Letter from 207 Organizations in Support of FY 24 Trail Funding (Interior)-Sept 2023

American Hiking Society • American Trails • American Motorcyclist Association Back Country Horsemen of America • Equine Land Conservation Resource International Mountain Bicycling Association • National Wilderness Stewardship Alliance • Partnership for the National Trails System •Rails-to-Trails Conservancy + the 198 Organizations Below

Chair Merkley

Ranking Member Murkowski

Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Subcommittee

Committee on Appropriations

Room S-128, The Capitol 

Washington, D.C. 20510

Chair Simpson

Ranking Member Pingree

Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Subcommittee

Committee on Appropriations

2007 Rayburn House Office Building

Washington, DC 20515

Interior Appropriations Subcommittees Leaders,

 

On behalf of the millions of trail users our 207 collective organizations represent, who spend their time, money and energy to get out on trails for recreation, health and wellness, and to volunteer, we thank the Committees for advancing legislation to fund our nation’s trails and public lands to ensure access for all. We write to follow-up on our Public Witness/Outside Witness Testimony submission from earlier this year. 

 

As Congress works together on a final bill, we ask you to adopt the following trail specific funding levels and report language that are included in the respective House and Senate versions of the Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies funding bills, so the federal government can continue to leverage private contributions and benefit from volunteer labor as well as provide inexpensive, healthy outdoor recreation options for your constituents and all Americans. Appropriations for federal land management agencies requested herein, coupled with the significant resources provided by non-profit partners, serve to accelerate collective stewardship of our nation’s public lands and waters and enhance climate adaptability.


Forest Service

 

Program: Capital Improvement and Maintenance, Trails

House Report (pg. 82)

  • Funding Level: $25 million
  • Report Language: National Scenic and Historic Trails.—The Committee directs the Forest Service to continue to provide specific trail operation, maintenance, and construction funding and accomplishment data for the National Scenic and Historic Trails in future budget justifications. The Committee recommends no less than $15,000,000 for National Scenic and Historic Trails funding.
  • Note: In order to support adequate funding for all Forest Service trails and to avoid a reduction in the existing budget for all other Forest Service managed trails, increases for all other Forest Service Trails should occur in parity with the rate of increases for National Scenic and Historic Trails

 

Program: Recreation, Heritage & Wilderness

 

House Report (pg. 79):

  • Funding Level: $60M

 

Program: Legacy Roads & Trails

Agency/Account: Forest Service, Legacy Roads & Trails

House Report (pg. 82 ):

  • Funding Level: $10M
  • Note:  The Trails Community supports funding at $15M at minimum, with support for Washington Watershed Restoration Initiative (WWRI) coalition request of $100M.

Bureau of Land Management

 

Program: Bureau of Land Management National Trails System Line Item Funding

Agency/Account: National Conservation Lands, National Trails

House Report (pg. 12-13 ):

  • Funding Level: $14M
  • Report Language: Within the amount provided for National Conservation Lands, the Committee recommends $14,000,000 for National Scenic and Historic Trails for trail operations, construction, and maintenance projects.

 

Program: National Conservation Lands

Agency/Account: BLM, National Conservation Lands

Senate Report (pg.1 ):

  • Funding Level: $63.599M
  • Note: The Trails Community supports funding at $78.145M.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Program: Visitor Services

Agency/Account: Fish and Wildlife Service, Visitor Services

House Report (pg.19):

  • Report Language:: Refuge Maintenance.—The Committee directs continued management of the more than 2,500 miles of trails, including significant portions of 15 National Scenic and Historic trails, across 860 miles of public lands in 21 States that the Service oversees. The Committee encourages the Service to consider cooperative agreements with non-profit organizations that support trails. For trails projects, the Committee understands funding from this account is supplemented with funding from the Federal Lands Transportation Program, which comes from the Highway Trust Fund, and from the Great American Outdoors Act. The Service is directed to continue to include a current and projected deferred maintenance backlog in its annual budget request
  • Note: The Trails Community supports funding at $86.114M.

National Park Service

Program: Rivers, Trails, & Conservation Assistance (RTCA) 

Department: Department of Interior Agency/Account: NPS, National Recreation and Preservation

House Report (pg. 13):

  • Funding Level: $13M
  • Note: The Trails Community supports funding for RTCA at $15M.

