NH: Joint Effort Announced to Protect Landowners
CONCORD, N.H. -- At a press conference at the Legislative Office Building today, the New Hampshire Fish and Game Commission joined State Representative Gene Chandler and State Senator Andy Sanborn to call for a legislative solution to address the need for greater protection for landowners who leave their land open for outdoor recreation.
"It's come to our attention that the current statute may not offer enough protection for landowners," said Sharon Guaraldi, Chair of the N.H. Fish and Game Commission. "Today's announcement is to let the public -- both landowners and recreational land users -- know that we are actively working to find the best solutions possible."
Chandler and Sanborn agreed to co-sponsor a legislative solution, the specifics of which are yet to be determined. They have been actively working with the N.H. Fish and Game Commission, a variety of legislators, heads of various state agencies and departments, and members of the public in seeking a reasonable solution to help keep landowners from feeling forced to post their property because of liability issues.
These actions are critical, according to Guaraldi, "because we all know that posted property means NO ACCESS. That's not just for hunters and anglers, but also directly impacts the hiking community, the tourism industry, wildlife viewers, those focused on getting children into the outdoors -- in summary, just about everyone."
"I assure you that the New Hampshire Fish and Game Commission and the Fish and Game Department as a whole take this situation quite seriously and will continue to work with these others toward a solution. I truly believe that as we work together, we will retain the New Hampshire tradition of landowners feeling comfortable sharing their land with the general public," said Guaraldi. "As it says on Governor John Lynch's website, 'New Hampshire works best when New Hampshire works together.'"
Also present at the press conference and supportive of work toward a legislative solution were Fish and Game Executive Director Glenn Normandeau; Fish and Game Commissioners Robert Phillipson, Walter Morse and Eric Orff; and representatives of the N.H. Farm Bureau, the N.H. Wildlife Federation and the N.H. Timberland Owners Association.