Sunday, May 29, 2005

H. 3777 Geocaching

H. 3777 Geocaching
The subcommittee will meet on Tuesday, May 31 at 10 AM in Room 207 in the Gressette Building in Columbia. According to Senate rules, subcommittees are the only venue in which the public is allowed to participate. I encourage all Geocachers to attend this meeting if possible.
Recently, I have discussed the hobby of Geocaching with several friends and constituents. In the near future, I plan on taking up the activity with my wife, three children and of course our dog, Cookie.

Our society is desperate for any incentive to get us away from our TV sets and video games. Geocaching is a new activity that encourages families to obtain much needed exercise and renews our enjoyment for God’s creation. Geocachers are folks that enjoy the outdoors, our beautiful parks, and significant sites of history. Geocachers use a Global Positioning System, or GPS to find these sites by the use of coordinates instead of maps. There is a program called CITO (Cache In, Trash Out). CITO is responsible for tons of litter picked up by Geocachers each year. Geocaching is part of school and scouting lesson plans all over the country. Corporations, such as 20th Century Fox, Jeep and Magellan, have sponsored contests based solely on the hobby.

The problem is that the hobby has a few “bad apples” that are determined to outlaw this creative hobby. Our committee has viewed pictures of individuals performing disrespectful acts specifically on gravesites however the positive benefits of Geocaching by far outweigh the negative impacts.

H. 3777 as written is much too broad and will have far reaching negative effects. I would compare this legislation to the outlawing of baseball because of a few broken windows. For these reasons, I will not support this bill, unless it is amended with reasonable limitations.