Action/Information: Guidance and Resources you can use.
Revising the Recreational Trails Program Guidance is taking a lot of time! Some items are posted at http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/environment/recreational_trails/guidance/. Meanwhile, here are some pointers:
On February 24, we updated RTP Trails Assessments and Education and Training, first reported on October 27, 2005. An updated version is at http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/environment/recreational_trails/rtp_te_update/2005/october/index.cfm#oct27. This clarifies some significant flexibilities permitted since SAFETEA-LU added some clarifications for Assessments and Education. Trail Training information is available from the National Trails Training Partnership.
Matching funds: see http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/environment/recreational_trails/guidance/matchingfunds.cfm, although this might get some minor revisions. The legislation is at http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/environment/recreational_trails/legislation/index.cfm#fedshare. PLEASE NOTE: The Federal share provisions listed on FHWA's RTP Fact Sheet at http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/safetealu/factsheets/rectrails.htm are not correct [as of Feb 25]. The FHWA Policy Office will post a corrected version "soon" that will match the legislation.
Another related note: SAFETEA-LU revised 23 U.S.C. 120(l) to permit Federal Lands Highway Program funds to match any project that is funded under 23 U.S.C. or Chapter 53 of 49 U.S.C. Therefore, any FLHP funds (Park Road, Forest Highway, Indian Reservation, Refuge Roads, Public Lands Highway Discretionary) can match RTP, TE, or any other Federal-aid highway program funds for a project that provides access to or within Federal or Indian lands.
Followup on "Close Out Inactive Projects" from RTP News of January 31, 2006: http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/environment/recreational_trails/rtp_te_update/2006/january/index.cfm#c1.
The 23 CFR 630 Regulation amendment on Project Monitoring, announced January 31, 2006, applies to Recreational Trails Program projects. Yes, §630 is written with highway projects and State DOTs in mind: that's about 98% of what FHWA does. But it still applies to the RTP (about 0.2%) and to Transportation Enhancements (TE: about 1.8%, and administered through State DOTs).
"Project" means FHWA and a State agency enter into a project agreement and the project gets obligated through FHWA's Fiscal Management Information System (FMIS). Therefore, "project" includes RTP projects, even if the State resource agency rather than the State DOT administers the project.
"Inactive" includes no work and/or no requests for reimbursements. If there is no work toward completing a project, it is inactive, and should get closed out. If there is work, but no invoices for reimbursement, the project appears inactive: this is a trigger to inquire: Why? If a project sponsor wants to get paid, it must submit an invoice (otherwise, how does the project sponsor meet its cash flow?). Don't wait to amount all the bills and submit an invoice 2 to 3 years later: submit the invoice, get paid, and then the project doesn't appear inactive.
When the project is complete: submit a "Final Invoice" and close out the project. If there are unspent funds, deobligate those funds, and use them on another project. [Keep deobligations and reobligations within the same Federal fiscal year.]
The purpose behind §630 is to clean up the books, but especially to assure that projects either move forward or get closed out. It is not good stewardship of funds to tie up funds as "obligated" if the funds aren't likely to get spent: it keeps other projects from moving forward. FHWA Divisions and States should work together to resolve any additional questions.
Further Q&A from Dale Gray, FHWA Finance Office:
Do you agree with: Please close out all inactive Federal-aid projects? The rule requires States to monitor projects and deobligate Federal funds that are no longer needed.
Has (or will) any further guidance been sent to the field? We are working on developing FMIS reports based on the criteria.
Is there additional info on FHWA website that we can add links to from our websites? Not at this time.
How does the Final Rule affect inactive earmarked projects or funds? The rule applies to all projects authorized with a project agreement, 23 CFR 630, Subpart A.
Reminder of RTP Apportionments / Rescissions
RTP Apportionments are posted at www.fhwa.dot.gov/environment/recreational_trails/funding/.
I understand some States have rescinded some RTP funds, as authorized under:
State Trail Administrators: Are you aware whether or not your State DOT has rescinded any RTP funds? If you don't know, please find out. In States where the State resource agency administers the RTP (most States) your State DOT should be cooperating with your agency rather than acting unilaterally. Please reply to Christopher Douwes if your State rescinded RTP funds.
