A Long Awaited Update From the Task Force

Received an email from Avery Marder this morning informing me that the Task Force for Metal Detecting Rights has finally updated their website, and I urge you to check it out  by clicking here.   At first glance it looks the same but there are a few new things…

task2The group now has the additional support of Whites, Fisher and Garrett, and I am very happy to see that. For too long it was labeled a Minelab group, and that  always left a few wondering what gives, including yours truly.  Next they have added a “certification” link, which at first glance seems like a good thing, but  after going through the three steps invovled I am not sure just what it certifies you to do?  Maybe Avery can clarify….

More importantly they have shared what it is they are doing to tackle problem areas in Cook County, Illinois, Louisville, Kentucky and New York city. Hopefully there  will be “regular” updates on all three of these areas.

My big complaint about the website update?  While there is a “contact us” link, there’s no way to contact the officers personally. I would have liked to have seen email  addresses for all, and a paragraph or two telling more about who they are, their backgrounds, maybe even a photo, etc..

Overall I am happy that the group has finally come out of hibernation, and very pleased to see the additional support from the manufacturers.  Hopefully there will be updates on a regular basis and even more transparency as time goes on.



To understand John Howland’s post of today, one must see Paul Barford’s post of today.  Otherwise it might seem moot or confusing.  Leave it to him as well to take things to the next level.  I am beginning to think he has a deep seated love for these two individuals, and is just hurt because he was not invited to lunch. To read his  latest off-the-wall thoughts and scribbles, click on the Malamute Saloon link above and scroll down to today’s date.



Filed under Metal Detecting

25 responses to “A Long Awaited Update From the Task Force

  1. What can I say ?
    Thanks for your support ?
    Not bad for an organization that has accomplished more than most other groups of the same kind. The Task Force’s leadership, is a group of Detectorists, who take time out from working their regular jobs, from family and detecting ittself, to help the Metal Detecting Community fight for their rights to enjoy their legal right to pursue their hobby of Metal Detecting. Remember, you were once a part of this group, but decided to resign for “personal” (economic) reasons…clearly understandable.

    • Well Avery apparently my sharing your website update did not meet with your approval. Somethings never change…

      No one doubts that you guys bust your ass for the betterment of the pastime. Just that we had no way to know that when you never updated your website for a whole year.

      And once again you needed to add a comment about my once being part of the group… For those of you who do not understand what this means, let me try to explain.

      When the Task Force started out I was very much impressed with their efforts, and I endorsed them whole heartedly on my website and here as well. I was also named a “special consultant” on their website. In the spring of last year they announced that they would be part of a Minelab “National Detecting Day” that took place in Atlantic City.

      I enquired whether or not the other manufacturers would be part of this event, and was assured that they would be. That never happened, and I decided to drop my support “until” the other manufacturers came on board. I also later learned that Minelab donated $41,000 dollars to the group….

      Lending support to a group that was solely supported and controlled by one manufacturer was not something I cared to do. I was uncomfortable with it for many reasons, one of which was my close association with White’s Electronics, which goes back many years. I am proud to be part of their family, and will never do anything to jeapordize that relationship. It’s an association that has never been a secret, and I think most everyone in the pastime is aware of it.

      So, if you look back at many of Avery’s comments you always see this reference to me being a “White’s guy” and as you can see from his above response, he felt the need to insert the word “financial” at the end. I guess he wants you all to know that I write books for White’s, and that I receive money in return. What a surprise?

      In any case I will once again state that I am happy the Task Force is back, and I wish them well. I will also continue to report on their efforts here, and hope that they appreciate that. After all that’s difficult to do being a “a White’s guy”.

      • It’s unfortunate you are again forced to defend yourself for being a “White’s guy”. Everyone has to eat, and if you write books for Whites and receive money in return, good for you! You like and support the brand that has supported you. There’s nothing wrong with that.

        Your decision to withdraw from the Task Force was not made overnight, and your reasons are valid. Originally it was noted more manufacturers would be lending support, and as time went on it, for whatever reasons, it seemed Minelab was the sole supporter of the organization. That didn’t sit well with a lot of people, including myself, and I’m a “Minelab girl”.

