BLM panel weighs GPS treasure-hunt activity in conservation area

The Bureau of Land Management wants adventurers to leave no trace of their hunts for geocaches in the Dominguez-Escalante National Conservation Area, but an advisory group says there ought to be a little leeway.

The bureau is working on the first-ever resource management plan for the area south and east of Grand Junction for the treasure-hunting activity. Its preferred alternative calls for geocaching to be limited to the virtual variety, or searches that result in participants taking photos of themselves with recognizable locations they find using geocaching directions.

It’s not nearly as esoteric an activity as it might seem, said Katie Steele, who leads the resource advisory council for the conservation area, and a geocaching participant.

“It’s worldwide,” Steel said. “Basically it’s a hobby where you’re using billion-dollar satellites to find a piece of Tupperware.”

When she sets a geocache, she likes to leave a page or two of historical information for participants in a Tupperware container, which they hide somewhere and then provide clues on where to find it, Steele said.

The advisory council would like to leave that option available on the conservation area, except for the wilderness.

BLM is suggesting the wilderness rules for the entire conservation area.

The advisory council, which met Monday in the old Mesa County Courthouse, 544 Rood Ave., decided to continue discussions on the rules for geocaching.

The agency is taking comments on the entire resource management plan through Sept. 23.


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