In this issue:
The State Trail Administrators met in Stateline NV on September 18-20, 2007. See the Meeting Notes. Highlights included:
For people who attended: If you have corrections, additions, deletions, or need clarifications for these meeting notes, please contact email@example.com.
Additional followup: Bob Richards (TN) is collecting questions for research on Public Use Timeframes on Trail Projects. Please contact Bob (firstname.lastname@example.org) to provide input.
The 2008 State Trail Administrators Meeting will take place on November 13-15, 2008, immediately prior to the 19th National Trails Symposium in Little Rock AR.
The Transportation Enhancement Professionals met in Portland OR on August 7-8, 2007. The Seminar Meeting Notes will be available soon at www.enhancements.org/publications.asp. The summary of reauthorization ideas is included at Summary, Explanation, and Comments from other Conferences.
The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) released the FY 2008 Apportionments for the Federal-aid highway program on October 2, 2007. See FHWA Notices at www.fhwa.dot.gov/legsregs/directives/notices/, and look for Notices N4510.649 through N4510.661. The RTP Notice is N4510.655 (www.fhwa.dot.gov/legsregs/directives/notices/n4510655.cfm).
Transportation Enhancement (TE) Apportionments are a 10% setaside of the sum of STP (N4510.651) plus Equity Bonus funds (N4510.661) apportioned as STP, OR the amount apportioned in FY 2005, whichever is greater. However, the final amount of Equity Bonus funds requires calculations that depend on the final FY 2008 Appropriations Act; therefore, it is not possible to calculate the final amount for TE funds yet. Nevertheless, the minimum amount available for TE is the amount apportioned in FY 2005. See http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/environment/transportation_enhancements/funding/ for the TE apportionments (as of October 23, we have not yet finalized the FY 2007 tables).
FHWA posted the responses from the States for the Rescissions required by Title IV, Chapter 8 of the U.S. Troop Readiness, Veterans' Care, Katrina Recovery, and Iraq Accountability Appropriations Act, 2007, Public Law (Pub. L. No.) 110-28, see the Notice at www.fhwa.dot.gov/legsregs/directives/notices/n4510647.cfm and the State Responses at www.fhwa.dot.gov/rescissions/pl110_28/index.htm.
Note: The FY 2008 apportionments do not account for possible rescissions in FY 2008.
Example Memorandum of Understanding for Categorical Exclusions
FHWA developed a revised Example Memorandum of Understanding to outline the policy and procedures for environmental processing of Categorical Exclusions under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), which normally are found to have no significant social, economic, or environmental effects, and to incorporate interpretations of the regulations and policy implementing Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA). We encourage all States to use this example to develop or update an MOU for their States. This MOU was developed focused on the RTP, but the concepts are transferable to TE.
We posted some sample programmatic agreements under State Practices, but we recommend that these States also update their agreements using the MOU example.
RTP and TE Guidance Reminders
Some States had questions recently about changes (or perceived changes) in RTP or TE guidance. Here are some items that have come up recently:
RTP Motorized Waiver Doesn't Exist. The "Motorized Waiver" was rescinded in the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: a Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU) on August 10, 2005. There is no longer any provision to waive the 40-30-30 requirements under the RTP. We informed States of this on August 1 and 23, 2005, and on October 6, 2005. It was discussed at the State Trail Administrators Meetings in September 2005, October 2006, and September 2007. Contact email@example.com if you have questions about the change in this provision.
TE Donations "Prior to Project Approval": We updated the TE Guidance in January 2007 to correct a misinterpretation of the December 1999 guidance regarding Donations made prior to project approval. On January 12, 2007, we sent a message through the TE listserv, stating:
The TE guidance previously stated that "other contributions" included: "The costs of preliminary engineering prior to project approval." According to Harold Peaks, FHWA's TE Manager in 1999, this was intended to mean FHWA's environmental approval for an authorized project, not project authorization. The amended guidance clarifies this distinction:
We inserted: "Costs for services incurred prior to project authorization (obligation in FHWA's Fiscal Management Information System) are not allowable."
We amended the incorrect statement to read: "Services may include the costs of preliminary engineering prior to FHWA's environmental (NEPA) approval. Construction may not occur on Federal-aid projects prior to FHWA's NEPA approval."
Value of Volunteer Time. On October 15, 2007, we added a section to the TE Guidance on the Value of Volunteer Time Donated and Special Skills Donated.
RTP Donations: The RTP allows donations prior to project approval. This provision was enacted in SAFETEA-LU specifically for the RTP. See Draft RTP Federal Share and Matching Requirements under SAFETEA-LU. The provisions for Value of Volunteer Time Donated and Special Skills Donated under TE also are valid for the RTP: we added links from the RTP Guidance.
