Education Reform. Tort Reform and now… Burial Reform (with a task force)

The Cemetery Task Force of the East Tennessee Preservation Alliance has been studying Tennessee’s burial laws and has decided they should be changed, according to the News Sentinel.
“There’s not a clear process for dealing with cemeteries,” said (archaeologist Patrick) Garrow, who was involved in revising Georgia’s cemetery laws.
With help from Garrow, the task force came up with three main goals to improve the preservation of cemeteries and the amount of information stored about each one.
The first goal is to address cemetery relocations.
“Right now in Tennessee, it’s easy for a property owner or developer to move them,” said Garlington.
According to ETPA, state laws offer very little guidance for properly moving cemeteries.
“They eventually become abandoned cemeteries,” Garrow said, “Families move on, and graves are forgotten.”
The second goal is to control the amount of new cemeteries and private burial plots created. Many counties allow citizens to bury loved ones on family land.
“It’s nearly impossible to keep up with it. We believe that there should be a statewide database of cemeteries,” said Garlington, “We can’t save or preserve places until we know what’s out there.
The last goal the task force has decided upon is establishment of a database of names and locations for the public to access. The information would help not only family but researchers and preservation groups.
“Ultimately our goal is to update the state burial law. This is the beginning of that process,” Garlington said.

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