Proposed budget amendment would strip government funding of the Recreational Trail Program


Trail Ride
The Recreational Trails Program (RTP) is a government-funded program that helps build and maintain off-road trails for a variety of uses, including horseback riding. The funds come from motor fuel excise taxes collected from recreational vehicle use, such as snowmobiles and ATVs.

A proposed amendment to the transportation appropriations act would remove funding of the RTP and other programs under the Transportation Alternatives Program beginning with fiscal year 2014. The funds would be reallocated to bridge repairs.

The trail building and maintenance funded through the RTP are often to the benefit of equestrian trail riders. The American Horse Council released the following alert urging all trail users to call their members of Congress to oppose this amendment.

Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) is planning to offer an amendment (S. Amdt1742) to the Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies Appropriations act (S.1243) that would strip all funding from the Recreational Trail Program (RTP).

The Paul amendment would transfer all funding from the Transportation Alternatives Program to pay for bridge repairs. RTP is part of the Transportation Alternatives Program and would lose all its funding in FY 2014 if this amendment passes and the bill becomes law.

The American Horse Council urges all recreational riders and trail users to call their Senators and ask them to vote no on Senate Amendment 1742 to the 2014 Transportation Appropriations bill (S. 1243).

Since its inception RTP has provided money for thousands of state and local trail projects across the country, including many that benefit equestrians. RTP provides funding directly to the states for recreational trails and trail-related facilities for all recreational trail users. It is funded with a portion of the gas taxes paid into the Highway Trust Fund by recreational off-highway vehicle users.

You can reach your Senators by calling the Congressional switchboard at (202) 225-3121. Ask for your Senators’ office.

A vote on this amendment is possible in the near future so it is important that trail user act now.

Further Reading
Seven Ways to Save Equestrian Trails


  1. I feel bad for the people who use these trails, but why can’t individuals volunteer to maintain the trails if they’re so upset? Our government is in so much debt they need to cut every program/expense that isn’t absolutely necessary (including Obama’s $100million vacations!).

  2. If they would stop building super highways to save a few minutes off travel time and maintain the roads we have now they would have the money to fund bridge repairs. Buying land and destroying homes to save a few minutes of travel time comes with a high price and lose of land.

  3. what else are we going to lose because the government can’t budget money send them back to school to study finances and how to budget money of the tax payers

  4. I don’t understand why they would cut funds on something that encourages people to get out of the house and be active. And if they are SO WORRIED about building new roads, why not invest in MORE PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION? Despite the sad stories in the news recently regarding trains, I think the government would be SMART to invest in those rather than building new highways! Think about it, more trains to travel across the states would dramatically cut down on road work and can be cheap for EVERYONE!


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