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Msg: 969091
wvelliotts Subject: Ethical question
Author: wvelliottsProfileContactLogbookNote
Date: Dec 5, 2018 12:55 PM
P-41F-84M-8Premium
Taking the temperature of the folks here to see what you all think.

In recent months there have been several boxes planted in the New River Gorge National River. Unless there has been a major shift in policy in the last month, planting in the park is still against the park rules.

I've been working for a long time to try and change the mind of Superintendents (to no avail) but I won't plant in the park personally. How do you all feel about boxes like these? I know the rangers do pull boxes in the park but so far the recent ones haven't been located by them. I know several of the rangers personally and they don't like finding boxes in the park given that it's known not to plant there. It's not like they pursue the planters to give them tickets but it's more of a nuisance. It just affirms their reluctance to change the policy.

Thoughts?
Msg: 969093
Sagacorn Subject: Re: Ethical question
Author: SagacornProfileContactLogbookNote
Date: Dec 5, 2018 1:55 PM
P-130F-6681M-207Premium
Reply to: Msg 969091 by wvelliotts
It can be hard to remain ethical when others are doing wrong. I applaud you for yours. I'm sure you are aware of all the ways you can react to this so I won't elaborate. You have to follow your heart and do what is right; but I will say a rule is a rule and the rangers will somehow find out about these boxes.
Msg: 969095
Subject: Re: Ethical question
Author: THE RED CYCLONEProfileContactLogbookNote
Date: Dec 5, 2018 2:31 PM
P-26F-4252M-331Premium
Reply to: Msg 969091 by wvelliotts
I wouldn't plant any but I would definitely look if some boxes were planted there.
Msg: 969096
Wise Wanderer Subject: Re: Ethical question
Author: Wise WandererProfileContactLogbookNote
Date: Dec 5, 2018 3:05 PM
P-126F-1136M-1157Premium
Reply to: Msg 969091 by wvelliotts
Thoughts?

I applaud you for respecting the rules and not planting there. If I were faced with this, I would send a message to the planter letting them know that these boxes are in violation of the Park's rules, and that you are aware of previous boxes being discovered and removed (and discarded?). So, if they value these plants, they should probably remove and relocate them to a more acceptable location, before that happens.

I wouldn't go beyond warning the planter, though. I wouldn't remove them myself, or "out" them to the Rangers. Let the inevitable happen if the planter ignores you.
Msg: 969097
Subject: Re: Ethical question
Author: PiggyJauntProfileContactLogbookNote
Date: Dec 5, 2018 3:14 PM
P-211F-4760M-153Premium
Reply to: Msg 969091 by wvelliotts
I feel like it makes us as a community look terrible. They said not to plant them, so don't plant them. I'd definitely write the planter and tell them to get their boxes out of there. I wouldn't remove them myself, but I also wouldn't go and find them, generally. I don't want us in the news for the wrong reasons. I would also bring it up to Ryan. I have heard he can make clues for boxes like these disappear.
Msg: 969098
Subject: Re: Ethical question
Author: Grrly GirlProfileContactLogbookNote
Date: Dec 5, 2018 3:23 PM
P-108F-3589M-1861Premium
Reply to: Msg 969091 by wvelliotts
1. If they say don't do it, then don't do it.
2. The New River Gorge website it has a pack it in/pack it out rule.
3. If we alienate the management now, it will make it harder for those trying to get the management to change their minds.

We don't want another incident like the Disney decree.
Msg: 969102
Wronghat Subject: Re: Ethical question
Author: WronghatProfileContactLogbookNote
Date: Dec 5, 2018 4:08 PM
P-166F-906M-1554Premium
Reply to: Msg 969091 by wvelliotts
Unless there has been a major shift in policy in the last month, planting in the park is still against the park rules.

The speed limit on Main Street is 25 mph. Guess what. What should I do about it?
Msg: 969103
IrishRef Subject: Re: Ethical question
Author: IrishRefProfileContactLogbookNote
Date: Dec 5, 2018 5:23 PM
P-438F-1592M-4486
Reply to: Msg 969091 by wvelliotts
To protect your positive and tenous relationship i would pull all those planted inappropriately. Could give you more cred with the park and it is the right thing to do. We had a similar problem years ago in Harpers Ferry. The NPS actively went after them. Good luck with this quest.
Msg: 969104
Road Junkies Subject: Re: Ethical question
Author: Road JunkiesProfileContactLogbookNote
Date: Dec 5, 2018 5:29 PM
P-340F-4858M-272Premium
Reply to: Msg 969091 by wvelliotts
Has it occurred to you that the people who have planted boxes in the New River Gorge area are not aware of a policy such as the one you describe?

We planted a box there yesterday, and we're assuming that's what triggered your post. We reviewed the NPS web site for the New River Gorge National River and checked the park's published policies including the superintendent's compendium. No prohibition of letterboxes (or geocaches) was mentioned that we could locate. If you know where to find this rule on the park web site, please post a link.

You say "it's known not to plant there," but how can one know there's a prohibition if it is not publicized by the park? Is this a rule that the rangers themselves have adopted on their own?

