> I think the only place it's been "banned" from is the Boulder Open Spaces in > Colorado....
> The National Park System has no official position on it that I'm aware of, > but in general, they have not been friendly. I wouldn't call it a "ban", > [...] Their concern was littering, as far as I can tell
From NPS's "Morning Report" (source, NPS web site -- http://www.nps.gov/morningreport/msg00806.html):
[Jeremy Irish] was very surprised that geocaching is illegal in NPS areas, and understood NPS concerns about the damage geocaching has and can cause to historic, archeological and natural sites.
Sounds like a ban to me. Sounds like the issue is bigger than "littering".
From Jeremy Irish on 5/17/01:
A memo went out recently informing Georgia State park authorities that caches in their parks are now banned and that the officials need to remove them.
A more telling question might be: On what public lands has geocaching been _embraced_ by the land managers who know about it? Then one can take an objective look at the probability profile of the pastime's acceptance by land managers, and its prognosis in its current form and state of land manager education.
> So... Actually what i'm getting at is, what causes more damage... 10 people > coming in from all different directions, or 10 coming in thru your specific > "approach codes" ? How do YOU know you have the best route?
No one knows the best route, except perhaps the land managers. That is the point. If you don't work with them, and trample some mouse (e.g. the Boulder article) to extinction, the pastime may get a bad name, and it may get banned elsewhere. It doesn't matter whether or not the people on this list think there is environmental impact, nor does it matter wheter or not there is actually any environmental impact. What does matter is what the people _not_ on this list think, i.e., the land managers and the green lobby.
I am involved very heavily with amateur off-trail sports. Every such sport I know of has had to deal with this at one point in its history. Believe me, its more fun when you are accepted by the land managers, and they _ask_ you to bring your sport into their park. Perhaps geocaching will find a way not to have to deal with it, but IMHO, the odds of that are low.
A proactive stance before a bad reputation develops may be wise.