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Trail Tracks is our monthly e-Newsletter with links to www.AmericanTrails.org, one of the world's most comprehensive online resources for planning, designing, building, funding, managing, and enhancing trails and greenways. We also bring you news from the halls of Congress, new studies and resources, interesting articles, events, and training opportunities. Check the topics below for what's new in the trails world!
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URGENT ACTION NEEDED!
SIGN ON to a letter to your Governor to ensure they keep funding the RTP in your State!
The Recreational Trails Program (RTP) was reauthorized - with dedicated annual funding of $85 million for the remainder of this year and Fiscal Years 2013 and 2014 - when the President signed the transportation reauthorization legislation known as MAP-21 on July 6th. The new legislation does contain one potential roadblock to the continuation of the RTP at the state level: a provision allowing the state governors to opt out of the program if they notify the U.S. Secretary of Transportation of their decision no later than 30 days before the funds are apportioned. Since the funds will be apportioned on October 1st, any opt-out decisions must be sent to US DOT by September 1st.
The International Mountain Bicycling Association (IMBA) has taken the lead for the Coalition for Recreational Trails (CRT) and developed a grass-roots campaign to convince every state governor NOT to opt out of the RTP. IMBA has prepared a letter to be sent individually to each governor that RTP supporters - organizations (not individuals) - from every state will be asked to sign. Signers will be broken down by state and 50 separate letters will be prepared.
We need your help to reach out to your grass-roots contacts, other regional, state and local groups and communities, and any other organizations that benefit from the RTP to ask them to sign the letters, too.
Marianne Wesley Fowler and Derrick A. Crandall, Co-Chairs of the Coalition for Recreational Trails have expressed their gratitude to the trails community, "Working together, we have come a very long way in our effort to protect the RTP.... RTP supporters everywhere should be very proud of that amazing achievement, which was only made possible by the widespread, visible and continuous support that the RTP received prior to enactment of the law. Many, many thanks for your help. The target mailing date for the letters is August 10th so we urgently need your all-out help with this last (we hope) hurdle."
Please ask your Governor to keep funding the Recreational Trails Program. Click here to sign on to the letter to your Governor.
Learn more about this issue and about MAP-21...
New American Trails webinar: Connecting Greenways, Trails, and Active Mobility
American Trails is hosting an exciting webinar to both launch a new book: The Third Mode: Towards a Green Society. Author Jeff Olson, of Alta + Design, and bicycle-pedestrian leaders, Andy Clarke and Bob Searns, will discuss the latest issues, funding opportunities, and policy. Learn how to integrate active mobility with greenway and trail networks to create seamless metro-wide systems. A free e-book copy of The Third Mode will be provided to the first 100 people who register for the webinar. Proceeds from this webinar and national book launch will benefit American Trails. Learn more and how to sign up...
New MAP-21 transportation law: a guided tour
Under the new authorization, dedicated funding for bicycle and pedestrian programs such as Transportation Enhancements and Safe Routes To School is eliminated. A new program, "Transportation Alternatives," will receive about $780 million for a variety of eligible bike/ped facilities, rails to trails, "safe routes for non drivers," and "community improvement activities." The new program is about a 26% reduction from the current funding for Enhancements and similar programs. Learn more about the new funding programs...
Webinar hosted by RTC: Transportation Alternatives Provisions of MAP-21 for Implementers
The Rails-to-Trails Conservancy (RTC) is hosting webinars on the impacts of MAP-21 on local trail, walking and bicycling projects. Their next webinar, "Transportation Alternatives Provisions of MAP-21 for Implementers," will be held Tuesday, July 31 at 1:00 p.m. EDT.
This webinar will address specific issues faced by local and state agencies that are responsible for implementing the new Transportation Alternatives section of MAP-21. Confirmed panelists include:
- Christopher Douwes, trails and enhancements program manager at the Federal Highway Administration
- Amber Thelen, TE program coordinator for the Michigan Department of Transportation
- Tracy Hadden Loh, research manager for RTC and director of the National Transportation Enhancement Clearinghouse
- A moderator, TBD.
Additionally, you may be interested in RTC's in-depth analysis of MAP-21. Learn more and REGISTER for the webinar...
Recreational Trails Program funding continues for two years
The new law for surface transportation funding was signed into law July 6, 2012. The Recreational Trails Program is continued intact, thanks to the earlier amendment by Senator Amy Kloubuchar of Minnesota. However, States are given the right to "opt out" of the entire program, in which case the funds stay in the State and can go to other Transportation Alternatives categories. Funding is set at $85 million a year for two years and expires at the end of fiscal year 2014. Learn more about Recreational Trails Program funding...
How much funding will your State get?
Even though there is some disappointment over the final transportation bill, there are still important funding opportunities. Trails and bike/ped are included in several categories of eligibility. The $85 million "apportioned" annually to the States for Recreational Trails Program grants will be the same as FY09. See how much your State will receive in RTP funds. The new Transportation Alternatives program as well as the CMAQ category can fund bike/ped facilities. See a summary of estimated FY 2013 apportionments for your State...
