First off, thank you for your calls and emails in response to our previous alerts on the Recreational Trails Program (RTP).
Greg Mumm, BRC’s Executive Director, called this morning, and he reports that U.S. House and Senate conferees have hammered out a final highway funding bill. A vote is expected late this week. As you know, taxes you pay when you fill the tank on your OHV and snowmobile are made available to manage OHV and snowmobile use via the RTP program.
The RTP program must be re-authorized each time Congress passes a new highway bill. Greg says the House/Senate conference has kept the RTP program intact, but has everyone scratching their heads on the details. One new provision allows states to opt-out of the program if they want. Greg told me it is “good to see the program continue, but it is unclear how it will change under this authorization.” E & E News, a Washington D.C. based natural resource news outlet, has this story.
Remember, the RTP program is NOT about diverting gas taxes to non-highway projects. Its about putting the taxes you pay at the pump to the trails and snowmobile areas you use.
We’ll dig in to the details and let you know more soon. And, as always, please call or email if you have any questions or concerns.
Public Lands Department Manager
BlueRibbon Coalition 208-237-1008 ext 107