. Some have asked what exactly that might involve, that again makes little difference at this point. It is far more important to allow Groundspeak to work with the Ministry toward resolving the issue and reaching a satisfactory resolution on our behalf.
I do believe our interests are being well served by Groundspeak, and I feel we should give them our confidence and some time to work this out.
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Mr Kaswa



Joined: Oct 23, 2006
Posts: 45
Location: Surrey

PostPosted: Mon Sep 19, 2011 8:41 pm    Post subject: Re: Roadside Cache Ban Reply with quote

Yeah, I am just asking the executive what steps they may have taken towards getting support in this, if they have not because they felt it was not yet a good idea to do so yet then they can tell us that.
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katcogo



Joined: Feb 21, 2009
Posts: 543
Location: Burnaby

PostPosted: Mon Sep 19, 2011 9:01 pm    Post subject: Re: Roadside Cache Ban Reply with quote

The BCGA Executive contacted Groundspeak to offer any assistance we could to resolve this matter and to provide local perspective and contacts where appropriate (such as have been offered in these forums).

They said they appreciated the offer but as yet have not provided any further information about the nature of the complaint and the specific issues raised. The Highways Dept contact with Groundspeak came from a District office rather than from the provincial level. At this point we are assuming that Groundspeak is erring on the side of caution (in its moratorium) in order to prevent irreparable harm in future dealings with the department.

We have no basis with which to proceed on until we get the information we need. Our president TESKELLY has tried several times to contact Groundspeak further and is waiting for a response.

This is a large concern for the cachers of BC but in the grand scheme of things it is probably not at the top of Groundspeak's todo list.

We will keep pushing to try moving forward with this.
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Mr Kaswa



Joined: Oct 23, 2006
Posts: 45
Location: Surrey

PostPosted: Mon Sep 19, 2011 10:32 pm    Post subject: Re: Roadside Cache Ban Reply with quote

Thank you for providing that update, katcogo.

I am sure that it is frustrating in that they have not responded to teskelly's emails, hopefully groundspeak will continue to update you and remember your offer of help.
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LordEd



Joined: Feb 03, 2008
Posts: 68

PostPosted: Wed Sep 21, 2011 6:59 am    Post subject: Re: Roadside Cache Ban Reply with quote

Do we know what district office?
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