Welch Introduces Bipartisan Legislation to Improve the Recreational Trails Program
WASHINGTON – Rep. Peter Welch (D-Vt.) and Rep. Mike Simpson (R-Idaho) today introduced bipartisan legislation to improve the Recreational Trails Program (RTP) by increasing the transparency and ensuring the accountability of its funding 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 4-wheel driving.
The RTP Full Funding Act—which is supported by recreational groups from snowmobilers to cyclists and hikers to off-highway power sport vehicle groups—will ensure that federal funds collected for this program are maximized to support more trail projects in the future.
“Vermont has unparalleled natural beauty that provides Vermonters and tourists year-round opportunities to enjoy the great outdoors by trail,” said Welch. “By prioritizing funding for the Recreational Trail Program, this bipartisan legislation will ensure that future generations of Vermonters can explore and appreciate the great outdoors for many years to come.”
The RTP Full Funding Act will increase the accuracy and transparency of RTP funding by:
- Requiring a study to determine the total amount of funds collected;
- Improving reporting on expenditures from the RTP to improve accountability and oversight; and
- Streamlining RTP funding distribution to the states by reducing unnecessary paperwork.
The legislation was introduced in the Senate by Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), James Risch (R-Idaho), Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.), and Richard Burr (R-N.C.).