Federal Trails Funding Secured for Two Years

The Recreational Trails Program (RTP), the federal funding program that supports natural surface trails, has been reauthorized for two years in a bill that the U.S. Congress approved this July. An $85 million program, RTP strongly benefits mountain bikers and funds the development and maintenance of thousands of trail miles.

“We are very grateful to our grassroots advocates whose relentless calls and letters elevated the importance of RTP. This has been an extremely long reauthorization process — time and time again, mountain bikers rallied to save RTP,” says Jenn Dice, IMBA Government Affairs Director. “We also would like to thank U.S. Sen. Klobuchar and U.S. Rep. Petri for their commitment to the program and seeing it through this difficult process.”

RTP has funded iconic mountain bike trail projects across the country, including two IMBA Epics: FATS in North Carolina and Brown County State Park in Indiana. RTP funds were also used in the construction of the just-opened Rockburn Skills Park in Maryland and the Highbridge Bike Park in New York City. IMBA chapters and clubs have become experts in securing RTP grants for trail construction and maintenance.

In a new development, governors and state-level department of transportation offices have the opportunity to opt out of the entire program and return funds collected on behalf of RTP back to other uses (such as roads). For example, a state like Colorado could lose more than $2 million that would have otherwise gone to singletrack, trailheads and other expenditures that benefit mountain bikers. IMBA urges its members to contact their Governors about the importance of RTP funding for trails. Governors must decide by mid-September, so do not delay.

Groups interested in taking advantage of RTP funding to further trail projects should visit imba. com/resources to learn more.

Copied from IMBA Trail News, Summer 2012

Leave a Reply