Nature Conservancy Guidelines in Virginia

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Nature Conservancy Guidelines in Virginia

Postby reedkickball » Wed Apr 28, 2010 3:50 pm

Recently geocaches and geocaching has gotten the attention of the Nature Conservancy in Virginia. They're a private organization, however they want people to enjoy their parks that they allow the public to access. They've produced a list of preserves that they're allowing geocaches to be placed in. However permission will have to be requested first, and rules that they've created will have to be followed.

The rules are as follows:
In order to get a site approved the following guidelines must be met:
1. All caches should be placed on, or in close proximity to, the existing trails so as not to endanger the natural habitat. This would be interpreted to mean no caches further than 3 meters away from existing blazed trails.
2. The cache owner will visit the locations on a regular basis to maintain the caches and to assess the impact on the environment.
3. If any problems should occur, the caches will be disabled and removed at our request.
4. The cache owner will provide cache descriptions so we can review what will be posted on the listing web site(s). Also, after the site is up and running, we would need links to all the listing web site pages with the listings on them.
5. Cache pages should have Nature Preserve Guidelines included on them. The guidelines follow:

Preserve Visitation Guidelines

Nature Conservancy preserves are private properties. They are managed to protect fragile resources--native species and plant communities.

You will find few facilities. The trails we do maintain or create are designed to steer visitors away from the most fragile portions of the preserve and toward those areas that can handle more use. Still, we ask you to tread lightly.

Many of the state's preserves are open to visitors, but only for low-impact recreational activities (see list below). Those preserves harboring species or natural communities at risk, however, are not open to the public.

Preparation: the Key to a Safe, Enjoyable Visit
We ask you to prepare for your visit and take proper precautions while on site.

* Wear comfortable footwear suitable for hiking, but please do not wear heavy, cleated boots - these damage the trails.
* To protect yourself from ticks, poison ivy or poison sumac, wear long pants - and tuck them into your socks.
* No matter which season of the year it is, each person in your party should bring a full water bottle. Dehydration is a serious risk at any time of the year.

Preparation: What to Bring
To get the most from your visit, and to protect yourself from the elements, you may want to include the following items in your backpack:

* Binoculars
* Camera
* Compass
* Field guides (to wildflowers, birds, butterflies and other natural features)
* Insect repellant
* Rain gear
* Snack (fruit or trail mix)
* Sunscreen

What You Can Do
The following activities are permitted on Conservancy preserves:

* Birdwatching
* Hiking
* Nature Study
* Photography
* Boating (in some cases)

What You Cannot Do
The following activities are not permitted on Conservancy preserves:

* Biking
* Camping
* Caving
* Driving an ATV or off-road vehicle
* Cooking or camp fires
* Fishing or trapping
* Horseback riding
* Hunting
* Littering
* Pets
* Picking flowers, berries, nuts or mushrooms
* Removing any part of the natural landscape (shells, rocks, etc.)
* Rock climbing
* Swimming

Respect Our Neighbors' Property
Please do not trespass on private property adjacent to Conservancy preserves. Property lines are clearly marked with small yellow signs featuring the Conservancy's logo.

Contact Us
For more information, please contact our State Office:
490 Westfield Road
Charlottesville, VA 22901
(434) 295-6106
open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday

******************End Text

Requests should be made to Tim SanJule at

tsanjule[at]tnc(dot)org

Blackwater River
Bottom Creek Gorge
Cumberland Marsh
Dragon Run
Falls Ridge
Fernbrook Natural Area
Fortune's Cove
Fraser
New Point Comfort
North Landing River
Northwest River
Piney Grove
Warm Springs Mountain
Wildcat Mountain Natural Area
http://www.nature.org/wherewework/north ... preserves/
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Re: Nature Conservancy Guidelines in Virginia

Postby KJcachers » Wed Apr 28, 2010 6:39 pm

I wonder how they are treating existing caches? I know Wildcat has several up,and I do mean UP, there!

BTW, do you have any of these on your new MTN Trailmaster list? That initial hike up the switchbacks will merit a higher score for sure! :applause:
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Re: Nature Conservancy Guidelines in Virginia

Postby reedkickball » Wed Apr 28, 2010 6:44 pm

Without permission, they were archived, but can be reinstated. I know at least one is going through the process now. I'm pretty sure one won't be reinstated given it's proximately to the trail and the length of time since the owner has logged on to geocaching.com. But there will be new ones at Wildcat Mountain soon.
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Re: Nature Conservancy Guidelines in Virginia

Postby KJcachers » Wed Apr 28, 2010 6:47 pm

which one is off trail? I am trying to think of all that we found up there but they all seemed close to trails. :thinking:
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Re: Nature Conservancy Guidelines in Virginia

Postby reedkickball » Wed Apr 28, 2010 6:52 pm

Opposom's Potty. If I remember correctly.
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Re: Nature Conservancy Guidelines in Virginia

Postby KJcachers » Wed Apr 28, 2010 7:03 pm

yep, I just ran through my finds and that is probably it. about 50 feet from the trail is all. a shame it's gone, that was a good spot right beside a stream. Perhaps I need to reseed the mountain? :lol: Marpeg has 2 up there that are both close to the trail or right on the grounds of that old house up there. I know there is a puzzle cache up there too but I haven't bothered with it. Marpeg logged on today so hopefully she will get hers back online. I would hate to see a Koz's cache go bye bye. :(
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Re: Nature Conservancy Guidelines in Virginia

Postby rob3k » Thu Apr 29, 2010 6:20 am

The koz cache also wasn't within 3 meters of the trail. Pretty restrictive guideline, but better than an outright ban.
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Re: Nature Conservancy Guidelines in Virginia

Postby KJcachers » Thu Apr 29, 2010 9:55 am

rob3k wrote:The koz cache also wasn't within 3 meters of the trail. Pretty restrictive guideline, but better than an outright ban.

no, but it is within 3 meters of the grounds of the old house. Somebody occasionally cuts the grass up there around the house so I don't see that as a wooded area that can't be touched. Every hiker that goes up there walks around that house. I have even picniced in the grass beside the house on a warm spring day. 8) I also agree that 3 meters is pretty restrictive. hopefully caches won't get muggled by hikers thinking they found some trash. It always amazes me when cachers get blamed for ruining the areas when if you counted the number of finds per year on most of these caches you can see that they don't get visited enough to do any permanent damage. At least no more than what a hiker might do by walking into the woods to relieve him/herself. This goes for the AT debacle that we went through too... :doh:
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Re: Nature Conservancy Guidelines in Virginia

Postby Buglady1 » Thu Apr 29, 2010 3:08 pm

Point well said KJ...those parks are a bit out of the way and would be infrequently searched, therefore minimal impact. If it were an area of cache density...such as urban areas, the case might be different...
Variety is the spice of life...

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Re: Nature Conservancy Guidelines in Virginia

Postby reedkickball » Tue May 04, 2010 12:17 pm

Added a cache page requirement to geocaches in the Nature Conservancy.
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