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Virginia Bill opposing detecting
Date: January 20, 2005 04:44AM
This bill like others in different states has 4 goals
1) give the state archaeologist as much power as possible.
2) outlaw detecting on any state land
3) partially control sites and detecting on private land
4) establish requirements to make hobby detecting harder.
Here is a link to find out about the bill. The info is there but you have to click on who you want. Enter HB2078 to get info and status on the bill. Click on the delegate name if you want to get email, phone, address, and more.
There are also maps to determine what your district is. You can send messages to other districts if you like.
Once you find out about the bill please send a message and let us know if you discover something new.
Be nice we want friends not enemies.
I've never dealt with this sort of thing before. We might get it changed but I expect it may get passed in some form.
All bills seem confusing to me and this is no exception. When taken literaly sections of this bill seem to directly interfer with our hobby.
The woman who sponsored the bill is from down in Alexandria and this is her last term in office. Alexandria City I recall has many restrictions outlawing detecting even on private property but also tries actively to keep detectorists off any site they can, even those being destroyed.
If you read the bill great emphasis was placed on graves and human remains. Why is this important?. No one I know digs graves, which is illegal anyway. But then so is tresspass and stealing relics etc from someone else's property. I don't think we need a law to make something illegal even more illegal. All it does is make detecting more difficult. Read the bill.
The notion of written permission and selling relics is no good at all. They may have a few bad apples they are trying to get at but they will hurt us all in the process.
The bill is also to create a state archaeologist and establish his powers. It would help to limit these in some fashion or make him more responsible to others. As it appears now he can establish state archaeological sites on private property and control digging there.
It also makes digging on any state land illegal.

Re: Virginia Bill opposing detecting
Date: January 25, 2005 10:31PM
How will they enforce digging on private land? I look at it like this. If I own the land, then I own what is in the ground on that parcel of land, state archaeologist be damned. Are they gonna arrest people for using their own property?If the state wants the "artifacts" in the ground, on private property, then the state in question had better be ready to pay fair market price for the artifacts and for the damage to land. If not there may be a whole lot of lawsuits being filed in Virginia. Or worse, some pencil-neck archaeologist may end up on the wrong end of a boot. I guess the archaeologists have run out of graves to rob, so now they want private property.

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