WASHINGTON, D.C., — In a landmark bipartisan achievement, the U.S. House of Representatives has passed the Expanding Public Lands Outdoor Recreation Experiences (EXPLORE) Act. This critical step demonstrates the powerful momentum Outdoor Recreation Roundtable (ORR) members and industry partners have helped generate in promoting policies that expand access and transform outdoor recreation opportunities. The outdoor recreation economy, recently valued at over $1.1 trillion, continues to build upon the success of the Great American Outdoors Act of 2022—one of the most significant public lands and waters legislations enacted in our nation’s history. 

The EXPLORE Act’s passage through the House represents a historic moment as it is the first-ever outdoor recreation-specific bill package, and it achieves this without cost to taxpayers. The bipartisan legislation is poised to stimulate local and national economies, enhance access for Americans—particularly those in underserved communities—to green spaces, and modernize policies to bolster the recreation businesses that bridge people with nature. The bill complements the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee’s America’s Outdoor Recreation Act (AORA). 

Jessica Wahl Turner, President of the Outdoor Recreation Roundtable, commended the House’s action, stating, “The House’s passage of the EXPLORE Act is a pivotal advancement for outdoor recreation and the outdoor recreation industry in the United States. Spearheaded by the collaborative efforts of Chairman Bruce Westerman, Ranking Member Raul Grijalva, and a bipartisan group of their colleagues, this legislation shows our collective commitment to ensure outdoor experiences are accessible to every American now and for future generations. As we celebrate this victory, we look forward to the Senate, led by the champions of AORA – Senators Manchin and Barrasso – quickly taking up the mantle and working towards enacting these crucial measures.” 

ORR and its membership applaud this significant progress in the House and call for the expedient passage of the outdoor recreation package through the Senate. This action is vital for the protection and enjoyment of our public lands, waters, and the communities prospering from them. 

The EXPLORE Act will: 

  • Facilitate permit streamlining, alleviating challenges for outfitters and guides, and enhancing access to outdoor adventures; 
  • Expand recreation on public lands and waters; 
  • Guarantee green space access in underserved communities; 
  • Develop, improve, and complete long-range trails; and 
  • Boost rural economic development. 

For more information on the bill and its progress, visit See a list of quotes from supporting organizations, visit  

Outdoor Recreation Roundtable Member Quotes: 

“Outfitters & guides operating on our most cherished landscapes are celebrating today’s unified action in the House to support the guided public and to improve facilitated recreation access,” said Aaron Bannon, Executive Director of America Outdoors. “By passing the EXPLORE Act the House is signaling a clear desire for land managers to increase opportunities for authentic, transformational outdoor recreation experiences for all on the iconic lands and waters of America.” 

  “AHC supports the EXPLORE Act because it protects access for horses and packers on public lands,” said Julie Broadway, President of the American Horse Council. “Maintaining and expanding trail access on public lands ensures the next generation of horseback riders can explore and recreate safely alongside other users. The inclusion of language to identify and adopt policies to promote conflict avoidance on multiple use trails is extremely important for the welfare of all users, and especially those who are riding or packing. AHC also commends the inclusion of the MVP Act (Military and Veterans in Parks Act) which holds the potential to expand access for Veterans and Active-Duty military as there are proven therapeutic benefits associated with outdoor recreation and Equine assisted service/therapy.”  

“One of the main barriers to getting people into the outdoors for recreational opportunities, especially hunting, is that it is oftentimes difficult to find places to go,” National Wild Turkey Federation Co-CEO Jason Burckhalter said. “The EXPLORE Act will increase access and infrastructure on our nation’s public lands for all types of outdoor enjoyment, offering everyone greater opportunities to experience the life-changing power of the outdoors.” 

“Bicycling is a growing part of the outdoor recreation experience and the EXPLORE Act will make accessing the outdoors easier for bicycling and other outdoor recreation activities,” said Jenn Dice, CEO of PeopleForBikes. “This package proves that bike policy brings both sides of the aisle together to grow infrastructure and access. We look forward to working with Congress on advancing this first-of-its-kind bipartisan investment in the future of recreation.”  

