AN ACT TO AUTHORIZE THE OVERMOUNTAIN VICTORY STATE TRAIL; TO AUTHORIZE THE WILDERNESS GATEWAY STATE TRAIL; AND TO MAKE VARIOUS CHANGES TO THE STATE PARKS ACT AND THE NORTH CAROLINA TRAILS SYSTEM ACT.
Identical to S 380, filed 3/27/19.
Provides legislative findings. Authorizes the Department of Natural and Cultural Resources (DNCR) to add Overmountain Victory National Historic Trail (Trail), as described, to the State Parks System as a State Trail as provided in GS 143B-135.54(b). Provides parameters regarding the facilitation of trail segments and governing laws. Exempts the authorization from requirement that additions be accompanied by adequate appropriations for land acquisition, development, and operations. Authorizes the State to receive donations of appropriate land and to purchase other needed lands for the Trail with existing funds in the Clean Water Management Trust Fund, the Parks and Recreation Trust Fund, the federal Land and Water Conservation Fund, and other available funding sources.
Authorizes DNCR to add the Wilderness Gateway Trail (Trail) to the State Parks System as a State Trail as provided in GS 143B-135.54(b). Provides identical provisions, exemptions, and authorizations as provided in Section 1.
Directs the Division of Parks and Recreation of DNCR (Division) to study the feasibility of connecting the Town of Valdese, the City of Hickory, the Overmountain Victory State Trail, natural areas located in Burke and Catawba counties, and other communities and places of interest to the Trail. Requires the study to consider improving access across and from Interstate 40 to specified portions of South Mountains State Park. Requires the Division to submit a report to the specified NCGA committee and division by December 1, 2019.
Amends GS 143B-135.43, granting DNCR the responsibility for the planning and coordination of State trails, which are deemed components of the State Parks System, authorized by GS 143B-135.54(b).
Amends GS 143B-135.92, now providing that the purpose of Part 34, North Carolina Trails System, is to provide means for attaining the specified outdoor recreation needs by instituting a State Trails System (was, a State system of scenic and recreation trails). Makes conforming changes.
Amends GS 143B-135.94, making conforming changes to refer to the State Trails System. Replaces the definition of trail, now defining the term to mean a linear corridor on land or water, protected from motor vehicles, providing public access for recreation or transportation.
Amends GS 143B-135.96, now providing that the State Trails System is composed of State trails, which are deemed components of the State Parks System, authorized by GS 143B-135.54(b), and planned and coordinated by the DNCR.
Amends GS 143B-135.104 to require DNCR to publish notice of a selected trail route together with the appropriate maps and descriptions online and at the proposed trail location (was in a newspaper of general circulation in the area in which the trail is located together with the maps and descriptions posted at the appropriate courthouse).
Amends GS 143B-135.108, establishing a general rule that, on segments of any State trail that cross property controlled by agencies or owners other than the Division, the laws, rules, and policies of those agencies or owner govern the use of the property. Makes conforming changes.
Amends GS 143B-135.116 to provide that Part 34 does not preclude a component of the National Trails System from becoming a part of the State Trails System.
Recodifies GS 143-323(a) and (d) as GS 143B-50.1(a) and (b), concerning duties of the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) regarding recreation. Transfers the existing duties of DEQ under the statute to DNCR. Additionally, designates the Director of the Division of Parks and Recreation as having the authority and responsibility to accept and administer funding through the federal Land and Water Conservation Fund or any successor fund established for similar purposes. Authorizes the DNCR Secretary to designate additional personnel to assist the Division Director in the responsibility.
Amends GS 143B-135.16, which makes a violation of DNCR's rules governing public use of State parks and State lakes under its charge a Class 3 misdemeanor. Now specifies seven rules punishable as an infraction, punishable by a penalty not to exceed $25; includes: (1) parking a motor vehicle outside of a designated area; (2) using skateboards and similar devices in prohibited areas; (3) bathing animals or washing clothes or motor vehicles; (4) bathing, surfing, diving, swimming, and the like in undesignated areas; (5) carrying or depositing glass, crockery, or any metallic substance on a swimming area or beach; (6) using boats, rafts, canoes, and other vessels in designated swimming areas; and (7) fishing in nondesignated areas. Adds a prohibition that a person found responsible for a violation carrying a penalty of an infraction of the statute cannot also be assessed court costs for the infraction.