American Trails is committed to bringing you all the vital news about funding and policies that affect you. Watch for our ongoing alerts about the budget process, and check this federal budget page for updates....
Every individual and organization concerned with trails and bike/ped facilities should be ready to tell their Members of Congress why funding for trails and bike/ped programs is important:
How FY13 Federal budgets affect trails, parks, and public lands
August 14, 2012: Funding for the federal agencies for fiscal year 2013 is the next issue for outdoor recreation advocates. Congressional leaders recently agreed to fund federal agencies for the first six months of FY 2013 at about the same levels as 2012. The likely outcome is that Congress will pass a Continuing Resolution to carry the federal government into early 2013 at current funding levels.
The challenge for the House and Senate is to tackle the overall multi-year budget. If they can't agree by January 2, 2013, they face an automatic $1.2 trillion in spending reductions. Following the elections in November the budget will be a top issue in Congress. We'll keep you posted on this page.
February 16, 2012: The Administration released its proposed Fiscal Year 2013 budget on Feb. 13. For Federal land management, funding would be generally maintained at current levels.
The most substantial impact would be a 5% reduction in National Forest System recreation programs. The administration recommended $267 million, or $14 million less than the fiscal 2012 appropriation of $281.6 million. However, the Senate's proposed budget would increase USFS recreation to $290.5 million, while the House maintains the FY12 level.
Forest Service trails: Request, $82 million vs. $82 million in FY12. The Senate proposes $82.2 million. The House bill doesn't break out trails expenditures.
For the Department of Interior, the America’s Great Outdoors program would receive $5.1 billion, an increase of $146 million over the FY12 enacted level. The Youth in the Great Outdoors program would receive $35 million vs. $37.5 million in FY12. The administration proposes a Land and Water Conservation Fund budget of $258 million for federal land acquisition plus $60 million for stateside funding. Read more on the LWCF news and resources page...
The Feb. 13 bulletin from Federal Parks & Recreation newsletter reported on the the funding outlook for Federal land management agencies:
July 8, 2011: Federal budgets for land management agencies are back in the news. The House Appropriations subcommittee on Interior and Related Agencies has prepared a Fiscal Year 2012 budget bill which "includes $27.5 billion— a cut of over $2 billion— to fund programs within the Department of the Interior, the U.S. Forest Service, the Environmental Protection Agency, Indian Health Service, and other agencies." The bill is expected to go to the full committee Tuesday, July 12.
On June 16 the FY 2012 Department of Agriculture appropriations bill (HR 2112) included reductions of $1 billion. However, funding for the National Forest System was set at $1.547 billion, or $2 million more than in FY 2011.
Here are some of the numbers in the House subcommittee on Interior bill, compared to fiscal 2010, compiled by Federal Parks & Recreation:
The Land and Water Conservation Fund took a big hit:
National Park Service operations and construction were only slightly below 2010 levels. However, Park Service recreation and preservation was set at $49.4 million compared to $59 million in fiscal 2011. The administration request was $51.6 million.
Bureau of Land Management also faces a slight decrease: $1 billion for FY 2012, a decrease of $63 million from last year.
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service would receive a 21% cut: $1.2 billion budget is $315 million below last year’s level.
The tone of the discussion may be gathered from comments by Rep. Mike Simpson (R-ID) on the House appropriations act for fiscal year 2012. “We are living at a time when the federal government borrows over 40 cents for each dollar that it spends. We are also living at a time of record deficits and debts,” Chairman Simpson said during the subcommittee markup. “This committee is taking meaningful steps to help put our country’s fiscal house in order. While reductions in discretionary spending alone will not erase the deficit, the bill before us this morning is a step forward in that direction.”
March 7, 2011: Both the House and Senate passed the Surface Transportation Extension Act of 2011 last week to extend federal transportation programs to September 30, 2011. H.R. 662 was introduced in the House by the Republican and Democrat leaders of the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. The legislation freezes funding at fiscal year 2010 levels for highway, transit and highways safety programs.
February 19, 2011: House lawmakers voted to cut more than $60 billion, from 2010 levels, in spending for federal programs and agencies for the rest of FY2011. The House vote was 235-189 to send the so-called continuing resolution to the Senate. However, with government funding set to expire March 4, 2011, the Senate will only have five days to work on the funding bill after returning from the Presidents Day recess on Feb. 28. As a result, both Democrats and Republicans are working on short-term extensions to avoid a government shutdown.
