WEST virginia legislature
2020 regular session
House Bill 4499
By Delegates Hansen, Howell, C. Martin and Pyles
[Introduced January 23, 2020; Referred to the Committee on Technology and Infrastructure then Government Organization.]
A BILL to amend and reenact §20-17-7, §20-17A-2 and §20-17A-3 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, all relating to multicounty trail network authorities and the Mountaineer Trail Network Recreation Authority.
Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
Article 17. multicounty trail network authorities.
§20-17-7. Requirements for trail users and prohibited acts; criminal penalties.
(a) A person may not
enter or remain upon a recreational area without a valid, nontransferable user
permit issued by the appropriate authority and properly displayed, except
properly identified landowners or leaseholders or their officers, employees, or
agents while on the land that the person owns or leases for purposes related to
the ownership or lease of the land (b) (a) An authority may require recreational users to
wear protective helmets or use safety equipment that the authority determines
to be appropriate for the recreational activity in which the user is engaged. (c) (b) Each trail user operating a bicycle or mountain
bicycle shall obey all traffic laws, traffic-control devices, and signs within
the recreational area, including those which restrict trails to certain types
of bicycles or mountain bicycles. (d) (c) Each trail user shall at all times remain within
and on a designated and marked trail while within the recreational area. (e) (d) A person may not ignite or maintain any fire
within the recreational area except in a designated camp site. (f) (e) A person may not operate a motor vehicle within
the recreational area unless the person is authorized to operate a motor
vehicle in the area to perform maintenance services or emergency response. (g) (f) A person who violates any provision of this
section is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, shall be fined not
more than $100. Prosecution or conviction for the misdemeanor described in this
subsection shall not prevent or disqualify any other civil or criminal remedies
for the conduct prohibited by this section.
Article 17A. Mountaineer trail network recreAtion authority.
Continuation of Mountaineer Trail Network Recreation Authority and
establishment of recreation area.
(a) There is hereby
continued the Mountaineer Trail Network Recreation Authority consisting
of representatives from the counties of Barbour, Doddridge, Grant,
Harrison, Lewis, Marion, Mineral, Monongalia, Preston, Randolph, Ritchie,
Taylor, and Tucker, Upshur, and Wood organized pursuant to the
provisions of §20-17-1 et seq. of this code. This authority is
authorized to establish a Mountaineer Trail Network Recreation Area within the
jurisdictions of those counties and the authority shall be subject to the
powers, duties, immunities, and restrictions provided in §20-17-1 et seq.
of this code. Visitors and participants in recreational activities within the
trail network shall, in similar respects, be subject to the user requirements
and prohibitions of §20-17-7 of this code.
(b) Notwithstanding subsection (a) of this section, an adjacent county may join the Mountaineer Trail Network Recreation Authority pursuant to the procedures set forth in §20-17-3(b) of this code.
(c) Notwithstanding subsection (a) of this section, the Mountaineer Trail Network Recreation Authority may merge with another multicounty trail network authority, pursuant to the procedures set forth in §20-17-3(c) of this code.
§20-17A-3. Recreational purposes.
The permitted recreational
purposes for the Mountaineer Trail Network Recreation Area include, but are not
limited to, any one or any combination of the following
recreational activities: Hunting, fishing, swimming, boating, camping,
picnicking, hiking, bicycling, mountain bicycling, running, cross-country
running, nature study, winter sports and visiting, viewing or enjoying
historical, archaeological, scenic, or scientific sites.
NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to remove the user permit requirement for recreational trail users, to expand the counties within the Mountaineer Trail Network Recreation Authority to include Doddridge, Lewis, Ritchie, Upshur and Wood Counties, and to remove the term “noncommercial” from the description of permitted recreational activities for the Mountaineer Trail Network Recreation Area.
Strike-throughs indicate language that would be stricken from a heading or the present law and underscoring indicates new language that would be added.