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H.B. 80

This document includes House Committee Amendments incorporated into the bill on Tue, Feb 16, 2010 at 12:46 PM by jeyring. -->              1     





Chief Sponsor: Lorie D. Fowlke

Senate Sponsor: ____________

             8      LONG TITLE
             9      General Description:
             10          This bill addresses public recreational activities on public waters over private beds.
             11      Highlighted Provisions:
             12          This bill:
             13          .    defines terms;
             14          .    allows recreational activity within the ordinary high water mark of a public water
             15      over a private bed;
             16          .    allows portage around certain manmade obstacles;
             17          .    prohibits portage around certain natural obstacles on property to which access is
             18      restricted;
             19          .    allows a property owner to place a fence across a public water in certain
             20      circumstances;
             21          .    addresses access to public waters;
             22          .    prohibits certain conduct on public waters;
             23          .    requires the Division of Wildlife Resources to create a public access certificate,
             24      required to use public water over a private bed;
             25          .    creates criminal penalties for violations of the chapter's provisions;
             26          .    absolves a property owner of liability for certain conduct in connection with
             27      recreational uses; and

             28          .    makes technical changes.
             29      Monies Appropriated in this Bill:
             30          None
             31      Other Special Clauses:
             32          None
             33      Utah Code Sections Affected:
             34      AMENDS:
             35          57-14-4, as last amended by Laws of Utah 1997, Chapter 62
             36          57-14-7, as last amended by Laws of Utah 1997, Chapter 62
             37      ENACTS:
             38          73-6a-101, Utah Code Annotated 1953
             39          73-6a-102, Utah Code Annotated 1953
             40          73-6a-201, Utah Code Annotated 1953
             41          73-6a-202, Utah Code Annotated 1953
             42          73-6a-203, Utah Code Annotated 1953
             43          73-6a-301, Utah Code Annotated 1953
             44          73-6a-302, Utah Code Annotated 1953
             46      Be it enacted by the Legislature of the state of Utah:
             47          Section 1. Section 57-14-4 is amended to read:
             48           57-14-4. Owner's permitting another to use land without charge -- Effect.
             49          (1) Except as provided in Subsection 57-14-6 (1), an owner of land who either directly
             50      or indirectly invites or permits without charge or for a nominal fee of not more than $1 per year
             51      any person to use the land for any recreational purpose, or an owner of land who owns a private
             52      bed beneath a public water, as defined by Section 73-6a-102 , does not thereby:
             53          [(1)] (a) make any representation or extend any assurance that the premises are safe for
             54      any purpose;
             55          [(2)] (b) confer upon the person the legal status of an invitee or licensee to whom a
             56      duty of care is owed;
             57          [(3)] (c) assume responsibility for or incur liability for any injury to persons or property
             58      caused by an act or omission of the person or any other person who enters upon the land; or

             59          [(4)] (d) owe any duty to curtail the owner's use of his land during its use for
             60      recreational purposes.
             61          (2) A person who sues an owner of land for liability for injuries sustained as a result of
             62      the person's recreational activities on the owner's land shall pay the owner's attorney fees and
             63      litigation costs incurred in the owner's defense of the suit, if the person's suit is unsuccessful.
             64          Section 2. Section 57-14-7 is amended to read:
             65           57-14-7. Person using land of another not relieved from duty to exercise care.
             66          (1) This chapter [may not be construed to] does not relieve any person, using the land
             67      of another for recreational purposes, from any otherwise existing obligation [which the person
             68      may have in the absence of this act] to exercise care in use of the land and in activities thereon,
             69      or from the legal consequences of failure to employ care.
             70          (2) A person using land under this chapter waives any claim arising from the
             71      landowner's negligence in connection with the use of the land by the person using the land
             72      under this chapter.
             73          Section 3. Section 73-6a-101 is enacted to read:

