The Recreational Trails Program is in very deep
trouble. The U.S. Senate Environment and Public
Works Committee has approved transportation
reauthorization legislation known as MAP-21 that
would effectively eliminate the RTP by stripping
the program of its dedicated funding.
But all hope is not lost.
As a member of the national Coalition for
Recreational Trails (CRT), BRC has been working
closely with CRT and its member organizations to
identify key champions in the Senate with the
aim of having an amendment restoring dedicated
funding for the RTP added to the bill before it
is considered by the full Senate.
Reaching this goal will not be possible
without your help.
As part of an ongoing and historic grassroots
effort from both motorized and non-motorized
recreationists, groups of the CRT will be taking
turns on a defined schedule to contact and tell
their Senators to protect dedicated funding for
this absolutely essential program. Everyone will
also be contacting leaders of the Environment
and Public Works Committee, including Chairman
Barbara Boxer (D-CA), Ranking Member James
Inhofe (R-OK), Transportation and Infrastructure
Subcommittee Chairman Max Baucus (D-MT) and
Subcommittee Ranking Member David Vitter
On the week that it is our scheduled turn to
contact our Senators, the BlueRibbon Coalition
will be making a concentrated effort to get our
members and supporters to do their part and make
by, our week is coming and we want to make it
our best effort. We will notify you!
We are excited and pleased to take part in
this groundswell of grassroots effort by all
enthusiasts across the nation. We believe this
will make a difference and ensure that RTP is
funded into the future. We need to show the
United States Senate just how many Americans are
committed to the Recreational Trails Program.
In working together, the very backbone of
trails in America can be saved.
Again, stay tuned and get ready! Our week to
make those calls is coming soon, and we will
send out a call to action.
In the meantime, as you are thinking about
this consider these key messages:
- Unless the bill is changed, MAP-21 will
effectively eliminate the Recreational
- A call to amend MAP-21 to include
dedicated funding for RTP.
- For the last two decades, RTP has
received a portion of the gas taxes paid by
users of off-highway motorized vehicles to
fund trail building, maintenance and other
trail-related projects. More than 13,000
projects have been funded across the country
for all kinds of trail uses. This is a very
- At its current level of annual funding -
$85 million - RTP receives less than 42% of
the Federal Highway Administration's
conservative estimate of the federal gas
taxes paid by America's non-highway
recreationists. The Senate bill would reduce
that percentage to zero and represents a
substantial new tax on motorized recreation
- 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.
- The RTP is the foundation of state trail
programs. If the RTP loses its dedicated
funding, organized trail planning and
development will simply vanish in many areas
of the country.