From:
"Matt O'Brien" <makaio@aracnet.com>
Sent: 10/27/2000 6:28:13 PM
To:
gpsstash@egroups.com
Cc:
Bcc:
Subject:

Re: Sierra Club posts


A few observations re: Sierra Club postings...


> > Here are some highlights I've recieved in the email so far...

> > The site requires registration, but it's free and well worth the
price of
> > registration...

This seems to imply that Mr. Pachner has registered with Jeremy's
website and/or the gpsstash egroup. I.e., they are among us and
listening as we are among them and listening in their forums as well.


> if this catches on and becomes a fad, it will clearly impact
> environmentally sensitive ecosystems where these stashes are located
> or along the possible routes to these stashes.

This statement could be true unless we, as responsible participants of
the activity, take the necessary precautions to avoid trekking into
and/or placing caches in ecologically fragile locations.

> Should the club be taking a position on the geostashing fad? I
> think that this kind of off-trail bushwhacking can impact >
>>ironmentally sensitive areas if it becomes widespread. See today's
> New York Times about this trend.

An apparent ill-percieved view by someone who knows only what they
read in a single article written by another who knows virtually
nothing about geocaching. I don't recall the phrase "off-trail
bushwhacking" ever having been mentioned in any article or posting
regarding geocaching to-date. These folks assume because we are
stashing/searching in the forest, we must be 'blazing trails through
sensitive areas'. Complete hogwash which will undoubtedly spread as
truth through their BBSs unless/until they are educated and informed
properly.


> > According to the geostashing.com site and the NY Times article,
it's
> > encouraged on public lands, both national and state park land. It
may be
> > illegal, but how would it be enforced? Also, if it becomes a
popular
> sport,
> > like snowmobiling and off-road ATVs, the special interests may
push for
> > legalization of some sort. Do you think an early club position on
this
> > would make sense?

To my knowledge, public lands, including national forests and state
parks, still belong to the public, although the Clinton
administration, with constant pressure from the Sierra Club, is trying
it's hardest to steal these lands from the public.

> > Well, the Club position is that the USFS and other agencies should
> > enforce the law. They can't legalize snowmobiles in wilderness,
much
> > though they might try. Leaving stuff in public territory is
> > littering. It's a criminal offense. Support your local police.

"Discarding" unwanted items in public territory is littering. Stashing
an object you fully intend to be found and that you fully intend to
revisit to maintain and/or remove at some point is not. As stated
below, many hikers/climbers/boaters, etc. "stash" items in the forest
that they plan to return to on a regular basis. If we're littering,
they are littering.


> > Practically speaking, if it becomes a problem, we can run cleanup
> > trips. Stuff left in public territory probably does not belong to
the
> > owner any more.

This is true. With our coords, they can easily search out and remove
our caches. Likewise, if we come across an item stashed by a hiker,
et al, or a rope dangling over a cliffs edge, we have the right to
haul it up and pack it off as 'litter' because in our opinion, it
detracts from the natural beauty of the scenic view.

> The stuff left could be booby-trapped. It could encourage leaving
stuff on private land, which is trespassing. It could be used to lure
people for robbery
or
> > worse. People will rob the stuff and wait for victims.

This epitomizes the paranoia the Sierra Club instilles in those who
succumb to their scare tactics.


> > Muir understood well that the best way to keep someone from
sinking
> > your boat is to offer them a ride. People who don't KNOW the wild
> > will not vote to preserve it. Lock everyone out, fight every form
> > of access, and you'll wind up with roads and development instead.


As this gentlemen stated, we should educate those who misunderstand
geocaching so that their decisions are not based on hearsay and
conjecture.


> > Think of the big picture, people! A few nerds running around the
> > backcountry is NOTHING compared to the hunters and fishers and
just
> > plain walking-around-folks. Anything that gets anyone out to enjoy
> > the true wilderness (and I'm NOT talking about Golden Gate Park)
> > is a win for those who wish to preserve that wilderness. Talk all
you
> > want about loving it to death, but don't let people forget it's
there.

Let's not forget the hiker and mountain climbers who leave garbage in
the forest and pitons in the rocks. Yes, I suppose I'm a nerd, but the
aparent misconception that we are a bunch of computer geeks who only
go outside to use our GPS to search for treasure is ludacrous. Most of
us are outdoors folks who use a GPS for outdoor recreation. We happen
to own computers and were lucky enough to discover and appreciate the
activity which Dave so graciously bestowed upon us.

> > It would for sure increase search and rescue expenses in your
chapter
> > (and mine). One could, however, regard this as a Darwinian process
> > the public should support.


I'm assuming this is derived from the misconception that we are not
outdoorsfolk and have no idea how to prepare or survie in the wild. As
a semi-frequent participant in SAR activities, I am fully aware of the
costs involved to locate just a single lost soul, bu most of our
caches are located within short walking distances from parking.



> > Does this mean we cannot stash food for long backpacks, stash gear
when we
> > go off to climb, stash a rope and climbing gear when we return to
the same
> > area next week, stash trail building tools for use next week? I
guess
> > Norman Clyde, a Sierra Club member, leader and notorious "stasher"
would
> not
> > be welcome in our Club any longer??? Sigh.


As mentioned earlier, this type of action would be considered
littering if our caches are considered littlering. At least we
typically place a note within our cache to inform finders what it is
and why it's there. I usually include a disclaimer that I will come
and remove the cache should it be in violation of any laws, rules,
etc. if the finder notifies me at my given email addr.