House Natural Resources Committee Approves RNR Act

The House Natural Resources Committee approved the Recreation-Not-Red Tape (RNR) Act, which gives a boost to recreational riders on public lands.
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Credit: Kimberly S. Brown While the RNR Act focuses on streamlined permitting to access public lands, the bill includes provisions that would authorize the Department of the Interior, through the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), to enter into cooperative agreements with private parties to promote the role of volunteers in trail maintenance.

Credit: Kimberly S. Brown While the RNR Act focuses on streamlined permitting to access public lands, the bill includes provisions that would authorize the Department of the Interior, through the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), to enter into cooperative agreements with private parties to promote the role of volunteers in trail maintenance.

On April 18, the House Natural Resources Committee convened a “mark-up” to consider amendments to H.R. 3400, the Recreation-Not-Red Tape (RNR) Act, and ultimately passed the legislation by voice vote. 

A debate over an amendment offered by Rep. Elizabeth Cheney (R-WY) that would have removed a provision outlining a National Recreation Area System from the legislation preceded the vote on the final bill. The amendment, which Chairman Bishop opposed, failed by a vote of 27 to nine. Today’s committee action gives the RNR Act the green light to advance to the House floor, on a date to be determined. 

H.R. 3400 and its companion bill in the Senate, S. 1633, expand the scope of the National Forest System Trails Stewardship Act (PL 114-245), signed into law in late 2016. 

While the RNR Act focuses on streamlined permitting to access public lands, the bill includes provisions that would authorize the Department of the Interior, through the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), to enter into cooperative agreements with private parties to promote the role of volunteers in trail maintenance. The bill also authorizes the Department of Agriculture (USDA) and BLM to develop an interagency trail management plan that will assure uniform maintenance standards for trails crossing jurisdictional lines between the two agencies. 

During recent months, the scope of the bill has expanded to include provisions of the “GO Act,” which streamlines the permitting process for guides and outfitters operating on public lands; and the “21 Century Conservation Service Corps Act,” which promotes the employment of veterans and youth to work on public lands projects. 

To view a copy of a statement from Chairman Bishop applauding passage of the bill, please click here: https://naturalresources.house.gov/newsroom/documentsingle.aspx?DocumentID=404531

If you would like more information about the RNR Act and related lobbying activity, please contact Bryan Brendle at bbrendle@horsecouncil.org or 202-296-4031.