News Release

For Release:  January 23, 2008     
Contact:  David Christy, (916) 985-4474
CA-CC-08-24

BLM Releases Treasure Cache Policy Covering Fort Ord Public Lands

The Bureau of Land Management has issued a new policy that allows new treasure caches (i.e. geocaches and letterboxes) with prior approval on Fort Ord public lands.

The new Fort Ord treasure cache policy allows new treasure caches on the Fort Ord public lands. However, caches must be approved in writing by the BLM before they are established. 

“The policy contains safeguards to ensure that containers are not placed in environmentally sensitive areas or military munitions sites, and that the containers themselves do not have the appearance of anything that could be confused with a military device missed during the Army’s site clean-up activities,” said Eric Morgan, BLM’s Fort Ord manager.

Geocaching (and letterboxing) are treasure-hunting games in which the participants use a global positioning system receiver or other navigational techniques to hide and find containers. The coordinates of these treasure caches are generally posted on websites for other visitors to find.  Once found, participants often take and leave a trinket from a container; or in the case of letterboxes, participants use an ink stamp in the box to mark their find.

The new Fort Ord policy has restrictions on the types of containers that can be used in treasure caching, and where they may be placed.  Approval for cache establishment will be in the form of a recreation permit or similar written authorization.  Morgan concedes that the new policy will lengthen the period of time for a citizen to establish and post a cache, but added “getting written approval from the BLM prior to establishing caches is the only way that safety can be ensured, and that cache visitors do not damage sensitive natural or historic and prehistoric resources.”

The new policy replaces the emergency closure order that was issued on September 18, 2007, that prohibited new caches from becoming established at Fort Ord.  That closure was prompted, in part, from a report that a letterbox was a munitions device and emergency personnel were summoned to the scene to investigate.

The Fort Ord treasure cache policy can be obtained from the Hollister Field Office, 20 Hamilton Court, Hollister, Calif., 95023, phone (831) 630–5000.  For additional information, contact Rick Cooper, BLM Hollister Field Office manager at the above address, e-mail: Rick_Cooper@ca.blm.gov or Morgan (831) 394–8314, e-mail: Eric_Morgan@ca.blm.gov.

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