Metro Parks and local treasure hunters struggle over metal detector policy

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by Maggie Ruper

WHAS11.com

Posted on February 3, 2012 at 1:07 AM

Updated Friday, Feb 3 at 1:22 AM

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) – Local treasure hunters and the Metro Parks Department are at odds over a metal detector policy. It bans the use of the machines in an effort to preserve potential historical artifacts from being excavated and removed.

Eddie Black said he has been treasure hunting for years and has never had a problem until recently.

They typically find cans and coins and other miscellaneous items that are worth very little, but they occasionally find valuable items. Black said he once found a Cartier watch valued at $2,300. The draw of the hobby is mostly the mystery of what could be out there. 

Black said park officials are now cracking down on the policy and claimed they have threatened to use force.

“We try not to be confrontational. Has something escalated? I don’t know," said Assistant Parks Director Marty Storch.

Storch said they are enforcing Kentucky law. The Kentucky Revised Statute, KRS 164.720, states, in part, that no one can explore or excavate on land owned by the Commonwealth or any political subdivision or municipal corporation without first obtaining a permit.

“We're just trying to preserve and protect our parks. You know, we can't be there to see what they may be taking or what they may not be taking away," said Storch.

Black said he is welcome in Shively Park and has appealed to lawmakers regarding the issue.

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