PARK CITY, Utah — This week, in a vote of 414 to 9, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Modernizing Access to our Public Land (MAPLand Act), which would direct federal land management agencies to digitize and standardize mapping records.
The bill would allow hunters, hikers, bikers, anglers, and millions of other federal land users to access important information about public lands as well as help federal land management agencies, such as the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), identify public lands with limited or nonexistent public access points and take proactive steps to open them to the public.
H.R.3113 was introduced by Rep. Blake Moore (R), who represents parts of Summit County, along with Reps. Russ Fulcher (R-ID), Joe Neguse (D-CO), and Kim Schrier (D-WA).
Currently, more than 9.52 million acres of land in the West lack permanent and legal access points for public use, and information on these lands is still kept on paper files.
Approximately 5,000 of the Forest Service’s 37,000 recorded easements have been digitized and uploaded to an electronic database.
“America is home to some of the most beautiful natural wonders in the world, and it is essential that we have up-to-date information on how to best access our public lands,” Congressman Blake Moore said.
“The MAPLand Act will digitize tens of thousands of records so fishers, hikers, hunters, bikers, and those who spend time enjoying our outdoors have all the information they need to have great experiences and make fond memories. I thank Representatives Fulcher, Neguse, and Schrier for co-leading this effort, and I look forward to seeing this legislation soon pass the Senate.”
On Tuesday, the MAPLand Act passed the House! America is home to some of the most beautiful natural wonders in the world, and it is essential that we have up-to-date information on how to best access our public lands. #utpol pic.twitter.com/tPS8VY09lP
— Rep. Blake Moore (@RepBlakeMoore) March 17, 2022
“Hunters want more information on where to gain access to public lands but often don’t know where to start and the information can be incomplete,” Land Tawney, president and CEO of Backcountry Hunters & Anglers told Outdoor Life. “The MAPLand Act will make it easier for sportsmen and women to enjoy our outdoor heritage with modernized information on how to access our public lands.”