SPRING 2001 TRAIL TRACKS NEWSLETTER
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We wish to dedicate this issue of Trail Tracks to the victims of the September 11th tragedy and to all those who are working for peace and the pursuit of freedom throughout the world.
Trail Tracks (ISSN 1082-8303) is the newsletter of American Trails for news, legislation, funding, planning, design, construction, maintenance, and management.on trails and greenways. The American Trails Magazine is our current publication sent free with American Trails membership.
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Willing-seller legislation moves through Congress
H.R. 834, the National Trails System Willing Seller Act, seeks to expedite the development of the national scenic and national historic trails, although government entities are blocked from forcing sales or condemning property.
On March 13, 2001, less than two weeks after Rep. Scott McInnis (R-CO) reintroduced willing-seller legislation in the 107th Congress, the House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed it by a 409-3 vote. The bill was referred to the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources.
Authority to purchase land along the 11 other trails in the system already exists The nine affected trails are: Continental Divide, Ice Age, North Country and Potomac Heritage National Scenic Trails, and the Oregon, Mormon Pioneer, Lewis and Clark, Iditarod, and Nez Perce National Historic Trails.
Bike Commuter Act would provide incentives
Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) and Mark Foley (R-FL) introduced legislation in the House (H.R.1265) that would allow employees who bike to work the same financial incentives as car-poolers and public transit users.
The Bike Commuter Act would extend the Transportation Fringe Benefit of the tax code, which currently provides a tax-exempt benefit of $175 for employees participating in qualified parking plans or $65 for transit, car-pool, and van-pool expenses, to bicyclists who chose to bike to work.
"Bicycling is one of the cleanest, healthiest and environmentally friendly modes of transportation that exists today. Common sense dictates that people who bike to work should have the same financial incentives as those who car-pool or who participate in a qualified parking plan," Congressman Blumenauer said.
New CARA bill supported by 180 co-sponsors
Another try is being made this year to pass H.R. 701, the Conservation and Reinvestment Act. Similar to last year's bill, the new CARA measure retains its provisions for the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) and the Urban Park and Recreation Recovery Program (UPARR). LWCF would be funded at its authorized amount of $900 million and UPARR is funded at $125 million annually.
Changes from last year's bill include an increase to the Historic Preservation Fund (HPF) to its authorized level of $150 million; full funding of Payment In-Lieu of Taxes (PILT) and Refuge Revenue Sharing (RRS) at their authorized levels of $320 million and $30 million, respectively; and removal of agricultural programs that will be addressed in the 107th Congress' upcoming reauthorization of the 1996 Farm Bill. The wildlife provision deposits $350 million into an account created under last year's Commerce, Justice, State Appropriations Act.
So far, more than 180 Members of Congress have cosponsored the legislation. The goal is to revive the same spirit of momentum that brought 315 members of the House to vote for passage of CARA in the 106th Congress. The most recent action on H.R. 701 was its referral to House Resources Committee.
National Discovery Trails Act back in Congress
National Discovery Trails Act of 2001, H.R. 36, would amend the National Trails System Act to "authorize an additional category of national trail known as a national discovery trail... and to designate the cross country American Discovery Trail as the first national discovery trail." The bill has 29 cosponsors so far. It has been referred to the House Resources Committee, Subcommittee on National Parks, Recreation and Public Lands.
American Trails Website adds products & services
We're developing a new section of the Website of American Trails at www.AmericanTrails.org. This new area features trail-related products, services, materials, and planners. Our goal is to provide a convenient source for in-depth information on consultants and manufacturers for greenways and trails&emdash; not just a series of ads.
For instance, we'll have information on a range of different bridge types by different manufacturers, and information on bridge selection. Links to related articles and on-line information by companies in the bridge business will provide even more resources.
A directory of several hundred trail-related businesses is also included. American Trails sponsors are featured, along with many other companies who are helping plan, build, and improve America's system of trails and greenways.
Check out this new area on the American Trails website: www.AmericanTrails.org (click on "Resources & Library" and click on "Products for Trails ").
New edition of America's National Scenic Trails
America's National Scenic Trails, the first general guide to vividly describe each trail, provides background and helpful touring information, lists points of interest for each trail and offers informative trail maps. The 384-page book includes color photographs of the features, flora, and fauna along the trails. With hundreds of one-day excursions, as well as advice to the seasoned hiker, this book is a passport to the adventure and discovery found along America's magnificent National Scenic Trails.
The author is Kathleen Ann Cordes, Executive Director of the American Association for Leisure and Recreation. She is also the author of America's National Historic Trails.
For additional information please contact Jane Lammers at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (858) 578-2180.
Trailbuilding Basics from IMBA and Subaru
This concise publication starts with the Philosophy of trail planning, moves through Establishing the Route, and continues through Construction into Maintenance. The focus is on providing routes for mountain bicycling, but the book contains much of interest to all natural surface trail users, including:
Printed copies can be purchased from the IMBA Online Store: www.imba.com. For a link to a printable PDF file, go to www.AmericanTrails.org (click on "Resources & Library" and click on "Trail Construction").
How to hike America's longest trails
A new book for the serious backpacking enthusiast is Hiking the Triple Crown, focusing on the Appalachian Trail, the Pacific Crest Trail, and the Continental Divide Trail. Author Karen Berger is hiking editor for GORP.com and a travel writer specializing in backpacking.
The 224-page book, aptly described as "the expert how-to guide for long-distance hiking," stresses gear selection, planning for long trips, and safety. Details of the three National Scenic Trails include recommendations for hiking specific sections.
Hiking the Triple Crown is published by The Mountaineers Books, 1001 SW Klickitat Way, Suite 201, Seattle WA 98134; www.mountaineersbooks.org
New edition of Trails for the 21st Century
The new edition of Trails for the Twenty-First Century: Planning, Design, and Management Manual for Multi-Use Trails is a 211-page paperback covering the basics of a wide variety of trail topics such as surfacing, signs, bridges, tunnels, environmental contaminants, and maintenance.
Case studies and photos of typical situations illustrate the ideas. Included are discussions of trail issues including shared use, risk management, user fees, marketing, and public involvement.
The authors of the book are Robert Searns of Urban Edges, Inc., an American Trails board member [see the article on page 6], Charles Flink of Greenways, Inc., a North Carolina State University professor, and Kristine Olka of the Triangle Greenways Council. Publication sponsors are the Rivers & Trails Program of the National Park Service and the Federal Highway Administration.
Trails for the Twenty-First Century, published by Island Press, is available from (800) 828-1302 or www.islandpress.com.
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Updated March 16, 2007