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South Carolina Legislation Meeting


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hrm. i hope i'm not just missing something, but those logs way back on page two (from the poster board) are carp. if i've looked properly:

 

-Xangxa has never cached in SC.

-they oh, so conveniently left out the rest of the log from Crawfish Smith saying "My wife and I love history and cool graveyards. No! We are not freaks but most of the ones in our area are full of old and interesting people and gravesites." (and without putting ellipses in to indicate that the quote was not complete).

-they oh, so coveniently edited out any positive remarks from a203nitro's log - here is the log in it's entirety: "Well, we must have looked at every marker in the cemetery except the one we needed to look at. Loved the church and grounds. It was a great warm day. Took a rest room break and then walked right up the sweetest woman and the cache with no problem. I guess sometimes you have to clear your head and bladder. Left a Lexington County Sheriff Patch and took the Houston keychain." (btw, this cacher works in the sherriff's office). (i added italics to the parts they omitted) i have a problem with this little mangling of the log because if you want to read into it, they way they quote it almost implies that the cacher just decided to take a bathroom break right there in the middle of the cemetery.

- i am unable to find any caches that team desert rats has ever hit in SC and not able to find any log entry like that which was quoted.

-so Waterbaron refers to cemeteries as boneyards. i've got news for them, he'll still probably refer to them that way even if he's not caching or holding a gps. passing this bill won't change that.

 

i think it's bad form also that they are including at least one pic that, according to one poster who is a source of one picture, is not even taken in a cemetery or sensitive place. grr!

 

and it's already been said, but if the laws already on the books (trespassing and vandalism) can't be enforced, why start adding these on?

 

[edited for clarity]

I can't imagine them doing something so dishonest. It must be a mistake.

Call me naive, but I always thought that only malcontents and forum trolls mangeled logs to skew things to make a point in a dishonest manner. I am greatly saddened to see a public official do that. I would hope that they would give the plain facts. Apparently they do not always do so. :laughing:

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We are proud South Carolinians and I am currently serving my 32nd year in the South Carolina Army National Guard.

 

This issue is about common courtesy and good manners in visiting all cache sites, not just the ones in cemeteries.

 

The individuals who are up in arms concerning disrespect of the dead need to divert their attention to the disrespect of the living that occurs in front of their faces every day.

 

If noise could penetrate several feet of red clay and dead ears could discern noise after crossing the great divide, I would hope to hear the sounds of people enjoying life and visiting the area near my final earthly resting place, even during the hours of darkness.

 

Regardless of the outcome of this legislative event we need to take this opportunity to reinforce the use of the Golden Rule within the caching community.

 

TS, please let me know if I can assist with shining a positive light on geocaching in the great state of SC.

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I've been trying to stay out of this topic, mainly because every time I read it, I can only think of one thing. A bastardization of the famous quote by Rev. Martin Niemöller:

When they came for the gun owners,

I did not speak out

because I was not a gun owner.

 

When they came for the hunters,

I did not speak out

because I was not a hunter.

 

When they came for the rock climbers,

I did not speak out

because I was not a rock climber.

 

When they came for the off-roaders,

I did not speak out

because I was not an off-roader.

 

When they came for the mountain bikers,

I did not speak out

because I was not a mountain biker.

 

When they came for the jet skiers,

I did not speak out

because I was not a jet skier;

 

When they came for the geocachers,

there was no one left to speak out.

 

I've been involved in most of the above activities. Many of you seem surprised that people are willing to lie and distort the facts to get geocaching banned. This is nothing new, participants in the activities mentioned above have been dealing with this sort of thing for a decade or more.

 

The only thing I can add to what's already been said is maybe people should look to how the above groups have been dealing with this. Maybe it will even open a few minds next time you see a newspaper report about gun control or evil mountain bikers. Just like in geocaching, the vast majority of participants are not causing problems and are nothing like how they are often portrayed in the courts and media. They are having harmless fun doing something they enjoy in the great outdoors, just like geocachers.

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Having spent the last two hours reading all the posts, and following the history of this situtation a couple of things have jumped out at me.

