Forum: Just Getting Started In Geocaching
Topic: Leave No Trace Outdoor Ethics
started by: Leave No Trace
Posted by Leave No Trace on June 07 2002,9:22 amGreetings!
I'm posting this on behalf of Leave No Trace, Inc. We're a non-profit organization based in Boulder, Colorado, and our mission is to promote and inspire responsible outdoor recreation through education, research and partnerships. We focus primarily on non-motorized recreation.
We're a private organization, but have over 250 non-profit and corporate partners (Appalachian Mountain Club, Appalachian Trail Conference, Green Mountain Club, American Hiking Society, American Whitewater, Maine Island Trails Association, Mount Washington Observatory, Outward Bound USA, the National Outdoor Leadership School, Student Conservation Association, The Wilderness Society, American Mountain Guides Association, L.L. Bean, Subaru, REI, the North Face, Kelty, Coleman, Osprey, Trails Illustrated, Clif Bar, Vasque, Jansport, Marmot, Lowe Alpine, SmartWool, Galyan's, Backpacker Magazine, Cascade Designs, Brunton, just to name a few) that we work with to spread the Leave No Trace message. We've also partnered with the four largest federal land managing agencies in the U.S. - the U.S. Forest Service, the National Park Service, the Bureau of Land Management and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. All of these agency partners have adopted our message as their minimum impact message, and work to spread the word to public land users across the country.
I'm posting this to inform you about the Leave No Trace program. We have been hearing a great deal lately about geocaching, particularly from federal and state land managers, regarding the potential impacts that can be caused to plants, animals, water sources, etc. from individuals engaging in this unique activity. Since our mission is to educate ALL recreational users of public lands, we feel this site offers a great opportunity to reach a large new audience of recreationist with a solid minimum impact message. Our message is simple, and is centered around the seven principles of Leave No Trace:
1. Plan ahead and prepare
2. Travel and camp on durable surfaces
3. Dispose of waste properly
4. Leave what you find
5. Minimize campfire impacts
6. Respect wildlife
7. Be considerate of other visitors
For more information on who we are and what we do, please visit our website < http://www.lnt.org. >
Please remember to Leave No Trace when you're out there having fun!
Posted by mrmom on June 07 2002,10:08 amAll true geocachers practice the very same message. In addition to what you have mentioned, our philosophy is to “cache in and trash out.” Many of geocachers hike with a trash bag to pick up trash left by others in the area.
Posted by Leave No Trace on June 07 2002,10:37 amThat is a great point, and very encouraging that Geocachers are mindful of trash. However, the Leave No Trace message is about more than just trash. Probably one of the most important things for Geocachers to keep in mind is traveling on durable surfaces such as rock, sand, dry grasses, forest duff, snow, etc. By avoiding sensative plant, wet areas, etc., geocachers (and all other recreationist for that matter) can significantly decrease the impact to an area. Keep in mind that one person going off-trail or bushwacking to a cache probably won't make that much impact, but it's the combined impact of many people heading to the same cache that can lead to well-defined "social trails" leading right to a cache. Just something to think about...
Posted by Hinge Thunder on June 07 2002,11:58 amAhh...the nature-nazi rhetoric begins again!
Posted by PC Medic on June 07 2002,3:35 pm
I personally like the idea of keeping the parks clean and leaving little trace I was there.
Posted by Firemedic on June 07 2002,4:14 pmSure, create a concrete walkway into and out of the woods.
Have Gestapo to make sure you stay on track.
Heaven forbid that you pitch a tent and have a meal cooked over a campfire.
I saw this one coming and left it alone the first time I saw it this morning.
I believe in good stewardship, along with reasonable use of the resource.
I camp, geocache, and fish. each of these involve getting off the beaten track.
I sometimes go into the woods with a Gun and shoot Bambi's Papa too.
Posted by Hinge Thunder on June 07 2002,4:31 pm
I am all for keeping the parks clean. But the nature-nazis don't end there. They never end anywhere near there. They would love to keep all of the people out of the park alltogether. But that wouldn't wash. So they will go for keeping us on the trails that in these HUGE parks cover only a small area. They start talking about the social trails, etc. Whats the difference between a small trail made by people, versus a small trail made by deer? By their thought, one is destruction, one is nature. I read in one forum, some moron talking about how people going off trail was going to destroy the Rocky Mountains! They want the parks as their own taxpayer-paid-for playground!
