FY10 APPLICATION GUIDELINES - 1 -
TABLE OF CONTENTS
INTRODUCTION AND BACKGROUND PAGES 3 - 6
WHAT IS THE RECREATIONAL TRAILS PROGRAM?
WHO ADMINISTERS THE PROGRAM?
HOW MUCH MONEY IS AVAILABLE?
WHICH PROJECTS ARE ELIGIBLE?
WHICH PROJECTS ARE NOT ELIGIBLE?
WHO CAN SPONSOR A PROJECT?
HOW DOES PROJECT FUNDING WORK?
TIPS FOR OBTAINING RECREATIONAL TRAILS PROGRAM FUNDING
SUBMITTING YOUR APPLICATION PAGE 7
APPLICATION REVIEW AND RECOMMENDATION PROCESS PAGE 8
RESOURCES AND ADDITIONAL INFORMATION PAGE 8
APPLICATION FORM INSTRUCTIONS PAGES 9- 11
PROJECT COST ESTIMATE GUIDANCE PAGES 11 - 14
PROJECT NARRATIVE REQUIREMENTS PAGES 14 - 17
REQUIRED SUPPORT DOCUMENTATION PAGES 17 - 19
INTRODUCTION AND BACKGROUND
WHAT IS THE RECREATIONAL TRAILS PROGRAM?
The New Mexico Recreational Trails Program (RTP) is a reimbursement-based federal-aid program
funded through the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for
Users (SAFETEA-LU), enacted August 10, 2005 (23 U.S.C. 206). The Recreational Trails Program
(RTP) provides funds to the states to develop and maintain recreational trails and trail-related
facilities for both non-motorized and motorized recreational trail uses. Examples of trail uses include
hiking, bicycling, in-line skating, equestrian use, cross-country skiing, snowmobiling, off-road
motorcycling, all-terrain vehicle riding, four-wheel driving, or using other off-road motorized vehicles.
WHO ADMINISTERS THE PROGRAM?
Each state administers its own program and develops its own procedures to solicit and select
projects for funding. The Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources Department (EMNRD) is the
agency responsible for the RTP in New Mexico and EMNRD’s State Parks Division is assigned
administrative responsibility. The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) manages the trails
program through the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), in consultation with the Department
of Interior (DOI). Per federal requirements, the New Mexico Recreational Trails Program Advisory
Board (Board), representing both motorized and non-motorized trail uses, recommends projects for
HOW MUCH MONEY IS AVAILABLE?
The U.S. Congress authorized the RTP for $60 million in 2005, $70 million in 2006, $75 million in
2007, $80 million in 2008 and $85 million in 2009. Funds for 2010 and beyond will be determined
as part of the reauthorization of the Surface Transportation Act. Half of the authorized funds are
distributed equally among all states, and half are distributed in proportion to the estimated amount of
off-road recreational fuel use in each state (fuel used for off-road recreation by snowmobiles, all-
terrain vehicles, off-road motorcycles, and off-road light trucks). See
www.fhwa.dot.gov/environment/rectrails/recfunds.htm for previous New Mexico funding amounts.
WHICH PROJECTS ARE ELIGIBLE?
FHWA defines a recreational trail as a thoroughfare or track across land or snow, used for
recreational purposes such as pedestrian activities (including wheelchair use), skating and
skateboarding, equestrian activities (including carriage driving), non-motorized snow trail activities
(including skiing), bicycling or use of other human powered vehicles, aquatic or water activities and
motorized vehicular activities (including all-terrain vehicle riding, motorcycling, snowmobiling, use of
off-road light trucks, or use of other off-road motorized vehicles).
