Last year, U.S. Congress created new rules for the Recreational Trails Program, which is one of the largest funding sources for trails projects. Governors of each state could now opt-out of the program each year, and instead spend this money dedicated to trails on other transportation uses, including road construction and repair. The deadline for opt-outs was September 1.
This summer RTC and our many coalition partners organized an ambitious campaign to impress upon every governor the critical importance of the Recreational Trails Program to their state.
If you jumped on board and urged your governor to support trails by committing to the Recreational Trails Program, thank you. Yours was one of 3,000 such messages we sent to governors across the country.
Every state except Florida chose to remain in the Recreational Trails Program for the next year, evidence of the program's undeniable importance in promoting recreation, healthy lifestyles and outdoor tourism. Republican and Democrat, East Coast, West Coast and everything in between - 49 Governors were united in their understanding that the Recreational Trails Program is a great investment in their state.
Now is a great time to show your appreciation and thank your governor for supporting trail building and maintenance. Click this link to send a thank you card to your governor, expressing your gratitude for your state's continued support for trails.
The Recreational Trails Program is one of the most flexible funding sources available to states for developing high-quality trails. It is also the only federal program that provides funding for trail maintenance. It does all this while keeping control where it belongs - with local professional trail development staff. The program's funding source is the partial return of gas tax dollars paid by users of off-road recreational vehicles.
Take a few moments to let your governor know you appreciate their support of trails in your state!