CCBot/2.0 (http://commoncrawl.org/faq/) British Columbia Geocaching Association —» Forums —» General Caching —» General —» Surrey's New Geocaching Procedure
Home Newest Caches Forums Your Account About BCGA Search Blitz  
Lotusland Lotus
Lotusland Lotus:  [?] . Butchart Gardens [M | C]  Minter Gardens [M | C]  Sun Yat-Sun [M | C]  VanDusen [M | C
Toggle Content=  Register or Login  Please Join our Association 
topleft topfill topright
Toggle Content Our Sponsors
Caching Containers
Worldcaching.comLandsharkz Coins and Geocaching GearGold CountryCaching Containers
bottomleft bottomfill bottomright
topleft topfill topright
Toggle Content Waypoints
bottomleft bottomfill bottomright
topleft topfill topright
Toggle Content Coming Events
bottomleft bottomfill bottomright
Forums —» General Caching —» General —» Surrey's New Geocaching Procedure
toplefttopfilltopright
Surrey's New Geocaching Procedure
If you have questions/comments about geocaching in general or anything that doesn't fit anywhere else, post them here.
Go to page 1, 2, 3  Next
Post new topic   Reply to topic   Printer Friendly Page    Forum Index —» General

View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
Catapult Jeff



Joined: Aug 24, 2005
Posts: 169
Location: Surrey BC

PostPosted: Mon Feb 09, 2009 4:58 pm    Post subject: Surrey's New Geocaching Procedure Reply with quote

Attention all Surrey Geocachers!!!!!!

Surrey Parks has created a Procedure for placing geocaches in Surrey Parks and areas managed as park land. I am sure that after you have read the following you will have questions, comments or concerns. I did.

Surrey Parks has agreed a meeting with the geocachers of Surrey will be good idea. I will work on arranging a meeting and post the when and wheres as soon as I can. So if you know of any Surrey geocachers that are not part of the BCGA or do not read the forums please keep them in the loop.

The BCGA did sit down with Surrey Parks in late 2007 after the problems arose in Sunnyside Acres Urban Forest. The BCGA, has been from the beginning, working towards a geocaching friendly policy with Surrey Parks.



Procedure for Geocaching in City of Surrey Parks
Background:
Geocaching is an outdoor activity that is similar to a treasure hunt. The goal of the activity is to find hidden containers known as caches or geocaches using a portable satellite navigation device called a Global Positioning System (GPS) receiver. Individuals who practice this activity (generally referred to as cachers or geocachers ) place a cache in an outdoor location and post the cache’s latitudinal and longitudinal coordinates on the Internet. Other geocachers then use their GPS devices to download the coordinates and cache descriptions from the Internet in order to find the caches. Once the participant has found the cache, they may log their findings on the Internet.
There are a number of different types of caches. Physical caches include a logbook, pencil, and trade items (small objects left in the caches for geocachers to trade with one another – e.g. toys, key chains, etc.). Another type of cache is an earth cache, which highlights an area’s unique natural features.
The need for a geocaching procedure for Surrey parkland arose, in part, from incidences of geocaching in Sunnyside Acres Urban Forest and the subsequent creation of unapproved trails that were used to access the caches. The result was damage to Forest vegetation and concern expressed by the Sunnyside Acres Heritage Society. On other occasions staff have noticed unapproved trails to access caches in other natural areas that also damaged vegetation and/or sensitive habitat.
Intent:
The following procedure was developed to provide direction for the management of geocaching as a worthwhile and legitimate recreational activity in Surrey Parks. The procedure is intended to clearly outline the process for approving geocaches in Surrey parks in order to ensure a minimum of impact to parkland and to facilitate geocaching in parks.
Scope
This procedure applies to all Surrey parks or other City land managed as parkland.
Goals and objectives
To provide low impact, healthy activity in parks, geocaching will be encouraged, where appropriate, as an allowable activity in conjunction with related policies and regulations.
Related Policies, Regulations and Plans
Parks, Recreation and Culture Department Facilities Regulation By-law 13480.
Parks Recreation and Culture Department Natural Areas Policy.
Parks Recreation and Culture Department Urban Forest Parks Policy.
Parks, Recreation and Culture Department Natural Areas Strategic Management Plan.
Participants in geocaching must adhere to other related policies, regulations and management direction.
2
Procedure:
1. Geocaching is not permitted in the following Surrey parks, or park areas:
Green Timbers Urban Forest Park
Sunnyside Acres Urban Forest Park
The Glades Park
Darts Hill Park
Formal gardens at Fleetwood Park, City Hall, Hawthorne Park, Bear Creek Park.
Playing surfaces such as sport fields, tennis courts etc.
2. All caches shall be placed only on approval by the City.
3. Cachers must contact the City of Surrey, Parks Division, at 604 501 5050 prior to placing a geocache. Approval of placement of caches is the responsibility of the Urban Forest and Environmental Programs Section (Urban Forestry) of the Parks Division and will done in collaboration with other Parks Division Sections.
4. Geocachers are required to meet with Urban Forestry staff at the selected park site to discuss the proposed location of their cache and to obtain authorization prior to placing a cache. Authorization will be confirmed by a letter from the City to the cacher.
5. The Urban Forestry Natural Area Coordinator will keep a record of geocaches and be responsible for implementing this procedure.
6. Caches shall be placed so that they do not disturb Park resources (e.g. vegetation, soil) and / or cultural resources, or interfere with the use of the Park.
7. When placing or seeking a cache, geocachers must travel on marked and maintained trails or in publicly accessible areas (e.g. picnic areas) at all times. All caches must be accessible from the trail or the public area.
8. Cache containers will be:
• Watertight
• Made of material that will withstand wind, rain, frost, and other natural elements
• As small as possible
• Neutral coloured so that they do not stand out.
9. Cache containers that have been used for food are not permitted as odours could attract wildlife.
10. Caches are not considered to be permanent, they must removed once the cache is no longer being actively sought or within 3 years, whichever is sooner.
11. All caches must be marked ‘geocache’ and the owner’s name and contact information must be inside the cache.
12. Any caches deemed inappropriate may be removed by the City.

