TAKE ACTION FOR TRAILS

 

Hosted by American Trails

 

American Trails and other nationwide organizations have kept watch on Federal transportation funding for trails, greenways, and recreation routes, as well as programs for bicycle/pedestrian facilities and Safe Routes to School.

Every trail organization can help expand support for continued funding. We are all in this together, whether our main interest is active transportation, public land recreation, river corridors, better communities, or trail riding.

 

Action alerts

 

April 29, 2014: Senators support continuation of the Recreational Trails Program

arrow See the final Senate Dear Colleague Letter signed by 24 Senators with 18 Democrats and 6 Republicans (pdf 1.4 mb)

Read more about efforts to boost awareness of and support for the Recreational Trails Program within the United States Senate and the campaign for reauthorizing the Recreational Trails Program...

U.S. Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Jim Risch (R-ID), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and Richard Burr (R-NC) have released a Dear Colleague letter soliciting signatures for a letter to Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA), Chairman of the U.S. Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, and Senator David Vitter (R-LA), Ranking Member on the Committee, supporting the continuation of the Recreational Trails Program (RTP) in the next surface transportation authorization bill.

 

April 2, 2014: Senators support continuation of the Recreational Trails Program

U.S. Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Jim Risch (R-ID), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and Richard Burr (R-NC) have released a Dear Colleague letter soliciting signatures for a letter to Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA), Chairman of the U.S. Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, and Senator David Vitter (R-LA), Ranking Member on the Committee, supporting the continuation of the Recreational Trails Program (RTP) in the next surface transportation authorization bill.

arrow See the Dear Colleague request and the planned letter to the EPW leadership (pdf 1.3 mb)

Please share this information with your membership and ask them to contact their Members of the U.S. Senate (except, of course, Senators Klobuchar, Risch, Shaheen, Burr, Boxer and Vitter) and request that they sign on to the letter supporting the continuation of the RTP in the next surface transportation authorization bill. Our basic message is that the RTP is a very effective, user-pay/user-benefit program and a proven success story. It serves as the foundation for state trail programs across the country, benefits motorized and non-motorized trail users alike, leverages significant additional support for trails, encourages productive cooperation among trail users, and facilitates healthy outdoor recreation and associated, badly needed economic activity in countless communities throughout the nation.

Time is very short. The deadline for Senators' response is noon on Wednesday, April 9.

 

PAST CAMPAIGNS

 

August 27, 2013: Florida has now officially notified the FHWA that it will be opting out of the Recreational Trails Program again in 2014. The decision becomes irreversible on September 1, 2013. There are still a few days left for grass-roots networks in Florida to contact Governor Scott and request him to reverse the decision. Talking point are attached.

The Governor's contact information follows: The Honorable Rick Scott Governor of Florida PL 05 The Capitol 400 South Monroe Street Tallahassee, FL 32399-0001 Phone 850/488-7146 Fax 850/487-0801 - http://www.flgov.com/contact-gov-scott/email-the-governor/

 

July 23, 2013: We have learned that Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) is planning to offer Senate Amendment 1742 to the Transportation Appropriations bill (Senate Bill 1243) to transfer all funding from the Transportation Alternatives Program to pay for bridge repairs insteadThe Transportation Alternatives Program includes all the funding for the Recreational Trails Program, in addition to funding for what used to be known as Transportation Enhancements as well as Safe Routes to School.

Action on the amendment could happen in the very near future.  Please ask your members and grass-roots networks to contact their Senators and ask them to vote NO on Senate Amendment 1742 to Senate Bill 1243.  Information on contacting Senators can be found at http://www.senate.gov/general/contact_information/senators_cfm.cfm

 Also see alerts and ways to take action from:


July 5, 2013: Brown Administration responds to Recreational Trails Program supporters (read details and download the response letter and proposed Active Transportation Program language...)

arrowCalifornia's Great Outdoors Month Proclamation by Gov. Jerry Brown (pdf 363 kb)

arrow Read more about the RTP issues in California and read the letter to Governor Brown

arrow See the list of California Projects funded through the Recreational Trails Program since its inception (pdf 278 kb)

arrow See "Gov. Brown Threatening to Erode Funding for Trails, Biking and Walking" ~ article and resources on the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy website


PLEASE TAKE ACTION NOW TO SAVE THE RECREATIONAL TRAILS PROGRAM IN CALIFORNIA!

