Missouri Legislature Passes Landowner Protection Rights Bill
For immediate release:
The Conservation Federation of Missouri (CFM) is excited to announce that House Bill 369, which includes the Prescribed Burning Act and other favorable conservation legislation passed the state legislature and will head to the Governors desk for signature. Representative Tim Taylor (R-Bunceton) sponsored HB 369 and worked hard with House and Senate members to ensure its passage. Senator Mike Bernskoetter (R-Jefferson City) sponsored a similar bill in the Senate and provided amendments to further additional conservation goals.
“CFM applauds the efforts of the General Assembly passing this conservation bill during this year’s session. This bill covers a wide variety of things to help conservation and outdoor resources, and CFM is proud to help lead the effort to protect and enhance our fish, forests, and wildlife resources,” says Executive Director Tyler Schwartze.
If signed by the Governor, this bill would create the “Prescribed Burning Act,” which defines liability as it relates to the use of prescribed fire. Before this legislation, Missouri was one of only five states that did not have such a definition in state statute. This will allow landowners and contractors to purchase liability insurance for conducting prescribed burns and increase the use of prescribed fire as a land management tool.
HB 369 also creates harsher penalties for the release of feral hogs in Missouri. Repeat offenders can now be charged with a felony for each feral swine that is released. Feral hogs are highly destructive to wildlife habitat and agricultural production alike. The increased penalties will help further reduce the number of feral swine on Missouri’s landscapes.
Also included are several measures that will protect landowners from liability for injuries incurred by recreational users. This benefits landowners adjacent to recreational public lands, campground owners, and those who invite third parties to provide wildlife management services on their property.
“We would like to extend our thanks to all of CFM’s affiliates, partners, and members who have supported these efforts by calling, emailing, and otherwise communicating with their legislators. It truly takes all of us to help spread the conservation message across Missouri,” says CFM Vice President and Legislative Committee Chair Zach Morris.
The Conservation Federation of Missouri, which celebrated its 85th anniversary last year, was founded by a citizen-led effort to keep politics out of conservation and preserve our state’s rich outdoor heritage. This effort that started in 1935, has pushed Missouri to be the top state in the nation for conservation. CFM, the voice for Missouri outdoors, is the watchdog over politicians and state agencies to ensure the conservation of our wildlife and natural resources.
For more information about the Conservation Federation of Missouri, and to support Share the Harvest, or to join in their citizen-led effort, visit www.confedmo.org.
Tyler Schwartze, Executive Director