Part 1. General Provisions

             76          73-6a-101. Title.
             77          This chapter is known as "Recreational Use of Public Water."
             78          Section 4. Section 73-6a-102 is enacted to read:
             79          73-6a-102. Definitions.
             80          As used in this chapter:
             81          (1) "Bed" means an area within the ordinary high water mark of a public water.
             82          (2) "Harass" means:
             83          (a) assault, as defined in Section 76-5-102 ; and
             84          (b) an offense against an animal enterprise, as described in Section 76-6-110 .
             85      H. (3) "Impounded wetland" means a wetland or wetland pond that is formed or the level
             85a      of which is controlled by a dike, berm, or headgate that retains or manages the flow or depth
             85b      of water, including connecting channels.
             85c           [ (3) ] (4) .H "Ordinary high water mark" means:
             86          (a) the line that a water body impresses on the soil:
             87          (i) by covering the soil long enough to ordinarily deprive the soil of terrestrial
             88      vegetation; and
             89          (ii) at the level where the water body would normally stand during the high water

             90      period when the water body is not affected by a flood or drought; or
             91          (b) the area actually submerged by water that is not flood water in an area where the
             92      line the water body impresses upon the soil, as defined in Subsection H. [ (3) ] (4) .H (a),
             92a      is not readily
             93      identified.
             94           H. [ (4) ] (5) .H "Permission" is as defined in Section 23-20-14 .
             95           H. [ (5) ] (6) .H "Private bed" means a privately owned bed of a public water.
             96           H. [ (6) ] (7) .H "Private property to which access is restricted" means privately owned real
             97      property:
             98          (a) that is cultivated land, as defined in Section 23-20-14 ;
             99          (b) that is:
             100          (i) properly posted, as defined in Section 23-20-14 ;
             101          (ii) posted as described in Subsection 76-6-206 (2)(b)(iii); or
             102          (iii) posted as described in Subsection 76-6-206.3 (2)(c);
             103          (c) that is fenced or enclosed as described in:
             104          (i) Subsection 76-6-206 (2)(b)(ii); or
             105          (ii) Subsection 76-6-206.3 (2)(b); or
             106          (d) that the owner or a person authorized to act on the owner's behalf has requested a
             107      person to leave as provided by:
             108          (i) Section 23-20-14 ;
             109          (ii) Subsection 76-6-206 (2)(b)(i); or
             110          (iii) Subsection 76-6-206.3 (2)(a).
             111      H. [ (7) ] (8) .H (a) "Public water" means water:
             112          (i) described in Section 73-1-1 ; and
             113          (ii) flowing or collecting on the surface:
             114          (A) within a natural or realigned channel; or
             115          (B) in a natural lake, pond, or reservoir on a natural or realigned channel.
             116          (b) "Public water" does not include water flowing or collecting on H. :
             116a          (i) impounded wetland;
             116b          (ii) jurisdictional wetland described in 33 C.F. R. 328.3;
             116c          (iii) a migratory bird production area, as defined in Section 23-28-102; or
             116d          (iv) .H private property in a
             117      manmade:
             118           H. [ (i) ] (A) .H irrigation canal;
             119           H. [ (ii) ] (B) .H irrigation ditch; or
             120           H. [ (iii) ] (C) .H impoundment or reservoir constructed outside of a natural or realigned
             120a      channel.

             121           H. [ (8) ] (9) .H (a) "Recreational activity" means activity that:
             122          (i) is lawful;
             123          (ii) is engaged in:
             124          (A) for a recreational purpose; or
             125          (B) a commercial purpose if a person is guiding or outfitting another person who is
             126      engaging in recreational activity;
             127          (iii) requires use of the water to be effectively enjoyed or accomplished; and
             128          (iv) actually uses the public water when undertaken.
             129          (b) "Recreational activity" does not include hunting on any public water, except
             130      waterfowl hunting done in compliance with Sections 23-20-8 , 73-6a-201 , and 76-10-508 .
             131          Section 5. Section 73-6a-201 is enacted to read:
Part 2. Recreational Use of Private Beds

