Congressmen fight for trail funding

Two U.S. congressmen are asking their colleagues to support continued funding of motorized and non-motorized trails using gas tax revenue from off-highway vehicles, according to the American Motorcyclist Association.

Reps. Tom Petri (R-Wis.) and Michael Michaud (D-Maine) are circulating a letter asking for support of the Recreational Trails Program, which gives funds to states for the creation and maintenance of recreational trails and trail-related facilities.

“There’s a lot of talk in Congress about cutting federal spending, but this program was created for trail users and is self-funded by the highway fuel taxes of trail users,” Ed Moreland, AMA senior vice president for government relations, said in a press release. “Trail users see this program as a very essential part of their chosen form of recreation, and there’s no reason to reduce the RTP within the federal highway bill reauthorization. The RTP pays for itself.”

The RTP funds come from the federal Highway Trust Fund. They represent a portion of the federal motor fuel excise tax collected from use in snowmobiles, ATVs, off-highway motorcycles and off-highway light trucks.

The AMA is encouraging enthusiasts to contact their lawmakers in support of the RTP by visiting the “Rights” section of the AMA website, www.americanmotorcyclist.com.

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