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abcdmCachers
WGA Member



Joined: 2004-09-25
Posts: 135
Location: Brookfield, WI

PostPosted: Sun Jul 01, 2007 4:18 pm Reply with quote Back to top

I know there was another thread about placing caches in Milwaukee county. But for convenience I thought I would post this here. They now have a website including PDF version of the cache placement permission form:
http://www.county.milwaukee.gov/Geocaching21582.htm

Still think it would be nice if WGA collected policies, procedures and contact info for each locale so they were all in one location (e.g. Madison has its own policies, DNR of course has theirs, Town of Brookfield Park & Rec, etc. etc.)
 
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GeoPink
WGA Member



Joined: 2003-11-01
Posts: 1682
Location: Manitowoc, WI

PostPosted: Sun Jul 01, 2007 4:56 pm Reply with quote Back to top

The WGA intends to do what it can to keep up with all the new geocaching regulations from around the state. It is not made any easier when the governing bodies refuse to work with us prior to coming up with flawed policies.

Thanks for the link...

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- Jeff
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Team Deejay
WGA Member



Joined: 2005-10-02
Posts: 2400
Location: Rochester, WI, US

PostPosted: Mon Jul 02, 2007 7:58 am Reply with quote Back to top

As far as I know, this policy is still under development. The materials were posted to the internet to allow comment. (I know, I wouldn't have done it that way either.)
 
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Trudy and the beast
WGA Member



Joined: 2002-07-26
Posts: 2375
Location: Milwaukee, WI, USA

PostPosted: Mon Jul 02, 2007 7:09 pm Reply with quote Back to top

effective when?
 
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Team Deejay
WGA Member



Joined: 2005-10-02
Posts: 2400
Location: Rochester, WI, US

PostPosted: Mon Jul 02, 2007 11:23 pm Reply with quote Back to top

Trudy & the beast wrote:
effective when?


Let's just say that communication has been "challenging"....

For what it is worth, they are not being argumentative or suggesting that we shouldn't place caches in their parks. There is no talk of fees or other sorts of obnoxious rules, other than possibly a maximum placement period of 3 years (we are talking about this). My guess is that they will get back with me in the next couple weeks to discuss the "approval" process. Currently, I send them a weekly update of caches added and archived from their park system, along with a current spreadsheet of all the caches and an interactive HTML map showing the cache locations. At last count, there are 233 caches in Milwaukee County Parks. I'm pretty sure they are NOT going to want forms for all of these caches, but the small number of caches with absentee/nonresponsive owners are probably going to either be adopted or archived.

In the short term, if you are planning a cache in MCP, I would suggest you use the current permit form and take the time to contact the land manager (Paul Kortebein) to get permission. If you can reach him, he is easy to work with and understands the basics of geocaching.
 
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abcdmCachers
WGA Member



Joined: 2004-09-25
Posts: 135
Location: Brookfield, WI

PostPosted: Tue Jul 03, 2007 1:26 pm Reply with quote Back to top

When I saw the info on their website, I figured the policy was finalized so I filled out a couple forms and sent them in. I'll let you know if I get a reply.
 
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Trudy and the beast
WGA Member



Joined: 2002-07-26
Posts: 2375
Location: Milwaukee, WI, USA

PostPosted: Wed Jul 04, 2007 10:24 am Reply with quote Back to top

Bonita vista al mar (GC6A39) is a geocache at risk.

Five years ago, these neophytes were excited by the possibility of placing a virtual geocache in Juneau Park. An e-mail was sent to Milwaukee County parks administration with a request for their geocaching policy. Their reply was that there was none and that as long as we “stay away from the golf courses” and “replace the dirt” when we are done, “Milwaukee County Parks, yours to enjoy.” The cache page was written and approved.

During these five years, 267 geocachers have logged their visits to Bonita vista al mar. Many of these cachers were from out of state and the majority of all cachers to visit had never walked in Juneau Park. They had never seen the vista, or read the history. This cache has brought visitors from 28 states, Spain, Germany, Norway and The Netherlands. These cachers have amassed find counts averaging over 1000 each, so when they log their positive reviews of this wonderful park, they know what they are talking about.

