HARRISBURG – A bill to promote outdoor activities and create recreational opportunities by protecting landowners who open their lands to public recreational use has passed the House Tourism and Recreational Development Committee with the support and co-sponsorship of state Rep. Matt Gabler (R-Clearfield/Elk). House Bill 544 may now be taken up by the full House.
“The 75th District, and Pennsylvania in general, is home to many outdoor enthusiasts, and has a great deal of land for them to enjoy,” Gabler said. “House Bill 544 would increase recreational opportunities for them by enabling more lands to be open to public access.”
House Bill 544 would amend the state’s recreational use of land liability law to expand its protections for landowners by ensuring that legal fees are covered for property owners who are found not liable for injuries to recreational users. The bill would expand the law’s language to cover additional recreational activities such as snowmobiling, ATV and motorcycle riding and would cover man-made property improvements like bridges, boat docks, ramps, fishing piers and paved and unpaved trails.
“Our landowners find themselves in a situation of having nothing to gain and everything to lose when they open their lands with the law as it is currently written,” added Gabler. “This bill will enable more of them to open their property to added recreational opportunities by providing them the protections they need.”
Questions about this and any other legislative issues should be directed to Gabler’s DuBois office at (814) 375-4688 or his St. Marys office at (814) 781-6301.