Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Oh My Gosh! Who would do such a thing! Poor mushrooms.

Alright Forest Defender . . . Put down the box . . . and step away. Or more of your fungi buddies will lose their tops and be thrown in the garbage can on the way out.

Disclaimer: No mushrooms were harmed when creating this blog. (Cachers and boxers wouldn't do that sort of thing.)

Friends, when you are out geocaching or letterboxing be on the lookout for this bag. It might be Forest Defenders bag of choice. I know if I see it, it won't be pretty.

This was created just so people can leave their comments for Forest Defender. You know she'll read it. :) Have a nice day FD. (snicker, snicker)


  1. I was telling our kids about this today. Ages: 14 and 11. You know what they said? "Oh my God, that's SO rude!" and then went on and on about how much letterboxing has done for our family and all the cool places they've seen because of it.

    Even children know better.

    -Lemon Drop

  2. LD...your 11 Y/O is in the fifth grade right? So I guess FD isn't smarter than a fifth grader. :)

  3. I'm on board for the planting 2 boxes for each "kill". FD has gotten 2 of mine so far so that makes 4 boxes I'm about to plant. It's rediculous that some idiot like Forest Defender would try to make us look like the bad guys, we letterboxers are the people who pick up the litter we see on the trails when we're boxing, we donate to the parks department, and we try to protect the plants and animals. Sadly I considered myself a "Forest Defender" before this jerk made that title a dirty word to me...

    ~Captain Raehawk

  4. I would really have liked to post a comment or send a not directly to "Forest Defender", but there is not way to do so through her blog.

    As I commented on the Podcacher forums (, if this person were working with the appropriate land managers / owners, then I really couldn't complain. However, I see no evidence of this - only an imaginary conversation with a park ranger.

    I wonder if she's even considered whether these caches just might have the approval of of those actually responsible for the land.

    I would recommend that people placing cachers in "her forests", be sure to get approval and make the owners / managers aware of FD's activities. If they are granting permission, then they may join us in trying to put a stop to her activities.

    In central Maryland, we've had an issue with a "cache maggot" (as we call him) stealing caches and using various accounts to log his activities. Through the Maryland Geocaching Society, we've been able to enlist the support of the Maryland Municipal League and the Maryland National Capital Park and Planning Commission in trying to combat our thief when it comes to caches on their properties.

    Members of the Military Association of GeoCaching (MAGC) have worked closely with the Chesapeake Bay Environmental Center ( on historic Kent Island, MD to place caches at CBEC to increase visitations and develop a group of people who are willing to come out a couple times a year to provide free manpower to help improve the area though CITO events. I know they would not be happy with "Forest Defender" if she were to "liberate" CBEC of geocaches.

    Happy Trails!

    You getting any of this FD?

  5. Surely, with ForestDefender having admitted to theft and destruction of private property - and provided pictorial evidence of her crimes, the police could lay charges?
    I was going to suggest if her victims replaced their caches, that they did so as premium member only hides - ensuring she couldn't see the new co-ordinate details - but it appears she has a membership too.

  6. "Forest Defender" is nothing of the sort. She is a common thief and not a very bright one. For one her actions could actually increase what little damage these caches cause as geocachers search longer and wider for a cache that is not there.

    "Forest Defender" is also being incredibly short sighted. We are raising a generation that has little connection to the outdoors. Video games, TV and organized sports are their focus and there is little "wandering of the woods" the way previous generations did.

    These forests are nothing more than a resource for the timber, oil and gas industries. The only thing standing in their way are those who love these places and speak out for them.

    A generation from now who will be there to speak out? Certainly not people who have little first hand knowledge of and no appreciation for the forests.

    What geocaching does is get families and kids off the couch, out from in front of the television set or computer game and into the outdoors, where they are likely to develop an appreciation for them. Geocaching will help create a new generation of true forest defenders.

    If Forest Defender was truly that she'd be out there doing everything she can, including planting her own geocaches to encourage families to get outdoors to ensure that there will be someone speak for the forests when she is gone.

    If there is a geocache that is causing damage to a sensitive area she should document it and work with the cache owner or the land manager to address it. Ironically her photos actually show minimal, if any damage
    to the areas surrounding the caches she is stealing.

    Better yet she should focus her energies on the true enemies of the forest and not worry so much about one rotting stump.

    She is truly one who can't see the forest for the trees.