_________________
Back to top
scruffster



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

PostPosted: Mon Feb 09, 2009 10:26 pm    Post subject: Re: Surrey's New Geocaching Procedure Reply with quote

I expected this from Surrey Parks. What's next???
Back to top
tjguy98



Joined: Aug 06, 2005
Posts: 206
Location: Maple Ridge

PostPosted: Mon Feb 09, 2009 11:48 pm    Post subject: Re: Surrey's New Geocaching Procedure Reply with quote

Does this mean I'm not allowed to hide a cache under a shopping cart or old microwave I find in a Surrey park? What about under an old car the city hasn't bothered to remove for 20 years, or old carpets dumped out in the open?

While the idea of guidelines in city parks sounds like a noble idea, ("let's form a committee" some one said a city hall), the city should take a serious look at what is more damaging to their parks; a small tupperware container hidden off a trail, or all the accumulated junk that us geocachers see in so many Surrey Parks?

Sounds like they are turning a blind eye to the bigger problem cause it's easier to control the little issue of geocaching.

BTW Tell the city I'm finished with the couch in Tynehead Park East; it's not on an approved trail so they should pick it up right away lest it damages the environment.

_________________
Read about my geocaching adventures on my website at:
tjguy98.blogspot.com/
Back to top
_canadianbacon_



Joined: Jan 05, 2004
Posts: 1154
Location: Surrey, BC, Canada

PostPosted: Tue Feb 10, 2009 12:11 am    Post subject: Re: Surrey's New Geocaching Procedure Reply with quote

Talk about going backwards. Such an over the top policy I can hardly believe it. Considering the amount of parks here, the 500+ caches and very few problems(over the 5 years I think I can recall maybe 5 issues, some trivial), this is very heavy handed. Do they not want people in the parks? There are plenty of activities going on in the parks that need dealing with , and micro-managing a handful of geocachers should not be one of them.

Did they actually do a survey, collect evidence, talk to some cachers, look at other regions (specifically BC Parks) Policy?

If any new cache gets more than 4 finds the first day, and maybe a few per week after than, dwindling down to a couple per month shortly thereafter after I'd be surprised. Because of the quantity of caches in the lower mainland there no longer is a mad rush to a new cache, and I know for a fact, that most caches get only a couple finds per month. LOW LOW impact.

Well,I guess between a $6/day toll on the new bridge, and stupid policies like this, we'll have to find a house in Coquitlam. I'd rather pay my taxes, and support business in a municipality that does not mind people getting outside, getting a bit of exercise, working their brains a bit.

_________________
~~~~ _CanadianBacon_~~~~
Back to top
gotlost001



Joined: Nov 06, 2006
Posts: 95
Location: Abbotsford

PostPosted: Tue Feb 10, 2009 7:58 am    Post subject: Re: Surrey's New Geocaching Procedure Reply with quote

Well I guess if they don't want caching in there parks they don't want a CITO event either. I know I won't make a trip out to Surrey to cache.
Back to top
Doonchak



Joined: Sep 07, 2008
Posts: 81

PostPosted: Tue Feb 10, 2009 8:57 am    Post subject: Re: Surrey's New Geocaching Procedure Reply with quote

What does this mean for existing caches already in Surrey parks? Are they going to be removed? Or does each existing cache need to go through the approval process?
Back to top
Mach2003dead



Joined: Nov 14, 2006
Posts: 263
Location: x

PostPosted: Tue Feb 10, 2009 12:04 pm    Post subject: Re: Surrey's New Geocaching Procedure Reply with quote

tjguy98 wrote:
Does this mean I'm not allowed to hide a cache under a shopping cart or old microwave I find in a Surrey park? What about under an old car the city hasn't bothered to remove for 20 years, or old carpets dumped out in the open?

While the idea of guidelines in city parks sounds like a noble idea, ("let's form a committee" some one said a city hall), the city should take a serious look at what is more damaging to their parks; a small tupperware container hidden off a trail, or all the accumulated junk that us geocachers see in so many Surrey Parks?

Sounds like they are turning a blind eye to the bigger problem cause it's easier to control the little issue of geocaching.

BTW Tell the city I'm finished with the couch in Tynehead Park East; it's not on an approved trail so they should pick it up right away lest it damages the environment.

Put yourself in the mindset of whoever adopted this policy. And look at a couple of options geocachers have now.

One way: Tell them "why are you bothering to control us few little geocachers in this way, there is so much junk in the parks, that you don't maintain well enough anyway".

Another way: Tell them "We geocachers support the act of cleaning up our community spaces, and as such would like to have a CITO event at some of our parks. What can we do to make the park a better place for everyone? Is there a need for some service besides the removal of litter? Can we get a program in place where, when geocachers come out to a park and remove litter, the city comes by and picks up the pile afterward?"

I leave it to you to decide what method will be best for geocaching in the end.
Back to top
tjguy98



Joined: Aug 06, 2005
Posts: 206
Location: Maple Ridge

PostPosted: Tue Feb 10, 2009 1:22 pm    Post subject: Re: Surrey's New Geocaching Procedure Reply with quote

Ultimately the answer will lay in co-operation between Surrey parks board and the BCGA, of which I have no doubt the BCGA will handle the situation in a professional manner as they have done so in the past on similar situations.

I think CB stated it best in his post on how we view the annoucement from the parks board. My answer, and others, are more opinions than solutions.

You have to vent a little over the situation before you move on to the solution... Smile

_________________
Read about my geocaching adventures on my website at:
tjguy98.blogspot.com/
Back to top
_canadianbacon_



Joined: Jan 05, 2004
Posts: 1154
Location: Surrey, BC, Canada

PostPosted: Tue Feb 10, 2009 5:50 pm    Post subject: Re: Surrey's New Geocaching Procedure Reply with quote

There already is a couple of CITO events in Surrey most years. Cachers already often clean up garbage in/around cache locations. I think that the problems with poor placement have been few and far between, and most cachers (at least experienced ones) are very good about placement. A few eager beavers sometimes do something that is not too kosher, but most new caches are well placed. That is in part to organizations like ours, having 'caching 101' sessions, good discussion on various forums etc.

_________________
~~~~ _CanadianBacon_~~~~
Back to top
Catapult Jeff