The mention of a cache in a national park, and they start talking about irrepairable damage, and start citing millions of visitors to Grand Canyon, and crap. Ever have a million people visit a geocache? A hundred? Try putting one 5 or 10 miles of hiking into a park with a little rough terrain, and the number of visitors will be very small. But they act like you will be driving an SUV right to the cache box.
Posted by Quinn on June 07 2002,5:15 pmI guess this all depends on how you wish to look at it. I remember when I was a kid looking at all the old "LIfe" magazines and "Outdoor Life" books. I always wanted to go to some of the parks that were seen in the pictures I looked over, but once I was old enough to make my own choices, many of those parks and area's are now houses and paved trails.
I have an 8 year old daughter that means the world to me and my main priority is seeing that she can have the things that maybe I couldn't, this also includes seeing things outdoors that may well be gone by the time she is 20.
Everyone has a point of view and a opinion to voice, if "Leave no trace" wishes to place his on the table we should all welcome it, does this mean you have to agree with it? no! but at least he has the right to voice thoughts that most likely will draw followers that agree with him. I think the word "Nazi" is a very strong word for someone who wishes to make sure that our lands are protected.
Are there things that damage the lands more than caching? of course there are! Like dirt bikes, mountain bikes off trail, quad runners, etc. But none the less we as cachers also need to police each other. I don't want to see a worn trail going to my cache and if there is one that is noticed I would like to think someone would contact me so I could move that cache to allow the plant life to generate back to health.
So, to "leave no trace" I say welcome to Navicache and the forums!
Posted by Firemedic on June 07 2002,5:19 pm
I plan months ahead for a hunt. I plan days ahead of a cache search.
I travel to and from the parking area on durable surfaces. (usually asphalt or concrete) I use trails where I can, I try not to disturb the natural areas when off trail.
I pack out more than I take in. (which is usually why my pickup bed is always trashed out)
I take what I shoot for food, or taken a small token or a george from a cache.
I am very careful of my campfire impacts.
I have great respect for wildlife. Probably more than most non-hunters.
I am considerate of all others, visitors and residents.
I learned all these things as a Boy Scout
Posted by dgridley on June 07 2002,7:59 pm
I don't believe you can truly equate the term "nazi" which was associated with the willful extermination of a race of people with someone's good intentions toward the environment.. no matter how much you disagree with their philosophy.. I'd like to think you didn't mean it the way it sounds...
As an aside, while I hate to see those plank trails they make you walk on.. I'd like to think it's protecting that environment not only for future generations to enjoy but also protecting the wildlife and plantlife we presumably all enjoy looking at as well.
We have a responsibility to protect the environment...
Posted by Firemedic on June 07 2002,8:24 pm
I think the term was used to reflect the extreme "outside of norms" ideas regarding the use of the national resources. That how the coment Hinge Thunder was received by me and I agree with his perception. I also agree with Quinn that Leave No Trace is welcome to post his/her ideas and I have the right to disagree and express my feelings.
Posted by Hinge Thunder on June 07 2002,8:36 pmActually Eco-Fascist might be more accurate, as they want to dictate their extreme views on the rest of us.
Posted by Hinge Thunder on June 07 2002,8:41 pm
Hey Quinn? How come if I quote a previous message, my message is displayed in this ugly small font, which is different than if I just did 'add-reply' which then displays in a larger, more readable font?
Posted by Quinn on June 07 2002,9:02 pmNot sure what you are seeing but the fonts at my end are the same.
Posted by Scout on June 07 2002,10:02 pmI've read the post by Leave No Trace several times and I can't find anything that seems at all extreme. Certainly nothing to deserve calls of Nazi and Gestapo and Fascist.
Leave No Trace didn't advocate no camping rules, paving nature trails with concrete, banning hunting, keeping all people out of parks altogether, or any other extreme views. On the contrary, Leave No Trace's position is consistent with a belief in "good stewardship, along with reasonable use of the resource."
I wonder if we've just seen in reverse the jumping to conclusions that some environmentalists are guilty of when they hear about geocaching: that the hobby is filled with shovel-wielding treasure hunters massively invading pristine natural areas, trampling and digging and littering parks with McToys and scattered Tupperware.
Posted by YardBoy on June 08 2002,4:42 am
hee, hee...that NaviCache is in Seneca Park, just north of the pond by the baseball diamond
Posted by mrmom on June 09 2002,12:35 amHey Yardboy, don't give out any hints. Please encrypt them Ha
At the picnic, did anyone notice the window stickers on my van?
