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Recreational Liability Legislation Passes both the Illinois House and Senate

May 31, 2013


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 Senator Don Harmon and Representative Ann Williams 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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