Governor Brown could eliminate the Recreational Trails Program (RTP) in California! Many of you have spoken, and we are making a difference. But, the Governor needs to keep hearing from recreational trail supporters across the State.

The Governor may choose to opt out of the Recreational Trails Program (RTP). Supporters are actively pursuing strategies to protect RTP in California. The first step is to make sure that the Governor understands the breadth and scope of support for RTP. He will be much less likely to opt out of the program if thousands of RTP supporters urge him not to.

As a result, it is imperative that your organization undertake a campaign to urge as many Californians as possible to ask the Governor not to opt out of the program. And, your State Senator and Assembly representative also need to hear this message.

IT IS IMPERATIVE THAT YOU AND YOUR NETWORK WEIGH IN TO URGE GOVERNOR BROWN NOT TO OPT OUT OF RTP!

arrow Download this Alert as a PDF file

Here are a sampling of ways you can make a difference:

Contact Governor Jerry Brown
Phone: 916-445-2841
Fax: 916-558-3160
Email: Access the online email form on the Governor’s website: http://gov.ca.gov/m_contact.php

Contact your State Senator and Assembly representative
Locate them and visit their website to find their contact information: http://findyourrep.legislature.ca.gov/

Spread the word through your networks and ask your family and friends to make calls and send emails!

If the Recreational Trails Program is important to you, the suggested MESSAGE is simple. Here is sample wording to consider using or adjusting:

My name is _______________________. I live in the (City, Town, County) of _____________________. We have confirmed reports that Governor Brown’s staff intends to recommend that the Governor opt out of the Recreational Trails Program. RTP funded projects have facilitated healthy outdoor recreation for California’s residents and visitors and have also supported associated, badly needed economic activity in communities across the State. It is critical to retain the RTP as a discrete program, with its own defined user-paid funding. Trails funded through the Recreational Trails Program have benefited (me, my community, my family) in this way: _________________________. Please don’t “opt out” of the Recreational Trails Program!

For additional information: Visit the American Trails website at www.americantrails.org.

Contact American Trails at 530-547-2060 or pam_gluck@americantrails.org.

 

 

June, 2013:

URGENT – California Senate Sign On Letter Collecting Signatures Right Now!

PLEASE TAKE ACTION NOW TO SAVE THE RECREATIONAL TRAILS PROGRAM IN CALIFORNIA!

California State Senator Jim Beall has written a letter to Governor Brown asking him “not to opt out of the Recreational Trails Program.” He is currently circulating the letter to get additional signatures from other Senators. Please call directly into California State Senate offices where you and/or your members have relationships and ask those Senators to sign onto Senator Beall’s letter to save the Recreational Trails Program.

Signatures are being collected through the end of the day on June 6.  Please call ASAP!

Contact your State Senator: Locate them and visit their website to find their contact information: http://findyourrep.legislature.ca.gov

 

Here is Senator Beall’s final letter sent to the Governor on May 30th.  Eleven Colleagues joined the Senator in urging the Governor not to “opt out” of the Recreational Trails Program:

Signatures from left to right at the bottom of the letter:

 

Jim Beall ~ D

Fran Pavley ~ D

Mark DeSaulnier ~ D   (Chair of the Transportation and Housing Committee and sits on the Senate Committee on Budget & Fiscal Review)

Ben Hueso ~ D

Ted Gaines ~ R

Jim Nielsen ~ R

Carol Liu ~ D

Bill Emmerson ~ R

Jerry Hill ~ D

Jeff Gorrell ~ R   (Mr. Gorrell is actually an Assemblyman and sits as the Assembly Republican representative on the budget conference committee. He is Vice Chair of the Assembly Budget Committee.)

