‘Emergency preamble. Whereas, acts and resolves of the Legislature do not become effective until 90 days after adjournment unless enacted as emergencies; and
Whereas, the State's colleges, universities and kindergarten to grade 12 schools educate students in outdoor activities, safety and leadership; and
Whereas, the State's colleges, universities and kindergarten to grade 12 schools train their faculty and staff to safely lead outdoor recreation trips in the fields and forests and on the water and ice in the State that may include overnight camping at primitive areas; and
Whereas, the State's colleges and universities train their adult students to lead outdoor recreation trips in the fields and forests and on the water and ice in the State while camping at primitive camping areas; and
Whereas, the laws of Maine require anyone leading such trips who receives remuneration to have a Maine guide license; and
Whereas, although licensed Maine guides provide significant contributions to both the quality of safe outdoor experiences and the economy of the State, the licensing requirements for Maine guides may not be compatible with the needs of outdoor recreation trip leaders at the State's accredited colleges, universities and kindergarten to grade 12 schools; and
Whereas, this Act establishes a task force on outdoor recreation trips to create a statewide certification that conforms to the outdoor education needs of postsecondary and kindergarten to grade 12 school faculty and staff and college students who seek to safely lead trips available only to students, faculty and staff within a state-accredited educational institution; and
Whereas, the law must be amended to provide a transition period to allow state-accredited colleges, universities and kindergarten to grade 12 schools to come into compliance with Maine law regarding licensed guides; and
Whereas, in the judgment of the Legislature, these facts create an emergency within the meaning of the Constitution of Maine and require the following legislation as immediately necessary for the preservation of the public peace, health and safety; now, therefore,
Sec. 1. 12 MRSA §12853, sub-§7, as amended by PL 2009, c. 211, Pt. B, §11, is repealed and the following enacted in its place:
(1) The educational institution's programming prior to the effective date of this paragraph included conducting outdoor recreation trips; and
(2) Any outdoor recreation trip conducted by the educational institution does not include fishing, hunting, trapping, whitewater rafting or the use of snowmobiles or all-terrain vehicles.
For purposes of this paragraph, "educational institution" means a public school or private school, as those terms are defined in Title 20-A, section 1, or a postsecondary educational institution.
This paragraph is repealed October 1, 2022.
Sec. 2. Task force on outdoor recreation trips. The Commissioner of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife shall convene a task force on outdoor recreation trips, referred to in this section as "the task force."
1. Definitions. As used in this section, unless the context otherwise indicates, the following terms have the following meanings:
2. Membership. The Commissioner of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife shall invite the following to serve as members of the task force:
The Commissioner of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife or the commissioner's designee shall serve as a member of the task force.
3. Chairs. The member designated by the Chancellor of the University of Maine System and the Commissioner of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, or the commissioner's designee, are the cochairs of the task force.
4. Appointments. The cochairs shall call and convene the first meeting of the task force no later than 30 days following the effective date of this section.
5. Duties. The task force shall develop recommendations to establish:
6. Staff assistance. The University of Maine System shall provide necessary staffing services to the task force.
7. Report. By January 10, 2021, the Commissioner of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife shall report to the joint standing committee of the Legislature having jurisdiction over inland fisheries and wildlife matters the findings and conclusions of the task force under subsection 4, including any recommended legislation. The joint standing committee is authorized to submit a bill related to the report to the First Regular Session of the 130th Legislature.
Emergency clause. In view of the emergency cited in the preamble, this legislation takes effect when approved.’