Sen. Cortez Masto Celebrates Passage of Accelerating Veterans Recovery Outdoors Act
WASHINGTON – U.S. Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto, D-Nev., celebrated the recent passage of the bipartisan Accelerating Veterans Recovery Outdoors Act, included in a package of veterans’ legislation, the Veterans’ COMPACT Act.
The Accelerating Veterans Recovery Outdoors Act, co-introduced by Sen. Steve Daines, R-Mont., will create an intergovernmental task force to identify opportunities to expand access and usage of public lands to veterans for outdoor wellness and rehabilitation treatments.
In a statement, Cortez Masto stated, “The passage of this bill is great news for Nevada’s veteran communities, who are increasingly turning to outdoor recreation as a way to prioritize their physical health and mental well-being. Spending time in Nevada’s magnificent outdoor landscapes can be therapeutic, and this bill will make it easier for veterans who have experienced trauma to get the resources they need to heal and benefit from pristine public spaces in Nevada and across America.”
The act establishes an inter-agency task force, co-chaired by the secretary of Veterans Affairs and the secretary of the Interior. This task force would also include the secretaries of Health and Human Services, Agriculture, Defense, and Homeland Security, as well as the chief of the Army Corps of Engineers.
The task force would seek to better utilize public lands for the rehabilitation and wellness of veterans and to identify existing barriers that prevent veterans from more broadly utilizing outdoor recreation for medical treatment.
This legislation is supported by numerous outdoor recreation and veterans advocacy groups, including the American Legion, Paralyzed Veterans of America, Veterans of Foreign Wars, Disabled American Veterans, Minority Veterans of America, Blue Star Families, Vet Voice Foundation, Veteran’s Outdoor Advocacy Group, PeopleForBikes, National Parks Conservation Association, Sierra Club, Outdoor Industry Association, Outdoor Alliance, Outdoor Recreation Roundtable, Outdoor Research, Adventure Not War, Forgotten Not Gone, Race to Erase 22 and the REI Co-op.
“The Accelerating Veterans Recovery Outdoors Act is an important step towards connecting more veterans with outdoor recreation on public lands and honoring our commitment to caring for our nation’s veterans when they return home,” said Lise Aangeenbrug, executive director of the Outdoor Industry Association. “This legislation will help more veterans experience the outdoors and further connect outdoor recreation to their health and wellness. We applaud the leaders of this important legislation on its passage and look forward to working with them on continued support of our veterans.”
Companion legislation in the House was introduced by Rep. Chris Smith, R-N.J., and Adam Smith, D-Wash., and included in the House version of the Veterans’ COMPACT Act, which passed unanimously.
The Veterans’ COMPACT Act is now headed to the president’s desk to be signed.
In The News
AUSTIN, Texas-- In Texas this week, a bipartisan bill to develop a study on the use of psychedelic therapy to... Read More
AUSTIN, Texas-- In Texas this week, a bipartisan bill to develop a study on the use of psychedelic therapy to treat post-traumatic stress disorder in veterans was overwhelmingly approved by the Senate. “We are losing over 20 veterans a day to suicide in the United States.... Read More
WASHINGTON - The Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America on Thursday cheered Senate passage of the Deborah Sampson Act, which... Read More
WASHINGTON - The Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America on Thursday cheered Senate passage of the Deborah Sampson Act, which directs the Department of Veterans Affairs to carry out the three-year pilot program to assess how best to provide assistance to women veterans. The pilot program,... Read More
WASHINGTON - Right now, it's just a hub of activity behind a construction area awning at the foot of Capitol... Read More
WASHINGTON - Right now, it's just a hub of activity behind a construction area awning at the foot of Capitol Hill, but come Nov. 11 the site, on the grounds of the National Museum of the American Indian, will be transformed into the National Native American... Read More
LANGHORNE, Pa. — Reps. Brian Fitzpatrick, D-Pa., Derek Kilmer, D-Wash., and Gerry Connolly, D-Va., brought forth a bill that would... Read More
LANGHORNE, Pa. — Reps. Brian Fitzpatrick, D-Pa., Derek Kilmer, D-Wash., and Gerry Connolly, D-Va., brought forth a bill that would ensure disabled veterans can fully utilize their benefits following disruptions in veterans’ health care due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Back in March 2020, the novel coronavirus... Read More
WASHINGTON — When Rosie Torres first knocked on Congress’ doors almost a decade ago, asking for help for her husband... Read More
WASHINGTON — When Rosie Torres first knocked on Congress’ doors almost a decade ago, asking for help for her husband and other veterans who became sick following exposure to military burn pits, she gained little traction. What she heard: More research was needed to determine if... Read More
As the U.S. struggles to fight off a lingering coronavirus pandemic, the full impact of the crisis on the lives... Read More
As the U.S. struggles to fight off a lingering coronavirus pandemic, the full impact of the crisis on the lives of Americans is just starting to come into view. But for the veteran community -- as for many other groups -- the crisis has already taken... Read More