Thanks for any links you can provide to the publication of this official policy.
Msg: 969105
Trailhead Tessie Subject: Re: Ethical question
Author: Trailhead TessieProfileContactLogbookNote
Date: Dec 5, 2018 6:02 PM
P-261F-3623M-3433Premium
Reply to: Msg 969103 by IrishRef
i would pull all those planted inappropriately

That would just create a larger problem when people can't find the box they're looking for, because they'll spend more time searching, and if the location is delicate that could lead to greater damage. What is your goal? Making sure everyone follows rules? Or is the goal to make sure nothing is damaged in the park? If it's the latter, then never remove a box until the listing is first removed.

Also, is the box in an area where it could cause actual damage? I'd respond to a box that leads to people crushing a delicate alpine zone differently than a box planted in the middle of a forest. One is a technical rule breaking issue and the other is causing actual harm. It's the difference between driving 56 mph in a 55 zone (a violation of state law for which you can be fined) vs someone driving hazardously at 110 mph.
Msg: 969106
Subject: Re: Ethical question
Author: Rodney KingProfileContactLogbookNote
Date: Dec 5, 2018 6:05 PM
M-1New Member
Reply to: Msg 969104 by Road Junkies
To anyone who assumes that their fellow letterboxers are willfully violating rules and acting against the best interests of the letterboxing community and natural areas, please give people the benefit of the doubt until you find out the rest of the story.

Can't we all just get along?
Msg: 969107
DarkZen and Evil Cow Pie Subject: Re: Ethical question
Author: DarkZen and Evil Cow PieProfileContactLogbookNote
Date: Dec 5, 2018 6:30 PM
P-94F-300M-726Premium
Reply to: Msg 969093 by Sagacorn
It can be hard to remain ethical when others are doing wrong.

Disagree. Wrong is wrong. If the park supervisors find out about the illegal boxes it makes it harder for those of us trying to get them legally accepted.
Msg: 969108
Subject: Re: Ethical question
Author: PiggyJauntProfileContactLogbookNote
Date: Dec 5, 2018 6:37 PM
P-211F-4760M-153Premium
Reply to: Msg 969106 by Rodney King
By emailing the planter and letting them know it's not allowed, you're not accusing them of anything. You're just letting them know. I say when in doubt, email the planter, but then, if they don't respond correctly, take whatever steps you feel appropriate.

And in response to knowing, I feel like anything that says National on it is out. I just avoid it like the plague.
Msg: 969109
Road Junkies Subject: Re: Ethical question
Author: Road JunkiesProfileContactLogbookNote
Date: Dec 5, 2018 7:09 PM
P-340F-4858M-272Premium
Reply to: Msg 969108 by PiggyJaunt
At one time, apparently most NPS properties did discourage letterboxing. As evidenced here, that is no longer a blanket NPS policy.

https://www.nps.gov/teachers/classrooms/letterboxing.htm

So in the absence of a stated policy on the park's site, there's no way for a letterboxer to know that planting boxes is prohibited in a particular park.
Msg: 969110
Subject: Re: Ethical question
Author: EverybodyProfileContactLogbookNote
Date: Dec 5, 2018 7:27 PM
M-5
Reply to: Msg 969108 by PiggyJaunt
if they don't respond correctly, take whatever steps you feel appropriate.

So ANYBODY can determine if ANYONE ELSE'S response is "correct"? And they can do whatever they want with the box, if the response didn't meet what they wanted it to be?

Sure, I can understand if something is dangerous or poses a threat. Common sense is a wonderful thing. But if someone plants a box, just because you don't agree with the placement does not give you Letterboxing Police Authority.
Msg: 969111
Subject: Re: Ethical question
Author: Reginald DennyProfileContactLogbookNote
Date: Dec 5, 2018 7:28 PM
M-1New Member
Reply to: Msg 969106 by Rodney King
Atlas Quest: International Letterboxing
[quote]To anyone who assumes that their fellow letterboxers are willfully violating rules and acting against the best interests of the letterboxing community and natural areas, please give people the benefit of the doubt until you find out the rest of the story.

Can't we all just get along?[/quote]
This is 2018 not the 80’s, anyone who has been in geolocation hobbies for any time at all knows that the NPS is generally a no-no without special permissions. The planters in question have already posted in this thread. If they have that permission they should post “the rest of the story”.

Apparently we can’t all get along. 😉
Msg: 969112
Subject: Re: Ethical question
Author: AnybodyProfileContactLogbookNote
Date: Dec 5, 2018 7:31 PM
M-4
Reply to: Msg 969110 by Everybody
So ANYBODY can determine if ANYONE ELSE'S response is "correct"?

Woohoo!! RESPECT MY AUTHORITY!
Msg: 969113
Wronghat Subject: Re: Ethical question
Author: WronghatProfileContactLogbookNote
Date: Dec 5, 2018 7:47 PM
P-166F-906M-1554Premium
Reply to: Msg 969112 by Anybody
Has there been a more alias spinning thread than this? Also dibs on the "alias spinning thread" meme.
Msg: 969115
Subject: Re: Ethical question
Author: McBoxerProfileContactLogbookNote
Date: Dec 5, 2018 8:05 PM
F-5M-53
Reply to: Msg 969113 by Wronghat
Has there been a more alias spinning thread than this?