Reminder of Advisory Committee Requirement
Reminder of the RTP's State Recreational Trail Advisory Committee Requirement (current guidance at http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/environment/recreational_trails/guidance/rtp9908_pt1.cfm#page5, likely to have minor amendments).
We received copies of FY 2006 Advisory Committee meeting minutes from 1) Georgia and 2) Kentucky. If any other State has FY 2006 meeting minutes (the short version without tons of attachments), please send them to christopher.douwes @ fhwa.dot.gov. FHWA will send an official reminder some time in June/July to States that haven't submitted anything by that time.
Bureau of Land Management National Scenic and Historic Trails Strategy and Work Plan Sent: Friday, February 24, 2006 10:35 AM The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) announced the release of its National Scenic and Historic Trails Strategy and Work Plan. This information is available on the BLM's National Landscape Conservation System web site at www.blm.gov/wo/st/en/prog/blm_special_areas/NLCS/Trails.html. [We will link to it from http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/environment/recreational_trails/.]
Benefit-Cost Analysis of Bicycle Facilities
The Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center produced "Benefit-Cost analysis of Bicycle Facilities", which may be transferable to some trail projects. See http://www.bicyclinginfo.org/bikecost/.
Pro Walk/Pro Bike 2006 conference, September 5-8, 2006, Madison WI. The deadline submitting presentation proposals is March 1, 2006. See the proposals outline page at http://www.bikewalk.org/PWPB2006/proposal.html with the link to the simple on-line proposal form.
18th National Trails Symposium, October 19-22, 2006, Quad Cities of Iowa and Illinois. The deadline for submitting proposals is April 1, 2006. See http://www.americantrails.org/quad/index.html.
RTP List Updates Reminder: http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/environment/recreational_trails/rtpstate.cfm
Information: Guidance and Resources you can use
Flexible Funding for Highways and Transit and Funding for Bicycle & Pedestrian Programs
FHWA released a memo: Flexible Funding for Highways and Transit and Funding for Bicycle & Pedestrian Programs. See www.fhwa.dot.gov/hep/guidance/flexfund.cfm.
Coalition for Recreational Trails: 2006 RTP Achievement Awards From: Catherine Ahern [mailto:email@example.com] Sent: Wednesday, February 08, 2006 7:04 PM Subject: CRT 2006 Achievement Awards
The CRT has announced its Achievement Award program for 2006. Attached are the request for nominations and the nomination form that have just been distributed to the state trail administrators. Please share the news of the award program with your members and encourage them to nominate outstanding projects and programs for consideration by the CRT Awards Committee. Deadline for submission is April 17, 2006. Award winners will be recognized during Great Outdoors Week, June 12-16, 2006. Thanks very much.
Cathy Ahern, Coalition for Recreational Trails and American Recreation Coalition
If anyone would like to link to an online version of the CRT awards letter and nomination form, here it is (courtesy: Stuart Macdonald, American Trail / National Trails Training Partnership): http://www.americantrails.org/NewsAction/CRTawards.html
American Trails: National Trails Symposium Call for Papers, Website contest, National Trails Awards
From: Pam Gluck [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: Friday, February 10, 2006 5:49 AM
Subject: National Trails Symposium - The Call for Presentations is Available Now!
Plan now to join us on the magnificent Mississippi River in the Quad Cities of Iowa and Illinois for the 18th National Trails Symposium, October 19-22, 2006. Please consider sharing your knowledge, experience, and wisdom with your peers. The "Call for Presentations" is available and includes submission instructions. The deadline for submitting proposals is April 1, 2006.
If you would like additional information about the Symposium, visit the American Trails website: www.AmericanTrails.org or call the office at 530-547-2060.
If you would like additional information about the Quad Cities, visit the Quad Cities Convention and Visitors Bureau website: www.visitquadcities.com.
We would greatly appreciate it if you would pass this message on to your network. We hope to see you there!
Best regards, Pam
Nominations for the 2005 American Trails Website Contest: http://www.americantrails.org/weblink.html. If anyone would like to review the websites, the deadline is Feb. 21 in order to get the winners into the Spring issue of Trail Tracks. The first 47 sites on the nominations page are either more likely winners or have made a point of submitting a nomination.
