By Charles Pekow — Eventually, it will become easier to go online and find where you can bike on federal land. In May, President Joe Biden signed the MAPLand Act, which requires the Interior Department, Forest Service and Army Corps of Engineers to compile a public database of recreational opportunities on their lands. The database will list trails, what vehicles are allowed on them (including specifying ebikes or non-motorized bikes), and what times of year each trail is open. The agencies get five years to put the data online. See https://www.congress.gov/bill/117th-congress/senate-bill/904 .
In other legislative news, the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources approved the Outdoor Recreation Act (S. 3266), which would require federal agencies to conduct an inventory of recreational opportunities on their lands and consider future needs. They would have to examine where recreational opportunities may be increased. The efforts could include expanding biking. As of early June, however, the bill had not been readied for a Senate vote and no companion is pending in the House. See https://www.congress.gov/bill/117th-congress/senate-bill/3266 .
But since the committee is split 50-50 among Democrats and Republicans, it failed on a tie vote to recommend the Colorado Outdoor Recreation and Economy Act (S. 173). The bill calls for creating mountain biking and other recreational opportunities in the Tenmile Recreation Management Area. It would also allow bicycles only on designated trails in the Williams Fork Mountains Conservation Area and allow bicycles in parts of the Sheep Mountain Special Management Area.
The Senate can vote on the bill only if Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) discharges the committee from the bill. A companion bill (H.R. 577) is pending before the House Natural Resources Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources. Details: https://www.congress.gov/bill/117th-congress/house-bill/577/related-bills.