MAPLand Act heads to President's Desk
Hunters, anglers and outdoor recreationists will gain massive public land access with the passage of the Modernizing Access to our Public Land Act (the “MAPLand Act”). This week, the Senate passed the Act, which sends it to President Biden’s desk for final approval.
“Hunters and anglers as well as our partners in the outdoor industry have been vocal champions of the MAPLand Act since it was first introduced, because we know that this common-sense investment will empower more people to get outside and discover new recreational opportunities,” said Whit Fosburgh, president and CEO of the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership (TRCP). “Last night’s vote is a huge win in ensuring that our public lands system is accessible to all Americans, and we are grateful to both Democratic and Republican leadership for their support of this legislation.”
The bipartisan legislation garnered broad support across both parties.
As GOHUNT previously reported, because most of the access easement records are paper and not electronic, the MAPLand Act calls on federal land management agencies like BLM and the U.S. Forest Service to digitize the information for public availability. Specifically, passage will require “federal land management agencies to consolidate, digitize, and make publicly available recreational access information as geospatial files,” according to TRCP.
These records include:
- Legal easements and rights-of-way across private land
- Year-round or seasonal closures on roads and trails
- Road-specific restrictions by vehicle-type
- Boundaries of areas where special rules or prohibitions apply to hunting and shooting
“We appreciate the leadership shown by members of the Senate in seeing the MAPLand Act through to the finish line,” said Fosburgh. “Hunters and anglers across the country have good reason to celebrate this moment, which again demonstrates that conservation and our uniquely American public lands system transcend partisanship.”