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Wisconsin Governor Proposes Big Cuts to Trail Funding

Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker is proposing cuts to trail funding by eliminating $2 million of state funding for the Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP) and to essentially eliminate the Knowles-Nelson Stewardship Fund.

Act now! Speak out and help us work to prevent these trail funding cuts.

TAP is used for a variety of pro-biking initiatives, including bike plans and facilities. The Knowles-Nelson Stewardship Fund works to purchase and protect land for future generations. Funds for state trail purchases are included in the program. The governor would stop all purchases for over a decade.

Several counties have utilized TAP money to support community bike plans, including in Adams, Door, Kenosha, and Lincoln Counties. The money has also been used to provide trail improvements like bridges and highway underpasses on multi-use trails that mountain bikers use to access singletrack.

Here’s what to do:
Contact the governor and your legislator to tell them you want to: replace $2 million in TAP funding and restore the Stewardship Fund. Please write emails to the elected officials and tell them why trail funding is important and why state land purchases are essential to the health and well-being of Wisconsin residents. Include your own biking story—personalized messages get more notice.

Contact your local legislators. Contact Governor Walker.

We also invite you to participate in Wisconsin Bike Fed’s Lobby Day on April 7 at the state capitol in Madison, where you can share in person why trail funding and land acquisition are important to you, your family, your IMBA chapter/club and your community.

Suggested information to include in your email, in addition to the ask:

According to a recent report from Headwaters Economics:

  • Trails can generate business impacts and create new jobs by attracting visitors, especially overnight visitors.
  • Local trail users often use community trails multiple times per week, and trails are a valuable part of residents’ quality of life.
  • Trails are often associated with higher property value, especially when a trail is designed to provide neighborhood access and maintain residents’ privacy.
  • Trails are associated with increased physical activity and improved public health, especially in rural places without other safe places to exercise.

According to the Outdoor Industry Association, outdoor recreation in Wisconsin generates:

  • $11.9 billion in consumer spending
  • 142,000 direct Wisconsin jobs
  • $3.6 billion in wages and salaries
  • $844 million in state and local tax revenue

Act now! The final budget votes will likely occur in June. The governor needs to hear from you soon.

Thank you.