Recreational Trails Program

To provide funds to the States to develop and maintain recreational trails and trail-related facilities for both nonmotorized and motorized recreational trail uses.

The funds represent a portion of the motor fuel excise tax collected from nonhighway recreational fuel use.




Related Programs

Examples of Funded Projects

Fiscal Year 2016: States obligated $69 million for about 1,000 projects.

RTP-funded projects provide accessibility improvements, access to health and fitness, active transportation for safe and livable communities, youth employment, economic stimulus, and habitat conservation.

Examples of RTP-funded projects include trails, trail bridges, and trail facilities for uses including hiking, bicycling, in-line skating, equestrian use, cross-country skiing, snowmobiling, off-road motorcycling, all-terrain vehicle riding, four-wheel driving, or using other off-road motorized vehicles.

See the Recreational Trails Program Annual Reports at https://www.fhwa.dot.gov/environment/recreational_trails/.

States obligate funds for similar projects each year.

Fiscal Year 2017: Similar projects will be completed as noted in FY16.

Fiscal Year 2018: No Current Data Available


Agency - Department of Transportation

The Department of Transportation's mission is to ensure fast, safe, efficient, accessible and convenient transportation that meets vital national interests and enhances the quality of life of the American people, today and into the future.

Office - See Regional Agency Offices.

State-level offices of the Federal Highway Administration (as listed in Appendix IV of the Catalog) or the State agency designated by the Governor to administer this program.



Selected Recipients for this Program


RecipientAmount Start DateEnd Date
Transportation And Public Facilities, Alaska Department Of $ 10,244   2013-04-182014-09-14
Transportation, Utah Department Of $ 103,259   2010-08-192011-08-19
Transportation, Utah Department Of-$ 91,245   2010-08-192011-08-19
Transportation, Utah Department Of-$ 57,886   2010-08-192011-08-19
Transportation, Utah Department Of $ 1,177   2010-08-192011-08-19
Transportation, Georgia Department Of $ 84,890   2010-08-192011-08-19
Transportation, Indiana Department Of $ 18,400   2010-08-182011-08-18
Transportation, Indiana Department Of $ 15,000   2010-08-182011-08-18
Transportation, Georgia Department Of $ 100,000   2010-08-182011-08-18
Transportation, Georgia Department Of $ 100,000   2010-08-182011-08-18



Program Accomplishments

Fiscal Year 2016: States obligated about $69 million for about 1,000 projects. RTP-funded projects provide accessibility improvements, access to health and fitness, active transportation for safe and livable communities, youth employment, economic stimulus, and habitat conservation. Examples of RTP-funded projects include trails, trail bridges, and trail facilities for uses including hiking, bicycling, in-line skating, equestrian use, cross-country skiing, snowmobiling, off-road motorcycling, all-terrain vehicle riding, four-wheel driving, or using other off-road motorized vehicles. Fiscal Year 2017: States will obligate about $75-$85 million for about 1,200 projects. RTP-funded projects provide accessibility improvements, access to health and fitness, active transportation for safe and livable communities, youth employment, economic stimulus, and habitat conservation. Examples of RTP-funded projects include trails, trail bridges, and trail facilities for uses including hiking, bicycling, in-line skating, equestrian use, cross-country skiing, snowmobiling, off-road motorcycling, all-terrain vehicle riding, four-wheel driving, or using other off-road motorized vehicles. Fiscal Year 2018: States will obligate about $75-$85 million for about 1,200 projects. RTP-funded projects provide accessibility improvements, access to health and fitness, active transportation for safe and livable communities, youth employment, economic stimulus, and habitat conservation. Examples of RTP-funded projects include trails, trail bridges, and trail facilities for uses including hiking, bicycling, in-line skating, equestrian use, cross-country skiing, snowmobiling, off-road motorcycling, all-terrain vehicle riding, four-wheel driving, or using other off-road motorized vehicles.

Uses and Use Restrictions

Funds from this program may be used for: (1) Maintenance and restoration of existing trails; (2) development and rehabilitation of trailside and trailhead facilities and trail linkages; (3) purchase and lease of trail construction and maintenance equipment; (4) construction of new trails (with restrictions for new trails on Federal lands); (5) acquisition of easements or property for trails or trail corridors; (6) assessment of trail conditions for accessibility and maintenance; (7) development and dissemination of publications and operation of educational programs to promote safety and environmental protection (as those objectives relate to one or more of the use of recreational trails, supporting non-law enforcement trail safety and trail use monitoring patrol programs, and providing trail-related training), (limited to 5 percent of a State's funds); and (8) State administrative costs related to this program (limited to 7 percent of a State's funds).

