Help needed. See the message from Deb Blick forwarded the American Hiking News Flash.

From: Tom
Sent on: Thursday, June 14, 2012 7:38 PM

 

 To all that like to hike the trails.  Please see below Deb's e-mail.

FTA and FT land managers have used RTP grants in the past - particularly for major (and expensive) infrastructure construction and improvements such as bridges and trailheads.

 

Deb Blick
Trail Resource Coordinator
Florida Trail Association
Office:[masked]
Toll-free: 1-877-HIKE-FLA
5415 SW 13 Street
Gainesville, FL 32608
[address removed]
http://www.floridatrail.org

 

 

Dear Mr. Schuler, 
 

Transportation Bill at ULTRA CRITICAL Point for Trails!

 

Urge Your Senators/Representatives to Support the Recreational Trails Program (RTP) and the Transportation Enhancement  (TE) Program.

 

Yes-we have sent prior 2012 alerts around this program however as you all know...things in Washington take time and go through many iterations! The Transportation Bill is now at a very critical point in the process and one of the last pieces to a new act being signed into place. As a reminder, the surface transportation act historically includes funding authorization that supports key trails, bicyling and hiking programs (RTP & TE).

 

A brief summary of the process to date:

  • Senate passed a Transportation Bill titled MAP-21.  A "Manager's Amendment" was added that included RTP and TE which were not in the original bill.  This bill was a hard won BI-PARTISAN effort and it should be preserved!  RTP and TE did not emerge unscathed but funding at least was reinstated and they would continue under the bill.
  • The House could however was unable to pass their bill (HR 7) in committee much less on the floor (the bill they presented to the committee did include RTP but did not include TE).
  • A conference committee was appointed with members from both chambers to work out differences and come up with a bill they could all accept and this is where it is currently...and at a critical time with very little time left before the current extension expires.

As it stands now the bill eliminates the funding for the RTP.  These funds have helped to build trails in countless communities across the country.    

 

ACTION REQUESTED-What You Can Do to Help!     

PLEASE CALL or EMAIL your Senators and Representative and ask them to support trails and bike/ped facilities!   This is particularly important if your Senator or Representative is on the conferee list (see bottom of alert) however we are asking that all members of Congress be contacted as well.  

  • Ask them to retain the compromises already reached on the Recreational Trails Program and Transportation Enhancements in MAP-21, the Senate's version of the Transportation Bill. 
  • Express demand for dedicated funding for these programs and ask them to stand firm in protecting these critical programs as part of a balanced transportation system.

 

Talking Points for Your Use:  Here are a few talking points for consideration as you contact your Members. Please do remember to personalize your contacts with local tie-ins as much as possible.  

  • The RTP is one of the most effective programs of the transportation bill, serving as a foundation for state trail programs across the country, facilitates healthy outdoor recreation, and helps spur economic activity in countless communities.    
  • The RTP positively affects the economy by:
    • Leveraging hundreds of millions of dollars over and above                                  the modest federal investments;
    • Stimulating badly needed local and regional economic activity;
    • Providing healthy outdoor recreation to millions of trail users;
    • Encouraging cooperation among diverse trail users and groups to develop and maintain recreational trails throughout the country    
  • Reasons that TE is beneficial to the Nation
    • Bicycling and walking make up 12 percent of all trips, but                                  only 1.5 percent of federal funding.
    • The more bicycles on the road; the fewer cars needed -- resulting in less congestion, better air quality, and reduced road repair work needed.
    • The health of our children, as well as our cities, will depend on expanding transportation choices and preserving trails, open space, parks, and places for recreation.

How to Contact Your Members

  1. Given the critical timing, it might be best to call them.  You can do this easily by calling the Congressional switchboard at (202) 225-3121.  Ask for your member's office and then ask to speak to the staff person who handles transportation issues.
  2. If you would like to email, CLICK HERE to contact your Senators and CLICK HERE to contact your Representatives.

 

Conference List  

  

The following senators and representatives are part of a special conference charged with negotiating the next federal transportation bill. If you have one or more elected officials on this list, please contact them as soon as possible and urge them to support dedicated funding for trails, walking and bicycling!  

 

SENATE 

 

Senator

Party

State

Shelby, Richard

R

AL

Boxer, Barbara

D

CA

Nelson, Bill

D

FL

Durbin, Dick

D

IL

Vitter, David

R

LA

Baucus, Max

D

MT

Hoeven, John

R

ND

Menendez, Robert

D

NJ

Schumer, Chuck

D

NY

Inhofe, James

R

OK

Johnson, Tim

D

SD

Hutchison, Kay Bailey

R

TX

Hatch, Orrin

R

UT

Rockefeller, Jay

D

WV

 

 

HOUSE

 

Representative

Party

State

District

Young, Don

R

AK

At Large

Crawford, Rick

R

AR

1

Waxman, Henry

D

CA

30

Norton, Eleanor Holmes

D

DC

At Large

Brown, Corrine

D

FL

3

Mica, John

R

FL

7

Southerland, Steve

R

FL

2

Boswell, Leonard

D

IA

3

Costello, Jerry

D

IL

12

Bucshon, Larry

R

IN

8

Whitfield, Ed

R

KY

1

Markey, Ed

D

MA

7

Cummings, Elijah

D

MD

7

Camp, Dave

R

MI

4

Upton, Fred

R

MI

6

Cravaack, Chip

R

MN

8

Bishop, Tim

D

NY

1

Nadler, Jerrold

D

NY

8

Hanna, Richard

R

NY

24

Tiberi, Pat

R

OH

12

Lankford, James

R

OK

5

Blumenauer, Earl

D

OR

3

DeFazio, Peter

D

OR

4

Shuster, Bill 

R

PA

9

Duncan, John J. "Jimmy"

R

TN

2

Johnson, Eddie Bernice

D

TX

30

Hall, Ralph

R

TX

4

Bishop, Rob

R

UT

1

Hastings, Doc

R

WA

4

Herrera Beutler, Jaime

R

WA

3

Ribble, Reid

R

WI

8

Rahall, Nick

D

WV

3

Moore Capito, Shelley

R

WV

2

 

 

For more information contact American Hiking Society by e-mail,[address removed] or phone,[masked] x207.  

 

 

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