    -Brian Sniatkowski

  7. This is amazing. What part of the world is this lone ranger working in? I know her blog tries to make you think that she has enlisted the help of thousands but I don't believe it. Is she in the northwest of the USA? It is sad when someone feels so dogmatic about a think that they can't try to work with the geocaching community but must become vigilantes with little or no regard for the law. It is evident from her posts that she is vindictive. Her language is that of someone who is self-centered, bent on having things her way with little or no regard for others. It's one thing to have an opinion, it is another thing to steal with no regard for the rights of others. One wants to tell her to get a life of her own but it appears that she has. Sadly her life revolves around trying to curb the job of others. She must be a sad lady. I would hope she would enter into a real dialog (if this really is about solving a problem). Her language makes me think her real joy comes from bashing something, not approaching what she considers to be a problem from a mature perspective. I just want to say that while I am an avid geocacher and love the sport, I don't think that all eco-sensitive people's interest are "crap" "trash" and "garbage". A little respect, please! FD, if you are reading, I invite you to an adult conversation about the issue. One post said it clearly, you are making things worse, not better by your actions. If the eco-sensitive areas you refer to are really your number one concern, let's talk. Otherwise, I chalk this up to a temper tantrum and have little respect for it.

  8. I'm in agreement with you, Dave.

    Caring for the environment is not a bad thing, it is the way you go about it. I have seen some caches that have been placed a bit carelessly, but as it has been said: there are cachers working to educate people in the proper placing of them. Assuming that she herself knows what is best for the environment and starting a personal attack is childish.

  9. sharkboy and lavagirlJune 26, 2010 at 9:47 AM

    Love it!!!!!! I dare the Forest Defender to come into my territory! Most of my letterboxing friends think I'm really nice; but, they've never seen me angry.......

  10. 1/3 I would like to title this entry: Dear Forest Defender... but it really is for all.

    Well, I am a letterboxer and I am also in fact a State Park Ranger in said park on Whidbey Island... so I bring here the perspectives of both sides. You could call me a TRUE Forest Defender! Bear with me while I try to organize the tsunami of intense thoughts in my head about this topic. I haven't been active in LB'ing for about two years so I have been completely oblivious to this recent issue in the NW WA area until I recently bought a new GPS and decided to take up LB again and geocacheing. When I did a search yesterday for local boxes for me and my daughter to do together I stumbled upon this unfortunate issue. I hope that I can be the official mediator here!

    So while protecting old growth forest, and eco-sensitive areas is what I have dedicated my life's work to in a professional manner there are a few points I would like to make. It is very important work... we as organisms in the system rely on park rangers, citizens, and even local activists to ensure that our ecosystems are protected and preserved from degradation and loss. We all know the importance of this! And while I do combat the destruction caused by careless park users on a daily basis which is very infuriating, I can attest to the fact that geocacheing and LB'ing are a very low impact activity in recreational areas. In all honesty as land managers we are generally clueless to the existence of them.

  11. 2/3 There are different classifications of public lands with different uses and protection levels. While preserves and natural areas are meant to be just that with absolutely no impact allowed, park lands are intended to be intensive use areas for the purpose of recreationists of all types, including geocaching and letterboxing. Park managers, environmental specialists, and planners all collaboratively devise a sustainability plan to guide park use, maintenance, and protected areas within a state park, including 'eco-sensitive' areas. There is a state policy regarding geocaching which would include its close relative letter boxing: Washington State Parks has an application process for anyone wishing to place a cache. The park ranger will consider impact and will authorize accordingly, ensuring the responsible placement and use of such an activity. Which further diminishes the impact of such an activity.

    While there are always a few bad apples in every bunch, the entire group should not suffer. These two activities work very hard to educate about proper etiquette and eco considerations. My hat is off to them!

    My personal perspective: I am passionate about any activity that can help to connect people with their environment. Eco-tourism and outdoor recreation are as important as ever! Likewise, activities like these who are often family affairs help to plant this seed early on in a youngsters life... There are two groups: those who love the outdoors already and choose to do activities to enjoy and protect them, and those who are encouraged to try an outdoor activity and become connected and educated about the environment through it. Outdoor recreation is really a win-win situation when people practice responsible use.

  12. 3/3 So as I step off my soap box:

    Letterboxers - please place responsibly and be sure to get prior approval from any land manager for which you wish to place. This really does ensure the lowest impact of the surrounding habitat. It also ensures protection for your personal property and official recourse to anyone caught tampering or destroying your box. (we do have secret cameras that can be used to catch repeat offenders in an ongoing issue... wink wink)

    Forest Defendors- Please understand that this is a permitted use in any state park and you are thieving and destroying somebodies personal property for which you can be prosecuted! These caches are not just littered about carelessly and forgotten about but are placed with special care and are looked after by its owner regularly. Also, we need the help of any and all citizens to look after and protect our beloved forests; any activity that gets people outdoors away from their tv's, video games, and computers and can foster a new appreciation for and connection with nature is a move in the right direction! Please reconsider your personal war.

    To all, please feel free to contact me for further education or assistance on this topic. Either at the park or via atlas quest. Thank you for allowing me to rant - Sincerely, whidbey_wanderer