             133          73-6a-201. Recreational use of public waters over private beds.
             134          (1) Except as provided by Subsection (2), a person who touches a private bed on
             135      private property to which access is restricted without permission is subject to liability for
             136      trespass under:
             137          (a) Section 23-20-14 ;
             138          (b) Section 76-6-206 ;
             139          (c) Section 76-6-206.3 ; and
             140          (d) a civil action for a claim arising out of touching the private bed.
             141          (2) A person possessing a valid public access certificate in accordance with Section
             142      73-6a-202 who engages in recreational activity in a public water containing sufficient water at
             143      the time to support the recreational activity may touch a private bed without permission.
             144          (3) While engaging in a recreational activity on private property to which access is
             145      restricted as authorized by Subsection (2), a person may leave the bed only if:
             146          (a) the person has permission to enter the private property; or
             147          (b) (i) a manmade obstruction precludes the safe passage of a person engaged in
             148      recreational activity or the continuation of recreational activity in the bed; and
             149          (ii) the person walks or portages outside the bed around the manmade obstruction in
             150      the most direct and least obtrusive manner to re-enter the H. same body of .H public water at
             150a      the nearest safe point
             151      past the manmade obstruction.

             152          (4) (a) Except as provided in Subsection (4)(b), a person may not leave the bed on
             153      private property to which access is restricted to walk or portage around a natural obstacle
             154      without permission.
             155          (b) (i) A person floating on a public water in a boat, raft, tube, or other flotation device
             156      may leave the bed on private property to which access is restricted to walk or portage around a
             157      natural obstacle without permission if the natural obstacle poses a danger to the person and the
             158      person is unable to safely navigate around the natural obstacle or retreat in the direction from
             159      which the person approached the natural obstacle.
             160          (ii) A person walking or portaging in accordance with this Subsection (4)(b) shall walk
             161      or portage in the least obtrusive manner possible, leaving and reentering the private bed H. of the
             161a      same public water .H at a
             162      safe point nearest to the obstacle.
             163          (5) (a) The owner of a private bed under a public water may place a fence or
             164      obstruction across a public water if the fence or obstruction is placed for a reason other than
             165      blocking access for public recreational activity.
             166          (b) The owner of a private bed under a public water placing a fence or obstruction
             167      across the public water shall construct and maintain the fence or obstruction in a manner:
             168          (i) that does not unreasonably endanger the safety of a person engaged in recreational
             169      activity using the public water; and
             170          (ii) consistent with any applicable law or administrative rule.
             171          (c) A person may not place a fence or other obstruction on a highway or other public
             172      right-of-way intersecting a public water unless a gate or other form of passage is provided to
             173      allow the public to access the public water from the right-of-way to engage in any recreational
             174      activity permitted on the public water.
             175          (6) Except as provided by Subsection (3), a person engaging in a recreational activity
             176      on a public water over a private bed, may only enter or exit the public water:
             177          (a) on public property, including highway rights-of-way, another public water, or other
             178      property, unless prohibited by the entity with jurisdiction over the use of the public property;
             179          (b) on private property to which access is restricted, with permission; or
             180          (c) on private property to which access is not restricted.
             181          (7) A person may not engage in recreational activity on a public water if the
             182      recreational activity:

             183          (a) destroys, materially damages, removes, or alters real or personal property,
             184      including:
             185          (i) a fence, as provided in Section 4-26-4 ;
             186          (ii) a structure;
             187          (iii) diversion works; or
             188          (iv) vegetation, soil, or rock other than incidental to ordinary use;
             189          (b) alters or obstructs water flows;
             190          (c) involves construction or maintenance of a structure on the bed; or
             191          (d) is undertaken on:
             192          (i) horseback;
             193          (ii) a motor vehicle, as defined in Section 41-6a-102 ;
             194          (iii) an off-highway vehicle, as defined in Section 41-22-2 ; or
             195          (iv) a non-motorized wheeled vehicle.
             196          (8) While engaging in recreational activity on a public water, a person may not:
             197          (a) litter in violation of state law;
             198          (b) destroy or deface public or private property;
             199          (c) harass livestock; or
             200          (d) harass a property owner.
             201          (9) A person, including the owner of a private bed, may not harass a person engaged in
             202      recreational activity on a public water.
             203          Section 6. Section 73-6a-202 is enacted to read:
             204          73-6a-202. Access education -- Certificate.
             205          (1) The Division of Wildlife Resources shall create a free public education program to
             206      inform the public of this chapter's provisions concerning access to public waters and private
             207      beds.
             208          (2) The public education program shall:
             209          (a) be made available to the public on the Internet; and
             210          (b) allow a person, upon completion of the program, to print a public access certificate.
             211          (3) A public access certificate is required before a person may exercise the access
             212      rights described in Section 73-6a-201 .
             213          (4) The public access certificate is effective:

