Alert update 3-14-2012

Thank you! For weeks, IMBA has urged you to contact senators and congressional representatives and ask them to retain funding for the vitally important Recreational Trails Program (RTP). Today, we are proud to tell you that your efforts were successful.

A bipartisan amendment, introduced by Senator Klobuchar (D-MN), was recently included in the Senate transportation bill (MAP-21) with the effect of saving the Recreational Trails Program. Last week the program had zero funding in the Senate, but thanks to thousands of mountain bikers calling and emailing from coast-to-coast we were able to protect $85 milion for building, improving and maintaining trails.

Here’s a look at what we achieved:

  • Close to 400 national, regional, state and local organizations signed letters to every single Senator supporting the Klobuchar RTP amendment. You made that happen!
  • Seven members of the Senate — both Democrats and Republicans — agreed to co-sponsor the Klobuchar amendment. They are Richard Burr (R-NC), James Risch (R-ID), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Mark Udall (D-CO), Michael Bennet (D-CO) and Bernie Sanders (D-VT). You made that happen!
  • In the U.S. House of Representatives, Rep. Steve King withdrew his amendment to eliminate the RTP from the House bill. You made that happen!

Now is the time to thank your Senators that made this happen, to bring further awareness to the program and to ensure they don’t forget RTP in the next round of reauthorization.

Stay tuned — we will keep you apprised of developments in the passage of this crucial legislation and of continuing opportunities to help. In the U.S. House of Representatives, RTP was maintained in entirety but we do not yet know if the House will pass their own bill or take up the Senate bill.

Here are three steps you can take today:

  • Register for the National Bike Summit — it’s not too late, and with this announcement we have momentum on our side!
  • Thank your elected representatives in the Senate, especially the seven RTP co-sponsors (MN, ID, CO, VT, NH and MA).
  • Support IMBA’s Trail Access Fund so that we can keep the pressure on decision makers.