Today, President Biden signed the Modernizing Access to our Public Land Act into law. This historic legislation will enhance recreational opportunities on public land by investing in modern mapping systems that allow outdoor enthusiasts to access the information they need using handheld GPS technology ordinarily found in smartphones. MDF worked with several partner organizations including the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership, National Shooting Sports Foundation, and Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation to secure enactment of this important initiative. The U.S. Senate passed the MAPLand Act unanimously on April 7th following an overwhelmingly bipartisan vote in the U.S. House of Representatives on March 15th.
“The Mule Deer Foundation believes that the MAPLand Act will make more information about our public lands available, which will improve access to our public lands, and also better distribute use across the landscape, reduce user conflicts, and improve recreational experiences,” said MDF President/CEO Joel Pedersen. “MDF is grateful to this Administration and this legislation’s congressional champions for putting forward and enacting a law that will positively impact all user groups.”
The MAPLand Act would improve digital mapping of easements and rights-of-way across private lands, making it possible for the public to identify places to hunt, fish, and participate in other forms of outdoor recreation. The bill also requires land management agencies to provide information about seasonal allowances and restrictions for vehicle use on public roads and trails as well as boundaries of areas where hunting or recreational shooting is regulated or closed.
MDF thanks the congressional champions of this legislation for their efforts to secure this critical priority: Senator Jim Risch (R-ID), Senator Angus King (I-ME), Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV), Senator John Barrasso (R-WY), Senator Martin Heinrich (D-NM), Representative Blake Moore (R-UT), Representative Joe Neguse (D-CO), Representative Russ Fulcher (R-ID), Representative Kim Schrier (D-WA), Representative Bruce Westerman (R-AR), and Representative Raul Grijalva (D-AZ).
The Mule Deer Foundation is the only conservation group in North America dedicated to restoring, improving and protecting mule deer and black-tailed deer and their habitat, with a focus on science and program efficiency. MDF is a strong voice for hunters in access, wildlife management and conservation policy issues. MDF acknowledges regulated hunting as a viable management component and is committed to recruitment and retention of youth into the shooting sports and conservation. Get involved in your state or become a member at www.muledeer.org or call 1-888-375-3337.