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Forums —» Announcements —» Policies —» How to hide a geocache in British Columbia -- PLEASE READ
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How to hide a geocache in British Columbia -- PLEASE READ
Please note that BC Parks and Parks Canada have additional guidelines/restrictions for hiding geocaches. Check here to make sure your geocache meets all requirements BEFORE you place it.
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scruffster



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

PostPosted: Thu Jul 17, 2008 9:26 am    Post subject: How to hide a geocache in British Columbia -- PLEASE READ Reply with quote

Policies for hiding geocaches...

Geocaching.com: If you plan to post your geocache online with geocaching.com you must follow these basic guidelines.

Groundspeak Guidelines

BC Parks: When hiding a geocache in British Columbia's Provincial Parks, there are a few additional guidelines such as a three year time limit on all geocaches in protected areas. Personal contact information is also required. Please make sure you know the policy before placing a cache in a Provincial Park.

BC Parks Geocaching Policy

Parks Canada: Parks Canada has allowed geocaching it our National Parks. However, geocaches must be pre-approved. There are also restrictions on containers and swag. Please make sure you read the guidelines before placing a cache in a National Park.

Parks Canada Welcomes Geocachers
Parks Canada -- Visitor Activity Guidelines


Last edited by scruffster on Thu Jul 17, 2008 7:20 pm; edited 1 time in total
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DocMagoo



Joined: Nov 20, 2004
Posts: 62
Location: "In the 'Wack"

PostPosted: Thu Jul 17, 2008 2:53 pm    Post subject: Re: How to hide a geocache in British Columbia -- PLEASE REA Reply with quote

scruffster wrote:
BC Parks: When hiding a geocache in British Columbia's Provincial Parks, there are a few additional guidelines such as a three year time limit on all geocaches. Personal contact information is also required. Please make sure you know the policy before placing a cache in a Provincial Park.

BC Parks Geocaching Policy

Hey Scruff,

Could you please verify whether your post meant to state what the BC Parks pdf states in the attachment, or if, in fact your words are what the BC Parks document intends to? I guess what I'm getting at is that the wording of the pdf file you've attached appears to suggest that a cache that is still actively sought out can remain, or if this is not the case, after three years that cache is to be archived.

I know that when Chillibusher and I met with the BC Parks representative long ago, I argued that some of the caches placed in BC Parks help to serve to draw additional visitors to the area and if placed appropriately, should be permitted to remain.

..and what constitutes being "actively sought out"? Does this mean an average of so many visits per season, year, etc or after so many months if there are no visits it should be pulled.

I'm not trying to be adversarial, just trying to gain a clearer understanding as I have an adopted cache in a BC Park that has existed at that park since April of 2002. It has been visited 6 times since April.

Thanks.

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Totally convinced that bear bells are homing devices....
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scruffster



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

PostPosted: Thu Jul 17, 2008 9:09 pm    Post subject: Re: How to hide a geocache in British Columbia -- PLEASE REA Reply with quote

Hi DocMagoo,

The section of the policy in question is:

"Caches in protected areas must not be considered "permanent" by the cache owner. Caches must be removed once the cache is no longer being actively sought or within three years, whatever comes sooner."

I think this is quite clear. If a geocache is not "actively being sought" it will be considered abandoned and thus the park ranger may ask the cache owner to remove it. The policy does not clearly state what "actively being sought" is but it will most likely be the discretion of the Park Ranger.

Although BC Parks acknowledge that geocaching has minimal impact on the environment, there is a concern that over time the act of many people seeking a given geocache may impact the surrounding flora. For this reason there is a three year time limit on a cache placement in protected areas.

Provincial Parks fall into protected areas under "THE PROTECTED AREAS OF BRITISH COLUMBIA ACT.

So, a cache should be voluntarily removed by the cache owner and archived after three years.

Having said that, there is no reason the cache owner cannot move the same cache a reasonable distance down a trail and set it up as a new cache.

Several park rangers have contacted groundspeak to alert cache owners to remove old geocaches. These caches were placed before the policy was enacted and the park rangers do not know who actually hid the cache. Groundspeak is currently involved with contacting cache owners.

These guidelines are most likely in place to keep the cache owner responsible for the caches they hide. It will hopefully curb people planting caches they do not intend to maintain.

Whether all park rangers will strictly enforce the three year rule remains to be seen but as responsible cachers, we should do our best to abide by the guidelines set by BC Parks.

This is how I see the wording of the attached document. It doesn't insinuate, to me, that a cache may be permitted longer than three years. I will be meeting with BC Parks next week and I will get the final word directly from the horse's mouth.


Last edited by scruffster on Thu Jul 17, 2008 9:22 pm; edited 1 time in total
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DocMagoo



Joined: Nov 20, 2004
Posts: 62
Location: "In the 'Wack"

PostPosted: Thu Jul 17, 2008 9:20 pm    Post subject: Re: How to hide a geocache in British Columbia -- PLEASE REA Reply with quote

Thanks for the clarification, Scruffster.

