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July 28, 2009

The Complete America's Great Trails Act

This summer, as hiking season swings into full gear, American Hiking Society urges you to use their page to contact your Representative and encourage them to support HR 1912, the "Complete America's Great Trails Act," a bill introduced by Rep. Connolly (D-VA), Rep. Blumenauer (D-OR), and Rep. Lummis (R-WY) designed to protect some of the most special trails in America. All you have to do is follow this link, type in your zip code and name, and an automatic e-mail is sent to your specific representative. I did it, and it took me 30 seconds. Here's what the act is about:

America's longest and most protected trails, iconic footpaths like the Appalachian (shown above), Pacific Crest, Continental Divide, and a brand new Arizona National Scenic Trail, all cross private lands. Many landholders graciously allow hikers to cross their lands - but each acre of private land represents a potential break in the community of these great trails.

The Complete America's Great Trails Act is a bill that provides a tax credit to private landowners who grant conservation easments to National Scenic Trails. 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 of the hiking experience for years to come.

Read more, and send an email to your Representative!

Read the original act.

Read the letter by Reps. Connelly and Lummis.

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