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Recreational Trails Program

Program Overview:  The Recreational Trails Program (RTP) provides funds annually for recreational trails and trails-related projects.  The RTP is administered at the federal level by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA).  It is administered at the state level by the California Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR) and the Department of Transportation (Caltrans) Active Transportation Program (ATP).  (For more information about the ATP: http://www.dot.ca.gov/hq/LocalPrograms/atp/index.html.  Non-motorized DPR projects are administered by the Office of Grants and Local Services and motorized projects are administered by DPR's Off-Highway Motor Vehicle Recreation Division.

Fixing America's Surface Transportation (FAST) Act (http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/fastact), signed by President Obama on December 1, 2015, reauthorizes the RTP for Federal fiscal years 2016 through 2020.  California’s annual apportionment is $5,756,189.  The apportionment is separated into three pools of money as shown in the diagram below:

Californias RTP Funding Diagram

Fixing America's Surface Transportation Act or FAST Act Recreational Trails Program Active Transportation Program (ATP) Grants and Local Services Off-Highway Vehicle

 

Next RTP Non-Motorized Application Process (updated June 16, 2016)

The next RTP Non-Motorized application cycle administered by the California Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR) Office of Grants and Local Services (OGALS) has not yet been determined.

OGALS does not anticipate conducting another cycle before 2018, due to the development of a new RTP Non-Motorized Application guide that will replace the June 4, 2007 Final RTP Procedural Guide.  The new application guide will incorporate updated information based on the FAST Act.

OGALS anticipates posting the new draft Application Guide, Public Hearing schedule and Public Comment period dates here in early 2017.

 

The RTP requires each state receiving funds to have an advisory board meeting at least once per fiscal year.  The last advisory board meeting was held on June 21, 2016.  Meeting Notes

 

Recap of the September 2015 Non-Motorized Application Cycle:

Over $60 million was requested through the September 15, 2015 - Recreational Trails Program (RTP) Non-Motorized Project Application Cycle.  Nine projects were recommended for funding.

$8.4 Million of Recommended Projects Announced

 

Program Information:
The California Department of Parks and Recreation has approved regulations for the Recreational Trails Program.  (Title 14, California Code of Regulations Chapter 11.7, Section 4860)
The regulations incorporate the procedural guide below dated "FINAL, June 4, 2007" that became effective on August 14, 2008.

Payment Requests Required at Least Every Six Months
This letter explains why Grantees must request a payment every six months.  (September 9, 2015)

Current RTP Procedural Guide, Final, June 4, 2007
(Valid for applications submitted beginning in 2008 - present)
(PDF DOC / MS DOC

Eligible Applicants:
    Cities and Counties
    Districts
    State Agencies
    Federal Agencies
    Non-Profit Organizations with management responsibilities of public lands

Match Requirement:  The maximum amount of RTP funds allowed for each project is 88% of the total project cost.  The applicant is responsible for obtaining a match amount that is at least 12% of the total project cost.

Eligible Match Sources:
    State funds, including State Grant funds.
    Local funds, including general funds and bond funds.
    Private funds.
    Donated materials and services.
    Value of donated land (for Acquisition projects only).
    Other federal funds.

 

Federal Application Requirement:
Unless otherwise noted, all applicants are required to comply with the following after the State recommends the project for funding:

1.  Compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and documentation*.

2.  Completion of the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966 process and documentation, and

3.  Listing of the project on either the State Transportation Improvement Plan (STIP) or a local Transportation Improvement Plan (TIP), as applicable.

4.  For acquisition projects, applicants must obtain an appraisal that conforms to the Uniform Appraisal Standards for Federal Land Acquisitions (UASFLA).

More information about these federal application requirements can also be found in the RTP Procedural Guide, dated Final, June 4, 2007, on page 51.

 

Previously Funded Recreational Trails Program Projects 

 2014 

 2013

 2009 - 2010 (Recommended / Not Recommended)

 2008 - 2009 (Recommended / Not Recommended)

 

Partnership Opportunities:
The Recreational Trails Program encourages applicants to develop cooperative agreements with qualified youth conservation or service corps to perform trail construction and maintenance.  The California Conservation Corps (CCC) is one of the many organizations that can assist with trail construction, maintenance, repair and restoration.  To learn more about how the CCC might be able to assist you, please call (916) 341-3100 or visit the CCC’s Website.

Additional Resource:
California State Parks Roads and Trails Program:
The Roads and Trails Program provides education and technical assistance to trail and open space managers and advocates regarding non-motorized trail planning, design, construction, funding and management throughout California.  To learn more, call (916) 324-0370 or visit the Roads and Trails Program website.

 

For Non-Motorized RTP application questions, contact:
Office of Grants and Local Services, Project Officer

For Motorized RTP project information, please contact California State Parks, Off-Highway Motor Vehicle Recreation Division:
Matt Whamond
RTP Motorized Grant Administrator
Matt.Whamond@parks.ca.gov