Fri April 12, 2024

By Press Release

Rep. Bruce Westerman Weekly Column: Time to EXPLORE
Rep. Bruce Westerman (AR-04)

Arkansas is known as the Natural State for a reason. It's a world-class destination for all who love to bike, rock climb, hunt, fish, hike, and more. Outdoor recreation is more than just a pastime here; it's part of our heritage. As an Arkansan, my profound love for our lands and outdoor recreation has been foundational in my role as Chairman of the Natural Resources Committee.

As Chairman, I am privileged to champion forward-thinking legislation, such as the Expanding Public Lands Outdoor Recreation Experiences Act, also known as the EXPLORE Act. This bill is a product of months of collaboration with folks on both sides of the aisle, united in our goal to make outdoor recreation more accessible nationwide.

The EXPLORE Act will modernize visitor experiences at parks, increase accessibility for veterans and service members outdoors, create new opportunities and trails for outdoorsmen and women to recreate, and support local communities that depend on access to our public lands. The bill also includes key priorities for Arkansans, like reopening overnight camping at Albert Pike Recreation Area, protecting battlefields, and creating more parking and restroom facilities at some of our favorite sites.

I believe that our lands should be enjoyed by all, and that's why I'm proud that the U.S. House of Representatives passed the EXPLORE Act this week with overwhelming bipartisan support. The passage of this landmark legislation is a testament to the future of outdoor recreation and conservation in our nation. I look forward to working with my colleagues in the upper chamber to pass EXPLORE in the Senate and swiftly send it to the President’s desk.