 

1. With the exception of the astonishing efforts of a very few persons (who are taking a substancial amount of time and effort and perhaps there own dollars) out of there real lives, there seems to be no organized effort to deal with the misguided efforts of what appear to be a pretty well orginzed (and funded)attempt to inact this law.

 

2. Make no mistake that a very few persons who are familiar with the innerworkings of the legistative process no matter how misguided, missinformed, and or rife with private agendas can create laws. (The laws, may not be inforcable, able to gain funding, or ever be used) but they still become law and can be used by others to justify other laws in other locations.

 

3. If we plan to combat this proposed law, what is needed is someone who can impact the situation by being able to understand, work the process, and gain the leverage needed inside the system via influencing the legistators. (A lobbiest). What I would propose is that a lobbiest be hired to do just that. As this can be expensive I would also propose that a fund be set up to do just that Let me know where and I will have $10.00 in mail the same day. (If only 10% of the memebers of the GoCacaching community donated $10 each think of what we would have.)

 

I live in VA, am somewhat new to GeoCaching, It has evolved into something that has taken me to places that I never knew were there, to see things that I would never have noticed. It has given me another tool to use with my Teenage son to remain connected. While I am not a die-hard Cache or Die type of individual it is something that I do injoy and plan on continueing.

 

VaRaceMan

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-Xangxa has never cached in SC.

-they oh, so conveniently left out the rest of the log from Crawfish Smith saying "My wife and I love history and cool graveyards. No! We are not freaks but most of the ones in our area are full of old and interesting people and gravesites." (and without putting ellipses in to indicate that the quote was not complete).

-they oh, so coveniently edited out any positive remarks from a203nitro's log - here is the log in it's entirety: "Well, we must have looked at every marker in the cemetery except the one we needed to look at. Loved the church and grounds. It was a great warm day. Took a rest room break and then walked right up the sweetest woman and the cache with no problem. I guess sometimes you have to clear your head and bladder. Left a Lexington County Sheriff Patch and took the Houston keychain." (btw, this cacher works in the sherriff's office). (i added italics to the parts they omitted) i have a problem with this little mangling of the log because if you want to read into it, they way they quote it almost implies that the cacher just decided to take a bathroom break right there in the middle of the cemetery.

- i am unable to find any caches that team desert rats has ever hit in SC and not able to find any log entry like that which was quoted.

 

and it's already been said, but if the laws already on the books (trespassing and vandalism) can't be enforced, why start adding these on?

Are any of the people that are going to the committee meeting this week going to bring any of this up?

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1. With the exception of the astonishing efforts of a very few persons (who are taking a substancial amount of time and effort and perhaps there own dollars) out of there real lives, there seems to be no organized effort to deal with the misguided efforts of what appear to be a pretty well orginzed (and funded)attempt to inact this law.

And there's the rub. People within the government don't have to take time off work to try and inflict more laws upon us. They get paid to do it. It's much harder for regular people to stand up to the sort of insiders who try and foist off these monstrosities upon us. We have to work because we have rent or a mortgage, and bills to pay. Legislators think nothing about stringing up an unpopular or underrepresented group of people to further their goal of staying in office.

 

As has been stated numerous times, if a cemetary closes at dusk and someone is in it after dark, it's trespassing. There are already laws against it. Destruction of private property and vandalism are also against the law. The last thing anyplace in this country needs are more laws. All the important stuff, murder, theft, vandalism, trespassing, etc. is already against the law.

 

Good luck to the people down in SC taking their personal time to try and help prevent this from becoming law.

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I don't think they are meeting this week, and if they are it is not listed yet on the website.

The SC Leg. site for House Meetings shows the following...

 

Monday - April 18

Session at 10:00 a.m.