Today, Milwaukee County is writing a geocaching policy that will require caches to be archived and removed after three years. There are many parts of this new policy that indicate that the writers are unfamiliar with geocaching. And while there is no apparent effort to control the vandals, vagrants and litterbugs that plague the parks, somehow they have found in their wisdom that bringing one new visitor to the park each week will diminish the park’s value to the community. What is the real environmental impact of a geocacher? Two or three or even five hundred geocachers over the course of five years will leave less evidence of their presence than the same number of mountain bikers, Frisbee players or cross-country skiers.

Take a walk through Juneau Park, read the logs at Bonita vista al mar, check the photographs taken by the geocachers that have been here. Then consider the wisdom in removing this geocache from the game. Bonita vista al mar is not the only geocache at risk. It just happens to be one that we are very proud of. There are others that will be similarly affected. There is great merit in keeping geocaches active when they offer adventure or inspiration to our lives. Milwaukee County Parks Administration needs to take another took at what they are asking of geocachers.
 
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Thraxman
WGA Member



Joined: 2002-02-23
Posts: 395
Location: Janesville, WI

PostPosted: Wed Jul 04, 2007 5:26 pm Reply with quote Back to top

It is puzzling trying to figure out why the Milwaukee policy includes virtual caches in the first place. Virtuals don't have anything out of the ordinary in place, they are just coordinates saying "Hey, check out this neat thing!" I can't think of many virts that require I have done that required me to venture off the pavement. None required any form of bushwhacking.

As for the 3-year limit: I remember back in the early days of the WGA, there was talk of limiting all caches to a certain duration (I think it was 18 months). This was an idea brought up by the board and members themselves. I cringed at the idea when the WGA tossed it around, and I cringe at the thought of such a limit being imposed by anyone else.

A cache's impact on its surroundings is clearly at its peak immediately after it is placed and approved. This is when a large number of visitors seek it out over a short period of time. After several weeks or so, most caches seem to have a small trickle of visits. So a mandatory 3-year removal is a completely arbitrary rule. If a time-sensitive regulation MUST be put in place, a more constructive policy would perhaps require a review of the cache and surroundings after one or two years, at which point the park manager would assess the impact. If the area is in poor shape, the cache is yanked. If the impact is acceptable, the cache is approved to stay in place indefinitely.... no further action required.

That said, reading the Milwaukee policy give me the impression that those who drafted it were probably well-intentioned. They may be open to suggestions.
 
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Gusty Winds
WGA Friend



Joined: 2006-09-28
Posts: 118

PostPosted: Thu Jul 05, 2007 3:51 pm Reply with quote Back to top

I can't see how it makes a lot of sense to archive a virtual.. The structure will still be there; or in this case the three gifts will still be there. Unless the beast packs them up and takes them home. If it is archived, what keeps a cacher from finding and logging it anyway?
 
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abcdmCachers
WGA Member



Joined: 2004-09-25
Posts: 135
Location: Brookfield, WI

PostPosted: Thu Aug 02, 2007 1:26 pm Reply with quote Back to top

abcdmCachers wrote:
When I saw the info on their website, I figured the policy was finalized so I filled out a couple forms and sent them in. I'll let you know if I get a reply.

I received the signed form in the mail yesterday, so took about a month for approval.

Any new news on the policy? Are negotiations still ongoing?
 
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Team Deejay
WGA Member



Joined: 2005-10-02
Posts: 2400
Location: Rochester, WI, US

PostPosted: Thu Aug 02, 2007 2:46 pm Reply with quote Back to top

The reality is that they are too busy this time of year to do much of anything other than their normal role. The biggest issue seemed to be that they didn't know how many caches were in their parks or where they were. They now receive weekly updates of new caches and archivals of the caches in their parks along with a spreadsheet and electronic map of all the caches, and, for now, that seems to be making them happy.

