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Stimulus for Trails and Recreation

Posted by Andrew Engelson at Jan 21, 2009 05:20 PM |
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Today, all eyes are on Washington (D.C., that is) and the new Obama administration. Of course, the Obama team has been busy long before the inauguration--especially on the the gigantic federal stimulus bill

We've talked in this blog previously about federal stimulus and its potential impact on trails and recreation funding, including exciting ideas like resurrecting the old Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC).

WTA is closely monitoring developments in the federal stimulus bill and its potential to give a shot in the arm to Forest Service and National Park Service budgets. Repair of mountain trails and roads are the sort of "shovel-ready" projects (literally!) that could have an impact on our economy--both by creating new jobs and by repairing chronically underfunded infrastructure that is so key to Washington state's economy (if you don't believe me, read WTA's report The Value of Hiking).

WTA is speaking up for trails and recreation in the stimulus package. Signs are encouraging, According to the Federal Parks and Recreation bulletin (subscription only), the House bill includes a whopping $1.8 billion for the National Park Service. The Senate and Obama proposals, however, may contain a much more modest $600 million proposal.

WTA is urging our state's congressional delegation to push for Forest Service and National Park Service projects. Rep. Jay Inslee (D-1st) has been leading this push. If you live in Jay Inslee's district (which includes north Kitsap County, Edmonds, and south Snohomich county) please send him a quick e-mail to thank him for efforts to include Forest Service and National Park Service projects in federal stimulus.

If you live elsewhere in the state, send an e-mail telling your representative and senators (here and here) that you support including Forest Service and National Park Service projects in the current federal stimulus bill. Visit WTA's Action Alert page on federal funding for more info.