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EXPLORE Act Passes House, Moves On To Senate

EXPLORE Act Passes House, Moves On To Senate

Bipartisan recreation package containing the BOLT Act rolls forward in Congress

Long-distance bikepacking: a mountain biker rides across dirt singletrack in a green field with a cloudy sky blanketing surrounding mountains.

The Expanding Public Lands Outdoor Recreation Experiences (EXPLORE) Act, which contains the Biking on Long Distance Trails (BOLT) Act, is one step closer to becoming law. EXPLORE passed the House on Tuesday, April 9th, 2024. It will now move to the Senate for debate and voting this spring. When passed, the EXPLORE Act will streamline, support, and simplify management and administrative processes to increase and improve opportunities for outdoor recreation.

IMBA continues to work with lawmakers to provide clarity and expertise to ensure opportunities for mountain bikers are not missed in comprehensive outdoor recreation packages like this one, as well as in legislation that impacts funding and access for trails. Read IMBA’s written testimony to lawmakers, prepared for the House subcommittee on Federal Lands in November of 2023.

EXPLORE includes several key bills that IMBA, our partners, and Outdoor Alliance have helped develop over the course of the last several years. Most notable for mountain bikers, IMBA’s 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 direct the Department of Interior to publish and distribute maps, install signage, and distribute promotional materials.

Other highlights include components of the Recreation Not Red Tape Act that IMBA helped draft in 2017 which expands seasonal recreation opportunities; promotes partnerships with Tribal and State governments; and outlines volunteer programs that will improve relationships with local trail maintenance groups. EXPLORE also includes permanent direction for the Outdoor Recreation Legacy Partnership that provides grant partnership programs, and the Federal Interagency Council on Outdoor Recreation (FICOR) that promotes better coordination and collaboration among Federal agencies that mountain bikers interface with when it comes to access and land management— including the U.S. Forest Service, the National Park Service, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Bureau of Land Management, the Bureau of Reclamation, and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. 

“The International Mountain Bicycling Association is thrilled the House of Representatives understands the physical, mental, and economic importance of outdoor recreation on our public lands, evidenced by the passage of the Expanding Public Lands Outdoor Recreation Experiences (EXPLORE) Act. The mountain bike community is specifically excited about the Biking on Long Distance Trails (BOLT) Act that has been included within the text of the underlying bill. We now look to the Senate for quick action this summer to pass the EXPLORE Act and get it to the President’s desk before the August recess.” -Todd Keller, IMBA Director of Government Affairs


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Kate Noelke, IMBA's Communications & Advocacy Specialist

Kate grew up on the backwaters of the Mississippi River biking, paddling, and wandering through the beauty of the Driftless Region of SW Wisconsin. She loves to make and share food she's grown or foraged, and believes all bodies belong on bikes (and wandering trails via whichever mode of…

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