This week, the House introduced the EXPLORE Act, a bipartisan package which aims to protect and expand outdoor recreation on America’s public lands and waters. This means that the Senate and House have now introduced complementary packages of outdoor recreation policy: America’s Outdoor Recreation Act (AORA) in the Senate and the Expanding Public Lands Outdoor Recreation Experiences (EXPLORE) Act in the House. Both packages include the Biking on Long Distance Trails (BOLT) Act, as well as several other great bills for bikepacking and outdoor recreation.
This is an important step! Last year the BOLT act was actually successful in passing through both the House and Senate, but it did so as a stand-alone bill in the House and part of a package in the Senate. This meant it was unable to move forward before the end of the Congressional session. Earlier this year, the bill was re-introduced in both chambers, but again as a stand-alone bill in the House and part of a package in the Senate.
The introduction of the EXPLORE Act in the House moves things closer to passing companion recreation packages in both the House and the Senate.
For the past two years, Bikepacking Roots has been a lead advocate for the BOLT Act, alongside important partners including the International Mountain Bicycling Association (IMBA) and Outdoor Alliance. The Biking on Long-Distance Trails (BOLT) Act will identify at least 10 existing long-distance bike trails and identify at least 10 areas where there is opportunity to develop or complete such trails. The bill will also allow the Department of Interior to publish and distribute maps, install signage, and distribute promotional materials.
The voice of the bikepacking community will matter tremendously in moving these recreation packages along and ensuing the BOLT Act is a component of the package. Make your voice heard by writing your lawmakers about it today. Customizing & submitting a message to all of your representatives about both the AORA and EXPLORE packages is easy using this form set up by our partners at IMBA:
To read more about other components of the EXPLORE Act, check out this recent post from Outdoor Alliance.
This work isn’t possible without the support of our membership. If you want to help Bikepacking Roots continue to advocate for the bikepacking community and protection of the public lands through which we ride, consider making a donation today.