American Mountain Guides Association Applauds Introduction of America’s Outdoor Recreation Act

March 17, 2023

Senators Manchin and Barrasso praised for legislation that would modernize the outfitter and guide permitting system and improve access to public lands

Boulder, Colo. /OUTDOOR SPORTSWIRE/ – The American Mountain Guides Association applauds Senators Joe Manchin (D-WV) and John Barrasso (R-WY) for the introduction of the America’s Outdoor Recreation Act (AORA), a first-of-its-kind package of outdoor recreation bills. AORA includes the Simplifying Outdoor Access for Recreation Act (SOAR Act) which would modernize the federal outfitter and guide permitting system to improve access to recreational opportunities on federal lands.

“Outdated regulations in the outfitter-guide permitting system have made it time consuming, unpredictable, and unnecessarily difficult for guide services and outdoor organizations to provide guided climbing and skiing experiences on public lands,” said Alex Kosseff, Executive Director of the American Mountain Guides Association. “The SOAR Act will remove old roadblocks in the permitting system and enable more Americans to experience the joy of rock climbing, mountaineering, and backcountry skiing in forests and parks across the country.”

The SOAR Act would simplify the issuance and administration of permits by shortening processing times, eliminating duplicative analyses, making permit applications available online, and allowing single permits for trips that cross multiple agency boundaries. The bill would also establish new types of permits that will be easier for guides to obtain and less complicated for land agencies to administer.

“For decades, agency administrators and guides alike have been burdened by unnecessary complexity in the permitting process,” said Matt Wade, Deputy Director of the American Mountain Guides Association. “The SOAR Act makes improvements to the permitting system that will reduce agency workloads, expand recreation opportunities for the public, and create new business opportunities for outdoor recreation service providers. This legislation will make the system work better for everyone.”

The American Mountain Guides Association looks forward to working with Senators Manchin and Barrasso to pass the America’s Outdoor Recreation Act and institute long overdue reforms to the outfitter and guide permitting system that will benefit land agencies, guides, and the American public for years to come.

A one-page summary and a section-by-section summary of AORA are available for more information.

About American Mountain Guides Association

The American Mountain Guides Association (AMGA) is a 501(c)(3) educational non-profit organization that provides training and certification for climbing instructors, mountain guides, and ski guides throughout the United States. Founded in 1979, the AMGA institutes international standards for the mountain guiding profession and serves as an educational body for land management agencies, guide services, outdoor clubs, and others wishing to establish internationally-recognized standards for guided climbing and skiing activities. The advocacy arm of the AMGA supports sustainable use of public lands, facilitates stewardship opportunities, and works in cooperation with guides and land managers to preserve access to areas utilized by the guided public. For more information on the AMGA, visit AMGA.com.


Matt Wade