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The EXPLORE Act Passes

House Passes Historic EXPLORE Act, A Milestone for Outdoor Recreation

WASHINGTON, D.C. — In a rare display of unity, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Expanding Public Lands Outdoor Recreation Experiences (EXPLORE) Act yesterday, marking a significant advancement in enhancing public access to the nation’s outdoor treasures. Spearheaded by House Committee on Natural Resources Chairman Bruce Westerman (R-Ark.) and Ranking Member Raúl Grijalva (D-Ariz.), the legislation received overwhelming bipartisan support.

The EXPLORE Act promises to modernize and expand access to public lands, making outdoor activities more accessible to veterans, service members, and individuals with disabilities, while also supporting local economies through improved infrastructure and increased tourism.

Key Features of the EXPLORE Act:

  • Modernization of technology to enhance visitor experiences with digital passes and better broadband connectivity.
  • Streamlining of the permit process for small businesses and reduction of fees, boosting local economies dependent on tourism.
  • Creation of new trails for climbers and bikers and restoration of campgrounds and other recreational facilities.
  • Special provisions to improve accessibility for military personnel, veterans, and people with disabilities.
Learn more about the Explore Act’s provisions here.

Supporters of the bill span across a variety of outdoor activities, including hunting, fishing, rock climbing, and camping. Over 100 outdoor organizations have backed the legislation, praising its comprehensive approach to improving both the reach and quality of recreational opportunities.

“The EXPLORE Act is a game-changer for our public lands and for the millions of Americans who enjoy them,” stated Byron Harvison of the American Alpine Club. Kaden McArthur from Backcountry Hunters & Anglers highlighted the act’s potential to enhance management and access, thus benefiting a wide range of outdoor enthusiasts.

Additional supporters include REI Co-op, the Outdoor Industry Association, International Mountain Biking Association, American Hiking Society, the American Mountain Guides Association, and many other organizations and associations.

With the bill now heading to the Senate, where Senators Manchin and Barrasso are leading companion legislation, there is a robust optimism that the EXPLORE Act will soon become law, ushering in a new era for public land recreation in America.

Alex Derr, Founder of The Next Summit

Alex Derr is an Eagle Scout, climber, and environmental policy expert located in Denver, Colorado. He created The Next Summit to help others stay safe exploring the mountains and advocate to preserve the peaks for the future. Follow him on Linkedin or Twitter or click here to contact him.

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Hi, I'm Alex!

In 2018, I watched in disbelief as dozens of people hiked into a storm on Longs Peak, unaware of the extreme danger. Soon after, I started The Next Summit to educate and empower the public to safely and responsibly explore America's mountains.

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