Room 403 -- 2:30 p.m. -- L.C.I. Public Utility Subcommittee

Agenda Available Room 516 -- 2:30 p.m. or 1½ hours after the House adjourns --

Full Judiciary Committee

Agenda Available

 

1. SPECIAL LAWS SUBCOMMITTEE - Favorable with Amendment

 

H. 3777 -- Reps. Ceips, Loftis, Breeland, Scott, Whipper, Bowers, Hosey, Vaughn, Anthony, Battle, Chalk, Clyburn, Dantzler, Hardwick, Harvin, Herbkersman, J. Hines, Howard, Jefferson, Kirsh, Lee, Martin, McCraw, Miller, Moody-Lawrence, J. H. Neal, Perry, M. A. Pitts, Rivers, Scarborough, Simrill, Toole and Umphlett: A BILL TO AMEND THE CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, BY ADDING SECTION 16-17-605 SO AS TO DEFINE THE TERMS "GEOCACHE", "GEOCACHING", AND "LETTERBOXING", TO PROVIDE THAT IT IS UNLAWFUL TO ENGAGE IN GEOCACHING OR LETTERBOXING IN CEMETERIES, ARCHEOLOGICAL SITES, OR ON THE HISTORIC PROPERTIES OF THE STATE, AND TO PROVIDE A PENALTY.

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I was at last weeks meeting and there were at least three amendments that were voted on and passed for this bill and none of them are reflected in the online version of the bill. I did not make notes but two of the changes would be quite obvious...1 that adds that it is ok to hide in certain locations with specific written permission from the landowner, and 2 that it would be against the regulation to use a GPSr to find a "location" in SC. This could be interesting if it passes in this form since it would literally make it against the law to use GPS for any reason in SC...where would our GIS programs be with that! Sorry "insert name of Govt. entity here", you are in violation of our new anti-Geocaching regulation...go to jail and pay us the $100!

 

The Commissar!

 

PS - I was unaware of todays meeting so I can give you nothing useful there...

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Coming in a bit late, but this slightly edited version of this article (I replaced "geocacher" with "tourist") is just as true and appropriate as the original and would NEVER be supported by SC's Chambers of Commerce!

 

Tourism gains ire of the public

Sacred, historic sites no place for games

 

Tourists have become popular around the world, but they have earned the wrath of the keepers of historic and sacred sites in South Carolina. A move is afoot to prohibit so-called Tourism in cemeteries and other historic sites.

Tuesday night, Beaufort City Council approved a resolution supporting H-3177 introduced a few weeks ago in the S.C. House of Representatives by Rep. Catherine Ceips, R-Beaufort.

 

The bill would criminalize Tourism in cemeteries, archaeological sites and historic properties, providing penalties of up to 30 days in prison and a $100 fine or up to 100 hours of community service.

It's unfortunate that a popular pastime has earned such a bad reputation.

 

However, even though the South is rapidly changing, Southerners still hold sacred important spaces dedicated to historic events or the people who have inhabited this earth before them.

 

Thomas Logan told the council Tuesday that Tourism, which was started in Bellview, Wash., in 1996, made its way into Beaufort about 18 months ago. Since then Tourists have trodded on historic sites and cemeteries, including U.S. National Cemetery, Sixteen Gates Cemetery, Evergreen Cemetery, Citizens Cemetery, Old Sheldon Church and Stoney Creek Presbyterian Church grounds.

 

Ed Allen, who noticed Tourists invading Sixteen Gates Cemetery, rightly joins Logan in his loathing. Last fall Allen brought some public attention to the anti-tourism effort, but Ceips' bill has brought statewide attention. On Wednesday, Ceips again held hearing on the bill in Columbia.

 

Tourists claim that they participate in a harmless pastime, but Logan, Allen and some state officials say that such activities are irreverent and potentially destructive to sites that the public has spent vast sums of money improving and protecting.

 

Tourists claim that they give to communities. Indeed, according to the Web site www.Tourism.com, Tourists around the world will gather and clean up local parks Saturday. "It's just one way we can contribute to the maintenance of our outdoor spaces and say 'thanks' to the land managers that help to make our parks a great place for Tourism," the site says.

 

Tourists have a right to go on public property and participate in their activities as long as they aren't destructive. But it is the lack of common sense that has turned much public sentiment against them. They have no right to climb on property and they have no right to trespass on private property. Many cemeteries are private.

