Recent revisions to the geocaching policy for Department of Natural Resources properties aim to better balance outdoor recreation and conservation.
Geocaching is a sport in which participants search for “caches” using a GPS unit and coordinates that are listed online. A cache is a small container with a logbook and a few small Trinket items. Some caches, known as “containerless caches,” do not have containers and are only coordinates to a location.
The revisions open more DNR properties to geocaching and allow more caches at properties where the sport is permitted. But the caches are also subject to new location restrictions aimed at protecting sensitive natural areas.
A more thorough explanation of the DNR geocaching policy is at geocaching.dnr.IN.gov.
The revisions were approved in September by the Natural Resources Commission and went into effect this month. They were made with cooperation from the geocaching community and with Groundspeak, the company that owns Geocaching.com.
As the DNR implements the new revisions, it is also taking action to eliminate unlicensed caches on its properties.
Starting when the geocaching policy first went into effect in 2005, all caches with containers that are on DNR properties have required a license from DNR. Still, thousands of unlicensed caches have been placed on DNR properties and their coordinates posted on Geocaching.com.
On Nov. 6, Geocaching.com will archive and temporarily remove all listings for container-style caches on DNR properties—licensed and unlicensed. Cache owners will then have 30 days to apply for a license. If the license is approved, the cache listing will be republished on Geocaching.com; otherwise, the cache will be permanently removed from the website.
Information on license application is also at geocaching.dnr.IN.gov .
Existing containerless caches, which are not subject to licensing, will not be removed unless they violate any new policy limits.