An environmentalist is........................
A liberal is........................
Wasn't there a thread discussing that this might happen?
Posted by PC Medic on June 09 2002,5:30 am
There is a difference between educating others on "responsible" use of our parks and natural resources, and being a "Eco-Fascist" or "Nazi" as you so politely put it.
Which by the way IMHO was uncalled for.
Fact is if it were not for these types of groups, this attitude (that is unfortunately shared by the masses these days) would mean Geocaching probably would not exist as there would be no parks left by now.
Yep!, I'm glad we have folks out there trying to tell the traveling Jackass not to flick his cigarette butt off into that dry brush while on the trail. Or, "Please don't tromp on this last known 'curous for cancerous' plant".
A point I'm sure the "trails....we don't need no stinking trails" type will miss.
Posted by Firemedic on June 10 2002,10:09 am
But this person/group wants you to stay on the prepared trails. No going off the trail to place find a cache. To quote them...
I applaud stewardship of the land. Conservation of the land can be achieved without unreasonable restrictions. The people must be able to use the park, not just on the trails where the management has decided you should go.
Posted by Scout on June 10 2002,10:23 amFiremedic said:
The other poster did not forbid off-trail travel. The Leave No Trace principles do not, either.
"In popular areas:
Concentrate use on existing trails.
In pristine areas:
Disperse use to prevent the creation of trails."
How would you suggest rewording this LNT advice for use in a set of geocaching principles?
Posted by Leave No Trace on June 10 2002,10:52 amInteresting discussion for sure...
Heirloom - Any valuable or interesting posession handed down from generation to generation.
Why not take care of and protect the wonderful natural resources that we have? If not for ourselves, then for our children.
Leave No Trace is not about rules and regulations, it's about using good judgement and making good decisions with regards to minimizing our impact. We're not trying to tell people how or where to recreate, all we're trying to do is help keep our wild places wild. Nothing more, nothing less.
Also, with regards to hiking on or off-trail, all we're suggesting is for folks to travel on the most durable surface available. Off-trail hiking is certainly acceptable and fun! But, there definitely are ways to do and not leave as much of a trace, e.g. when possible avoid wet areas, sensitive plants, moss, etc. Instead, stick to rock, forest duff, sand, gravle, snow, bare soil, and yes, trails.
Posted by dgridley on June 10 2002,4:40 pmNew Yorkers might want to check out the article in this link:
< http://democratandchronicle.com/news/0610story6_news.shtml >
Posted by PC Medic on June 10 2002,5:18 pm
Actuall I (IMHO) find what you have quoted from them to be right on the money.
This is where a good majority of the responsibility actually lies with the cache owner. When placing a cache, if you have to break branches and bushwhack, or tromp through soft soil to hide it, then those searching for it will have to do the same. In other words, when placing a cache, take into consideration what impact those searching may have on the "specific" terrain in that area. This is why I also check my caches regularly. If I see signs of enviromental damage, I will pull the cache and replace it in another location.
Posted by Hinge Thunder on June 10 2002,5:31 pm
Only 10% of wildlife in NY is on protected land? What percentage of land in NY is protected? I am guessing about 10%? Hmmmm.... go figure!
IMO the article is tree-hugger propaganda. So alot of wildlife is on unprotected land. So what. They make it sound like all the wildlife on the privatly owned unprotected land are doomed or something. Like people are going bulldoze them all. Stupid! Personally, my property consists 1.6 acres of woods (looks like many of the parks we geocache in), which backs on more privatly owned woods. It might as well be protected, as I have lots of wildlife, and I am happy to leave them be. Except the squirrels..I am training my dog to bark at them. How much other land that is unprotected, but will remain pretty much untouched is there?
The tree-huggers would like to see 100% of the wildlife on protected land (ie 100% of the land protected).
Posted by Firemedic on June 11 2002,5:12 amIf Hinge Thunder and I sound harsh with the Radical Environmentalists, I am sure it is because we have had some bad experiences with their activities. When I hear someone spouting the key "talking points" that they use I automatically react and go offensive instead of defensive. I realize that all groups are not like PETA and are not as extreme, but once you have been sucked into a discussion with the radical groups a few times and then they go for the jugular you get wary.