Mimi Walters ~ R

Hanna-Beth Jackson ~ D

Please note the bipartisan support for the RTP.  This has been the case for this popular and successful program for over 20 years! Download the letter from Sen. Beall to Gov. Brown supporting RTP...

 

May 24, 2013:

IF YOU RESIDE IN CALIFORNIA: CLICK HERE to access the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy’s Action Alert in order to easily sign on to an electronic letter that will go directly to California Governor Brown and to your State Legislators. The RTC has been taking a leadership role in saving the RTP in California.

 

May 1, 2013:

PLEASE TAKE ACTION NOW TO SAVE THE RECREATIONAL TRAILS PROGRAM IN CALIFORNIA!

Download this Alert as a PDF file

Dear California Friends of the Recreational Trails Program,

We have confirmed reports that Governor Jerry Brown’s staff is recommending the Governor opt out of the RTP. However, all is not lost. The first step is to make sure that the Governor understands the breadth and scope of support for RTP. He will be much less likely to opt out of the program if thousands of RTP supporters urge him not to.

As a result, it is imperative that your organization undertake a campaign to urge as many Californians as possible to ask the Governor not to opt out of the program. And, your State Senator and Assembly representative also need to hear this message.

IT IS IMPERATIVE THAT YOU AND YOUR NETWORK WEIGH IN TO URGE GOVERNOR BROWN NOT TO OPT OUT OF RTP!

 

August 9, 2012: Two States "opt out" of Recreational Trails Program Funding

 

August 23, 2012: Indiana trail supporters told their Govenor they care about trail funding, and he made a public announcement that the state would continue the Recreational Trails grants program. Read more...

 

August 9, 2012: MAP-21, the new transportation funding bill allows state governors to opt out of the Recreational Trails Program they notify the U.S. Secretary of Transportation of their decision no later than 30 days before the funds are apportioned.  Since the funds will be apportioned on October 1st, any opt-out decisions must be sent to US DOT by September 1st. 

Please see the Alert from American Trails with more details...

Tell your governor: I support Recreational Trails Program funding! Here's how:

If your organization has the ability to mobilize grassroots, please send a similar message out and encourage individual RTP supporters to make their voices heard by contacting their Governor directly.

It is important to note that the widespread, visible and continuous support that the RTP received prior to enactment of the legislation that reauthorized RTP last month was almost exclusively focused on the U.S. Congress. Now we must do all that we can before September 1st to ensure that these State Governors understand the importance of this program, and how many of their constituents care passionately about trails and the RTP.


Supporters are working to get as many signers on to the letter as possible by the evening of August 10 AND also trying to identify the States that could be in trouble. CRT stands ready to help those States. We need to know if any States think their program is safe or if it is questionable as to what their Governor will do. This is critical as we need time to assist those States in trouble– prior to the Sept. 1 deadline.

Please review this list: http://www.imba.com/groups-state to see which groups in your state have signed on to the RTP letter to their Governor – so far.

Please contact other key groups that should easily be able to sign on to the letter. Here is the link to sign on to the letter: http://www.imba.com/form/rtp-sign-letter.

 

arrow June 28, 2012: The surface transportation agreement announced last night will be acted on this week by the full Congress, and is expected to be signed by the President by July 1. The Recreational Trails Program is continued intact as the Kloubuchar amendment was retained. However, States may apparently opt out of the entire program. Funding is set at 85 million a year for two years and three months.

For other bicycle/pedestrian programs, the news is not so good. According to CQ Roll Call Reports, "The GOP also won a provision that will allow states to get out of the requirement that their road projects spend 1 percent or more on bike and pedestrian paths and landscaping." Under the new agreement, half of the money that used to fund Transportation Enhancements would flow to local Metropolitan Planning Organizations for such projects. States could still use the other half for bike/ped facilities, but they would have the flexibility to spend it on other transportation priorities instead.

