Surface Transportation Legislation Moving: High Stakes for Trails, Scenic Byways, Boating and Fishing

February 28, 2011 (Washington, D.C.) - The nation’s recreational trails community is vitally interested in the efforts of the U.S. Congress to craft a new major surface transportation law. Nearly 500 national and regional organizations signed a letter coordinated by the Coalition for Recreational Trails (CRT) to the U.S. House of Representatives Transportation and Infrastructure Committee leadership on February 11th asking for continuation of the Recreational Trails Program. A similar letter will be sent to the U.S. Senate Environment and Public Works Committee.

To read the RTP letter, click here.

For the last two decades, the nation’s surface transportation program has returned trail enthusiast-generated federal fuel taxes to fund construction and maintenance of trails serving all types of trail activities, motorized and non-motorized, urban and rural, warm weather and cold weather. The assistance is provided under the Recreational Trails Program (RTP), administered by the Federal Highway Administration and state trail programs. While small compared to most other surface transportation programs, RTP has a huge impact across the nation and in most states.

Many of the projects are under $50,000, but are vital to provide access to public lands through a bridge, a parking area or a connecting segment. As the letter to the committee’s leadership indicates, RTP projects provide immediate employment and long-term and sustainable economic benefits.

Since 1993, 50 states and the District of Columbia have received almost $700 million in RTP funds and more than 13,000 projects have been documented nationwide.

To view the CRT's searchable database on projects, click here.