U.S. Sens. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., and James Risch, R-Idaho, reintroduced the Recreational Trails Program Funding Transparency Act, bipartisan legislation to increase transparency of funding for the Recreational Trails Program.
The bill would require the U.S. secretary of transportation to provide a report on the amount of non-highway recreational fuel taxes administered to the Recreational Trails Program to assist Congress in determining an appropriate funding level for the 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 four-wheel driving. The RTP Funding Transparency Act-which is supported by recreational groups from snowmobilers to cyclists and hikers to off-highway power sport vehicle groups-is intended to ensure federal funds collected for this program are maximized to support more trail projects in the future.
The RTP Funding Transparency Act is cosponsored by Sens. Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.D., Richard Burr, R-N.C., and Chris Van Hollen, D-Md.
"Environmental conservation is a fundamental part of Minnesota's heritage, so we know how critical it is to protect our natural resources," Klobuchar stated in a news release "Snowmobilers, hikers, ATV users, cyclists, and the countless others who enjoy the outdoors rely on the Recreational Trails Program to explore our state's natural wonders and in turn support our local businesses. This bipartisan legislation will help ensure that states receive the resources they need to protect and improve these trails for generations to come."
The RTP Funding Transparency Act will increase the accuracy and transparency of funding for the Recreational Trails Program as well as maintaining its current level of funding and status as a distinct program.
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.