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Northwoods Tom
WGA Member



Joined: 2010-12-03
Posts: 664
Location: Washington Island

PostPosted: Fri May 11, 2012 7:37 pm Reply with quote Back to top

Bad news from the Door County Land Trust. You may have geocached in Door County in the past or may be planning on it in the future. This new rule may soon affect some of the beautiful areas you might have explored.

I recently contacted Terrie Cooper who is the Land Program Director for the Door County Land Trust preserves about placing a geocache on DCLT property on Washington Island. This is the abbreviated sad response I received:

“HI Tom, I’m sorry to let you know that since we last spoke, in an effort to be consistent on all our nature preserve properties in how we manage them - our Board is not allowing geocaching on any DCLT nature preserves. So even lands that are not in a State Natural Area are not allowed to have geocaching. This decision is because of the serious spread of invasive species on our preserves, garlic mustard, honeysuckle, buckthorn, etc. Unfortunately, geocaching is mainly off trail and is increasing the spread of these types of species and is not recommended to encourage off trail uses in these nature preserves. Sorry for the change in our policy, I hope you can appreciate the increasing problem we are having as more and more people use our preserves.”

Door County Land Trust Website: http://www.doorcountylandtrust.org/
 
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Vegas Gamblers
WGA Member



Joined: 2006-06-27
Posts: 6627
Location: Milwaukee

PostPosted: Fri May 11, 2012 7:49 pm Reply with quote Back to top

So with that explaination, they should ban hiking and other activities in the areas.
 
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huffinpuffin2
WGA Member



Joined: 2009-07-17
Posts: 2659
Location: Puffindoofer

PostPosted: Fri May 11, 2012 8:07 pm Reply with quote Back to top

Hard to really see how big of an impact this is, without superimposing caches on off-limits land, but this sounds like a good number of 'scenic/nature caches' may be getting the boot. Looking over the properties described in the link, makes it sound quite extensive - and growing.

Geocaching must generate a lot of traffic to these sensitive areas.

Is this an 'opportunity area' for the BOD to discuss, take a stance, and then act if appropriate? ('act,' likely = dialog)

On the flip-side, pretty sure Peninsula State Park will welcome the placement of geocaches, as long as there are responsible owners willing and able to provide timely maintenance.
 
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JimandLinda
WGA Member



Joined: 2008-08-14
Posts: 5464
Location: Rosendale WI

PostPosted: Fri May 11, 2012 8:17 pm Reply with quote Back to top

I, as an individual on the BOD, fully support the decision by the DCLT. We need to accept the fact that our "hobby" does contribute to the spread of invasive species. We may contribute the most; we may contribute the least...it's hard to measure.

We can voice our disappointment in the decision and hope it doesn't lead to other restrictions. It will depend on how geocaching continues to evolve, as more people give it a try.

Thanks for the info, and feel free to comment either way. This is one issue where we may need to "feel the pulse" of the members as a whole.
 
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CodeJunkie
WGA Member



Joined: 2009-07-21
Posts: 8239
Location: Berlin, WI

PostPosted: Fri May 11, 2012 8:30 pm Reply with quote Back to top

Let's also keep in mind that this is a public forum so any comments noted here are visible to the world as a whole (including the DCLT).

Here's some things we may want to consider:
1) A CITO in which members volunteer to help pull or otherwise eliminate the invasive species.
2) Ask if there are any areas within these zones where they would allow a geocache (i.e. trailheads, shelters, etc.)

I've never visited these areas, so I have no idea what the response would be. I think it would be in geocachers best interest to be proactive in trying to help if possible. With the spread of invasive species throughout the state a little proactive now might set us down a great path for the future when working with other organizations.
 
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sandlanders
WGA Member



Joined: 2008-01-18
Posts: 19444
Location: Adams, WI

PostPosted: Fri May 11, 2012 10:06 pm Reply with quote Back to top

Northwoods Tom wrote:
This is the abbreviated sad response I received:

“... This decision is because of the serious spread of invasive species on our preserves, garlic mustard, honeysuckle, buckthorn, etc. Unfortunately, geocaching is mainly off trail and is increasing the spread of these types of species and is not recommended to encourage off trail uses in these nature preserves. Sorry for the change in our policy, I hope you can appreciate the increasing problem we are having as more and more people use our preserves.”

We have not cached extensively in Door County, so we are unfamiliar with these particular lands and how they are used. Our experience is that geocaching is NOT mainly off-trail when there is a trail to be taken to a certain hiding spot. Geocachers are not the only user group that may be spreading these invasives, but they are perhaps the group that can most be controlled by banning the activity. It is more difficult to ban hiking and other uses of lands that see visitors. In most cases that I have seen elsewhere, the garlic mustard is along the trail edges and not in the woods away from the trails. The honeysuckle and buckthorn is brought in by birds and other animals, for the most part. Yes, banning geocaching may reduce some travel in these areas, but will it be enough?

The first cache we ever placed has garlic mustard near the entrance to the woods along the trail. We have taken it upon ourselves to pull as much of it as we can each year to keep this species from moving into the woods where the trilliums and other native plants could be at risk. Because we first noticed the garlic mustard the year after we placed our cache, we thought that perhaps people visiting the cache had brought in the seeds to start all of this. However, we realized that the plant has a two-year cycle, and the seeds had most likely been brought in no later than the year before we placed our cache. Hikers and hunters visit this spot a lot more than geocachers do.

If we did not have a geocache in this location, we would not have noticed the garlic mustard or even known what it was. We would not now be pulling as much of it as we can to control its spread. While I agree that our activity does have an effect on the places we visit, and not all geocachers are as careful as others, I would like to see the WGA at least take an educational stand on how geocaching and geocachers can be of benefit to public properties through such things as awareness, CITO events, and others.
 