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landsharkz



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

PostPosted: Thu Jul 17, 2008 9:41 pm    Post subject: Re: How to hide a geocache in British Columbia -- PLEASE REA Reply with quote

I think I may have some of the answers to your questions... and a few comments Smile

The BC parks policy states that caches in Protected areas should not be considered permanent, but have a life of no more three years. All BC Parks are "Protected Areas" and therefore fall under this three year limit. Caches that are still popular after this time limit should be refreshed, archived and re-listed if the owner is still around and still wants to keep the cache going. Unfortunately, that means that your cache that you adopted should be archived and re-listed if you want to keep it going. You can always move it a little and give it a new name if the spot is popular. BC Parks is serious about the three year thing. In some districts they have removed caches that are older than three years. We are going to request that they ask the owners to deal with them rather than simply remove them without warning, we've only had one issue with this so far.

The second part to this is the wording about being "actively sought out". This is a little less clearly defined of course. So what is the definition of "actively sought? Good question. It is left somewhat nebulous and open for interpretation so that a park ranger can can remove a cache (and I would hope they would do this in conjunction with the cache owner) that appears no one wants to go looking for. If a cache appears to be abandoned by the caching public and its owner, then you might see it targeted for removal. I don't think we're going to see much of an issue around this part of the policy. At HQ, they are very interested in working with the BCGA and very interested in the way in which geocaching promotes park use. I am going to discuss with them the idea of consulting with the BCGA on this issue because some high terrain caches are only found once or twice a year, and that is good. It boils down to education though... not all the rangers are really up to speed on this.

When I engaged BC Parks in discussion, after you and Chilibusher had already had some discussion, I was very (pleasantly) surprised at how much homework they had done and how knowledgeable they were about caching and about park policies in other jurisdictions. They had a very strong, yet positive sense of how they wanted to deal with caching in BC Parks. This policy is focussed on promoting and enabling responsible caching in BC Parks yet is designed to prevent geo-trash. If a cache hider is still actively caching and maintaining his/her caches after three years, then they are welcome to refresh and re-list the cache.

A note about how this was put together. BC Parks obviously listened to you guys when you talked to them. They listened to me. They did a LOT of research on caching. Then they wrote their own policies. They did not consult us with the policy statements, nor did they run them past us for an opinion at any time. However, in general, I personally think they have a pretty progressive policy (my 2 cents).

Cheers,
Chris
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gotlost001



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

PostPosted: Fri Jul 18, 2008 8:15 am    Post subject: Re: How to hide a geocache in British Columbia -- PLEASE REA Reply with quote

The three year rule is good for cachers who have found the caches in the parks also. I have found all the caches in Sasquatch park near harrison, and if they were to be removed and new ones placed I would have some thing to do on my yearly camping trip. So in short I think having old caches replaced with new hides every few years will keep people caching without having to drive hundreds of Km to find a cache like some of you did in the early days of the sport. Just my 2 cents.
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Tulameen_Turtles



Joined: Jan 09, 2008
Posts: 347

PostPosted: Tue Jul 22, 2008 6:36 pm    Post subject: Re: How to hide a geocache in British Columbia -- PLEASE REA Reply with quote

Thank you all for working so hard on all of our behalfs -

I would hope with the "archieving" - do you think they would be open to allowing a cache to remain active for over 3 years if it is only sought out once every year or two?

Jordy and I are really enjoying looking for caches that haven't been seen in almost 2 years and discovering they are still there and in perfect condition.

I can see their concern if it is a cache that sees lots of action, as it could be hard on the terrain and damage could occur- but those at the top of the Nahatlatch Lookout, and some of the other hard terrain ones see so little action, as long as someone is going to them at least every 3 years could they be left active?
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couloir



Joined: Jan 19, 2008
Posts: 152
Location: Kamloops

PostPosted: Tue Nov 18, 2008 7:48 pm    Post subject: Re: How to hide a geocache in British Columbia -- PLEASE REA Reply with quote

I have been finding a few caches in provincial parks and have placed a few myself. I have purposely placed a few at remote spots that challenge the cacher to go to an unique spot. Some of these will not be findable from November through April because of snowpack. In the half year that they are available, they may only see half a dozen visits. I have appreciated it when a cache has been the deciding factor to get me to do a hike or explore an area. For example, I have wanted to visit Mahood Lake for a number of years and since Mahoodmama placed 13 at the spots of interest in this remote area I spent two days in the park. Similarly, I have placed caches in some of the more difficult spots in Lac Du Bois Provincial Park and Wells Gray, knowing there will not be many visits, but also knowing that for a few cachers, I was offering unique spots. The same applies to the National Parks. I placed one high up in Balu Pass in Glacier, not because it will see a lot of cachers, but because those who choose to go after it will have a fantastic experience. Its about quality, not quantity. Our Parks have some of the best spots in the province and we need to invite cachers to enjoy "the best of BC."
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