Today, President Joe Biden signed the Modernizing Access to our Public Land (MAPLand) Act into law. Congressman Moore was joined by Representatives Russ Fulcher (R-ID), Joe Neguse (D-CO), and Kim Schrier (D-WA) in introducing this legislation.
The MAPLand Act will direct federal land management agencies to digitize and standardize mapping records. This will allow hunters, hikers, bikers, anglers, and millions of other federal land users to access essential information about public lands as well as help federal land management agencies identify public lands with limited or nonexistent public access points and take proactive steps to open them to the public.
“Today President Biden signed the MAPLand Act into law! This is a major win for all who enjoy our public lands,” said Congressman Blake Moore. “I look forward to the many ways this bill will improve our access to public land records so we can better hunt, fish, hike, and more. Many thanks to all who helped get this across the finish line!”
“I am thrilled to see President Biden prioritizing the modernization and expansion of public land access by signing this bill in to law,” said Congressman Joe Neguse. “The MAPLand Act will ensure outdoor recreation lovers have the information they need to enjoy our federal lands. I look forward to seeing the ways in which it develops and contributes to Colorado’s robust outdoor recreation economy for years to come.”
“Congratulations to my good friend and committee colleague, Congressman Moore, on seeing his bill become law, an accomplishment that is the direct result of his leadership and tenacity as a member of Congress,” House Committee on Natural Resources Ranking Member Bruce Westerman. “MAPLand is practical, bipartisan legislation that will benefit not only Utah, but also every American who enjoys open access to our public lands. I look forward to seeing it put into action!”
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. The MAPLand Act will help give federal land management agencies the resources they need to digitize these files for public use, as well as require these agencies to provide information on seasonal vehicle restrictions on public roads and trails, hunting boundaries, and watercraft restrictions.
The text of the bill can be found here.