If approved the bill would keep highway and transit spending at current levels through the end of fiscal year 2014. There will be a $27.2 billion shortfall above what fuel taxes are projected to generate. The bill is labeled MAP 21, HR 4348, and slated to become effective July 1. The full bill (599 pages) can be seen at http://www.rules.house.gov/Media/file/PDF_112_2/LegislativeText/CRPT-112hrpt-HR4348.pdf.

The provisions for RTP are found at page 95, under Transportation Alternatives:

‘‘(f) CONTINUATION OF CERTAIN RECREATIONAL TRAILS PROJECTS.—Each State shall—

‘‘(1) obligate an amount of funds reserved under this section equal to the amount of the funds apportioned to the State for fiscal year 2009 under section 104(h)(2) for projects relating to recreational trails under section 206;

‘‘(2) return 1 percent of those funds to the Secretary for the administration of that program; and

‘‘(3) comply with the provisions of the administration of the recreational trails program under section 206, including the use of apportioned funds described under subsection (d)(3)(A) of that section.

‘‘(g) STATE FLEXIBILITY.—A State may opt out of the recreational trails program under subsection (f) if the Governor of the State notifies the Secretary not later than 30 days prior to apportionments being made for any fiscal year.’’.

 

arrow June 21, 2012: ALERT! Trail funding comes down to the wire in Congressional debate – and your help is needed NOW! Compromises are being made in conference and may be devastating for trails!

The House and Senate began a conference committee in early May to try to reconcile their two versions of a new surface transportation bill. Until this week, it has appeared that there were irreconcilable differences and many leaders in the trails world projected there most likely would be another extension until following the election. However affairs have DRAMATICALLY changed over the last couple of days, and there may very well be a bill by the June 30th deadline, when the current authorization expires.

David Hawkings of CQ Roll Call projects this is the final stretch and that there will be a handshake agreement on the highway bill between John Mica and Barbara Boxer by tomorrow evening, Mr. Hawkings states in today’s Daily Briefing, “All the indications are that both those top negotiators and their House and Senate leaders are starting to lower their hard lines on almost all the contentious issues — meaning federal transportation policy may yet get remade this summer to last through the end of next year. Yesterday’s whopping 386-34 vote in the House directing conferees to wrap up their work by the weekend is a clear sign that conservative resistance to a new public works package is fading fast and that Boehner and his fellow leaders have decided they want the bill more than the issue.” He continues, “Democratic negotiators yesterday sounded near agreement to give the House a measure of satisfaction on environmental streamlining rules for road projects, consolidating Transportation Department programs and giving states more options to shed federal mandates for roadside enhancements.”

As the debate in Congress continues, NOW is a crucial time to let your Senators and Representative know that you support funding for trails and bike/pedestrian facilities.

ACTION NEEDED: The message is simple, tell your members of Congress:
" Please preserve dedicated funding for the Recreational Trails Program, Transportation Enhancements, and Safe Routes to School."

IF YOU LIVE IN CALIFORNIA, it is especially important to ask Senator Barbara Boxer, Chair of the Conference Committee, to stay strong on protecting dedicated funding for trails, walking and bicycling. Senator Boxer’s Washington office number is 202-224-3553.

Contact your Senator by visiting: http://www.senate.gov/general/contact_information/senators_cfm.cfm

Contact your Representative by visiting: https://writerep.house.gov/writerep/welcome.shtml

The Conference Committee includes 34 Senators and Representatives. It's especially important to contact your member(s) of Congress if they are on the conference committee, but all members need to hear that you support funding for trails and bike/ped facilities now!

