IMBA leads the way to prevent states on RTP opt out

IMBA leads the way to prevent states on RTP opt out

Postby Brad C » Wed Aug 15, 2012 7:15 pm

On July 26, 2012, MSTA received an urgent message from IMBA. The message was about the passage of a bill in Congress renewing the Recreational Trails Program. New in this bill was an opt out clause for the states.

IMBA worked with Coalition for Recreational Trails to create a unified front to convince states to stay in the RTP. They created a letter that will be customized for all 50 states addressed to the governors. Organizations (not individuals) were urged to sign on to this effort. Each letter will contain the list of the groups that signed on to the letter from their state.

When I received the email as leader of MSTA I immediately signed us on. I then sent the email on to every group I could think of in our area. Some signed on, some did not.

I think we can all feel some pride in having our national organization (IMBA) take the lead on this program. It shows that the organized mountain bike community is capable of taking on the big issues where trails are concerned.

Below is the text from the IMBA message and the signatories from Tennessee. You will see a number of organizations not involved in off road cycling signed on. They recognize when an national organization takes a leadership position on these important issues it is time to sign on. It just happened to be the mountain biking national organization. Hooray for IMBA!
The Recreational Trails Program is still at risk of elimination at the state level. Despite being preserved at the federal level, the latest transportation bill – MAP-21 – allows state governors to opt out of the program if they notify the U.S. Secretary of Transportation of their decision no later than 30 days before the funds are apportioned. This year's opt-out deadline is Sept. 1.

On behalf of the Coalition for Recreational Trails (CRT), IMBA is leading the development of a campaign intended to persuade state governors to continue funding RTP. The coalition has prepared a letter (hosted by IMBA) to be sent to each governor. All organizations in each state that support the RTP (not individuals) – including equestrian, motorized recreation, hiking, trail running, climbing, snow sports and biking groups – are asked to sign on and reach out to other trail based recreation groups and related interests.

We need everyone’s help to reach out to their grassroots contacts, regional, state and local groups, and any other organizations that benefit from the RTP. Please ask them to join your group in signing the letter. Each letter will be customized to reflect the program's impact in the state, with the state level groups listed above the national groups in the signature line.

By working together, we have made significant progress in the effort to protect the vital RTP funding source. We urgently need your help with what we hope will be a final hurdle.
Tennessee groups signed on to the letter.

Cherokee Hiking Club
Cumberland Trail Conference
Greater Memphis Greenline
Harahan Bridge Project
Hiwassee Hiking Club
Knox County Healthy Kids/ Healthy Communities Partnership
Mid-South Trails Association
Mississippi River Corridor - TN
Mississippi River Trail, Inc.
Nickajack Coalition
Ride Royal, LLC
Sequoyah Hiking Club
Shelby Farms Equestrian Alliance
Shelby Farms Park Conservancy
Southern Appalachian Back Country Horsemen
Tennessee Commission on Greenways and Trails
Tennessee Rovers
Tennessee Trails Association
TBB / The Count

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Brad C
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