AB-1789 Aims to Activate New Funding for Trails in California

AB-1789 (Bennett) Outdoor Recreation: California Trails Commission: Trails Corps

Full Bill Text: [link]

Status:

  • Under review, Appropriations Committee

Our Position: Support

UPDATE: AB1789 passes the Water, Parks and Wildlife Committee Unanimously on April 5, 2022.

Bill Summary

  • Creates the California Trails Commission
  • Requires the CNRA to assign a California Trails Coordinator
  • Creates the Trails Corps Program within the CCC to specialize on natural surface trail construction and maintenance
  • Appropriates $75,000,000 one time from the General Fund to fund non-motorized trail grant program, with an emphasis on new trails or new access to existing trails
  • Appropriates $15,000,000 each year to continue the program
  • Allocates at least 40% of those funds to benefit under-resourced communities
  • Adds “biking” to the list of recreational activities welcomed in State Parks 

AB1789 was introduced by Assembly Member Bennett on February 3, 2022. The “More Trails for All” act (CAMTB’s working title) specifically funds new non-motorized natural surface trail projects in California. Many CAMTB member organizations will be eligible to apply for those funds. It reinstates the California Trails Commission to help oversee and coordinate trail development around the State, and includes a representative of the mountain biking community. California had a trails commission until 2014, which this bill reinstates. It also assigns a California Trails Coordinator to work with the Commission and the California Natural Resource Agency. The bill creates a Trail Corps within the California Conservation Corp to specialize in trail construction and maintenance, and ensures they are properly trained. The one-time $75 million appropriation will be followed by $15 million in annual funding. The bill also requires that at least 40% of the funds benefit underserved communities. This does not mean the projects must be in underserved communities, but communities from these districts must have access to and benefit from the projects funded. The bill specifically names “Biking” among the list of recreational activities for which improvements can be made in State Parks. This bill helps advance the state’s 30×30 goals, advances trails, promotes trail equity, and aligns perfectly with CAMTB’s vision for more trails, better trails for all Californians.

Affiliated Supporters

CAMTB AB 1789 Letter of Support

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