Members of Congress Express Strong Support for Recreational Trails Program
Congressmen Michael Michaud (ME) and Tom Petri (WI) have sent out a “Dear Colleague” letter urging other members of Congress to join them in supporting the Recreational Trails Program (RTP). In a letter to the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee leaders, the Congressmen express their strong support for the program and urge that the Committee provide adequate funding levels for the program.
The Recreational Trails Program was created in 1991 by the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act (ISTEA) and is administered by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA). RTP provides funds to the States to develop and maintain recreational trails and trail-related facilities for both nonmotorized and motorized recreational trail uses. The program is funded by taxes on fuel used in off-highway recreational vehicles and a 20 percent state match is required for the projects.
Under the current draft of the Surface Transportation Reauthorization Act of 2009 that was recently released, the RTP is reauthorized. However, specific funding levels are not included in the legislation. Congressmen Michaud and Petri are urging that the program have adequate funding levels and that the levels accurately reflect the federal fuel taxes paid for off-highway fuel usage.
ASLA recently joined 267 other national and local organizations and businesses in sending a letter to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell urging their support for RTP as part of the reauthorization of the surface transportation legislation, which the Senate will address soon.