Subject: Urgent Call To Action - Revised
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CALL TO ACTION - REVISED     February 1, 2012 
 
  
Dear (Contact First Name),

 

House T&I Committee Chair John Mica released his proposed 5-year surface transportation legislation at 3 PM yesterday.  Although we are pleased with several aspects of the bill, we are very disappointed to find that the National Scenic Byways Program would be completely abolished under his bill:

 

7 (k) NATIONAL SCENIC BYWAYS PROGRAM.-Section

8 162, and the item relating to that section in the analysis

9 for chapter 1, are repealed.

 

This is far worse than expected.  We anticipated removal of the America's Byways Resource Center provisions and were not optimistic that the grant program would be included, but we never expected removal of the designation authority and other aspects of the program.

 

Mark-up of the legislation begins at 9 am tomorrow morning.  We are hunting for a champion to eliminate this draconian step and will keep you posted - but I urge you to not wait.  Contact Members on the T&I Committee immediately to protest this action - an action that ignores the economic value of byways for domestic and international tourism.  If you find a Member ready to lead the fight, please let us know ASAP.  Use the letter below as a template to customize your own letter to committee members.  Committee members can be found HERE.  We must act now, before it is too late!

 

Regards,

 

Anaise Berry

President     

 

February 1, 2012

 

Representative

Transportation and Infrastructure Committee

Washington, DC

 

Dear Representative:

 

I am writing to ask you to contact House T&I Committee Chair John Mica to eliminate the repeal of the National Scenic Byway Program under the proposed 5-year Surface Transportation Bill presented Tuesday, that abolishes the Program.  With a national effort to implement new efforts to attract international visitors and create jobs, we cannot put at risk a proven tool like the system of 150 All-American Roads and National Scenic Byways.

 

The National Scenic Byways Program has been a success and exhibits characteristics which are very appropriate for contemporary transportation strategies. The program emphasizes good road design and integration of transportation into corridor-wide natural resource and economic development efforts. The Illinois River Road National Scenic Byway, as well as the other federally designated roadways across the U.S., have been an integral part in developing and strengthening the economies of our country's rural and metropolitan communities. 

 

Byways are extremely important today as an international tourism marketing tool and will become even more important with the advent of the Corporation for Travel Promotion/Brand USA efforts to regain our lost share of international travel and create jobs.  Claims of international significance for our byways are indeed substantiated.  The new organization set up to market the US to international visitors, Brand USA, has a chart showing its marketing plan.  One of the four experience pillars Brand USA is targeting is the Great Outdoors - and Byways are prominently listed along with National Parks.  In fact to a considerable extent, Byways fit into all four pillars.  We have $200 million available to attract visitors and create jobs through this initiative - Abolishment of the proven and successful National Scenic Byways Program would take away one of the prime marketing assets for countless communities and regions.

 

Abolishing the National Scenic Byway Program would be devastating to our Byway, our state and the entire country.  Our Byways have done incredible work and made great strides to impact tourism, economic development and transportation under the National Scenic Byway Program.  Byways across the country have leveraged the National Scenic Byway Program designation to obtain funds from other federal, state and local funding resources to make a significant impact on American transportation, our visitor-based economy, on community livability and protection of our natural resources - just to name a few. 

 

 

I urge you to act quickly on behalf of our country's Byways.  Please call Chairman Mica and insist he eliminate the repeal of the National Scenic Byway Program.

 

Regards,

 

 

Name

NSBF MISSION AND VISION
the mission of the national scenic byway foundation is to foster cooperative opportunities that will grow and sustain byways for future generations. the vision of the foundation is that byways will be recognized and valued worldwide for their distinctive experiences, stories and treasured places.
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