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zuma
WGA Member



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

PostPosted: Tue Mar 09, 2010 8:23 am Reply with quote Back to top

The board wanted the general membership to know that we are concerned about the issue of the DOT not allowing caches in rest areas, and that we are working on it. I would have to guess that we are not going to get a quick fix on this one, but we are at least starting to chip away at it. At some point in the future, we may be asking the general membership to send letters and emails to their elected reprsesentatives, if we do not get an adequate response from the DOT.

Here is the latest email sent to the DOT on the subject, for your information:

Dear Bob Spoerl:

Thank you for your quick response to my inquiry of related to WisDOT oversight of the highway rest area program, including RFW and the CRP's. I understand that this arrangement has been in place since 1987 with positive results.

My concern is related to the issue of the placement of geocaches within Wisconsinís rest areas, and I am contacting you on behalf of the Wisconsin Geocaching Association. Our membership is very concerned that geocaches are not allowed in Wisconsinís rest areas and note that geocaches are either allowed or encouraged in all other states except for Wisconsin.

Our membership notes the contrast between the Wisconsin policy for rest area for geocaches with our neighboring states. The Wisconsin policy (found at http://www.rfw.org/RAM/Images/RARules.pdf) states: "The Wisconsin Department of Transportation, for safety and operational reasons,discourages citizens from using any WisDOT site for geocaching purposes. Any "cache" found by site staff will be disposed of promptly."



This is in sharp contrast with the Minnesota DOT policy (found at http://www.dot.state.mn.us/restareas/policies/policies.html#geocaching ) that states:



ďMn/DOT wants to encourage positive use of its rest areas and feels that geocaching, if played in accordance with this policy, will not conflict with other rest area uses.Ē


In case you are not familiar with geocaching, it is an international game, played using the Global Positioning System. Participants place containers at an interesting location, and mark the latitude and longitude of the location on their GPS unit. They then post the coordinates of the location on an internet site for other participants to use to navigate to the location, using their own GPS. Typically the container will contain a logbook for players to sign, a pencil, and occasionally small trinkets for trading. Essentially, geocaching is a recreational activity that brings technology and nature together.


It is in the interest of highway safety that most states currently allow geocaches at rest areas. Rest areas are meant to give drivers a break from the road, and stopping for a geocache at a rest area is a great way to improve driver attentiveness and improve highway safety. When I travel through other states I often stop at rest area geocaches, walk around and get refreshed, and know firsthand that geocaches in rest areas greatly improve highway safety.


So the purpose of this email is to start a dialog on ways that the Wisconsin Geocaching Association can work with the Wisconsin DOT to develop a policy that will make it possible for geocaches to be placed in Wisconsinís rest areas. We will be happy to work with you in developing a policy that puts highway safety first, does not damage the rest area infrastructure, and allows those who enjoy geocaching to find geocaches in the rest areas.


Thank you for your help in this matter, and I hope that the WGA and Wis-DOT can work together effectively to improve highway safety.



Ralph Edwards

President, Wisconsin Geocaching Association

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Lostby7
WGA Member



Joined: 2005-06-07
Posts: 3188
Location: Lake country area, WI

PostPosted: Tue Mar 09, 2010 8:29 am Reply with quote Back to top

Very cool. Cool
 
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BakRdz
WGA Member



Joined: 2009-08-20
Posts: 967
Location: OshVegas

PostPosted: Tue Mar 09, 2010 8:42 am Reply with quote Back to top

Thank you for addressing this.
 
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jerrys dad
WGA Member



Joined: 2007-01-07
Posts: 1386
Location: Mukwonago

PostPosted: Tue Mar 09, 2010 9:20 am Reply with quote Back to top

Very nicely stated. Especially like the MN reference!

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Mathman
WGA Member



Joined: 2006-07-31
Posts: 2527
Location: Weston, WI

PostPosted: Tue Mar 09, 2010 10:03 am Reply with quote Back to top

Great letter and very well written.

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Lostby7
WGA Member



Joined: 2005-06-07
Posts: 3188
Location: Lake country area, WI

PostPosted: Tue Mar 09, 2010 10:07 am Reply with quote Back to top

I'm ready to write my letter to TPTB should that be needed. Thanks Zuma.
 
