Recreation bill sails through House with broad support

By Scott Streater | 04/10/2024 06:30 AM EDT

Sponsors are now urging the Senate to follow through with companion legislation.

Rep. Bruce Westerman (R-Ark.).

House Natural Resources Chair Bruce Westerman (R-Ark.) during floor debate Tuesday on outdoor recreation legislation. House Television

The House approved a sweeping recreation bill Tuesday that addresses access to public lands and seeks to boost the nation’s outdoors economy.

H.R. 6492, the “Expanding Public Lands Outdoor Recreation Experiences (EXPLORE) Act,” is a package of more than a dozen outdoors measures.

Introduced last year by Natural Resources Chair Bruce Westerman (R-Ark.) and co-sponsored by ranking member Raúl Grijalva (D-Ariz.), it’s the rare piece of broad legislation that’s enjoyed strong bipartisan support throughout the process — with 27 Democrats among its 51 co-sponsors.


Westerman said during floor debate that it marked the “first time in the history of the House that we will be considering a comprehensive outdoors package aimed at getting more Americans outdoors and supporting the $1.1 trillion and growing outdoor recreation economy.”