I am the Mat-Su/Copper River Basin representative for Alaska's Recreational Trails Program. I was asked to serve on the Board as the motorized representative.
The Alaska Recreational Trails Program normally gets about 1.2 million dollars a year. Half of this has been going to State Parks for trail crews. The Board was notified today that the State is getting over 2.6 million dollars and does not have time to accept new grant applications.
The State Trails Coordinator has given us two options and called a meeting for this Friday. We've been told that we can use the money to fund State Parks trail crews OR use the money to supplement the SnowTrac Program. Neither of these options is appropriate for the additional 1.4 million plus dollars.
from the RTP website: http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/environment/rectrails/
The RTP funds come from the Federal Highway Trust Fund, and represent a portion of the motor fuel excise tax collected from nonhighway recreational fuel use: fuel used for off-highway recreation by snowmobiles, all-terrain vehicles, off-highway motorcycles, and off-highway light trucks.
The Federal rules say that 30% of the money must go toward motorized recreation projects. That would mean over $780,000 for motorized projects this year. I believe that we have been getting the short end of the stick.
There is a third option for the additional monies, and that is roll the money over to next years grant program. This was a common practice in years past and is still allowed according to the Federal Highways June 4, 2010 memorandum http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/environment/..._compapprt.htm
I need your help now.
I need every club and every motorized user to write the Director of State Parks and Outdoor Recreation and the State Trails Coordinator and tell them to roll the money over into next years grant program. I need you to do this today! The more they hear from the motorized community the better our chances of keeping this money. The money will then be available for grants this fall and we will have a chance of actually benefiting from taxes WE paid.
Ben Ellis, Director of State Parks and Outdoor Recreation firstname.lastname@example.org
Bill Luck, State Trails Coordinator, email@example.com