Skip to content U.S. Department of Transportation/Federal Highway AdministrationU.S. Department of Transportation/Federal Highway Administration
Office of Planning, Environment, & Realty (HEP)
DOT Trisk Symbol

U.S. Department of Transportation
Federal Highway Administration

Subject: Recreational Trails Program Compliance for FY 2012 Apportionments

// Original signed by //
Lucy Garliauskas
Director, Office of Human Environment

Division Administrators

Date: June 28, 2011

Reply to: HEPH-10

We are requesting documentation to comply with a statutory requirement to determine whether States are eligible to receive apportionments for the Recreational Trails Program (RTP) that may be made available in FY 2012.  The RTP legislation specifies in 23 U.S.C. 206(c):

  1. the Governor of the State shall designate the State agency or agencies that will be responsible for administering apportionments to the State under this section; and
  2. the State shall establish a State recreational trail advisory committee that represents both motorized and nonmotorized recreational trail users, which shall meet not less often than once per fiscal year.

In most States, the RTP is administered by a State resource agency rather than the State department of transportation. See for the contact list. Please work with the appropriate State agency to provide documentation that the State has met, or will have met, the RTP advisory committee requirement in FY 2011. Please reply to Christopher Douwes, Trails and Enhancements Program Manager, at by September 10. Please see Attachment 1: States listed as having provided sufficient documentation do not need to reply to this request.

Documentation may include:

  • A copy of meeting minutes or a link to minutes posted on a website.
  • A copy of a letter from the State to the division stating the committee had met.
  • Other written documentation that the State has met the requirement, such as confirmation by you or your staff.
  • The documentation should include sufficient information to indicate that both motorized users and nonmotorized users were represented at the meeting. Please include a list of committee members and the organizations or trail uses they represented.

There is no need to send a copy of the Governor's letter designating the State agency unless the Governor designated a new agency to administer the RTP in FY 2011. We have designation letters on file for all States.

Guidance on the State Recreational Trail Advisory Committee requirement in Attachment 2, and guidance is at

  • The State must have held a meeting after October 1, 2010, and before September 30, 2011, with a committee that meets the RTP’s statutory requirement, and both motorized and nonmotorized users represented in the meeting.
  • States must have motorized and nonmotorized user representation on their committees.
  • A meeting only of State officials and nonmotorized users does not comply with the statute.
  • A State committee of people who “know about trails” but who do not represent specific trail user interests does not comply with the statute.
  • A State highway administration’s greenways committee that does not have motorized user representation or discuss motorized recreational trail use does not comply with the statute.
  • Motorized user representatives should be motorized users who are recognized by and acceptable to mainstream motorized trail organizations within the State.
  • Nonmotorized user representatives should be nonmotorized users who are recognized by and acceptable to mainstream nonmotorized trail organizations within the State.

If a State does not have sufficient motorized projects in a fiscal year to meet the 30 percent requirement, then it must carry over sufficient funds for future motorized projects (RTP funds are available for the current fiscal year plus three fiscal years). If a State consistently has difficulty finding motorized projects to fund, then it should consider several options:

  • Look at successful project examples, such as the annual RTP Achievement Awards, see
  • Contact national motorized trail organizations for ideas, see
  • Contact USDA Forest Service or Bureau of Land Management districts within the State that may have motorized trail opportunities.
  • Consider policy or project selection changes to help motorized projects to move forward.
  • Waive caps on project size or amount to allow large dollar value projects, such as land acquisition for motorized trail riding areas.
  • Allow nongovernmental organizations to apply for RTP funds.
  • Contact FHWA Headquarters for additional ideas.

If you have questions about the RTP, please call Christopher Douwes at 202-366-5013, or email


  • Attachment 1: RTP Advisory Committee Compliance to Receive FY 2012 Apportionments
  • Attachment 2: RTP Advisory Committee Requirements
Updated: 10/20/2015
HEP Home Planning Environment Real Estate
Federal Highway Administration | 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE | Washington, DC 20590 | 202-366-4000