This would be a true game-changer: the Transportation Bill (H.R. 3763) that recently passed out of committee goes to the floor in the House of Representatives this week and two amendments have been offered that would eliminate the Recreational Trails Program - a program that helps pay for many of the hiking trails we enjoy. It is a program based on the fuel taxes paid by recreational vehicles users and so is a user-pay/user-benefit program.
I ask you to please contact your Representative in Congress and ask him or her to vote "No" on Amendment #69 introduced by Rep. Buddy Carter of Georgia and "No" on Amendment #158 introduced by Rep. Ted Yoho of Florida. You can also remind them that this is a user-pay/user-benefit program paid for by a small portion of the fuel taxes paid by recreational vehicle users. Also let them know that trails are important to you and provide significant health and economic benefits to your region and the nation as a whole.
The Recreational Trails Program (RTP) is quite bipartisan and has broad support from both Republicans and Democrats in the House but once the action begins on the House floor this week, we need to make sure they know that they have support for RTP from you and other people in their district.
You can email them, send a message through their Congressional website, or phone their offices. I'd like to suggest you also contact your Representative via Facebook, Twitter, and other social media. Don't be bashful. They absolutely need to hear from you.
If you get a response from any of them I would very much appreciate you forwarding it to me (POlsen@AmericanHiking.org
) so American Hiking Society can track the support and focus our efforts in areas that are the most helpful to protecting this vital trails program.
I sincerely thank you for taking the time to get engaged and help protect trails - it speaks volumes about you as a person who cares and is willing to make a difference in the world in which we live.
Vice President for Programs & Government Relations