[Revised Feb 24, 2006]
The Recreational Trails Program (RTP) provides funds to the States for recreational trails and trail-related projects. The 2005 State Trail Administrators Meeting had a training session on trail accessibility and trail sustainability, and the importance of trail assessments (see www.fhwa.dot.gov/environment/recreational_trails/events/stam_2005/). States may use RTP funds to do trail assessments and to provide education and training.
Here are excerpts of the draft 2006 Revised RTP Guidance relating to Trail Assessments and Education and Training:
Category F: Assessment of trail conditions for accessibility and maintenance, authorizes specific projects to assess trails to determine the level of accessibility for people who have disabilities, to develop programs to provide trail access information, and to assess trails for current or future maintenance needs. OMB Circulars allow some employee training costs; therefore, some costs for training in trail assessment techniques may be eligible under Category F, and would not have to be subject to the 5 percent limitation for educational projects under Category G. See:
A State may provide funds for trail assessments through:
Category G: 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), authorizes a State to use up to 5 percent of its apportionment each fiscal year for the operation of educational programs to promote safety and environmental protection as those objectives relate to the use of recreational trails. This figure is 5 percent of the apportionment rounded down to the nearest dollar. This is the maximum allowable: a State may use less than this amount.
A State may provide education and training for government agency staff (including Federal, Tribal, State, and local), youth corps, nonprofit organizations, contractors, volunteers, and the general public. A State may use professional trailbuilders or trainers to provide training, including qualified youth conservation or service corps. States may provide training within the State or have regional training among neighboring States. See information on trail training coordinated through the National Trails Training Partnership at www.NTTP.net.
Typical education projects may include:
Some materials are only partially educational. For example, a trail system map generally is not an education project. However, if one side of a map is dedicated to trail safety and environmental protection education, then educational funds may participate in half of the cost of the map.
Category H: Payment of costs to the State incurred in administering the program, but in an amount not to exceed 7 percent of the apportionment made to the State for the fiscal year to carry out this section, authorizes a State to use up to 7 percent of its apportionment each fiscal year for State administrative costs. This figure is 7 percent of the apportionment rounded down to the nearest dollar. This is the maximum allowable: a State may use less than this amount. A State must have sufficient documentation to justify its administrative costs. If the State's costs incurred in administering the RTP are less than 7 percent of the State's apportionment, then the State's administrative costs are limited to actual costs. The 7 percent figure is the maximum amount allowable: States may use less than this amount (or none), and use the funds for trail projects.
Allowable administrative costs include items such as: