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IMBA supports federal recreation bill

Published July 28, 2017

BOULDER, Colo. (BRAIN) — The International Mountain Bicycling Association said it enthusiastically endorses new legislation that would update processes and policies on national public lands to improve outdoor recreation.

The Recreation-Not-Red-Tape Act (S.1633) has been endorsed by most national outdoor recreation groups. To the benefit of mountain bikers in particular, IMBA said the bill could lead to more places to ride by National Recreation Areas, a new designation for protected lands. It also would encourage volunteer work on protected lands, identify counter-seasonal activities on some federal lands, such as summer activities at ski areas on federal land, require federal agencies like the Bureau of Land Management and U.S. Forest Service to coordinate uniform management of trails that cross agency boundaries and add "recreation" to the missions of more federal land management agencies, including the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and Bureau of Reclamation. 

The legislation was introduced Wednesday by Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Rep. Rob Bishop (R-UT). 

"On behalf of mountain bikers and our outdoor allies who value our public lands for their natural and scenic value and for healthy, active outdoor recreation, I would like to thank Senator Wyden and Representative Bishop for coming together to introduce the RNR Act. These public servants see the value these designations provide for people, communities and landscapes," said Dave Wiens, IMBA's Executive Director.

IMBA and Outdoor Alliance have worked with Wyden's office to shape key components of the RNR Act. A version of the bill was introduced last session but lacked bipartisan support and died with the end of President Obama's term. IMBA said the updated bill has been improved and simplified, and has garnered more diverse bipartisan interest.

Aaron Clark, IMBA's conservation manager, said, "At a time when mountain biking continues to grow in popularity, it's great to see forward-thinking policy like the RNR Act. This bipartisan bill recognizes the value of more flexible land protection designations like National Recreation Areas, the benefits of including 'recreation' in the missions of more land management agencies, and how expanding seasonal recreation can strengthen local economies. Ultimately, the RNR Act will help improve public access to trails for mountain bikers and other recreationalists."


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