Joined: Aug 24, 2005
Posts: 169
Location: Surrey BC

PostPosted: Tue Feb 10, 2009 5:53 pm    Post subject: Re: Surrey's New Geocaching Procedure Reply with quote

Venting is Good. Cool heads and level minds are what we are going to use. I asked about five questions when I received the prodecure. Only if you geocache and are part of the geocaching community would you look at this document as see problems with it. The general public and park staff would most likely say it is "good" the way it is. CITO is just one area of geocaching that was overlooked.

For those non Surrey geocachers that want to be negative could you please reframe. It will not help. By saying you won't ever cache in Surrey only hurts the geocachers that live in Surrey and those who place caches here. Let's be postive. Surrey Parks is willing to sit down with geocachers and work on it.

The US National Parks don't allow any caches containers in the parks and they actively remove new caches. The BCGA helped stop that kind of thinking in our National and Provincial Parks.

What knowledge that is learnt from all of this might just help in another city in BC at some point.

I will know and post the date and time for the meeing tomorrow. If you want to contact me, please do.

Catapult Jeff
BCGA contact person for Surrey Parks
catapultjeff @ telus.net

_________________
Back to top
_canadianbacon_



Joined: Jan 05, 2004
Posts: 1154
Location: Surrey, BC, Canada

PostPosted: Tue Feb 10, 2009 6:00 pm    Post subject: Re: Surrey's New Geocaching Procedure Reply with quote

I still may have to move because I don't want to pay $2000/year in tolls! Smile But that is for another topic! Wink

Who is representing BCGA in these meetings?

