Fish & Wildlife | Land | News | Oregon

BLM Moves To Restrict Geocaching In Central Oregon

OPB | April 22, 2014 2:49 p.m. | Updated: April 22, 2014 5:50 p.m. | Bend, Oregon

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The Oregon Badlands Wilderness is a 29,000-acre federal wilderness area east of Bend.

The Oregon Badlands Wilderness is a 29,000-acre federal wilderness area east of Bend.

Amanda Peacher / OPB

In Central Oregon, the Bureau of Land Management is putting new restrictions on the outdoor hobby of “geocaching.”

Geocachers, as they’re called, navigate to a specific set of GPS coordinates in order to find a cache, usually a hidden waterproof container containing trinkets and a logbook.

But the growth of geocaching has raised environmental concerns.

The new policy from the BLM Prineville district calls for the removal of close to 50 geocaches in the Oregon Badlands Wilderness and other environmentally sensitive sites.

BLM spokeswoman, Lisa Clark says the agency is asking geocache owners to retrieve those boxes.  She says the agency is also encouraging the use of so-called virtual geocaches.

“Where people might document a unique rock, or a feature or a viewpoint.  And so visitors would use their GPS to get to those locations for that feature rather than for actually locating a box,” said Clark.

Clark says the new policy also restricts access to 40 additional geocaches during certain times of the year.  She says the agency is working with the geocaching community to implement the changes.

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