Please become familiar with the guidelines at http://www.geocaching.com prior to placement of any geocaches.
- * Find out who owns or manages the land before you place a cache, and get their permission first!
* Consider that geocachers might take shortcuts. Are there obvious shortcuts that could damage the area?
Bend Metro Park and Recreation District
No restrictions although we should avoid riparian areas next to the Deschutes River and Tumalo Creek. (bigeddy)
Do not place caches on the center island of roundabouts. As directed by the Oregon Department of Transportation, pedestrians should: "Proceed around the roundabout on the sidewalk and in the designated crosswalks. Never walk in the roundabout or to the central island." (See Roundabouts - General Information & Step-by-Step Instruction, a pamphlet in PDF.)
Central Oregon and Bend in particular have many roundabouts. Theses circular intersections replace traffic signals or stop signs. The center island is one feature of a roundabout that is attractive to would-be cache placers. Do not be tempted because the island is not designed for pedestrians and will put cache hunters in a dangerous, unpredictable traffic situation.
Even though we have had roundabouts locally for over a decade, there are still myths and misunderstandings about these fascinating intersections. If you want to talk about them or want help in placing a cache nearby one, please contact me. (added 8/26/10 by bigeddy)
Newberry National Volcanic Monument
The monument is administered by the Deschutes National Forest as a multi-use recreation area and is not restricted like a wilderness. I was told that geocaches are generally permitted. In special areas like Lava River Cave, Lava Cast Forest and Lava Butte we should call the Visitor Center for permission or just avoid the areas. (bigeddy)
Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Public Lands
The BLM supports geocaching on most of the land it administers except for specific areas that have been identified as sensitive (such as archaeological sites, caves, stock and wildlife waterers, and endangered species habitat). Its policies are mostly contained in area management plans. For much of Central Oregon the Upper Deschutes Resource Management Plan provides guidance. Many BLM Special Management Areas have restrictions including Areas of Critical Environmental Concern (ACEC), Research Natural Areas (RNA), Wild and Scenic Rivers (WSR), Wilderness Study Areas (WSA) and caves. Of special interest to us are the Badlands WSA (17 cache limit) and Steelhead Falls WSA (3 cache limit).
Note that the Plan defines geocaching as "leaving any items on BLM administered lands for the purposes of posting or advertising the approximate location of those items for others to find." So, the policy by definition includes TerraCaches, letterboxes and similar physical containers but not virtual caches. The Plan implies that if either WSA is designated as a wilderness then caches will be banned.
Another document of interest is this March 2005 memo from the BLM regarding geocaching that expired in 2006 but is the last known general policy and appears to still be in use.
GovBigDawg (aka Gavin Hoban, BLM Recreation Planner) also posts on a regular basis with information regarding seasonal closures of various BLM areas. Click here for a list of his posts.
The following information is directly from central oregon state parks management (thanks to logscaler):
- * None in/on Pilot Butte State Park in Bend, Oregon;
* None in Fort Rock State Park in Fort Rock, Oregon;
* Any placed in the “Fee” parks they would like to know about as certain areas are out and they would like some input as for placement;
* As always, NO DIGGING;
* La Pine State parks has 9 miles of trails and it is open for caching;
* Cline Falls State Park is open for caching;
* Undeveloped State Parks grounds are open for caching;
* Certain areas are monitored and security measures are in place;
* Where Park grounds are close to private property, Please indicate a parking spot so as not to have cachers crossing onto private grounds;
* Other issues will be dealt with on a one on one basis as the occur;
The following information is from the local Forest Service wilderness ranger, for the South Sister area (thanks to bigeddy):
Short version: No physical caches in the wilderness
Posted by bigeddy:
I had a chance to talk to the local Deschutes National Forest Service wilderness ranger for the South Sister area about geocaching. We just talked in general, not about specific caches.
He said that geocaches fall under a general regulation that prohibits "storing equipment, personal property or supplies" for longer than 48 hours in a designated wilderness. The fine is $100. The regulation, which he believes is local or regional, was originally created because horse packers were storing equipment and supplies in the wilderness. The packers would even take over camp sites in preparation for hunting season, leaving gear unattended for long periods.
Technically, a geocache could exist in the wilderness for 48 hours if the owner removed it promptly! Obviously, the local Forest personnel aren't enforcing the removal of geocaches, yet. They have many problems to deal with and geocaching is barely noticeable. Not many hikers use a GPSr. That could change, of course. The Forest Service is even planning to provide the coordinates for approved campsites around South Sister.
There is no restriction on virtual caches. However, the metal tags that we use for multi-stage caches would be considered littering and would be removed if found, as is the flagging that cross-county skiers sometimes leave to mark their route.
Caches in the Forest outside a wilderness are permitted. Also, public roads that go through wilderness areas, such as McKenzie Pass Highway, generally have a buffer up to 200 feet on either side that is not wilderness.
So, there you have it from the source. No physical caches in the wilderness. Virtual caches are Ok, although I have to add that our own restrictive guidelines make them unlikely.
Cache restrictions also apply to wildernesses in the Willamette National Forest.