Wednesday, February 29, 2012

2/29/12 Report - More on Recent Florida Legislation Affecting Treasure Hunting

Hey, we have an extra day. Happy Leap Day! It's a good thing too. I need the extra day. Due to the overwhelming interest in the recent Florida state legislation (Bill 868) I'm postponing some other topics that I had planned.

I received a lot of email in response to yesterday's post. It's amazing how much reach and power this little blog has. Hundreds of thousands of hits and growing rapidly. I can't quite grasp it. I sometimes feel like I'm sitting here typing to myself or maybe a few people, but then something happens and I see how much impact it has.

As I said the new Florida bill is the hot hot hot topic today.

The St. Lucie Metal Detecting Club is mobilizing and contacting their representatives.

I got word this morning that Alan Hays has deleted thousands of comments about this issue from his facebook page.

By the way, Debbie Mayfield is the state house representative for Vero.

If you don't know who your representative to the Florida legislature is, you can use this link to find out.

Thanks to Bernie C. for all of the work he did to start and maintain the St. Lucie club. When issues like this come up and require action, you can see how important it is to have clubs and how important it is to be a part of a group. You will be better informed, and just as importantly, better able to represent and stand up for your hobby when you belong to a club.

Among the many emails I received concerning this issue was one from a Miami TV station. That means we are making progress towards bringing the other side of this issue to light. It also provides an opportunity for us to educate the public.

Another person that sent me an email had contacted another TV station concerning the bill.

The businesses that serve the treasure hunting community should be concerned about this too.

Many people travel to the Treasure Coast because of its history. If this bill passes maybe a name change would be in order.

I don't think people realize how many people travel to the Treasure Coast to metal detect. I do because I get a lot of emails from people wondering where to stay to be close to the detecting beaches.

Before I lived on the Treasure Coast I traveled here to detect and stayed at local hotels and eventually bought a house in the area.

I'm a bit surprised that I've never been contacted by any of the local tourist development people. They evidently don't know how many people travel here because of our heritage of treasure hunting.

We have two treasure museums on the Treasure Coast which have been doing business here for years.

From detectors and food to salvage vessels, docking, gas and the treasure that goes into the state collections, there is a lot of economic activity tied to detecting and treasure hunting on the Treasure Coast.

A CNN Travel writer interviewed me for a metal detecting article that was published on the CNN web site, and it brought national attention to the Treasure Coast. The travel writer recognized that many people who travel to beach areas are interested in metal detecting.

When you get down to it, our local representative evidently do not realize the economic impact of treasure hunting on our community. They do not recognize that it is a big part of our history and heritage. Jeeeeez, it's called the "Treasure" Coast, not the "Archaeology" Coast.

And the abuse of terms like "artifact" is getting ridiculous. They include anything over forty years old. Shoot, I've gone to the home where I was raised and dug up some of MY old toys that were older than that. Pretty soon if you have it today, tomorrow it will be considered an artifact. They are going way too far. It gets ridiculous.

A big problem is that the relationship between the archaeological community and the citizenry has broken down. Because of outrageous over-reaching, people don't trust the officials anymore. Look at the bill! Confiscation of equipment, cars, etc. etc. without any reasonable process - its just way too dictatorial and out of balance. And evidently only one side of the argument - that of the radical archaeological community - has had input. And to think, everything they do is done on your tax payer dollars. That is another place you might want to make your voice heard if they are not willing to listen to reason.

I'll wind it down on that issue today. Remember, if you don't participate in your government, you take what you get.

Look at this, particularly the last QA.

Treasure Coast Beach Detecting Conditions and Forecast.

The wind is from the south and the swells from the east. Seas on the Treasure Coast are running around three feet or less. They'll be decreasing until Saturday.

Detecting conditions are poor and will remain that way for a few days.

Happy hunting,