Governor Doug Ducey Announces Geocaching Now Allowed On State Trust Land

News Release

February 8, 2016

PHOENIX – Geocaching is now allowed on state trust land, Governor Doug Ducey announced today.Governor Ducey has instructed theArizona State Land Department to allow geocaching on some of Arizona’s 9.2 million acres of state trust land.

Geocaching is a GPS-based scavenger hunt where geocachers use GPS-enabled devices to find a specific coordinate and locate a hidden object (the geocache) at that location.

“We’ve made eliminating pointless, bureaucratic regulations that hinder Arizonans a top priority,” said Governor Ducey. “I’m glad this issue was brought to our attention and we were able to work with Senator Steve Smith to resolve it.  Arizona is known for its outdoor recreation, so it makes complete sense to allow geocaching on state land. To all the geocachers out there – have fun exploring Arizona’s beautiful land.”  

“Our department looks forward to working with the geocaching community to advance recreational opportunities while allow preserving our state trust land,” said State Land Commissioner Lisa Atkins. “I’m thrilled we were able to work in partnership with the geocaching community, Senator Smith and the governor’s office to ensure state land would still be protected and the Trust beneficiaries would be compensated, while geocaching enthusiasts could still take part in this GPS-based scavenger hunt. It’s a win-win for everyone.”

Mel Hockwitt, a leader in the Arizona geocache community, brought this regulation to Senator Smith’s attention who then contacted the governor’s office and Arizona State Land Department about the issue.

“I would like to thank Governor Ducey and Land Commissioner Atkins for their leadership in addressing this issue brought to my attention by my constituent and geocacher, Mel Hockwitt,” said Senator Smith.

“I am excited that we were able to resolve this administratively and legislation was not needed to correct a policy from the previous Land Commissioner that ultimately hurt geocaching in Arizona. This further demonstrates the power of the people’s voice.  Geocachers provide a great service to Arizona by cleaning up trust land while exploring the beauty of Arizona.”

“The geocaching community would like to thank Governor Doug Ducey, Senator Steve Smith and Commissioner Lisa Atkins for allowing us to enjoy our sport on State Trust land,” said Hockwitt. “We look forward to enjoying the many places on State Trust land with family and friends.”

Each individual geocacher must obtain a recreation permit in order to participate in the activity on state trust land.  The new policy and recreation permit applications are available on the land department’s website.