        Even so, I have to give Minelab credit for stepping up to the plate, recognizing the problems detectorists face, and lending their financial support. Now that the Task Force has the support of some of the other manufacturers, thats even better.

        I’m glad the Task Force FINALLY updated their website, and I hope they continue to do so, on a more frequent basis. A year is a ridiculous amount of time to go without an update. It will be helpful, to refer people who ask about the Task Force to a website where they can get answers. It will also lessen the frustration of those in the detecting community who support their efforts, and just want to know the Task Force is still active.

      • Thanks Diva… Let’s hope there’s at least one thing updated every week, even if it’s a “hi, we’re alive”. Pretty hard to get support when you disappear for a year after promising so much.

      • Dick,

        You state “In the spring of last year they (the Task Force) announced that they would be part of a Minelab “National Detecting Day” that took place in Atlantic City.” The Task Force was not there to endorse Minelab, we were there to drive membership for and create awareness about the Task Force. No more, no less.

        Detecting Diva brings up an excellent point about Minelab being the first company to contribute and support the Task Force but that does not make the Task Force a Minelab operation. I think our website wwww.detectingrights.com makes that clear. Protecting the hobby applies to all people using all types of detectors. People at Whites, Fisher and Garrett were all very supportive donating their top of the line machines for our membership drive last year.

        Regarding your comment:
        “…I decided to drop my support “until” the other manufacturers came on board.” I think it’s great that you are a “Whites Guy” and Gary Schafer is a “Minelab Guy” and Steve Moore is a “Garretts Guy” and Mike Scott is a “Fisher Guy”….. all of us have understandable allegiances for a variety of reasons but we all have one common goal and that is to keep this hobby going strong. Regardless of affiliation, we welcome all supporters from manufacturers, to hobbyists, to bloggers such as yourself.

        Remember, the Task Force board members receive no compensation. We are a volunteer group that cares about the hobby and we hope more people will step up to the plate and help continue the efforts.

        Thank you again for your continued support.


      • Thanks for taking the time to respond Carter. I appreciate it….

        With regards to the Task Force being endorsed by all the manufacturers, you state “I think our website wwww.detectingrights.com makes that clear”. It makes it clear only as of a couple of days ago.

        I also understand that the Task Force board members receive no compensation. That has been the case as well with the FMDAC, and the WWATs group, as least last time I checked. No one doubts the giving of your time or your intentions. Just that it took a year for the Task Force to resurface…

        I wish the Task Force the best, and will report on all of your efforts “when” I hear about them, and hopefully that will be on a regulat basis now.

  2. I’m worried they may have mixed up the Louisville and State Parks situation in KY. The Louisville parks are off limits because they’re *following* State Park rules. The State Parks guide what the cities do. This was told to me by the mayor of Louisville.

  3. Mike Smith

    Let me correct what Scott stated.

    Louisville does not “have” to do what the State Parks do but choose to follow them because they are being lead by the “Kentucky Heritage Council” members. There is a difference! So if the Mayor told you this he was misleading you. I have been following and helping where I can on this issue since 2008 when Eddie Black notified me.

    My suggestion, at that time, was for the locals to get involved in the city politics and get other people elected to office so the course can be changed. I still think that is the answer to this problem.

  4. It is a difficult issue to address politically speaking as we are a relatively small group of people engaged in a hobby that’s a bit strange to people who do not detect. Add the fact that many of us are natural loners who don’t like to stick out, and now you see why it is easy for legislators to take the heritage foundations and archeologists’ side on this issue.

    How do we combat apathy in this hobby? That’s one of the biggest challenges facing us as a community.

    • David, I don’t know. That, unfortunately, has been the big question for years. Guess the “loner” tag is appropriate as well when you are trying to bring everyone together.

  5. I just thought I would chime in that I am now a certified detectorist through the Task Force.. It was a brutal process but I now feel more legitimate. Maybe now landowners will call me begging for me to swing my gizmo on their property!!
    Please read with a healthy dose of sarcasm.