I am still suspicous of Leave No Trace but will back off a little until I am sure where they are coming from. I feel it is groups like them that is causing some parks to restrict caches in their boundries.
Posted by Firemedic on June 11 2002,5:16 am
Yes, and my redneck looking pickup truck, with the blue firefighter light on top? It was the one with the "Vote Freedom First" and "I'm the NRA" stickers on the bumper.
What's your point?
Posted by Morseman on June 11 2002,7:38 amSpeaking as a foreigner (i.e., not from the USA) the discussion reminds me of the debates about using chalk on rock faces that rage in the climbing fraternety every now and again.
The problems usually start when extreme behaviour, on either side, is used to justify a possition or proposal for rules/regulations/codes of conduct/opposition to whatever the proposals are.
In my opinion, as soon as someone puts out a 'best practice' suggestion, it falls foul of two problems a) those who have a legitimate reason to dissregard the suggstions, often a small number and b) the feeling that someone who has no authority to tell "me" what to do is trying to impose their point of view on "me".
In my opinion, the best thing to do if you dissagree with these suggestions is to start a committee to discuss them, make sure you are on it, and never come to a conclusion about what they should be. It works in business.
Posted by Leave No Trace on June 11 2002,9:46 amLeave No Trace is not a group of radical environmentalist, we're just a group of people interested in teaching recreationist how to minimize their impacts. We're not in any way trying to block access, regulate or tell people how, where or what to do. If anything, we're working towards the opposite. The more people that have the knowledge and skills to minimize their impacts, the less areas will be closed by land managers because of unacceptable overuse and abuse.
I would encourage the skeptics out there to log on to our website < http://www.LNT.org > or give us a call before making a judgement call about the Leave No Trace skills and ethics program.
Our mission is simple - To promote and inspire responsible outdoor recreation through education, research and partnerships.
Posted by Rocky on June 12 2002,8:20 amI think that some of the disagreement found in this thread can be explained by geography. In the arid Western part of our country the effects of a large number of people traveling thru an area I’m sure are long lasting. Here in the Northeast, where most us are, if we didn’t’ mow our lawns twice a week there would be “NO TRACE” of our houses in a short time. The growth here is so fast that the effects of a bushwhacking walk thru any area would be non-existent in a short period of time. I think some of our western neighbors might have to experience our environment and we theirs to communicate on a level with better understanding.
Posted by mikechim on June 12 2002,11:33 amI just quickly skimmed this thread (don't have time to read it all) and I will say this. Whenever I'm in National Parks, monuments, etc. I ALWAYS practice leave no trace policies. And without sounding to much like an "eco Nazi" (I understand some groups go way overboard) I have come to the conclusion that about 80% of the people in National Parks (granted this really is a mute point for caching because they aren't in national parks or very fragile areas) but anyway 80% of the people shouldn't be there. I mean just blatant disregard for the environment and everything around it, (I was going to rant on this anyway, before this topic) I've scene people picking plants right beside signs that say not to, people trampling in revegetation areas even walking over the no walking sign to get to it, people walking in and around historic ruins (like the ones I was just at, their in the side of a volcanic material that is extremely fragile and wears very easyily) and here is this idiot family tramping around in it, I've scene it time after time and can understand the anger that some of the extreme fringe conservation groups express (Leave no Trace, is definately not one of those groups). They bring up good points that should be followed, like not tossing garbage out, etc. etc. I will also say that I think geocachers as a whole are much more sensative to nature then hunters or other land users tend to be (I'm not saying all I know plenty of good consious hunters, but I've also had the woods behind my house, actually my families property filled with deer carcasses and bear bottles from careless hunters).
ANyway End rant,
These guys aren't the bad guys (if it was the Earth Liberation Front who likes to firebomb things I'd say go ahead and attack) these guys aren't that though.
Ok I"m really done this time
Posted by Choberiba on June 12 2002,12:27 pm
That's a good point Rocky.
I definitely am more careful about where I step while in areas that are delicate.
I stayed on the trails around Mt. Saint Helens last summer (because steep fines are a bummer to pay if nothing else) but in the thick underbrush of the Berkeley hills I am tickbait.
Posted by mikechim on June 15 2002,11:53 amI guess I'll repost here, since I'm much calmer and also have had time to read the forums. My rant on NP really wasn't relevant anyway. I will say that I am not one of those people who think parks should be closed off, rather I want all of us and out children and grandchildren etc, to be able to enjoy the same things that we have. If you practice leave no trace policies at those places then there is no problem. The problem comes when people either don't understand or don't care about the damage that their actions cause.
