The state Department of Fish and Game currently fines lost hikers who recklessly venture into the woods to pay for the cost of the rescue, but now the department will have the power to revoke the driver’s licenses of those who don’t pay. Hikers can also lose licenses with the state Health and Human Services Department, and hunting and fishing licenses.
The law also gives the state more power over who they decide to fine. Previously, the state had to prove someone acted recklessly before charging a hiker for repayment for a rescue. This meant the state had to show the hiker or hikers were aware going into the woods posed a substantial risk but they did it anyway. Now the state only has to prove the person was negligent.
With this year's winter currently shaping up to be another doozey, it'll be interesting to see how this law pans out. In the meanwhile- Happy New Year everyone and may you resolve to live life fuller, healthier, and more connected to the Natural World!
(photo- Town hall from the old homestead in chilly New Hampshire)