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Thread: Ouachita National Forest Caching

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Glenwood
    Posts
    185

    Ouachita National Forest Caching

    I was going to put a cache in Glenwood named "USDA Approved." I went to our local National Forest office and gave them the run down on our great sport. They have heard of it and just recently had a meeting about it. I was directed to their Recreation Director to get approval. After a return phone call and listening to their guidelines I had to gasp for air when she told me about the fee. Oh well. I guess there will be a cache nearby their facility with the name "Not Approved by USDA."

    Here is an email that I asked for so that I could post it on our website for all to see and have reference to. The fee is what is stopping me from putting a cache on their property. Let's be at least thankful that they are educated in our sport and are willing to allow us to use their property for a hiding spot. I can understand their policy, they don't want a million caches put out. The fee will put a limit to the number of caches that will be out there. No argument from me.

    * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
    Hi, Aaron,
    I would appreciate it if you would post the following information on the
    arkansas geocaching website.


    If you want to place a geocache on National Forest, a special use permit is
    needed. The proposal should include the following information: the GPS
    coordinates, the size of the geocache (the maximum size allowed is 12
    inches on any side), a description of the geocache container, your name
    and address. Acceptable geocache containers are non-breakable, animal
    resistant and have a closing mechanism to prohibit the content's exposure
    to wildlife and the environment. Containers must be permanently marked
    with the permitttee's permit identification, name, address and telephone
    number.

    Geocaches may not contain food, alcohol, tobacco, weapons of any type,
    fireworks, drugs, or other similar items. Geocaches may not be buried or
    hidden under water or placed in dangerous, inappropriate or protected areas
    and habitats (for example, designated wildernesses). A minimum fee for
    the permit is required, In 2008, the fee is $ 57.00. The permit may be
    granted for up to one year, if after evaluation of the proposal, the
    decision is to authorize the permit.

    A proposal can be filed at the appropriate National Forest office, which
    can be found at the website, www.fs.fed.us. The address for the Ouachita
    National Forest is PO Box 1270, Hot Springs, AR 71902.

    Virtual geocaches do not require a permit. A virtual geocache is a
    physical object that can be referenced through latitude and longitude, and
    nothing is placed on the ground. An example would be a geologic or unique
    feature or unusual landmark.

    If you have any questions, please call me.

    Thank you,


    Elizabeth Gross
    Recreation, Lands, Minerals
    Caddo-Womble Ranger District
    Ouachita National Forest
    1523 Highway 270 East
    Mt. Ida, AR 71957
    870-867-4555, ext. 106
    870-867-2101

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Posts
    280

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Glenwood
    Posts
    185
    It does sound weird. I don't know what's going on. I ain't gonna mess with it. I am going to put my caches that I had planned on public access next to their property. If OEnavigator can get some explanation, please post it. I would like to know.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Hot Springs Village
    Posts
    621
    If this is the case then all of my caches will be achived. I can't pay 57 bucks for each cache I place. I thought this forest belonged to you and me. Don't we all pay taxes?? I don't mind a permit but a fee is outragous!!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Glenwood
    Posts
    185
    I can now agree with Flannelman. Our taxes do pay for these forests. I am beginning to get stirred a little. This may require some investigating. Does anybody have connections with the National Forest where we can get some inside info on to what is going on?

  6. #6
    This is all news to me. A couple of years ago, when the Ozark National Forest implemented their permit policy, I was given the name of a contact at the Ouachita National Forest office in Hot Springs, who was working on their policy. (The name I was given is not the same as that listed above. Also, I was told by the guy at the Ozark NF office that each national forest has to establish their own policy.) After repeated unanswered phone calls to this person, with a message left each time and no response ever provided, I finally gave up. I figured that they would get around to it eventually, but govt. agencies work very slowly. So I guess they have finally come up with a policy. But it all sounds fishy. I don't know of anyone who charges a fee for a geocache permit. I will need to see if I can get more information. In the meantime, hold off on any new hides you are planning to place in the Ouachita NF. Regarding caches that have already been placed, I will have to see if they are perhaps grandfathered.

    Chuck Walla
    Geocaching.com Volunteer Cache Reviewer
    "Volunteering is for suckers. Did you know that volunteers don't even get paid for the stuff they do?" -- Homer Simpson

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Posts
    280

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Glenwood
    Posts
    185
    All right, CW is on the job.
    I talked to the receptionist and some guy at the Caddo Office in Glenwood. They gave me a name and number of the lady listed above and that is what she told me over the phone and finally got me the email to post on this website.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Hot Springs Village
    Posts
    621
    I'll call the Jessieville office and see if they know anything. Let ya know what I find out. I know they are going through a road usage plan right now so there are some changes coming to the forest. I don't think much will affect how we use the forest presently other than some road closings and seasonal use restrictions. Hopefully this is just some misinformation and it won't be the official policy.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Jessieville,AR
    Posts
    321
    I know several of the guys that work at the Jessieville office. My mom used to work there. I used to live on the property as a sort of watchdog. I know them well. I will be paying them a visit TODAY!
    I am with everyone else, permits fine. Fees NOT!
    In the meantime, you may want to consider getting as many of mine as you can. If I have to pay a $57.00 fee per, they will be around as long as it takes them to be archived!
    Guess what?! I got a fever, and the only prescription...is more cowbell!!

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