GENESEE VALLEY GREENWAY GEOCACHING POLICY

I.   New York State Office of Parks & Historic Preservation For Greenway in Letchworth State Park and Monroe County

The mission of the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation is to provide safe and enjoyable recreational and interpretive opportunities for all New York State residents and visitors, and to be responsible stewards of our natural, historic and cultural resources. It is the policy of OPRHP that geocaching is a recognized recreational activity and that in order to protect environmental resources and ensure the safety of geocachers, the agency has established a permit system for the activity.
Geocaching, a new adventure activity for anyone with a Global Positioning Satellite unit, involves individuals setting up "caches" and posting the GPS coordinates on the internet. Cache-seekers then use their GPS units to locate the site. Some caches are small containers with a variety of items. Visitors to caches can take a few items as souvenirs and leave new items for others to find. Others are virtual caches, where the "treasure" may be simply in the beauty or uniqueness of the site.
Geocaching provides an opportunity to learn about nature and enjoy the outdoors. Left unmanaged, however, this activity has the potential of damaging natural and historic resources and can pose a possible risk to visitors. Placing caches in locations such as cliffs or underwater is prohibited. There must not be items in the caches that are either dangerous to visitors or inappropriate for children. Caches shall not be located in ecologically sensitive areas, or in areas that are very far from established trails, because of the potential environmental damage from trampling.
Any visitor wishing to place a cache must complete an application for a geocache placement permit, which requires review and authorization by the park manager or designee. The permit process will provide for review of all geocache placements to ensure the protection of natural, historic and archeological resources, and the safety and security of park visitors.
Guidelines have been incorporated within the permit. These guidelines provide information regarding the identification of sensitive natural, cultural, and archeological resources to be protected; the maximum number of permits allowed in a facility; guidance for placement, identification, and documentation of cache; restrictions on cache contents and maintenance; safety measures; and authority for removal of cache and notification of owner if necessary.
12/14/04