Opening private lands to hunters could be worth hundreds of millions of dollars to West Virginia.
That's the message from state Division of Natural Resources
officials, who told lawmakers today that they want to see more
private land opened to the public for recreational purposes such as
hunting, fishing and hiking.
DNR Director Frank Jezioro says hunting and
fishing account for roughly 800 million dollars a year for the
state's economy. His goal is to get that figure to one billion
Jezioro suggests offering incentives to private landowners.
Those could include tax breaks, the ability to charge fees of the
public and protection from lawsuits. State law already offers some
immunity from liability lawsuits for landowners who open their
property to the public, but Jezioro says it should be expanded.