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Senate committee advances package to fund recreation infrastructure, public lands access

Published May 3, 2022

WASHINGTON (BRAIN) — The U.S. Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee moved a policy package to the Senate floor Tuesday that would fund recreation infrastructure and expand access on federal public lands. The bill also would help develop long-distance bike trails and streamline the recreation permitting process.

The package requires approval of the House of Representatives — in addition to the Senate — and includes the Biking on Long Distance Trails (BOLT) Act and the Simplifying Outdoor Access to Recreation (SOAR) Act.

PeopleForBikes sent a letter in support of these and several other bills included in the package before the committee's last hearing on recreation policy on Dec. 1.

"America's Outdoor Recreation Act of 2022 will make biking and mountain biking experiences on our public lands more accessible, sustainable, and enjoyable for all," said PeopleForBikes President and CEO Jenn Dice. "Provisions like SOAR and BOLT will help meet the growing demand for bicycling as a low-cost, emissionless, and tourism-driving activity. This package proves that bike policy brings both sides of the aisle together to grow infrastructure and access. We look forward to working with the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee on advancing this first-of-its-kind bipartisan investment in the future of recreation."

The BOLT Act would direct federal land management agencies from the Department of Interior to the U.S. Forest Service under the Department of Agriculture to work together to identify and develop 10 unique, long-distance trails for biking.

The SOAR Act would streamline the recreation permitting process, lessening the duplicative paperwork that guides and outfitters are required to submit for multi-day and multi-jurisdictional bike trips.

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