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President's Budget Proposal Will Cut Trail Funding (Read 431 times)

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President's Budget Proposal Will Cut Trail Funding
04/11/13 at 10:00:20
ATVA Action Alert
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President's Budget Proposal Would Slash Trail Funding
On April 10, U.S. President Barack Obama submitted his proposed budget for fiscal year (FY) 2014 to Congress. One proposed cut could be disastrous for motorized trail users.

Buried in the 1,377-page document is one-half of a page pertaining to the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Capital Improvement and Maintenance (CIM) program.   The CIM program funds improvements, maintenance and the operation of U.S. Forest Service roads, trails and recreation infrastructure. For FY 2014, the CIM has added activities previously conducted under the Legacy Roads and Trails program.

However, under the FY 2014 budget proposal, the CIM program would be cut by $67.7 million from the annual spending levels of 2013. This cut is in addition to the $100 million cut the president proposed to the program from FY 2010 to FY 2011.

The proposed cut is particularly disturbing in light of the Forest Services recent work on off-highway vehicle (OHV) travel management. With the USFS currently implementing the Forest Service Rule, it will need increased funding so critical maintenance programs are not cut. As these plans were developed, local Forest Service staff repeatedly told OHV enthusiasts that they lacked sufficient funding to maintain existing trails, provide trailhead facilities or to even inventory existing trails.

Furthermore, funding for good trail design, construction and maintenance are essential to meeting the Administrations stated goals of erosion control, watershed health and forest restoration.

So why is the president asking the Forest Service to do more with less?

The OHV enthusiast community has done all it can to assist the Forest Service in funding trails. In addition to consistently asking Congress to provide adequate appropriations, enthusiasts also fostered the federal Recreational Trails Program and state level motorized trail programs that provide non-Forest Service funding for trails. The OHV community even supported the Forest Services controversial Recreation Fee program for the sake of getting badly needed funds on the ground. But it is incumbent on the agency to seek and provide a reasonable level of funding for trails in its own budget.

Both the House and the Senate have already passed separate budget resolutions. As the chambers begin the process of reconciliation, the AMA will keep you updated on how you can tell your senators and representatives know how important the CIM and well-maintained and inventoried trails are to you.
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Have fun, ride safe, keepem wheels down, and see you at the Jamborees,
The ATVUtah.com Forums Team.
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Re: President's Budget Proposal Will Cut Trail Fun
Reply #1 - 04/11/13 at 16:45:45
POTUS is scaling back so he can fund continued vacations and shipping food & weapons to Africa and the Middle East, while staffing up an Army of attorneys to remove our right to bear arms!  Huh

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