The feeling that our community is an amazing place to live, work and play is something I’m sure all most all Dayton area residents posses. The increased quality of life provided by access to recreation facilities and programs has been proven via numerous scientific studies and survey research over the years. Facilities such as hiking trails, multi-use paths, and rivers provide a unique character to a community supporting a vibrant and active culture. There is an obvious correlation between the most livable cities in the United States and those that are considered “Outdoor Adventure” destinations and “Bike Friendly Communities.”
That outdoor culture and vibrancy many of us value so highly is currently at stake as proposed legislation at the state and federal level poses a threat to the funding streams communities rely on to support projects of this nature. Over the past 30 years over 50 million dollars have been invested in our amazing regional bikeway network which has now become one of the most exstensive trail systems in the US, totally over 260 miles in the Miami Valley.
Please take a moment to review the message below from American Trails, an organization whose mission is to ensure the development and protection for trails in the future. For over 20 years, American Trails has been the collective voice for a diverse coalition of enthusiasts, professionals, land managers, conservationists, and friends of the outdoors and livable cities. For more information about American Trails, visit www.americantrails.org
Now more than ever, advocates must convince Congress that money spent on trails, bike/ped facilities, parks, and outdoor recreation is a sound investment in the country’s economy. The health of our children, as well as our cities, will depend on expanding transportation choices and preserving trails, open space, parks, and places for recreation.
As our nation looks closely at the increase in childhood obesity, the need for healthier lifestyle choices for everyone, safe routes for active transportation, and urban development, there are major issues to address. Trails, greenways, bikeways, and other routes are a critical part of the solution.
Every individual and organization concerned with trails and bike/ped facilities should tell their members of Congress why funding for these programs is important.
Please pass this message on through your networks!
Federal budget cuts will affect trails!
This week in Washington, the focus is on the federal budget, the deficit, and proposed cuts to spending on every aspect of national programs. The House of Representatives will vote on legislation (H.R. 1) that would cut current spending by at least $100 billion below the President’s FY 2011 request. Floor debate begins Tuesday. Here’s what we know so far that will affect trail funding:
Land and Water Conservation Fund: The House proposal would reduce funding for trails, parks, and land conservation by 90 percent. Funds that are appropriated to states would be virtually eliminated. See details and how you can take action…
Federal land management budgets: Major cuts are also proposed in the current House budget for a wide variety of construction, maintenance, and supporting programs on federal public lands. This includes trails and recreation areas on National Forests, Bureau of Land Management lands, US Fish & Wildlife Refuges, and the National Parks. Read more on cuts to federal land management…
ATTENTION: Devastating attack on trails, walking, and bicycling could happen this week! Though we do not know details yet, we anticipate a congressional amendment that could do away with or hobble transportation-funded programs like the Recreational Trails Program, Transportation Enhancements, (the nation’s largest funding source for trails, walking, and bicycling), and Safe Routes to School. There is strength in numbers! Therefore, we are working with many other organizations to defeat such a damaging amendment. No action is needed to protect these three programs at the moment; we just wanted to give you a heads-up that an amendment could be offered in the coming days. You can expect an action alert from us. If it comes, please do not delay in speaking up. If such an amendment is offered, we might have mere hours to respond.
Proposed House budget: Read the details of the House proposed reductions in federal programs for the fiscal year ending Sept. 30, 2011: Table of FY 2011 Continuing Resolution reductions (pdf 53 kb)
Hearings on Federal Transportation reauthorization: The House Transportation Committee has scheduled a series of field hearings on Federal Transportation reauthorization during February 2011, starting with West Virginia on Feb. 14 and moving on to the West Coast by Feb. 21-23. Plan to attend these sessions and speak up for continuing trails and bike/ped facilities (Recreational Trails Program, Transportation Enhancements, and Safe Routes to School) in the next reauthorization bill. Please help spread the word! See current hearing schedule and locations…
American Trails, the League of American Bicyclists, the Rails to Trail Conservancy, and other nationwide organizations have been urging key members of Congress and Administration officials to recognize the importance of funding for trails and related facilities.
There is strength in numbers and we need to present a unified voice for trails, to tell their story, to present their endless benefits, and to make the case for funding them. Join us in contacting your Senators and Representatives to let them know why these programs are vital to your local efforts.
Contact your Representative by visiting this website: https://writerep.house.gov/writerep/welcome.shtml
Contact your Senators by visiting this website: http://www.senate.gov/general/contact_information/senators_cfm.cfm