Calling FMDAC, WWATS, Task Force… Come In, Come In…Over…

I have been accused numerous times of bashing the Task Force, the FMDAC and WWATS.  I plead guilty!  It seems if I don’t no one else will.

It’s been over 30 years since I started the FMDAC and I know my memory is not what it used to be, but I will never forget the dedication, the caring, the hard work and the unity we had back in the early 80’s. We worked hard, accomplished much and even formed a World Council with England and Canada.  Remember too that was before we had social media and cellphones.


Today the FMDAC’s website is pathetic and they should be embarrassed. In today’s world any worthwhile organization has to have an attractive website that not only draws in the first time visitor but keeps him coming back.  One that is easy to navigate, that is informative and that is updated regularly.  If I were interested in being a member of the Federation and saw that their latest update was eight months old I would surely see what other groups were out there.

Then again WWATS is no different.  They have been promising a new website now for almost six months and the launch date keeps getting pushed back. I understand that putting together a website is not an overnight proposition but there are “free” how-to programs out there that shouldn’t be all that difficult to learn. Their current website is out of date and cluttered.

Flip a coin?

The Task Force too needs to come forward with updates on the Cook County, Illinois and Louisville, Kentucky efforts. Are they being worked on or have they been stalled or closed out?  Let us know please.  I love their work with Minelab in trying to develop something akin to the PAS but realistically speaking that’s a long way off. In the meantime….

Why these three groups are so lax and not updating their members is beyond me. A mere weekly comment of “hello”, “we’re still alive” or even “boogity boogity” (thank you Richard Pryor)  shouldn’t be all that difficult and if you are having problems, just say so.  Be upfront, honest and I think you will find your membership understanding and willing to help.

I have long pushed for “one national group” to represent us.  One whose officers are paid, one that deals with issues on a daily basis and one that is financially viable.  Impossible?  Why?  Are you not willing to contribute or pay for such representation?  If not then tell me just how much is your hobby worth?  $25 a year, $50, $100….??  Spit it out. Tell me.  Likewise how much are the manufacturers willing to contribute?  Minelab contributed $40,000 to the Task Force a couple of years ago. Would Whites, Garrett, Fisher, Teknetics, Tesoro be willing to do the same?  If so would they and could they do so on an annual or biannual basis? And what about the magazines, distributors, dealers?

I know I put myself on the spot with a few of these questions but again if I don’t ask them, who will?  

Finally and for the record, I do not want to see bad things happen to any of the three groups I just mentioned.  All have good intentions I am sure.  I just want them to do what they promise and if they can’t then say so. In fact say ANYTHING!


A Reminder….

That John Winter is up and running again with his blog, and in fact the old man just put up a new post titled “The Zutphen Quadrant in the XP Newsletter”.  What does that mean? You can find out by clicking HERE.



Filed under Metal Detecting

29 responses to “Calling FMDAC, WWATS, Task Force… Come In, Come In…Over…

  1. Lisa MacIntyre

    I agree with this.

  2. Yes, I know its sad, and frustrating. I am in charge of the website updates, and social media for the Task Force, and I agree that more updates are in order.

    NYC is stalling, as usual. There is no rhyme or reason for it, and it is beyond ridiculous.

    So “Boogity Boogity”, ’cause that’s all there is to report.

    The Attorneys are very expensive, and the Task Force did receive a generous donation from Minelab, and receives donations through its website, but how long will those donations last if there has to be constant litigation?

    Our “call to action” produced a date for a meeting with NYC Parks, but with a 2000 member Task Force it should have had better results.

    It’s sad that I post a picture on my Detecting Diva Facebook page of something I found, and it blows up to over 700 views in less than a day, yet I post a link for a Task Force “call to action” alert, and it gets 29 views.

    It seems if something is not immediately affecting people, they just ignore it. There are a handful of people working very hard to preserve our rights to detect, and folks need to wake up and get involved. Every day, people are complaining to the Task Force that their parks or favorite sites are being taken away, yet they take a passive stance when asked to help.

    When the Task Force held demonstrations at Central Park a few years back, I asked for a show of hands at my metal detecting club for who was going to show up. Almost everyone raised their hands, yet no one showed up. Pathetic. It was the same small group of people out there, again, trying to make a difference.

    If everyone would join together as a large group, they wouldn’t be ignored. I just don’t get it. Such a passionate group of people, being so passive.

    I’m getting a little off track, but the frustration is real. Yes we need to update the website more often. Yes, we are still working with Cook County and NYC, and yes, we still need your support.

    And to those of you who responded to the “call to action”, the Task Force thanks you for your support.

    Okay Dick, I’ve said my peace 🙂

    Allyson Cohen

  3. jamie

    Inaction aggravates me as well. The only group I ever heard of is the one that advertises in Lost Treasure Magazine and I am not even sure which of the ones you listed that is.