The deadline for submitting nominations for the American Trails' National Trails Awards program is May 31, 2006. The Nomination Form is available on the American Trails website: http://www.americantrails.org/quad/awards.html.
Pam Gluck, Executive Director, American Trails
P.O. Box 491797, Redding, CA 96049-1797
530-547-2060, fax 530-547-2035
National Scenic Trails and National Historic Trails Workshops
The Partnership for the National Trails System will hold a National Historic Trails Workshop May 5-7, 2006, in Kansas City, and a National Scenic Trails Workshop, probably in mid-October 2006 in Nashville. Here is information about the National Historic Trails Workshop.
MN DNR's Trail Planning, Design, and Development Guidelines
From: Tim Mitchell
Sent: Wednesday, February 15, 2006 1:33 PM
Subject: Fwd: MN DNR Trail Guidelines - Review Draft
Christopher, I know that at least you received this, but if you could forward it to our entire group, I would appreciate it. If there are any questions, people can either contact myself or Brian McCann. Thanks. tm
>>> Brian McCann 2/15/2006 12:09 PM >>>
Greetings! I'm pleased to invite you to review a complete draft of MN DNR's Trail Planning, Design and Development Guidelines. These long-awaited trail guidelines have been under development for several years, with the assistance and support of numerous individuals, both within and outside the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. Special thanks to our principal authors; Troy Scott Parker, Principal, Natureshape LLC of Boulder, CO and, Jeff Schoenbauer of Brauer & Associates, Ltd of Hopkins, MN. Both have done much to advance the art and science of trailbuilding.
Please forward your comments, suggestions or inquiries to:
Brian McCann, Planner
MN DNR Trails & Waterways, Box 52
500 Lafayette Road
St. Paul, MN 55155-4052
651/259-5627 (direct) or Toll Free at 1-888-MINNDNR
email@example.com [cc: firstname.lastname@example.org if you like)
Specific, substantive comments are most useful, but we also welcome your thoughts regarding the overall scope, format, content and presentation of key concepts and supporting materials. MN DNR does intend to print and begin distribution of the finished document by mid-year. Thank you all, in advance, for your patience, kind assistance and continued support!
Please forward this email to others with an interest in sustainable trail development. My apologies if you have received more than one copy of this notice.
FHWA Interstate 50th Celebration
The Interstate 50th Anniversary Steering Committee inaugurated its Official Web site. You may want to bookmark this site as a new favorite - - www.fhwa.dot.gov/interstate - - so that you can visit often!
On the site, you'll find many interesting and exciting features. These include:
Information: Guidance and Resources you can use:
FHWA Federal Register Notice on SAFETEA-LU Guidance
The FHWA, to ensure widespread distribution of implementation guidance on the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU) (Pub. L. 109-59, 119 Stat. 1144), is announcing the availability of a Web site that contains SAFETEA-LU implementation guidance issued by the FHWA. The implementation guidance is available at the following URL: http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/safetealu/reference.htm. This Web site will serve as a consolidated location to obtain all SAFETEA-LU implementation guidance issued by the agency.
NOTES for TE and RTP:
The Transportation Enhancement Activities Guidance incorporates amendments from SAFETEA-LU. We still hope to revise the guidance to consolidate the Questions and Answers, Guiding Principles, and other supplemental guidance, and to make it more user friendly for web users.
The DRAFT Recreational Trails Program Guidance is still under development. It will be posted at www.fhwa.dot.gov/environment/recreational_trails/guidance/. Also note: the RTP Fact Sheet at www.fhwa.dot.gov/safetealu/factsheets/rectrails.htm has incorrect information on the matching share (as of Feb 4, 2006), but should be corrected in the near future. Correct information is posted at www.fhwa.dot.gov/environment/recreational_trails/guidance/matchingfunds.cfm.
USDA Forest Service Inclusive Outdoor Recreation Photo Library
From: Janet Zeller [mailto:email@example.com]
Sent: Thursday, February 02, 2006 10:51 AM
Subject: Library of photos of inclusive outdoor recreation available ON Line!
Great News! The Inclusive Outdoor Recreation Photo Library is now a vailable online....on the Forest Service's accessibility web page at http://www.fs.fed.us/recreation/programs/accessibility... in the middle of the web page.
