Will Great Outdoors Month allow more people to EXPLORE?

Hundreds of national and local businesses and organisations spanning the entire $1.1 trillion outdoor recreation economy are calling on the US Senate to pass the Expanding Public Lands Outdoor Recreation Experiences (EXPLORE) Act.

This bipartisan legislation would increase access and transform outdoor recreation opportunities across the country for all activities and all Americans.

The EXPLORE Act passed the House in April by unanimous consent and is poised to stimulate local and national economies, enhance access for Americans – particularly those in underserved communities and with disabilities –to the outdoors, and modernise policies to bolster the recreation businesses that bridge people with nature and support 5 million jobs across America.

The bill is similar to the America’s Outdoor Recreation Act (AORA), which passed the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee last year.

In a letter to the Senate, the Outdoor Recreation Roundtable, Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership, Outdoor Allianc, and a broad coalition of over 250 outdoor recreation businesses and organisations called on Senators to swiftly pass the EXPLORE Act.

“During Great Outdoors Month, advancing the EXPLORE Act in the Senate would represent a landmark achievement, garnering widespread support from the most diverse cross-section of the outdoor sector, including motorized and human-powered recreation, sportsmen and sportswomen, conservationists, economic development advocates, and state and local leaders across the country.”

Jessica Wahl Turner, president of Outdoor Recreation Roundtable, added: “Congress is closer than ever to making history and passing the first-ever outdoor recreation-specific bill package.

“From businesses, associations and conservation groups to veteran organisations and state outdoor recreation offices, there is overwhelming support for the EXPLORE Act spanning the entire $1.1 trillion outdoor recreation economy.

“This historic legislation aligns with the ever-growing enthusiasm for outdoor activities and addresses the need for our policies and infrastructure to reflect outdoor engagement and support over 5 million jobs. It will allow our industry to excel at what we do best: support healthy people, places, communities and economies.

“We are calling on the Senate to pass the EXPLORE Act and show our collective commitment to ensuring outdoor experiences are accessible to everyone now and for future generations.”

“The EXPLORE Act will expand access opportunities to a variety of public land users, streamline permitting processes for outdoor recreation businesses, and modernize outdoor infrastructure,” said Becky Humphries, president and CEO of the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership. “We urge Congress to pass this important legislation into law.”