_________________
~~~~ _CanadianBacon_~~~~
Back to top
Tulameen_Turtles



Joined: Jan 09, 2008
Posts: 347

PostPosted: Tue Feb 10, 2009 6:32 pm    Post subject: Re: Surrey's New Geocaching Procedure Reply with quote

A couple of thoughts - Can we find mini AMMO Cans?? Just kidding.

Can you define what territory the City of Surrey is referring to? Is it truly the full scope of Surrey? Such as Cloverdale, White Rock & Delta? Do we have a geographical boundary.

On one hand I kind of can understand why Surrey has to be careful of setting a precedent and wanting some control.

I'm sure we are all well aware of the challenges that the Surrey Parks department has had on other levels with their parks - they've worked very hard on some of these to clean them up and keep them safe for family to visit. I know from when I lived there 8 years ago that there were quite a few areas I didn't want to go to - even including any part of Bear Creek other then the train and kids play area.

With our visit there a few weeks ago, we quite enjoyed and felt safe in almost all the places we went to.

I think it's a great start, if we can "prove" that we can be responsible and follow their guidelines then perhaps we can only expand on this at a later time.

And if this will be a fulltime process and they have to police it, it may create a job for someone! there you go CB!! no need to worry about a toll.

We all have seen the cachers trails that have existed, and prior conversations about environmental impact and the owner's responisibility. Even though this may create extra red tape and may not encourage the same quantity of caches - it may help encourage quality which then could result in a better cache experience for us old timers, and be a better "turn on" for new cachers. Then we don't hear that - ughhh I'll never try that again. I'm sure we've all had at least one of those caches..
Back to top
landsharkz



Joined: Sep 28, 2005
Posts: 356
Location: Victoria

PostPosted: Tue Feb 10, 2009 10:47 pm    Post subject: Re: Surrey's New Geocaching Procedure Reply with quote

Thanks Jeff for keeping up the dialog with Surrey.

For those that don't know... we've been in discussions with Surrey Parks (Jeff has) for about a year now. Its unfortunate that they have decided to adopt some of the most stringent policies on BC.

From a park management point of view, the problem with this policy is that they want to personally inspect and approve the location of every cache. This is usually a poor decision for a parks branch because it means that Surrey Parks has to spend a lot of time (and therefore money) on managing caching in Surrey parks. They would be WAY better off stating the restrictions, and then dealing with problem caches if/when they appear.

This policy does not say anything about existing caches, but it would be in the best interest of Surrey cachers to ensure that their caches are truly low impact. This is an example of how our activity is becoming more closely scrutinized, and we all need to practice environmentally responsible, low impact caching, by both hiders and finders to minimize severe restrictions.

It even states in their policy that this is the result of an issue with a single cache! In my opinion this is a case of over-reacting, however it amplifies the point that we ALL need to be on our best low impact behaviour in public parks at all times.

For now, I think that Surrey cachers can do two thnigs... 1. practice low impact caching (big time) and 2. hide LOTS of caches in Surrey parks... keep them very busy with the activity that they say they want to encourage. Say "Thank you for supporting caching in Surrey Parks... I want to hide a cache please!" If they are kept busy approving caches AND they don't run into any environmental issues, then we can approach them again later with the suggestion of a more BC Parks-like policy which is to not-police caching unless there is an issue... then deal with that particular issue only.

Thanks again Jeff!

Cheers,
Chris

BCGA President
Back to top
Philatsea



Joined: Jun 17, 2008
Posts: 118

PostPosted: Wed Feb 11, 2009 12:28 pm    Post subject: Re: Surrey's New Geocaching Procedure Reply with quote

This policy comes at a time of belt tightening for all Cites. Few cities can send Parks department Staff around to look after problems such as Garbage in Parks. I was amazed last week at the Garbage in Cloverdale Athletic Park. So if we can not find staff to look after this how do we find staff to say yea or nay to a new cache? It could take months to get a new cache approved. If this were to occur then people would just give up trying to place a new cache in Surrey and places that adopt polices such as this one.

This is more of big city policy invoking a policy that is very heavy handed and to date there has been little to no impact to the Parks. So why now? Are they saying there is going to be a large increase in Geocaching use?

Now I do have a bug that has rather bugged me for some time.
I have been amazed at the number of caches placed behind No Trespassing signs or Keep out or No Public Access.
I have only had one cache where I went past the sign to get the cache (it would have been a FTF) and on the way to the cache (Dart Hill) I was met by a Lady from the Park and asked to leave and pointed to the sign of the gate saying "closed to the Public". I did post a note on the cache and it was checked and permission was sought from the City and it appears granted. Now I see Dart Hill on the "NO Cache" list so does this mean the Dart hill Cahe is going to be removed? What about caches in Bear Creek Park? Do existing Caches now get grandfathered or do they all have to be re-approved?

In some ways we are our own worst enemies when we place a cache. Placing caches in vegetation sensitive areas or behind No Trespassing signs or No Public Access signs etc. cause problems for the city and they have to deal from land owners or their own Parks employees who can't figure out why an area is showing more wear than another area.
I recently did a cache that involved Ivy and the only way to get to the cache was step on the Ivy at the bottom of the hill thus wearing it out with continued stepping. We must remember that most of us have kids or grand kids we take caching and their legs are not as long as ours and sometimes the kids are just way to into the hunt to remember to look for plants etc to avoid causing damage.
While CB says most caches dwindle down to just a few hits a month there are some that have a good following. This can be from many cahes in one area thus making them a nice target for a morning of caching.

I do believe that we need to police ourselves better for situations as I have described. If we come across a cache such as these then we should be able to request them to be moved. Cache Owners should take no offence to the request.

Doing CITO Events and policing ourselves will go beyond and Policy such as this one.

Thank you,

Philatsea AKA Phil
Back to top
gotlost001



Joined: Nov 06, 2006
Posts: 95
Location: Abbotsford

PostPosted: Wed Feb 11, 2009 3:17 pm    Post subject: Re: Surrey's New Geocaching Procedure Reply with quote

Catapult Jeff wrote:


For those non Surrey geocachers that want to be negative could you please reframe. It will not help. By saying you won't ever cache in Surrey only hurts the geocachers that live in Surrey and those who place caches here. Let's be postive. Surrey Parks is willing to sit down with geocachers and work on it.

Sorry for my comments, I meant no disrespect to you or any other cachers in Surrey.
Back to top
Catapult Jeff



Joined: Aug 24, 2005
Posts: 169
Location: Surrey BC

PostPosted: Wed Feb 11, 2009 5:41 pm    Post subject: Re: Surrey's New Geocaching Procedure Reply with quote

I didn't hear back from Surrey Parks today. I will post the date, time and location when I know. It will be the week for Feb 23rd that much I know. That will give us all time to think about what needs to be said. Ideas and thoughts from anyone and anywhere are good. So please continue to post or email any of the BCGA exec.

And Mike, I still think you're great. I know you just needed to say what was on your mind. See ya soon.

_________________
Back to top
HwyGuy



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

PostPosted: Wed Feb 11, 2009 9:19 pm    Post subject: Re: Surrey's New Geocaching Procedure Reply with quote

Other than the ban on caching in certain parks, I can not see much problem with the Surrey policy.

It could go either way if cachers keep Surrey Parks personnel busy approving caches - Surrey will get fed up and stop approving caches or say do what you want - with stop being the easier choice for them.

Sunnyside Acres has a series of mountain bike trails criss-crossing one half of it so I don't see the sense of banning caching. I do however seem to remember a cache that was inside an environmentally closed area in that park. I have run the many trails that meander through Green Timbers, so closing that park doesn't make much sense either.

I would assume - rightly or wrongly - that any park that has a watchdog group associated with it will be able to mount a defense to stop people from actually using the park, especially if you go off the trails.

It has been my experience that cache owners are quite unwilling to admit that THEIR cache is anything but the greatest thing since sliced bread, if a negative comment is made about the cache. In the haste to get a smiley a few cachers don't even notice hides that could be considered ill advised.

How many stumps have we all seen torn to shreds - no matter the cache description or hint? How many caches with a hint "log this" where Paul Bunyan just marched through the area and all you see are fallen trees? All of us have seen cammo'd micros in the forest where the coordinates are sketchy to say the least and I always ask WHY?. Some of us remember the cache in a park near the Surrey/Langley border that was surrounded by houses backyards. It was a soaking wet area that soon turned to mud (some cachers were even questioned by the cops about being in the area I believe).