 

Ordinarily citizens might not get angry at such activities, but when cemeteries are referred to as "bone yards" and described as a wealth of places to have fun, people get upset. They become even more angry when an avowed goal, according to Logan, is to put a tourism location in every S.C. cemetery.

 

As Logan told the City Council before approval of the resolution on Tuesday, "We have so many historic places and cemeteries that are sacred, hallowed ground."

 

He is right. Tourism is no way to honor the memory of people in cemeteries, especially those in the National Cemetery.

 

Legislators should approve Ceips' bill and place more emphasis on the 100 hours of public service for violators.

 

Copy THAT to the committee!

Ed

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I agree whole heartedly with "Tin Sparrow's" response to the proposed legislation, however, I do think that for the ensuing meetings that we adopt the same basic approach - do not fight the negative aspects as presented, just agree that every sport, hobby, or endeavor of any kind always has negative happenings and irresponsible participants (& probably always will).

From that point on, every positive aspect of geocaching should be emphasized -the educational learning, CITO, the economical impact on society, the influence on family life including the growth of childrens' character, group activity, etc.

The negative aspects possibly created by a few can definitely be dwarfed by the overall positive aspects of Geocaching!

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3:45 pm

 

I just called the office of Rep. James Harrison, chairman of the House judiciary committee, and spoke with Andrew. Andrew stated that H3777 is on the agenda to be discussed at the judiciary committee meeting which is occurring as I type. The agenda was handed to him this morning, but he was unsure when it was posted to the SC Legislature webpage. He did not have a copy of the amendments. The amendments to H3777 are still not posted to the webpage for bill H3777.

 

If the bill can't stand the light of scrutiny, keep it in the dark. An embarrassing example of "democracy" in action. This is what we hold up to the world to embrace and emulate. Now THAT is disrespectful behavior towards those men and women resting in National Cemeteries like Beaufort's!

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...however, I do think that for the ensuing meetings that we adopt the same basic approach - do not fight the negative aspects as presented, just agree that every sport, hobby, or endeavor of any kind always has negative happenings and irresponsible participants (& probably always will). ...

I disagree. Merely acknowledging that all hobbies have irresponsible participants will further entrench the supporters of this bill and be scene as evidence that we cannot police our own. They will be forced to conclude that it is necessary for the legislature to get us under control.

 

I think that each and every 'example' of bad behavior that is slung should be addressed. So far, what we have seen are innocent situations spun to their purpose. It should be shown that there is nothing wrong with the behavior presented. Similarly, the examples of caches placed inappropriately should be defended as appropriate.

 

Once you punch holes in their 'evidence', then you will get much more traction in explaining all of the positive aspects of the game.

 

The purpose of this defense is not to change the mind of the few that are fighting for this legislation, but to erode the bills support in order to ensure its demise.

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I have to agree with Sbell111 on this, while it is very important to emphasise the upside to Geocaching, it is clear from other posts that not all of the evidence is valid. Of the eight pictures 2 are nothing more than a picture of the remains of church, 1 was shot in Gettysburg, and 1 was taken at someones home, the other 4 you'll have to deceide if they are offensive. The cache logs that have been quoted seem to use only part of the log, the infamous "Their should be a cache in every cemetary in SC" is an incomplete sentence and is concluded with "because this was so educational."

 

While I will not deny there are some valid issues, they can all be dealt with through reasonable conversation and using exsisting laws. Ms. Ceips has made claims about how Geocaching could damage cemetaries and historic sites, but has yet to cite a specific example.

 

The focus should be on Geocaches be placed with permission. Keep in mind that the bill is designed to cover cemetaries, archeological sites, and historic locations. Not just cemetaries

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...I think that each and every 'example' of bad behavior that is slung should be addressed. So far, what we have seen are innocent situations spun to their purpose....

