Barrasso’s Outside Recreation Act Strikes To Senate Ground

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By Leo Wolfson, Cowboy State Daily

A measure co-sponsored by US Senator John Barrasso to encourage outdoor recreation on America’s public lands has been submitted to the US Senate for consideration.

The American Outdoor Recreation Act, sponsored by Barrasso and US Senator Joe Manchin (D-West Virginia), was approved by the US Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources earlier this month and has been sent to the full Senate for review.

The bill is a non-partisan recreation package that would benefit outdoor activities like hiking, mountain biking and target shooting by providing funding for new hiking trails and recreation areas.

The bill also includes language intended to make it easier for film production companies to gain access to public lands by streamlining the associated regulatory process.

“Our bipartisan legislation is a monumental achievement for all who enjoy our public lands and shared natural resources,” Barrasso said. “It will improve access to nature, streamline and simplify governmental processes, and enhance America’s recreational infrastructure.”

Federal legislation is supported by the Wyoming Office of Tourism, the Wyoming Department of State Parks and Cultural Resources, the America Outdoors Association, and the Wyoming Outfitters & Guides Association.

“America’s Outdoor Recreation Act is strengthening the outdoor recreation economy and opening the doors for outfitters new and old to bring rich and affordable guided opportunities to people from all walks of life,” said Aaron Bannon von Lander, executive director of the America Outdoors Association.

The bill consists of several different funding and regulatory packages, including Barrasso’s Federal Interior Land Media Act and its Cape and Antler Preservation Enhancement Act. Senator Cynthia Lummis is a co-sponsor of both of these bills.

The law would also establish a pilot program that would make real-time visitation data readily available to members of the public wishing to visit state recreation sites, a tool that could be critical for gateway communities like Jackson and Cody.

Gateway communities are a specific target of legislation as part of the Gateway Community and Recreation Enhancement Act bill.

The U.S. Department of the Interior and the U.S. Forest Service will work with state and local agencies to assess needs and economic impacts in gateway communities and provide financial and technical assistance to expand and support tourist visits.

Assistance may include training programs, technical assistance, soft business loans, and loan guarantees.

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