I have never liked any of these examples and if a Parks person from a Municipality has to see a cache location maybe they will become a thing of the past. I have searched for some of these and read the logs of previous cachers who thought the hide was "great", "well done", "clever" or some such platitude and I came off as a grinch after noticing the damage done by previous visitors (probably not the successful finders) in my log.

There is a world of difference between a sneaky, mind bending hide and one that is "Ha Ha - you couldn't find it" just because it is small, in a vast area of possibilities. These are the ones that lead to damage as frustrated caches stomp about.

I still feel the BCGA membership should be able to be self policing and for the most part our community does not require the strict Surrey guidelines. However, an avenue is required where an environmentally sensitive cache should be able to be questioned by cachers and have the association, after review and consultation with the owner, get it revised or recommend to mtn-man that the cache be archived.

As cachers, we must be the leaders in maintaining good etiquette in park use. If this means we have to err on the side of caution - so be it. The alternative is a world in which there are only Lamp Post Caches.
Back to top
MrGigabyte



Joined: Dec 01, 2003
Posts: 113

PostPosted: Wed Feb 11, 2009 10:15 pm    Post subject: Re: Surrey's New Geocaching Procedure Reply with quote

I think every cacher should print out HwyGuy's post and carry it with them and re-read it just before they hide their next cache. I do not think the reality of the situation could be more succinctly presented.

This is not a new issue, nor should it be considered a bureaucratic obstacle thrust on us by the Municipality. The fact of the matter is that disruption of the environment does occur as a result of caching, and it happens far more often than than anyone wants to admit. Thinking that this policy is the result of one cache encounter is naive.

Without doubt, the root issue is poorly planned cache hides, and the irresponsible attitude of cache owners when issues with their caches are brought to their attention.

When we founded the BCGA in 2003. one of our goals was to provide the resources that will allow geocachers, the general public, and other related interest groups, to learn about geocaching, communicate with other geocachers, and to explore all geocaching has to offer. It is now time to step up and take the lead in that mission.

The BCGA should consider the education of our peers as being of paramount importance. The Surrey Parks department and other stakeholders will only accept the activity if we can demonstrate that that we can in fact govern ourselves accordingly.
Back to top
gotlost001



Joined: Nov 06, 2006
Posts: 95
Location: Abbotsford

PostPosted: Wed Feb 11, 2009 10:45 pm    Post subject: Re: Surrey's New Geocaching Procedure Reply with quote

MrGigabyte wrote:
I think every cacher should print out HwyGuy's post and carry it with them and re-read it just before they hide their next cache. I do not think the reality of the situation could be more succinctly presented.

This is not a new issue, nor should it be considered a bureaucratic obstacle thrust on us by the Municipality. The fact of the matter is that disruption of the environment does occur as a result of caching, and it happens far more often than than anyone wants to admit. Thinking that this policy is the result of one cache encounter is naive.

Without doubt, the root issue is poorly planned cache hides, and the irresponsible attitude of cache owners when issues with their caches are brought to their attention.

When we founded the BCGA in 2003. one of our goals was to provide the resources that will allow geocachers, the general public, and other related interest groups, to learn about geocaching, communicate with other geocachers, and to explore all geocaching has to offer. It is now time to step up and take the lead in that mission.

The BCGA should consider the education of our peers as being of paramount importance. The Surrey Parks department and other stakeholders will only accept the activity if we can demonstrate that that we can in fact govern ourselves accordingly.

Yes I agree 100%. With province wide geocaching 101 events happening in the next few weeks I think this is the time to be spent covering issues like poorly planned cache hides, and what to do if other cachers find your cache is causing environmental damage. We have lots of new cachers and I we don't pass on our knowledge then newer cache hiders my not know, because they haven't seen, how much damage can happen over time as 100's of us search for a cache. I know I have learned allot from caching with veteran cachers like Lovebugs and DocMagoo. Two Cents
Back to top
Catapult Jeff



Joined: Aug 24, 2005
Posts: 169
Location: Surrey BC

PostPosted: Fri Feb 13, 2009 5:35 pm    Post subject: Re: Surrey's New Geocaching Procedure Reply with quote

MEETING WITH SURREY PARKS

The Surrey Nature Centre at Green Timbers
February 24, 6:30 to 8:30 pm.


Surrey Parks has asked for geocachers that are palanning to attend please RSVP. I have agreed to be the contact for this. So if you RSVP I will email you a map of where the Nature Centre is and where to park. I think they just want a idea of how many geocachers will show up.

If you wish for a copy of the procedure in word format or if you wish to make your thoughts known but you can not attend please let me know.

Jeff

catapultjeff @ telus.net

_________________
Back to top
Philatsea



Joined: Jun 17, 2008
Posts: 118

PostPosted: Fri Feb 13, 2009 5:38 pm    Post subject: Re: Surrey's New Geocaching Procedure Reply with quote

Would love to attend.

I would rather be proactive on this rather than sit back and relax.

Now the problem I have been planning a Geocaching trip to Southern states and I leave this Sunday and don't return till March 3rd.

I am sure it will be well attended and I look forward to hearing what has come of this meeting.

Phil
Back to top
scruffster



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

PostPosted: Fri Feb 13, 2009 11:17 pm    Post subject: Re: Surrey's New Geocaching Procedure Reply with quote

I sent an RSVP via email. I will be attending. It's my hope that many geocachers show up for this positive interaction.
Back to top
MsChief-Gps_y



Joined: Jan 16, 2004
Posts: 261
Location: Lower Mainland

PostPosted: Sun Feb 15, 2009 5:14 pm    Post subject: Re: Surrey's New Geocaching Procedure Reply with quote

I've been thinking the past while that BCGA and each and every one of us has to step up our self-policing and especially offer to go out with new cachers and show them the ropes. A welcoming polite e/m can work wonders.
And a link to: www.geocreed.info/index.html

And remind cachers a cache is supposed to be hid not tossed back and in plain sight or buried which leads to damage. A well hid cache is invisible to muggles but a few bits showing for a cacher looking close.
I'm not seeing lift, look, replace. Any potential hide spots are cleared of debris. Caching is supposed to be subtle and discrete.
I'm seeing nails in trees and holes dug into the ground which are against placement guidelines. Any newbie seeing that allowed would think it is acceptable and do the same.
I'm seeing folk so intent on the gpsr they don't use their eyes and there is needless trampling of living plants. Knowing a cache has been found why step and crush forest plant life that the earlier finder(s) didn't need to?
And as Hwy Guy posted less than useful hints. No one wants complete directions but a hint I can use at the cache site would be helpful. Thank goodness I rarely need them because looking at it when logging online I often see a hint that would have been useless to me.
As for co-ords I'm finding them off more and more. Sometimes you have to take more time to fine tune them especially if your gpsr shows a +/- 4 or greater. It is possible to zero out if you take the time. It helps minimize damage the more accurate they are and if you are out searching on a not so great triangulation day the "errors" aren't compounding the already "off" co-ords..
I wish I knew how to get cachers to actually read a cache page, sigh. lol I learned how many don't from one particular now archived cache. Those that actually read the cache page found it with little problem. Those that quickly scanned it had long searches or dnf's.
I plan to attend the meeting. I hope there is good attendance.

_________________
Life's greatest treasure is its uncertainty. (Japanese proverb) Life's greatest annoyance is assumptions.
Back to top
d-onion



Joined: Apr 08, 2007
Posts: 20

PostPosted: Sun Feb 15, 2009 7:51 pm    Post subject: Re: Surrey's New Geocaching Procedure Reply with quote

Well I'll be leaving for my Africa trip this week and won't be around for the meeting, but I also have some strong feelings about what the city is trying to accomplish.

I think in the end, we will just refrain from placing new caches in Surrey parks and stick to ubran micros in parking lots and the like. To get the city approval and meet someone at the cache site during a weekday will be tough. In the end, I think we will all lose out on exploring the great parks in Surrey.

Someone please give us a summary of what happens at the meeting and what we need to do with existing caches.
Back to top
_canadianbacon_



Joined: Jan 05, 2004
Posts: 1154
Location: Surrey, BC, Canada

PostPosted: Mon Feb 16, 2009 12:38 pm    Post subject: Re: Surrey's New Geocaching Procedure Reply with quote

Who is representing BCGA in this meeting?

_________________
~~~~ _CanadianBacon_~~~~
Back to top
Tulameen_Turtles