“We are thrilled to see Congress taking action to ensure each American has the opportunity to enjoy outdoor spaces in their own community, bolster economic growth, and advance mental and physical health benefits for all,” said Kent Ebersole, President of Outdoor Industry Association. “The outdoor recreation economy continues to soar to new levels, accounting for over $1 trillion in consumer spending and demonstrating participant growth for the eighth consecutive year. This is an important inflection point. We must modernize, preserve, and increase access to the public lands and waterways – regardless of where someone lives or works – and support more than five million employees who help drive our industry forward.”  

“The Archery Trade Association is thankful for the many champions in Congress supporting this important legislation” said Dan Forster, Vice President & Chief Conservation Officer of the Archery Trade Association. “The EXPLORE Act will help ensure that our federal public lands are accessible, well managed, and continue to provide a critically important foundation for outdoor recreation enthusiasts.”  

“The recreational boating industry thanks Chairman Westerman and Ranking Member Grijalva for being champions of this important legislation and all who voted to pass the EXPLORE Act out of the House. This critical bipartisan legislation will ultimately improve outdoor recreation opportunities on our federal lands while simultaneously supporting the outfitters and federal employees that make these opportunities possible,” said Matt Gruhn, President of the Marine Retailers Association of the Americas. “Passing during a time of legislative gridlock highlights the continued commitment of the House of Representatives to supporting our nation’s diverse outdoor recreation economy and ensuring these opportunities exist for all Americans. From mental health benefits to providing much needed economic stimulus for rural communities, the power of outdoor recreation in America is no secret, and the MRAA lauds the House’s commitment to improving and growing outdoor recreation experiences on our nation’s public lands and waters.” 

“At REI Co-op we believe everyone should have easy access to nature, yet 100 million Americans lack access to a quality green space close to home. The EXPLORE Act, a first-of-its-kind package of outdoor recreation bills, will both strengthen our public lands and increase opportunities for all people to enjoy time outside. The bill centers bipartisan solutions that increase equitable access to the outdoors by increasing resources for outdoor recreation, including long-distance trails and urban parks in historically overlooked communities, said Taldi Harrison, Director of Community & Government Affairs, REI Co-op.  

“Thank you to Chair Bruce Westerman (R-AR) and Ranking Member Raul Grijalva (D-AZ) for spearheading the EXPLORE Act, which will help safeguard our natural resources and ensure our bodies of water are properly preserved and protected,” said Frank Hugelmeyer, President and CEO of the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA). “This legislation not only increases outdoor recreation access for millions of Americans but also mandates vital enhancements to detect and manage aquatic invasive species. On behalf of the recreational boating industry, NMMA is proud to support this important legislation that helps keep our lakes and inland waterways healthy and strengthens boaters’ access to these natural resources.”  

“Congress has a tremendous opportunity to bolster the nation’s $1.1 trillion outdoor recreation economy through passage of the EXPLORE Act,” said Glenn Hughes, President of the American Sportfishing Association. “Well managed and accessible federal lands are vital to recreational fishing and boating, which is the largest contributor to the outdoor recreation economy. The sportfishing industry thanks Chair Westerman, Ranking Member Grijalva, Chair Tiffany and Ranking Member Neguse for championing this important effort.”  

“The EXPLORE Act is bipartisan legislation that will help ensure that Americans continue to enjoy the benefits of recreating outdoors for generations to come,” said National RV Dealers Association President Phil Ingrassia. “The act will improve and modernize recreation infrastructure on public lands to support everyone who enjoys the great outdoors, including the growing number of RV travelers.”  

“This first-of-its-kind comprehensive outdoor recreation package will make sustainable improvements to our nation’s campgrounds and greatly improve the experiences of current and future RVers,” said Craig Kirby, President & CEO of the RV Industry Association. “The EXPLORE Act is critical to the health and well-being of the $140 billion RV industry, which is the largest contributor to the $1.1 trillion outdoor recreation industry. In addition, the Act provides increased access to the great outdoors and offers an economic boost to both the local and national economies. We would like to thank Chairman Westerman and Ranking Member Grijalva for their steadfast leadership in advancing such a historic piece of legislation. Now is the time for the Senate to take action without delay, so all Americans can safely access and enjoy the great outdoors.”  

