Protect Ohio’s Trails and Natural Resources
Media contact: Eleanor Blick
IMBA Director of Communications
(BOULDER, Colo., March 21, 2023) — Last week the Senate reintroduced America’s Outdoor Recreation Act, a package of policy that aims to improve outdoor recreation on America’s public lands and waters. It includes the Biking on Long-Distance Trails Act, which was reintroduced in the House and Senate earlier in March.
“America's Outdoor Recreation Act represents a decade of advocacy among mountain bikers and all our recreation partners,” said David Wiens, IMBA Executive Director. “From supporting long-distance trails in dream-worthy destinations to developing more recreation opportunities in communities close-to-home, the Act has something for every person who enjoys our great outdoors.”
America’s Outdoor Recreation Act is a bipartisan effort that includes a number of recreation bills the International Mountain Bicycling Association (IMBA) and its Outdoor Alliance partners worked to develop over the last ten years. Front and center is IMBA’s Biking On Long-Distance Trails (BOLT) Act, one of IMBA’s highest priority bills. This bill will identify at least 10 existing long-distance bike trails and at least 10 opportunities to develop or complete such trails, while better supporting long rides with maps, signage and promotional materials. IMBA EPICS like the Maah Daah Hey in North Dakota and long-distance dreams like the Great Divide Route would get a bolster of support from the bill. Last Congress, the BOLT Act passed the House floor and moved quickly through Senate committees.
The Act also includes components of the Recreation-Not-Red-Tape Act (RNR), which motivates federal agencies to better prioritize recreation; and the Simplifying Outdoor Access for Recreation Act (SOAR), which would streamline the recreation permitting process for guides and outfitters. The Act includes several additional bills that are great for developing more recreation amenities for mountain bikers, climbers, skiers and everyone who enjoys the great outdoors. Outdoor Alliance has a thorough summary of what’s included. Though America’s Outdoor Recreation Act came close to passing at the end of the last Congress, it did not make it across the finish line, and it is encouraging to see the Senate picking it up early in this session.
IMBA, Outdoor Alliance and other recreation partners will continue to work with lawmakers to refine the package in the coming months. Mountain bikers’ voices will matter tremendously to move this package along.
The International Mountain Bicycling Association (IMBA) creates, enhances and protects great places to ride mountain bikes. It is focused on creating more trails close to home to grow the quantity and quality of mountain bike trail communities across the U.S., so everyone has access to close-to-home rides and iconic backcountry experiences. Since 1988, IMBA has been the worldwide leader in mountain bike advocacy and the only organization focused entirely on trails and access for all types of mountain bikers in all parts of the U.S. IMBA teaches and encourages low-impact riding, grassroots advocacy, sustainable trail design, innovative land management practices and cooperation among trail user groups. IMBA U.S. is a national network of local groups, individual riders and passionate volunteers working together for the benefit of the entire community.