The House of Representatives will vote on legislation (H.R. 1) that would cut current spending by at least $100 billion below the President’s FY 2011 request. Here’s how H.R. 1 will affect trail funding.
Land and Water Conservation Fund: The budget proposal would reduce funding for trails, parks, and land conservation by 90 percent. Funds that are appropriated to states would be virtually eliminated.
Federal land management budgets: Major cuts are also proposed in the current House budget for a wide variety of construction, maintenance, and supporting programs on federal public lands. This includes trails and recreation areas on National Forests, Bureau of Land Management lands, US Fish & Wildlife Refuges, and the National Parks.
Devastating cuts to trails and bicycle & pedestrian funding could happen as early as this week! Programs at risk include the Recreational Trails Program, Transportation Enhancements, and Safe Routes to School.
What you can do:
Trails are great for health, the economy, environment, and quality of life. New Yorkers need to be more active! More than 60% of New York adults and 32% of New York children ages 10 to 17 are overweight or obese. Obesity adds more than $7 billion annually to health care costs in New York State. Medical research has shown that being overweight or obese can contribute to high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, and an increased risk for some forms of cancer.
Walking is one of the easiest ways to become more physically active and control weight. And, what better place to walk than on a local trail? Close to home, multi-use trails can provide free or low cost opportunities for everyone, irrespective of age or fitness level, to increase their daily physical activity.
Trails can also help protect valuable open space; preserve natural and historic resources; increase tourism and recreation-related business activity; provide safe off-road links to parks, schools, libraries, shops, and neighborhoods; and foster public-private partnerships, community investment, and civic pride.
Together we can work to keep trails and bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure fully funded!