Still think that found plastic is your plastic? Recently at Okeeheelee Park in Palm Beach County Florida police were called when it was discovered that somebody was harvesting plastic from the lake. The police agreed that since the plastic had the owner’s name on the disc that the harvester was, in fact, stealing. They recovered several discs from the perp as a result.
Taking plastic is against the law in South Florida.
That was the post in my facebook page. Since then I have learned a few more details about the situation…
Okeeheelee Park‘s disc golf course is located in Palm Beach County Florida. The park was the site of a rock quarry and it has since been landscaped. The result is a great South Florida course with some elevation changes and some interesting water holes.
Because the park is located on county property, disc golfers are prohibited from entering the water to retrieve their discs. Only a park approved individual can retrieve the discs in the water. That makes the lakes on the course juicy targets for disc harvesters, AKA squids, and they were raiding the lake constantly for OPD’s (other people’s discs). After noticing a squid or 2 wearing wet suits and removing the local club’s discs, Rich Appert – a local disc golfer and member of the Palm Beach Disc Golf Club – politely asked that the disc harvesting stop immediately.
After several unsuccessful attempts at mediation, and losing dozens of discs for months, the club decided that they would take the issue to the next level: They called the cops.
According to the local law enforcement officers, discs that have names or monikers on them are considered personal property and are “not abandoned”. If you come across someone’s disc golf disc in Florida you are obliged to try and return it and or contact the owner of the disc. If you do not take these needed steps you are stealing someone’s disc golf discs. I have seen my own discs with the word “TooNA” emblazoned across the top for sale at online disc auctions.
The following video with Rich Appert and Dan Riggs shows one of several lake shots at Okeeheelee…
What do you do when you find someone’s disc? Here are some suggestions from Wickham Park’s Disc Golf website:
If you find someone else’s disc, you can do one of three things…
a) Leave the disc with the attendant at the Gate House as you leave the park. The lost disc will be taken to the office and the disc and contact info will be posted on the website and at the information kiosk.
b) Bring the disc with you to the Weekly Sunday Doubles mini tournaments @ 10:00. Chances either that person will be there or a friend will be able to deliver the disc to the individual.
c) Contact the owner of the lost disc yourself and make arrangements to have it returned. It’s a great way to fulfill a good deed and perhaps meet another appreciative golfer.
I would like to think that your personal situation with the local squids can be resolved to each others satisfaction. I do not mind paying a “vig”, or a “bounty”, or a “finder’s fee” for returned found plastic. Many grateful disc golfers feel the same way. Personally I feel that returning discs is the right thing to do.
Besides, isn’t it a karma thing?
More information on the Florida Laws covering these circumstances can be found here