Now on to where we can cache, National Forests, BLM land, state parks etc. I think leave no trace brings up some great points. Like walking on stones instead of cryptobiotic soil. Ok before I hear it from Hindge and Firemedic, I will say that before I travelled out to the southwest (and this speaks to what Rocky and Choberiba were saying as well) I thought cryptobiotic soil, I can't walk on dirt you HAVE to be kidding me, what kind of BS is that. But after being out here for awhile and seeing this stuff you have to admit that it is actually something and that it does serve a legit purpose and we shouldn't be trampling on it. So when these environmental groups say don't tramp all over crypto soil they aren't being radical they actually have a point. A lot of the damage people do to fragile plants, crypto soil, etc could easily be taken care of if instead of bulldozing along we took the extra 30 secs and hoped from stone to stone or something. I've cached out here on BLM land that was thick with crypto, but you could easily get to the cache and back by staying on the slickstone. Back home I do the same thing, if I'm in a fragile area or even a normal area I try not to go around damaging things. I will be the first to admit that I have to problem going off trail in nonsensitive areas. But I'll also go around plants and other things instead of trampling them. The extra time to ensure that the land remains the way it is for generations is well worth it. Now on a forest floor covered with leaves I don't go around checking under each leaf for stuff I just hike on my merry way without worrying about it. Anyway I'm babbleing again but with these types of practices and those put forth by Leave no Trace you can basically go wherever you want (besides fragile or protected areas) without doing damage and it only takes a few minutes longer then not caring. I think a lot of people who care about nature get a bad rap from the extreme fringe groups.
Any my 2.5 cents
Posted by Hinge Thunder on June 15 2002,1:19 pmSo do animals avoid these 'fragile' areas? Do they not step on the dirt, or eat the weeds? I am guessing not, yet the dirt, and the weeds are still there. But that is nature? Are humans excluded from nature?
Sidenote-I would to see one of those PETA folks thrown in a cage with a tiger, and see if lets the tiger eat him, or if he feebly tries to fight back.
Posted by mikechim on June 15 2002,2:44 pmHindge Thunder, before I start I want to be clear that I respect your opinion and your position (often times in message forums things get ugly because people misinterpret stuff), anyway that being said.
Yes animals do obviously trample on these grounds. However, though I'm not trained in this area, it doesn't appear that they do as nearly as much damage as we do. For example down here in the southwest, you see lizards and chimpmunks running across this crypto soils stuff, but they leave no impressions, you can also see huge footprints where people have walked through and killed this stuff. Same can be said for fragile plants and what not.
I also don't believe that humans should be exluded from nature, I wish everyone could spend time in nature and our national parks, as long as they respect them. If everyone respected them then I doubt their would be any disagreement whatsover. I am definately not for keeping them closed off to people or anything like that, I think it is pretty simple to use them and not destroy them.
On a side note - I do have to agree on some of the PETA stuff, I love steak and venison, and personally see no problem with hunting, (minus poaching protected animals), fishing etc.
Posted by Quinn on June 15 2002,3:50 pmThis is an e-mail I got from the Rangers in california...
"To whom it may concern,
I am the East District Ranger at Pinnacles National Monument and I am
writing to inform you of our policy on geocahcing in the park. As we are a
National Park which is made up of federally designated wilderness area you
are not allowed to leave behind any form of litter or abandoned item. You
will find that most National Parks, Monuments, etc. have this condition.
I recently found a large cache near the high peaks area of our park and
understand that you had a second cache near the Balconies Cave. The latter
was discovered to have been converted to a virtual cache.
This activity has many subtle but long term effects on areas such as ours
and we would greatly appreciate your cooperation in no longer using the
area for your geo-caching. The Virtual caches may be permited as long as
they do not direct visitors to off trail areas. This acitvity tends to
create social trails which are then followed by visitors who may not
understand where it goes or the inherent off trail dangers.
It is important that you have a clear understanding of our regulations as
it pertains to this activity. We encourage you to contact us to answer any
questions or concerns you may have. I will keep the High Peaks cache in my
possession for 30 days should you wish to collect the items. My contact
numebrs are below.Thank you for your time."
Neal D. Labrie
East District Ranger
Pinnacles National Monument
(831) 389-4485 ext. 237
Posted by Hinge Thunder on June 15 2002,5:05 pm
Maybe we should ALL call him.
