According to the Watertown Daily Times in New York, holes were found in Champion Park and Village Green Park left there by a metal detectorist. This initiated a meeting of the city council in which they passed a new local law banning the use of detectors, digging, and removing artifacts from the park.
Councilman Thomas E. Stewart was quoted saying, “We found someone was up there with a metal detector and was digging around. It just wasn’t right.”
My thoughts: I believe this is ignorance on the part of both the council members and the person who dug the holes. As many of you know, there is a code of ethics we as treasure hunters like to follow which includes asking permission and leaving the area in either the same condition you found it in or better (i.e. filling in your holes!). This law seems to have been passed under the assumption that metal detecting is some sort of desctructive scavenging which damages property and should be looked down upon as a crime.
Metal detecting is a hobby that provides many benefits to the community. Detectorists all around the world have returned long lost heirlooms to their owners decades after they were lost. We remove trash from the parks including sharp metals (even needles) which makes it safer for our children. We find history that can be shared with the community and the hobby also benefits people with a healthy low stress excercise.
I for one wish law makers would consider the positive impact the majority of us make instead of punishing us all for the ignorance and maliciousness of a small minority.