The U.S. Senate again considers America’s Outdoor Recreation Act (AORA), which aims to “modernize public campgrounds and ensure increased access to public lands.”
The legislation was introduced in 2022 as the Outdoor Recreation Act but was still tied up in the Energy and Natural Resources Committee when the session ended.
The bipartisan package incorporates several ground-breaking recreation bills, including the Outdoor Recreation Act, the Simplifying Outdoor Access for Recreation Act, the Recreation-Not-Red-Tape Act, the Gateway Community and Recreation Enhancement Act, the Federal Interior Lands Media Act, the Biking on Long-Distance Trails Act, and others.
Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources summarizes AORA
According to a joint statement issued by Sen. Manchin and Barrasso, America’s Outdoor Recreation Act would:
- Direct the Department of the Interior and the Forest Service to establish a pilot program for public-private partnership agreements to modernize campgrounds on Federal land.
- Ensure that land managers consider outdoor recreation alongside other uses of Federal land by directing the Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to consider ways to improve recreation when developing and revising land management plans.
- Support rural communities adjacent to recreation areas by providing technical and financial assistance to local businesses, including hotels, campgrounds, and restaurants, to support visitation.
- Direct the Forest Service to issue guidance for recreational climbing in designated Wilderness Areas and require the Forest Service and BLM to establish new shooting ranges on National Forests and BLM land.
- Aim to modernize recreation sites by directing agencies to work with the Department of Commerce to construct broadband internet infrastructure at certain recreation sites.
- Direct the Federal land management agencies to identify opportunities to extend the period recreation areas on Federal land are open to the public during shoulder seasons.
You can access the full text of the bill here.
Bipartisan support for the outdoor recreation industry
America’s Outdoor Recreation Act has garnered strong support from both sides. The initiative acknowledges the importance of the outdoor recreation economic sector, which contributes approximately $862 billion to the U.S. economy annually and supports 4.5 million jobs.
Investments in outdoor infrastructure
The Act also calls for the federal government to invest in the nation’s outdoor recreation infrastructure, including expanding and maintaining public lands, trails, campgrounds, and waterways. Additionally, the legislation will prioritize creating new outdoor recreation opportunities in economically disadvantaged communities, ensuring equitable access to nature for all Americans.
Promoting conservation and environmental stewardship
America’s Outdoor Recreation Act recognizes the importance of preserving the natural resources that support the outdoor recreation industry. The legislation calls for the development of best practices for the sustainable use of public lands and waters and strategies to minimize the environmental impacts of outdoor activities.
“America’s Outdoor Recreation Act is crucial to the RV and wider outdoor recreation industries. It remains a significant factor in making sustainable improvements to our nation’s campgrounds and improving the experiences of current and future RVers,” said Craig Kirby, President & CEO of the RV Industry Association. “Our government affairs team will continue to advocate for America’s Outdoor Recreation Act, and we call on Congress for its swift passage.”
America’s Outdoor Recreation Act lost in budget shuffle—a missed opportunity
All this means is that the remote wilderness areas will have cameras and a bunch of useless costly updates …with a nightly/usage fee for what was once paid for with our tax dollars. Now they’ll add a use tax on top. Washington had lots of dispersed and free camping areas on fed/state land that are now off limits or are a fee based form and prevents low income people from even visiting these beautiful spots cause you need to have a $50 “pass” to enter the thousands of acres.
AGENDA 21 ring a bell? Biden also promised 30% of wilderness nationwide will be deemed off limits “to preserve wild areas for nature purposes”.
I don’t know what to make of it all. I’m new to rvs. I recently bought one 40 yr old mallard on a Chevy g30 frame with the intention of using it to live in full time. I’m in the process of buying land in Tennessee to park it full time. I might do some travel. I’m 64 retired, America unfortunately is going down the drain along with the rest of the world but still you do the best u can my friend. suggestion to live in a trailer park where rent skyrocketed to 4 times what it was 2 yrs ago didn’t excite me. I don’t like crowding. I’m from Miami where that’s all we have. people are leaving due to high cost of living. I’ll take my chance with tornadoes over Miami living any day. unfortunately the cost of everything is going higher but u could move to a worse country. there’s a ton of them.
Best to you Eric. Your right, no better country to be in so by default, no better country to move to exists. The cost of living in Miami is horrendous so I hope you find Tennessee peaceful, welcoming and warm for the laps you still have ahead.
Well since it’s not their land… I was born in Wnc. My family names in Cataloochee. Palmer and Mcgaha. I can’t even go to my family land without paying for parking. I used to go to sliding rock. Free. Now I pay for parking and to go into the water. This is another way to let government control push their greedy little fingers in where they don’t belong….. because you want to enjoy the land taken from us. Then shove internet on them. Campgrounds. Where does this money come from…. Oh yeah. The new day pass parking. I’m sure america can care less. This was our land. Now it’s theirs, yours and anyone else that has some money for these leaches.
im not sure what difference this makes when non resident fees are being charged and additional fees for entry are being assessed before you even hit the campsite. Covid ruined camping for the RVer that was already booking trips.
I’m from the government and I’m here to help…
Yeah, we know how that goes.
Slight of hand Beaurocratic labels. They would never name a bill one thing when it is actually the opposite, would they?
In 3 words or less:
1. Inflation Reduction Act.
2. Affordable Care Act.
Those have both gone well and certainly are exactly what they are called. Sure they are.