 

June 12, 2012: ACTION NEEDED NOW MORE THAN EVER! Now is the time to tell your members of Congress that you support trails! The House and Senate are currently in conference over the federal transportation bills. This is the funding authorization that supports key programs for advocates of trails, biking, and walking: Recreational Trails Program, Transportation Enhancements, and Safe Routes to School. The conference committee includes 34 Senators and Representatives who are attempting to reconcile differences between MAP-21, the Senate version of the transportation bill passed earlier this year and H.R. 7, the House version of the bill that did not pass the House.

The Senate and House conferees are going back and forth with counter proposals that could gravely affect the progress that has been made to include the Recreational Trails Program, Transportation Enhancements, and Safe Routes to School with dedicated funding in MAP-21, the Senate Bill!

It's especially important to contact your member of Congress if they are on the conference committee, but all members need to hear that you support funding for trails and bike/ped facilities now!

 

June 8, 2012: House proposal would let states eliminate funding for Recreational Trails, Enhancements, and Safe Routes to School. Trail supporters are urged to contact your Senators and Representatives to let them know you support funding for these programs. The Conference Committee has until the end of June to arrive at a compromise on Transportation funding, and it depends on you whether your Members of Congress will support trails and bike/ped facilities in these financially difficult times.

May 30, 2012: Now is the time to tell your members of Congress that you support trails! The House and Senate are currently in conference over the federal transportation bills. This is the funding authorization that supports key programs for advocates of trails, biking, and walking: Recreational Trails Program, Transportation Enhancements, and Safe Routes to School. The conference committee includes 34 Senators and Representatives who are attempting to recomcile differences between House and Senate versions of the transportation bills passed earlier this year. It's especially important to contact your member of Congress if they are on the conference committee, but all members need to hear that you support funding for trails and bike/ped facilities now!

Resources on the three core federal programs that fund projects for walking and bicycling from the Rails to Trails Conservancy:

 

ACTION in the SENATE

 

March 14, 2012: Big win for the Recreational Trails Program! Today, the Senate approved a $109 billion transportation bill. The bipartisan bill passed by a vote of 74-22. Through a manager’s amendment, the Recreational Trails Program was saved! Here is the wording now included in the bill:

(7) CONTINUATION OF CERTAIN RECREATIONAL TRAILS PROJECTS.--Each State that does not opt out of this paragraph shall--
(A) obligate an amount of funds reserved under this section equal to the amount of the funds apportioned to the State for fiscal year 2009 under section 104(h)(2) for projects relating to recreational trails under section 206;
(B) return 1 percent of those funds to the Secretary for the administration of that program; and
(C) comply with the provisions of the administration of the recreational trails program under section 206, including the use of apportioned funds described under subsection (d)(3)(A) of that section.

(8) STATE FLEXIBILITY.--A State may opt out of the recreational trails program under paragraph (7) if the Governor of the State notifies the Secretary not later than 30 days prior to apportionments being made for any fiscal year.''.

Congratulations to all of you that worked so hard to help your Senators understand why this program is so critical to your State! Although, the bill now does allow a State to “opt out” of the program which was not in the Klobuchar Amendment (#1661), this amendment still restores dedicated funding for the program and leaves it essentially unchanged. This is a BIG win for trails!

PLEASE take a moment to thank your Senators if they supported the RTP. Also – please thank these Senators that co-sponsored the Klobuchar Amendment: Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Richard Burr (R-NC), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Jim Risch (R-ID), Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Mark Udall (D-CO), Michael Bennet (D-CO), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Scott Brown (R-MA)

CLICK HERE to contact Senators: http://www.senate.gov/general/contact_information/senators_cfm.cfm

 

March 13, 2012: We are delighted to report that the Manager’s Amendment to MAP-21, the Senate transportation bill, containing a modified version of U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar’s amendment continuing the Recreational Trails Program essentially unchanged, was accepted this afternoon on the Senate floor. This is a wonderful achievement! We are very grateful to Sen. Klobuchar (D-MN) and her eight co-sponsors -- Michael Bennet (D-CO), Scott Brown (R -MA), Richard Burr (R-NC), James Risch (R-ID), Bernard Sanders (D-VT), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), and Mark Udall (D-CO). Please be sure to let them know how much the trails community appreciates their leadership and support.

