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WGA Member

Joined: 2005-06-07
Posts: 3190
Location: Lake country area, WI

PostPosted: Wed Jul 18, 2007 4:26 pm Reply with quote Back to top

My wife got injured when a swing broke in a city park...ya you can't sue them. There are no liabilities as far as I can see....quite frankly the government (state and local) has dotted their i's and crossed their t's to make sure that can't happen.
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WGA Member

Joined: 2006-10-31
Posts: 417
Location: Grantsburg

PostPosted: Wed Jul 18, 2007 7:48 pm Reply with quote Back to top

I also sent an e-mail to my representative serving on the Transportation committee. Thanks to zuma for plagiarizing part of his letter:


Dear Representative Hraychuck,

I am a family physician in Grantsburg who is also active in geocaching. I recently found out that the Wisconsin Department of Transportation has decided to ban geocaching on all highway rest stops, welcome centers, and waysides. I think this policy is misguided. Since you are my state representative and are on the Transportation committee, I am sending you this letter.

In case you are not familiar with what a geocaching is, I will refer you to for more information. In a nutshell, it is an activity where one person hides a container in an out of the way place, provides the GPS coordinates to others playing the game on the above website to allow them to go out and find the cache.

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources has approved geocaching on public lands. This activity is also permitted without restrictions in all neighboring states including Minnesota and Iowa (where we have found caches).

I think this policy is foolish because the DOT wayside facilities were built at great public expense to improve highway safety and to promote tourism in our great state. The placement of geocaches at the waysides does both of these things, and at no cost to the state's taxpayers. Interestingly, the Wisconsin DOT has not communicated any prohibition of geocaching in any kind of official way, so there are currently many geocaches in Wisconsin's waysides and rest areas. I have even adopted a cache at a wayside in your district ( ) which I hope does not have to be removed. It was originally placed by a Burnett County Police officer, Chad Halvorsen, who has recently taken up a position in Trempaleau County. I hope that these wayside caches do not have to be removed. When my family has made trips to Wisconsin Dells we have enjoyed stopping to stretch our legs to find the caches already in existence (which are usually hidden at the outskirts of the natural areas surrounding the rest stops. The break helps both my alertness as well as helps to settle my kids down who have been cramped in the back seat for several hours already.

Geocaching is also becoming an important part of Wisconsin's tourism and people playing the game tend to go to areas where there are significant numbers of geocaches. The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources has a policy approving and regulating geocaching on public lands. This year the DNR even gave a $14,000 grant to 3 communities in northeast Wisconsin to promote off-season tourism. My family has found more than 50 caches in Burnett County and more than 70 within your home county of Polk. There are enough caches in your district that you should even consider seeing if we could get a similar grant.

This letter is a request that you investigate the matter with the department. Before any official policy is made the benefits of geocaches related to improving driver safety and tourism in the state should be weighed against any realistic potential of liability.

Thank you for your attention to this matter.

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WGA Member

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

PostPosted: Thu Jul 19, 2007 10:04 am Reply with quote Back to top

tyedyeskyguy wrote:
abcdmCachers wrote:

As I read through, my eyes glazed over and my head hit the keyboard when I fell asleep due to excessive legaleze, but I did read far enough to notice this in section 2b:
Except as provided in subs. (3) to (6), no owner and no officer, employee or agent of an owner is liable for the death of, any injury to, or any death or injury caused by, a person engaging in a recreational activity on the owner's property

Thanks for that. I used it in an e-mail I sent to my representative.

Thanks for sending the email tyedyeskyguy!

My only quibble is that you used the more polite quote provided by abcdmcachers instead of my own: "beauracrat's claim of "liability" because it is almost always wrong and is almost always given because they are too lazy to think of a real excuse for their wrong decision and they dont think your inquiry is really worthy of their efforts."

LOL. I guess maybe you chose the better quote after all.

Thanks again for being willing to help with this important issue.


No thanks necessary, but you are welcome. I think all my Representatives, Congressmen, Senators and even our Governor, know my name when they see it. I seem to write them quite frequently about issues in this area, the state, the country etc... I wish more people would write to thier reps more often, maybe the smmall voices would finally be heard!
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WGA Member

Joined: 2007-02-15
Posts: 2665
Location: Granville

PostPosted: Tue Jul 31, 2007 4:24 pm Reply with quote Back to top

It is pretty bad when public tax dollars pay for all of these lands and services and one still can't use them in fun ways. It is the same way with DNR owned lands, city parks, county parks, etc., and other government owned lands. As far as I am concerned, there should be no reason to have to file a notification form with a land manager. Do you have to file one if you are hiking on a trail on a DNR owned land? Of course not. Go into a state park and you need a park sticker on your vehicle. You don't need one on your bicycle if you bike into one (not that I am aware of anyway) and you don't have to wear a wrist band if you walk into one. Public rest areas may not allow geocaching because the state DOT is worried about liability. Maybe they should mothball them all together. Someone might get sick after eating on one of the picnic tables. Or maybe a child will fall down while running around during that stop and stretch period on that long trip. There are a great deal of waysides out there with no running water and soap to wash up with after using the facilities. All of that possibe E-coli contamination is just screaming "the DOT is liable". Maybe they are concerned about vandalism. I felt really naughty numerous times after picking up garbage that was lying around after it was so meticulously placed. Oops! I hope I didn't just implicate myself.

I'm sorry. Once I get started... A lot of frustration with lack of common sense from government and their departments and agencies.

I\'ve only made one mistake in my life, I thought I was wrong once, but I was mistaken. 
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WGA Member

Joined: 2007-07-08
Posts: 38
Location: Milwaukee

PostPosted: Sun Sep 09, 2007 9:59 pm Reply with quote Back to top

furfool wrote:
I'm sorry. Once I get started... A lot of frustration with lack of common sense from government and their departments and agencies.

It's not good to be angry ALL the time.. Laughing Wink

I just sent an e-mail to my State Representative and Senator..
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