Hmmmm... let me think...
Msg: 969116
Subject: Re: Ethical question
Author: SnarkProfileContactLogbookNote
Date: Dec 5, 2018 8:15 PM
M-4
Reply to: Msg 969113 by Wronghat
Who? Me?
Msg: 969117
IrishRef Subject: Re: Ethical question
Author: IrishRefProfileContactLogbookNote
Date: Dec 5, 2018 9:53 PM
P-438F-1592M-4486
Reply to: Msg 969104 by Road Junkies
You have been made aware of the issue by the local planter. Can we agree that it wasn't with ill intent? Based on those assumptions do you have any problem with a local moving the box off NPS property and communicating with you on clue changes? MONTANI SEMPER LIBERI!
Msg: 969120
wassamatta u Subject: Re: Ethical question
Author: wassamatta uProfileContactLogbookNote
Date: Dec 5, 2018 10:05 PM
P-39F-287M-7149Premium
Reply to: Msg 969117 by IrishRef
Based on those assumptions do you have any problem with a local moving the box off NPS property and communicating with you on clue changes?

Why? Where is there an indication that LBs are not allowed? As has been pointed out (WITH A LINK), NPS no longer explicitly prohibits them, and it is up to each park to make their own determination. Why remove someone else's box based on "well, maybe someone somewhere has an unwritten and unposted prohibition for this specific park, based on word of mouth"? How does it "look bad" or generate "ill-will", if the rules aren't posted and published?
Msg: 969121
Subject: Re: Ethical question
Author: EidolonProfileContactLogbookNote
Date: Dec 5, 2018 10:11 PM
P-235F-6329M-4671
Reply to: Msg 969117 by IrishRef
You have been made aware of the issue by the local planter.

And therein lies the conundrum.

The local boxer is "certain" of this policy prohibiting letterboxes yet there is not "official" mention of the policy on any park related listing of policies related to the prohibition of which they speak.

To me, if it isn't in verifiable format, it isn't actually a policy.
::shrug::
Msg: 969122
IrishRef Subject: Re: Ethical question
Author: IrishRefProfileContactLogbookNote
Date: Dec 5, 2018 10:19 PM
P-438F-1592M-4486
Reply to: Msg 969120 by wassamatta u
Not the point i'm making Wassa. It was an attempt at resolving with no ill will. Should know better than to attempt resolution on the message board. Suggestion is for local boxer and planter to discuss with an amicable resolution. Apparently wiser privately at this point. I personally welcome plants to our scenic state. But would suggest avoiding the NPS in these parts.
Msg: 969131
dancingpecan Subject: Re: Ethical question
Author: dancingpecanProfileContactLogbookNote
Date: Dec 6, 2018 6:43 AM
P-33F-156M-2093Premium
Reply to: Msg 969109 by Road Junkies
It took a little digging, but here is the New River Gorge's guidelines for geocaches. I would assume that they would like letterboxes to be handled in the same way.

https://www.nps.gov/neri/planyourvisit/permit-guidelines-for-gps-based-activities.htm

I hope this helps.

dp
Msg: 969133
Road Junkies Subject: Re: Ethical question
Author: Road JunkiesProfileContactLogbookNote
Date: Dec 6, 2018 6:55 AM
P-340F-4858M-272Premium
Reply to: Msg 969131 by dancingpecan
Thank you, dancing pecan. We had followed a link on the site for GPS based activities but it was a dead link that led to a 404 error page. Good detective work!

We will contact the park superintendent and notify him or her that we placed a box there without knowledge of this rule and determine with the superintendent how to proceed.

Thanks again!
Msg: 969137
dancingpecan Subject: Re: Ethical question
Author: dancingpecanProfileContactLogbookNote
Date: Dec 6, 2018 7:26 AM
P-33F-156M-2093Premium
Reply to: Msg 969133 by Road Junkies
You're quite welcome. I'm glad I was able to help. :)

dp
Msg: 969214
Super Hedge Hoggie Subject: Re: Ethical question
Author: Super Hedge HoggieProfileContactLogbookNote
Date: Dec 9, 2018 7:30 AM
P-782F-1454M-30Premium
Reply to: Msg 969098 by Grrly Girl
What was the Disney decree? (Just curious)
Msg: 969226
Topcollector Subject: Re: Ethical question
Author: TopcollectorProfileContactLogbookNote
Date: Dec 9, 2018 10:05 AM
P-66F-2468M-2162Premium
Reply to: Msg 969091 by wvelliotts
Oh, I was lucky to read the Burgemeister poem just in time for it to be deleted. Very funny with the link--but it-just-disappeared. I'd love a copy AQ'd to me if possible, can't remember who wrote it.
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Board: State: West Virginia
Group: United States Letterboxing