July 30, 2009

The Complete America’s Great Trails Act

American Hiking Society constantly monitors legislation that could enhance or protect the hiking experience. A new bill, HR 1912 - the Complete America’s Great Trails Act - has the potential to significantly benefit some of the most spectacular trails in America. This proposed legislation would grant a tax credit to private landowners who provide conservation easements to certified National Scenic Trails – resulting in a low-cost incentive for willing landowners to donate easements that would increase trail connectivity. This means that private landowners have a new incentive to allow hikers to pass through their property, and trails get a guaranteed corridor that protects the connectivity and continuity of the hiking experience for years to come!

American Hiking supports HR 1912 and applauds Rep. Connolly (D-VA) and Rep. Lummis (R-WY) for introducing this forward-thinking legislation. We also applaud Rep. Blumenauer (D-OR) and Rep. Bono-Mack (R-CA), co-chairs of the Congressional Trails Caucus, and Reps. Kind (D-WI), Massa (D-NY), McMahon (D-NY), Lance (R-NJ), Polis (D-Co), Boccieri (D-OH), Pierluisi (D-RC-PR), for their original co-sponsorship of this important legislation.

American Hiking advocates for changes in policies that provide our partners with as many tools as possible to protect and manage our nation’s great trails. Thus, we work closely with regional and local organizations that protect, maintain and promote the various elements of America’s National Trails System. We also partner with Congress and the federal land management agencies charged with managing and administering our trail resources.

American Hiking has championed the protection and enhancement of America’s National Trails System since our founding in 1976. Our National Trails System consists of more than 7,000 authorized miles of National Scenic Trails, more than 36,000 miles of National Historic Trail routes, and more than 1,000 registered National Recreation Trails.

Take Action to urge your Representative to co-sponsor HR 1912.

Read the full text of HR 1912, and read the Dear Colleague Letter being circulated by Reps. Connolly and Lummis.

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