Adequate Federal Funding for Trails
On behalf of the thousands of diverse trail users our collective organizations represent, we urge appropriators to adequately invest in our nation’s trails.
National Forest trails benefit everyone and receive increasing public use each year. Collectively, the National Forests provide 158,000 miles of trails for activities ranging from hiking, biking, horseback riding, off-highway vehicle usage, groomed winter trails for cross-country skiing and snowmobiling, and access points for water trails. Yet this trail system is increasingly stressed and maintenance cannot keep pace with the growing demand due to inadequate funding.
● $100M to fund Capital Improvement and Maintenance, Trails (CMTL)
● $261M to fund Recreation, Heritage, & Wilderness
● $50M to fund Legacy Roads & Trails as a separate line item
National Parks and the world-class experiences their 18,844 miles of trails provide are one of the most unifying forces in America. Well-maintained trails improve the quality of visitor experiences and enhance visitor safety. The National Park Service has administrative responsibility for 23 National Scenic and Historic Trails established by Congress. Adequate funding is essential for keeping these popular trails accessible to the public.
● $16.5M as a minimum to fund Park Service Operations for the National Trails System
● $13.478M to maintain funding for the Rivers, Trails, & Conservation Assistance (RTCA) program
● $1.5M to restore the Challenge Cost Share program funding
● $8M to restore funding for Volunteers in Parks programs funding
● $10.95M to fund Visitor Services sub-activity, Youth Partnership Programs
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The BLM manages 13,468 miles of trails over 245 million surface acres in the United States— more than any other federal land management agency. More than 120 urban centers and thousands of rural towns are located within 25 miles of BLM lands.
● $84M to fund National Conservation Lands
● $9.9M to fund National Conservation Lands - National Scenic and Historic Trails, sub-activity Recreation Resources Management
● $3M to increase Challenge Cost Share program funding
Located in every US state and territory, and within an hour’s drive of nearly every major US city, National Wildlife Refuges provide incredible opportunities for outdoor recreation, including hiking, hunting, fishing, birding, boating, and nature photography across 2,100 miles of trails. More than 37,000 jobs are reliant on refuges.
●$74.227M to maintain Refuge Visitor Services
Across all agencies, Congress recently showed overwhelming bipartisan support for the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) when it permanently reauthorized the program. Building upon this support, please support full funding of the program. The LWCF has funded nearly 1,000 trail projects and thousands of other projects ranging from National Parks and Forests and Wildlife Refuges, to community parks and ball fields in all 50 states.
●$900M to fully fund LWCF
● $33.4M to include National Scenic and Historic Trails projects within LWCF
The Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Economic Analysis publishes the ORSA report marking a critical step forward for the trails and outdoor recreation industry by formally recognizing its economic influence.
● $1.5M to fund the Outdoor Recreation Satellite Account
THANK YOU FOR SUPPORTING AMERICA’S TRAILS AND OUTDOOR
Published March 02, 2020
The Trail Challenge is a “call to action” for all of us to work together to achieve a sustainable trail system by increasing our collective capacity to care for trails and by increasing on-the-ground results through shared stewardship of trails.
The Coalition for Recreational Trails (CRT) calls on all trail organizations and trail enthusiasts to take action immediately to continue and to expand the Recreational Trails Program (RTP), the national trails assistance program that aids all trail activities nationwide through use of federal non-highway recreational fuel taxes.
Statewide organizations are well positioned to improve state-level policies that impact funding processes and to share best practices with regions.