January 21, 2022

Neguse Unveils Bipartisan Legislation to Expand Access to Long-Distance Bike Trails, Boost Outdoor Recreation and Support Mountain Economies

Washington D.C.— Today, Congressman Joe Neguse, Chair of the U.S. Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests and Public Lands, Representatives John Curtis, Susie Lee, and Kelly Armstrong unveiled bipartisan, bicameral legislation to bolster outdoor recreation and promote biking on federal lands across the United States. The Biking On Long-Distance Trails (BOLT) Act will expand outdoor recreation opportunities by developing and completing long-distance bike trails and expanding mapping resources for long-distance bikers. The legislation would expand outdoor recreation opportunities throughout Colorado and boost mountain economies that rely on the outdoor industry and tourism revenue. The bill is led by Senators Cramer and Lujan in the Senate and supported by Senators Martin Heinrich (D-NM), Joe Manchin (D-WV), and John Barrasso (R-WY). 

“Colorado’s outdoor recreation economy drives our mountain Main Streets, bringing travelers from across the globe to see the national treasures and precious public spaces that we’re lucky to call home,” said Congressman Joe Neguse. “As Chair of the Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests and Public Lands, boosting our state’s outdoor recreation industry is a key component of our legislative agenda. We’ve introduced countless bills in this regard over the last year, including the CORE Act, our bill to complete the Continental Divide Trail and legislation to streamline permitting for outdoor guides, support our ski resorts and make historic investments in our forests, watersheds and wildfire prevention efforts. The Biking on Long-Distance Trails Act furthers our work on this front, by expanding outdoor recreation opportunities, completing long-distance trails and enhancing mapping abilities. I’m thrilled to lead the legislation, and look forward to working with the bipartisan coalition supporting this bill to get it over the finish line.”

“Ensuring Americans have access to our public lands is an important part of multiple use management, which includes outdoor recreation, resource development, and grazing. This bill identifies long-distance bike trails on federal lands, making them easier for the public to find while they are enjoying the outdoors,” said Congressman Armstrong.

“Mountain biking has grown in popularity over the last decade, most notably during the pandemic, and we at the International Mountain Bicycling Association applaud Representative Joe Neguse from Colorado for recognizing the importance of outdoor recreation and introducing the Biking on Long Distance Trails (BOLT) Act,” said Dave Wiens, Executive Director, International Mountain Bicycling Association. “Now is the time to invest in our outdoor recreation infrastructure by providing pathways to positive physical and mental health and creating jobs in the outdoor economy,”

The BOLT Act will make bike trails more accessible and direct the Department of the Interior (DOI) to: 

  • Identify not fewer than 10 long-distance bike trails;
  • Identify not fewer than 10 areas in which there is an opportunity to develop or complete long-distance bike trials;
  • Allow the DOI to publish and distribute maps, install signage, and issue promotional materials; and
  • Publish a report that lists the trails developed under this legislation.

Read the bill text.