Most allegations have proven to be spun examples of carefully snipped excerps from a larger context that is perfectly good. (just repeating what you said)

 

You don't address crap as that gives it legs to stand on. Instead you address the positive and point out that all known problems and issues are dealt with.

 

However by and large I do think our viewpoint is similar.

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There are also plenty of other ties between tourism and cemetaries. You can find cemetary tours everywhere. Why is that traffic thru the cemetaries ok yet the geocacher traffic isn't?

 

The bottom line is that this legislation deems that Geocachers as a whole are LESS responsible than the general public. This mean YOU! It does not matter if you are in SC, PA, CA, or anywhere else in the world. THIS MEANS YOU! YOU are irresponsible and insensitive to the needs of others and you need to play games in your OWN backyard. I have been to many geocaching meetings and met hundreds of fellow cachers and I strongly judge the character of those I have met to be far superior to those of a ramdom sample of the public. I have felt a benovolence at these incounters that I can only compare to a church meeting or a boy scout event...ooops on second thought, remembering my scouting days, I'd better scratch that last one. BUT GUESS WHAT...the scouts will be welcome, just not YOU and your GPSr! :unsure:

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I thought I had a funny feeling about todays meeting. Surprise, where goiing to disuss this bill at a meeting today and I just added it to the agenda so no one who objects to it can come and state their case.

 

Does anyone else think it’s the time to get the news media involved? :) Take a local TV crew out for a day of geocaching, lets say, to historic sites with micro caches and to cover CITO events. Then show the post on this forum about how Ms. Ceips and her supporters have intentionally taken cache logs out of context, and misstated the facts, etc. to get her law passed. And how Ms. Ceips just happens to be on the committee that is reviewing the proposed law, and how the meetings to discuss the law get put on the schedule at the last minute so nobody can oppose her position.

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Tin Sparrow/Swamp Thing and others working hard to defeat this proposed legislation might want to track this thread in the CITO forum. Hydee has provided some stats on scheduled CITO events that could be helpful to your cause; and show the bright side of caching.

 

I do not think a media exposure is the best way to expose the "creative" editing of the cache logs that were presented in the subcommittee meetings. Just send the complete logs showing how they were edited with bolding or italics to the members who are communicating with the caching leadership. Also include the facts that some of these pictures aren't even from the SC caches. I would certainly include the legislator who asked to have his removed from the original bill. That way you have Ms. Ceips' peers questioning the validity of this bill.

 

You do not want to give them any more public exposure than they have already received. Othewise you might generate more absurd editorials like the one from the Beaufort paper. Let this be dealt with in the legisltive chambers. Good Luck!

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Does anyone else think it’s the time to get the news media involved?

 

No, they like sensational stories. A bunch of families and other decent people using GPS's to discover their state is not a sensational story. Evil geocachers, desecrating sacred places is. You invite them in and you might not like the results.

 

I was just informed the full commitee passed the bill on to the house. It can be discussed as early as tomorrow on the floor.

 

The time to act and write your representative is now.

 

Might be too late to write then. Phone calls and e-mails may be the better rout at this point. See my earlier post for e-mail addresses.

Edited by briansnat
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I was just informed the full commitee passed the bill on to the house.  It can be discussed as early as tomorrow on the floor.

 

The time to act and write your representative is now.

Time to start on the SC Senate. Write letters, e-mail, telephone, and meet with your local SC Senate member ASAP.

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The best I've been able to do is a promise to have it faxed to me by end of day today. The website will possibly be updated tomorrow with the amended text. They can't email the text.

 

The young lady with which I spoke said there were several amendments to the bill. :)

 

~ Still in holding pattern ~

 

Will be talking to both my Representative and Senator ASAP.

 

South Carolinians, find yours here and get in motion.

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Just recieved this:

Hi to all of you and thank you for being so patient, as I have been out

of theh office since last Thursday.

 

I have recieved concerns from several of you about H. 3777 coming up in

the Judiciary Full Committee meeting yesterday and you receiving no

notification.  However, once the bill leaves the subcommittee, our

office no longer notifies the public on the status, etc. of a bill. Due

to the wealth of bills taken up in full committee meetings,  there can

be no testimony on bills from the public at these meetings. 

