Well, it seems to have started happening. Caches being archived, in the name of conservation.
The initiative to archive Geocaches in Gatineau Park due the the National Capital Commission’s (NCC) Gatineau Park Ecosystem Conservation plan has finally happened.
In the past couple of weeks, I have seen many caches being archived by their owners, so that we may preserve Gatineau Park’s more ecologically sensitive areas.
Which is a really good idea. However, for the geocaching world this is quite the loss.
Gatineau Park is a wedge of land that is administered by that National Capital Commission. The land area covers 363 km² (89 699.3 acres), just west of the the Gatineau River, east of the Ottawa river.
It remains the only Federal park outside of the Rocky Mountains that is not recognized as a National Park.
Over 300 caches are to be archived in all of the Gatineau Park area.
But it’s not as bad as it seems:
“The National Capital Commission (NCC) wishes to control Geocaching in the Gatineau Park. Therefore, it is currently setting a procedure for caches within its territory, and is asking geocachers to archive all caches in the park. They are requesting the cooperation of concerned geocachers to pick up all the containers.”
They wish to control Geocaching within Gatineau Park through an approval process, of which has not yet been discussed with local reviewers or Groundspeak (The head corporation that runs geocaching.com) They claim that they will be following Parks Canada Guidelines as to the placement of geocaches in the park.
While it is important to preserve the natural heritage of this park, in my humble opinion and a few others, it is not necessary to have all of them archived, but they should be reviewed and choose which are the more sensitive areas to have caches archived.
This does remind of an area in Aiken, SC that has curbed geocaching within it’s boundaries. The area, while extremely beautiful, the Hitchcock Woods Foundation has asked the local reviewer that only 3 caches at a time (including earthcaches) are to be placed in all 20 acres of Hitchcock Woods.