As far as negotiations go, several us have already commented on the proposed policies and they have agreed to revisit them, based on the comments. They have not asked us to check for permits on caches in their parks, nor have they asked for Boilerplate YET. My guess is that both of those will be a reality around Christmas, similar to the DNR. We suggested that a notification form instead of a permit would be preferred, but I think we will lose on that one. As far as the 3 year rule goes, I am guessing that will go away, and, quite frankly, I can't imagine them enforcing it even if it doesn't. (About the only person with enough records to enforce it is me, and I'm not volunteering!) On the other hand, I suspect there may be an additional rule regarding high difficulty hides in sensitive areas. As part of our comments about the 3 year rule, many of us explained that environmental damage tends to occur only when a cache is made very difficult to find in a sensitive area, and usually only in the first couple months that the cache is available. They may say that hides rated 3 star or higher will require special review. In my opinion, this shouldn't be necessary, but we have all seen caches which resulted in damage when the sensitivity of the area was not considered when placing the hide. Note that this is also pretty unenforceable, but we can try. It is difficult for reviewers to recognize the sensitivity of areas from maps, but expect to get more scrutiny if you place a high difficulty hide in their parks.

In short, the policy is still a draft, so if you have comments, please send them to PKortebein@milwcnty.com. Posting them here is not likely to do much good.
 
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zuma
WGA Member



Joined: 2006-01-30
Posts: 5559
Location: Eau Claire

PostPosted: Thu Aug 02, 2007 3:26 pm Reply with quote Back to top

Team Deejay wrote:
The reality is that they are too busy this time of year to do much of anything other than their normal role. The biggest issue seemed to be that they didn't know how many caches were in their parks or where they were. They now receive weekly updates of new caches and archivals of the caches in their parks along with a spreadsheet and electronic map of all the caches, and, for now, that seems to be making them happy.

As far as negotiations go, several us have already commented on the proposed policies and they have agreed to revisit them, based on the comments. They have not asked us to check for permits on caches in their parks, nor have they asked for Boilerplate YET. My guess is that both of those will be a reality around Christmas, similar to the DNR. We suggested that a notification form instead of a permit would be preferred, but I think we will lose on that one. As far as the 3 year rule goes, I am guessing that will go away, and, quite frankly, I can't imagine them enforcing it even if it doesn't. (About the only person with enough records to enforce it is me, and I'm not volunteering!) On the other hand, I suspect there may be an additional rule regarding high difficulty hides in sensitive areas. As part of our comments about the 3 year rule, many of us explained that environmental damage tends to occur only when a cache is made very difficult to find in a sensitive area, and usually only in the first couple months that the cache is available. They may say that hides rated 3 star or higher will require special review. In my opinion, this shouldn't be necessary, but we have all seen caches which resulted in damage when the sensitivity of the area was not considered when placing the hide. Note that this is also pretty unenforceable, but we can try. It is difficult for reviewers to recognize the sensitivity of areas from maps, but expect to get more scrutiny if you place a high difficulty hide in their parks.

In short, the policy is still a draft, so if you have comments, please send them to PKortebein@milwcnty.com. Posting them here is not likely to do much good.


Thanks for all your hard work in keeping Milwaukee County parks accessible. It is much appreciated.

zuma

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All posts are the opinions of the poster and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the WGA Board of Directors. 
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Johnny Cache
WGA Member



Joined: 2005-08-30
Posts: 304
Location: Milwaukee, WI

PostPosted: Thu Aug 02, 2007 5:41 pm Reply with quote Back to top

Team Deejay wrote:
The reality is that they are too busy this time of year to do much of anything other than their normal role.


That's because they're too busy trying to figure out if they can increase their pension with a lucrative buyback.
 
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abcdmCachers
WGA Member



Joined: 2004-09-25
Posts: 135
Location: Brookfield, WI

PostPosted: Fri Aug 03, 2007 2:36 pm Reply with quote Back to top

Team Deejay wrote:
In short, the policy is still a draft


Thanks for your work in this area and the detailed reply. How approvers handling new caches? If it's still a draft policy, it sounds like they will be approved without going through application process to receive written permision?
 
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AuntieNae
WGA Treasurer
WGA Treasurer



Joined: 2004-04-12
Posts: 3265
Location: Waukesha/ Greenfield/ Milwaukee

PostPosted: Fri Aug 03, 2007 2:48 pm Reply with quote Back to top

The latest communications we have had was related to the Park closures. A quick email to Team Deejay and he was able to check the related parks and existing caches. The caches were disabled before it was requested of us. We both received a thank you email.
AuntieNae

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Finding Flow in Nature - Earthcaches Rock!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 it\'s Board of Directors. 
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