Joined: Jan 09, 2008
Posts: 347

PostPosted: Tue Feb 17, 2009 3:56 pm    Post subject: Re: Surrey's New Geocaching Procedure Reply with quote

After Several juggling matchese in timing (btw anyone want to do my homework next week) I will be there. Leaving other comments out of the view at this time.
Back to top
landsharkz



Joined: Sep 28, 2005
Posts: 356
Location: Victoria

PostPosted: Tue Feb 17, 2009 8:41 pm    Post subject: Re: Surrey's New Geocaching Procedure Reply with quote

NOTICE TO ALL SURREY AND AREA CACHERS...

We (BCGA) would like to encourage anyone that can go, to attend the meeting with Surrey Parks. It will be important for them to see lots of faces. The outcome of this meeting will be most favourable for caching in Surrey if people go with an open mind, listen to their concerns and, when asked for feedback, talk about how we are interested in protecting the environment, cleaning the parks (our playground) through CITO events etc, and being responsible park users.

Hopefully, they will feel there is no need to police our activity. Ideally, they will be comfortable in the knowledge that our priorities of protecting greenspace are totally aligned with their priorities. Awareness of geocaching and the related concern for protection of the environment is becoming a bigger and bigger issue for park management authorities. We need to show them that we understand the issues and that we are on their side. They are not looking for a fight, rather an education of why this is a good thing for them.

Please see the meeting post copied below... and as requested RSVP to Catapult Jeff, as he has been talking with Surrey parks for quite some time on this issue.

Thanks,
Chris

Catapult Jeff wrote:
MEETING WITH SURREY PARKS

The Surrey Nature Centre at Green Timbers
February 24, 6:30 to 8:30 pm.


Surrey Parks has asked for geocachers that are palanning to attend please RSVP. I have agreed to be the contact for this. So if you RSVP I will email you a map of where the Nature Centre is and where to park. I think they just want a idea of how many geocachers will show up.

If you wish for a copy of the procedure in word format or if you wish to make your thoughts known but you can not attend please let me know.

Jeff

catapultjeff @ telus.net
Back to top
scruffster



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

PostPosted: Wed Feb 18, 2009 11:40 am    Post subject: Re: Surrey's New Geocaching Procedure Reply with quote

There have been some good points raised. However, I believe the number of bad placements have been exaggerated on this thread. I've found over 1200 geocaches but I can count what I believe to be bad placements on my hands. And I consider myself a tree-hugging environmentalist. Some of the former posts reflect the worst geocaching scenereos -- many of which have been corrected through self policing. The concern shown on this forum is an example of how angry many in the geocaching community get when they find a bad placement.

One of the mistakes made by geocachers and muggles alike is to assume that a geocache in the vicinity is the sole cause of environmental damage to the area. I made this mistake countless times only to find other culprits in the act.

As president of the BCGA between 2006 and 2008, I felt it my duty to investigate questionable hides when I could. Here are a few anecdotes:

1) Sunnyside Acres became an issue when a small but vocal special interest group began a campaign to halt geocaching in that particular park. I made an effort to check all geocaches in Sunnyside Acres. One cache was well off the trail and deserved to be archived. The others were on or close to a trail and caused no environmental damage that was not seen along the trails. One cache, located behind a log overhanging the trail, was of special interest since the log itself was clearly damaged. Moss had been ripped off and the log showed distinctive wear. I spent a few hours on sucessive weekends camping out down the trail hidden from view waiting to see how bad geocachers were when they thought nobody was looking. I was ready to slap some wrists. Those people that know me also know I'd have no problem doing it. This is what I saw.

The log was visited by four geocaching teams while I was in surveillance. No geocacher caused any further damage to the log or surrounding area. One child in a group of geocachers did leave the trail however. But during that time the log was peed on by three dogs. In total, I counted eight on leash and twelve off leash dogs. But the culprit came in the form of a jogger who stopped and used the log to rest his foot while tightening his shoe laces. The same jogger did this on subsequent visits as if by habit. This act was clearly what I believe to be the reason the moss was stripped from the log.

2) Reading the logs of "Steam Heat" anyone will see that geocachers assume that there is a social trail leading to the cache. The truth of the matter is the area where the cache is placed has long been used as a look out and the area was well worn before the cache was placed. In fact, it has grown back quite a bit since I placed the cache there.

3) I was looking for a particularly hard geocache in Green Timbers. The cache itself was situated close to a trail junction and the vegetation was trampled or non existent for a good ten metres on one side of the trail. I assumed cachers trampling around caused the damage but on subsequent visits it was clear that the junction was a meeting place for owners and their dogs. People would congregate and chat while their dogs romped and played off leash. What would cause more damage -- dogs romping off leash several times a day or geocachers who visit the cache once every several days? The answer is clear to me.

These are only three examples from my personal experience -- two of which are based in Surrey.

The reason I post these stories is to show that geocachers can be their own worst enimies in this regard. Geocachers make the incorrect assumption that all environmental damage in the area is caused by geocachers themselves even when similar damage is seen 20 or 40 meters down the trail. We are not the only people that use the parks. A lot goes on when we're not around.

