View Full Version : Blue Ribbon alert: cutting trails funding??!?!

03-22-2006, 09:28 AM
Urgent Action Needed: Congress considering drastic cuts in Forest Service Trails Budget!!

Dear BRC Action Alert Subscriber,

This may seem unbelievable to you, but at a time when recreational trail use is increasing in popularity with tens of millions of Americans, Congress is considering major reductions in the budget for trail maintenance on National Forests.

The Bush Administration's proposed budget would reduce Trails funding for the Forest Service by 19.4% for a total decrease of $14.5 million. Recreation funding would be cut by 4% for a decrease of $10 million.

What you need to do:
BRC needs you to contact your House and Senate representatives and let them know that you want funding for National Forest Recreation and Trails programs restored.

BRC has made it easy for you to send your representatives an email. Click the link below to go to our Rapid Response Center.

Click here: http://capwiz.com/share/issues/alert/?alertid=8609761&type=CO (http://www.sharetrails.org/alertlist/redirect.cfm?ID=227&MID=95&LID=2)

This issue is critically important -- so we are requesting an additional ACTION ITEM.

Please consider taking just a few minutes to call your Congressman and both your Senators today.

Simply click the link http://capwiz.com/share/home/ (http://www.sharetrails.org/alertlist/redirect.cfm?ID=228&MID=95&LID=2)

Enter your zip code where it says "Elected Officials" to find the contact information for your House and Senate representatives. Take just a few minutes to contact your representative about the cuts in the FS Trail program budget. Use the comment suggestions below.

Thank you in advance,
Brian Hawthorne
Public Lands Director
BlueRibbon Coalition

Tips for calls regarding Forest Service Trails budget cuts:

Be brief. Be polite.

Tell the staff that you are calling about the proposed cuts for the National Forest Recreation and Trails programs.

Tell the staff that you are concerned that the Administration's budget calls for a 19.4% cut in Trails budget. Tell them you oppose those cuts.

Tell the staff caring for our National Forests and making them accessible to all Americans is a high priority for you and your family.

Ask your representative to reject any attempts to cut the Forest Service Trails and Recreation programs.

Ask your representative to restore the National Forest Recreation and Trails programs to a level equal to that which the Congress appropriated in FY 2006

03-22-2006, 09:48 AM
Be sure to customize the letter. This is the preamble I put in the header of both the House and Senate messages:
"My name is Bill Morgan, and I am an avid hunter, 4x4 enthusiast, and the Land Use Coordinator in our club, the Rising Sun 4x4 Club of Colorado, a part of the Toyota Land Cruiser Association. I work hard to keep our recreational trails and 4x4 roads open, and coordinate trail restoration projects by volunteers, and contribute funds toward trail maintenance. Volunteer hours and donated monies are important, but obviously they cannot carry the full burden nor even most of the burden. Our recreational opportunities are at risk even as usage is dramatically increased. The resulting environmental damage will ultimately lead to the loss of these recreational assets. This is simply, flatly, absolutely unacceptable to me and to all the people I know, and will guide our voting decisions in the future."

03-22-2006, 12:15 PM
Thanks for the heads up. E-mail sent.

05-04-2006, 02:57 PM
Update, from Blue Ribbon Coalition. BTW, you can also thank the Sierra Club and Wilderness Society for joining us in this effort. No, I am not kidding, nor being snide. We have the same objectives. Still gotta send in comments!!!

Your calls and emails are working!
House appropriations subcommittee restores nearly all funding for
Forest Service Recreation and Trails budgets.

In a bulletin released by FEDERAL PARKS & RECREATION, (www.plnfpr.com/coffin3.htm) a Washington D.C. based natural resource news service, the House subcommittee on Interior Appropriations today approved a fiscal year 2007 Interior and related agencies appropriations bill. The release of the budget bill kicks off the annual budget battle on Capitol Hill

The subcommittee approved $262 million for Forest Service recreation, or $11 million more than the Bush administration budget, and approved $73.4 million for the Forest Service trails budget, or $13 million more than the administration's request.

That just about restores the funding level from the previous year's budget. Given Forest Service Chief Dale Bosworth's strong statement about "Unmanaged Recreation," recreationists should push for increased funding of these important programs.

I need to shout out a super special thanks to all of our members who took the time to call or email their legislators in support of funds for recreation and trails. Also, many thanks to BRC's member clubs for writing their legislators on this important issue.

Finally, a tip of the hat to Larry Smith over at Americans for Responsible Recreational Access (ARRA) as well as our partners at the the American Motorcyclist Association (AMA). I know their D.C. staff worked this issue closely.

Is the game won? Sadly, no. The "silly season" of budget wrangling has just started. We still will need to work hard to keep the funding where it is, and we'll need a renewed grass-roots push if we expect to get increased funding levels.

So, if you haven't already, please take a minute and access our Rapid Response Center and send a message to your legislators. http://capwiz.com/share/issues/alert/?alertid=8609761&

Tell your friends and family too.

Thanks again for helping us on this important budget issue.

Brian Hawthorne
Public Lands Director
BlueRibbon Coalition
208-237-1008 ext 102