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Letter to the Editor from Rob Thornberry, Roosevelt Conservation Partnership - March 31, 2020 

Idaho’s abundance of public lands and the recreational opportunities they offer are among our state’s most valuable resources.

It is not always easy, however, to identify legal means of access to these lands, or to know which roads and trails are open to different forms of transportation. In the age of smartphones and GPS technology, taking full advantage of public land recreational opportunities should be easier.

Fortunately, Sen. Jim Risch is taking the initiative to address these issues with bipartisan legislation that would digitize recreational access information and make those resources available to the public. As a lead co-sponsor of the Modernizing Access Our Public Land Act, he is working to make commonsense investments in the future of our outdoor traditions.

If passed into law, this bill would — among other things — digitize the easements held by public agencies that guarantee Idahoans the ability to get to the mountains and rivers we love, ensuring that such access records are easily referenced and not lost in paper files.

Hunters and anglers thank Sen. Risch for stepping up on behalf of all public land users and stand ready to help him move this bill through the Senate and into law. From the timbered mountains of the panhandle to the rugged canyons of the Owyhee Country, public lands are central to our way of life here in Idaho, and we should be grateful to have a voice in Washington, D.C., who understands their importance.

To read the article on the Post Register website, click here.

Background:

In March, Senator Jim Risch introduced the MAPLand Act to increase outdoor recreation and improve hunting and fishing access for sportsmen and women. The MAPLand Act will digitize and standardize mapping information like access points and permissible uses on federal public lands.

To learn more about the MAPLand Act,  click here.

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