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Washington Recreational Use Statute

ANNOTATED REVISED CODE OF WASHINGTON
TITLE 4: CIVIL PROCEDURE
CHAPTER 24: SPECIAL RIGHTS OF ACTION AND SPECIAL IMMUNITIES
SECTION: 200

§4.24.200 Liability of owners or others in possession of land and water areas for injuries to recreation users – Purpose.

The purpose of RCW 4.24.200 and 4.24.210 is to encourage owners or others in lawful possession and control of land and water areas or channels to make them available to the public for recreational purposes by limiting their liability toward persons entering thereon and toward persons who may be injured or otherwise damaged by the acts or omissions of persons entering thereon.

HISTORY: [1969 ex.s. c 24 § 1; 1967 c 216 § 1.]

§4.24.210 Liability of owners or others in possession of land and water areas for injuries to recreation users – Limitation.

(1) Except as otherwise provided in subsection (3) of this section, any public or private landowners or others in lawful possession and control of any lands whether designated resource, rural, or urban, or water areas or channels and lands adjacent to such areas or channels, who allow members of the public to use them for the purposes of outdoor recreation, which term includes, but is not limited to, the cutting, gathering, and removing of firewood by private persons for their personal use without purchasing the firewood from the landowner, hunting, fishing, camping, picnicking, swimming, hiking, bicycling, skateboarding or other nonmotorized wheel-based activities, hanggliding, paragliding, the riding of horses or other animals, clam digging, pleasure driving of off-road vehicles, snowmobiles, and other vehicles, boating, nature study, winter or water sports, viewing or enjoying historical, archaeological, scenic, or scientific sites, without charging a fee of any kind therefor, shall not be liable for unintentional injuries to such users.

(2) Except as otherwise provided in subsection (3) of this section, any public or private landowner or others in lawful possession and control of any lands whether rural or urban, or water areas or channels and lands adjacent to such areas or channels, who offer or allow such land to be used for purposes of a fish or wildlife cooperative project, or allow access to such land for cleanup of litter or other solid waste, shall not be liable for unintentional injuries to any volunteer group or to any other users.

(3) Any public or private landowner, or others in lawful possession and control of the land, may charge an administrative fee of up to twenty-five dollars for the cutting, gathering, and removing of firewood from the land. Nothing in this section shall prevent the liability of such a landowner or others in lawful possession and control for injuries sustained to users by reason of a known dangerous artificial latent condition for which warning signs have not been conspicuously posted. Nothing in RCW 4.24.200 and 4.24.210 limits or expands in any way the doctrine of attractive nuisance. Usage by members of the public, volunteer groups, or other users is permissive and does not support any claim of adverse possession.

(4) For purposes of this section, a license or permit issued for state-wide use under authority of chapter 43.51 RCW[1], Title 75[2], or Title 77 RCW is not a fee.

HISTORY: [1997 c 26 § 1; 1992 c 52 § 1. Prior: 1991 c 69 § 1; 1991 c 50 § 1; 1980 c 111 § 1; 1979 c 53 § 1; 1972 ex.s. c 153 § 17; 1969 ex.s. c 24 § 2; 1967 c 216 § 2.]

NOTES: Reviser's note:

[1] Chapter 43.51 RCW was recodified as chapter 79A.05 RCW pursuant to 1999 c 249 § 1601.

[2] Title 75 RCW was recodified, repealed, and/or decodified in its entirety by 2000 c 107. See Comparative Table for Title 75 RCW in the Table of Disposition of Former RCW Sections, Volume 0. Purpose – 1972 ex.s. c 153: See RCW 79A.35.070. Off-road and nonhighway vehicles: Chapter 46.09 RCW.Snowmobiles: Chapter 46.10 RCW.

§79A.35.070 Categories of trails or areas – Policy statement as to certain state lands.

The following seven categories of trails or areas are hereby established for purposes of this chapter:

(1) Cross-state trails which connect scenic, historical, geological, geographical, or other significant features which are characteristic of the state;

(2) Water-oriented trails which provide a designated path to, on, or along fresh and/or salt water in which the water is the primary point of interest;

(3) Scenic-access trails which give access to quality recreation, scenic, historic or cultural areas of state-wide or national significance;

(4) Urban trails which provide opportunities within an urban setting for walking, bicycling, horseback riding, or other compatible activities. Where appropriate, they will connect parks, scenic areas, historical points, and neighboring communities;

(5) Historical trails which identify and interpret routes which were significant in the historical settlement and development of the state;

(6) ORV vehicle trails which are suitable for use by both four-wheel drive vehicles and two-wheel vehicles. Such trails may be included as a part of the trail systems enumerated in subsections (1), (2), (3) and (5) of this section or may be separately designated;

(7) Off-road and off-trail areas which are suitable for use by both four-wheel drive vehicles and two-wheel vehicles. IAC shall coordinate an inventory and classification of such areas giving consideration to the type of use such areas will receive from persons operating four-wheel drive vehicles and two-wheel vehicles.

The planning and designation of trails shall take into account and give due regard to the interests of federal agencies, state agencies and bodies, counties, municipalities, private landowners and individuals, and interested recreation organizations. It is not required that the above categories be used to designate specific trails, but the IAC will assure that full consideration is given to including trails from all categories within the system. As it relates to all classes of trails and to all types of trail users, it is herein declared as state policy to increase recreational trail access to and within state and federally owned lands and private lands where access may be obtained. It is the intent of the legislature that public recreation facilities be developed as fully as possible to provide greater recreation opportunities for the citizens of the state. The purpose of chapter 153, Laws of 1972 ex. sess. is to increase the availability of trails and areas for off-road vehicles by granting authority to state and local governments to maintain a system of ORV trails and areas, and to fund the program to provide for such development. State lands should be used as fully as possible for all public recreation which is compatible with the income-producing requirements of the various trusts.

HISTORY: [1977 ex.s. c 220 § 21; 1972 ex.s. c 153 § 1; 1971 ex.s. c 47 § 2; 1970 ex.s. c 76 § 8. Formerly RCW 67.32.080.]

NOTES: Severability – 1971 ex.s. c 47: See RCW 46.09.900.

Application of chapter – Permission necessary to enter upon private lands: RCW 46.09.010.

§46.09.010 Application of chapter – Permission necessary to enter upon private lands.

The provisions of this chapter shall apply to all lands in this state. Nothing in chapter 43.09 RCW, *RCW 67.32.050, 67.32.080, 67.32.100, 67.32.130 or 67.32.140 shall be deemed to grant to any person the right or authority to enter upon private property without permission of the property owner.

HISTORY: [1972 ex.s. c 153 § 2; 1971 ex.s. c 47 § 6.]

NOTES: Reviser's note:

(1) RCW 67.32.050, 67.32.080, 67.32.100, 67.32.130, and 67.32.140 were recodified as RCW 79A.35.040, 79A.35.070, 79A.35.090, 79A.35.110, and 79A.35.120, respectively, pursuant to 1999 c 249 § 1601.

(2) Throughout chapter 46.09 RCW, with the exception of RCW 46.09.010 and 46.09.900, the phrase “this 1971 amendatory act” has been changed to “this chapter.” This 1971 amendatory act [1971 ex.s. c 47] consisted of the enactment of chapter 46.09 RCW and RCW 67.32.130 and 67.32.140 and the amendment of RCW 67.32.050, 67.32.080, and 67.32.100.

Purpose – 1972 ex.s. c 153: See RCW 67.32.080.


SUPPLEMENTAL INFORMATION

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: Text of Code also available at http://www.leg.wa.gov/wsladm/rcw.htm on 11/19/00.