March 8, 2012: While the Senate transportation bill is bogged down in amendments, the House version is on hold. Faced with opposition to the House version, Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) announced that the plan now is to see what the Senate can produce. “In the meantime, we’re going to continue to have conversations with our members about a longer-term approach,” Boehner said. If the Senate bill survives, the House would have to consider that two-year proposal before current surface transportation programs expire March 31. However, with the House in recess March 9–18, yet another extension may be in the works.

   

arrow March 6th: There will be action in the U.S. Senate on the transportation bill, also known as MAP-21 or S. 1813.  We need to make sure that the Klobuchar amendment -- Amendment #1661 -- to protect the RTP and its dedicated funding is part of the final bill.  

Please call or e-mail your Senators about the Klobuchar amendment.  If one (or both -- congratulations, Colorado!) of your Senators is a sponsor, thank them for their support and ask for their active help with the amendment this week.  If they have not yet agreed to support the amendment, ask for their pledge now.  Tell them:  

● Unless the bill is amended, MAP-21 will effectively eliminate the Recreational Trails Program and seriously damage, if not destroy, the balanced system of trails for all users that the RTP has allowed the states to develop and maintain over the last 20 years.  The RTP leverages hundreds of millions of dollars of additional support from other sources for trails, encourages productive cooperation among trail users, and facilitates healthy outdoor recreation and associated, badly needed economic activity in countless communities. Without the RTP, organized trail planning and development will simply vanish in many areas of the country.  

● Right now, at an annual funding level of $85 million, the RTP receives less than 42% of the federal gas taxes paid every year by America’s nonhighway recreationists.  Unless amended, MAP-21 will convert a legitimate user fee into an unfair tax, with recreationists subsidizing commercial and private highway users.

● The return of gas taxes to trail users through the RTP is in keeping with the user-pay, user-benefit philosophy of the Highway Trust Fund.  Ending dedicated funding for RTP takes these gas taxes away from the people who pay them.  Ending dedicated funding for RTP is bad public policy and just plain wrong.

Your previous help has already made a very big difference: 

●  Close to 400 national, regional, state and local organizations signed letters to every single Senator supporting the Klobuchar amendment.  You made that happen!

● Seven members of the Senate – Democrats and Republicans – agreed to cosponsor the Klobuchar amendment.  You made that happen!

● And in the House of Representatives, Rep. Steve King withdrew his amendment to eliminate the RTP from the House bill. 

March 6, 2012: The Senate voted today on Senator Reid’s (D-NV) substitute amendment (#1761) to the transportation bill (S. 1813), incorporating 37 agreed-upon amendments. They failed to invoke cloture (failed to move forward) on the Reid substitute amendment. The vote failed: Yea 52, Nay 44, Not Voting 4. (60 votes were needed to pass the amendment)

March 3, 2012: Updated version of the Senate transportation bill released March 2 with good news for bike/ped programs but not for Recreational Trails:

Great news for Transportation Enhancements and Safe Routes to Schools: The Cardin-Cochran Amendment (#1549) has been incorporated into what is called a Manager’s Amendment and is expected to pass the Senate next week without controversy.

However, the Recreational Trails Program still in Jeopardy: We still need the Klobuchar Amendment (#1661) to be included in the bill because the Cardin-Cochran Amendment does NOT address Recreational Trails Program funding. There may still be opportunity for the Klobuchar Amendment to be included under a second Manager's amendment, which would authorize RTP as a a discrete program with dedicated funding. That is why the trails community has been working so hard to get both amendments passed. Download a copy of the Klobuchar amendment... (pdf 258 kb)

See more background from Rails-to-Trails Conservancy and from Safe Routes to School Partnership

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has scheduled a vote for March 6 to shut off debate on the transportation funding bill. Sixty votes are needed to move the bill to a vote on passage, which would require a "yes" vote by every Democratic Senator and at least seven Republicans.

