PEC Comments on House Bill 544

Update (June 26, 2017): PEC sent the following communication to the House of Representatives in support of an amendment – A01673, introduced by Representative Maher.

June 26, 2017 

To: Members of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Re: Support for Amendment A01673 to House Bill 544 (P.N. 710)

Dear Representatives:

On behalf of the Pennsylvania Environmental Council (PEC), I am writing to urge your support for Representative Maher’s proposed amendment – A01673 – to House Bill 544. House Bill 544 amends the Recreational Use of Land Liability Law.

Representative Maher’s amendment will provide reasonable assurance to citizen-driven efforts that work, often voluntarily and at their own expense, to construct and maintain open public amenities like biking and walking trails. These amenities not only provide no-cost options for exercise and recreation to Pennsylvanians, they also have helped drive recreational tourism – benefiting businesses and communities across the state.

Thank you for your consideration. 


PEC submitted the following comments today to the House Tourism and Recreational Development Committee on House Bill 544.

June 5, 2017

To:       Members of the House Tourism and Recreational Development Committee
From:  Pennsylvania Environmental Council
Re:       House Bill 544 (P.N. 710); Suggested Amendments

Dear Representatives:

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.