PDF Version of Letter

 

August 4, 2021

 

The Honorable Ben Cardin

Chair

Subcommittee on Transportation and Infrastructure

Committee on Environment and Public Works

U.S. Senate

Washington, D.C.20510

 

The Honorable Thomas R. Carper

Chairman

Committee on Environment and Public Works

U.S. Senate

Washington, D.C.20510

 

Re: Support Amendment to Increase the Recreational Trails Program (RTP) by the Same Amount as the Transportation Alternatives Program

Dear Chair Cardin and Chairman Carper:

On behalf of American Hiking Society and the 44 million strong hiking community who enjoy the trails and green spaces in their communities as a crucial part of our nation’s transportation systems, we ask you to support an amendment to the Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal to increase the Recreational Trails Program (RTP) by the same percentage increase that the Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP) is increased each year in the pending infrastructure bill..

A long delayed report from the Federal Highway Administration was just released analyzing the amount of federal gas taxes paid by non highway recreational activity confirms that the total is nearly $300 million annually, or more than three times the current funding ($84M) of the Recreational Trails Program. We ask the Senate EPW committee to factor this new information into the infrastructure bill currently under consideration.

Since its creation in 1991, RTP has enabled 30,000 trail projects and programs, including over 14,000 pedestrian and hiking trail projects, across the country providing hikers and all types of motorized and non-motorized trail users new and improved access to trails. RTP has allowed tens of millions of trail users in urban and rural areas to realize the benefits of trails including health and wellness, connectivity, and economic growth.

Please contact Tyler Ray, Director of Policy and Advocacy, with any questions or for additional information.

Sincerely,

 

Tyler Ray

Senior Director for Programs and Advocacy

American Hiking Society