Act Now To Help Protect Trails!
Call your US senators today and urge them to support Sen. Klobuchar's amended to restore RTP to MAP-21. Photo by Jonathon Coleman (flickr).
The Recreation Trails Program (RTP) - the grant program in the federal transportation funding bill that provides essential support for trail maintenance all over Washington state - is in jeopardy and we need your help to preserve it.
The re-authorization of the Surface Transportation Funding Bill has been delayed for nearly three years now, but pressure is building to re-authorize it this spring. Despite the fact that RTP is a tiny line item, the program only appears in the House version. If the Senate bill becomes law, WTA and hikers will feel the pain. For 2012, WTA was awarded $175,000 in grants to fund our Volunteer Vacations, Backcountry Response Teams and Youth Program. Without RTP dollars, WTA would have to seriously curtail its trail maintenance work.
RTP expires on March 31, and can be reauthorized by either a continuing resolution or a new surface transportation funding bill. The House and Senate have competing proposals:
- House: HR 7, the American Energy and Infrastructure Jobs Act, contains RTP funded at $85 million annually for its four year authorization.
- Senate: S 1813, the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (or MAP-21) does not contain RTP, but Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) is offering an amendment that would restore RTP to MAP-21.
Here's how you can help.
Washington Trails Association is going to Washington, DC from February 26-29, and your calls to Senators Murray and Cantwell will really help strengthen our message. Let them know that you support Senator Klobuchar's amendment that restores RTP to MAP-21.
Please remember to thank them for all their hard work on behalf of hikers. You can reach Senator Murray at (202) 224-2621 and Senator Cantwell at (202) 224-3441.
Thank you for helping us preserve RTP!