The Auto Channel
The Largest Independent Automotive Research Resource
The Largest Independent Automotive Research Resource
Official Website of the New Car Buyer

House Subcommittee Restores Forest Service Trails and Recreation Budgets

WASHINGTON D.C.--May 5, 2006--Yesterday the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Appropriations Subcommittee on Interior, Environment and Related Agencies passed the fiscal year 2007 Interior and Related Agencies appropriations bill that includes funding for the U.S. Forest Service (USFS). The legislation would restore funding for the USFS Trails and Recreation budgets to nearly the same amounts as enacted for fiscal year 2006.

The President's proposed budget requested a $14.5 million cut to the Trails budget and a $10.4 million decrease to the Recreation budget. The bill passed by the Subcommittee would fund the Trails budget at $73.4 million, $13 million more than the Administration's request and the Recreation budget at $262 million, $11 million more than the Administration's request.

The Motorcycle Industry Council, Specialty Vehicle Institute of America and Americans for Responsible Recreational Access believe it is important that the Trails and Recreation budgets not be decreased as they will be two primary sources of funding for the implementation of the Travel Management; Designated Routes and Areas for Motor Vehicle Use rule finalized by the USFS on November 9, 2005. The rule, commonly referred to as the OHV Route Designation Rule, requires each National Forest or ranger district to designate those roads, trails, and areas that are open to motor vehicles. This will be a massive undertaking that will require individual forests and districts to undergo an extensive process of route identification, evaluation, designation and mapping.

The MIC along with the SVIA and ARRA spearheaded an intensive lobbying effort that included the American Motorcyclist Association meeting with members of the subcommittee to encourage full funding of the Trails and Recreation budgets. MIC's Senior Vice President for Government Relations, Kathy Van Kleeck, stated, "We commend Chairman Taylor (R-NC) and the members of the Subcommittee for recognizing the importance of fully funding Trails and Recreation, particularly as the U.S. Forest Service begins nationwide implementation of the Travel Management Rule."

The bill will now need to be considered by the full Committee on Appropriations before being acted on by the House of Representatives. The Senate Committee on Appropriations Subcommittee on Interior and Related Agencies has not scheduled a date for consideration of its fiscal year 2007 legislation.

The Motorcycle Industry Council is a not-for-profit, national trade association representing manufacturers and distributors of motorcycles, scooters, motorcycle/ATV parts and accessories and members of allied trades, located in Irvine, Calif.