    I just looked it up and it’s an ad for, which apparently is the task force website. It’s not a bad website although the image links are broken in their slider. 2 minute fix.

    If there is true peril with the hobby’s future, these groups are in a position to do something. Personally I had a good experience with the local park supervisor the other day, so I guess different places have different challenges.

    They had a call to action as recently as June and the site looks current enough, but you can’t expect a website to do all the work. I wish them the best in their efforts, but it might be nice to get more updates through social media. Perhaps they need some marketing experience?

    For example I saw there ad and ignored it. It is not compelling in the least. Maybe Minelab would be smarter to invest in organizations with marketing experience.

    • Jamie maybe this pastime will always be this way. I just know what I envisioned back in the early 80’s and I remember lots of great people who were bringing it to fruition. I just don’t know why it’s not possible now given everything we have at our disposal.

    • The magazines were gracious enough to donate advertising space to the Task Force for the cause. I was not a fan of the ad myself, but I am only one opinion on a board. Minelab was not involved.

      We are aware the photo carousel is not working on the website. Our IT person is on vacation and will fix it shortly. I merely do updates on a wordpress theme, I don’t know HTML, or how to fix technical issues.

      The Task Force is run by volunteers, and always in need of experienced volunteers. Perhaps you would like to help out by donating your time and marketing expertise?

      • We did what we could for the task force on the call to action on can tell you we got wayyyy more than 29 views on that article… Some try more than others, and in whatever capacity they’re able to, but I will say that without a backbone our efforts will be minimal. By backbone, I mean being backed by the Task Force. We rarely see updates, I would tweet about them or share tweets etc, and they never retweeted or showed interest so I stopped trying, as stated without a backing, what good does it do to promote them? Hell maybe minelab should have sent us that money instead, at least we make an effort! As stated, we did what we could as far as tweeting, writing articles, sharing to our thousands of facebook followers etc… Some of us did try Diva… not everyone ignored your post…. 🙂

      • Thanks Rob. Hoping perhaps my post today will help all these groups to take a closer look at how they are being perceived. As I said before they don’t have to be successful in every problem area they undertake, but at least keep people posted and let them know how things are going. I think communication is the keyword.

      • I agree, guess that’s what I was trying to say too 🙂

  4. wintersen

    Don’t really understand all that foreign political stuff Dick, but I appreciate the plug!

  5. del

    Dick , I applaud your courage for facing the fire by bringing up this issue and completely agree with your initial statements about the three organizations . Its definitely something that had to be said , their seemingly semi-lethargic state of operations or information sharing could be the very reason why they see so little solidarity amongst the vast majority of hobbyists when asked for support. Minelab has really stepped up to be supportive on many levels for this hobby and our rights its unfortunate that the others manufacturers aren’t so involved , I may just permanently switch over to Minelab just to show my appreciation. keep fighting the good fight Mr. Stout.


  6. Lack of communication from these organizations to their members and non members really hurts them and the hobby. One of the complaints from the FMDAC National Board is that they do not have enough income to offset the expense of mailings. I kept telling them when I was a Chapter President, you have to spend money to make money. If you do not communicate (mailings, newsletters, emails, website) then all you have left is the die hard members that will send in their money (yearly dues) whether the organization does anything or not. That is the case with the FMDAC today! I had hoped it would change with Mark taking over as President but I have seen nothing new, partly because the rest of the leadership remained the same. They are afraid to raise the membership cost because they might lose members. How about losing members because they are seen as doing nothing especially in the western half of the nation. If you do nothing and don’t communicate with your members of course you can not raise your membership fees.
    The Task Force has done a little better with their alert system (emails) but as a member I would sure like to know how that $40,000 was spent. That is 4 times the amount the FMDAC took in ($5 and $10 at a time) each year when they had close to 2000 members, as close as I can figure they have less than 1000 members today.
    WWATS – I had hope when it was announced that Wayne was taking over as their President but once again a lack of communication is killing that organization as well.
    When you volunteer for a position, you should have the time and dedication to do the job or do not volunteer! I am tired of hearing excuses from these “volunteers” about not having the time.

    OK, enough ranting from me!
    Thanks Dick I feel better now.

    • Mike I know you worked hard when you were a chapter president and I appreciate you. As for the FMDAC? I just don’t know anymore. Breaks my heart really.

    • Who said the $40,000 was spent? You?
      Every dime of the money the Task Force received from Minelab that has been spent, was meticulously accounted for and reported to Minelab. The remainder will be spent appropriately.

  7. Well Ozarks, I wasn’t dissing 365, we appreciate the effort. I was making a generalization about folks being passive. Just seems like folks care more for what people find, than preserving their rights to find it.

