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January 18, 2024

EXPLORE Act Passes House Natural Resources Committee

By: Rachel Fussell, eMTB policy and program manager

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The bipartisan legislation looks to improve and expand America’s outdoor recreation economy while delivering sustainable economic boosts to rural communities.

The bipartisan Expanding Public Lands Outdoor Recreation Experiences (EXPLORE) Act was introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives by Representatives Bruce Westerman (R-AR) and Raul Grijalva (D-AZ) to improve and expand America’s outdoor recreation economy while delivering sustainable economic boosts to rural communities. The EXPLORE Act recently unanimously passed through the House Natural Resources Committee. The comprehensive package contains several ground-breaking recreation bills, including the Military and Veterans in Parks (MVP) Act, Outdoors for All Act, Outdoor Recreation Act, Biking on Long Distance Trails Act, and many others.

If signed into law, this bipartisan outdoor recreation legislation, which complements the Senate’s America’s Outdoor Recreation Act (AORA), will significantly improve and expand access to outdoor recreation opportunities on our public lands and waters. PeopleForBikes strongly advocated for the passage of the EXPLORE Act and the companion AORA to expand access to the great outdoors for all Americans.

The EXPLORE Act will facilitate greater access to outdoor recreation by:

  • Modernizing permitting for guides and outfitters on public lands
  • Building adaptive trails for veterans and people with disabilities
  • Improving access to recreation on public lands and waters
  • Ensuring access to green spaces in underserved communities by prioritizing funding for local outdoor recreation projects
  • Developing, improving, and completing long-distance trails
  • Investing in rural economic development

A recent assessment by the U.S. Department of Commerce found that the growth of the outdoor recreation industry is outpacing the broader domestic economy and its economic impact totals $1.1 trillion. There has never been a better time to invest in outdoor recreation and show that access to our public lands and waters is a priority for millions of Americans.

WHO SUPPORTS THE EXPLORE ACT?

  • Access Fund
  • America Outdoors
  • American Alpine Club
  • American Hiking Society
  • American Horse Council
  • American Mountain Guides Association
  • American Prairie
  • American Sportfishing Association
  • Archery Trade Association
  • Association of Marina Industries
  • Backcountry Hunters and Anglers
  • CHM Government Services
  • Diving Equipment and Marketing Association
  • INFORMS
  • International Snowmobile Manufacturers Association
  • Marine Retailers Association of the Americas
  • Motorcycle Industry Council
  • National Forest Recreation Association
  • National Marine Manufacturers Association
  • National Park Hospitality Association
  • National RV Dealers Association
  • National Ski Areas Association
  • National Wild Turkey Federation
  • OHI
  • Outdoor Alliance
  • Outdoor Industry Association
  • Outdoor Recreation Roundtable
  • PeopleForBikes
  • Professional TrailBuilders Association
  • Recreational Off-Highway Vehicle Association
  • REI Co-op
  • Rivian
  • RV Industry Association
  • Snowsports Industries America
  • Specialty Equipment Market Association
  • Specialty Vehicle Institute of America
  • Sports and Fitness Industry Association
  • Surfrider Foundation
  • The Conservation Alliance
  • The Corps Network
  • The Mountaineers
  • Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership
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