Action Alert: Want More Money For Trails?

Congress has yet to pass its significant transportation and infrastructure bill. They won’t include extra funding for trails unless they hear from you. Take action now!

THE DETAILS: The Recreational Trails Program (RTP) is very important to the trails community, including equestrians. For 30 years the RTP has funded the planning, construction, and maintenance of recreational trails in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. It funds trails that traverse local, county, state, and federal lands.

  • RTP funding has not changed in over a decade and averages $84 million/year.

The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) issued a study in August 2021 that showed that the RTP continues to be significantly underfunded. Yet the Senate version of the transportation/infrastructure bill flat-funds the RTP, with no increase over the next 5 years. This oversight by Congress represents a huge inequity that would harm our trails community, prevent long-overdue trail maintenance, and prevent the development of new and expanded trail systems—at a time when public use of America’s trails is increasing dramatically.

  • Recreational trails contribute to the nearly $800 billion/year outdoor recreation economy that supports 5 million jobs.

The failure of Congress to increase RTP funding would hamper economic recovery, add to the nation’s healthcare costs, and frustrate tens of millions of Americans who utilize trails for a diverse array of recreational opportunities. NOW IS THE TIME TO INCREASE RTP FUNDING.

TAKE ACTION: The Coalition for Recreational Trails recommends that Congress increase RTP funding to at least $150 million per year.

  • Call upon Congressional leaders today to ask they return to the RTP more of the nearly $300 million generated annually by federal gas taxes paid via off-highway recreation; ask them to increase RTP funding to at least $150 million per year.

CONTACT YOUR LEGISLATORS: Contact your congressional representatives here to urge swift action on RTP legislation and RTP funding of at least $150 million/year.

Template letters of support along with key message points are also available here.

MORE INFORMATION: Visit the CRT’s webpage about the RTP.

To find out how RTP funding in Oregon has been used to benefit trails over the years, see Recreational Trails Program – State by State Data.

Additional information is available on the FHWA’s RTP website.

To learn how the RTP is used to enhance workforce development, social equity, and climate resiliency, see this excellent article by American Trails.

Thank you for taking action on behalf of the trails community and the RTP! Please do it TODAY!

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