US legislators take ‘major’ step towards improving outdoor access in the US
The American Sportfishing Association (ASA) has welcomed the passing of a bill that has been described as a major advancement for the future of outdoor recreation in the United States.
The Expanding Public Lands Outdoor Recreation Experiences (EXPLORE) Act was passed by the National Resources Committee this week by unanimous consent. The action underlines the momentum the Outdoor Recreation Roundtable (ORR) and industry partners have built over recent years to advance policies that improve access and transform outdoor activities like boating and fishing.
The EXPLORE Act would:
- Enable permit streamlining to ease burdens on outfitters and guides and improve access to the outdoors;
- Improve access to recreation on public lands and waters;
- Ensure access to green spaces in under-served communities;
- Develop, improve and complete long range trails;
- Invest in rural economic development.
“Congress has a tremendous opportunity to bolster the nation’s $1.1 trillion outdoor recreation economy through the passage of the EXPLORE Act,” said Glenn Hughes, President of the ASA. “Well managed and accessible federal lands are vital to recreational fishing and boating, which is the largest contributor to the outdoor recreation economy. “
“Thank you to Chair Bruce Westerman (R-AR) and Ranking Member Raul Grijalva (D-AZ) for spearheading the EXPLORE Act, which will help safeguard our natural resources and ensure our bodies of water are properly preserved and protected,”said Frank Hugelmeyer, President and CEO of the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA).
“This legislation not only increases outdoor recreation access for millions of Americans but also mandates vital enhancements to detect and manage aquatic invasive species. On behalf of the recreational boating industry, NMMA is proud to support this important legislation that helps keep our lakes and inland waterways healthy and strengthens boaters’ access to these natural resources.”