Action Alert!: Recreation Legislation Update

Following the House Committee on Natural Resources' hearing on the SOAR Act, we encourage you to let your legislators know that improving access and permitting is important!
The Mountaineers The Mountaineers
September 25, 2019

This past week, two pieces of legislation that we’ve helped shape and advocated for – the Simplifying Outdoor Access for Recreation (SOAR) Act and the Recreation Not Red Tape (RNR) Act - had a hearing in the House Committee on Natural Resources. Hearings like this are important steps for a bill to move through the legislative process to eventually become law. The goals of both bills include reducing friction in the permitting process without compromising environmental considerations or the experience of non-commercial public lands visitors.

The Mountaineers has actively shaped and advocated for the SOAR Act as a member of the Coalition for Outdoor Access (COA). This work is important to us both because of significant access issues our organization has experienced with the permitting system on federal lands, and because, as a mission-driven organization, we believe in the importance of everyone having opportunities to get outside. For many people, their first experience outdoors is through some sort of facilitated access, like with an outdoor education organization or another type of outfitter guide.

We were excited to have two representatives of COA steering committee organizations, the American Mountain Guides Association and the YMCA’s Bold & Gold, testify in support of the positive impacts the SOAR Act will have. You can watch the hearing here.

As both federal land management agencies and the involved organizations highlighted, the SOAR Act will improve the recreational permitting systems of federal land agencies so more people can experience public lands through volunteer-based clubs (like The Mountaineers!), with an outfitter, guide, non-profit outdoor leadership organizations, or university outdoor programs.

Let your legislators know that this legislation is important to helping people experience public lands:

TAKE ACTION

Check out our full blog for a deeper dive on specifics of the SOAR Act, and walk through our historical posts on this topic for even more info.

The Recreation Not Red Tape Act was the other bill highlighted in the hearing, and it focuses on creating means for land managers to evaluate landscapes for recreational values, making recreation a higher priority of land management agencies, and much more. Check out our partners Outdoor Alliance's great blog on the hearing and the legislation.