Like our partners at the Outdoor Industry Association, AFFTA is extremely disappointed in Utah’s Governor Herbert as he signed a bill into law that severely restricts river access for recreationists, anglers and outdoor sportsmen. The Colorado legislature recently tabled a bill that would have allowed recreationists to float through waters that are currently closed to public access. In the past week, proponents and opponents of the measure filed the preliminary documents to put the question on Colorado’s November ballot. AFFTA supports the use of public waters for fishing and all recreational pursuits while respecting the rights of private landowners. Ideally, all western states need river access laws similar to those in Montana.
AFFTA will oppose any measure that restricts anglers access to public waters and support any effort to open public waters to public fishing.
Statement by OIA President Frank Hugelmeyer regarding Governor Herbert’s signing of HB141
“Outdoor Industry Association is extremely disappointed in Governor Herbert’s decision to sign into law a bill that severely restricts river access for recreationists, anglers and outdoor sportsmen. This legislation causes direct harm to Utah’s national reputation as a recreation destination. More importantly, HB141 severely penalizes outdoor businesses that contribute $4 billion in annual retail sales and services and support more than 65,000 quality jobs in the state. The Governor’s action is a disservice to an outdoor business community still struggling to recover from the recession and will discourage new businesses from locating in the state, thus hurting Utah’s overall economy and tax base. In this decision, Utah’s leadership has failed to recognize the vital importance of outdoor recreation to Utah’s economic health and quality of life.”