So next time you see a NO Trespassing sign, ask yourself what came first -- the sign or the cache. And if you said sign, do not cross and contact the geocache owner. Sometimes there may be several ways into a greenspace but No Trespassing signs are only located on one side. It is wrong to assume the cache owner saw the sign and placed a cache anyway.

The next time you see a rotten stump trashed, look for kid activity in the area like a tree fort. The next time you see drag marks in the soft soil, look for a mountain bike trail. The next time you see flora trampled look for dog poop -- or better, look down the trail to see if there is similar damage. Geocachers focus on one area and if similar damage is seen down the trail it is most likely not due to geocachers. It is a flaw in judgement to assume that geocaching is always the cause of environmental damage. Geocaching is a very easy scapegoat since our movements are recorded for the world to see.

Having said that, we also must assume responsibility for the actions of the geocaching community. It's worked OK in the past, but with a whole new generation of geocachers entering the scene, self policing may be an issue. There will be times we come across bad placements or an area where late night FTFers were not as careful as they should have been. It is not a bad thing to speak up as long as it is done discretely and with respect.

Surrey's proposed Geocaching procedure is not all bad. Many of the restrictions are recognized my most geocachers anyway. There are a few restrictions that are definitely harsh, however. Hopefully the geocaching community and Surrey Parks will be able to come to a happy conclusion at the meeting.
Back to top
Bestred



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

PostPosted: Wed Feb 18, 2009 11:48 am    Post subject: Re: Surrey's New Geocaching Procedure Reply with quote

Catapult Jeff wrote:
For those non Surrey geocachers that want to be negative could you please reframe. It will not help. By saying you won't ever cache in Surrey only hurts the geocachers that live in Surrey and those who place caches here. Let's be postive. Surrey Parks is willing to sit down with geocachers and work on it.


If we cache in Surrey are we not considered 'Surrey geocachers?'
I am a little confused by what is meant by 'Surrey geocachers'

MsChief has said it all. Subtle and discreet, not buried, and looking for the tell-tale signs of a cache instead of watching the GPS. When the coords are off it is hard to find the cache and I can see that is where the destruction is happening. Frustration for not finding the cache and the want to find it. I think sometimes with this circumstance (GPS coords off) that the 'rule' of getting 3-4 readings before deciding the coords to post is not being done. It could also be the rush to get the coords and go back to post them to Mtnman.

I understand the city's point with the grounds getting trampled etc., but I think that they need to look at it from another perspective. Geocachers are not the only ones who use parks, the public does as well. Kids, dogs, strollers, etc. can do damage as well. They may feel that they are nipping it in the bud by being so active in geocache placement, when really, the problem is being caused due to other factors.

I hope at the meeting, both parties are able to come to an agreement that pleases everyone

_________________
ALL VIEWS EXPRESSED ARE MY OWN...not Kelly's, he has his own - ask him.
Back to top
_canadianbacon_



Joined: Jan 05, 2004
Posts: 1154
Location: Surrey, BC, Canada

PostPosted: Wed Feb 18, 2009 12:16 pm    Post subject: Re: Surrey's New Geocaching Procedure Reply with quote

If you can place a cache in Surrey, you qualify. There are no boundaries for using parks, and the rules apply to park users wherever they reside.

_________________
~~~~ _CanadianBacon_~~~~
Back to top
Mach2003dead



Joined: Nov 14, 2006
Posts: 263
Location: x

PostPosted: Wed Feb 18, 2009 10:17 pm    Post subject: Re: Surrey's New Geocaching Procedure Reply with quote

If you geocache anywhere, this guideline may soon affect you.

Other parks boards may follow their lead!

Anyone who can attend, should.
Back to top
tlgTakingAbreak



Joined: Jan 05, 2004
Posts: 418
Location: In your face.

PostPosted: Thu Feb 19, 2009 9:11 pm    Post subject: Re: Surrey's New Geocaching Procedure Reply with quote

Post text removed by Moderator

_________________
pgcachers.blogspot.com
Back to top
Philatsea



Joined: Jun 17, 2008
Posts: 118

PostPosted: Fri Feb 20, 2009 9:38 pm    Post subject: Re: Surrey's New Geocaching Procedure Reply with quote

If you ever want to see what caching has done to an area I suggest a visit to the Original Cache site in Oregon. I was there last week and talk about destruction. The ferns are badly trampled and paths worn into the hillside where they should not be.

While the original cache is not there there is a cache that goes along with the Plaque on site that you are required to sign to get credit for the plaque. The Cache says this "There is a container nearby, which contains the logbook." Well I met 3 other cachers from California there and we looked and looked and it was not till after they left I found it. It was some distance the plaque. cahes like this don't help to keep a nice wooded area as it should be when you have vague lines like that.
Adding something like you don't have to climb the hill would help save the plants etc.

Phil
Back to top
scruffster



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

PostPosted: Sat Feb 21, 2009 9:08 am    Post subject: Re: Surrey's New Geocaching Procedure Reply with quote

I withdraw my RSVP. I can't look Surrey Parks in the eye and discuss how truly low impact geocaching is after they read this thread. And they will be reading it. **sigh** As I said, we only have ourselves to blame.
Back to top
_canadianbacon_



Joined: Jan 05, 2004
Posts: 1154
Location: Surrey, BC, Canada

PostPosted: Sat Feb 21, 2009 10:19 am    Post subject: Re: Surrey's New Geocaching Procedure Reply with quote

10,000 caches in BC, and a fraction of those are questionable. I say the rates of poor caches is much better than bad dog owners or joggers.

_________________
~~~~ _CanadianBacon_~~~~
Back to top
MsChief-Gps_y



Joined: Jan 16, 2004
Posts: 261
Location: Lower Mainland

PostPosted: Sat Feb 21, 2009 10:23 am    Post subject: Re: Surrey's New Geocaching Procedure Reply with quote

[quote="scruffster" I've found over 1200 geocaches but I can count what I believe to be bad placements on my hands. And I consider myself a tree-hugging environmentalist. Some of the former posts reflect the worst geocaching scenereos -- many of which have been corrected through self policing. The concern shown on this forum is an example of how angry many in the geocaching community get when they find a bad placement.
One of the mistakes made by geocachers and muggles alike is to assume that a geocache in the vicinity is the sole cause of environmental damage to the area. I made this mistake countless times only to find other culprits in the act."