RTP funds may be used for:
Development of urban trail linkages near homes & workplaces;
Maintenance and restoration of existing trails, including grooming of snow trails;
Development and restoration of backcountry trails;
Development and restoration of trailside and trailhead facilities (including but not limited to
drainage, crossings, stabilization, parking, signage, traffic controls, water, sanitation and
Purchase (under $5,000 per federal request) and lease/rental of trail construction and
Provision of features which facilitate the access and use of trails by persons with disabilities;
Acquisition of easements or property for trails;
Acquisition of fee simple title to property from a willing seller, when the objective of the acquisition
cannot be accomplished by acquisition of an easement or by other means (Note: All acquisition
under the RTP must comply with the Uniform Relocation Assistance and Real Property
Acquisition Policies Act of 1970, as amended http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/realestate/act.htm.);
Construction of new trails on allowable federal, state, county, municipal and private easement
lands, where a recreational need for such construction is shown;
Construction of rail trails on abandoned railroad corridors; and
Only as otherwise permissible, construction of new trails crossing federal lands, where such
construction is approved by EMNRD and the federal agency or agencies charged with
management of all impacted lands; such approval is to be contingent upon compliance by the
federal agency with all applicable laws, including the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA)
(42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.), the Forest and Rangeland Renewable Resources Planning Act of
1974, as amended (16 U.S.C. 1600 et seq.) and the Federal Land Policy and Management Act
(43 U.S. C. 1701 et seq.).
FHWA gives priority consideration to environmental mitigation project proposals that provide for the
redesign, reconstruction, non-routine maintenance, or relocation of trails in order to mitigate and
minimize impact to the natural environment.
WHICH PROJECTS ARE NOT ELIGIBLE?
Sidewalks – FHWA defines a sidewalk as a path parallel to a public road or street and does
not allow sidewalks unless the link is needed to connect other recreational trails. RTP staff
and the RTP Advisory Board (Board) handle exceptions on a case-by-case basis.
Roads – Applicants shall not use RTP funds for improvements to roads or bridges intended to
be generally accessible by low clearance passenger vehicles (regular passenger cars), unless
those roads/bridges are specifically designated for recreational trail use by the managing
agency. Applicants may use funds on high clearance primitive roads (generally not accessible
by regular passenger cars, but accessible with higher clearance light trucks, such as high
clearance sport utility vehicles), and for bridges on high clearance primitive roads. Eligible
high clearance primitive roads/bridges may include old county, town, or township rights-of-way
no longer maintained for general passenger vehicle traffic, provided the project does not open
the road to general passenger vehicle traffic.
Road Facilities – New Mexico’s RTP does not fund road shoulders and other associated
bicycle and pedestrian facilities. A more suitable source of funding for these types of projects
is the Transportation Enhancements Program, administered in New Mexico by the Department
of Transportation. Contact your transportation district staff for more information.
Feasibility Studies – Only on-the-ground trail projects are eligible through the RTP. Feasibility
studies, if necessary, must be completed prior to submission of your application.
Planning, Design and Engineering – The RTP allows some costs, but the line item cost may
not exceed 10% of the total cost of the project as indicated on the cost estimate form.
Condemning land – Recipients shall not use funds as reimbursement for condemned land, nor
use the value of condemned land as matching funds.
Rails with Trails – Rails with trails are permissible, but trails shall not place trail users on or
between actively used railroad tracks, except for purposes of an authorized railroad crossing.
Applicants may locate trails within or along railroad rights-of-way provided that trail users will
not have to traverse on or between railroad tracks and if Applicants take adequate safety
measures with the railroad owner, operator, and state agency with jurisdiction over railroads.
Rail trails located on abandoned railroad corridors are an eligible category under this program.
Law Enforcement – FHWA does not allow funds to be used for routine law enforcement costs.
The Board is responsible for distinguishing routine from non-routine enforcement.
Wilderness Areas – Federally designated wilderness areas are subject to the restrictions of the
Wilderness Act (16 U.S.C. 1131).
Non-Motorized to Motorized Use – Applicants shall not use RTP funds to upgrade, expand or
otherwise facilitate motorized use or access to trails predominately used by non-motorized trail
users, and on which, as of May 1, 1991, motorized use is either prohibited or has not occurred.
Circular Tracks – FHWA does not consider tracks as trails for the purposes of the RTP, and
will not consider them for funding.
Construction of any recreational trail on Bureau of Land Management or National Forest System
lands for motorized uses, unless such lands:
o Have been allocated for uses other than wilderness by an approved agency resource
management plan or have been released to uses other than wilderness by an act of
o Such construction is otherwise consistent with the management direction in such
approved land and resource management plan.
