2357-2012-1 - USDA Forest Service

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2300-2012-1
Page 1 of 4
FOREST SERVICE MANUAL
SHAWNEE NATIONAL FOREST
HARRISBURG, IL
FSM 2300 – RECREATION, WILDERNESS, AND RELATED
RESOURCE MANAGEMENT
CHAPTER 2350 – TRAIL, RIVER, AND SIMILAR RECREATION OPPORTUNITIES
Supplement No.: R9 Shawnee 2357-2012-1
Effective Date: 09/05/2012
Duration: This supplement is effective until superseded or removed.
Approved: HURSTON A. NICHOLAS
Forest Supervisor
Date Approved: 08/20/2012
Posting Instructions: Supplements are numbered consecutively by title and calendar year.
Post by document; remove the entire document and replace it with this supplement. Retain this
transmittal as the first page(s) of this document. The last supplement to this title was 2300-20092 to FSM 2300.
New Document
2357-2012-1
Superseded Document(s) by
Issuance Number and
Effective Date
None
4 pages
Digest:
2357 – Establishes section regarding policies for Shawnee National Forest regarding geocaching
and earthcaching.
R9 SHAWNEE SUPPLEMENT
EFFECTIVE DATE: 09/05/2012
DURATION: This supplement is effective until superseded or removed.
2300, 50
Page 2 of 4
FSM 2300 – RECREATION, WILDERNESS, AND RELATED RESOURCE MANAGEMENT
CHAPTER 2350 – TRAIL, RIVER, AND SIMILAR RECREATION OPPORTUNITIES
Table of Contents
2357 – geocaching and earthcaching .......................................................................... 2
2357.01 - Objectives ................................................................................................................... 2
2357.02 – Policy ......................................................................................................................... 2
2357.03 - Definitions .............................................................................................................. 2
2357.1 - Administration of Geocaching ..................................................................................... 3
2357.11 - Policy .......................................................................................................................... 3
2357.1 - Administration of Earthcaching ................................................................................... 4
2357.21 - Policy .......................................................................................................................... 4
2357 – GEOCACHING AND EARTHCACHING
2357.01 - Objectives
1. Provide responsible geocaching and earthcaching activities on the Shawnee National
Forest.
2. Prevent potential adverse impacts of geocaching and earthcaching activities
recreational uses on natural, cultural, and historical resources.
2357.02 – Policy
Regulate the use of geocaching and earthcaching on the Shawnee National Forest to the
extent necessary to provide for user and public safety; to protect natural, cultural, and
historical resources; to minimize conflict and maximize responsible use; to achieve
recreation experience objectives; and to comply with Federal and State laws.
2357.03 - Definitions
Geocaching. Geocaching is an adventure game for users of global positioning systems (GPS).
Individuals and organizations set up caches all over the world and share the locations of these
caches on the internet. GPS users can then use location coordinates to find the caches. Caches
can be either “virtual,” meaning they exist only as coordinates that lead to a place, or “physical,”
meaning that the coordinates lead to a thing to be found. Visitors to physical caches are asked to
leave something in a container or to record their name on a paper log left at the site. More
information regarding geocaching and the locations of geocaches already on the Forest, can be
found at www.geocaching.com.
Earthcaching. Earthcaching is similar to geocaching in that a GPS unit is used to guide a person
to a site. Once there, however, no physical record is established or left behind. Earthcaching is
sponsored on the World Wide Web by an organization called the Geological Society of America,
which claims the National Park Service, among others, as partners in the endeavor. An
earthcache site is a location where some unique geological feature reveals lessons about the
R9 SHAWNEE SUPPLEMENT
EFFECTIVE DATE: 09/05/2012
DURATION: This supplement is effective until superseded or removed.
