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Forums —» General Caching —» General —» Cache Breaks Guidelines - What To Do?
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Cache Breaks Guidelines - What To Do?
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6NoisyHikers



Joined: May 07, 2011
Posts: 15

PostPosted: Fri Oct 26, 2012 3:12 pm    Post subject: Cache Breaks Guidelines - What To Do? Reply with quote

We found a cache today that we believe goes against the "don't harm nature" guidelines. Without giving too much away, part of the mechanism includes a steel rod "inserted" into a tree. This rod was firmly enough in place that a good tug wouldn't dislodge it (we didn't try to remove it, just wanted to see how it was attached).

All the logs for this cache sing its praises but the rule-follower in me makes me wary. We signed the paper log, but haven't logged it online yet. I don't feel right about it.

Maybe they have attached it in some unseen manner that will leave the tree unscathed if it is ever removed. I understand that trees are fairly hearty but it is the perception of landowners and parks managers that cache owners go around nailing things into trees that we want to avoid. If another cacher sees this and thinks it is a great cache idea (which it is, it is very cool!) they may hammer a piece of rebar into a tree in a provincial park and then we are all in trouble.

So I am here to ask what the local community recommends. Should I contact the CO with my concerns? Should I contact the reviewer and leave it to him/her to follow up? Or is there a better course of action? Or no action at all?

Thanks!
Krista (NH#2)
6NoisyHikers
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Rocky Banks



Joined: Feb 04, 2012
Posts: 20
Location: North Vancouver

PostPosted: Fri Oct 26, 2012 8:10 pm    Post subject: Re: Cache Breaks Guidelines - What To Do? Reply with quote

My suggestion would be to take a picture and send it to the reviewer and let him or her deal with the CO.
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6NoisyHikers



Joined: May 07, 2011
Posts: 15

PostPosted: Fri Oct 26, 2012 9:42 pm    Post subject: Re: Cache Breaks Guidelines - What To Do? Reply with quote

I didn't think to take a picture - that would be a good start. I will be back in that area next week so I can do that then.
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katcogo



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

PostPosted: Sat Oct 27, 2012 8:58 am    Post subject: Re: Cache Breaks Guidelines - What To Do? Reply with quote

Geocaching is essentially a self-policing activity. The reviewers check for proximity issues, local rules with various land managers, and general placement to make sure that the cache conforms to the guidelines. What the reviewer can not see is how the cache is installed. The reviewers rely on "boots on the ground" to contact them if there is a placement that a geocacher has a concern about.

Many cachers are uncomfortable reporting these caches, not wanting to be seen as a whistleblower. As you have mentioned, if these caches remain, other people will emulate those hides and sooner or later this will impact the way land managers view geocaching, to the detriment of us all.

Contacting the cache owner generally has mixed results ranging from "gee, thanks for the heads up, I didn't know" to comments that cannot be published.

You may wish to post a note on the cache page that you have concerns about the cache to warn other people looking for it, and state that you are sending a note to the reviewer outlining your concerns. The reviewer can then contact the cache owner for clarification.

Hope this helps . . .
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Cuddlefish



Joined: Oct 20, 2008
Posts: 299

PostPosted: Sun Oct 28, 2012 12:27 pm    Post subject: Re: Cache Breaks Guidelines - What To Do? Reply with quote

Contact the reviewer and write a note on the cache page to that effect. The reviewers are excellent at ensuring compliance with the rules. I would suggest that more people do feel uncomfortable about caches against the rules, but see so many "wow great hide" logs and ignore their uncomfortable feelings. On occasions I have done this, other cachers have contacted me and thanked me for speaking up.
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6NoisyHikers



Joined: May 07, 2011
Posts: 15

PostPosted: Sun Oct 28, 2012 10:16 pm    Post subject: Re: Cache Breaks Guidelines - What To Do? Reply with quote

Thanks Katcogo and Cuddlefish for your input. I do feel uncomfortable about "tattling" because this cache has been found and favourited by some very well-known local cachers. I did think it strange, though, that there haven't been more logs. Maybe other cachers are keeping quiet too.

I am going to contact the reviewer but I want to get a picture of the mechanism first. I'll be back in that area in the next few days.

As far as posting on the cache page, I'm not sure I've got the guts for that. Maybe if I had a few more years of experience to back me up...

Will keep you posted.
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6NoisyHikers



Joined: May 07, 2011
Posts: 15

PostPosted: Fri Nov 02, 2012 1:31 pm    Post subject: Re: Cache Breaks Guidelines - What To Do? Reply with quote

As a follow-up: We decided to contact the cache owner first, to give them a change to change the cache placement. Here is the email we sent (with clues about the cache removed) -

Quote::

Hello! It's Krista - NoisyHiker#2 of 6NoisyHikers. I'm sorry to start an acquaintance this way, but I felt it was important to write to you about your (cache name) cache.

My hubby and I were out your way the other day and chose your cache as the one to get as it had so many favourite points! We were only lucky enough to find it because of a clue in a previous log. It is a very sneaky cache and we can see why so many cachers have favourited it.