 

Program: National Trails System

Agency/Account: National Park Service, Park Service Operations

 

House Report (pg.26):

  • Funding Level: $18.856 (level funding compared to FY23)
  • Note: The Trails Community supports funding for the National Trails System at $20.964M

 

Senate Report (pg. 39 ):

  • Report Language: National Trails System.—The Committee understands the importance of providing adequate funding to develop and maintain the National Trails System for future generations to enjoy. The Committee urges the Service to continue its efforts to support construction and maintenance projects and volunteer coordination efforts, including activities in support of non-unit National Scenic Trails.

 

Program: Volunteers in Parks

Agency/Account: NPS, Park Partnership Support Functions

 

Senate Report (pg.36 ):

  • Report Language: The recommendation provides the enacted level for funding volunteers in parks programs, interpretation and education programs, and youth partnership programs. 

 

Program: Youth Partnership Programs

 Agency/Account: National Park Service, Visitor Services

 

Senate Report (pg.36 ):

  • Report Language: The recommendation provides the enacted level for funding volunteers in parks programs, interpretation and education programs, and youth partnership programs. 
  • Note: The Trails Community supports funding at $10.95M

 

Program: Outdoor Recreation Legacy Partnership

Agency/Account: National Park Service, State Conservation Grants

House Report (pg. 113):

  • Funding Level: $125M
  • Note: The Trails Community supports funding at $135M

 

Senate Report (pg.162 ):

  • Funding Level: $125M
  • Note: The Trails Community supports funding at $135M

U.S. Geological Survey

Program: National Digital Trail Project

Agency/Account: U.S. Geological Survey, Core Science Systems

 

Senate Report (pg.51 ):

  • Funding Level: At least $1.35M
  • Report Language: The recommendation includes at least the enacted level for the National Digital Trails project.
  • Note: The Trails Community Supports funding at $1.5M

Sincerely, 

Access4Bikes Foundation

Alaska Trails

American Discovery Trail Society

American Hiking Society

American Motorcyclist Association

American Rivers

American Trails

American Society of Landscape Architects

Anza Area Trail Town

Appalachian Mountain Club

Appalachian Trail Conservancy

Arizona Trail Association

Back Country Horsemen of America

Back Country Horsemen of Minnesota

Back Country Horsemen of Colorado

Back Country Horsemen of New Mexico

Back Country Horsemen of Oregon

Back Country Horsemen of Texas

Back Country Horsemen of the Flathead

Back Country Horsemen of UT - Southwest Chapter

Gila Chapter Back Country Horsemen

Northern Colorado Back Country Horsemen

Bay Area Ridge Trail Council

Bay State Trail Riders Association, Inc.

Bike To The Sea .Org

Black Hills Sustainable Living

Bonneville Shoreline Trail Committee

California Mountain Biking Coalition

California Trails Foundation

CalWild

Capital Trails Coalition

Carolina Mountain Club

Charlottesville Area Mountain Bike Club

The Chemeketans

Chinook Associates

Chinook Trail Association

Choose Outdoors

Cincinnati Off-Road Alliance

Citizens for a Better Eastern Shore 

City of Asheville, NC Greenway Committee

City of Clarksville, TN Parks and Recreation

Colorado Mountain Bike Association

Concerned Off-Road Bicyclists Association

Connecticut Forest & Park Association

Conservation Minnesota

Continental Divide Trail Coalition

The Conservation Fund

County Line Riders of Catalina, Inc

Cross New Hampshire Adventure Trail

Dickinson County Trails Board

Dirt Dojo LLC

Disabled Equestrians Organization

Dishman Hills Conservancy

East Coast Greenway Alliance

Eastern Shore Rail Trail Foundation

EcoServants

Elizabeth River Trail Foundation

Enchanted Circle Trails Association

Erie Cattaraugus Rail Trail

Equine Land Conservation Resource

Evansville-Area Trails Coalition

Farms and Barns Real Estate LLC

Fitchburg Greenway Committee

Floyd County Parks and Recreation Department

Folsom Auburn Trail Riders Action Coalition (FATRAC)

Foothills Rails-to-Trails Coalition

ForeverGreen Trails

Fort Wayne Trails, Inc.

Friends of Balcones Canyonlands National Wildlife Refuge

Friends Of Blackwater, Inc.

