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View Full Version : So...whats AZ doing with it's $1m for trails this year?



RufftyTuffty
02-08-2005, 09:40 AM
$50 Million To Build Trails!

Federal Recreational Trails Program Awards $50 Million

The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) provided $50 million in formula apportionments to the States through the Recreational Trails Program for fiscal year 2002. Funding will continue at this level for each year 2000-2003.

Review the table below to see what was awarded to your state and then find out who to talk to in your state by visiting the FHWA website State Trail Administrators. Contact them and see what needs to be done to use this money in your state.

For a basic overview of this program see the Recreational Trails Program Brochure. Keep in mind that each state administers this program differently. In some states you may need to pay up front and then get reimbursement; while others provide a "loan" type system where they will help to provide the up-front monies.

This entire program may be scrapped in the near term future (2004) because of a lack of interest in the money from the states. 4 years ago a large number of people were fighting for this initiative. From what I understand, very few are currently working to get it reinstated after calendar year 2003. Let your State Reps know what you think of this program. Please don't let it die!

30% of this money is supposed to go to Motorized Trails - that's $14,000,000. The States are free to make their own rulings and if they don't get enough requests they can use the money for non-motorized trails or pass it through to the next fiscal year or simply use it for something else. For example in the state of Texas they did not have enough groups request the money in 2001 so they forwarded it to fiscal year 2002.

Here are links to specific things being done with this money in Texas (as an example of what can be done):

Press release by Texas Parks & Wildlife regarding the Trail Grants Program: http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/news/news/010903e htm

Fiscal Year 2002 Awards In Texas: http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/involved/pubhear/0801/no5.htm

One of the groups that are using the funds for Motorized Recreation: Texas Motorized Trails Coalition

Table Of State Awards From The Recreational Trails Program

Arizona $1,062,439

~Mike

JamesT
02-08-2005, 11:30 AM
If they do the same thing they do with the STL permit money, nothing... it will probably get lost in the paper shuffle.

k7mto
02-08-2005, 01:47 PM
So what is the proper procedure for making requests? It seems if we make enough requests, they have to allocate the money for trails and can't just let it dissolve into other areas.

1BLKJP
02-08-2005, 04:34 PM
I have read some info on this through the ARRA site, but haven't seen anything about it locally. I guess we will have to defer to Sandee on how the money is being used here in AZ.

But we surely don't want to lose any of it. If we haven't already.

My1stJeep
02-11-2005, 10:00 AM
Sandee if you are readling this thread can you give us some guidance on how we can help monitor or someone how track that these funds get to the trails?

azjeepcjman
05-02-2005, 05:04 PM
It seems this thread died in February. I was wondering if anyone has heard anything new about it. This would seem to be important enough to follow up on. Anyone?

k7mto
05-02-2005, 05:16 PM
Sandee recently posted the following as part of a reply in the Hunter ORBA fund thread on the Yahoo list...

> We just found out we've lost our OHV Gas Tax Money to the general state
> budget AGAIN................. I've asked ORBA to take the steps to SUE for
> this money but we MUST all "dig deep in our pockets" to help this
> cause.............

No details on how she found this out or if the same is slated for the Federal Recreational Trails Program money, but if there is a way to monitor/prevent this from happening (versus waiting until it does and suing to try and get it back (yeah, right)) we should all take full advantage of it.

1BLKJP
05-03-2005, 01:05 AM
Now I don't want to put words in peoples mouths and Sandee and Hackle will probably know more about this than I do. But from what I have gathered about the Federal RTP money is 100% ear-marked for that specific purpose. It can not be abused as the state OHV Gas Tax money has and is.

But as the other here I have not been able to garner the information as to where this money will go for us this year.

Hackle
05-03-2005, 02:17 PM
I know nothing about this money or the Federal Program I will look into it though. They can not take it like the gas tax as it is Federal money not state Money. But I am sure the Agencies can sure waste it quick.

Jim F.

roger
05-04-2005, 11:45 AM
An article in this morning's AZ Republic said that the state's budget is back in the black. My naive mind thinks there should now be no reason to rob OHV money.

-Roger

1BLKJP
05-04-2005, 02:07 PM
An article in this morning's AZ Republic said that the state's budget is back in the black. My naive mind thinks there should now be no reason to rob OHV money.

