What Sequestration Will Mean for Trails: The Latest

Filed Under: Advocacy & Policy
Post By: jwilson
Posted On: April 5, 2013

Last month, we posted our analysis of the impact of
sequestration on the nation’s trails, and biking and walking infrastructure.

On March 1, as scheduled, federal agencies were subject to
mandatory funding cuts. As we expected, monies in the Highway Trust Fund were
protected from cuts, and programs funded with these monies continue as normal.

However, programs administered with funds outside the
Highway Trust Fund have been subjected to cuts of between 8 and 10 percent for
this fiscal year. That includes Community Development Block Grants, CDC
Community Transformation Grants and other programs that fund the development of
trails and active transportation networks.

The cuts from sequestration will start to be felt in local
communities in early-mid April once federal agencies have reduced their
staffing and spending plans.

For several years now, the federal government has been
operating on short-term budgets. The latest “continuing resolution” (Washington
speak for short term budget) ends on March 27. The Congress passed a new
continuing resolution providing funding through the end of this fiscal year
(Sept 30, 2013). This budget maintains spending for highway programs as authorized
in MAP-21, but also the cuts imposed by the sequestration law on other
programs.

The spending battle now moves on to the FY 2014 budget for
the year beginning October 1, 2013. Rails-to-Trails Conservancy continues to
monitor federal actions related to spending levels, and we are pushing for full
funding for all programs that promote trails and active transportation. We will
continue to update you as we learn more. Thank you for your support.