    • I know that… Just saying that just because there wasn’t as much action on your personal blog for that article it doesn’t mean that it didn’t reach many people. We did what we could to pass your message on. 🙂 I agree that we need more involvement as a group…

  8. Roger Barbrick…your country needs you!

  9. A lot of clubs still email me their newsletters and it’s interesting that almost all share the minutes of their last meeting as well as the balance in their treasury. Why shouldn’t we expect that of the larger “national” groups? Also how often DO they meet?

  10. BigTony

    It might help if the Task Force posted the date of the upcoming meeting with NYC Parks. And let people know if it is an open meeting for folks to sit and listen in or is it closed – as in a head to head? Maybe the day before the meeting or day after we can call in again to lend more support? Roger Barbrick – maybe you can call in with your soft spoken voice?

  11. By law the FMDAC has to show anyone their balance sheets because of they way they are registered with the IRS. Back in 2010 the FMDAC was asked by several members for this information, but instead they failed to produce the statements and shutdown their forum because the Board did not want to have to answer questions. Their accountant (Frank) does a lousy job!One of the many reasons I left the organization. But with new leadership and a showing of hard work I would rejoin.

    Don’t know the status of the other two groups. It depends on how they are registered with the IRS.

    Diva, not trying to make waves, but as a Task Force member, can the Task Force Board answer to the members, not Minelab, how was the money spent and how much is left? I assume some of it went to lawyers in KY, WI and NY since that is where the battles are being fought by the Task Force.

  12. Was hoping we would hear from the FMDAC and WWATS but I guess they are too busy.

  13. No communication to members is not completely true, we do post any info. that comes to our attention or action needed to be seen in behalf of a lot of hobbies including metal detector users on our new website. As for our website, our webmaster is as good as they come and is world known, yet he is very detailed on all the newest variations of facets of websites since he wrote most of them for the major sites out there today; which makes him a very busy man and at some point will make us take over the updates ourselves on our website in the near future.

    As for WWATS, it was in operation better than two years before I was as to come aboard as president. Prior to this I was vice president of the FMDAC for two years and before that was Chapter President in the South for ten years. I have many hours vested in the FMDAC and dearly believe they are a needed organization. Before that I was president of the Texas Council of Treasure Clubs in Texas for 8 years and VP for one year. Before that in the 70’s I started the Texas Connection working for metal detector users rights. Most all the various detector manufacturer know this and have told me at times that they would support me in efforts to promote our hobby. I have also been to Washington D.C. over a half a dozen times working with a number of government agencies to help promote our hobby which also led me to making the first and only metal detecting policy known nationwide with the chiefs of the Army Corp of Engineers national office in Washington D.C. in March 1989 allowing detectorist to detect on Army Corp properties around most all their lakes and swimming areas and some river swimming areas as well. Such a policy can be seen on my business site at: or on WWATS site: .
    Most of our members know that if there is something cooking in the metal detecting world they can read about it on WWATS website; so there is a major form of communication for all to read and hopefully react to.
    It is all too easy to moan and gripe on forums all over the Internet, is it the truth; most likely not! Is it accurate; doubtful!
    Instead of contacting one of our officers directly (my phone number is 903-734-7773) and email below; folks decide to use their time on forums to start unnecessary trouble or slander others when they do not know the facts or even care to check into the facts before making slenderest remarks of others or organizations that are trying to help them. If you have strong complaints about those trying to help you, why don’t you do so as a member of that organization where you have a voice and possibly can make the necessary changes you would like to see? This is the very reason why no individual or especially organization do-not-have-the-time to answer such foolishness for this would never be the answer your looking for if they agreed to every statement you made about them, you still would continue to complain and gripe! How about you use that energy towards the hobby’s favor.
    I have set thru dozens of court room ventures in behalf of our hobby or hobbies for and only for to learn more of why we are being prosecuted for our legal rights in our hobby, so to use this in our defense in the future. I have way too much invested in time and money too waste my time battling someone that has nothing to do better than start an issue with one of the three organizations out there trying to help you.
    At WWATS, we have always and to this very day believed that it takes the three organizations to support the problems that come up with our hobby. We act independent of each other, but hope someday we can join hands.
    As for WWATS, you can say what you will, claim anything you want, but we are too busy to come battle it out online with you. Many things are in the works at this time but are not worth mentioning until they become fact! How about you contacting one or more of the three of us and offer some time to help the cause of that time. Understand, we are giving up our time and in most instances our money not detecting but working for you and all those like you. We can all use more talent and your ideas, who knows you may become the hero of our hobby. For all those that work so hard and seldom receive a thank you or an email of appreciation, they are my HERO!!
    Keith Wills, V.P. WWATS

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