House proposed budget details for fiscal year ending Sept. 30, 2011:
Land and Water Conservation Fund: March 7, 2011: The House version of the Continuing Resolution cuts LWCF by 90% from the proposed FY 11 levels and by 87% from FY 10 enacted levels. The Senate version of the bill reduces LWCF overall by 27 % from the FY 11 budget proposal and by 17% from FY 10 enacted levels. While the Senate version sets us back from our push towards full funding, it is clearly better than the provisions of HR 1. Neither HR 1 nor the Senate substitute are expected to be the final bill approved, but on Tuesday those are the two choices available. See more news and details on LWCF...
Please use the Talking Points and Congressional Support list to contact all members possible. We urgently need your support and help reaching out to House champions urging them to protect LWCF and ensure it has consistent and reliable funding for the future. Once a program has lost all funding for a year, it is very difficult to restore it.
Please urgently ask all LWCF House champs to come to the floor and defend LWCF while reiterating that the program is a wise investment that provides public access for recreation, bolsters local economies and jobs, conserves working forests, farms and ranches, and protects our waters, wildlife and open spaces. See details and how you can take action now...
Federal land management budgets: Major cuts are also proposed in the current House budget for a wide variety of construction, maintenance, and supporting programs on federal public lands. This includes trails and recreation areas on National Forests, Bureau of Land Management lands, US Fish & Wildlife Refuges, and the National Parks. (Stay tuned for more details.)
American Trails and other nationwide organizations have been urging key members of Congress and Administration officials to recognize the importance of funding for trails and related facilities.
There is strength in numbers and we need to present a unified voice for trails, to document their many benefits, and to make the case for funding trails and bicycle/pedestrian programs. Join us in contacting your Senators and Representatives to let them know why these programs are vital to your local efforts.
Now more than ever, advocates must convince Congress that money spent on trails, bike/ped facilities, parks, and outdoor recreation is a sound investment in the country’s economy. The health of our children, as well as our cities, will depend on expanding transportation choices and preserving trails, open space, parks, and places for recreation.
As our nation looks closely at the increase in childhood obesity, the need for healthier lifestyle choices for everyone, safe routes for active transportation, and urban development, there are major issues to address. Trails, greenways, bikeways, and other routes are a critical part of the solution. Read more about the benefits of trails and find talking points by visiting these links:
American Trails benefits-related web pages:
February 4, 2011: "I'd like to have a transportation bill on the president's desk by the August recess," Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said Friday during a conference call with reporters. He expressed his belief that members of the House and Senate appear committed to complete the legislation.
February 2, 2011: House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) "has been empowered under House rules to set 2011 non-security spending levels at 2008 levels or less." On Feb. 8 Ryan is to publish his budget figures in the Congressional Record. Then, House appropriators will have to decide on spending ceilings for each subcommittee (e.g. Highways and Transit) and finalize the committee bill by Feb. 11.
January 31, 2011: "House Republicans try to find middle ground on budget-cutting plan"
January 28, 2011: According to a Missouri Bicycle and Pedestrian Federation article, "The idea that bicycle and pedestrian funding-- rather than general overall cuts to federal transportation spending-- might be specifically targeted is realistic given that a few members of the House, like House Majority Leader Eric Cantor of Virginia, have repeatedly called for bicycle & pedestrian funding to be cut or eliminated." Read about past history of bicycle and pedestrian cuts proposed in federal budget.
January 27, 2011: World Health Organization official discusses "Transport and Health: Measuring the Link"
January 27, 2011: "Senate committee backs infrastructure, but not bike lanes"
January 24, 2011: A clear explanation of the transportation funding debate from a "reduced-government-spending" viewpoint: "These challenges will in large part be driven by the need to constrain overall federal spending and by shortfalls in the highway trust fund." Read article from the Heritage Foundation...
Economic impacts of walking and bicycling
Funding trails and bike/ped programs
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American Trails is committed to bringing you all the vital news about funding and policies that affect you. Watch for our ongoing alerts about the budget process, and check this page for updates.
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