Barrasso: America’s Outdoor Recreation Act Will Benefit Everyone Who Enjoys the Outdoors

May 3, 2022

Click here to watch Ranking Member Barrasso’s remarks.  

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, U.S. Senator John Barrasso (R-WY), ranking member of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources (ENR), delivered the following remarks at a business meeting to consider several pieces of pending public lands-related legislation.  

To watch the full business meeting and see the full list of bills considered, click here. 

Senator Barrasso’s remarks: 

“Thank you, Mr. Chairman. 

“Today is a truly a historic day for America’s outdoor recreation economy.  

“We are marking up America’s Outdoor Recreation Act, a first-of-its-kind comprehensive recreation package. 

“This legislation is a monumental achievement for all who enjoy our public lands and shared natural resources. 

“It contains numerous provisions to increase access to the outdoors, streamline and simplify agency processes, and improve America’s recreation infrastructure. 

“This recreation package is bipartisan. 

“It contains bills from several members of this committee.  

“Mr. Chairman, this includes our legislation to help modernize public campgrounds, and establish shooting ranges on federal forests. 

“It will also leverage private funding to create new recreational opportunities on our public lands. 

“America’s Outdoor Recreation Act also includes two other measures I introduced—the FILM Act, Federal Interior Land Media Act, and the CAPE Act, Cape and Antler Preservation Enhancement Act. 

“The FILM Act modernizes film and photography permitting on public lands. 

“It gives outdoor enthusiasts the ability to share their adventures without having to deal with burdensome red tape. 

“The FILM Act is also a win for the First Amendment. 

“It does away with an unconstitutional permitting scheme that requires permits and fees for some types of filming and photography content, but not others. 

“The CAPE Act is a conservation victory for some of our National Parks’ most iconic species. 

“In Grand Teton National Park, non-native mountain goats threaten the struggling native bighorn sheep herd. 

“Through coordinated efforts with the Park Service, volunteers play a major role in helping to conserve the bighorn sheep by removing the non-native goats. 

“Current law gives discretion to the Park Service to donate the meat obtained during these authorized wildlife management activities. 

“Unfortunately, the rest of the animal goes to waste. 

“The CAPE Act remedies this, by allowing for the donation of hides and horns, including donating to volunteers who help protect our native bighorn sheep. 

“Mr. Chairman, I want to thank you for working with me on this important recreation package. 

“America’s Outdoor Recreation Act will benefit everyone who enjoys the outdoors in Wyoming and across the nation. 

“This legislation is endorsed by numerous recreation organizations, conservation groups, and state officials. 

“Wyoming Governor Mark Gordon stated, ‘We applaud the work being done on this federal legislation to expand and enhance outdoor recreation through increased collaboration between state, local and federal land managers.’ 

“The bill includes an abundance of strong, common-sense reforms, and many priorities from members of this committee— all without increasing federal spending. 

“I encourage all of our committee members to support this important legislation. 

“Today, we are also marking up a number of separate bills that would affect our public lands. 

“While I support many of the items on today’s agenda, I do not support bills that would needlessly restrict multiple use of our public lands. 

“I also do not support measures that take critical mineral extraction or energy production off the table. 

“We must end our dependence on Russia and China for critical minerals and energy that we can produce right here at home. 

“At our last legislative markup in November, Senator King, made a statement I wholeheartedly agree with. 

“He said: ‘[T]hose of us who are interested in dealing with climate change have to face the fact that it’s going to require more mining in the United States… We can’t have it both ways, there is no free lunch when it comes to energy.’ 

“I agree wholeheartedly with Senator King’s remarks. 

“Mr. Chairman, I look forward to continuing to work with you, in a bipartisan way, to advance the legislative priorities of our members.”