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Please Contact your Representative today to help save the Recreational Trails Program!


BLUERIBBON COALITION ACTION ALERT!

The Recreational Trails Program (RTP) has been a vital source of funding for recreational access and trails since its inception in 1991. BRC is proud of our lead role in founding the original 'RTP' program - the Symm's National Recreational Trails Act. As such, we ask your support to help ensure it is reauthorized this year by Congress.

Funding for RTP comes from the federal gas tax you pay at the pump as a calculated portion of fuel that is used for "off-highway motorized use." The program was last reauthorized for three years in 2005 as part of the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, and Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU.) This law is about to expire at the end of 2009, and the Recreational Trails Program will expire along with it unless it can be authorized and funded in the next national surface transportation bill, the Surface Transportation Authorization Act of 2009.

U.S. Representatives Mike Michaud (D-ME) and Tom Petri (R-WI) have just release a bi-partisan "Dear Colleague" letter urging members of the House of Representatives to sign a letter to the leadership of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee in support of RTP. The letter thanks the leadership for including the RTP in the bill.

The letter also encourages appropriate funding levels to sustain the program through the year 2015, requests funding for a much-needed study on off-highway vehicle fuel use by the Department of Transportation, and asks for adjusted funding for the Federal Highway Administration to continue to effectively administer the program.

Copies of the Dear Colleague letter and the letter to the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee can be found on our website at www.sharetrails.org/rtp/

It is critical you contact your member of the U.S. House of Representatives and encourage him/her to sign the letter. The deadline is this Friday, July 17th, so we urge you to send an email or make a phone call to your representatives office today. Explain how important the RTP is to the recreating community and to your organization specifically. Suggested text for your email can be found below in this alert.

If you need help identifying your U.S. Representative, the BlueRibbon Coalition has provided you with a handy tool in our Rapid Response Center at www.sharetrails.org/rapid_response/. All you need to do is type in your zip code.

More information on the Recreational Trails Program can be found on our website under the RTP button at www.sharetrails.org, located on the left-hand side of the page.

Thank you for taking action today to support the Recreational Trails Program.

Greg Mumm
Executive Director
BlueRibbon Coalition


Suggested email text:

Dear XXX,

On July 10, 2009, U.S. Representatives Mike Michaud (D-ME) and Tom Petri (R-WI) began circulating a letter to the leadership of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee in support of the Recreational Trails Program (RTP). As my representative, I would encourage you to please sign on to this letter.

The Recreational Trails Program (RTP) provides vital funding for trails all across this country, both motorized and non-motorized. There is overwhelming support for this remarkably successful program from all walks of life. This program needs to be reauthorized this year in order to remain a viable source of funding for recreational trails.

The leadership of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee has provided the necessary language to continue the program in the Surface Transportation Authorization Act of 2009. The letter from Representatives Mike Michaud and Tom Petri thanks the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee leadership for this action. The letter also further encourages the appropriate funding levels to sustain the program through the year 2015, requests funding for a much needed study by the Department of Transportation on off-highway vehicle fuel use, and asks for adjusted funding for the Federal Highway Administration to continue to effectively administer the program.

Again, I am asking that you please contact the offices of either Representatives Mike Michaud (D-ME) or Tom Petri (R-WI) to sign on to the letter as soon as possible. There is a July 17th deadline to collect signatures.

Thank you for your attention to this matter and helping Americans of all walks of life to continue to recreate responsibly.

Sincerely,


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