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PLEASE ALSO READ THE AUSTRALIA WIDE POLICIES FOUND HERE - AUSTRALIA
HIDING AND MAINTAINING GEOCACHES
• COVID-19 - VICTORIA •
6th December 2020 at20
The publishing of geocaches leads to non-essential travel, something that the State Government has asked those living in COVID-19 restricted areas not to do. To that end, Australian Reviewers and Geocaching HQ have agreed to suspend the publishing of new caches in those areas until the crisis is over and current restrictions are relaxed by the State Government.
METROPOLITIAN MELBOURNE - see map below:-
UPDATE: 8th November: The Victorian Government has removed travel restrictions for Melbourne Metropolitan residents from midnight 8th November. The reviewing and publishing of caches (other than Event type caches - see below) in the Melbourne Metropolitan area with recommence from 9th November.
This is be based on the advice provided by Dept. of Health Coronavirus (COVID-19) reopening roadmap: Metro Melbourne.
Caches that have been reviewed and then disabled will be published without delay once they have been resubmitted, as long as nothing has been altered on the cache page or with the placement after it was reviewed.
UPDATE: 18th OCTOBER: The 'Stay at Home' restrictions relating to non-essential travel change as from Thursday 17th September and allow unlimited travel by Regional Victorians within Regional Victoria. Accordingly, the publishing of caches (other than Events) in Regional Victoria resumed on 17th September. See Victoria's current restriction levels.
EVENT TYPE CACHES:-
FIRST PLEASE READ THE ADVICE PROVIDED ON THE REGIONAL POLICIES AUSTRALIA WEB PAGE HERE
UPDATE: 25th NOVEMBER6th December: The Geocaching trigger point for the holding of Events in the open has been reduced from 100 persons allowed to gather under State legislation to 80. Based on the advice on the Regional Policies - Australia web page,it will not be possible for any Event type caches to be published in Victoria until State restrictions on the number of people allowed at outdoor gatherings, provides for at least 70 to 80 personsa maximum of 100 person. Therefore, it is now possible to publish Event listings in Victoria.
When submitting an Event listing, the following additional requirements will apply;
- Event organizers will be expected to have contacted the local relevant authority for the event location (Parks Vic, Local Council, etc.) and discussed the activity as well as any local restrictions or requirements. Details of these discussions should be included in the reviewer note log when the event is submitted for review
- Event Owners are not permitted to turn people away from their event or conduct an overflow activity nearby
Geocaching HQ have advised that the standard two week publishing requirement is still to be applied to Event type caches when coming out of a restriction period, which means the earliest possible Event listing for events submitted cannot be until two weeks AFTER the date the restrictions are lifted.
UPDATE: 25th NOVEMBER: With the lifting of travel restrictions, Cache Owners should be addressing any maintenance issues and acknowledge any 'Needs Maintenance' logs, or alternatively, with a 'Write Note' log, where it is not possible to address an issue promptly (within 3 weeks of the NM log).
Reviewers have commenced maintenance sweeps and Geocaching HQ has resumed the automated emails to cache owners with low Health Score caches. Reviewers are now following up on caches with a low health score. If you get a nudge then you need to address the issue or acknowledge the request with a 'Write Note' log indicating a date when you hope to have the issue addressed.
MELBOURNE METROPOLITAN AREA
For other Geocaching issues regarding COVID-19, please check out the information at the following link: https://www.geocaching.com/sites/updates/en/
Table of Contents:
3. TECHNICAL TREE CLIMB CACHES (TTCC)
1. NATIONAL PARKS AND OTHER PROTECTED AREA.
Victoria has 45 National Parks, 10 Historic and Heritage Parks, 21 Wilderness Parks and Zones, 141 Reference Areas and 1 Indigenous Area all of which come under the classification of “Protected Area”. A full listing can be found at this Wiki link: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Protected_areas_of_Victoria#Nature_conservation_reserves
These protected areas are managed by Parks Victoria (ParksVic) along with numerous other State Parks, Metropolitan Parks, Coastal and Marine Parks, Flora, Stream Reserves, Nature Conservation Reserves, and Natural Feature Reserves.
