Law & Order

U.S. House Passes SEMA-Supported EXPLORE Act to Boost Outdoor Recreation Economy

Explore Act

By the SEMA Washington, D.C., office

The U.S. House of Representatives passed the SEMA-supported "Expanding Public Lands Outdoor Recreation Experiences Act" (EXPLORE Act), H.R. 6492, by a voice vote.

The comprehensive public lands bill directs the U.S. Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to create more motorized opportunities on public lands, addresses special recreation permits and fees that have been expensive and cumbersome for off-road groups to navigate on federal lands, attempts to improve visitor experiences, addresses the lack of affordable housing causing staffing shortages on public lands, and transforms outdoor recreation experiences for active-duty military members, veterans and Gold Star families. 

The EXPLORE Act, which has a broad range of support from more than 30 organizations, now advances to the U.S. Senate Energy and Natural Resources (ENR) Committee. The strongly bipartisan legislation is sponsored by Natural Resources Chairman Bruce Westerman (R-AR), who drafted the bill in coordination with Ranking Member Raúl Grijalva (D-AZ). The EXPLORE Act expands on S. 873, the "America's Outdoor Recreation Act of 2023" (AORA), and includes key, SEMA-supported provisions from the bill. The Senate ENR Committee passed S. 873 in 2023.  

"SEMA thanks Chairman Westerman and Ranking Member Grijalva for their continued advocacy for the EXPLORE Act, which was critical in getting the House to pass the bill with such strong bipartisan support," said Mike Spagnola, SEMA president and CEO. "The EXPLORE Act is critical to the motorized recreation community. The bill would streamline the process and expenses associated with obtaining special recreation permits, require federal land management agencies to increase opportunities for motorized and non-motorized access on public lands, and direct the BLM and Forest Service to make maps available to the public depicting where vehicles are allowed to recreate." 

The EXPLORE Act is a comprehensive legislative effort that increases access to outdoor recreation opportunities to help grow the $1.1 trillion impact of the outdoor recreation industry. You can find more information about the major provisions of the legislation by reviewing the section-by-section outline. 

For more information on the EXPLORE Act, contact Eric Snyder at