 

The state website, www.scstatehouse.net, keeps an updated agenda of

meetings and when the bills will be taken up on the floor and this is

usually updated as soon as the bill is set to be discussed. This website

serves to relay bill information to the public as it progresses from

subcommittees.

 

As far as ammendments and changes to the bill that have not been

updated, those should be up later this afternoon.  Due to the

festivities yesterday, things are running a little behind up there.

 

Please let me know if I can answer any more questions for you and

again, I am sorry for the confusion on the full committee meeting.

 

 

Mary *****

Law Clerk

Special Laws Subcommittee

SC House Judiciary Committee

 

Couldn't have spoken at the meeting anyway.

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I am drafting an e-mail to House Member Bowers because he supported a physical education bill that passed the House last week and is also the member of the geocache bill to remove his name. In it I am asking him if he can not get the billed killed to find a way to push it back into sub-committee to allow the geocaching community to come in and present our case up front and not have to worry about being sandbagged with information we did not see coming.

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I am drafting an e-mail to House Member Bowers because he supported a physical education bill that passed the House last week and is also the member of the geocache bill to remove his name. In it I am asking him if he can not get the billed killed to find a way to push it back into sub-committee to allow the geocaching community to come in and present our case up front and not have to worry about being sandbagged with information we did not see coming.

Could you post the e-mail here when you are done. I would like to do the same thing.

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"Yes, much of the state would be off-limits." Again, the bill is too broadly written. There are instances where caches are inappropriate but they should be dealt with individually.

 

The gentleman I spoke with at the state archaeologist's office stated...

I spoke with Dr. Leader, South Carolina State Archaeologist, today and would like to clarify comments I posted earlier this month.

 

Re: "off limits" section

Since my posting, Dr. Leader proposed an amendment to H3777 that would allow geocaching in historical and archaeological areas with formal written permission from the land owner or steward. This and other amendments have yet to be posted on the SC Legislature web site even though H3777 with amendments passed through the full judiciary committee yesterday. There can be no argument with Dr. Leader's amendment as that is official geocaching.com policy.

 

Re: "the gentleman stated..." section

The jury will disregard this entire paragraph. I don't know the details of all the projects and discussions involving my boss and might not ever know if the issues do not affect my department.

 

Since the amendments have yet to be published or available for my perusal, I'm withholding judgment on bill H3777.

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My experience tells me that we are better left to police ourselves. The version of the bill that I heard last week is much better than its original iteration but this is truly a needless piece of legislation as we already have Trespass laws and laws relating to desecration and destruction of gravesites, monuments, and public properties. If those need to be strengthened then do that, but don’t pick on Geocachers and Letterboxers!

 

I just came back from the State House where I had the opportunity to participate in a full committee meeting. While there I took the opportunity to ask questions of a new colleague who happens to be a professional lobbyist. I learned/confirmed that the real business that goes on here happens behind the scene before the doors to the meeting ever open and that everyone (voting participants) knows how a given bill will go before the meeting ever starts. Unless we get some help from lots of "friendly" House members this is going to be a done deal in the house. We need to focus on the Senate now or we will be squashed before we know what hit us!

 

If you are in-state I implore you to contact your Senator and Representative NOW!

 

If you are out-of-state contact the Chamber of Commerce, tourism board, SC PRT, and anyone else you can think of to relate this as bad for tourism, an apparently powerful lobby in our state.

 

This bill will likely go before the full house tomorrow, the last day of the legislative week if those behind it are really willing to push this all the way through. To become a law it must pass the House and Senate and be signed by the Governor. As I understand it, the bill will have to go to the Senate by May 2 if it is going to make it in time to pass this year. Time is running out for this to happen but the game is not yet up.

 

If you think this is going to be limited to SC you are sadly mistaken. Dr. Leader (State Archeologist) indicated last week that he was going to discuss this issue with the members of his nation-wide professional organization. This kind of Bill will likely start popping up all across the country and you must be prepared to respond early and effectively.