The current situation (August 2015) regarding placement of caches in any Parks Victoria managed area is as follows:
Whilst National Parks and other Protected Areas are said to be public land, the placement of caches is not an automatic process or right. Placement in Reference Areas is prohibited and there are limitations on placements in some National Parks and adjacent areas.
There is no official ruling or State wide policy in place regarding Geocaching in National Parks and other Parks Victoria managed areas – it is generally left to the local Land Manager to decide in line with current local policies and requirements
Certainly Geocaching is known to most Park Rangers and Land Managers working within Parks Victoria. In fact they frequently stumble across them but just place them back in their hiding spot.
In theory, according to current Victorian legislation, Geocaches could be classed as littering. However, it is well recognised by Parks Victoria that Geocaching is an activity growing faster than their legislation can keep up with, and they acknowledge their legislation is clearly out of date. Parks Victoria recognises that;
geocache placements are the game pieces for Geocaching,
geocaches are under constant monitoring and maintenance by the cache owner, and
Geocaching itself gets people outdoors and into parks and other recreation areas.
So, in principle they have no issue with them being placed. There is no specific permission required before placement of a Geocache on most NP Land in Victoria AND THAT’S THE WAY WE WOULD LIKE TO KEEP IT PLEASE.
There are some areas where there are currently limitations. Follow the basic guidelines below and if a cache is found to be causing an issue Parks Victoria will simply remove it.
Placement of caches:-
If it is your first placement in an area, then you need to contact the local ranger/land manager as a courtesy and to check if there are any local requirements. This applies whether there are already other placements or not.
It is important that placements are located in close proximity to tracks. As a general rule leaving walking tracks is not permitted in National Parks.
Damage to any vegetation and/or general environment will not be tollerated, so Micro’s or other small and hard to find containers in the bush are to be avoided.
Placement of geocaches in dangerous locations is not permitted - the Park Victoria land manager will decide if the location is dangerous.
If a Geocaching Event is to take place in a Parks Victoria managed area, then permission could be required, so check.
Areas where placements are currently not permitted:
Areas where specific approval is required:
All Cinnamon Fungus areas – as per guidelines below
Wilsons Promontory National Park (Placement with Ranger approval only) - (MAP)
Geocaching currently has a good working relationship with and the general approval of Parks Victoria staff and management. So, don’t do anything silly, foolish or untoward that will get them off-side and cause Parks Victoria management to institute restrictive policies and procedures.
Known variously as die back, root rot and Jarrah dieback, PC and Phytophthora, Cinnamon Fungus is listed in the top 100 of the world’s most invasive species and is Victoria’s most significant plant pathogen affecting both native ecosystems and the horticultural industry. Phytophthora cinnamomi is a soil borne water mould closely related to brown algae.
The following parks are subject to the microscopic, soil borne pathogen Cinnamon Fungus. ParksVic should be consulted and provide advice on cache placement in any of these areas (Contact info here).
In those areas where Cinnamon Fungus exists, once/if approval is obtained, caches can only be placed at the side of tracks (not in the bush) as long as the placement is not near Grass Trees (Xanthorrhoea). No placement permitted near Grass Trees.
