Forum: General Discussion
Topic: New York State end to caching as we knew it
started by: Rocky

Posted by Rocky on April 23 2004,4:32 pm
People who have no sense have been harassing officials at the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) about establishing a policy for placing geocaches.  This has been driven on a forum on the other site.  The result will be a disaster.  Red tape will now become the name of the game.  Already talking about a $25 permit and liability insurance.  As I said over there too bad people could not leave a sleeping dog alone.
Posted by apogee on April 24 2004,11:37 am
There was a time in this country when open land was truly in the public domain and free for people to use and enjoy as they saw fit.  With the end of the frontier and increasing population pressure, it became apparent that it was necessary to impose rules and regulations to preserve scarce resources for future generations.  That's well and good.  We shouldn't allow places of natural beauty to be spoiled by careless or commercial use.  On the other hand, it opens the way for over-regulation and the removal of lands from reasonable public use.  Geocaching in itself, is a benign activity.  It shouldn't be subject to the regulatory whims of lawyers and bureaucrats, IMHO.

Administrators on the other site say they will now be checking to see if owners have obtained 'necessary' permits for geocache placement inside state parks.  $25 per cache.  How many people can afford such a fee, and how much 'service' does it provide?  Those are the questions people should be asking, but they find it easier to believe what they are told.
Unfortunately, many people seem to think that government agencies are their friends, that they are looking out for their interests and that of the environment.  Wrong.  Bureaucracies are about politics and empire-building.  The more they can regulate things, the more important and secure their position becomes.  I think it's wise to assume an adversarial relationship, and as you say, let sleeping dogs lie.

Posted by PC Medic on April 24 2004,12:12 pm
First keep in mind that he said there is 'talk of a fee', nothing that I have heard is official. Remember voices are heard (especially in an election year) so if you do not feel this fee would be fair (which it certainly would not be), then now is the time to write your state representative. I am not sure how they would justify such a fee if the same is not charged to any other group/individual using the same area. Remember, they can only 'strictly' regulate your freedom if you sit back and let them.

Another thing to remember is that there is plenty of land in N.Y. that the NYDEC has absolutely no jurisdiction over.

Posted by apogee on April 24 2004,2:59 pm
Apparently, the fee system is already in place in Pennsylvania.  Here's what GC's site approver had to say about it.
Quote
When a new cache is submitted and the map shows it as being located in a state park or state forest, I do look for the cache page to mention that a permit has been obtained. We even have a graphic that gets placed on all DCNR-approved caches to help spread the word about the policy.

I'm in California, so I don't think writing my state representative will help - in fact I don't even want to plant an idea like geocaching permits in their greedy little heads.

Posted by PC Medic on April 24 2004,7:04 pm
Quote (apogee @ April 24 2004,4:59 pm)
Apparently, the fee system is already in place in Pennsylvania.  Here's what GC's site approver had to say about it.
Quote
When a new cache is submitted and the map shows it as being located in a state park or state forest, I do look for the cache page to mention that a permit has been obtained. We even have a graphic that gets placed on all DCNR-approved caches to help spread the word about the policy.

I'm in California, so I don't think writing my state representative will help - in fact I don't even want to plant an idea like geocaching permits in their greedy little heads.

Not true. While Pennsylvania (and some other states) do require you obtain permission and in some cases a permit is issued, this permit is not fee based. In fact the form and more information regarding caches on PA DNR managed lands is  available  < HERE >.



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