Conservation News

House Passes Historic Bipartisan Outdoor Recreation Package

EDGEFIELD, S.C. — In a landmark bipartisan vote, the U.S. House of Representatives has passed the Expanding Public Lands Outdoor Recreation Experiences (EXPLORE) Act. 

The EXPLORE Act’s passage through the House represents a historic moment as it is the first-ever outdoor recreation-specific bill package, and it achieves this without cost to taxpayers. The bipartisan legislation is poised to stimulate local and national economies, enhance access for Americans—including those in underserved communities—to green spaces, and modernize policies to bolster the recreation businesses that bridge people with nature. The bill complements the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee’s America’s Outdoor Recreation Act (AORA).

“One of the main barriers to getting people into the outdoors for recreational opportunities, especially hunting, is that it is oftentimes difficult to find places to go,” NWTF co-CEO Jason Burckhalter said. “The EXPLORE Act will increase access and infrastructure on our nation’s public lands for all types of outdoor enjoyment, offering everyone greater opportunities to experience the life-changing power of the outdoors.”

The outdoor recreation economy, recently valued at over $1.1 trillion, continues to build upon the success of the Great American Outdoors Act of 2022—one of the most significant public lands and waters legislations enacted in our nation’s history.

The NWTF and its membership applaud this significant progress in the House and call for the expedient passage of the outdoor recreation package through the Senate. This action is vital for the protection and enjoyment of our public lands, waters, and the communities prospering from them.

The EXPLORE Act will:

  • Facilitate permit streamlining, alleviating challenges for outfitters and guides, and enhancing access to outdoor adventures.
  • Expand recreation on public lands and waters.
  • Guarantee green space access in underserved communities.
  • Develop, improve, and complete long-range trails.
  • Boost rural economic development.

For more information on the bill and its progress, visit

About the National Wild Turkey Federation
Since 1973, the National Wild Turkey Federation has invested over half a billion dollars into wildlife conservation and has positively impacted over 23 million acres of critical wildlife habitat. The NWTF has also invested over $9 million into wild turkey research to guide the management of the wild turkey population and to ensure sustainable populations into perpetuity. The organization continues to deliver its mission by working across boundaries on a landscape scale through its Four Shared Values: clean and abundant water, healthy forests and wildlife habitat, resilient communities, and robust recreational opportunities. With the help of its dedicated members, partners and staff, the NWTF continues its work to provide Healthy Habitats. and Healthy Harvests. for future generations.

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