RTP trail funding is in jeopardy!
Disturbing news from the International Mountain Bicycling Association today. It sounds like Congress is again looking to eliminate one of the most important funding sources for non-motorized trails, the Recreational Trail Program, or RTP for short. RTP, besides the license plate sales fund, the only source of State-administered funding that supports non-motorized trails. The funds that come to the State from the RTP program I believe come from the federal Transportation Department. In addition to state agencies, it is very common for all of the Federal agencies in the state to also ask for RTP funds, as those agencies often need financial help to support/build/maintain non-motorized trails. Bottom line, without RTP funds available, non-motorized trails will have no State funding source apart from the sales of the mountain biking license plate. And, unfortunately, unless we can convince a LOT more people to buy a mountain bike license plate, there’s no way we can replace RTP funds if they are cut by Congress. Trails built with RTP funds in Idaho include Bear Basin near McCall, Crooked River Trail near Idaho City, the Lakeshore trail on Priest Lake, Center Ridge Trail, and the Twentymile Trail. That’s a lot of trails that wouldn’t have happened without the RTP grants.
To that end, here’s the email from IMBA. They need some information to try to save RTP funding:
IMBA is asking chapter/club leaders, patrollers and other key members of our grassroots network for help collecting information about trails have benefitted from the Recreational Trails Program (RTP).We need this information — the sooner the better — because members of the U.S. Congress are pushing to eliminate the sole federal funding source that supports our nation's trails, RTP. Please take a few minutes to send input about how mountain bikers in your state have benefitted from RTP grants at email@example.com.
Just a sentence or two will help us track down the best examples. Better still, send your feedback and a link with additional trail info. If you are unsure the about whether the trails you ride received RTP support, the Coalition For Recreational Trails has a database of RTP Projects, or you can contact your state trails administrator for more information.
I look forward to hearing from you!
Kristy Kibler (firstname.lastname@example.org)
IMBA Government Affairs Coordinator
Please contact IMBA today if you know of any trails built with RTP funds - in or out of Idaho. We don't want to lose this important source of trail funding!