The BOLT Act is in Committee in both the House and Senate, and we need your help in moving this bill forward!
What is the BOLT Act?
The “Biking on Long-distance Trails” Act is federal legislation that would result in the identification of potential new long-distance bike trails on federally managed lands.
What does the BOLT Act mean for the future of trails and bikepacking?
If passed, the BOLT Act will mandate that federal land managers identify potential for new long distance bike trails. This could lead to support for restoration of existing long distance bike trails that need resurrection, completion of long distance trails that are in progress, and federal support for existing and new long distance trails.
How has Bikepacking Roots been involved in the BOLT Act?
We’ve been working with the International Mountain Bike Association (IMBA) and the Adventure Cycling Association (ACA) in communicating with the Congressional committee staff involved in refining the BOLT Act language. BPR, with support from IMBA and ACA, have specifically recommended refining the language used to define “long-distance trails” in the context of the BOLT Act to those that:
- Are primarily dirt/natural surface (short connectors on pavement/improved roads are acceptable)
- Are generally 80+ miles in length on Federally-managed lands
- Are composed of generally consistent types of trail (i.e., primarily singletrack, or primarily 4×4 roads)
- May be used for mountain biking and/or bikepacking (multi-day trips)
In refining this language, the BOLT Act will be more specific to dirt oriented, off-road bikepacking rather than paved or gravel trails. We recommended this change because we currently can create exceptional gravel and road routes without substantial land manager involvement, but singletrack routes require much more of land managers like the Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management.
Bikepacking Roots has submitted testimony to the House Committee on Natural Resources to voice our support as representatives of bikepackers. Now we’re calling on you, the bikepackers, to join us in voicing your support for the BOLT Act! Committee votes are likely to happen soon, so let’s all help this bill advance.
How can you support the BOLT Act?
Call or write your member of congress and share your support for the BOLT Act. You can use the Advocacy Toolbox for Bikepackers for tips to make your call or letter effective, or you can submit a comment through the Action Network set up by ACA. When submitting a comment through this platform, be sure to customize the text to reflect your personal values around bikepacking on long distance trails! You can refer to the bikepacking talking points provided at the bottom of the Advocacy Toolbox for Bikepackers. Including your personal story goes a long way! Beyond this, encourage your fellow bikepackers to speak up, too.