Luján Advances Bipartisan Legislation to Bolster Outdoor Recreation, Promote Biking on Federal Lands
Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Ben Ray Luján (D-N.M.) celebrated the passage of the America’s Outdoor Recreation Act through the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, which included his legislation, the Biking On Long-Distance Trails (BOLT) Act. Senator Luján introduced this bipartisan legislation alongside U.S. Senator Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.) to bolster outdoor recreation and promote biking on federal lands across the United States.
Capitalizing on New Mexico’s 21 million acres of rich landscapes is vital to the state’s economy. In New Mexico, the outdoor recreation economy accounts for 2.2% of the state’s GDP, providing over 35,000 jobs and $1.2 billion in wages. Nationally, the outdoor economy is rapidly growing. This is especially important for rural areas where wages are faster-growing in counties that have outdoor recreation than those that don’t.
As we continue to build our economy and utilize the vast federal lands across the United States, the BOLT Act will make bike trails more accessible and direct the Department of Interior (DOI) to:
- Identify not fewer than 10 long-distance bike trails;
- Identify not fewer than 10 areas in which there is an opportunity to develop or complete long-distance bike trials;
- Allow the DOI to publish and distribute maps, install signage, and issue promotional materials;
- Publish a report that lists the trails developed under this legislation.
“I’m proud to have spearheaded this bipartisan legislation, which will make bike trails safer across America, while providing a much-needed boost to the growing outdoor recreation economy,” said Luján. “I have always enjoyed getting out on my mountain bike to explore New Mexico’s beautiful landscapes, and this legislation will make those outdoor spaces more accessible to Americans. I look forward to working with my colleagues to pass the America’sOutdoor Recreation Act.”
“Mountain biking allows us to discover new landscapes, enjoy fantastic trails, witness unbelievable views, or experience an amazing sunrise. The Biking on Long Distance Trails (BOLT) Act embodies this spirit of adventure, and as a mountain biker himself, Senator Lujan (D-NM) understands this perfectly well,” said Todd Keller, Director of Government Affairs for the International Mountain Bicycling Association. “The BOLT Act will not only enhance these experiences, but will connect more experiences, bringing more trails close to home and creating opportunities for outdoor economic development in rural communities.”