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West Virginia House Passes Bill Authorizing DNR to Enter into Third-Party Contracts for Rec Facilities at State Parks, Forests

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On Monday, West Virginia’s House of Delegates voted 77-20 to approve House Bill 4408 that would allow the Division of Natural Resources to enter into third-party contracts for recreational facilities at its state parks and forests.

However, not everyone was in favor, according to a report. Some said the bill could authorize amusement parks, casinos, and other huge attractions inside state parks and forests, making the properties lose their nature-based appeal.

Department of Commerce Deputy Secretary and General Counsel James Bailey told legislators that HB 4408 would encourage private investment. The bill authorizes the DNR director to enter into third-party contracts to fund, build, and operate recreational, lodging, and ancillary facilities at state forests and parks.

State law already permits the DNR director to do so at Chief Logan, Beech Fork, Tomlinson Run, Stonewall Jackson Lake, Lost River, and Canaan Valley Resort state parks.

The bill’s approval came after the House voted 61-63 to reject an amendment on Friday that would have limited the scope of activities that could make the DNR director enter into third-party contracts under the bill. This includes the prohibition of building a casino in any state park facility.

The newly-approved HB 4408 would increase the maximum term of financing, building, and operating contracts for recreational facilities at state parks from 25 to 50 years. Under its statutory definition, recreational facilities are “cabins, lodges, swimming pools, golf courses, restaurants, commissaries, and other revenue-producing facilities in any state park or forest.”

This story originally appeared on WV Gazette Mail.

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Hi, you might find this article from Modern Campground interesting: West Virginia House Passes Bill Authorizing DNR to Enter into Third-Party Contracts for Rec Facilities at State Parks, Forests! This is the link: https://moderncampground.com/usa/west-virginia/west-virginia-house-passes-bill-authorizing-dnr-to-enter-into-third-party-contracts-for-rec-facilities-at-state-parks-forests/