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4.24.200  <<  4.24.210 >>   4.24.220

RCW 4.24.210

Liability of owners or others in possession of land and water areas for injuries to recreation users — Known dangerous artificial latent conditions — Other limitations.

(1) Except as otherwise provided in subsection (3) or (4) of this section, any public or private landowners, hydroelectric project owners, 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, aviation activities including, but not limited to, the operation of airplanes, ultra-light airplanes, hanggliders, parachutes, and paragliders, rock climbing, the riding of horses or other animals, clam digging, pleasure driving of off-road vehicles, snowmobiles, and other vehicles, boating, kayaking, canoeing, rafting, 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) or (4) 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.

     (4)(a) Nothing in this section shall prevent the liability of 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.

     (i) A fixed anchor used in rock climbing and put in place by someone other than a landowner is not a known dangerous artificial latent condition and a landowner under subsection (1) of this section shall not be liable for unintentional injuries resulting from the condition or use of such an anchor.

     (ii) Releasing water or flows and making waterways or channels available for kayaking, canoeing, or rafting purposes pursuant to and in substantial compliance with a hydroelectric license issued by the federal energy regulatory commission, and making adjacent lands available for purposes of allowing viewing of such activities, does not create a known dangerous artificial latent condition and hydroelectric project owners under subsection (1) of this section shall not be liable for unintentional injuries to the recreational users and observers resulting from such releases and activities.

     (b) Nothing in RCW 4.24.200 and this section limits or expands in any way the doctrine of attractive nuisance.

     (c) Usage by members of the public, volunteer groups, or other users is permissive and does not support any claim of adverse possession.

     (5) For purposes of this section, the following are not fees:

     (a) A license or permit issued for statewide use under authority of chapter 79A.05 RCW or Title 77 RCW;

     (b) A pass or permit issued under RCW 79A.80.020, 79A.80.030, or 79A.80.040; and

     (c) A daily charge not to exceed twenty dollars per person, per day, for access to a publicly owned ORV sports park, as defined in RCW 46.09.310, or other public facility accessed by a highway, street, or nonhighway road for the purposes of off-road vehicle use.

[2012 c 15 § 1. Prior: 2011 c 320 § 11; 2011 c 171 § 2; 2011 c 53 § 1; 2006 c 212 § 6; prior: 2003 c 39 § 2; 2003 c 16 § 2; 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:

     Findings -- Intent -- 2011 c 320: See RCW 79A.80.005.

     Effective date -- 2011 c 320: See note following RCW 79A.80.005.

     Intent -- 2011 c 171: "This act is intended to reconcile and conform amendments made in chapter 161, Laws of 2010 with other legislation passed during the 2010 legislative sessions, as well as provide technical amendments to codified sections affected by chapter 161, Laws of 2010. Any statutory changes made by this act should be interpreted as technical in nature and not be interpreted to have any substantive policy or legal implications." [2011 c 171 § 1.]

     Effective date -- 2011 c 171: "Except for section 129 of this act, this act is necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health, or safety, or support of the state government and its existing public institutions, and takes effect July 1, 2011." [2011 c 171 § 142.]

     Finding -- 2003 c 16: "The legislature finds that some property owners in Washington are concerned about the possibility of liability arising when individuals are permitted to engage in potentially dangerous outdoor recreational activities, such as rock climbing. Although RCW 4.24.210 provides property owners with immunity from legal claims for any unintentional injuries suffered by certain individuals recreating on their land, the legislature finds that it is important to the promotion of rock climbing opportunities to specifically include rock climbing as one of the recreational activities that are included in RCW 4.24.210. By including rock climbing in RCW 4.24.210, the legislature intends merely to provide assurance to the owners of property suitable for this type of recreation, and does not intend to limit the application of RCW 4.24.210 to other types of recreation. By providing that a landowner shall not be liable for any unintentional injuries resulting from the condition or use of a fixed anchor used in rock climbing, the legislature recognizes that such fixed anchors are recreational equipment used by climbers for which a landowner has no duty of care." [2003 c 16 § 1.].

     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.