Yes, the Affordable Care Act has gone well. Hence, why it is more popular than ever and the GOP hasn’t tried to repeal it again. The Red States also use funds from the Inflation Reduction Act, yet complain about it.
Whoa down there a little. I was just saying the wrapping isn’t always representative of the prize. No weapons of Mass Destruction in Iraq either. Not a Dem issue. I wasn’t doing a party line comment, it was a beaurocrats in general thing, those were just 2 well perfumed gift wrapped prizes.
Now that YOU brought it up tho, your not implying the trillion $ Inflation Reduction Act reduced inflation are you?
Are you blind ? The so called Affordable Care Act did nothing for its intended purpose but what it did do was to take a huge part of what the insurance companies paid out and stuck it square onto the working people and for the trouble the Government made sure the insurance companies could go up on premiums substantially and then reduce payouts … and you call this garbage successful.
Amazing huh? The level of willful or active disregard for the simple facts and absolute truth is absolutely amazing.
This is being pushed by the RV manufacturers. It is not good for us.
Oh great, just what we need…more disfunctional bureuacracy. I love my country, but I loathe our government.
I didn’t see “hire enough rangers to actually keep an eye on lands and campgrounds” in the list. Which is what is actually needed.
Washington state has them. Sherrifs, state patrol, and forest service law enforcement patrol wild areas full time priority. Plan on a visit in your camp at least twice a week for “inspection” and questioning. Oh, and have identification at the ready. You will be asked to produce it guaranteed.
“The bipartisan package incorporates several ground-breaking recreation bills, including the Outdoor Recreation Act, the Simplifying Outdoor Access for Recreation Act, the Recreation-Not-Red-Tape Act, the Gateway Community and Recreation Enhancement Act, the Federal Interior Lands Media Act, the Biking on Long-Distance Trails Act, and others.”
Is this for real? No wonder the gov’t is so f’ed up.
News flash, economically disadvantaged to be given free travel trailers from industry overstocks as the RV industry hits a downturn.
Public/private partnerships was an encouraging point. Unfunded mandates make everyone feel good without raising any costs. Funded mandates require printing money (aka, inflation), dismantling other federal programs and/or agencies (as a former DC bureaucrat, I vote for Homeland Security), or taxing everyone so a relatively few can “enjoy” all this amalgam of bills proposes. This all seems to be an effort to create a “People’s RV Resort.” I’m sure, were he alive, Nikita Khrushchev would be laughing at the irony.
Why did a “shoe” just flash in my head, Neal? 😆 Take care. 😀 –Diane at RVtravel.com
Based on the comments previously sent in, the bill isn’t worth the paper it’s proposed on.
Yeah for the extending openings into the shoulder seasons!
I didn’t read the bill but the highlights presented don’t impress. Direct “X” bureaucracy to think about this or that? Exactly what would we get and where and how much cost?
I also don’t like privatizing public land operations. As much as I abhor big gov’t, when it comes to national forests, public parks, etc. the last thing I want is Marcus Lemonis or Toby O’Rourke type of involvement.
Lastly, while I support and participate in the shooting sports, unsupervised shooting ranges on public lands can be a hazard. I have an unsupervised public range near me and it can be downright scary with the idiots that show up and don’t obey safety or other rules of the range.
You do realize that most of our public-land campgrounds are run by private enterprise already, don’t you? Different agreements with different companies allow them to charge up to a certain amount, and the company is responsible for maintenance and improvements within the scope of the contract. Still lots of affordable campgrounds on public land.
You do realize that the biggest of those private companies is widely critisized and is currently being sued for imposing junk fees, don’t you??
Had an incident with 3 youths drinking booze and firing various guns on BLM land in Nevada. One bullet ricocheted and hit my RV missing my head by about 2 feet. I confronted them and they responded “we have a lawful right to shoot all we want on BLM land”. They didn’t care that they hit my RV or nearly killed me.
Really makes me nervous whenever the Gubment says they’re going to improve something. Could happen I guess.
Don’t KOA our Public Parks, bro!
I’m all for some needed infrastructure improvements, such as leveling sites, 50amp electric and setting areas aside for those who want FHUs. But for the love of Pete, don’t mess with the very things that make camping worth camping.
Outsourced management of public lands means we’ll all be paying $80/night.
Fort Hays university? I googled FHUs and that’s what I got.
Full hookups 😉
Just an FYI, a level bed and a 50 Amp hookup isn’t what makes camping worth camping…
So far, the bill sounds horrible, I’ll have to read more. If they do all this improving, they’ll want more money to stay in those campgrounds. Right now, it’s affordable. There would be nowhere to go. I don’t need or want electric, wifi, etc.
Shooting ranges on BLM? Horrors. Some of us live next to BLM land, that would be horrible to listen to and run off the wildlife. I’ll be writing to some congressmen.
While most of this is good, I read all 170 pages, now is not the time to pass this bill. In my opinion, it is a want not a need. It is like purchasing an expensive RV while your home is in bankruptcy.
Another issue is, how will they hire all the people necessary to implement the bill?
I agree that many of the items in the bill need to be done, the timing is all wrong.
How about instead of looking for more ways to create more bureaucratic waste, spend some more money we don’t have to improve our power grid so all this electric stuff the fed is shoving at us might have a chance to succeed,