Call To Action: RTP in Jeopardy
Published on Tuesday, February 14, 2012 in General Announcements, Legislative Affairs, News & Updates
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Every State Snowmobile Association in the country has come to rely on funds from the Recreational Trails Program (RTP). This program is funded by you, the snowmobiler, every time you put gas in your sled. A portion of the federal gas tax is used to fund RTP. It really is a user-pay user-benefit program.

RTP is a very, very small part of the Transportation Bill. The House Committee approved the legislation early this month and it included the dedicated funding for RTP as it has for the last several years.

Unfortunately, the legislation in the Senate includes RTP, but stripped the dedicated funding. We need to request the dedicated funding be restored.

The Senate is moving fast. The Transportation Bill may come up for a vote this week. So we need your help and fast.

These key funds are used by clubs to maintain trails and purchase grooming equipment. Losing the program will be devastating to all trail users and the DCR properties. Please take a minute to go to the websites of Senator Kerry and Senator Brown and leave a message on the “Contact” page.

An example is below, feel free to modify it if you want. A brief polite message will go a long way. If you would rather call, the numbers are below. 202-224-2742 202-224-4543

Subject line:
Recreational Trails Program, Senator Klobuchar’s amendment

Dear Senator

I’m asking that you please support Senator Klobuchar’s (D-MN) amendment to restore the dedicated funding to Recreational Trails Program (RTP).

Our volunteer organization has invested hundreds of thousands of dollars and matching hours in maintaining and improving the Massachusetts state parks and forests with RTP funding. RTP grants allow the Snowmobile Association of Massachusetts (SAM) to assist our partners at the Department of Conservation and Recreation at a critical time, when DCR staffing and budgets are at an all-time low. The basic infrastructure of state parks are at risk.

This is not just about snowmobiles. It’s about families walking the dog, hiking, bicycling, fishing and so many other outdoor activities. Many different recreation interests strongly support the RTP as evidenced by a Coalition for Recreational Trails letter earlier this year with more than 400 international, national, state and local recreation organizations. The broad support for the program is a testament to its success.

RTP is a user-pay, user-benefit program. The money is generated when we fill our snowmobiles with gas. The money is used for trail building, maintenance and other trail-related projects. Even though the program is 100% funded by the motorized users, RTP is split 30% to non-motorized use, 30% to motorized use and 40% for mixed-use trails.

The Recreational Trails Program (RTP) faces a big hurdle in transportation reauthorization legislation, without your action the RTP may be eliminated.

Transportation reauthorization legislation, known as MAP-21, threatens the very existence of RTP by eliminating the program’s dedicated funding. Senator Klobuchar’s amendment would restore the necessary dedicated funding!

MAP-21 passed the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee late last year is being brought up for a vote soon, possibly as early as next week! Please support Senator Klobuchar’s amendment.

Thank you

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