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IMBA working to reverse Senate cuts to Recreational Trails Program.
For Immediate Release: April 7, 2005

Mountain bikers converge in the U.S. capital today for the newest 24-hour
event: IMBA's 24 Hours of Washington, D.C.

Attendees will spend the entire day on Capitol Hill, meeting with their U.S.
representatives, senators and staff to introduce IMBA and key mountain
biking issues. The goal is simple: raise awareness about trail access and
recreation issues and convince government officials that mountain biking
deserves their support.

The group's highest priority is to encourage lawmakers to support the
Recreational Trails Program - a small but important program in the massive
six-year transportation bill now working its way through Congress. The
Recreational Trails Program, which returns federal gasoline taxes paid for
nonhighway recreation uses to state trail programs, has helped communities
build and repair thousands of miles of trails involving 7,650 projects in
all 50 states.

The House has already approved a transportation bill that funds the
Recreational Trails Program at $503 million over six years, however the
Senate Environment and Public Works Committee's version of the bill slashes
the program to $270 million over five years. For a state like California,
the Senate bill cuts trail funding by $12 million.

"Today is critical for mountain biking," said IMBA executive director Mike
Van Abel. "No federal grant program is more important to mountain biking's
future than the Recreational Trails Program. We need lawmakers to get behind
the House funding for the program at $503 million and support trails."

The 24 Hours of D.C. builds on IMBA's increased activity and leadership in
the U.S. capital - the place where many key trail management decisions are
made. In 2004, mountain bikers held more than 140 face-to-face meetings with
government leaders during the biannual IMBA Summit.

24 Hours of D.C. participants include many of IMBA's field reps, club
leaders, bicycle industry members, journalists, and representatives of other
cycling groups.

More information, including a complete report and photos, will be posted
shortly on the IMBA website.

end

Contact: Pete Webber, IMBA communications director
[email protected], 303-545-9011
 
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