New topics planned for upcoming American Trails Webinars
Our ongoing series of Webinars will bring top-quality training to your desktop. We're working on more programs to cover important topics for trails and greenways:
- The Third Mode: Connecting Greenways, Trails and Active Mobility
- Building Trails in Difficult Places
- Urban Paddle Way Planning and Design
- World Class Bridges
- Nitty Gritty of Tunnels, Culverts and Crossings
- How to Plan and Build Top Notch Equestrian Facilities
- More on Sustainable Trails
- More on the "Interpretive" series
Read more on the American Trails "Advancing Trails" Webinar Series...
Promote your products and services in our Online Business Directory
The American Trails Online Business Directory is a great opportunity to reach trail managers and planners across America. Your listing in the Business Directory includes a profile webpage complete with photos, links, and can be updated any time throughout the year. Our new look is user friendly, includes a search function, is more interactive, and our office can make updates and add new listings quickly and easily. Patron members save 15% and are listed as a Featured Listing on the Business Directory index page. Check out our current advertiser testimonials to see how valuable our Directory has been to our vendors. Check out the Business Directory today and see how to become an advertiser...
American Trails Online Store is your source for books, maps, and training
Through the American Trails Online Store you can now purchase Webinars (and archived Webinars), National Geographic trail maps for some of America's most spectacular outdoor destinations, trail planning and design books, American Trails memberships, and more! The newly designed format is easy for shoppers and provides more trail resources than ever before! Click here to access the new Online Store...
The American Trails Board recognizes Special Donors
On behalf of the American Trails Board and Staff, we would like to recognize these special DONORS that recently contributed to an important program for American Trails:
Swamp Rabbit Trail shows its value for health and the economy
One of the most popular assets in Greenville County is one that encourages physical activity, helps combat obesity, fuels the local economy, creates opportunities for family bonding and provides good, simple fun. All along the trail businesses have popped up to serve hungry and thirsty trail users. And other businesses are inventing themselves as a destination point on this almost 14-mile trail that should be an example for other cities and counties that are contemplating building their own trails. Read more about a new study of the trail...
Why trail courtesy is a matter of life and death
Trail courtesy is not just yelling "on your left" and flying by. A Washington Post report on the death of a pedestrian is a reminder of the importance of slowing down. Ita Lapina, 80- a Russian immigrant who fled the Nazis during World War II - was killed on the Four Mile Run trail when a bicyclist collided with her during her daily walk. "The bicyclist rang his bell and yelled 'to your left' to warn her he was approaching, county police said, and Lapina stepped to her left." Read more...
Evarts is on track to become first Trail Town in Kentucky
The Harlan Daily Enterprise reported on Kentucky's Trail Towns program. According to Elaine Wilson, Executive Director of Adventure Tourism for the state, one of the benefits of becoming a Trail Town is the economic impact. "We want to move people outdoors," said Wilson. "We want to get the communities that are around these resources... to benefit economically. The state wants to be able to promote communities that are gateways into those areas where all kinds of activities can take place. Because it brings a lot of money into your community." Read more...
Calling potential presenters for the Symposium!
Learn more and read the Call for Presentations...
Are you interested in being a presenter at the Symposium? Do you know someone with a great program or project to showcase? To help us develop an exciting and motivating agenda, we invite you to submit ideas for presentations in support of the Symposium's theme, "Trails Lead Everywhere," as well as embodying at least one of the topic areas of interest as explained in the Call. Please help spread the word through your networks. The deadline for proposals is September 1, 2012. Learn more and read the Call for Presentations...
Announcing the host hotels for the Symposium
See all the details on the hotels that will welcome you to Arizona and the American Trails International Trails Symposium. Learn how to make reservations for each of the Symposium hotels, plan for travel from the airport, and more. Our three host hotels are the Radisson Fort McDowell Resort, the Holiday Inn - Fountain Hills, N. Scottsdale, and the Comfort Inn Fountain Hills. Learn more and see photos...
Exhibitors: learn how to get your logo on the American Trails homepage - deadline July 31st
Calling all exhibitors! July 31 is the deadline to save 15% off exhibitor fees PLUS any level sponsor and exhibitor will get their logo link on the American Trails homepage and Symposium webpage sponsor feeds! All sponsors and exhibitors who also come in before the deadline will get an article in an issue of the Trail Tracks e-Newsletter (should you decide to provide us with one). Learn more and download the exhibitor contract...
Thank you to our sponsors and exhibitors!
We want to extend a huge thank you to our sponsors and exhibitors to date for the 21st American Trails International Trails Symposium! Learn more and link to these exhibitor's websites...
- Arizona State Parks
- Radisson Fort McDowell Resort Destination
- Central Arizona Project
- Fountain Hills CVB
- Mesa CVB
- Scottsdale CVB
- US DOT Federal Highway Administration
- National Park Service
- USDA Forest Service
- US Fish & Wildlife Service
- Bureau of Land Management
- USDA Forest Service - Trails Unlimited
- The Acorn Group / Acorn Naturalists
- Advanced Resource Solutions, Inc.
