PICKERINGTON, Ohio — In great news for motorcyclists, the embattled federal Recreational Trails Program that faced possible extinction exists in a massive transportation bill approved by Congress on June 29, the American Motorcyclist Association reports.

The spending authorization bill, “Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century,” known as Map-21, includes $85 million a year through fiscal 2014 for the trails program, which provides funds to the states to develop and maintain recreational trails and trail-related facilities for both non-motorized and motorized recreational trail uses.

The measure now goes to President Obama to be signed into law.

The original Senate-backed transportation proposal, S. 1813, would have effectively ended the RTP by severing the program from its dedicated funding. But Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) and several bipartisan cosponsors offered an amendment in March to S. 1813, which was approved by the full Senate, to continue the RTP.

On Nov. 9, 2011, the Senate Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee, chaired by Senator Barbara Boxer (D-Cali.), voted in support of S. 1813, the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century (MAP-21) Act.  The measure is a two-year transportation funding authorization bill that specifies what transportation programs are approved to receive federal dollars. Unfortunately, this bill also includes a provision to eliminate dedicated funds for the Recreational Trails Program (RTP), which provides money to states to develop and maintain trails and to educate trail users.

The RTP funds represent a portion of the federal motor fuel excise tax collected only from non-highway recreational fuel use. In other words, the RTP is a “user-pay/user-benefit” program for off-highway vehicle recreation, which includes snowmobiles, all-terrain vehicles (ATVs), off-highway motorcycles and off-highway light trucks.

By eliminating this program’s dedicated funds and diverting these fees away from the RTP, MAP-21 is creating what is essentially a new tax on responsible motorized recreationists.

Since S. 1813 was approved by the  EPW Committee, it will now be considered by the full Senate. A date for that vote has not been scheduled, so there is still time to appeal to your Senators.

The AMA needs you to call your Senators today and ask them to amend S. 1813 to restore dedicated funding to the RTP.

To call your Senators, click on “Take Action” to insert your zip code in the “Call Action” box to get your Senators’ phone numbers. Or, you can call the Capitol Switchboard at 202-224-3121 and ask for your Senators by name.

Call your Senators and remind them the RTP is a “user-pay/user-benefit” program. Let them know that eliminating its dedicated funding would create what is essentially a new tax on you and their other constituents that participate in responsible motorized recreation.

TOOELE, UTAH – Team Toyo® Off-Road driver, Kyle LeDuc, scored his second consecutive Pro 4 Unlimited class victory this past Saturday during Round 7 of the Lucas Oil® Off-Road Series (LOORS) race at Miller Motorsports Park in Tooele, Utah.  His Toyo® Open Country M/T®-R equipped #99 Rockstar / Makita / Toyo Tires Ford F-150 was the truck to beat all weekend.  LeDuc qualified second on Saturday morning before taking the victory, and then qualified first during Round 8 on Sunday before going on to take second place that day.  His previous Pro 4 Unlimited class victory came during Round 6 at Glen Helen in May.

“Saturday’s win was the result of hard, clean racing, while setting a fastest lap of the race — all on my Toyo Open Country M/T-R tires,” said LeDuc.  “During Sunday’s race, I came from the back of the field twice to capture an exciting second place.  My fans were on their feet for that one.”

In addition to his wins and top qualifying spots in Pro 4 Unlimited, LeDuc qualified first on Saturday in the Pro Lite Unlimited class with off-the-shelf Toyo Open Country M/T tires.

Also capturing a second place podium finish on Saturday was Jeremy McGrath driving his Monster Energy / Ready LIFT / Toyo Tires Pro 2 Unlimited Ford truck.  A part of the Stronghold Motorsports stable, McGrath beat 12 other competitors on his Toyo Open Country M/T-R tires.

“Congratulations to Kyle LeDuc on scoring his second consecutive Pro 4 win, and to Jeremy McGrath for his Pro 2 class podium,” said Stan Chen, manager of events and motorsports, Toyo Tire U.S.A. Corp.  “It was a great weekend for Team Toyo.”

To learn more about Kyle LeDuc, Jeremy McGrath and the Open Country line of light truck tires, log onto www.toyotires.com.  Toyo Tires manufactures and distributes a complete line of premium replacement tires for high performance cars, luxury vehicles, light trucks and SUVs as well as tires for commercial trucks.  Connect with the community at www.facebook.com/toyotires and www.twitter.com/toyotires.