However, the method with which you have attached the branch to the tree seems to go against Groundspeak's guidelines for not altering the environment - specifically, the insertion of the metal support rod into the tree. Caches are supposed to be placed in such a way that if they are removed, then the site should look as though a cache was never there.

Now, this is not us going all tree-hugger on you! No, we know that trees are pretty hardy and have withstood all sorts of sign posts and clotheslines and tree houses attached to them. The bigger issue is the perception of landowners and parks boards. We place our caches with their permission and they trust us to take care of the environment around them. If they think we aren't doing that, they can simply ban caching in that area. No more fun for any of us.

Your cache is extremely well executed - but a cacher who finds it and decides to emulate this great hide may not pull it off so well. They may take a rusted piece of rebar and hammer it into a red cedar in a provincial forest. This is the other reason that Groundspeak puts these guidelines in place. New cachers look up to the COs and caches they favourite. It is important that we set a good example so they don't do something that will get us all in trouble!

So... after such a long lead up... what I am asking is that you reconsider the placement of this cache. Perhaps you could (alternative idea suggested that doesn't violate guidelines).

If you need to, you can temporarily disable the cache while you reconfigure the hide. The link to do this is on the right hand side of the cache page when you are logged into the site. Thanks for taking the time and effort to place a cache - and thanks in advance for understanding the importance of keeping geocaching in good stead with the powers that be! Please let me know if there is anything I can do to help.

Krista (NH#2)
6NoisyHikers

I hope we get a postive response from this and the situation is resolved without having to involve the reviewer. We did go back and take pictures if we need them as "evidence", but after having a few days to think about it, we'd like to start off being fair and supportive - which is what we really want to do anyway.
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katcogo



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

PostPosted: Fri Nov 02, 2012 2:03 pm    Post subject: Re: Cache Breaks Guidelines - What To Do? Reply with quote

Excellent email! I hope the CO receives it in the spirit you have intended. Please keep us updated on the response.

Thanks for caring enough to send the email to follow up with the CO.
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vanislelady



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

PostPosted: Fri Nov 02, 2012 11:18 pm    Post subject: Re: Cache Breaks Guidelines - What To Do? Reply with quote

Awesome letter. Hope it is received with a positive spirit
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marmi_and_tas



Joined: Mar 02, 2007
Posts: 178
Location: Vancouver

PostPosted: Sun Dec 09, 2012 9:29 am    Post subject: Re: Cache Breaks Guidelines - What To Do? Reply with quote

Any follow up regarding your letter to the CO NH#2?

Some Reviewer advice I received quite a while ago suggested 1) not logging the find, 2) perhaps contacting the CO if I felt comfortable but 3) definitely contacting the Reviewer with the particulars of an illegal hide.
I'm using the word 'illegal' loosely here but to me it does fit the seriousness of inflicting damage on anything when caching.

There have been a few caches that we have come across that very definitely crossed the guidelines. After reading the glowing logs and seeing these caches receive favourite points from cachers that should know better, I could only shake my head.
On one such cache log, a cacher pointed out that nailing anything to a tree was not acceptable, no matter how clever the cache. Others finding this cache said they couldn't see the problem and then pointed a blaming finger at the cacher who did. Huh??

As Katcogo pointed out, the Reviewers cannot see exactly how a cache placement is executed. If it's a bad placement, they won't know otherwise unless they are told.
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6NoisyHikers



Joined: May 07, 2011
Posts: 15

PostPosted: Sun Dec 09, 2012 11:20 am    Post subject: Re: Cache Breaks Guidelines - What To Do? Reply with quote

I never did hear back from the CO, but the update is that the cache is disabled because it was "muggled". According to the NM log, the camouflage was damaged and the bison tube containing the log was missing.

Hopefully if the CO resurrects this cache it will be in some other manner. If not, I still have the pictures I took of the hide and can forward those to a reviewer.
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Bestred



Joined: Jul 08, 2008
Posts: 280
Location: Abbotsford, BC

PostPosted: Tue Dec 11, 2012 8:10 pm    Post subject: Re: Cache Breaks Guidelines - What To Do? Reply with quote

Your letter was wonderful Smile
It is great to see cachers out there who aren't blunt and abrupt and to the point of scaring people away from geocaching Smile

Thank you so much for sharing the letter with us and keeping everyone informed.

*huggles*

_________________
ALL VIEWS EXPRESSED ARE MY OWN...not Kelly's, he has his own - ask him.
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6NoisyHikers



Joined: May 07, 2011
Posts: 15

PostPosted: Mon Dec 17, 2012 11:42 pm    Post subject: Re: Cache Breaks Guidelines - What To Do? Reply with quote

Just wanted to let everyone know that I received a very nice reply from the cache owner and they have reinstated the cache in accordance with the guidelines.

Hooray! I'm so glad it worked out. Whew! Thanks to everyone for your support and encouragement both online and in private.

Very Happy
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katcogo



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

PostPosted: Tue Dec 18, 2012 10:22 am    Post subject: Re: Cache Breaks Guidelines - What To Do? Reply with quote

Excellent! I'm glad the CO took your email as positively as you intended. It really worked out well.
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