America Outdoors Celebrates Progress on the SOAR Act for Outfitters and Guides

MEDIA RELEASE: July 29, 2020: This morning, the U.S. House Committee on Natural Resources unanimously passed the Simplifying Access for Outdoor Recreation Act, which moves the bill to the House Floor. With this level of support, the SOAR Act has great momentum in the House. America Outdoors is optimistic that the bill will move swiftly to the Senate.

“America’s outfitters and guides have been struggling, and it is incredibly helpful to have broad, bipartisan support for the industry,” said Aaron Bannon, Executive Director of America Outdoors. “By streamlining the permitting process and setting reasonable fees, the outdoor recreation experience industry will be in a better place to endure this difficult year and thrive in the years to come.”

The SOAR Act, H.R. 3879, contains a number of provisions that improve the permitting paradigm between outfitters and public lands agencies. Key provisions include:

  • Establishing multi-jurisdictional permitting across agencies;

  • Streamlining permitting for “substantially similar” uses; 

  • Constraining cost recovery, a fee that public land agencies charge a company to conduct an environmental analysis for new or additional use that would be permitted. 

The act was carefully crafted to ensure that permitting is simplified for all. While there is new capacity for additional permitting, use currently assigned to outfitters is preserved. Outdoor recreation providers from across the spectrum, for-profit and non-profit, recreational and educational, are aligned behind the SOAR Act. Passing this act will resolve long-standing strains, redundant protocols, and dysfunctional systems.

 

About America Outdoors

The America Outdoors Association is a community of outdoor recreation providers who have joined together to promote and support the outdoor recreation industry through advocacy, education, and collaboration. AO has been working on behalf of the outdoor industry for over 30 years.

Contact: Aaron Bannon, abannon@americaoutdoors.org

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