The multi-year national highway bill, called MAP-21 that authorizes the Federal Highway Administration's Recreational Trails Program (RTP) is set to expire this year. Congress is beginning work on the next highway bill and if RTP is going to continue it will have to be included in that bill. U.S. Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Jim Risch (R-ID), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and Richard Burr (R-NC) are circulating a Dear Colleague letter in support of RTP that will be sent the leadership of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee.
The American Horse Council urges all recreational riders and trail users to call their Senators and ask them to sign on to the Recreational Trails Program Dear Colleague letter being circulated this week. The deadline for Senators to sign on is April 9th.
Since its inception RTP has provided money for thousands of state and local trail projects across the country, including many that benefit equestrians. RTP provides funding directly to the states for recreational trails and trail-related facilities for all recreational trail users. It is funded with a portion of the gas taxes paid into the Highway Trust Fund by recreational off-highway vehicle users.
You can reach your Senators by calling the Congressional switchboard at (202) 225-3121. Ask for your Senators' office and then ask to speak to the staff person who handles transportation issues.
Call them today and tell them;
- You support the Recreational Trails Program and it is important to trail riders and all recreational trail users in your state.
- Ask them to please sign on to the RTP letter being circuited by Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Jim Risch (R-ID), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and Richard Burr, (they can contact either Klobuchar or Risch's offices to sign on).
- Tell them 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, facilitates healthy outdoor recreation, and helps spur economic activity in countless communities.
If one of the Senators circulating the Dear Colleague letter is your Senator, please thank them for their support of RTP.
If you have any questions please contact the AHC.