Friends of Constitution Park Ossipee

Friends Of Cross Bar SRMA

Friends of New River Trail 

Friends of North Idaho Trails

Friends of Pocahontas State Park

Friends of the Cheat

Friends of the Dahlgren Railroad Heritage Trail

Friends of the Kanawha Trace

Friends of Weiser River Trail Inc

G5 Trail Collective

Granite Mountain Riders

Grant Creek Trails Association

Great Springs Project

Hayward Area Recreation and Park District

Health by Design

Higher Ground

Hispanic Access Foundation

Hoosier Environmental Council

Housing Rehab

Hubbardston Open Space Committee - chair

Idaho Horse Council

Illinois Association of Snowmobile Clubs

Indiana Trails Community

Infrastructure Resources, LLC

International Mountain Bicycling Association

Iron TrailCraft Inc.

Jordan Lake Trails Conservation Association

Lake Champlain Committee

League of Michigan Bicyclists

Legacy Land Conservancy

Legacy Trails LLC

Leominster Trail Stewards

Loudoun County Department of Parks Recreation and Community Services

Love in Motion

Lowelifes Respectable Citizens' Club

Maine Trails Coalition

Marin County Bicycle Coalition

Marquette Area Chapter of the North Country Trail Association

ME4E

Milestepper, LLC

Milwaukee Riverkeeper

Mineral County MT Rails-to-Trails

Montachusett Regional Trails Coalition

Montana Nightriders Snowmobile Club

MORE The (Mid-Atlantic Off-Road Enthusiast) Inc

Mormon Trails Association

Mount Rogers Trail Coalition

Muskegon County Trail Riders

National Association for Interpretation

National Coast Trail Association

National Washington Rochambeau 

Revolutionary Route Association

National Wilderness Stewardship Alliance

Natural Sporthorse

Nature Legacies

Nevada Off-Highway Vehicles Program

Nevada Outdoor School

New England Mountain Bike Association

New Hampshire Rail Trails Coalition

New Mexico Sportsmen

New York Bicycling Coalition

New York-New Jersey Trail Conference

Newtown Parks and Recreation

North County Land Trust

Northwest Pennsylvania Trail Association 

Northwestern Ohio Rails-to-Trails Assn., Inc.

NorthWoods Stewardship Center

Oregon Equestrian Trails

Oregon Horse Council

Oregon Timber Trail Alliance

Oregon Trails Coalition

Ozark Trail Association

Pacific Crest Trail Association

Palmetto Trail

Partnership for the National Trails System

Patten Area Outdoors

The PC Help Desk, Inc

Pennsylvania Recreation and Park Society

PeopleForBikes

Phoenix Mountains Preservation Council

Pikes Peak Outdoor Recreation Alliance

Pima Trails Association

Potomac Heritage Trail Association

Rails to Trails Conservancy

The REC Co-op

Red Line Parkway Initiative

Rio Grande Indivisible, NM

River Region Trails, Inc.

Rocky Mountain Backcountry Horsemen

Rocky Mountain Field Institute

San Diego Mountain Biking Association

San Luis Valley Great Outdoors

Sandy Creek Nature Center Inc.

Santa Cruz Mountains Trail Stewardship

Shawnee Trail Conservancy

Shenandoah Valley Bicycle Coalition

Sierra Buttes Trail Stewardship

The Sierra Club

Singletrack Trails, LLC

Siskiyou Upland Trails Association

Sitka Trail Works, Inc

Sonoran Desert Mountain Bicyclists

South Mountain Trolley Greenway

South Penn Enduro Riders

Southborough Trails Committee

Southern New Mexico Trail Alliance

Southern Off-Road Bicycle Association

Sports Backers

St. Skutla Icelandic Horse Club

super genius inc.

Tahoe Rim Trail Association

Terra Active, LLC

Tidewater Trails Alliance

Trails and Open Space Coalition

Trails Inspire

Trails Unlimited

Trails Utah

Truckee Meadows Trails Regional Trail Program, Truckee Meadows Parks Foundation

Trust for Public Land

The Trustees of Reservations

Twin State Rails-to-Trails Working Group

Upper Valley Trails Alliance

Urbana Park District

Vail Valley Mountain Trails Alliance

The Vermont Mountain Bike Association

Vinton County Park District

Virginia Association for Parks 

Virginia Bicycling Federation

Virginia Horse Council

Virginia Trails Alliance

Washington County, Ohio, Board of Commissioners

Washington Trails Association

Western New York Mountain Bicycling Association

Western Riding Club

Western States Trail Foundation

The Wilderness Society

Willamette Valley Visitors Association