“Access to public lands and trails is crucial for the millions of ATV, dirt bike, and side-by-side riders and drivers of all incomes and abilities who enjoy the outdoors,” said Scott Schloegel, acting President and CEO of the Motorcycle Industry Council, Recreational Off-Highway Vehicle Association, and Specialty Vehicle Institute of America. ”The nearly $50 billion powersports industry applauds the House passage of the EXPLORE Act, which would help create additional opportunities for motorized access to federal recreational lands, improve recreation infrastructure, support local communities, and bolster our nation’s economy. We thank Representatives Bruce Westerman and Raul Grijalva for their leadership with this legislation and urge swift bipartisan action to pass this in the Senate.”   

“Here in Montana outdoor recreation generates over 4% of our GDP, second in the nation only to Hawaii. We support the bill’s funding for rural economic development in gateway communities and enhanced public access to public land,” said Mike Quist Kautz, Director of Public Access at American Prairie. 

“The Professional TrailBuilders Association (PTBA) commends the passage of the EXPLORE Act, especially the inclusion of recreation expansion on public lands, greenspace access in underserved communities, and a focus on long-range trails,” said Aaryn Kay, Executive Director at Professional TrailBuilders Association. “As the trade association for the trail industry with member companies putting trails on the ground in every US state, we have seen again and again that investment in recreation and trails has profound impacts on communities, from economic development, physical and mental health, and ultimately quality of life. And we believe that the EXPLORE Act will further these important community outcomes.”

“The EXPLORE Act offers commonsense solutions that will move the ball forward on many shared priorities in the outdoor recreation community. Support for our gateway communications, better understanding recreation visitation data, and improved connectivity in our parks are all efforts that will assist concessioners in welcoming visitors to our nation’s parks and helping them experience these special places,” said Mindy Meade Meyers, Executive Director of the National Park Hospitality Association. “We thank Chairman Westerman and Ranking Member Grijalva for their bipartisan leadership in spearheading this legislation.”

“The EXPLORE Act addresses a critical need—creating more access to spaces where people can routinely walk, bike and be active outside,” said Kevin Mills, Vice President of Policy, Rails to Trails Conservancy. “In particular, the Outdoor Recreation Legacy Partnership Grants Program directly addresses inequities in access to close-to-home outdoor opportunities. Multiuse trail networks contribute greatly to equitable access by creating safe, convenient routes to nature and other destinations in neighborhoods across the country.”

“SEMA thanks Chairman Westerman and Ranking Member Grijalva for their continued advocacy for the EXPLORE, which was critical in getting the House to pass the bill with such strong support. The bipartisan EXPLORE Act is critical to the motorized recreation community. The bill would streamline the process and expenses associated with obtaining special recreation permits, require federal land management agencies to increase opportunities for motorized and non-motorized access on public lands, and direct the BLM and Forest Service to make maps available to the public depicting where vehicles are allowed to recreate,” said Mike Spagnola, President & CEO of the Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA).  

“Outdated regulations in the outfitter-guide permitting system have made it time consuming, unpredictable, and unnecessarily difficult for people to experience outdoor recreation with an organized group, educational organization, or guide service,” said Matt Wade, Executive Director at the American Mountain Guides Association. “The EXPLORE Act includes provisions that will remove old roadblocks to access and enable more Americans to experience the joys of rock climbing, mountaineering, and backcountry skiing on America’s public lands. The American Mountain Guides Association applauds Congressmen Westerman and Grijalva for introducing the EXPLORE Act.”  

“America’s public lands – and the vast economy powered by outdoor recreation – represent a vital part of our cultural heritage for future generations,” said Dan West, Director of Public Policy at Rivian. “But keeping that promise requires that we modernize how we manage these resources, respond to new and evolving challenges, and facilitate a wide variety of recreation pursuits – from hiking to off-roading to bringing the kids on their first camping trip, all of which sustain good jobs and support local communities. We built Rivian to pursue an optimistic bet on our future and expand equitable and sustainable access to the outdoors. As part of that goal, we strongly support passage of the bipartisan EXPLORE Act to strengthen the outdoor economy for the benefit of every American.”  

“We applaud Chairman Westerman, Ranking Member Grijalva and the entire U.S. House of Representatives on this historic vote that elevates the importance of the outdoors,” said Julie Sutton, Senior Director Government Affairs, VF Corporation.  “The Explore Act will improve outdoor experiences, create more equitable access to nature, and invest in infrastructure so that everyone can enjoy the benefits of recreating outside.”