April 8, 2024

House Set to Vote on Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Package – EXPLORE ACT

Article Contact: Taylor Schmitz,

Why It Matters:  Our nation’s vast network of federal public lands and water provide significant recreational opportunities for America’s sportsmen and women. The EXPLORE Act recognizes the importance of federal public lands for sportsmen and women by seeking to increase public access, streamlining recreational permitting processes, modernizing public land visitation data, and conserving important water systems for anglers and boaters.


  • This week, the U.S. House of Representatives is set to vote on a comprehensive outdoor and recreation package known as the Expanding Public Lands Outdoor Recreation Experiences (EXPLORE) Act (H.R. 6492).
  • H.R. 6492, led by Congressional Sportsmen’s Caucus Co-Chair and House Natural Resources Committee Chairman Bruce Westerman, is strongly supported by the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation (CSF) and includes a few key provisions that are high priorities for CSF.
  • This legislation will be considered under suspension of the rules, a sign of the wide-spread bipartisan support for this legislation.

Later this week the House of Representatives will vote on the bipartisan EXPLORE ACT, a comprehensive package to bolster access for sportsmen and women along with other users of public lands and waters.

The EXPLORE Act is a robust package that includes several important recreation provisions; however, one of the priorities of greatest interest to CSF is language that would improve recreational shooting opportunities. Specifically, the range access language in the EXPLORE Act would require the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) and the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to have a minimum of one free and public target shooting range in each of their respective districts.

The EXPLORE Act will also aid federal agencies in their efforts to prevent the spread of aquatic invasive species, which pose a serious threat to native aquatic ecosystems and the economy. Once established, aquatic invasive species are difficult, if not impossible, to eradicate, and significant resources must be invested annually on population management. Preventing harmful introductions before they occur is the most effective means to avoid the risk aquatic nuisance species present. For example, zebra mussels alone cause $300–$500 million in damages annually to power plants, water systems, and industrial water intakes in the Great Lakes Region.

Furthermore, this legislation includes language that will help improve future federal land agency planning decisions and would enhance user planning efforts for the public. Specifically, the Improved Recreation Visitation Data section directs certain federal land management agencies to capture various recreation visitation data. This section also establishes a real-time data pilot program to make available to the public real-time or predictive visitation data for federal lands, helping sportsmen and women with their trip planning efforts.

The Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation is glad to see the EXPLORE Act being considered under suspension of the rules given the importance of outdoor recreation, including hunting, fishing, trapping, and recreational shooting.

View All news

Back TO All

In Season


Stay current with the latest news, policy activity and how to get involved.

Sign up for Newsletters


Donate today so we can keep fighting for tomorrow!

Donate Now