home Open the Interactive Map Teaching and Research in the Preserve Stewardship work in the Preserve Visit and Explore the Lakeshore Nature Preserve Learn about the Preserve Donate to the Preserve
Lakeshore Nature Preserve

Policy for geocaches placement on land managed by
 University of Wisconsin, Lakeshore Nature Preserve

Draft Policy effective July 10, 2009
(Review and final approval by Lakeshore Committee, Fall 2009)


STATEMENT OF POLICY: It is the policy of the Lakeshore Nature Preserve to manage properties under its jurisdiction in a manner consistent with the goals of the Preserve Management Plan, to protect site resources and to provide for the enjoyment, safety and security of Preserve visitors. Decisions regarding requests for geocache placement will be based on the possible or expected impact of geocaches on managed properties. All requests for placement shall be governed by the rules identified in this policy (below). No geocaches may be placed in the Lakeshore Nature Preserve without a permit. Caches established in violation of these guidelines will be confiscated.


I. Permits: All requests for geocache placement on University of Wisconsin Lakeshore Nature Preserve managed properties will be in writing and must be submitted on the Geocache Permit Request Form.

Completed permit requests should be sent to Preserve field manager, Cathie Bruner (cbruner@fpm.wisc.edu) for review and authorization.

II. Geocache locations: In order to minimize the impact of geocachers on sites within the Preserve, the following rules must be observed:

 1. No caches may be located on or in any archeological or culturally sensitive site. A map showing the general locations of archeological or historic sites within the Preserve can be viewed at: on the Lakeshore Preserve map. Activate all map layers under the menu button “Human Landscapes” at the bottom edge of the map page.

2.   No cache may be attached to or suspended from any natural feature, e.g., rock outcrops or trees. Never bury a cache or otherwise disturb vegetation or a natural feature. Placing a cache into a naturally occurring crevice or cavity is permitted if the location otherwise complies with rules governing cache placement. However, if a shovel, trowel, or other object is needed to hide or find a cache, the cache will be confiscated.

 3. Geocaches must be placed within 10 feet of existing marked trails and roads to minimize disturbance to sensitive plants and any ongoing restoration work. Caches located further than 10 feet from the trail and road network will be confiscated.

4.   If the Preserve manager determines that the location of a cache poses a risk to students, staff or visitors, the owner will be contacted and asked that the cache be moved to a safer location. Information regarding potential risk is to be recorded on the original permit.

5.   If the terms of a permit are violated, the Preserve manager has the authority to void the permit, removed the cache from its location. The Preserve manager will attempt to notify the owner on www.geocaching.com that the cache has been removed.

6.  If a non-permitted cache is discovered, the Preserve manager will remove the cache and retain it for 30 days while attempting to notify the owner. If contact cannot be made, the cache will be considered abandoned property.


III. Requirements for a geocache: In order to qualify for approval for placement, the geocache must meet the following requirements. Violation of any of these requirements will result in the immediate removal of the geocache by Preserve personnel.

    1. Container must be made of clear (see through) material, with a size no greater than 6"x8"x12."  Ammunition boxes or similar military-like containers cannot be used.
    2. The cache container must be clearly marked on the outside with the word “GEOCACHE” and the name and contact information of the owner.
    3. Geocaches cannot contain any food items.
    4. Geocaches cannot contain tobacco, drugs or any illegal products.
    5. Geocaches cannot contain any ‘adult’ items, offensive or hazardous materials, firearms, ammunition, knives or similar objects.
    6. The Preserve manager can request that the cache owner provide a photograph(s) of the cache and attach it to the permit.

IV. Requirements for Geocache Owners

Once approved for placement, the geocache owners must satisfy the following conditions.  Violation of any of these requirements will result in the immediate removal of geocache by Preserve personnel.

    1. Once approval is received for the geocache from the Preserve manager, the cache owner must post the geocache site information online at www.geocaching.com
    2. Caches must be checked at least once each three months. Verification of this check will be by e-mail, letter, or personal communication from the geocache owner to the Preserve manager (cbruner@fpm.wisc.edu).
    3. Permits for caches expire after one year. Permits must be renewed by March 31st of each year or removed. If a cache is removed prior to March 31st, the Preserve manager must be notified.
    4. A link to the Preserve Geocaching Policy must be provided in conjunction with any postings of GPS coordinates or other location information.










University of Wisconsin-Madison home Friends website about us contacts home feedback