National Forest Welcomes Geocachers!!
At the JAKES event on 9-11-04, a representative of the National Forest Sevice stated that they like geocachers and welcomed new cache placements!
They loved the eco friendliness of cachers - especially the CITO aspect and realize that cachers are probably some of the most "aware" visitors to the National forests.
There was only one problem - which they asked us to help make the geocaching community aware of. So - we'll pass along this information to you and you can spread the word. This may be a critical aspect of future geocaching in National Forests.
The problem area they are concerned about is the damage done to the "protected" caves in their controlled areas. She specifically commented on some geocachers that are entering caves that are protected and need a permit to enter. Some of the caves have rare bats and they are very concerned about disturbing their habitat.
She could not give us a specific location but said that it is happening in several different locations. We personally remember instances in which a cave was marked "out of bounds" but was still entered by some geocachers and they logged it on the site that they had entered it anyway. Maybe that is what the National Forest Service also saw.
All we can say, is let's all band together and discourage this practice as it could jeopardize all of our caching in National Forests.
To repeat ourselves - this was their only problem with geocachers! Otherwise, we're more than welcome!