The America's Byways Bulletin for October 2007 has several useful articles related to the National Scenic and Historic Trails, how to promote Byways, and how to keep your status current to receive Federal grants. Trail and Transportation Enhancement interests have a lot in common with the scenic byway interests, so please take a look!
The America's Byways Resource Center, located in Duluth MN, has a full-time opening for a Byways Specialist to serve as the primary contact for assigned nationally designated scenic byway organizations, State byway coordinators, partner organizations, and State byway programs. Please forward this announcement to any colleagues who might be interested. The deadline for applications is November 16, 2007. If you have additional questions, please contact Michelle Johnson at 218-625-3305 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
National Transportation Enhancements Clearinghouse Image Library
From Graham Stroh, National Transportation Enhancements Clearinghouse
The National Transportation Enhancements Clearinghouse (NTEC) announced a new Image Library: www.enhancements.org/library/index.asp. It is roughly based on Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center's image library (www.pedbikeimages.org/). You can see multiple aspects of the project through galleries of images grouped by project in each of the 12 TE eligibility categories.
National Transportation Enhancements Clearinghouse Connections Newsletter
Connections is the quarterly newsletter of the National Transportation Enhancements Clearinghouse (NTEC). It features outstanding Transportation Enhancements (TE) projects, updates from Capitol Hill, new resources related to the TE program, and technical information to help TE project sponsors successfully complete their projects. Connections has gone digital: see www.enhancements.org/publications.asp for links to the latest version.
FHWA's Planning Update Quarterly Newsletter: Fall 2007 is available at www.fhwa.dot.gov/resourcecenter/teams/planning/publications.cfm. There are articles about transportation planning in general, transportation planning excellence awards, transit-oriented development, lots of training opportunities, and a Calendar of Events.
The Department of the Interior's National Recreation Trail (NRT) application deadline is November 1, 2007. Please encourage potential applicants to visit the NRT website www.americantrails.org/nationalrecreationtrails/ApplyNRT.html to find out more about the application process and to download the application form. Applicants should submit a trail map, digital photos, and both a hard copy and electronic version of the application(s). This year also will require support letters from any landowners involved.
The Partnership for the National Trails System organized the 11th Conference on National Scenic and Historic Trails: "Healthy Trail Partnerships - Healthy Trail Resources" in Duluth MN, on September 7-11, 2007, hosted by the North Country Trail Association and the Amerca's Byways Resource Center. Proceedings will be posted soon.
The presentation from Nathan Caldwell, US Fish and Wildlife Service, entitled "Partnerships for Historic and Cultural Preservation along Scenic Byways" is on the National Wildlife Refuge System Roads and Trails website, on the Scenic Byways page. Scroll down to the Conference Logo to get a .pdf of the presentation.
Do you want to influence National Scenic and Historic Trails training in the future? Do you have ideas on how, when, and where training and workshops should occur? Click on the below link and complete all questions and the task/skill analyses to the best of your ability. It takes 15-20 minutes to complete. This is a solid investment in your improvement of your skills and knowledge to provide better trail experiences for all.
Your support for the National Scenic and Historic Trails program is greatly valued. If you have any problems or questions, contact Elvin Clapp at 602-906-5506, email@example.com.
Just follow this URL below to get started: www.metricsthatmatter.com/s.asp?e=1350843&s=3290774. We appreciate your taking the time to provide this valuable information. Please don't fill this out if you have filled it out previously!
The American Recreation Coalition (ARC) is upgrading its Toolbox for the Great Outdoors. This toolbox provides Tools for adding resources and partners to recreation and visitor services programs.
Recreational Horse Trails in Rural and Wildland Areas: Design, Construction, and Maintenance
By Gene W. Wood, with major contributions from 16 contributing authors from around the nation.
This is the first equestrian trails book of its kind and covers a broad array of topics. Designed as a textbook as opposed to a "how to do it" manual, the book guides readers in how to fit design, construction, and maintenance of equestrian trails to the environments in which they work, as well as the kinds and intensities of use that their trails will receive. Readers are frequently reminded that the trail must fit ecosystem capacities to accommodate sustainable equestrian use. It is available from Clemson University's Forestry and Natural Resources website at www.clemson.edu/forestres/. The order form is at www.clemson.edu/forestres/book_form.htm.
See the RTP Events Page for major national trail-related conferences and events.
For regional and statewide conferences and events, see the American Trails Calendar of Events.