Western & Bipartisan Future Caucus Trio Work to Modernize Access to Public Land Data
July 14, 2021
Congressional Future Caucus (CFC) co-chair Rep. Blake Moore (UT-1) introduced HR3113, the MAPLand Act, in the House of Representatives. Future Caucus Emeritus Co-Chair Rep. Joe Neguse (CO-2) is an original cosponsor and CFC member Rep. Derek Kilmer (WA-6) signed on as a cosponsor on July 16th.
On May 11th, 2021 Congressional Future Caucus (CFC) co-chair Rep. Blake Moore (UT-1) introduced HR3113, the MAPLand Act, in the House of Representatives. Future Caucus Emeritus Co-Chair Rep. Joe Neguse (CO-2) is an original cosponsor and CFC member Rep. Derek Kilmer (WA-6) signed on as a cosponsor on July 16th. The MAPLand Act passed unanimously out of the House Natural Resources Committee on July 14th, 2021.
The bipartisan legislation seeks to ensure that outdoor recreationists have access to up-to-date digital information about public lands. The bill would require federal land management agencies, including the Department of Interior, the Forest Service, and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to digitize and standardize their mapping records for all public lands. The legislation aims to increase the number of Forest Service easements that are digitized and uploaded to readily-accessible databases; currently only 5,000 out of 37,000 easements have been digitized. Additionally, more than 9.5 million acres in the Western continental U.S. have no permanent access point for public use and all information regarding these acres are kept on paper files. The bill intends to assist federal agencies in providing the resources necessary to digitize these files. The legislation would also require federal agencies to provide public information on seasonal vehicle restrictions on public trails and roads and hunting boundaries.
CFC co-chair Rep. Moore stated, regarding the MAPLand Act “ I am proud to sponsor the ‘MAPLand Act,’ which would address this concern by digitizing tens of thousands of records to ensure that anglers, hikers, bikers, hunters and all others who seek to enjoy our federal lands have access to the information they need to fully experience our country’s natural wonders.”
His Democratic colleague and Emeritus Future Caucus co-chair Rep. Neguse added, “I’m proud to help introduce the bipartisan MAPLand Act today which will modernize and formalize data sharing across public land agencies, to support our natural resource workforce, our communities, and outdoor recreation activities.”
The MAPLand Act, after passing the Natural Resource committee, will head to the House Agriculture and Transportation and Infrastructure committees for consideration and amendment.
The bill currently has 5 Democratic and 3 Republican cosponsors as of August 17th, 2021.
To learn more about the specifics of this legislative effort, or to hear about MAP’s active legislation on Energy and Environment, please reach out to [email protected].
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