Author Topic: 15 Minutes Could Save You 100% On "Trail Funding"  (Read 3022 times)

Rick_Bear

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15 Minutes Could Save You 100% On "Trail Funding"
« on: September 01, 2011, 04:21:08 am »
15 Minutes Could Save You 100% On Trail Funding by Dave Halsey, NOHVCC Contributing Writer

“Now is the time for all good men/women to come to the aid of their party.”
Remember typing that sentence over and over when you took Typing 101 in high school or college?

Let me offer up a variation:
“Now is the time for all good OHV riders to come to the aid of their trail funding program.”

The Recreational Trail Program (RTP) isn’t just in jeopardy, it’s on life support and barely breathing. It could die if we don’t act.
RTP is a program of the U.S. Department of Transportation's Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), providing funds to the states to develop and maintain recreational trails and trail-related facilities for both motorized and non-motorized recreational trail uses.

On July 7th, U.S. Congressman John Mica, Chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, released an outline of a “Transportation Reauthorization Proposal.” As reported by Stuart Macdonald, Chair of the National Association of State Trail Administrators, here are the key points for the Mica proposal:
•   Consolidation or elimination of most “special” programs, including RTP, Enhancements, Safe Routes, etc.
•   States will be permitted to fund such “non-highway activities” but will no longer be required to set aside funds.
•   Funding is reduced from the $50 billion authorized in 2010 to something closer to the $35 billion in annual revenue from current fuel taxes.
The Coalition for Recreational Trails (CRT), formed in 1992 to ensure that RTP receives adequate funding, is encouraging an amendment to the proposal, should it be introduced as a House bill. “This would require serious commitment from enough members of Congress to challenge Rep. Mica's austere budget,” said Macdonald.
How do we get Congress to commit to extending RTP? By stepping up our efforts. OHV clubs, riders, state OHV program managers and associations, national advocacy groups, we all need to step in and speak up. “It’s time for everyone to think farther ahead than just their next ride, sit down at the computer and take action, otherwise RTP is going to be gone, and the future of OHV trails will be in jeopardy,” said Karen Umphress, NOHVCC Project Coordinator. “Everyone needs to contact their legislators, both their Senators and their Congressmen, and let them know how important RTP is. This is user-paid money so there’s no reason it should be excluded.”
To state your case even stronger, you can point out just how much RTP funding is at risk in your state. Go to the Partner Contact section of the NOHVCC website. Select your state from the map or the dropdown list, the click the 'Recreational Trails Program' tab just above the partner contact results. There you will find links to your RTP contact person for your state, the Federal Highway Administration webpage, and a webpage that shows RTP appropriations for your state.
For a quick, easy tool to contact your Congressional delegates and encourage them to continue RTP funding, go to the web site of the Americans for Responsible Recreational Access: www.arra-access.com
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