And what are they going to do about a virtual cache? Remove it?
Posted by DxChallenged on June 16 2002,12:52 amHmmmmmmmm
So the ranger is ok with a virtual.
Some would just say "Get out of Dodge" and that would be it.
but he didn't.
Would he/they be up for a cache hidden at the ranger's station?......maybe a multicache.....get a map go on the trail..compute the coordinates from a figure on the trails (kinda like a graveyard thing) and then end up at the Ranger's station where you could get more information on the park and what it offers.........Could be seen as a way to promote the park and at the same time address their concers....the cache could not be considered abandonded property if it was right under the rangers noses?
Posted by YardBoy on June 16 2002,5:21 am
He didn't exactly say he was OK...
"...The Virtual caches may be permited as long as they do not direct visitors to off trail areas. This acitvity tends to create social trails which are then followed by visitors who may not understand where it goes or the inherent off trail dangers."
I'm reminded of an expression we use in Scuba Diving: "take nothing but pictures, leave only air bubbles". As NaviCachers, we push the limits by leaving a container. Let's not act like a troop of monkeys cutting a swath thru fields, flowers, brush, etc. There's no need to break branches, take the most direct route or the same route out. At the risk of sounding repetitious, let's practice our "toe-to-heal" walk, limit the size of our NaviCache groups, and support the Rangers who have a lot more experience in these matters.
For a NaviCache on established roadways, sidewalks & greenways: < Who Ya Gonna Call? >
Posted by Hinge Thunder on June 17 2002,1:21 pmI wonder if that Forest Service worker who started that huge fire in Colorado was one of the people removing our caches due to the damage they supposedly cause. And here they are blathering on about social trails, and fragile dirt, and endangered weeds, when one of their own is off starting one of biggest forest fires Colorado has ever seen!!!!!
And guess what! It'll grow back! It may take a few years, but it will grow back! The forests are NOT as fragile as the tree huggers keep trying to make us believe!
I AM NOT ANTI-ENVIRONMENT! I AM ANTI-ENVIRONMENTALIST!
Posted by Firemedic on June 17 2002,7:42 pmI was a pre-forestry major before I changed to agronomy. They taught about multi-use of forest lands (including hunting, camping and logging) They taught about controlled fires and allowing natural fires to burn for a while as a tool for forest management. They taught about recreation as a legitimate use of forest lands.
Some cachers in this area get a permit for their cache and work with the park system on placement and the cache owners are required to move it on a regular basis so trails don't appear. That is management by inclusion not by exclusion. Not stay on the trails but get off and see nature, but includes tools for preservation.
I AM NOT ANTI-ENVIRONMENT! I AM ANTI-ENVIRONMENTALIST!
But I am anti-big brother, anti-Knee jerk reaction to a problem instead of management of a potential problem before it becomes a problem.
Posted by Scout on June 17 2002,9:46 pm
Leave No Trace principles include this:
"In popular areas:
Concentrate use on existing trails.
In pristine areas:
Disperse use to prevent the creation of trails."
Sounds to me like this is the best approach to preserve the nature that people are attracted to in the first place.
Posted by Firemedic on June 18 2002,5:38 am
Prohibition, not inclusion. Instead of management of the activity they just outlaw it.
Posted by Quinn on June 18 2002,5:38 amHey! I wonder just how many caches bruned up in that fire?
This would be a true test for those single use camera's.
Oops! off topic, I'm out!
Posted by Firemedic on June 20 2002,7:19 pmYou are not all that off topic. Compared to what is happening in the western forestlands an off trail hike seems rather insignificant, does it not?
Posted by mikechim on June 20 2002,9:58 pmI do have to agree with that Firemedic, it's also ironic that the forest service is to blame (I don't mean the nutjob that set the fire) I'm talking about the suppression of natural fires for years that have left a veritable tinderbox, at least now they are doing things like controlled burns. Speaking of caches in the fire, I just did 2 caches that were in an area that was still smoking. Didn't know til I pulled into the area but then saw the big sign warning of fire crews and the forest service fire trucks along the roads and figured that this area must have went out just a few days ago. Anyway one cache was reduced to nothing as you'd expect, but one cache was fine, and to top it all off it was a RUBBERMAID container not an ammobox. The shrubs and "trees" all around were burnt, even the ground up to within a foot of the cache had scorch marks, and half of the tree it was under was burnt but for whatever reason the cache was still there, I was shocked then began wondering if it could've been a controlled burn and they wanted to save the tree for some reason? I don't know back home, wildfires aren't really an issue like they are out here.
