At its meeting in Apalachicola on Wednesday, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) recognized state Sen. Charles Dean and former Rep. Leonard Bembry for their efforts to pass a bill earlier in the year making it easier for landowners to accommodate the public and still have liability protection.

The bill, signed into law by Gov. Rick Scott, amends Florida Statute s. 375.251.

“I want to take the lead in saluting Sen. Dean and former Rep. Bembry for carrying the ball across the goal line,” said Commissioner Brian Yablonski. “They are warriors for our youth hunting and fishing efforts.”

The changes, which went into effect July 1, provide limited liability protection to landowners who enter into a written agreement with the state to make their land available for outdoor recreation.

Another component protects landowners from liability when they open their property up to any person, at no charge, primarily for hunting, fishing and wildlife-viewing activities. The landowner must provide written or posted notice of the liability protection.

These enhancements make it easier for landowners to host events such as a day-long youth hunt or a weekend fishing derby. That makes it more enticing for kids – and adults – to enjoy Florida’s great outdoors.

Sen. Dean and former Rep. Bembry presented the Commission with copies of the original signed bills.

For more information about youth opportunities, contact Rae Waddell at

Logo courtesy Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission

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