Funds may not be used for: property condemnation; constructing new trails for motorized use on National Forest or Bureau of Land Management lands unless the project is consistent with resource management plans; or facilitating motorized access on otherwise nonmotorized trails.

The USDOT encourages States to enter into contracts and cooperative agreements with qualified youth conservation or service corps to perform construction and maintenance of recreational trails under this program. Note: States must return 1 percent of the funds to the FHWA for administrative, research, technical assistance, and training expenses for the program.

The FHWA may enter into contracts with for-profit organizations or contracts, partnerships, or cooperative agreements with other government agencies, institutions of higher learning, or nonprofit organizations to perform these tasks.

Funds from this program may be used for: (1) Maintenance and restoration of existing trails; (2) development and rehabilitation of trailside and trailhead facilities and trail linkages; (3) purchase and lease of trail construction and maintenance equipment; (4) construction of new trails (with restrictions for new trails on Federal lands); (5) acquisition of easements or property for trails or trail corridors; (6) assessment of trail conditions for accessibility and maintenance; (7) development and dissemination of publications and operation of educational programs to promote safety and environmental protection (as those objectives relate to one or more of the use of recreational trails, supporting non-law enforcement trail safety and trail use monitoring patrol programs, and providing trail-related training), (limited to 5 percent of a State's funds); and (8) State administrative costs related to this program (limited to 7 percent of a State's funds).

States must use 40 percent of their funds for diverse recreational trail use, 30 percent for motorized use, and 30 percent for non-motorized use (Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, and Rhode Island have a small State exception). Note: States must return 1 percent of the funds to the FHWA for administrative, research, technical assistance, and training expenses for the program.

The FHWA may enter into contracts with for-profit organizations or contracts, partnerships, or cooperative agreements with other government agencies, institutions of higher learning, or nonprofit organizations to perform these tasks.

Eligibility Requirements

Applicant Eligibility

The FHWA may enter into contracts with for-profit organizations or contracts, partnerships, or cooperative agreements with other government agencies, institutions of higher learning, or nonprofit organizations using its administrative funds. For funds available to the States: the Governor of each State must designate the State agency or agencies responsible for administering this program.

The State must have a State recreational trail advisory committee that represents both motorized and nonmotorized recreational trail users, which shall meet not less than once per fiscal year.

If the State Recreational Trail Advisory Committee does not meet in a fiscal year, or does not have required representation, the State becomes ineligible for an apportionment.

The State agency may accept project proposals from private organizations, or from municipal, county, State, or Federal government entities, and other government entities.

The projects must satisfy one or more of the permissible uses.

States may provide sub-grants to Federal, State, and local government entities and to private entities, at the discretion of the State.

Beneficiary Eligibility

The FHWA may enter into contracts with for-profit organizations or contracts, partnerships, or cooperative agreements with other government agencies, institutions of higher learning, or nonprofit organizations using its administrative funds. The State agency designated by the Governor. A State may opt out of the Recreational Trails Program if the Governor of the State notifies the Secretary not later than 30 days prior to apportionments being made for any fiscal year.

Credentials/Documentation

Allowable costs will be determined in accordance with applicable cost principles listed in 2 CFR Part 200 for the kind of organization receiving the grant or sub-grant. 2 CFR 200, Subpart E - Cost Principles applies to this program.

Aplication and Award Process

Preapplication Coordination

Most Recreational Trails Program (RTP) projects qualify as Categorical Exclusions under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA).

States may use programmatic agreements to establish streamlined processes for handling routine environmental requirements for commonly encountered project types.

Some projects may require Environmental Assessments.

Projects that may have a significant environmental impact may require Environmental Impact Statements.

An environmental impact statement is required for this program.

An environmental impact assessment is required for this program.

This program is eligible for coverage under E.O.

12372, 'Intergovernmental Review of Federal Programs.' An applicant should consult the office or official designated as the single point of contact in his or her State for more information on the process the State requires to be followed in applying for assistance, if the State has selected the program for review.

Application Procedures

This program is excluded from coverage under 2 CFR 200, Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards. For funds available to the States: The States must submit project proposals to the FHWA division office located in each State for approval. The State may submit individual projects or consolidate similar projects for the purposes of program approval. FHWA approval constitutes a commitment to pay the Federal share of the project's cost. The State's projects also must be included in State transportation improvement programs and applicable metropolitan transportation improvement programs. For FHWA?s administrative, research, technical assistance, and training expenses, FHWA may enter into contracts with for-profit organizations or contracts, partnerships, or cooperative agreements with other government agencies, institutions of higher learning, or nonprofit organizations to perform these tasks. Contracts are announced through www.fbo.gov. Cooperative agreements are announced through www.grants.gov.

