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16 » WTA at Work

January + February 2010 » Washington Trails

Action for Trails »

Write a Letter, Save a Trail

WTA will bring your handwritten thoughts to Washington, D.C.

Each year, WTA goes back to Washing- ton, D.C. to meet with members of our federal congressional delegation to talk with them about WTA’s priorities. This year, we’ll be discussing the Forest Service Recreation and Forest Trails items in the 2011 budget and working to make sure that the National Recreation Trails Pro- gram (NRTP) is reauthorized for six years as part of the transportation budget. NRTP is an important funding source for trails statewide, and we want to make sure that those funds continue to flow into the state.

When we went to D.C. last year, we brought handwritten letters from constitu- ents with us. When we handed those over to our representatives, they sat up and took notice of the work we’re doing. A letter to your Member of Congress lets them know that voters care about trails and wildlands, and gives them the support they need to argue for increased funding for National Forests. We were excited to see significant increases in National Forest Recreation and Trail programs—each category was in- creased by about 5 percent, which is what we asked for last year. I’m confident that your letters were the tipping factor that made our elected officials go to the mat for trails.

Jonathan Guzzo

We’d like to replicate that success this year and see even more money for trails in 2011. That’s why we’re asking you to take a moment and write a letter to your Member of Congress and both of our Senators, so that we can carry that message back to D.C. with us. Please include these points in your letter:

WTA Advocacy Director jonathan@wta.org

• The National Forest Recreation line item should receive a 10 percent increase. That would place National Forest Recre- ation at $321.86 million.

www.wta.org

WTA executive director Elizabeth Lunney composes a letter in support of trails while taking part in Hiker Lobby Day in 2009.

  • National Forest Trails should receive

a commensurate 10 percent increase, for a total of $93.5 million.

  • The House and Senate should finalize

a six-year transportation funding bill that includes transportation enhancements like the National Recreation Trails Program.

Make sure to talk about your own hiking experiences and the important role that trails and recreation play for you and for your community. Name places that you hike in your district and statewide, and talk about the things that make those hikes so special to you. It’s those personal stories that resonate with elected officials and make our issues and concerns real to them.

If you have any questions or if you’d like some advice on how to write to a Member of congress, just drop a line or give a call.

When you’ve finished your letters, please send them to Kindra Ramos at WTA. WTA’s address is 2019 Third Avenue #100, Seattle, WA 98121. t

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