The Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources has passed bipartisan legislation that will improve online access to recreational opportunities nationwide. The Modernizing Access to our Public Land Act (MAPLand) was sponsored by Senator Jim Risch of Idaho, and will digitize public land mapping records. The bill was passed unanimously, and Sen. Risch said it will impact sportsmen and women across the country.
“I thank Chairman Manchin, Ranking Member Barrasso and my fellow colleagues for their support of this commonsense legislation,” said Risch. “Easy access to public land records is long overdue. The MAPLand Act will allow hunters, anglers and outdoorsmen and women to fully enjoy our vast public lands well into the future.”
The bill had been previously introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives, but had been somewhat lost in the shuffle between administrations. The reintroduced bill has 12 cosponsors and could see passage prior to the 2022 mid-term elections.
“The MAPLand act could be especially helpful for upland hunters,” said Bethany Erb Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever's director of government affairs. “With up-to-date land boundaries, easement access information, road closures and public waterway regulations, it will help reinforce data on GPS units used by bird hunters everywhere. We’re very optimistic this legislation will receive bipartisan support from both the U.S. Senate and House to become reality in 2022.”
About Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever
Pheasants Forever, including its quail conservation division, Quail Forever, is the nation's largest nonprofit organization dedicated to upland habitat conservation. Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever have more than 120,000 members and 750 local chapters across the United States and Canada. Since creation in 1982, Pheasants Forever has spent over $975 million on 560,000 habitat projects benefiting 22 million acres nationwide.
Casey Sill is the public relations specialist at the Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever national headquarters in White Bear Lake, Minn.