Model Statute Language

This is the statutory language recommended by the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies to best protect landowners’ interests and shield them from liability for injuries sustained by recreational land users. The provisions of this model statute were adapted from portions of existing statutes that have proven most favorable to landowners. States are advised to incorporate the language of this model into their recreational trespass law as it not only releases landowners from liability, but it also holds recreational land users liable for damages caused to private property and for legal fees landowners may incur as a result of lawsuits in which they are freed from liability. Passage of this model statute among the states would likely increase landowner grants of free public access to private property for recreational activities, such as hunting and fishing, by mitigating their fears of costly lawsuits.

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