 

The Commissar!

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I just had this faxed to me. I'll try to not have too many typos...

Amend the bill, as and if amended, by deleting in its entirety section 16-17-605(a)(2), as contained in Section 1, page 1, beginnin on line 27, and inerting:

 

/(2) "Geocaching" means the activity of participants using a global positioning system (GPS) device to locate the geocache or other specific location./

 

Amend the bill further, by deleting in its entirety section 16-17-605(:), as contained in section 1, page 1, begining online 36 and inserting:

/ (:) It is unlawful for person to engage in the activity of geocaching or letterboxing in a cemetery, archeological sites, or on the historic properties of the State, as defined in Section 60-12-10(4), the South Carolina Inventory of Historic Properties, or the African-American National Register sites without the express written consent of the owner or the states agency whichoversees these properties or sites./

 

This takes a bad bill and makes it worse.

 

It goes from making the placment of a geocache illegal in certain areas to hunting a geocache without express written permission illegal in certain areas.

 

It further defines geocaching as locating a "specific location." In other words, in certain areas you'd have to get express written permission to follow a waypoint to a specific location. So, even if someone who oversees a historic landmark places a cache, the finders would have to get express written permission in order to hunt it even if it was a virt!

 

While it does sidestep many speculations presented here, it's still ridiculous, ill-concieved, and would pretty much effectively ban geocaching because who will know if a geocache is legally placed, but you have to "get a permit" to hunt it.

Edited by CoyoteRed
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Just not seeing what your seeing CR. As far as I can tell its reads Geocaching is not allowed in locations listed in the amendment unless permission is recieved from the land manager or agency that is repsonsible for the location. If that is the case then we have a reasonable solution, to what some people, like Ms. Ceips, percieve as people engaging in disrespectful behaviour.

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Just not seeing what your seeing CR. As far as I can tell its reads Geocaching is not allowed in locations listed in the amendment unless permission is recieved from the land manager or agency that is repsonsible for the location. If that is the case then we have a reasonable solution, to what some people, like Ms. Ceips, percieve as people engaging in disrespectful behaviour.

The permission factor is important and makes things more reasonable. I still see an overbroad definition with:

"Geocaching" means the activity of participants using a global positioning system (GPS) device to locate the geocache or other specific location.

 

Under that definition use of a GPS to locate anything, not just a geocache, would be illegal in those areas. Since my understanding (someone tell me if I am wrong) is that there are large historical areas in SC, such as entire towns or neighborhoods (because that also has a broad definition), that it could make standard GPS use (e.g. to route to an area) illegal in many areas. I kind of doubt that would be the legislature's intent though. So basically the thing needs to be drafted better.

Edited by carleenp
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...In other words, in would be illegal to follow a waypoint to the above defined locations. That is, if I'm reading this right.

 

Who wants to take a stab at the many holes I see.

I'd rather see you guys contact all our potential allies who will be impacted to help fight the bill now. Geocaching will be stronger for it if we start lining up allies we would not of otherwise had. I came up with 18 different groups yesterday and that’s just a partial listing.

 

What I can do is work with our state archaeologist on the issue and find out what they think and where they might want to go with things. I really do think that archaeologists should be against the bill since they are for preservation and I can build a good case for that. If they agree we have an ally, if they don't we have better information.

 

Likewise for the state historic preservation officer.

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Mr. Lucas, the legislator from Hartsville, and I just had a short informative talk. He had no idea what Geocaching was. Interesting. How many folks are going to vote for this not knowing what it is. He was very interested in hearing about CITO. A whole road crew that cost the state nothing! Well, time to educate ALL the legislators that aren't on the bill. Maybe we can stop this after all.

 

X

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It is well worth it to discuss CITO with the legislatures. I recently attended an NRD board meeting where it was specifically clarified by a board member that permits for caches should not have fees because of CITO activities. Also the board in general seemed quite impressed with CITO. I suggest going over to the CITO thread and emailing a link of the photo thread to your state representative.

