U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich
U.S. SENATE News:
WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.), a member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, is celebrating that bipartisan legislation he cosponsored to digitize public land mapping records to increase outdoor recreation and improve hunting and fishing access for sportsmen and women has been signed into law by President Joe Biden.
The Modernizing Access to our Public Land (MAPLand) Act will enhance access to the nation’s outdoor recreational opportunities by digitizing and standardizing mapping information like access points and permissible uses on federal public lands.
“With our expansive skies and remote open spaces in New Mexico, modernizing access to our public lands will help people better navigate the great outdoors and play a key role in growing our state’s recreation economy,” Heinrich said.
This new law will enable New Mexico’s public lands to be mapped in a standardized, digitized format across all four public lands agencies in a significant degree of detail. New Mexico’s burgeoning outdoor recreation economy depends in large part upon citizens’ access to reliable, comprehensive information about public land areas, access points, and permitted activities.
According to the Outdoor Industry Association, New Mexico outdoor recreation generates $9.9 billion in consumer spending annually, supports almost 100,000 jobs, creates $2.8 billion in wages and salaries, and brings in about $623 million in state and local tax revenue.
Senator Heinrich has a long-standing history of improving access to public lands. In 2019, Senator Heinrich played a leading role in the passage of a landmark bipartisan public lands legislative package, the John D. Dingell Jr. Conservation, Management, and Recreation Act. That law included Sen. Heinrich’s bipartisan provisions of the Sportsmen’s Act sponsored by Heinrich to extend key conservation programs and the HUNT Act, a bill Heinrich authored to require federal land management agencies to identify opportunities to open up new outdoor recreation opportunities on public lands for hunting and fishing.
The MAPLand Act, led by U.S. Senators Jim Risch (R-Idaho) and Angus King (I-Maine), also is cosponsored by U.S. Senators Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) and John Barrasso (R-Wyo.), Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), Steve Daines (R-Mont.), Mark Kelly (D-Ariz.), and Susan Collins (R-Maine).
The MAPLand Act is supported by many in the conservation and sportsmen community, including the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership, Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation, Backcountry Hunters & Anglers, and Trout Unlimited.