             214          (a) upon successful completion of the online education program; and
             215          (b) for 365 days after completion of the online education program.
             216          (5) Except as provided in Subsection (6), a person may not:
             217          (a) engage in recreational activity on a public water under authority of Section
             218      73-6a-201 , unless:
             219          (i) the person obtains a public access certificate; and
             220          (ii) carries the public access certificate with the person while engaged in recreational
             221      activity on the public water; and
             222          (b) lend, transfer, sell, trade, give, or assign a public access certificate or any associated
             223      rights to another person.
             224          (6) (a) A person under the age of 18 is not required to obtain or possess a public access
             225      certificate if:
             226          (i) the person is part of a group of juveniles of more than three and less than 10 in
             227      number who are jointly engaging in recreational activity under authority of Section 73-6a-201 ;
             228      and
             229          (ii) the group is accompanied and led by one or more adults possessing a valid public
             230      access certificate.
             231          (b) A person under the age of 12 is not required to obtain or possess a public access
             232      certificate if the juvenile is accompanied and supervised by an adult possessing a valid public
             233      access certificate.
             234          (c) A person is not required to obtain or possess a valid public access certificate if:
             235          (i) the person is a customer of an outfitting company registered with the Division of
             236      State Parks and Recreation; and
             237          (ii) the outfitting company and each of its guides or captains obtains and possesses a
             238      valid public access certificate and informs the customer of this chapter's provisions.
             239          (d) An adult, outfitting company, guide, or captain possessing a valid public access
             240      certificate under this section is civilly responsible for the conduct of a juvenile or customer
             241      who violates this chapter's provisions.
             242          Section 7. Section 73-6a-203 is enacted to read:
             243          73-6a-203. Penalty.
             244          (1) Except as provided in Subsection (2), a person who violates this part is guilty of a

             245      class B misdemeanor.
             246          (2) A person who violates this part by not obtaining or possessing a valid public access
             247      certificate is guilty of an infraction.
             248          (3) (a) A court may revoke the public access certificate privileges of any person who is
             249      guilty of two or more offenses punishable under Subsection (1).
             250          (b) If a court revokes the public access certificate of a person under Subsection (3)(a),
             251      the court shall promptly notify the Division of Wildlife Resources of the revocation.
             252          (c) The Division of Wildlife Resources, upon receiving notice of revocation from a
             253      court, shall prohibit the person from obtaining a public access certificate under Section
             254      73-6a-202 for the duration specified in the court's order.
             255          Section 8. Section 73-6a-301 is enacted to read:
Part 3. Miscellaneous

             257          73-6a-301. Applicability of the chapter.
             258          The provisions of this chapter do not affect:
             259          (1) the title or ownership of the surface waters, beds, or portage routes of public water;
             260          (2) sovereign lands, as defined in Section 65A-1-1 ; or
             261          (3) the rights recognized in Section 23-21-4 .
             262          Section 9. Section 73-6a-302 is enacted to read:
             263          73-6a-302. Landowner liability.
             264          The owner of a private bed that is subject to the authorization recognized in this chapter
             265      has the liability protection afforded by Title 57, Chapter 14, Limitation of Landowner Liability
             266      - Public Recreation.

Legislative Review Note
    as of 1-6-10 3:09 PM

Office of Legislative Research and General Counsel

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