University of Vermont AAHS

Washington Recreational Use Statute

REVISED CODE
TITLE 4. CIVIL PROCEDURE
CHAPTER 4.24. SPECIAL RIGHTS OF ACTION AND SPECIAL IMMUNITIES


4.24.200. Liability of owners or others in possession of land and water areas for injuries to recreation users -- Purpose

The purpose of RCW 4.24.200 and 4.24.210 is to encourage owners or others in lawful possession and control of land and water areas or channels to make them available to the public for recreational purposes by limiting their liability toward persons entering thereon and toward persons who may be injured or otherwise damaged by the acts or omissions of persons entering thereon.


4.24.210. Liability of owners or others in possession of land and water areas for injuries to recreation users -- Limitation

(1) Except as otherwise provided in subsection (3) or (4) of this section, any public or private landowners 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, hanggliding, paragliding, <<+rock climbing,+>> the riding of horses or other animals, clam digging, pleasure driving of off-road vehicles, snowmobiles, and other vehicles, boating, 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) 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. 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. Nothing in RCW 4.24.200 and 4.24.210 limits or expands in any way the doctrine of attractive nuisance. 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, a license or permit issued for statewide use under authority of chapter 79A.05  RCW or Title 77 RCW is not a fee.

 

Amended in 1997, 2003.
Reviewed by AAHS in July 2001.
Reviewed and updated by AAHS in May 2003.


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