- American Conservation Experience
- American Quarter Horse Association - STEP Program
- Asphalt Systems / USA Soy Solutions
- Aztec Engineering
- Backcountry Horsemen of America
- Bellfree Contractors, Inc.
- Beneficial Designs
- Contech Engineered Solutions
- E.T. Techtonics, Inc.
- Envirosigns, Ltd.
- Erica Fielder Studio
- Gail Materials
- Interpretive Graphics, Signs, & Systems
- K Design
- Kay-Linn Enterprises
- National Off-Highway Vehicle Conservation Council
- Northwest Woodland Services, Inc.
- Okanogan Trail Construction, Inc.
- Pima Trails Association
- Pioneer Bridges
- Plastic Recycling of Iowa Falls
- Professional Trailbuilders Association
- Quad Cities CVB
- Rails-to-Trails Conservancy
- Redding CVB
- Rhino Marking & Protection Systems
- RideNow Powersports
- Rockart Signs & Markers
- Santa Fe Trail Association
- Southwest Conservation Corps
- Terrabilt Wayfinding Systems
- Voss Signs
- Yavapai Trails Association / Prescott Mile High Trail System
New web pages for 20 featured National Recreation Trails
One of the benefits for trails that have been designated as National Recreation Trails is the opportunity to have a new web page to highlight the project. American Trails provides these new pages from photos and text supplied by trail managers and support organizations. This provides more promotion on the internet for the trail and helps the public with good information. So far we have made 20 all new web pages for the 2012 NRT designations. See links to the featured National Recreation Trails...
Follow-up from Webinars provides more answers
An important part of every presentation in the American Trails "Advancing Trails Webinar Series" is the chance to ask our experts more specific questions. As part of the follow-up, we provide some answers as well as background and links to more information on the individual topics. Read Questions and Answers from these Webinars:
Purchase these archived webinars in our Online Store...
| TRAINING & EDUCATION|
Ice Age Trail Alliance publications provide training for trail work
The IATA has three new resources for volunteers to learn more advanced skills for trail work. The Alliance works to protect, build, and maintain the Ice Age National Scenic Trail. The Notebooks on Trail Signage and Trail Stewardship include lots of details, illustrations, and examples. The third book, on Trail Structures, focuses on structures made of wood and rock that are within the capacity of volunteers to build by hand. See more about IATA and links to the publications...
More educational opportunities on our online trails training calendar
Check the Online Training Calendar for a wide variety of learning opportunities for volunteers and professionals engaged with trails of all kinds. American Trails, through the National Trails Training Partnership, works with agencies and organizations across America to promote trail-related training. Let us know if we can publicize your training, courses, workshops, or conferences! See details on events below and many more opportunities for training on the Online Trails Training Calendar...
Upcoming trail-related training opportunities for late summer and early fall of 2012:
July 31 - Online Webinar: 10:00 a.m. PDT / 1:00 p.m. EDT
* RTC presents "Implementing the Transportation Alternatives Provisions of MAP-21" ~ REGISTER NOW!
August 20-24 - Portland, OR
* Comprehensive Bicycle Planning & Design
August 21-25 - Great Falls, MT
* National Off Highway Vehicle Conservation Council Conference
August 28-29 - Mandan, ND
* North Dakota Trails Conference
September 5 - Online Webinar: 3:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. EDT
* National Association of City Transportation Officials and Association of Pedestrian and Bicycle Professionals presents "Urban Bikeway Design Guide" ~ REGISTER NOW!
September 5-7 - Golden, CO
* Multi-Agency Partnership Academy
September 6-9 - Marquette, MI
* Adaptive Paddling Workshop
September 6-9 - Seward, AK
* Adaptive Paddling Workshop
September 10-13 - Long Beach, CA
* ProWalk/ProBike Conference
September 12 - Online Webinar: 12:00 p.m. PDT / 3:00 p.m. EDT
* American Trails presents "The Third Mode: Connecting Greenways, Trails and Active Mobility" ~ LEARN MORE!
September 13 - Long Beach, CA
* National Women's Bicycling Summit
September 19 - Online Webinar: 3:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. EDT
* Association of Pedestrian and Bicycle Professionals presents "Liability - Understanding and Managing Risk" ~ REGISTER NOW!
September 28 - October 1 - Phoenix, AZ
* ASLA Conference
September 29 - On public lands across America
* National Public Lands Day 2012
September 30 - October 2 - Oswego, NY
* New York State Canal Conference
September 30 - October 4 - Mexico City, Mexico
* Walk 21
Contact us with your scheduled training opportunities at email@example.com.
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- Attend, Exhibit, Sponsor! The 21st American Trails International Trails Symposium (ITS) ~ April 14-17, 2013. Check out the early exhibitor discounts and benefits and their deadlines!
- Learn about and find National Recreation Trails (NRT) near you today!
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Header photo: Historic lighthouse on the Hudson River Greenway Water Trail; photo from Hudson River Valley Greenway