-Roger

Roger, I think that this is the case in all our minds. But for some reason when you become an elected official your mind starts working in reverse or something.

jeepsonly
05-04-2005, 03:38 PM
If OHV funds continue to be raided, as has apparently happened, what's the point of us supporting OHV fees?

jeff krause
05-31-2007, 08:53 AM
TRUST me.. the State can find way to launder funds... There is a thing refered to as the "General Fund"

This will cheese you off // I work for a Hospital District.. WE GET $42 milliion annually from your tax dollars to help fund the operations of the hospital (read uncompansated care .... read ILLEGALS) and to help cover costs... The STATE OF ARIZONA recieves 90 million dollars for the county hosptial being a "disproportionate share' hospital... MIHS had to trade the dish share ( we never saw a dollar after the state and County people were done with it) for a special election in MAricopa County for the special tax based on Property valuation..... it was prop 414 back a couple of years ago.

jeff krause
05-31-2007, 09:09 AM
FYI:

The county and the STATE still keep the 9o million from the FEDS

JamesT
05-31-2007, 06:58 PM
If they do the same thing they do with the STL permit money, nothing... it will probably get lost in the paper shuffle.

yep...... what did I tell you?

Hackle
05-31-2007, 07:45 PM
The RTP money is given out in grant form. It can only be used in "on the ground" projects and to my knowledge we have not used all the funds available in any year. We are now working to get it figured out well enough to put all the funds to use. It is very restrictive on what and by who it can be used. Like all Federal Programs the amount of paperwork required makes it a lot of work to get the process started.
Jim F.

John_P
05-31-2007, 09:28 PM
I have experience writing federal grants. I have co-written on several to the National Institutes of Health. If anyone has a project, and is up to the challenge, let me know. It cannot be that hard.

Sandee McCullen
06-01-2007, 12:03 PM
Hopefully some clarification information regarding OHV grant dollars for Arizona.

1) RTP (Recreational Trails Program) money is from Federal Highways. The amount is different each year depending on individual states previous use of RTP funds.

Arizona's numbers are a tad over $1 M this year. OHV receives slightly over $500,000.00.

These dollars are mandated to be split 30/30/40 for non-motorized trails. 30% to motorized; 30% to non-motorized; and 40% however the states wish to use it. Most states have abused this and environmental or non-motorized have received the 40% as well. Due to this happening Arizona voted to simply split the money 50/50.

The motorized 50% goes totally to "OHV, on the ground projects via grants". There are no administration fees and only 5% can go to "education". Non-profit 501c3 organizations can apply for these grants. The biggest problem with this is it must be through grants that take approximately two years from application through approval through reimbursement. The money is not "up front"....... the group must pay upfront and receive reimbursement upon completion.
The grants cover 90%, 10% must be match dollars..... the grant itself is intense as complete budget and planning drawings/documents must be included.

These dollars cannot fund NEPA (which must be done prior to the grant application) and cannot fund operations.

These dollars cannot be swept by the State Legislature.

2) OHV Gas Tax Fund: These dollars are from .55% of 1% of our state gas taxes. The average total each year has been around $2.6 M .

30% off the top goes to Arizona Game & Fish for OHV Law Enforcement ($600,000.00) and OHV Education ($200,000.00)

The problem with this is G&F do almost no law enforcement for OHV claiming there are no OHV laws to enforce. hmmmmmmmmmmm........... if no laws, and no enforcement, what exactly do they spend these dollars on? They simply put these dollars into their general LEO funds. IF they should happen to even talk to an OHV'er while out in the field while doing hunting, habitat or wildlife work they will charge the entire days funding to the OHV Law Enforcement fund. Re the OHV Education portion........... These dollars have purchased the OHV brochures and "trinkets" we've probably all seen now and then but they have also purchased numerous quads, open trailers, closed trailers, toy box trailers with full graphic wraps leaning towards HUNTING, and tow trucks. They have done ATV training but ONLY for their own people. NOT the public. In the 12+ years they've had an enclosed trailer OHV has had use of it exactly 4 times. The first time was at one of the 4x4 Jamborees in the mid 90's; the second time was at Desert Wells for a Meet and Greet 5-6 years ago and the last two were for Meet & Greets at Castle Hot Springs Rd. ALL other times it was "already booked for HUNTING issues". Remember our biggest event or use time is in the cooler months....... parallel with "hunting". You ask where this trailer is now? Well it's being used as an OFFICE at the G&F Ben Avery Shooting Range on Carefree Hwy & I-17. Been here for nearly a year now.

3) The remaining 70% goes to Arizona State Parks for OHV use.

ASP can keep up to 18% for administrative fees but the remaining 52% goes to OHV. In the past "most" has gone to the grant program although there were dollars that were disbursed via "agreements". The OHV Coordinator at the State Land Dept. (Tammy Pikes position when she was at State Land Dept.); ASP purchased misc. equipment........ a SWEKO tractor to build trails, route inventory equipment (GPS), and truck & trailer to haul the SWEKO.

