The RTP Full Funding Act is supported by recreational groups from snowmobilers to cyclists and hikers to off-highway power sport vehicle groups
WASHINGTON- U.S. Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), James Risch (R-ID), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), and Richard Burr (R-NC) introduced bipartisan legislation to improve the Recreational Trails Program (RTP) by increasing the transparency and ensuring the accountability of its funding program. Since 1991, the Recreational Trails Program has provided funding to states to develop and maintain outdoor recreational trails, allowing millions of Americans and their families to enjoy activities such as hiking, bicycling, cross-country skiing, snowmobiling and 4-wheel driving.
The RTP Full Funding Act—which is supported by recreational groups from snowmobilers to cyclists and hikers to off-highway power sport vehicle groups—will ensure that federal funds collected for this program are maximized to support more trail projects in the future.
“Minnesota snowmobilers, hikers, ATV users, cyclists, and countless others who enjoy the outdoors rely on the Recreational Trails Program to explore our state’s natural wonders and support our local businesses,”Klobuchar said. “This bipartisan legislation will help ensure states receive all of the resources they deserve to protect and improve these trails for generations to come.”
“From our scenic trails and waterways to our mountains and canyons, outdoor recreation is a way of life in Idaho,” Risch said. “In order to keep it that way, we have introduced legislation that will improve oversight and accountability of how our taxpayer dollars are spent on recreation management and infrastructure. Ensuring that recreational trails are properly cared for will help create strong economic opportunities and ensure future generations of Idahoans can continue to enjoy the natural beauty of our state and lands for many, many years to come.”
“The Recreational Trails Program plays an important role in supporting New Hampshire’s outdoor recreation economy and tourism sector by investing in activities and trail projects across the state,” Shaheen said. “As it expands, it’s critical that there be dedicated funding to sustain the program’s infrastructure and efforts, which help to ensure our environment, wildlife and beauty can be explored and appreciated by Granite Staters and visitors for years to come. I’m glad to support legislation that prioritizes funding for the Recreational Trails Program and I’ll keep working across the aisle on behalf of this important issue.”
“I’m proud to co-sponsor S.3604, which will help to begin the process to ensure the Recreational Trails Program (RTP) is appropriately funded and effectively carrying out its mission of maintaining recreational trails of all varieties across the United States,” Burr said. “One of our most important responsibilities is to preserve America’s great outdoors for our children and grandchildren, but too often commonsense conservation programs, like the RTP, are overlooked or underfunded. This bipartisan bill will help protect a key conservation program benefiting future generations.”
The RTP Full Funding Act will increase the accuracy and transparency of RTP funding by:
- Requiring a study to determine the total amount of funds collected;
- Improving reporting on expenditures from the RTP to improve accountability and oversight; and
- Streamlining RTP funding distribution to the states by reducing unnecessary paperwork.
The bill is supported by the American Council of Snowmobile Associations, American Hiking Society, American Horse Council, Americans for Responsible Recreational Access, American Motorcyclist Association, International Mountain Bicycling Association, National Association of State Park Directors, National Association of State Trail Administrators, PeopleForBikes, Rails-to-Trails Conservancy, Recreational Off-Highway Vehicle Association and Society of Outdoor Recreation Professionals.