Posted by PC Medic on June 21 2002,6:50 am
Ypu obviously do not realize just how long it takes for these forests to "grow back" as you call it. Nor do you appear to take into consideration just how many rare plants may NEVER grow back.
I would also like to point out that the Forest Service did not start this fire. It was started by an "individual" who obviously did a belly flop in the gene pool. It could have just as easily been a cacher, hiker or any one else.
I am not an environmentalist, just care about the environment. The way I see it though there is something worse than the environmentalist, and that is the anti-environmentalist.
Posted by Firemedic on June 21 2002,7:43 amThis thread is GREAT. It's the most activity since the morse code thread (.-. --- - ..-. .-.. -- .- --- ). We have diverse people and opinions. That was evident from those that showed up in Rochester, NY. We are not going to change the minds of those on each end of the spectrum of this debate (eco-radicals vs. eco-conservatives) but the debate is good!
I grew up in the SW United States (New Mexico) but have lived in almost every region of the US. I have seen people abuse the BLM, NPS, and Forest Service entrusted land and know reasonable rules are needed, but have seen rules so strict that only the rangers get to see some of the land because access is so restricted.
"You" say we need to save the land for the children. Rules and regulations are rarely loosened up but are usually made more stringent over time. That is their nature (I know I used to write them). If we have trouble accessing the wildlands now our decendents won't even be able to get close.
Posted by Hinge Thunder on June 21 2002,7:54 am
But it wasn't started by a cacher, or a hiker. It was started by FOREST SERVICE WORKER.
Do you think there were not ever forest fires in these areas before? I am sure there were fires there at sometime, whether started by man, or lightning strikes, or whatever. Yet apparently there were rare plants (according to your post) there. They got there somehow, and they will get there again. If not, maybe they weren't viable to begin with. Life is hard! Nature is a heartless bitch! Ever hear of something called natural selection?
Posted by dgridley on June 21 2002,11:43 amMaybe it's just me but is it hot in here?
Personally I think for a geocaching site to have as many negatively skewed comments regarding the environment projects just the image we're trying to avoid. To not care about the environment is irresponsible to say the very least.
If I were a Ranger and saw some of the comments posted in this thread, I'd think twice about letting some of us in the parks too.
Posted by Hinge Thunder on June 21 2002,1:41 pmOn another note, Rippie and I are planning on going out tommorrow, and placing a new cache. We scouted the place out a couple weeks ago, and found it feasable. There was alot of trash in the area, so I am planning on taking a trash bag with me, and removing some of it.
Though, not to be too far out of character, if I were still living back in Seattle, I would have made it a point to go up, and harrass the PETA people that are singing "Give geese a chance". Maybe try to wear a leather jacket, or something. Or maybe do like they do, but instead of having an attractive woman wearing a lettuce leaf bikini, I would go up wearing a chuck-steak thong. Now isn't that a lovely thought?!?!
Posted by PC Medic on June 21 2002,7:53 pm
And in the "Responsible Geocachers" model of the world, the shortest distance between two points is a crooked line....around the creeks, thorn bushes, horse piles, or whatever.....
Posted by Blackpete on June 21 2002,8:07 pmI was just thinking about this the other night when we did a cache that had no hints. We looked for an hour walking over the same ground. I commented that the area will probably get trampled if other people have the same problem finding the cache. If everyone moves a few rocks and climbs under a few tree limbs, walks over foliage not once but several times, an area will get trampled. It made us realize that when checking on our caches we have to make sure the area is not getting "worn down". I guess that is when it is time to pull a cache.
Posted by Hinge Thunder on June 21 2002,9:55 pm
Ahhhh...but then you are treading where everyone is treading, and creating 'Social Trails'!!!!!
Posted by South Cache on Jan. 16 2003,11:09 am
I am all for "Leaving No Trace". In the boy scouts I learned to take nothing but pictures and leave nothing but footprints. We were taught not to harm living growing trees and to clean up after ourselves.
Since you are speaking for the organization how does the organization feel about Geocaching?
Many such organizations have high ideals with the ultimate goal of forbiding anyone to have access to the wilderness for any reason. I can't support that kind of effort.