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House passes EXPLORE Act to enhance land and water management

Published April 10, 2024

WASHINGTON (BRAIN) — The House of Representatives on Tuesday passed the Expanding Public Lands Outdoor Recreation Experiences (EXPLORE) Act, legislation supported by outdoor and bike industry groups.

The Senate is expected to discuss the bill in the coming weeks and has introduced bipartisan companion legislation — America's Outdoor Recreation Act — that has advanced out of committee.

The EXPLORE Act contains many bills that the Outdoor Alliance and its partners have helped develop and refine with lawmakers, including:

  • The Biking on Long Distance Trails (BOLT) Act, identifying and creating more long-distance bike trails.
  • The Protecting America's Rock Climbing Act, safeguarding wilderness climbing.
  • The Simplifying Outdoor Access for Recreation Act, improving recreational permitting for outfitters and guides.
  • Codifying the Federal Interagency Council on Outdoor Recreation and the Outdoor Recreation Legacy Partnership, which funds parks and green spaces in neighborhoods that need it most.

"The International Mountain Bicycling Association is thrilled the House of Representatives understands the physical, mental, and economic importance of outdoor recreation on our public lands, evidenced by the passage of the EXPLORE Act," said Todd Keller, IMBA director of government affa irs. "The mountain bike community is specifically excited about the BOLT Act that has been included within the text of the underlying bill."

Keller said the BOLT Act will identify at least 10 existing long-distance trails and at least 10 areas to develop or complete such trails.

"The bill will also direct the Department of Interior to publish and distribute maps, install signage, and distribute promotional materials," Keller said. "We now look to the Senate for quick action this summer to pass the EXPLORE Act and get it to the President's desk before the August recess."

The nonprofit Outdoor Alliance's mission is to conserve public lands. In addition to IMBA, it is composed of nine national advocacy organizations: American Whitewater, the American Canoe Association, Access Fund, Winter Wildlands Alliance, the Mountaineers, the American Alpine Club, the Mazamas, the Colorado Mountain Club, and the Surfrider Foundation.

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