To establish truth midst the posture of fiction, those from the outside looking in had better keep in mind not what the allegations of what legislation, bill HB803 and SB1054, would unleash but rather what the language truly suggest and the common sense benefits that come from it.
By having legitimate permit holders back in the waterways, crime will go down because of active citizen patrol and reporting. It has been brought to my attention that since the isolated finds permit ceased, FWC has not seen a decline in outlaw looting, but rather an extreme increase. That increase has not been in the waterways alone however but in fact on key, protected sites, mounds and graves along waterways. As I have said, you cannot out police this issue and it is far better to have the honest citizen out there legally intercepting and offsetting mindless people who would jeopardize liberties. It is far better to appreciate all the stake holders than to alienate them as we see today.
It is very dangerous to recreation here in our state to offer permits for some things in underwater salvage but not give a means to the full spectrum of things that can be recovered in the same localized proximity. It seems a hollow argument to allow Fossils, Treasures, and Logging to be atoned for yet ensnare the public for Artifacts. It is an unbalanced argument no matter how many publicly funded members you get to speak out against artifact recovery from St. Augustine.
Next, my heart goes out to the true Native Americans when they appeal to our legislators about their ancient grave sites that are being impeded on and ransacked especially in south Florida, but the factual argument in the case of bill HB803 and SB1054, is in extreme contrast to the claims that this bill would foster grave looters abilities to further drive disrespect. That is just not true for in no way can these bills over step Federal laws that protect those ancient sites. None of the avocational supporters of the bill are advocates of grave digging and again would be an active voice helping to incriminate violators of federal law.
Also in the same breath, these bills do nothing to over step the zero tolerance protection of Historic sites, parks and conservation zones. With the strict penalties put in place within the language, such activity be a permit holder would revoke their rights in the program and prompt an immediate monetary penalty if not also setting in play various legal ramifications. Florida is far better with extra legitimate stake holders actively pursuing happiness and being in the places that the majority of our citizens never go and witness things that mostly remain unaccounted for.
Also as to the commercialization target, it is important when we say Floridians will lose Florida’s past by interstate commerce to be mindful that our arbitrary demarcations of the state, prehistoric man did not recognize as a boundary. TriStates Archaeological Society represents collectors in a region where overlap and interconnectedness demonstrate a broader picture than that of just our state. Also, if the record and data is the most crucial piece of the puzzle for strict science, what part does an artifact’s curation location play in that argument. In today’s social media connected world, artifacts are not lost when housed in other states but rather the publicity is broadened and has a larger audience of appreciation.
Lastly, though many professionals have spoken to me in passing at the capitol and have said, ” I really like you” “ this bill has good intentions” what they need to be honest with themselves with is that they by posturing to squash our bills is only demonstrating that the nitch professional community unyieldingly bent on a Judy Bents perspective, have not brought any middle ground to our bills, they have not offered any suggestions to help foster a healthy working relationship or partnership, and are in essence furthering the divide and mistrust. I find it intriguing and would wonder when we see many tax funded members attending capitol sub committees, how many of the folks are using government vehicles, government fuel, and are on the clock to attend these hearings? I know for me and those I represent, we are taking a day off of our jobs as citizens to come to the capitol to have our voices be heard.
Please help to keep these bills alive by reaching out to your representatives and letting them know why you’re for the Bills HB803 and SB1054