Award Procedures

For funds available to the States: The State agency or agencies designated by the Governors decide which projects will be developed within funding levels, but the FHWA division office located in each State makes the final decision on the eligibility of specific projects for funding.

Deadlines

Contact the headquarters or regional office, as appropriate, for application deadlines.

Authorization

Fixing America?s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act. , Public Law 114-94, 23 U.S.C 104, 133, 206.

Range of Approval/Disapproval Time

From 5 days to 5 months. In some States, requirements for projects to be listed in statewide or metropolitan transportation improvement programs may add up to a year of delay.

Appeals

Not Applicable.

Renewals

Not Applicable.

Assistance Considerations

Formula and Matching Requirements

Statutory Formula: Title 23 U.S.C., Part 133(h), 206, and former 213(f) and (g) , Public Law 114-94. 133(h), 206, and former 213(f) and (g). See http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/environment/recreational_trails/legislation/. Matching Requirements: Percent: 80%. The Federal share is subject to a sliding scale under 23 U.S.C. 120(b). Funds from any other Federal program may be used for the non-Federal match if the project also is eligible under the other program. Recreational Trails Program funds may be used to match other Federal funds if the project also is eligible under the other program. States also may allow a programmatic match: if some project sponsors in a State provide more match funds than required, other sponsors in the State may provide less. Some in-kind materials and services may be credited toward the project match. States may allow some pre-approval planning and environmental assessment costs toward the project match. See http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/environment/recreational_trails/guidance/matchingfunds.cfm. This program does not have MOE requirements.

Length and Time Phasing of Assistance

Funds generally become available at the beginning of the fiscal year for which they are authorized, and must be obligated within 3 years after the close of that fiscal year. See the following for information on how assistance is awarded/released: The method of money release varies case by case.

Post Assistance Requirements

Reports

No reports are required.

Audits

In accordance with the provisions of 2 CFR 200, Subpart F - Audit Requirements, non-Federal entities that expend financial assistance of $750,000 or more in Federal awards will have a single or a program-specific audit conducted for that year. Non-Federal entities that expend less than $750,000 a year in Federal awards are exempt from Federal audit requirements for that year, except as noted in 2 CFR 200.503.

Records

Project records and documents must be retained by the State for 3 years following the final submission for Federal payment in accordance with 2 CFR 200.

Financial Information

Account Identification

69-8083-0-7-401.

Obigations

(Formula Grants (Apportionments)) FY 16 $69,579,184; FY 17 est $63,828,792; and FY 18 est $63,828,792 - The Recreational Trails Program has continued as a set-aside of funds under the Transportation Alternatives Program (20.205) at up to $84,160,000 per year. A State may choose to opt out of the program in a fiscal year: Connecticut opted out for FY 2016. Remaining unobligated balances from prior years may be available. Note: States must return 1 percent of the funds to the FHWA for administrative, research, technical assistance, and training expenses for the program. The FHWA may enter into contracts with for-profit organizations or contracts, partnerships, or cooperative agreements with other government agencies, institutions of higher learning, or nonprofit organizations to perform these tasks.

Range and Average of Financial Assistance

Apportionments to the States are based on statutory formula. All 50 States and the District of Columbia are eligible to receive apportionments. For FY 2016: $83,318,400 was potentially available (after the 1% return); $82,365,802 was apportioned (Connecticut opted out for FY 2016). Awards ranged from $816,847 to $5,698,627; the average was $1,647,316.

Regulations, Guidelines, and Literature

23 CFR, Highways and 49 CFR, Transportation. There are no regulations specifically for the Recreational Trails Program. Program guidance was completed on April 1, 1999; and is posted at http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/environment/rectrails/guidance.htm along with program updates. Program guidance under the FAST Act is posted at http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/environment/transportation_alternatives/.

Information Contacts

Regional or Local Office

See Regional Agency Offices. State-level offices of the Federal Highway Administration (as listed in Appendix IV of the Catalog) or the State agency designated by the Governor to administer this program.

Headquarters Office

Christopher B. Douwes 1200 New Jersey Ave S.E., Washington, District of Columbia 20590 Email: christopher.douwes@dot.gov Phone: (202) 366-5013 Fax: (202) 366-3409

Criteria for Selecting Proposals

Each State (and the District of Columbia) solicits and selects projects for funding. To be eligible, projects must be selected on the basis of State priorities within the limit of the funds apportioned to each State.



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