Edited by carleenp
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Another thing I've been having problems with is the "express written consent."

 

The property owner would have to sign his name to something. Wouldn't that is pretty much a contract? How many folks will be willing in enter into a contract with someone over a hobby most people don't even know about? What would be the text of this agreement?

 

I know of plenty of instances where an informal, "sure, no problem" would turn into "no, I don't think so" simply because of this.

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Mr. Neal, the legislator from Kershaw, and I just had a short informative talk. He had no idea what Geocaching was. Interesting. How many folks are going to vote for this not knowing what it is. He was very interested in hearing about CITO. A whole road crew that cost the state nothing! Well, time to educate ALL the legislators that aren't on the bill. Maybe we can stop this after all.

 

X

 

Yeah I know, same exact post as before but it was the same exact situation.

GET TO THE PHONES PEOPLE!

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Here is the e-mail I sent to Mr. Bowers. I selected him because A- His support of physical education and B-He dropped off the geocaching bill. So I have two ins with this member

 

Mr. Bowers,

 

My name is Richard Meyers, and I am a physical education student at

the University of South Carolina. I first want to thank you for the

strong support you showed for the House bill 3499, which was nicknamed

"The PE Bill".

 

I secondly would like to thank you for removing your name from House

bill 3777 which deals with geocaching. I have been unable to attend

any of the committee meetings where bill 3777 was discussed, but I

have a basic understanding of some of the problems that were addressed

dealing with the issue of the graveyards.

 

I might be wrong, but I was told you removed your name as sponsor from

bill 3777 after talking with people in your district who are

geocachers, and they filled you in on some of the better aspects

geocaching bring to the community.

 

As a college student and a geocacher, I have been able to do caches

which included going to a monument and learnig some history while

doing a cache. If this bill is to become a law, then a vast majority

of the Charleston area would be considered off-limits. There is a lot

of history in the greater Charleston area and I feel that making it

off limits to geocachers is doing a disservice to the part of the

community who would like to share that history, though a geocache,

with visitors to the area. Geocaching is a wode spread activity and

most people who geocache do cache while on vacation to find new

interesting spots in the area they have decided to visit. It makes it

a much more enriching experience.

 

I am not sure if you are aware of CITO. This stands for "Cache In

Trash Out". If for example the bill passed then the people in the low

country of the state would have a hard time setting up an event like

this in an area of Charleston to let geocachers help clean up an area.

 

I am aware, as a college student and a physical education major, there

has been a strong push to tie geocaching into physical education

classes throughout the state. There is a woman in Aiken, who has her

doctorate and is a physical education teacher at an elementary school.

She has included geocaching into her classes and even created a cache

that allows her students to visit the local library to learn some of

the history of Aiken.

 

I understand that sometimes a few bad people can spoil things for a

larger group. As a geocacher, I fully support not allowing geocaches

in graveyards without first obtaining written permission. If passed,

the rest of the bill as it is written, can hurt both community service

programs that could be created through geocaching, as well as current

and future educational programs that could be tied into geocaching.

 

Once again, I want to thank you for your support of the "PE Bill," and

Iurge you to talk to the other four members of the House who support

both the PE bill and the current geocache bill. If nothing else, we as

a geocaching community would like to try to make our case in this

matter so everyone involved is sure to get the whole story.

 

Thank you in for your support in this matter,

 

Richard Meyers

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I hate to admit it, but this issue just popped on my radar within the last couple of days. It took awhile to wade through all of the posts. It seems the issue is still fairly fluid. I have done my bit and e-mailed my House and Senate reps. I may follow up with a snail-mail version. As a resident of South Carolina, I am shocked again and again by the topics our reps choose to target when our education system is sliding off of a cliff ( I guess being 50th is already at the base of the cliff). Please clarify the following scenario ....... Someone has a GPS enabled phone and records a location at a state historic site in Charleston. They e-mail the location to a friend, hoping they can check out the "neat" spot the next time they visit. Is this a violation? Maybe not "geocaching", but you still are finding a "specific location".

 

This whole thing is just plain moronic!

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