Yes, in this initial dismay, shock and surprise, some of us have mentioned damage or bad placements. But just as Scruff says the majority of placements are ethical and respectful. I've found over 1550 and the ones that give me the cringes are very few and far between. And we self-police them ourselves because we care so much so those placements are archived.
It is indeed because we care so passionately about nature that we cache and clean up garbage.
My coat pocket bulges with CITO bags at the ready and I clean up as I walk from cig butts to wrappers and bottles, whatever.
I used to be in Green Timbers several times a week checking on my caches there ensuring all was perfect. I haven't been in there in well over a year now. One of mine was one of Scruff's mentioned examples. Yes, some folk assumed (!) any damage was cachers but I placed it there because the area was already (and still is with the cache removed 2 years ago) trodden. It is a centre point in the park where folk meet up to walk, mtn-bikers use the many fallen logs to practice jumps etc so the moss is damaged but not by cachers. We don't set fires, drink etc, dump garbage, we do the opposite. Our presence discourages camps, party areas, etc
I was going to check on a cache recently, noticed a flash of red under a cedar, went to remove what I thought was hidden garbage only to find 4 huge solid metal poles. What the city uses to block a path but can remove to allow their vehicles in. I called Engineering. They took my name, contact info and pole location. I received a call and directed the Engineering employee to where these expensive poles were stashed and the City got them back. I'd never have seen them but for going to check on my cache and a CITO'er. And I saved the City a considerable replacement sum. lol We, cachers, can be valuable assets to the "bottom line".
Surrey may not be realizing how many tourists and lower mainlanders will no longer visit if there aren't caches or enough to make it worthwhile. Cachers shop, restaurant, rent hotel rooms, buy gas etc. These monies will go to other cities.
I encourage everyone who can, from anywhere in the LM, to come to the meeting. Lets show them what a valuable responsible group we really are!

_________________
Life's greatest treasure is its uncertainty. (Japanese proverb) Life's greatest annoyance is assumptions.
Back to top
MsChief-Gps_y



Joined: Jan 16, 2004
Posts: 261
Location: Lower Mainland

PostPosted: Sat Feb 21, 2009 10:43 am    Post subject: Re: Surrey's New Geocaching Procedure Reply with quote

_canadianbacon_ wrote:
10,000 caches in BC, and a fraction of those are questionable. I say the rates of poor caches is much better than bad dog owners or joggers.

And mtn-bikers! Now that is destruction to the environment.

Speaking for myself I clean up the dog poo others leave. I hate cleaning up after someone else but I don't want that stuff on paths etc for shoes and strollers etc to pick up. I was "caught" once in Gr Timbers a few years ago (by a Parks employee) with 2 bulging Safeway bags (yes it was tres gross) of poo that I'd cleaned off the meadows as I walked through. I had a smaller bag on my hand which I'd empty into the larger bag filling it and the other. The fellow was most impressed and asked me to join the Gr Timbers Volunteer group giving guided tours. I was considered an asset.

_________________
Life's greatest treasure is its uncertainty. (Japanese proverb) Life's greatest annoyance is assumptions.
Back to top
Doonchak



Joined: Sep 07, 2008
Posts: 81

PostPosted: Sat Feb 21, 2009 10:45 am    Post subject: Re: Surrey's New Geocaching Procedure Reply with quote

Phil, I think it would be important to note that there have been thousands of visitors to that cache, people are there almost every day. Oh, and there are actually two caches there, the plaque cache and another one less then 200 feet away up the hill, hence the geopaths up the hill.

No cache that I have seen in Surrey, or BC for that matter, has anywhere near that level of attendance.

Don't want to downplay the impact that was done at that area, but I don't think it is fair to compare what happened there to what would happen with even the worst cache placement in BC, at least I hope not Shifty
Back to top
The Wet Coast Explorers



Joined: Dec 23, 2003
Posts: 198
Location: Coquitlam

PostPosted: Mon Feb 23, 2009 12:37 am    Post subject: Re: Surrey's New Geocaching Procedure Reply with quote

I'll be coming out. Emailed my RSVP to Jeff.
Back to top
Philatsea



Joined: Jun 17, 2008
Posts: 118

PostPosted: Mon Feb 23, 2009 10:37 am    Post subject: Re: Surrey's New Geocaching Procedure Reply with quote

Doonchak:

Yes there is way more people at the "Plaque" and the cache up the hill than any cache we have here.
My point is most of the damage is likely caused by poorly worded caches or no clues. To say the cache is nearby means something totally different from one cacher to another.
If the body of a cache would rather say no need to enter the hill or walk on the ferns to find the cache would do far more to keep the hill intact.
It would be one thing to have just one trail up a hill rather many.

I am using this as an example of how we sometimes don't look at the big picture when we write a cache we are going to place or change if after it has been placed to stop the destruction.

Phil
Back to top
Display posts from previous:   
Post new topic   Reply to topic   Printer Friendly Page    Forum Index —» General
Page 1 of 3
All times are GMT - 8 Hours
Go to page 1, 2, 3  Next



Jump to:  


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum
You cannot attach files in this forum
You cannot download files in this forum


bottomleftbottomright
topleft topfill topright
Advertisement
bottomleft bottomfill bottomright

:: Copyright 2003 - 2009 BC Geocaching Association ::

RSS Feed:
Follow us on Twitter: http://twitter.com/BCGeocaching
Interactive software released under GNU GPL, Code Credits, Privacy Policy
Theme by British Columbia Geocaching Association.