LOCATIONS & AREAS WHERE APPROVAL NEEDED AND TEXT REQUIRED ON CACHE PAGE:
Arthur's Seat State Park - see below: Mornington Peninsula (Two Bays Walking Track)
Brisbane Ranges National Park (INFO) (MANAGEMENT PLAN) (MAP)
Mornington Peninsula NP - Greens Bush (INFO & MAP)
Mornington Peninsula - Two Bays Walking Track (INFO & MAP)
Ocean Grove Nature Reserve (INFO & MAP)
Steiglitz Historic Park (INFO) (MANAGEMENT PLAN) (MAP)
Warby-Ovens National Park (MAP)
LOCATIONS/AREAS WHERE A CHECK IS REQUIRED:
Baluk Willam Nature Conservation Reserve (INFO)
Black Range State Park (INFO & MAP)
Bunyip State Park (INFO & MAP)
Croajingolong National Park (INFO & MAP)
Dandenong Ranges National Park (INFO & MAP)
Dergholm State Park (INFO & MAP)
Lake Tyers State Park (MAP)
Langwarrin Flora & Flora Reserve (INFO & MAP)
Lerderderg State Park - Pyrete Range (INFO & MAP)
Lower Glenelg National Park (MAP)
Macedon Regional Park (INFO & MAP)
Point Nepean National Park (MAP)
THE FOLLOWING TEXT SHOULD BE INCLUDED ON A CACHE PAGE WHERE A CACHE IS PLACED IN AN IDENTIFIED CINNAMON FUNGUS AREA:-
Cinnamon Fungus has been identified in this area. It is spread through infected plants and the movement of contaminated soil and gravel, and there is no known cure. PLEASE TAKE APPROPRIATE MEASURES TO HELP MINIMISE THE SPREAD OF THE PATHOGEN INCLUDING;
This code may be used to add the text to your cache page at the bottom of the Long Description, but be sure to tick the HTML box (The descriptions below are in HTML) on your cache Edit page. Thanks to Bushfire for the code.
<font size="3" color="red"><b>IDENTIFIED CINNAMON FUNGUS AREA:</b></font> <font color="red" size="2"><br />
Cinnamon Fungus has been identified in this area. It is spread through infected plants and the movement of contaminated soil and gravel, and there is no known cure.</font>
<p><font color="red" size="2">PLEASE TAKE APPROPRIATE MEASURES TO HELP MINIMISE THE SPREAD OF THE PATHOGEN INCLUDING:</font></p>
<li><font color="red" size="2">Where available, use boot cleaning stations and vehicle wash down bays.</font></li>
<li><font color="red" size="2">Obey all track and road closure signs.</font></li>
<li><font color="red" size="2">Do not enter areas of vegetation that have been quarantined.</font></li>
<li><font color="red" size="2">In infected areas remain on formed roads, tracks and pathways at all times.</font></li>
<font color="red" size="2">For full information see this web site:<br />
<a target="_blank" href="https://www.parks.vic.gov.au/get-into-nature/conservation-and-science/conserving-our-parks/weeds-and-pests</a></font>
A geocaching T5 tree climb cache (TTCC) is one that requires specialist knowledge and/or tree climbing equipment to reach the cache container placed high in a tree. Generally they are 10m or more above the ground.
In 2014 GSHQ advised the following:
Because climbing a tree is a more invasive form of geocaching, having permission is really key. Otherwise there's the risk of upsetting relationships with land managers. Geocaching communities have worked really hard to create good relationships with managers, and the priority is to maintain those efforts.
To proceed with a proposed Technical Tree Climb cache, you need to obtain permission from the land owners about placing it in a tree where people have to climb to reach the cache. It is the cache owners responsibility to determine who owns the land of proposed cache spots.
Once you have obtained permission, you can post a reviewer note and they can take the next steps.
In Victoria the following applies:
Parks Victoria (ParksVic) are happy with this type of placement in forest areas but have reservations in urban parks.
Intended placements in urban areas will require the permission of the land manager - the cache owner is responsible for determining who to contact to obtain permission.
The City of Yarra originally indicated they don't have a policy and it is not prohibited, they have now advised that TTC caches are not permitted within the municipality.
Municipalities so far contacted have generally advised that approval most likely would not be given, but they would treat each request on its merits.
When advising approval, the name of the officer, their role/position in the organisation and the terms/conditions of the approval, should be provided in a reviewer note with the cache submission.