American Trails has served for years as a member of the Coalition for Recreational Trails (CRT) to support the federal Recreational Trails Program (RTP), which has directly funded more than 30,000 trail projects nationwide since 1993. It’s time now for every trail supporter to help
American Trails and the CRT calls on all trail organizations and trail enthusiasts to take action immediately to support Senate Amendment 2616. This amendment would maintain the percentage of funding the RTP receives as part of Transportation Alternatives. RTP would not increase its share of overall funding and this amendment would not divert $1 billion from TA (as has been falsely asserted). Since 2012, the Recreational Trails Program (RTP) has been organized as part of the Transportation Alternatives set aside of larger federal highway programs with RTP funding at, or greater than, 9% of total TA set aside funding. The total increase in RTP funding for the next five years would continue that 9% funding level.
The current draft of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal significantly underfunds RTP at only 6% of the set-aside.
- In 1991, Congress concluded that federal fuel tax paid on nonhighway recreational activities should be used to build and maintain trails benefitting all activities, motorized and nonmotorized and not be refunded as inappropriate user fees.
- On July 29, 2021, FHWA reported that nonhighway recreational activities generate more than $280,000,000 annually in federal fuel taxes – taxes paid by OHVers, snowmobilers, enthusiasts, and off-road motorcyclists. Yet less than 30% of those taxes are now being returned to aid trails – just $84 million annually.
CRT’s Board of Directors now asks each trail enthusiast organization, recreation industry association, and trail advocates to contact your Senators by tomorrow (Aug 7).
You can also find a pdf of the impact of the RTP on your state in this google folder. Please feel free to share this with your Senators to show the value of this great program.