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TyeDyeSkyGuy
WGA Member



Joined: 2007-03-18
Posts: 2231
Location: Kenosha, WI

PostPosted: Tue Mar 09, 2010 10:17 am Reply with quote Back to top

Nice work. Thanks to you and the BOD for taking on this issue. Hopefully, opening communication with them will make for a mutually beneficial outcome.
 
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zuma
WGA Member



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

PostPosted: Tue Mar 09, 2010 10:39 am Reply with quote Back to top

Lostby7 wrote:
I'm ready to write my letter to TPTB should that be needed. Thanks Zuma.


I am thinking that if we dont get a decent response and an agreement to dialog that we should do a letter writing campaign. But not yet. I am also working on enlisting the support of the geotruckers group for that reason.

z

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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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The Conman
WGA Friend



Joined: 2009-01-12
Posts: 32
Location: Grand Rapids, MI

PostPosted: Tue Mar 09, 2010 11:48 am Reply with quote Back to top

zuma wrote:

Dear Bob Spoerl:

My concern is related to the issue of the placement of geocaches within Wisconsinís rest areas, and I am contacting you on behalf of the Wisconsin Geocaching Association. Our membership is very concerned that geocaches are not allowed in Wisconsinís rest areas and note that geocaches are either allowed or encouraged in all other states except for Wisconsin.


Edited here to keep it short....

I would be very interested what type of response you get back from your elected officials.
 
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Lostby7
WGA Member



Joined: 2005-06-07
Posts: 3188
Location: Lake country area, WI

PostPosted: Tue Mar 09, 2010 12:00 pm Reply with quote Back to top

zuma wrote:

Dear Bob Spoerl:
...Our membership is very concerned that geocaches are not allowed in Wisconsinís rest areas and note that geocaches are either allowed or encouraged in all other states except for Wisconsin.

Is that true? Every state but Wisconsin allows this? Reading that statement really made me cringe as most "every" and "all" statements turn out to be false.
 
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zuma
WGA Member



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

PostPosted: Tue Mar 09, 2010 12:04 pm Reply with quote Back to top

Lostby7 wrote:
zuma wrote:

Dear Bob Spoerl:
...Our membership is very concerned that geocaches are not allowed in Wisconsinís rest areas and note that geocaches are either allowed or encouraged in all other states except for Wisconsin.

Is that true? Every state but Wisconsin allows this? Reading that statement really made me cringe as most "every" and "all" statements turn out to be false.


i watered it down a bit, because ND may also not allow caches, but I havent yet nailed that down. But, yeah, every state I have been in allows geocaches. There is nothing on line about ND not allowing rest area caches, but it is a report. Still, that leaves only 2 backwards states.

z

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greyhounder
WGA Member



Joined: 2004-01-18
Posts: 3342
Location: Fort Atkinson, WI, USA

PostPosted: Tue Mar 09, 2010 12:07 pm Reply with quote Back to top

I've spoken to this gentleman person -- so good luck...

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Frizz
WGA Member



Joined: 2007-03-30
Posts: 457
Location: Green Bay WI

PostPosted: Tue Mar 09, 2010 12:50 pm Reply with quote Back to top

Thanks Ralph for taking the initiative on this issue. I know that I had casually mentioned this to you a while back, and it is nice to see that you and the WGA board of directors is so very responsive to membeship concerns. Thanks you.

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zuma
WGA Member



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

PostPosted: Tue Mar 09, 2010 4:04 pm Reply with quote Back to top

greyhounder wrote:
I've spoken to this gentleman person -- so good luck...


Thanks Bec. Is this the guy that you thought was an obstinate cross-dressing curmudgeon or is this the cross-eyed nitwit? I get those two mixed up.

z

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Keep On Cachin In The Free World.

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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Lostby7
WGA Member



Joined: 2005-06-07
Posts: 3188
Location: Lake country area, WI

PostPosted: Tue Mar 09, 2010 4:11 pm Reply with quote Back to top

zuma wrote:
greyhounder wrote:
I've spoken to this gentleman person -- so good luck...


Thanks Bec. Is this the guy that you thought was an obstinate cross-dressing curmudgeon or is this the cross-eyed nitwit? I get those two mixed up.

z

I THINK HE'S THE ONE WHO FREQUENTS THE FORUMS....
 
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