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TPWD News Release — May 24, 2012

$3 Million in Trail Grants Awarded Across Texas

AUSTIN — The Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission today approved $3,014,992 million in federal funding for 26 National Recreational Trail Grant projects in communities across the state. The total includes $485,000 in re-allocated trail funds for trail improvements in seven state parks.

The seven state parks to receive trails funding are Bastrop, Brazos Bend, Cooper Lake, Eisenhower, Government Canyon, Lake Brownwood and Martin Dies Jr. The money will go toward renovating existing trails, making trails more accessible, and helping with layout, design and other improvements.

All told this year, TPWD received 82 project proposals requesting trail grant funding totaling $11.5 million—both figures are records, the most ever received. The 10-member Texas Statewide Trails Advisory Board reviewed the proposals and developed a list of recommended projects for funding based on the quality of the project, its cost effectiveness, its impact on recreational trail opportunities and geographic distribution of funds.

The National Recreational Trails Fund comes from a portion of the federal gas tax generated by the sale of gasoline for use in off-road recreational vehicles such as dirt bikes and All-Terrain Vehicles (ATVs). Money from the trail fund goes toward the creation and maintenance of motorized and non-motorized recreational trails.

The Federal Highway Administration manages the fund and distributes portions of it to states based on a formula that takes into account the state’s population and fuel sales for off-road vehicles. Nationwide, the program was appropriated $95 million for the current fiscal year. However, funding for the program is included in the Transportation Funding Bill which Congress has funded through June 30, making only 75 percent of the annual apportionment available to states at present.

The program provides 80-20 matching grants, so that in each case the grant recipient must pay for 20 percent of the total project cost. Dollar amounts shown below are 80 percent of the project cost.

List of sponsors awarded funds for trail projects, by county: