Wednesday, June 7, 2017

PEC Urges Protection Of Bicycling, Trail Activities In Landowner Recreation Liability Bill

The PA Environmental Council Tuesday wrote to members of the House Tourism and Recreational Development Committee urging the addition of bicycling and trail groups doing mapping or maintenance activities on trails to the list of recreational activities covered in the state’s law protecting landowners from liability for opening their land to recreation.
While House Bill 544 (Moul-R-Adams) was reported from the Committee, PEC is working to have the bill amended.
The text of PEC’s letter follows--
On behalf of the Pennsylvania Environmental Council (PEC), I would like to convey our thoughts on House Bill 544 (P.N. 710), which would amend the state’s recreational use of land liability law in order to expand its protections for landowners.
PEC works with partners across the state to expand and enhance low impact recreational opportunities for Pennsylvania’s citizens.
The recreational use of land liability law is an important tool that has helped recreation and tourism become one of the state’s leading industries, while also providing low or no-cost options for citizens throughout the Commonwealth.
The changes proposed by House Bill 544 will expand the types of activities and individuals covered by the law.
We urge you to consider broadening these amendments further to expressly cover bicycling (on rail-to-trail or off-road trail), and to more clearly protect nonprofit organizations that perform mapping or maintenance services.
A significant number of public recreational amenities in Pennsylvania – whether on land or water – are managed by nonprofit organizations who leverage private and volunteer investment to keep those amenities safe and open to the public.
We hope you will consider expanding the law to cover these additional considerations. Thank you for supporting public recreation in Pennsylvania.
For more information on programs, initiatives and special events, visit the PA Environmental Council website, visit the PEC Blog, follow PEC on Twitter or Like PEC on Facebook.  Visit PEC’s Audio Room for the latest podcasts.  Click Here to receive regular updates from PEC.

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