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NO. 76. AN ACT RELATING TO ACCESS AREAS FOR NONMOTORIZED BOATS.

(H.832)

It is hereby enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Vermont:

Sec. 1. 10 V.S.A. § 4145 is amended to read:

§ 4145. ACCESS, LANDING AREA RULES

(a) The board may adopt rules, under chapter 25 of Title 3, to regulate the use by the public of access areas, landing areas, parking areas or of other lands or waters acquired or maintained pursuant to section 4144 of this title. Such rules shall be posted in the areas affected and shall permit the launching of all vessels which have a Vermont registration certificate required by chapter 29 of Title 23 and the parking of vehicles and boat trailers used by these vessels. The rules shall not preclude the authorization to launch vessels not registered in Vermont. These rules also shall permit the launching of all nonmotorized vessels not used for commercial purposes and the parking of vehicles and boat trailers used by these vessels.

(b) The commissioner may enter into agreements with owners of land, which shall not involve payment to the landowner, in order to allow public access for launching of nonmotorized vessels in public waters. The commissioner may agree to upgrade the land area in a minor way; for example, the commissioner may agree to build a footpath to the water, build and maintain a small parking area, or perform minor grading to improve boat access. The commissioner may not agree to major upgrading, such as building a launching ramp or paving a parking area. A landowner who enters into an agreement under this subsection shall be afforded the landowner liability protections of section 5793 of Title 12. The commissioner shall post signs in these areas, inviting private contributions to the fish and wildlife fund for the purpose of building and maintaining nonmotorized vessel access areas, and shall issue to any person contributing, a sticker which may be placed on a vessel and which identifies the person as a contributor to the nonmotorized vessel access area program.

(c) The commissioner shall keep account of funds, including private donations and state appropriations, which are deposited into the fish and wildlife fund for the purpose of building and maintaining access areas and shall annually, on or before January 15, report to the house committee on fish, wildlife and water resources, the senate committee on natural resources and energy and to the senate and house committees on appropriations, concerning the use of those funds in the past year and plans for use of the funds for the coming year.

Approved: April 4, 2000