FHWA Recreational Trails Program for Louisiana (RTPL)- Frequently Asked Questions
How was the Louisiana Trails Program created?
The FHWA Recreational Trails Program for Louisiana (RTPL)is a State-administered, Federal-aid grant program funded by the National Recreational Trails Fund Act (NRTFA) of 1991 for the purpose of providing and maintaining recreational trails and trails-related facilities. The program is administered at the National level by the US Department of Transportation, Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) in consultation with the Department of the Interior. Within Louisiana, the Louisiana Office of State Parks, Division of Outdoor Recreation, is tasked with administration of the program. NRTFA was established to redirect tax revenues generated from the sale of motor fuel used for off-highway recreational purposes to both motorized and non-motorized recreational trail and facility improvements.
What is the available funding?
The National Recreational Trails Act mandates that not less than 30 percent of the monies received annually shall be reserved for uses relating to motorized recreation and not less than 30 percent shall be reserved for uses relating to no motorized recreation. To ensure diversified trail use, the remaining 40 percent may be used for both motorized and non-motorized uses, but preference will be given to projects with the greatest number of compatible recreational purposes and/or which provide for innovative recreational use sharing.
Is there a match?
This is a reimbursement program; therefore, the grant recipient must pay 100% of the cost of an item before submitting a request for reimbursement for 80% of eligible costs, i.e.
($5,000 in eligible billings submitted) X 80% = $4,000 reimbursed to grant recipient.
The program encourages the donation of private funds, materials, right-of-way, and services at fair market value to be counted toward the match. However, donations of existing State or local government right-of-way, materials, or services cannot be credited toward the local match.
If awarded how will I get the money?
Reimbursements will be made only for those scope items that were listed on the Project Agreement and subsequent approved amendments. Normally, requests for reimbursements are processed and funds dispersed within 3 to 5 weeks.
What is the Louisiana Recreational Trails Advisory Committee?
The Louisiana Recreational Trails Advisory Committee is comprised of a diverse group of parties with specific interests in recreational trails. The group meets regularly to identify the major trail issues facing Louisiana. The board is comprised of both motorized and non-motorized trail users and agency personnel. Among the groups and agencies currently represented are: National Park Service, Department of Culture Recreation & Tourism, Department of Transportation & Development, LA, Off-Road Vehicle Association, FHWA, National Forest Service, Louisiana Paddlers, LDWF, South LA Trailblazers, Louisiana Hiking Club, LA 4X4 Club and the New Orleans Metro Area Mountain Bike Association.
What are the requirements for trail planning?
The intent of the Trails Fund Act states that the funds should be used for trails and trail-related projects which have been planned and developed under existing laws, policies, and administrative procedures within Louisiana: The projects should further a specific trail-related goal in the Louisiana Statewide Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Plan (SCORP) or in a local/regional comprehensive plan. The 1993-1998 SCORP identified the following trail-related issues:
What type of projects are permitted?
A grant recipient may use monies received under this Program on actual trail or trail-related projects such as:
What type of projects are not permitted?
A grant recipient may not use monies received under this Program for:
What are the recommended project guidelines?
Projects selected for funding should:
For more information about the Recreational Trails Program, consult the Federal Highway Administration Recreational Trails Summary.