July 7, 2017 – Today American Hiking Society, in coordination with our partners American Trails, Back Country Horsemen of America, and the Partnership for the National Trails System, submitted a letter to the House and Senate Appropriations Committees and their Subcommittees on the Interior encouraging Congress to adequately fund trails.
As we noted earlier, the Administration’s budget proposed draconian cuts to trails funding for 2018. While AHS well understands the fiscal reality of things, we also understand that trails,
- Are a good value. With volunteers contributing millions of hours and supporters donating millions of dollars to trail maintenance and and protection, federal funding is an investment that is leveraged to do substantially more work than the dollars being allocated.
- Are an economic engine. Studies show that 1.8 million Americans’ jobs depend directly on trails and the recreation that takes place on trails.
- Are enjoyed regularly by millions of Americans. More than 42 million Americans hiked regularly in 2016 and almost 9 million went mountain biking. And millions more went horseback riding, birding, backpacking and more.
Together with our lead partners on this issue, we are carrying the message about the value of trails into the halls of Congress, educating them about trails and ensuring that this issue has their attention as Congress begins to focus on the fiscal year 2018 budget as they return from the July 4 recess.
The work on this issue is still very much underway and AHS will keep you updated – and likely call on you to take action – as the budget advances.