Rep. Moore introduces bill to loosen regulations on outfitting, guiding industries

It would exempt eligible employees from the overtime limit on federal lands

WASHINGTON – Yesterday, U.S. Representative Blake Moore, who serves Utah’s 1st District, encompassing parts of Summit County, unveiled a bill aimed at offering regulatory relief to workers in the outdoor and guiding sectors.

The bill, titled the Outdoor Recreational Outfitting and Guiding Act, was brought to the floor by Moore, and Democratic Rep. Brittney Petterson, from Colorado. It would exempt eligible employees from the overtime limit on federal lands in order to support and expand the outdoor tourism industry.

“The outdoor tourism industry is foundational to Utah’s economy,” Moore said.”Unfortunately, new regulations threaten to overburden this critical industry. I am pleased to introduce this bipartisan legislation with Representative Pettersen to roll back regulations that have uniquely harmed outfitters and guides.”

Reps. Moore and Petterson highlight the fact that outdoor recreation providers on federal lands currently face more stringent overtime requirements compared to other recreational establishments.

As guides in outdoor recreation industries often utilize federal lands, guides can hit the overtime threshold within a few days, forcing companies to replace guides in the midst of a multi-day trip or offer fewer, shorter opportunities for customers.

“We appreciate Rep. Moore’s good work to protect our outdoor guides and outfitters from labor rules that are a bad fit for the outdoor recreation industry,” said Gov. Spencer Cox. 

“Millions of people each year depend on guides and outfitters to access Utah’s stunning mountains and canyons, and we want to ensure rigid federal rules don’t make those trips more expensive for Utahns and visitors to Utah. Rep. Moore’s bill would provide a common sense exception similar to the exemption for other industries that don’t use a standard 40-hour/week model.”

According to the Utah Division of Outdoor Recreation, Utah’s outdoor recreation sector contributes more than $6.1 billion to the state economy and provides jobs for over 66,000 Utahns.

By exempting eligible employees from the overtime rules on federal lands, guides will be able to complete multi-day trips without violating regulations.

“Outfitters are in the business of delivering life-changing experiences every day in the face of rapidly increasing costs,” said Aaron Bannon, executive director of the American Outdoors Association.

“The Outdoor Recreational Outfitting and Guiding Act addresses this and acknowledges that seasonal recreation providers, many of whom provide remote, multi-day trips, do not operate in a 9-to-5 work world. America Outdoors deeply appreciates Congressman Moore’s leadership on this issues that is critical to both the Utah economy and the economic engine that supports so many rural American communities.”

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