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Thread: AR Game and Fish and AR Natural Heritage Commissions

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Cabot, Arkansas
    Posts
    313

    AR Game and Fish and AR Natural Heritage Commissions

    I contacted the local ArGFC here in Lonoke because I wanted to put a cache at the Joe Hogan Fish Hatchery and they also sent me to a "name" in Little Rock (I'm referring to HarleyHogs post in the post about the newspaper articles that Arkansas Stickerdude started. See bottom of this post for what he said). That person had heard of Geocaching and said they knew what it was and what the Arkansas Parks Department had agreed to. They had discussed it with their attorneys and were in the stages of drawing up procedures for geocaching in Arkansas, BUT only ArGFC employees would be allowed to place/own a cache on their properties. Now that is just what he told me. I can't find where I put his number or his name but if I find it I will post it so you can see what who I talked to. This was about a month ago now.

    http://www.agfc.com/education/geocaching.html

    I also am trying to make contact with the Arkansas Natural Heritage Commission and have been given a contact (Doug Fletcher) with them by a friend (Tom Foti) that works ANHC, but he (Doug) has not returned my phone call yet. Tom told me that at the moment they were not happy with Geocaching because they have found some caches that were placed on their properties without permission and the area around the cache had been damaged. I explained it in greater detail to Tom and told him what the State Parks allow and he felt the ANHC might go for a permitted system like that, if it gets explained to them.

    http://www.naturalheritage.org/


    Quote Originally Posted by Harleyhogs
    I guess you have had better luck with the Ark Game and Fish Commission than I have.

    I was going to set out a cache on a G/F River Access area, so I called the local G/F Biologist Office to obtain approval for the cache. They had no idea what I was talking about. They referred me to Little Rock.

    Before calling I went to the GF website. Wow there was a article about Geocaching . Well I called and I went thru 3 different people to find one that had heard of Geocaching. Well to make a long story short someone took my phone number and would have someone call me back. That has been over a month ago. You would think that if the G/F had a web page dealing with Geocaching that their people would be a little better informed.

    I guess what my main point is we need to education the people about the positive aspects of Geocaching as a sport / hobby. We need to inform individuals that this is not only an individual sport / hobby, that caching can also be done as a family or group event.
    The Pixie with an Attitude!!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Vilonia, Arkansas
    Posts
    85
    I have had similar experience with the AGFC. See this forum topic I started a while back http://www.arkgeocaching.org/modules...85c595ce46594c

    Maybe we could write a letter from the ArkGeo Assoc.

    BUT only ArGFC employees would be allowed to place/own a cache on their properties.
    That's the samething they told me. That's like saying only AGFC employees can hunt on PUBLIC LAND.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Cabot, Arkansas
    Posts
    313

    the contact was

    I found the name of the person that I talked with at the Ar Game and Fish Commission. It was Alex Hinson at 501-594-5719. I called him today when I found his number and asked if the policy had been finalized for Geocaching in Arkansas and he said that it had not. It had been put on hold. He gave me his boss' name and number and said she might be very interested in Arkansas Geocachers opinion or views. Her name is Lucy Moreland and her number is 501-223-6433. She is out of the office this week but is expected back next week (Sept. 13).

    Just curious, would now be a good time for us as a group to try and approach the Commission before they get anything final so maybe we can convince them that we mean no harm to the land that they own and would be willing to participate if they initiate a permit system so that it is not just limited to their employees?
    The Pixie with an Attitude!!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Jacksonville, AR
    Posts
    942
    I personally think it would be an excellent idea. I too had thought about placing in a nearby spot that would be covered under these guidelines - but put a hold on it after talking with some of you who had tried before. I am willing to help you guys do whatever is necessary. I am upset that whatever caches had been placed that they were referring to had damaged the land. That's so sad.

    LE, holler if you need help or rather if you could tell me how to help.

    topkitty
    >^..^<

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Vilonia, Arkansas
    Posts
    85
    We now have (that I know of) five cachers who are willing do something to change the AGFC's cache policy.

    Team Rock Hound
    Lady Engineer
    Topkitty
    Gaddiel and OrangeDanish
    Harleyhogs

    I am sure there are others. Maybe we can set up an actual meeting with somebody at the AGFC. What does everyone think? Who wants to make that phone call or write the letter? (Since we don't have a steering committee)

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Gladewater, Tx
    Posts
    236

    AFGC

    Add my name to the list. I'm not much good at writing letter and such, but I can lend my voice to the chorus!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Jacksonville, Ar.
    Posts
    780
    I echo what phantom said. Please add my name to the list.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Posts
    8
    I am interested in this for several reasons. The main one being that I believe that WMAs make perfect cache spots. After all, they are public lands and should be used as such...by the public.

    According to the mission statement of the AGFC, they are designated by the people of Arkansas to manage wildlife resources for the maximum benefit of the people. Wildlife resources are not just wildlife, but the habitat they live inÖ.aka land. I would think that if all 125 members of this website were to petition the AGFC as a unified organization, one with a solid grasp of ecological awareness and good outdoor ethics, we would be heard. I used to go to hunting club meetings far fewer members than what we have here, and they have had their voice heard in Little Rock.

    The AGFC prides itself on the education. What better way to get youngsters interested in going into the wilds and possibly learning something instead of playing video games. We are all aware that geocaching is a fantastic family activity. This is a great conduit to get young kids interested in outdoor issues and conservation awareness. What will the AGFC do for public funding if our kids grow up with out an appreciation of the outdoors, and they turn voting age? Teach them young and now.

    Arkansas government and agencies should present a unified front on common issues across departments. The standing geocaching policies of the Parks Commission are a very livable and fair set of rules for everyone. AGFC would have to exert almost no effort to adopt these rules. Besides, by requiring a permit before geocache placement, it makes them aware of foot traffic in potential sensitive/dangerous areas, and the location can be modified accordingly.

    The underlying belief in this part of Arkansas (true or not) is that the AGFC and the AGFC Foundation are a group of "good ole boys" in business for the benefit of themselves and the commissioners. The accusations are that public lands and lakes are being "reserved" as private hunting and fishing holes by ever tightening regulations and restrictions and areas that are off limits. While I am sure that this is far from the truth, it would appear that there is a public relations issue festering in at least a small part of the population. By maintaining that members of AGFC can only place geocaches does nothing but foster and fuel this widely held belief. Adoption a proactive and very public supporting policy will do a lot of positive PR for the AGFC (and present a unified front with other agencies in AR).

    The only potential issue I can see that AGFC would have would be people walking around the woods during deer hunting season. Firstly, this is no different than any other non public land during hunting season. Remember too, that non-public land is hunted for a longer period of time during hunting season (usually a couple of months if you include rifle and muzzleloader season) and not usually restricted as a "permit" type hunt. By making caches on WMA's restricted or off limits to access during permit deer hunts would only reduce the time the cache is active by a week or two at best. I would think this a livable compromise to be able to have access to it for the rest of the year. I donít think many would go after caches on WMAs during deer season anyway just out of common sense.


    Dave
    N5XL

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Clarksville, AR
    Posts
    563
    Deal me in........poppy


    BTW n5xl I enjoyed your response. Welcome.
    May those who love us, love us. And those that don't love us, may God turn their hearts; and if he doesn't turn their hearts may he turn their ankle so we may know them by their limp.... An Old Gaelic Blessing

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Flint Rock Hills,MO.
    Posts
    339
    I am back and IN.

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