Recreational liability legislation passes both Illinois House and Senate

By Openlands

May 31, a great conservation success was had, and we wanted you, our supporters and friends, to be the first to know.

After seven years of negotiation and work by Openlands and our partners, the Illinois General Assembly unanimously passed legislation to reinstate protection for landowners in Illinois who open their land to the public for recreation.

This legislation, which restores liability protections for landowners who allow the public access to their land for activities such as fishing, hiking or birding, is now headed to the governor’s desk.

Conservation organizations, Openlands, The Nature Conservancy of Illinois, and the Illinois Environmental Council worked closely with state Sen. Don Harmon, D-Oak Park, and state Rep. Ann Williams, D-Chicago, to craft and pass this important bill.

In a time where it is increasingly difficult for the government to acquire more land, this legislation provides access to beautiful places to go hiking, camping, kayaking, boating and bird-watching, increasing opportunities to connect to nature for people without any cost to the state.

The law will provide protection for the generous landowners who provide a valuable public service by opening their properties and dramatically increasing open space available to the public.

In 2005, Illinois became the only state in the U.S. that didn’t provide protection for private landowners; now in 2013, we can be proud to provide those protections once more.

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Posted June 5, 2013

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