Congress Hearings Affect National Trails Program

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According to the American Horse Council, the House of Representatives Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure has announced a series of field hearings that will take place this week on the next multi-year national surface transportation bill. The committee will seek input on priorities for the bill.

The bill funds transportation projects and programs such as the Recreational Trails Program, which provides money for state and local trail projects. The ACH urges equestrians who live near one of the scheduled hearings to voice support for the RTP and the benefit it provides for recreational riders.

The RTP provides funding directly to states for recreational trails and trail-related facilities for both non-motorized and motorized recreational trail uses. The RTP must be authorized in the next national surface transportation program bill if it is to continue.

Since its inception the RTP has provided approximately $700 million for thousands of state and local trail projects across the country, including many that benefit equestrians. RTP projects consist of construction, maintenance and restoration of trails, trail-related facilities, and the acquisition of easements, or property for trails.

Although each state manages its own program, 30 percent of RTP funds must be spent on non-motorized projects like equestrian trails, 30 percent on motorized, and 40 percent on multiuse projects.

The RTP is a significant resource for equestrians to fund projects in their states and local parks. It is one of the few sources for federal funding of trail projects that are not on federal land. 

The AHC, in conjunction with a broad coalition of recreational users, has been working to ensure the RTP is included in any national highway bill passed by Congress. For more information, visit the AHC website. Contact your Representative's local office for times and exact locations. 

Scheduled hearings
2/21 Vancouver, Wash.
2/22 Fresno, Calif.
2/23 Los Angeles, Calif.
2/24 Oklahoma City, Okla.
2/24 Jonesboro, Ark.
2/25 Memphis, Tenn.