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Trail Funding in Jeopardy - Act Now!

Posted by Jonathan Guzzo at Jun 21, 2012 04:10 PM |

The Recreational Trails Program (RTP) is in danger in DC. The House and Senate Transportation Budget Conference Committee is close to reaching a compromise that may remove this critical trail funding program from the transportation bill. RTP delivers nearly $2 million to Washington State each year and WTA receives $175,000 annually from RTP - nearly 20% of our Trail Maintenance Program budget. Call your U.S. Representative and Senators today and ask them reject any transportation budget reauthorization that does not include dedicated funding for the Recreational Trails Program.

WTA has received word that the Recreational Trails Program (RTP) is in danger in DC.

The House and Senate Transportation Budget Conference Committee is close to reaching a compromise that may remove this critical trail funding program from the transportation bill. RTP delivers nearly $2 million to Washington State each year, and that money spreads out across the landscape in the form of grants for volunteer trail maintenance programs.

WTA receives $175,000 annually from RTP - nearly 20% of our Trail Maintenance Program budget. We leverage that money four or five times over when we field volunteer work parties. Without it, WTA would be forced to scale back significantly a trail maintenance program that both hikers and the agencies have come to rely upon.

What would losing RTP mean? WTA uses these funds to field backcountry response teams, volunteer vacations and to fund our youth program. If RTP is not funded, then next year we'll have to think long and hard about slashing opportunities in these programs. If we didn't have RTP dollars this year, we wouldn't be working at in Holden Village, at Bird Creek Meadows, on the PCT or in Leadbetter State Park. We wouldn't be getting young people out for a transformative week in the woods on the Hoh River Trail or at Spray Park. Most importantly, the great trail maintenance work we do on these lands simply wouldn't happen, and hikers across the state would suffer. Moreover, WTA would be just one organization whose work would be severely impacted by this loss.

>> We need your help to save RTP! <<

What can you do? Call your Members of Congress today!

Click here to find your U.S. representative. Ask him or her to reject any transportation budget reauthorization that does not include dedicated funding for the Recreational Trails Program. Please note: if you live in Congresswoman Herrera Beutler's Southwest Washington District, make sure to thank her for all her hard work to preserve RTP to this point. She's been our champion in the House, and we need to thank her!

Also, Call U.S. Senators Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell and ask them for the same thing that you asked your House member. Also ask them to tell Senator Boxer, who chairs the Committee dealing with this budget, how important RTP is. Senator Murray can be reached at (202) 224-2621 and Senator Cantwell's office number is (202) 224-3441.

Thanks for your continued help! With a little effort, we can preserve RTP and all the great work that we get done with its support.

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