b'ARVC Continues to Focus on Risk Laws,MakingSureParksRemainEssentialEditors note: This article is part of an on- house before being submitted to a statesgoing series that will feature content from governor.the National Association of RV Parks and The bills will usually wind up in a judiciaryCampgrounds on the work it is doing to ad- committee, Sims explained. And the lobby-vocate for the outdoor hospitality industry.ists for the Trial Lawyers Association andinsurance industries may also want to haveCamping,likeotheroutdooractivities, input.comes with inherent risksdangers can As an example, he cited recent requestsarise from encountering uneven terrain, nat- for additions to one of the Missouri bills. Theural bodies of water, features of nature such trial lawyers lobby wanted to add a line stat-as tree stumps or roots, or other elements of ing that a campground owners liability wouldthe natural world. not be limited if they failed to use the degreeEven so, some campers have filed law- of care that an ordinarily careful and prudentsuits against campground owners to try to person would use under the same or similarassign blame for injuries that arise from these circumstances.Theinsurancelobbyre-inherent risks that are beyond a campground quested to have campfires, bonfires and wild-ownerscontrol.Thatswhylegislationis fires added to the list of inherent risks, alongbeing introduced in several states this year with activities such as climbing, repelling orto provide campground owners with immu- related cliff, mountaineering or caving activ-nity from liability for the inherent risks of ity. Sims explained.camping. Neither ARVC nor the Missouri Associa-We have inherent risk bills being consid- tion of RV Parks and Campgrounds(MOARC)eredinAlaska,Con- viewed these requests as barriers to effec-necticut,twoin tive legislation.Missouri, one in Maine Thelegislativeprocesstakestime,asandoneinIndiana, Kristy Smith, executivesaid Jeff Sims, senior directoroftheOhiodirector of state rela- CampgroundOwnerstions and program ad- Association (OCOA)vocacy for ARVC. has found.He anticipates that a We passed our billJeff Sims fewmorestateswill in the House and hadalso introduce bills this year. begun hearings in theSims emphasized that these bills are not Senate, but the bill diedabout protecting campground owners from in committee at the end Kristy Smithnegligence on their part; they are designed of the last general assembly, she noted.to shield them from liability for injuries that The bill sponsors have both said they wouldmay occur as a result of campers encounter- like to reintroduce the bill again during thising risks that exist in the natural world. new general assembly.The expectation is that in some places its As of this date, Wisconsin is the only statedark at night. There are tree roots out there, that has enacted inherent risk legislation intowhen you get on a trail. There will be rocks law.and things, and unfortunately, sometimes For the latest updates on these bills andthere are critters like bears, Sims said. All otherbillsastheyareintroduced,gotoof these things are beyond the operators www.arvc.org and log into your member ac-control. count. In the top menu, choose Benefits &He says that other segments of the out- Resources and select Current Legislationdoor recreation industry, such as the skiing from the options. The ARVC Monitoring Re-and equestrian elements that, already have port is updated Monday through Friday andimmunity protections in place. Sims closely includes bill summaries, links to the text of themonitors these laws so he can use them as bills and status and hearing notices.examples to show legislators that this type of ARVC, the association reports, can alsolegislation has been passed before in their provide guidance for model language to usestate. when developing proposed legislation.Like all state bills, inherent risk legislation ARVC is also currently working in con-has to be passed by both the senate and the ARVCcontinued on page 28Accidents caused by rocks, tree limbsand other inherent risks are the target ofimmunity laws that the National Associ-ation of RV Parks and Campgrounds istrying to get passed in numerous states. 12 -April 2021Woodalls Campground Management'