Senate bill expands outdoor opportunities

The state Senate passed three bills last week that aim to expand opportunities for New Yorkers to participate in sporting activities, including snowmobiling, fishing, and hunting.

One piece of legislation allows 12-year-olds to obtain a junior archery license, which is consistent with current age requirements for a junior hunting license.

In order to hunt, those junior license-holders must abide by several provisions - that includes being accompanied at all times by an experienced parent, guardian or adult.

A second bill enables "interested parties" who do not currently hold a fishing license to participate in school or university-sponsored, non-commercial fishing classes or clinics.

Under current law, individuals over the age of 16 must have a fishing license.

The third bill allows those under the age of 14 to participate in snocross events.

Proponents of the bill say it puts snocross in the same category as motocross, ATVs and motorcycles. Lawmakers say snocross events bring thousands of visitors to upstate New York and generate "significant economic activity."

State Senator Betty Little supported all three bills, noting they each passed with "strong bipartisan support."

"They will help New York's ailing economy by promoting more outdoor recreational activity," she said in an email sent to WNBZ.

Little hopes the Assembly will "recognize the importance" of the legislation and pass the bills in a bipartisan manner.

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