    • Well Steve, if your phone starts ringing off the hook, please let me know. The only time I ever had to get certified or “legitimized” was when we came to an agreement years ago with Fairmount Park in Philadelphia. I had to show that I could use a probe to retrieve a coin or target without actually digging, and to this day I can still do it. Today no one has the patience for this….unfortunately. Now we even have mini shovels. Go figure….

      • I didn’t finish the certification yet. I’m saving video 2 for a rainy day. It was hard enough watching the ex dig a pretty hole. I was more focused on his boots. Looks like he got new ones.

  6. Ah, ever the fashionista….noticed the boots. Love it.

    Don’t wait too long to get certified. I love certified gals…..

  7. I knew you were a fashion guru. Now if we could just get you out in the field in a nice pair of camo pants…..

    • Since I have trouble getting up and down maybe cammo pants are in the offing. Don’t want others to see this time consuming effort. You would probably laugh your ass off. I know Howland would.

  8. Yeh, you can bet on that!

  9. The comments about the certification are amusing and the sarcasm is noted but in all seriousness, there is some thought behind this….

    When you print your ID card, in essence it means that you have agreed to abide by a standard code of ethics. You may ask “so what?” and at face value that comment is understandable.

    As we all know, detecting has changed over the years. Us old times (not just you Dick, lol) that have been detecting since the early 70’s know all too well, especially in recent years, that places are being arbitrarily shut down to detecting. There are some rogue Detectorists out there that have made it difficult for all of us to enjoy our hobby on many public lands. That coupled with public ignorance about what we do and how we do it attributes to our dilemma.

    When we approach “officials” that have shut down lands to detecting, it may not be that easy for them to reverse their decision based on what is simply the right thing to do. Those officials deal with many people on many levels and they have a lot of exposure so “saving face” is a part of negotiating. Case in point; NYC shut down all of their parks to metal detecting years ago and they knew it was wrong so they allowed us back in (because of overwhelming pressure) but the Parks officials did not lose face since we implemented a permit system for them. Of course NYC Parks spun it as their doing but that was fine; the bottom line is we were allowed back in the parks to detect and they looked like they added the rule of having to have a permit.

    I have personally talked with various officials about what it would mean to them knowing that there was a universal training or code of ethics that Detectorists agreed to follow. What if there was some sort of Certification…..? The response was positive.

    The Certification may never come into play when dealing with these Officials but it is something that also may help us down the road when negotiating with City Hall.

    Oh, and regarding my boots, they are damn cool and work great with Camo pants….. Wouldn’t use anything but my Bogs in those muddy fields of VA.


    • Carter, thanks for reply and clarification. I understand the intent and well meaning behind the certification, but the first response (or sarcasm) was understandable. Anyone can create a “certification” card, but it doesn’t mean much of anything unless there’s a “known entity” behind it, and that is not the case right now. Hopefully down the road something along this line will indeed be a valuable tool, but right now I just don’t see it. JMO.

    • Carter-

      As you well know, sarcasm is my forte.

      In past conversations with you about this certification effort, I was enthused, however, after viewing the updated website and the certification process, my enthusiasm fizzled. Unless I’m missing something, there is no real explanation of what exactly someone is actually being certified for.

      Perhaps an explanation similar to what is stated here, emailed to members, and/or posted on the TF website would clarify the reasons why one would need this certification?

      As for the boots, I’m sure they produce a positively smashing overall appearance when worn with the proper camo attire in the field. I am envious, and a bit in awe of your fashion sense, and will strive to emulate this look in the field.


      • DD,
        Good suggestion; we wouldn’t want your enthusiasm to fizzle out so let me see about updating the page……

        Dick was correct as we are still not a well “known entity” yet but I have a feeling the TF will be a little more prevalent in 2013 now that things are in motion.

        I know sarcasm is your forte but just in case, PLEASE don’t emulate or be in awe of my fashion sense; that is not a road you want to go down….. LOL


      • Carter, you might also see about updating your Facebook page….

  10. John J. Marchese

    I John think the task force is somthing this hobby needs. I know it takes a while to get things going. I got my certification and ID card the other day and think its great. It’s about time that some one stands up for this great hobby. I don’t think that anyone that knows what they are doing and cares enough about the land they walk on wouldn’t do anything worng. There will always be roguess. John

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