Ouachita National Forest ROW Caches
While consulting with the Ouachita National Forest (ONF) on whether or not a newly submitted geocache along Highway 7 would require a permit, I learned that I misunderstood some information provided by the ONF many months ago regarding geocaches placed within the right of way (ROW) of a state or county road within the National Forest. My understanding was that a geocache placed within the ROW did not require a permit from the ONF and therefore (my assumption), the cache location did not need to be reviewed by the ONF. However, today I received an email from an official at the ONF which stated the following:
Based upon this, I am immediately requiring any geocache placed in a ROW within the ONF to be reviewed by the local ONF district office for compliance with the Forest Service's geocaching policy, before I will publish the geocache listing.
I think there is still some confusion about geocache permits on National Forest within State (and county) rights-of-ways. The State has an easement for the road and its management. All other uses are still managed by the Forest Service (FS). So I don't agree with the argument that no FS review is necessary simply because it's within the State ROW. Instead, both the FS and the State should review the location. The State in order to be sure that the geocache location does not interfere with the State's management (eg a geocache in a interstate median could create a safety hazard with people trying to cross the freeway); the FS for compliance with FS policy on geocaches.
I apologize for any inconvenience this may create (as of this evening, I have MANY geocaches in my review queue which are in this situation), but I am obligated by Geocaching.com to enforce the requirements of any land managers pertaining to geocache placement.
Geocaching.com Volunteer Cache Reviewer
please don't take them away mister...
I talked to some administration at Caddo Hills and they really, really want to see more caches in the area. He told me they are attempting to start a geocaching program at the school. I believe he said something about sending a teacher or two to geocaching training for the classroom (science, geography, social studies).
That being said, I would love to see it become much easier in the area. I know I have a few caches out on the ROW in the area and most cachers really seem to like them (probably because they are there, not so much because of quality). I can't see them causing erosion problem and I tried to place them in areas that were safe to park nearby.
I was AMAZED when I started caching from my parents' house in the ONF and there were so few in the area. I hope we can change that.