Neguse Judiciary Committee

In this file photo, Rep. Joe Neguse, D-Colo., speaks during a House Judiciary Committee markup of the articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump, on Capitol Hill Wednesday, Dec. 11, 2019, in Washington.

Federal legislation from U.S. Rep. Joe Neguse aimed at overhauling the special use permitting process for federal lands is one step closer to becoming law after clearing a House committee.

The Lafayette Democrat’s Simplifying Outdoor Access for Recreation Act on Wednesday won approval from the House Natural Resources Committee and now heads to the House floor. The bill seeks to streamline the permitting process by broadening the authority permits grant, revamping the application process and standardizing fees.

“The permitting process for federal lands was intended to help preserve our nations’ priceless natural resources, but it has become too great a bottleneck—preventing guides from securing enough permits despite acceptable volume,” said Neguse in a statement. “With this bill, our goal is to eliminate the barriers that currently keep outdoor guide services from securing permits and, in turn, support rural local business, expand outdoor recreation career opportunities, and provide more folks with access to the great outdoors.”

In the House, the bill features U.S. Rep. Diana DeGette, D-Denver, as a cosponsor along with fellow Democratic U.S. Reps. Ruben Gallego of Arizona and Debbie Dingell of Michigan.

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