2300, 50
Page 3 of 4
FSM 2300 – RECREATION, WILDERNESS, AND RELATED RESOURCE MANAGEMENT
CHAPTER 2350 – TRAIL, RIVER, AND SIMILAR RECREATION OPPORTUNITIES
formation of the earth or holds some other scientific or educational insight. Earthcache sites are
established to provide environmental education about an area’s unique geological features
without involving any disturbance at the site. Earthcaching, therefore, involves a “virtual”
cache. As earthcaching leaves no physical record at the site, it is generally allowed on National
Forest System lands insofar as the means of transport or access comply with established
regulations in 36 CFR 261.9, or when not specifically prohibited by an order (36 CFR 261.53).
Additional information about earthcaching can be found on the web at www.geosociety.org/
earthcache/guidelines.htm.
2357.1 - Administration of Geocaching
2357.11 - Policy
1. Geocaching involving the placement of small containers or objects is a permissible,
dispersed recreational activity in many areas of the Forest.
2. Physical cache placement is not permitted in Bald Knob, Clear Springs, Panther Den, Bay
Creek, Burden Falls, Lusk Creek, and Garden of the Gods Wildernesses, or in any natural
area identified in the Forest Plan. Physical caches may not be placed at significant
heritage resource sites—Millstone Bluff, Illinois Iron Furnace, Battery Rock, Great Salt
Springs, Fountain Bluff and Hamburg Hill—or at any administrative sites (e.g. offices),
radio tower sites or dams. Virtual Caches may be established in these areas.
3. No soil-disturbance is permitted during placement of any physical geocache. Caches
should be covered with leaves or woody debris if the geocacher chooses to screen the
cache at the site.
4. Geocachers must remove their cache if the location receives a large number of visits, as
evidenced by a well-worn trail or path.
5. All caches must be relocated after one year regardless of site activity and either moved to
a new location or removed from the Forest.
6. Caches and access routes must not be placed in dangerous, inappropriate, fragile, or
protected areas or habitats, such as rock shelters, cliff ledges and overhangs, caves, bogs,
wetlands, steep slopes, historic structures, and other sensitive sites. They must not be
located in areas closed to the public.
7. Geocachers must follow all posted information at developed recreation sites.
8. Geocachers must not interfere with or detract from other visitors' experiences.
9. Caches must be for public use; no members-only or subscription caches are allowed.
10. Permits are required for commercial events.
11. Caches must not contain food, alcohol, tobacco, weapons of any type, fireworks, drugs,
or other similar items. Caches must not be buried or hidden under water.
12. Forest personnel will remove geocaches that result in unauthorized impacts to forest
resources, including, but not limited to:
a. A cache-posting that encourages wheeled vehicle access in violation of posted rules,
b. A cache-placement that causes ground disturbance or illegal or inappropriate use,
especially in a restricted area,
R9 SHAWNEE SUPPLEMENT
EFFECTIVE DATE: 09/05/2012
DURATION: This supplement is effective until superseded or removed.
2300, 50
Page 4 of 4
FSM 2300 – RECREATION, WILDERNESS, AND RELATED RESOURCE MANAGEMENT
CHAPTER 2350 – TRAIL, RIVER, AND SIMILAR RECREATION OPPORTUNITIES
c. A cache-placement that causes the development of user trails or other resourceaffecting issues.
2357.1 - Administration of Earthcaching
2357.21 - Policy
1. Earthcaching is a permissible, dispersed recreational activity in most areas of the Forest.
2. Earthcachers must change or remove their cache location on the website if the site
receives a large number of visits, as evidenced by a well-worn trail or path.
3. All cache locations must be changed or removed from the web after one year regardless
of site activity.
4. Access-routes and caches must not be placed in dangerous, inappropriate, fragile, or
protected areas or habitats, such as rock shelters, cliff ledges and overhangs, caves, bogs,
wetlands, steep slopes, historic structures, and other sensitive sites. They must not be
located in areas closed to the public.
5. Earthcachers must follow all posted information at developed recreation sites.
6. Earthcachers must not interfere with or detract from other visitors' experiences.
7. Caches must be for public use; no members-only or subscription caches are allowed.
8. Permits are required for commercial events.
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