In April, a few of you noticed my thread "MTBR Headed to Washington, D.C. to Lobby Congress" (http://forums.mtbr.com/showthread.php?t=91081), and asked for updates on our efforts to represent trail funding and access issues for moutain bikers. Here's a report.

RTP PROGRESS REPORT

Yesterday, President George W. Bush signed a bill that dedicates nearly $3 billion on bicycling and hiking infrastructure and programs through 2009 - almost twice the amount in the last bill! The U.S. Congress approved a new five-year federal transportation bill that increases trail funding and grants for new singletrack. After two years of delays, the bill finally passed both houses of Congress last month and moved on to President Bush.

The bill promises more money for the Recreational Trails Program, a small part the total $286 billion transportation bill. The Recreational Trails Program helps communities build and repair thousands of miles of trails, involving more than 7,000 projects in all 50 states.

Funding for the Recreational Trails Program will grow to a total of $370 million over five years, $144 million (64 percent) more than the previous transportation bill passed in 1998. But, it is smaller than the $503 million program IMBA was recommending to Congress.

MAGAZINE PUBLICITY

In the September 2005 issue of Mountain Biking Magazine, I wrote an article titled "24 Hours of Mountain Bike Advocacy" about the unique experience we had to support mountain biking and my description of what advocates are doing to create and preserve riding opportunities. I also outlined the case IMBA and riding activisits took to Congress.

OTHER ISSUES TO WATCH

- MBT Trail Access Issues Arising from Proposed Congessional Wilderness Designations
- Funding for US Forest Services (USFS), Bureau of Land Management (BLM), and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), who's collection fees are diverted to the government.

ON NEWSTANDS NOW

ISSUE: Mountain Biking Magazine Sep-2005
DEPT: Bulletin Board
HEAD: 24 Hours of Mountain Bike Advocacy

Posted by Paul Wassem