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Old 02-20-2012, 09:26 AM
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Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Kennewick, WA
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BRC Working With The CRT to SAVE RTP!

The Recreational Trails Program is in very deep trouble. The U.S. Senate Environment and Public Works Committee has approved transportation reauthorization legislation known as MAP-21 that would effectively eliminate the RTP by stripping the program of its dedicated funding.

But all hope is not lost.

As a member of the national Coalition for Recreational Trails (CRT), BRC has been working closely with CRT and its member organizations to identify key champions in the Senate with the aim of having an amendment restoring dedicated funding for the RTP added to the bill before it is considered by the full Senate.

Reaching this goal will not be possible without your help.

As part of an ongoing and historic grassroots effort from both motorized and non-motorized recreationists, groups of the CRT will be taking turns on a defined schedule to contact and tell their Senators to protect dedicated funding for this absolutely essential program. Everyone will also be contacting leaders of the Environment and Public Works Committee, including Chairman Barbara Boxer (D-CA), Ranking Member James Inhofe (R-OK), Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee Chairman Max Baucus (D-MT) and Subcommittee Ranking Member David Vitter (R-LA).

On the week that it is our scheduled turn to contact our Senators, the BlueRibbon Coalition will be making a concentrated effort to get our members and supporters to do their part and make those calls.

Stand by, our week is coming and we want to make it our best effort. We will notify you!

We are excited and pleased to take part in this groundswell of grassroots effort by all enthusiasts across the nation. We believe this will make a difference and ensure that RTP is funded into the future. We need to show the United States Senate just how many Americans are committed to the Recreational Trails Program. In working together, the very backbone of trails in America can be saved.

Again, stay tuned and get ready! Our week to make those calls is coming soon, and we will send out a call to action.

In the meantime, as you are thinking about this consider these key messages:

•Unless the bill is changed, MAP-21 will effectively eliminate the Recreational Trails Program.
•A call to amend MAP-21 to include dedicated funding for RTP.
•For the last two decades, RTP has received a portion of the gas taxes paid by users of off-highway motorized vehicles to fund trail building, maintenance and other trail-related projects. More than 13,000 projects have been funded across the country for all kinds of trail uses. This is a very successful program.
•At its current level of annual funding - $85 million - RTP receives less than 42% of the Federal Highway Administration's conservative estimate of the federal gas taxes paid by America's non-highway recreationists. The Senate bill would reduce that percentage to zero and represents a substantial new tax on motorized recreation enthusiasts.
•The return of gas taxes to trail users through the RTP is in keeping with the user-pay, user benefit philosophy of the Highway Trust Fund. Ending dedicated funding for RTP takes these gas taxes away from the people who pay them. Ending dedicated funding for RTP is bad public policy and just plain wrong.
•The RTP is the foundation of state trail programs. If the RTP loses its dedicated funding, organized trail planning and development will simply vanish in many areas of the country.
Dave Walters
Tri Cities Peak Putters
Land Use Coordinator

It's a Scout thing
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