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Trudy and the beast
WGA Member

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

PostPosted: Thu May 11, 2006 5:19 am Reply with quote Back to top

I think CommanderUSN did a good job with the time he was given. He is a WGA member and started the game last fall. 80k is over the top and is probably a misquote... 8k is more like it and that would be stretching our numbers. I would say it should be more like 4-5,000. After all, there are only 300k cachers world-wide. Image
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WGA Member

Joined: 2002-08-26
Posts: 218
Location: Madison, WI, USA

PostPosted: Thu May 11, 2006 9:10 am Reply with quote Back to top

I really wonder if the DNR did say 80k vs 8k. A miss quote like that could leave a person thinking that volume of people could impact the state parks a lot more. Maybe I'm overly paranoid about possible banning, but it seems that ignorance and misinformation tend to affect policies in the making and I'd hate for that to happen.

I did find it amusing that I recongized most of the cache locations Image I'm not so sure they got the story right on Madison's 'temporary' ban on geocaching though... I remember that pretty clearly, the cache that was in question in U.W. Arboretum really didn't have any nature impact that we saw when we went to retrieve it. Then again, I'm not a nature expert Image

I'm looking forward to seeing channel 15's segment.
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WGA Member

Joined: 2002-02-18
Posts: 3399
Location: West Allis, Wi

PostPosted: Thu May 11, 2006 9:27 am Reply with quote Back to top

I'm proud of the WI DNR' stance on geocaching. We've been working with the DNR for many years now. The DNR person appearing on the news piece is someone we've been working with for a couple years. He had a nice positive spin on Geocaching.

For those who are too new to remember, the DNR asked the WGA to help write the policy. A committee formed of WGA members drafted the policy and the DNR tweaked it a wee bit.
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WGA Member

Joined: 2006-05-08
Posts: 7

PostPosted: Thu May 11, 2006 12:42 pm Reply with quote Back to top

I couldn’t get the video version of the story to run. Is anyone else able to get it to run or is it just me and my computer?

Anyway, I taped and viewed the segment last night. I have noticed a few discrepancies between the aired segment and the written story on their website. On the written story, they say that Steve purchased his GPS unit for $100 on-line. I believe he was using a Garmin GPS 5. (I'd like to buy one for that price!) On the aired story, they made it clear that purchasing a basic GPS unit "starts" at around $100.

On both the aired segment and the written story, I noticed these inaccuracies:

Neither mentioned that if you take something, you need to leave something in return. I hope this doesn’t result in newbies misunderstanding and cleaning out the stash. (I had this happen to me with two of my caches when a newbie misunderstood the rules.)

Both stated that all Madison parks have banned geocaching, followed by mentioning that they are allowed if permission for placement was sought and obtained. Having a permission rule is definitely different than banning.

Both state that geocaching is a security risk. Obviously, geocaching itself is not a security risk, but to those unfamiliar with the game, a hidden container might be “perceived” as a threat.

The written article says that the DNR guy “loves” geocaching. It isn’t exactly clear if he actually takes part in it, or if he just supports it because it gets people into the outdoors. Either way, this is the kind of person we would want involved in establishing the state park policy. I hope they adopt a policy similar to Iowa, rather than Illinois.

In Iowa, you simply have to fill out a form and obtain written approval. Technically a cache placement on Iowa state land is limited to 1 year, but if the cache isn’t causing a problem, most land managers don’t enforce this rule. My brother found that the most difficult part of the process is determining which DNR ranger is the land manager for which parks, and then being able to make contact with them.

In Illinois, you have two additional unpopular stipulations. First, the container must be transparent (no more ammo cans or clever camouflage). Second, the owner must physically check on the container at least once per month year-round and send (by email or postal mail) a monthly update to the state. Apparently, the writers of this rule don’t fully understand that the status can be easily monitored through the on-line logs. Physically checking on the cache is not only time consuming, but could also be very difficult at times. (It could be very difficult to check on a container located deep in a state park accessible only by foot when there is 2 foot of snow to trudge through. The number of visitors to such a cache during the winter months is probably minimal as well.) I think the intended thought on this rule is to avoid abandoned caches.

Overall, I feel that it was a fairly well written piece. I would have liked, however, to see a bit more emphasis on the family-friendly aspect of the game included in the story. This would have created a nice lead-in to the “take something, leave something” policy.


[This message has been edited by medoug (edited 05-11-2006).]
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WGA Board Member
WGA Board Member

Joined: 2006-05-11
Posts: 204
Location: Madison, WI USA

PostPosted: Thu May 11, 2006 7:56 pm Reply with quote Back to top

Just so you all know, it was me on channel 27. Spent about 4 hours with the boys preparing the segment and your right. My GPS V was $250 as I remember and they did take other liberties but all in all it was a pretty accurate piece. I actually have 80+ caches as of this writing but I find it hard to believe that I got over 40 in the time it was taped and air time but I must have. I only have placed two caches at present...Pope Farm and the Pine Tree Hide Away TB hotel. Please use the hotel for your TB's. A couple from Waukesha visited the hotel on Sunday and emptied it and refilled it with new TB's. If any of you wish to contact me, please e-mail me through to CommanderUSN. Happy Geocaching
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WGA Member

Joined: 2002-02-23
Posts: 634
Location: Madison, WI

PostPosted: Thu May 11, 2006 8:42 pm Reply with quote Back to top

Good show, Commander.
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WGA Member

Joined: 2005-04-03
Posts: 125
Location: Fort Atkinson, wi

PostPosted: Fri May 12, 2006 10:26 am Reply with quote Back to top

i agree. you did a wonderful job! hope to run into you on the trails or at an event sometime.
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WGA Member

Joined: 2006-05-08
Posts: 7

PostPosted: Fri May 12, 2006 11:05 am Reply with quote Back to top

Yes, well done, CommanderUSN!
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