February 29, 2012: Senators Mark Udall (D-CO), Bernie Sanders (I-VT), and Michael Bennett (D–CO) joined Senators Burr (R- NC) , Shaheen (D-NH), and Risch (R-ID) have joined Sen. Klobuchar (D-MN) as co-sponsors of the Senate Amendment which would restore dedicated funding for the Recreational Trails Program. Download a copy of the Klobuchar amendment... (pdf 258 kb)

The Rails-to-Trails Conservancy letter in support of Sen. Amy Klobuchar’s amendment to protect the Recreational Trails Program in the Senate bill was signed by 385 national, regional, statewide, and local organizations. Download the final letter with logos and signing groups... (pdf 4.6 mb)

The Senate is expected to re-open debate on amendments proposed for the transportation bill on March 1. Majority Leader Harry Reid said he would allow votes on some of those amendments in an effort to win enough votes to move toward final passage of the bill. Senator Reid, a Democrat, said "Republicans made it clear we would not be able to move forward on this bill without a vote." He added that he hoped the Senate could finish the transportation bill by the end of next week.

 

February 17, 2012: Efforts to line up co-sponsors for Senator Amy Klobuchar’s (D-MN) MAP-21 amendment restoring dedicated funding for the Recreational Trails Program have met with success. Senators Richard Burr (R-NC), Jim Risch (R-ID), and Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) asked to be listed as co-sponsors of the amendment, which was filed on February 15th. Since then, Senator Mark Udall (D-CO) has signed on as well.

We have learned from Senator Klobuchar’s office that the amendment will not come up for consideration until after February 24th. As a result, the Senator’s office has asked that delivery of the multi-signature letter we sent you last week be delayed to a date closer to the actual consideration of the amendment. Thanks very much to everyone for your efforts to contact your Senators requesting support for the amendment!

 

February 14, 2012:

Rep. Steve King’s (R-IA) proposed amendment to end funding for the RTP in the House transportation bill, apparently based on his concern that funds are being used for non-motorized trail use, has stirred up a furor.

Supporting bike/ped programs in the Senate:

 

Many thanks to those of you who responded to last month’s call to contact your members of the United States Senate to support the inclusion of the Recreational Trails Program (RTP) as a stand-alone program with its own funding in the Senate Transportation bill (S. 1813) known as MAP-21. Thanks as well to those who agreed last week to sign on to the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy’s advocacy letters supporting the Recreational Trails Program, as well as Safe Routes to Schools and Transportation Enhancements.

Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) has agreed to introduce an amendment to MAP-21 that will continue the RTP as a stand-alone program with its own funding. Download a copy of the Klobuchar amendment...

 


ACTION in the HOUSE 

Contact your Representative by visiting https://writerep.house.gov/writerep/welcome.shtml

 

February 27, 2012 update: Rep. Steve King (R-IA) has withdrawn his proposed amendment to end funding for the RTP in the House transportation bill. And while he would still prefer to see the taxes go to projects aiding those paying – in this case motorized, non-highway recreational enthusiasts – the support and logic of the trails community resulted in his decision to withdraw his amendment. He is not considering offering any amendment which would alter the RTP program. Special thanks to Terry Durby, American Trails Board member, who led efforts to convince the Iowa delegation about the trails program.

 

February 15, 2012: The President issued a veto threat on the the House transportation bill (HR 7). This morning Speaker Boehner told the Republican Conference that is being pulled from the schedule for this week and will be delayed until after the President’s Day recess. "If we need more time to debate and consider amendments, that's perfectly fine with me," Mr. Boehner said. Some have expressed concern that insufficient political support would cause the House bill to fail. Earlier, President Obama had expressed support for the Senate transportation bill.

