The West Virginia Legislature finds that there is a significant need within the state and throughout the eastern United States for well-managed facilities for trail-oriented recreation for off-highway motor vehicle enthusiasts. The Legislature further finds that under an appropriate contractual and management scheme, well-managed, trail-oriented recreation facilities could exist on private property without diminishing the landowner's interest, control or profitability in the land and without increasing the landowner's exposure to liability.
The Legislature further finds that, with the cooperation of private landowners, there is an opportunity to provide trail-oriented recreation facilities primarily on private property in the mountainous terrain of southern West Virginia and that the facilities will provide significant economic and recreational benefits to the state and to the communities in southern West Virginia through increased tourism in the same manner as whitewater rafting and snow skiing benefit the state and communities surrounding those activities.
The Legislature further finds that the creation and empowering of a joint development entity to work with the landowners, county officials and community leaders, state and federal government agencies, recreational user groups and other interested parties to enable and facilitate the implementation of the facilities will greatly assist in the realization of these potential benefits.
The Legislature further finds that it is in the best interests of the state to encourage private landowners to make available for public use through the Hatfield-McCoy Regional Recreation Authority land for these recreational purposes by limiting their liability for injury to persons entering thereon, by limiting their liability for injury to the property of persons entering thereon and by limiting their liability to persons who may be injured or otherwise damaged by the acts or omissions of persons entering thereon.