Hunting & Heritage  |  04/10/2024

Quail Forever and Pheasants Forever Applaud EXPLORE Act Passed by U.S. House of Representatives


Act will improve access and infrastructure for outdoor recreation on federal public lands and waters

Mikayla Peper, QF & PF Media Relations Specialist

Yesterday, the Expanding Public Lands Outdoor Recreation Experience (EXPLORE) Act was passed by the U.S. House of Representatives. With bipartisan support, H.R. 6492 will improve access and infrastructure for outdoor recreation on federal public lands and waters.

The act was first introduced on November 29, 2023 by U.S. Representative Bruce Westerman, Chairman of the House Natural Resources Committee, also Co-Chair of the Congressional Sportsmen’s Caucus, and Committee Ranking Member Raul Grijalva (AZ). Infrastructure and access to public lands will be improved by this legislation. The legislation would include boosting broadband connectivity, increasing parking availability and access points for people with disabilities, providing free passes to veterans and developing programming to encourage youth to participate in outdoor activities. Additionally, a digital version of the “America the Beautiful” pass will be created, making it easier for outdoor enthusiasts to obtain passes for federal land access and pay fees online.

Of particular interest to sportsmen and women, the EXPLORE Act will create public shooting ranges in each National Forest or Bureau of Land Management district, improve the permitting process for outfitters and hunting guides, and ensure updated maps are available for motorized and nonmotorized access on public lands, both for new paper maps and for electronic navigation systems.

“Improved access to public lands is critically important to our members, partners, and supporters across the country,” said PF & QF Vice President of Government Affairs Ariel Wiegard. “We’re very excited to celebrate the EXPLORE Act as it moves one step closer to becoming reality, helping us to achieve our mission.”

H.R. 6492 will now move to the U.S. Senate. Quail Forever and Pheasants Forever will continue to advocate for this important public land effort. For questions about the EXPLORE Act, contact Ariel Wiegard at