EXPLORE Act Passes Through the U.S. House

April 9, 2024 03:08 PM

Outfitters and Guides Celebrate EXPLORE Act Passage Through the U.S. House

Today marks a significant milestone as the U.S. House of Representatives overwhelmingly voted to pass the Expanding Public Lands Outdoor Recreation Experiences (EXPLORE) Act.

The EXPLORE Act encompasses key provisions from America Outdoors’ flagship legislation, the SOAR Act, among many other outdoor recreation initiatives. America Outdoors thanks Chairman Westerman and Ranking Member Grijalva, and the numerous additional co-sponsors, for their leadership and support of facilitated recreation opportunities.

America Outdoors Executive Director, Aaron Bannon, commented, “America’s outfitters have been working toward this for years and couldn’t be more pleased. This legislation will not only benefit outfitters and public lands agencies but also outdoor enthusiasts. It is now imperative for the Senate to take up this bill, allowing outfitters to concentrate on their primary mission: providing transformative outdoor experiences for the guided public.”

Key provisions of the EXPLORE Act include:

  • Encouraging existing outfitters to relinquish unused operating days to managing agencies without penalties for utilization by other operators.

  • Upholding the integrity of existing special recreation permits.

  • Facilitating avenues for new operators to enter and expand their operations.

  • Preventing excessive fees for operating on federal lands.

  • Establishing a multi-jurisdictional permitting authority for activities spanning multiple agencies.

  • Ensuring the continuity of US Forest Service Temporary Permits.

Support for EXPLORE 

”The EXPLORE Act will be revolutionary for outfitters and the industry. I’d like to thank Congressman Westerman, who has been a steadfast supporter of outdoor recreation in Arkansas and beyond.”  

-Austin Albers, Buffalo Outdoor Center, Ponca, Arkansas  

“The EXPLORE Act will make a tremendous difference for guides and outfitters, land managers, and all people who love recreating on America's public lands. For the 200 guides and 8,000 guests who lead and join Wildland Trekking trips annually, this crucial legislation will ensure access to our iconic mountains, forests, canyons, deserts and seashores. I want to express our deep appreciation to Congressman Grijalva and Congressman Westerman for championing this important bill so that current and future generations can enjoy America's breathtaking landscapes!” 

-Scott Cundy, Wildland Trekking, based in Flagstaff, Arizona 

About America Outdoors

 America Outdoors is committed to growing, protecting, and serving outfitter businesses and organizations through advocacy, business resources, and community. AO has been working on behalf of the outdoor industry for over 30 years. For more information, please visit our website www.americaoutdoors.org. 

For Government Affairs issues, please email Executive Director, Aaron Bannon: abannon@americaoutdoors.org

For general inquiries, please email Marketing & Events Manager, Hilary Wickes: hwickes@americaoutdoors.org

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