What: These high-resolution photos all show people, who have disabilities, recreating in a wide range of outdoor setting along with other recreationists. The theme is that recreation is best when all people participate together... no separate of special programs just for people with disabilities.
The photos in this library all have photo release for use by governmental or nonprofit organizations for the promotion of integrated outdoor recreation.
Why: One of the best was to share the message of inclusive outdoor recreation is by integrating photos of people who have disabilities INTO the photo displays, brochures, etc. used to highlight recreation opportunities. A picture sends a powerful message that all people are welcome here. With 54 million people in the U.S. who currently have a disability that significantly limits one or more of their major life activities such as walking, seeing, hearing, etc., one of every 5 in this country along with their family and friends need to hear this message. In addition, we are an aging population, with the baby boomers starting to turn 60 this year... by 2030 the over 55 population will be over 110 million in the U.S. with close to 80% of that number over 65. As we who are all gaining in years know... with age often functional limitations increase. The saying goes... if you live long enough... you too will join the ranks of those who have disabilities. By working to ensure there are inclusive outdoor recreation opportunities... with all people enjoying the same opportunities in the same manner... we all help to ensure those opportunities will be in place for our selves and our families and friends as we age.
How: To open a photo file from this Library: Right click on file, select "Save Target As...", select location to save file.
Adding More: If you have photos that illustrate inclusive outdoor recreation... showing people with and without disabilities recreating together, or even just great shots of people with disabilities recreating in a great outdoor setting that helps to send the message that despite disability people choose both the type of recreation and the setting in which to participate in that recreation according to their interests... I would be glad to consider them for addition to this Library. Each high resolution photo (digital, slide, or photograph) must have a signed photo release for use by any government or non profit organization for purpose of the promotion of integrated outdoor recreation. If you have a photo that meets this criteria... please send me an e-mail so we can work out the logistics of getting that photo into this Library to be shared with others.
Please share this message with your contacts who are interested in supporting inclusive outdoor recreation opportunities. Thank you for all you each do to increase opportunities for inclusive outdoor recreation!
Janet A. Zeller
Accessibility Program Manager
USDA Forest Service
Recreation and Heritage Resources
FHWA Environmental Quarterly
The FHWA Resource Center Environment Team publishes The Environmental Quarterly, which has many articles of environmental interest. See http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/resourcecenter/teams/environment/publications.cfm. In particular, I recommend:
Volume 2, Issue 1: http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/resourcecenter/teams/environment/eq_4.cfm See articles on Public Involvement and Invasive Species
Volume 1, Issue 3: http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/resourcecenter/teams/environment/eq_3.cfm See articles on Tribal Consultation and Improving the Quality of Environmental Documents
Volume 1, Issue 2: http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/resourcecenter/teams/environment/eq_2.cfm See articles on Environmental Excellence Awards, and Get on a Trail!
Volume 1, Issue 1: http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/resourcecenter/teams/environment/eq_1.cfm See article on Roadside Vegetation Management.
If you have an article for The Environmental Quarterly, please pass it on to Don.Cote@fhwa.dot.gov.
FHWA Memo: http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/environment/bicycle_pedestrian/guidance/accessibility_guidance/prwaa.cfm. Access Board website: http://www.access-board.gov/prowac/index.htm.
FHWA Guidance on Promotional Items
Because a question came up recently, we posted FHWA's Guidance on the Purchase of Promotional Items, from September 2000. See http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/environment/recreational_trails/guidance/financial_management/promoprohib.cfm.
OMB Circulars prohibit using Federal funds for the purchase of promotional items (see OMB Circular references to Advertising Costs in OMB Circulars A-87 and A-122, Attachment B, item (1)(f)(3) at http://www.whitehouse.gov/OMB/circulars/a087/a87_2004.aspx#1 and http://www.whitehouse.gov/OMB/circulars/a122/a122_2004.aspx#b1). This includes pens, cups, shoelaces, key chains, baseball caps, paperweights, magnets, matchbooks, patches, t-shirts, scissors, balloons, and buttons. The value of promotional items may not count as a match for Federal funds. See http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/environment/recreational_trails/guidance/financial_management/promoprohib.cfm.