SOAR Act Advances in U.S. House

We're one step closer to fixing the recreational permitting process that creates barriers for people to experience the outdoors. The Simplifying Outdoor Access for Recreation (SOAR) Act moves forward in the House - learn more and voice your support.
The Mountaineers The Mountaineers
July 31, 2020

This week, we're thrilled that legislation we've been working on for over six years - the Simplifying Outdoor Access for Recreation (SOAR) Act - passed out of the U.S. House Natural Resources Committee. Next, the bill will head to the House floor for a vote. That means we're one step closer to fixing the current inefficient, unpredictable recreational permitting system that creates barriers for people to experience the outdoors through outdoor programs like The Mountaineers.

The Mountaineers has actively shaped and advocated for the SOAR Act as a member of the Coalition for Outdoor Access (COA). 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, nonprofit leadership organizations, or university outdoor programs.

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're also excited that the version of the bill passed out of committee also includes provisions of the Recreation Not Red Tape Act, another bill supported by The Mountaineers. This legislation focuses on making recreation a higher priority of land management agencies, makes it easier to buy national and state recreation passes, and more. 

The SOAR Act passed out of the House Natural Resources Committee by unanimous consent, a testament to the bill's bipartisan support by legislators and a broad spectrum of stakeholders who take people outside on public lands. We're also thankful to Washington's Senator Patty Murray and Representatives Derek Kilmer and Suzan DelBene for sponsoring this bill! 

Let your legislators know that the SOAR Act is important to helping people experience public lands:

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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.

main image: Summer camp at Mt. baker, photo by katie love.