On November 5, 2015, the House of Representatives passed its version of a multi-year national highway bill known as the Surface Transportation Reauthorization and Reform Act of 2015 or STRR Act. The bill would reauthorize the Federal Highway Administration's Recreational Trails Program (RTP).
During the debate of the bill, two amendments were filed that would have eliminated the RTP Program. However, one amendment was withdrawn and one amendment did not receive a vote. The RTP program will continue unchanged if this bill becomes law.
Grassroots support from recreational trail users, including many equestrians, played an important role in making sure RTP was included in the House-passed bill. The AHC appreciates all the individual horsemen and organizations that contacted their Representatives in support of RTP.
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.
Earlier this year, the Senate passed its version of a multi-year national highway bill, called the DRIVE Act. The Senate bill would also reauthorize the RTP Program.
It is a victory for recreational users that RTP has been included in both the House and Senate versions of the bill.
The House and Senate must now convene a Conference Committee to work out the differences in the two bills.
If you have any questions, please contact the American Horse Council.