America’s Outdoor Recreation Act (AORA) Reintroduced To U.S. Senate
The outdoor industry celebrated the recent reintroduction of America’s Outdoor Recreation Act (AORA) to the U.S. Senate. Should it pass, the groundbreaking legislation would be a significant boon for the $862 billion outdoor industry, the economies it supports and the 4.5 million Americans it employs. The bi-partisan legislation was brought forward by Senators Joe Manchin of Virginia and John Barrasso of Wyoming. The AORA combines several bipartisan and bicameral bills, including the Simplifying Outdoor Access for Recreation (SOAR) Act, the Outdoor Recreation Act, the Recreation Not Red Tape Act and other outdoor-focused legislation into one comprehensive bill.
The AORA focuses on boosting outdoor recreation by increasing access to and investment in public lands and their management. If passed, the AORA would significantly streamline the permitting process for outdoor guides and outfitters, removing a significant burden on their livelihoods. It improves access to recreation on public lands and waters, along with updating their outdated reservation and permitting systems. Equitable access to the outdoors is also part of the AORA by ensuring access to green spaces for underserved communities. Partnerships would be created under the act to keep recreation areas open along with extending their seasons of use. Better tools for public land managers to plan sustainable recreation along with the development and completion of long-range trail systems are also part of the act. And AORA invests in the economic development of the rural communities surrounding outdoor recreation areas. Click here for a full breakdown of America’s Outdoor Recreation Act.
The passing of the AORA would have a massive impact by bringing federal land management agencies into the 21st century, improving access to public lands for all and investing in the rural economies that support outdoor recreation. AORA’s comprehensive nature also means that its passing will affect all forms of outdoor recreation and not just specific activities. And, as a national bill, its benefits will be felt in every state in the country and not at merely a regional level.
Now is the ideal time for reintroducing the AORA, as interest in outdoor recreation is at previously unseen levels. The influx of new people experiencing the great outdoors has stressed land management agencies and shown the need for increased access and reform. Currently, the AORA has bipartisan support and, as a no-cost bill, won’t cost anything to American taxpayers. It still must be passed by both the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives and signed by the President to become law. But we hope it does, as it is a much-needed and transformative piece of outdoor legislation. Stay tuned for more updates.