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Take Action - RTP in Jeopardy!

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I urge everybody who likes the freedom to ride on our nation's lands to get motivated before it's too late. With the economy the way it is the government will cut our access in favor of funding Big Government unless we speak up;

https://secure3.convio.net/arra/site/Advocacy?pagename=homepage&page=UserAction&id=337&autologin=true&JServSessionIdr004=ta6okbyej1.app332a

:lol::banghead::)

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Here's what I got;

As a member of Americans for Responsible Recreational Access I write to urge you to support the Recreational Trails Program (RTP). As a Member of the Environment and Public Works Committee you have a unique opportunity to stand up for the RTP and the millions of recreationists who depend on this important program to fund recreational activities. Please add dedicated funding for the RTP to the manager's amendment for this legislation. The RTP was established as a provision of the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act of 1991 and was subsequently reauthorized in 1998 and in 2005. The program embodies the user-pay, user-benefit philosophy by utilizing a portion of funds generated by motorized vehicle users who pay the gas tax on any fuel they purchase for use in their off-highway vehicles to fund trail building, maintenance and other trail-related projects. It should also be noted that the RTP requires that 30% of program funds must be dedicated to non-motorized uses with an additional 40% for mixed-use trails that may or may not include motorized uses. Many various and diverse recreation interests strongly support the RTP as evidenced by a Coalition for Recreational Trails letter earlier this year to Congressional Leadership which included signatures from more than 400 international, national, state and local recreation organizations. Motorized, hiking, horseback riding, bicycling and an array of other recreation interests were represented on the letter. The broad support for the program is a testament to its success. Please--PLEASE--stop slowly, bit by bit, taking away our freedoms. This is OUR land-let us use it. Thank you for your consideration.

Response:

Thank you for supporting us on this issue.

Your message has been sent to the following decision makers:

• Senator John N. Boozman

• Senator Thomas 'Tom' R. Carper

• Senator Jeff Sessions III

• Senator Max Baucus

• Senator Bernard 'Bernie' Sanders

• Senator John Barrasso

• Senator Benjamin 'Ben' L. Cardin

• Senator James 'Jim' M. Inhofe

• Senator Barbara Boxer

• Senator Tom Udall

• Senator Sheldon Whitehouse

• Senator Jeff Merkley

• Senator David Vitter

• Senator Mike Johanns

• Senator Lamar Alexander

• Senator Frank R. Lautenberg

• Senator Kirsten E. Gillibrand

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Wow-hundreds of posts later and we've only got TWO who are actually willing to DO SOMETHING to keep their riding freedoms!!?:)

What is wrong with you guys!? All I ever hear is bitchin' about how we have nowhere to ride but no one is willing to simply go to a site a push a few keys!!?

WHAT IS IT-LAZY, JUST DON'T CARE...WHAT?

UNBELEIVABLE!:banghead::lol::cheers:

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Wow-hundreds of posts later and we've only got TWO who are actually willing to DO SOMETHING to keep their riding freedoms!!?:)

What is wrong with you guys!? All I ever hear is bitchin' about how we have nowhere to ride but no one is willing to simply go to a site a push a few keys!!?

WHAT IS IT-LAZY, JUST DON'T CARE...WHAT?

UNBELEIVABLE!:banghead::lol::cheers:

It's tough to get someone who already has zero to put in effort to preserve access others have.

This will have zero affect on my areas to ride, either way- can't take what I don't have...

Doesn't stop me from sending the email, though.

Dave

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I'm ashamed of you guys-really. Over 200 views and less than half a dozen feel the responsibility to do something-wow.

If you won't take 1 minute to protect our riding freedom then at least take 1 second and tell us why-why is it you won't help? Seriously-is it 'cuz of laziness? Just don't give a crap-what? Tell me-the curiosity is killing me.:lol:

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OOPS! I lied. Looks like ya'll get another chance to step up;

Washington Newsletter

December 2011

Recreational Trails Program (RTP) Remains in Jeopardy!

A few days ago, we sent you a special ARRA alert telling you that the Recreational Trails Program was in jeopardy. We urged you to immediately contact members of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee to express support for this very important federal program and thousands of you did! Thank you for being so responsive on such short notice.

Things do change here in Washington and sometimes not for the better. In our November newsletter, I provided you with a report on the legislative status of RTP and indicated that Senator Barbara Boxer, Chair of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee (EPW), had stated publicly her support for the program and that the committee was going to keep the program intact. Literally within a day from the time we hit the send button to distribute the November newsletter, we learned that the committee leadership, Senator Boxer and Senator James Inhofe, the Ranking Minority Member, were planning to present newly drafted transportation reauthorization legislation to the entire EPW Committee. The new legislation did retain the Recreational Trails Program, but eliminated its dedicated source of funding. For some reason, Senator Boxer thinks we should be pleased with this result.

We, along with a diverse group of other recreation groups, immediately launched a series of meetings on Capitol Hill with the offices of other members of the EPW Committee who shared our concern with the way the draft legislation treated RTP and some other transportation programs. Much to our disappointment, efforts to modify the "draft legislation" were largely rebuffed by the committee leadership prior to the committee markup session.

In recent months, the issue of "transportation enhancements" has become a punching bag of sort since funds for highway construction/repairs are in short supply. RTP is not a transportation enhancement though such items as highway beautification and bicycle lanes are considered such enhancements. Some members have questioned spending money on these other projects when our highways and bridges are in need of repair. But as we keep reminding folks on Capitol Hill, RTP is not an enhancement - it is user paid, user benefit. Unfortunately for us, RTP has been swept up in the broader debate over transportation enhancements and that is why we are in the current legislative predicament.

RTP currently receives almost $90 million in revenue generated by those of you who pay excise taxes on the fuel you use in your off-highway vehicles. While the policymakers still want you to pay those taxes, they just no longer want a portion of what you pay to go towards building and maintaining recreational trails.

As things stand, there are many more chapters yet to be written in this legislative script. The play is far from over. The clock is ticking on the temporary authorization extension that ends in March of 2012, so this issue is not going to go away. If you, by chance, are one of the few who hasn't already used the ARRA website to contact members of the Senate EPW Committee to express support for RTP, please take a minute and do so by going to this link:

Urge Your Members to Support the RTP

In the coming weeks, we will be expanding our legislative outreach to include the entire Senate and House of Representatives. Please be prepared to take action when you receive an ARRA alert encouraging you to do so.

That's all for this month's newsletter. Many other things are happening here in Washington, but the RTP's future is on such shaky ground we thought it merited our full attention. We hope that with all the many demands on your time during this busy holiday season, you will answer the call, once again, to defend RTP when you are asked to do so. Yes, it is in jeopardy but we aren't finished fighting for its future.

Happy Holidays!

Sincerely,

Larry E. Smith

Executive Director

Americans for Responsible Recreational Access

Anyone care to support?:lol::banghead::)

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Doesn't even this get anyone's blood boiling?

"revenue generated by those of you who pay excise taxes on the fuel you use in your off-highway vehicles. While the policymakers still want you to pay those taxes, they just no longer want a portion of what you pay to go towards building and maintaining recreational trails."

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