CRT Draft Resolution

March 2004

On behalf of the Coalition for Recreational Trails (CRT), below is a draft resolution in support of the Recreational Trails Program. Resolutions can be a powerful and effective tool for communicating with Congress. With the TEA-21 reauthorization process ongoing, the attached draft is intended to provide a convenient mechanism for sharing your organization's voice.

This document can be used by an endless variety of organizations: state and local governments, MPOs, local trail groups, national or state advocacy organizations, etc. The timeline for TEA-21 reauthorization is constantly shifting, so it would be best to communicate with Congress at the earliest opportunity. Your support and assistance are greatly appreciated.

  • Feel free to edit the resolution as needed, and insert the name of your organization into the last paragraph;

  • Vote or otherwise officially approve the resolution;

  • Add a brief cover letter addressed to your U.S. Congressional delegation (House members and Senators) and mention specific program success stories or future trail needs, if applicable;

  • Deliver to your Congressional delegation (mail is still delayed to Capitol Hill, so consider mailing the resolution to a local district office or faxing to the DC office); and

  • Provide a copy to CRT so that we can monitor communication across the country (mail: 1225 New York Avenue NW, Suite 450, Washington, DC 20005; fax: 202-682-9529; e-mail: arc@funoutdoors.com).

RESOLUTION

Whereas, Congress established the Recreational Trails Program (RTP) in 1991 in order to utilize the portion of the Highway Trust Fund attributable to federal taxes paid on fuel used for off-road recreation; and

Whereas, RTP has been a highly successful and popular program, supporting more than 6700 trail projects across the country while generating considerable matching support from state, local and trail organizations; and

Whereas, RTP projects are enjoyed by millions of Americans, producing great social and economic benefits for local communities, and providing an essential element to address our country's serious and preventable public health threat associated with inactivity and obesity; and

Whereas, the Federal Highway Administration reported last year that $286 million in federal excise taxes are collected every year on fuel used for off-highway recreational activities, although only a small percentage of that amount has been allocated to RTP; and

Whereas, the Coalition for Recreational Trails, a partnership of national and regional trail-related organizations, asks that in determining the future funding levels for RTP, at least half of the estimated $286 million in revenues from off-highway recreational fuel should be provided to RTP annually; and

Whereas, RTP is now under consideration in Congress as part of the reauthorization of the federal surface transportation legislation, TEA-21, and in November 2003, bipartisan leadership of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure introduced its reauthorization bill, H.R. 3550, containing language which continues RTP and gradually increases its annual authorization from $70 million in 2004 to $150 million in 2009; now therefore

Be it resolved, that [XXX] expresses its strong support of the Recreational Trails Program, and asks that Congress support funding for RTP at the levels indicated in H.R. 3550 or greater, in order to provide an essential expansion of this valued program and return a more equitable portion of federal fuel taxes paid by trail users.