CONGRESSIONAL ALLIES CHAMPION RECREATIONAL TRAILS PROGRAM ON EVE OF THE 114TH CONGRESS

Derrick Crandall, President
American Recreation Coalition

October 6, 2014 – An integral part of connecting people with their Great Outdoors in a fun and healthy way is America’s wonderful system of trails. Tens of thousands of miles of recreational trails crisscross all 50 states. A key resource for building, improving and maintaining trails for all enthusiasts is the Recreational Trails Program (RTP).

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House Bill 167

HOUSE BILL 167: Sponsor: Representative Jeff Welborn-Dillon. The MTVRA bill to rescind reciprocity to non-residents and increase the non-resident fee. Amendments were adopted by the House Committee that; increase the fee to $27 with $1 designated as a search & rescue surcharge and, $1.50 to be used by the Department for noxious weed control. The allocation of the rest of the fee will be as follows; $15 for trail maintenance, $2.50 for enforcement, $1 to the agent selling the permit, and $6 for safety education. The bill has been transmitted to the Senate and has had the first hearing in the Fish & Game Committee.

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HB 24 MTVRA Supports A New State Park and Recreation Board

By Bob Walker, Coordinator, State Parks and Recreation Friends Groups

During the past 2 years, an interim legislative committee studied the importance and process of more adequately addressing the needs and desires of Montana’s public for parks and recreation. The result of their effort is HB 24 that would create a State Parks and Recreation Board. We testified to the interim committee in support of this concept and anticipate a more positive future for parks and recreation if this bill becomes law.

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RECREATION GROUPS CHEER CIRCUIT COURT VICTORY

BILLINGS, MT-  Recreation groups are thrilled by a just-released Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals decision upholding the validity of the Custer National Forest’s Beartooth Ranger District Travel Management Plan.  The Plan was released in 2008 to designate routes for motorized access in the Beartooth Ranger District, which includes the Pryor Mountains, in south-central Montana. 

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