Washington, DC – Yesterday, U.S. Senator Joe Manchin, Chairman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, and Senators Angus King (I-ME), James Risch (R-ID) introduced bipartisan legislation to digitize public land mapping records to increase outdoor recreation and improve hunting and fishing access for sportsmen and women.
The Modernizing Access to our Public Land (MAPLand) Act will enhance access to the nation’s outdoor recreational opportunities by digitizing and standardizing mapping information like access points and permissible uses on federal public lands.
“West Virginia is home to stunning public lands and natural resources that bring tourists from around the world to enjoy the beauty our state has to offer - whether they be whitewater rafters, boaters, kayakers, hikers, climbers, or hunters and anglers. Improving access to our public lands and increasing outdoor recreation will make West Virginia all the more wild and wonderful. I urge my colleagues to support this bipartisan legislation to ensure we can continue to explore and enjoy our outdoor playground safely, and with the best possible information,” said Chairman Manchin.
In addition to Chairman Manchin, the legislation is cosponsored by Ranking Member Senator John Barrasso (R-WY), Mike Crapo (R-ID), Martin Heinrich (D-NM), Steve Daines (R-MT), Mark Kelly (D-AZ), and Susan Collins (R-ME).
The MAPLand Act is supported by many in the conservation and sportsmen community, including the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership, Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation, Backcountry Hunters & Anglers, and Trout Unlimited.
“Digital mapping and GPS technologies have revolutionized the ways in which sportsmen and women navigate public lands and waters. Unfortunately, incomplete and inconsistent information prevents hunters, anglers, and recreational shooters from fully utilizing the benefits of these technologies,” said Jeff Crane, President of the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation. “By providing the necessary resources and direction to federal land management agencies to collect and modernize mapping information, the MAPLand Act is critical to enhancing access on public lands.”