2021 Special Session I

Budget Amendments - HB1800 (Floor Approved)

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DWR Boat Ramp Access Fees (language only)

Item 382 #1h

Item 382 #1h

Natural Resources
Department of Game and Inland Fisheries


Page 461, after line 25, insert:

"Notwithstanding § 29.1-113 of the Code of Virginia, access fees at boat ramps owned or managed by the Department of Wildlife Resources (DWR) shall not be assessed prior to July 1, 2022, pending a study by DWR on the costs and benefits of such fees and the impact on recreational users in Virginia. As part of this study, the Department shall convene a stakeholder group for the purpose of developing and providing recommendations on access permit fees, various alternatives, and other issues related to the use and maintenance of Department-owned boat ramp facilities. The stakeholder work group shall be composed of representatives of registered boat owners, paddlecraft liveries, outdoor outfitters, environmental education providers, and other non-registered vessel recreational users of such boat ramps, or other affected parties the Department deems necessary.  The work group shall consider mechanisms that will decrease the burden on outfitters, customers, education providers, and non-profit organizations; the usage of access fees to maintain or improve existing boat ramps and to add new boat ramps, paddlecraft launches, and public access points on Department-owned property; and alternative funding mechanisms and strategies that can increase access by economically disadvantaged users. DWR shall submit a report on the work group's recommendations to the Governor, the Secretary of Natural Resources, the House Agricultural, Chesapeake and Natural Resources Committee, the Senate Agricultural, Conservation and Natural Resources Committee, the House Appropriations Committee and the Senate Finance and Appropriations Committee by December 1, 2021."


(This amendment delays by one fiscal year the authority of the Department of Wildlife Resources to assess fees for access to boat ramps it owns or manages, and directs the Department to study the costs and benefits or assess such access fees.)