Congressman Petri is going to resubmit his amendment when the bill goes before the full House. We expect it will be the same as before - it would restore dedicated funding for Transportation Enhancements, state bike coordinators, and Safe Routes to School programs, as well as restoring eligibility for rail corridor preservation. “Ask” Ask your Representative to vote in FAVOR of the Petri amendment.

arrow Two adverse amendments are being proposed to the House Bill, which need to be defeated:

Ask your Representative to vote in OPPOSITION to these amendments.


Helpful messages include:

 

arrow Additional background information can be found in the Recreational Trails Program Talking Points.

   
Recreational Trails Program (RTP) Update

The Senate's version of the transportation bill (MAP-21) does NOT include dedicated funding for the Recreational Trails Program. However, Senator Klobuchar of Minnesota will present an amendment to restore dedicated funding to RTP at the appropriate time. (The amendment could be offered as early as next week.) This would restore RTP authorization as a stand-alone program, as well as fund it at 2009 levels. The House transportation bill maintains dedicated funding for the RTP. We need the Senate to correct this in their bill as well! Download letter to send to your Senators supporting the Klobuchar amendment...
 
The message to local trail advocates is simple:

Ask your Senators to support Senator Klobuchar’s amendment to restore dedicated funding for the Recreational Trails Program in the Senate transportation bill (MAP-21).
 
“ASK” FOR SENATORS:

As a user-pay/user-benefit program, dedicated funding for the RTP should be included in the Senate transportation bill (MAP-21). Will you support the Klobuchar amendment to MAP-21, which restores dedicated funding for the Recreational Trails Program? This amendment makes the Senate bill consistent with language that is already in the House bill.

 

arrow Download Recreational Trails Program Talking Points (pdf 98 kb)


 
Transportation Enhancements (TE) and Safe Routes to School (SRTS) Update

There is a similar campaign to support an amendment to protect Enhancements and Safe Routes to School sponsored by Senators Cardin (D-MD) and Cochran (R-MS) in the Senate transportation bill (see text of the amendment). American Trails enthusiastically supports this amendment and is working hard for its passage as well, but most of the bike/ped groups are generally silent on the RTP issue. So we need to be sure that those who benefit from the smaller-scale funding and recreational focus of RTP make their voices heard for the Klobuchar amendment. Download letter to send to your Senators supporting the Cardin/Cochran amendment...

 

We encourage you to ask your Senators to support BOTH amendments.

 

arrow Check the American Trails Transportation Reauthorization webpage often for the current status of these bills and advocacy efforts.

 

Thank you, in advance, for your support and swift action!   

There is strength in numbers and we need to present a unified voice for trails, to tell their story, to present their endless benefits, and to make the case for funding them. Join us in contacting your Senators and Representatives to let them know why these programs are vital to your local efforts.

 

Background on the Recreational Trails Program

arrow Download the Recreational Trails Program information sheet

arrow See "Two States "opt out" of Recreational Trails Program Funding"

arrow See "Indiana Gov. Daniels announces continued Recreational Trails Program funding"

arrow See "States announce trail funding after opting out of RTP"

Print Friendly
Print Friendly and PDF

 

 


 

Facebook Twitter

Stay up to date on legislative issues for trails, follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

 

business directory

 

trail database

Need trail skills and education? Do you provide training? Join the National Trails Training Partnership!

The NTTP Online Calendar connects you with courses, conferences, and trail-related training

arrowEnjoy and share the new online, digital version of the American Trails Magazine!

arrowHelp us provide you more useful resources to keep you on the cutting-edge -- please join today!

arrowWe are advocating for your interests! Visit the Supporting Trails page to view the latest in legislative news, current issues, and opportunities, and to learn how to access funding.

arrow Sign up for American Trails Action Alerts and Trail Tracks e-Newsletters.

 

PDF  Some of our documents are in PDF format and require free Adobe Acrobat Reader software.
  Download Acrobat Reader

section 508 logo American Trails and NTTP support accessibility with Section 508: read more.

Visit Our Blog