The grant money was put into the same pot as the RTP money. There were only a couple of years that all the money was applied for thusly the first $1M sweep. At this time, with agreement of State Parks, the OHV Advisory Group, and the agencies, ALL of the OHV Gas Tax money was directed to statewide, seamless OHV route inventory. It was felt this would stop the "excess" dollars reappearing each year. It worked until our infamous governor was facing a feasco with the alternative fuel mess. ALL state offices were required to cut costs and lessen staff by 10%. State Parks NEVER did this................ they politely offered up OHV dollars. The original amount was around $3 M but they then went so far as to take the entire amount for the UPCOMING years also. The total was $7 M. This eliminated the OHV Coordinators position at the Land Dept. as well as stopped numerous OHV projects that had already been completed but could not receive their REIMBURSEMENT. The G&F dollars were not touched at this point. However, where all state agencies were mandated to lessen staff by 10%, ASP did not. They allegedly closed 13 (?) State Parks but what actually happened is they only closed gates. NO employees were laid off. They only thing they did was gain the support of the public re "we NEED our State Parks boo hoo" thusly a short 7 weeks later legislature pulled $700,000.00 from the G&F OHV money and gave to State Parks to support the State Parks.

We (OHV) have received most of the swept money back. We paid off the grants left hanging plus gave $1.4 M grant to BLM to complete numerous projects across the state for BLM & FS as well as continuing route inventory.

What we (OHV Advisory Group) didn't know about until a year or so later was when the money was being given back State Parks also pulled a fast one and asked for OHV money to continue funding State Parks General Budget. The past 4 years, and the next 2 years, ASP receives $692,100.00 for State Parks that, by the way, are NON-motorized. This amount comes out of the 52% we get.

The grant procedure was updated two years ago as the OHVAG felt the difficulty of completing it was part of the deterent for applications. That didn't solve the problem so with some intensive pushing from the OHVAG the OHV Gas Tax dollars are now given out via "agreements"........

$300,000.00 will be given in $10,000.00 amounts for small projects ranging from connecting routes, signing, kiosks, potties, staging areas, parks, etc.

$300,000.00 for NEPA........... mostly route evaluation reports.

$100,000.00 for OHV Ambassador training and reimbursement for mileage.

$200,000.00 for off duty Law Enforcement Patrols.

$100,000.00 for Dealer Pkts containing maps & information.

The intent was to get the money on the ground quickly to help eliminate the possibility of having excess dollars showing. It also solves part of the problem that agencies have been having regarding not applying for grants and that is they have always been required to have done NEPA PRIOR to a grant application OR the projects have been smaller ones that writing a grant for is not worth the time or involvement.

The OHV Gas Tax "grants" or "requests for funds" cannot go to a non-profit organization. They MUST be to a governmental agency only............. fed; state; city; county etc.

The pilot areas for these funds for the first year are: Castle Hot Springs Rd/Boulders/Table Mesa; Granite Mtn/Cave Creek; and FJ/Desert Wells.

Why, you ask, should we support another OHV fund while many believe government is abscounding with the funds.

ANSWER in FACTS: HB2443 not only has OHV Laws included that law enforcement, including G&F, can and MUST enforce, it also MANDATES COMPLETE ACCOUNTABILITY OF ALL FUNDS, FROM ALL AGENCIES. All three funds will be administered by State Parks still but there are caps on amounts and all funds will be overviewed by the OHV Advisory Group. This is a 7 member panel of ALL OHV enthusiasts....... no government, no agency, no enviros, no non=motorized. No guarantee but G&F seem to actually be working with OHV at this time. I'm sure a lot of it has been for show to make them look like good and upstanding partners with OHV but as time is moving on and with the mandates within the HB2443 I believe they may truly be turning around and will work with OHV in a positive way. They've been giving the OHV Coalition large amounts of money to fund projects...............?????

Also please realize the State Trust Land Permit has absolutely nothing to do with any of these funds other than if HB2443 passes OHV will not be required to obtain BOTH permits. The HB2443 (aka Copper Sticker) will allow us to cross State Trust Lands. If we camp, stage, stop for lunch, etc we will then need the State Permit.

Will any of these plans stop another legilsative sweep? No, but what will stop it from ever happening again is OUR INVOLVEMENT. They now know we will not stand for these back door tactics any longer.

Hope this helps clarify some of the questions regarding funding.