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beezers958
WGA Member



Joined: 2009-07-03
Posts: 130
Location: Shorewood, WI

PostPosted: Sun May 13, 2012 12:14 am Reply with quote Back to top

Most caches don't have that high a visitor rate to greatly increase the spread of invasives or contribute to erosion due to geo-trails, etc. IMHO these are all bogus arguments, but I really can't figure out the logic. Perhaps it makes it easier for the managing groups. If they ban all caches, then they don't have to use the time to decide if a cache is in an OK spot or not.

So, thanks to the park and nature areas that still allow us to cache AND enjoy them!

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beezers958
Wow, you got me a new GPS for Christmas and I didn\'t even ask for one! I\'m that obviously obsessed? 
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CacheNoTrace
WGA Member



Joined: 2010-03-11
Posts: 2336
Location: Rothschild

PostPosted: Sun May 13, 2012 10:36 am Reply with quote Back to top

Actually, their arguments does have some merit. It doesn't take much for anyone to spread invasive species. A lot of people spread them without even knowing that they are.

Geocachers are not the only ones who help spread invasive species. Everyday hikers, and one can argue even "experts" in the field of invasive species can help spread them as well.

But there is a lil secret tip that can help reduce the spread of invasive species. That is to simply wash the bottoms of your shoes between hikes. When going from one trail to another, make sure the treads of your shoes are clean. Believe it or not, your treads on the bottom of your shoes IS one of the major culprits on the spread of invasive species!

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Wisconsin State Advocate
Leave No Trace
www.lnt.org 
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grandpa_r
WGA Member



Joined: 2009-08-17
Posts: 137
Location: Waukesha

PostPosted: Sun May 13, 2012 7:39 pm Reply with quote Back to top

Here is some interesting information…

http://blog.geocaching.com/2010/06/geocachers-guard-nature-as-citizen-scientists-geocaching-coms-lost-found-video/
 
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beccaday
WGA Secretary
WGA Secretary



Joined: 2010-09-22
Posts: 3971
Location: Eau Claire

PostPosted: Wed Feb 06, 2013 7:46 am Reply with quote Back to top

My first thought was - let's do a CITO there! They obviously have a need for a mustard pull and while we probably won't get them to change their mind, they may look upon geocaching as a positive and helpful thing. They could even come and talk to us about invasive species while we were working. We couldn't get any smilies for caching but we could get an attended icon for a CITO. Which parks are they talking about specifically?

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Not all who wander are lost, some are geocaching.

Disclaimer: This post and the contents of any links or images attached is the opinion of this poster and not that of the WGA or its Board of Directors. 
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Walkingadventure
WGA President
WGA President



Joined: 2009-05-06
Posts: 2837
Location: Neenah

PostPosted: Wed Feb 06, 2013 8:03 am Reply with quote Back to top

adam8 wrote:
Budget hotels in and around area provide tourists marvelous accommodation equipped with all modern facilities like television, air conditioning and even Wi-Fi connection. These are the most satisfying and cheap accommodations.
<edited>


Thanks for the friendly tip! I was just wondering about this.

Toothy Grin LOL No No No


Edited by admin to remove link.

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The posts and opinions shared here are solely that of the individual and do not reflect the beliefs of the WGA Board of Directors. 
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WStemple
WGA Member



Joined: 2008-06-23
Posts: 508
Location: Out on the trails.

PostPosted: Wed Feb 06, 2013 8:30 am Reply with quote Back to top

CacheNoTrace wrote:
But there is a lil secret tip that can help reduce the spread of invasive species. That is to simply wash the bottoms of your shoes between hikes. When going from one trail to another, make sure the treads of your shoes are clean. Believe it or not, your treads on the bottom of your shoes IS one of the major culprits on the spread of invasive species!
This is one of the reasons that many trails are placing boot cleaners at the trailhead parking areas. While not everyone will use them, it has to help decrease the spread of seeds and such. Seems like a wise thing for all land managers to place out there for people to use.
 
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WStemple
WGA Member



Joined: 2008-06-23
Posts: 508
Location: Out on the trails.

PostPosted: Wed Feb 06, 2013 8:36 am Reply with quote Back to top

Are they also then opposed to Earth Caches? If so, do they understand that these are designed to make use of existing trails that take people to features that hikers are already going to? I have only spent one week in DC, but I quickly found that there are many spots that are unique and probably would be great EC's.
 
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Kelso
WGA Member



Joined: May 22, 2012
Posts: 53
Location: Slinger, WI.

PostPosted: Wed Feb 06, 2013 8:40 am Reply with quote Back to top

beccaday wrote:
My first thought was - let's do a CITO there! They obviously have a need for a mustard pull and while we probably won't get them to change their mind, they may look upon geocaching as a positive and helpful thing. They could even come and talk to us about invasive species while we were working. We couldn't get any smilies for caching but we could get an attended icon for a CITO. Which parks are they talking about specifically?


I think beccaday has a great idea and it's something worth discussing. As it may not change their minds it allows us to show that we are willing to help out in any way possible. Giving back to the communities as much as we can is such an important thing.
 
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Team Black-Cat
WGA Webmaster
WGA Webmaster



Joined: 2007-09-13
Posts: 6096
Location: Somewhere in Central WI

PostPosted: Wed Feb 06, 2013 9:01 am Reply with quote Back to top

Nothing like a little spam to wake up an old thread. Smile

This looks like a cause that needa a champion.

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