2023 Outlook for the SOAR Act
The Coalition for Outdoor Access’ highest policy priority is passage of the Simplifying Outdoor Access for Recreation Act, or SOAR Act. The SOAR Act is the product of more than eight years of collaboration between a broad community of stakeholders and Members of Congress. It would help fix the federal recreational permitting process that creates barriers for people to experience the outdoors.
In March 2023, the SOAR Act was reintroduced in the U.S. House of Representatives by Representative John Curtis (R-UT) and Representative Joe Neguse (D-CO). The bill, H.R. 1527, is nearly identical to the version introduced in the previous session of Congress.
In the Senate, the SOAR Act was reintroduced by Senator Martin Heinrich (D-NM) and Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) as S. 1630. The SOAR Act was also included in a larger package of outdoor recreation bills, the America’s Outdoor Recreation Act, or AORA (S. 873). The Senate version of the SOAR Act that was included in AORA contains several significant improvements over the previous versions of the SOAR Act. You can learn more about the changes in this slide deck.
AORA unanimously passed the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee in May 2023 and awaits action by the full Senate. Meanwhile, the House Natural Resources Committee intends to pass their own package of outdoor recreation bills in the fall of 2023, including the SOAR Act.
The Coalition for Outdoor Access supports the Senate version of the SOAR Act that is included in AORA, and continues to work with our champions in the House and Senate to advance the AORA language. We anticipate that the most likely vehicle for passage of the SOAR Act is through passage of AORA, and eventual reconciliation with the House. We’ll keep you updated as this process continues.