WHO CAN SPONSOR A PROJECT?
Municipal and county governments, state, tribal and federal agencies, and schools are eligible to
apply for funding. Non-profit 501(c) organizations in partnership with legal political subdivisions or
other governmental entities may also apply. States are encouraged to use qualified youth
conservation or service corps for construction and maintenance of recreational trails under this
program. See www.corpsnetwork.org for more information.
HOW DOES PROJECT FUNDING WORK?
The RTP provides funding for the development and improvement of recreational trails for both
motorized and non-motorized uses. The RTP provides up to 80% of the total cost of a project and
requires a minimum 20% project sponsor match. For example, a project with a total cost of $80,000
would be eligible for up to $64,000 (80%) in federal funds. The project sponsor must contribute a
minimum of $16,000 (20%).
A federal agency project sponsor may provide match using additional federal funds, provided the
total federal share does not exceed 95%. The 5% non-federal match must come from other funding
partners. A federal agency may use funds from other federal programs for the RTP match if the
project also is eligible under the other program. A federal agency may also use RTP funds toward
the non-federal share for other federal programs. Federal agency sponsors can use in-kind
materials and services toward the federal project match.
The RTP is a reimbursement-based grant, meaning EMNRD shall reimburse the federal share only
after costs are incurred by the sponsor and the appropriate documentation is submitted. Costs
incurred prior to EMNRD contract approval are not eligible for reimbursement. The minimum federal
share request is $15,000, and a single request cannot exceed the annual federal allocation for the
project category: 30 percent for motorized trails; 30 percent for non-motorized trails; and 40 percent for
diversified trail use, which either provide for the greatest number of compatible recreational purposes or
for innovative recreational trail corridor sharing to accommodate motorized and non-motorized
recreational trail use.
TIPS FOR OBTAINING RECREATIONAL TRAILS PROGRAM PROJECT FUNDING
Applicants shall develop a proposal sufficiently so that the project may be implemented quickly after
project approval. If you have a trail project proposal, first contact the EMNRD State Parks Division
(http://www.emnrd.state.nm.us/PRD/rectrails.htm) to verify the program requirements and criteria for
project selection. As a project sponsor, you should:
Prepare a project development plan. What aspects need to be addressed? Identify issues and
steps which are critical to the project development process.
Develop a workable project. What are the trail needs? What can be done realistically?
Get public support for the project. How does the project benefit the community? Are there
other potential project sponsors?
Find other funding sources. Some sate or local governments may provide some matching
funds, but often the project sponsor has to provide most or the entire match.
Consider donations of materials and services, including volunteer labor.
Consider how to involve youth conservation or service corps in the project. See
www.corpsnetwork.org for information on youth corps.
Develop a good project design, keeping safety and security in mind.
Consider the natural environment in which the project is located.
Consider user needs and desires, including use by people with disabilities.
Consider potential obstacles:
- Environmental impacts - these must be minimized and mitigated.
- Permits - various permits may be needed prior to submitting the project proposal.
- Possible opposition - sources include concerns about property rights, liability, safety,
security, noise, historic or archaeological impacts, or environmental impacts.
Complete the project application. If your project is approved, get to work! Project approval may
be withdrawn if a sponsor does not show evidence of progress within a reasonable time frame.
Submitting Your Application
Your success depends directly on the information and documentation provided in the application. The
information should be clear, concise, well written and recorded per the instructions on the forms
provided. Often, applications are lengthy but fail to present the specifics of the project needed by the
Board to score the project adequately and efficiently.
Each Applicant is required to submit twelve (12) complete, clipped or stapled copies (no plastic binders!)
of the trails application and support documentation - one copy must include original signatures and be
identified as “original” on the cover. The trail application must include an application form, project
narrative, cost estimate, maps and all necessary support documentation in the order outlined in the
Application Checklist. PLEASE NUMBER ALL PAGES OF THE APPLICATION.
Applicants may submit multiple applications, but each physically separated trail project must be
submitted as a separate proposal. Please realize that your application will be ineligible if multiple project
sites are included in the same application. If you intend to seek funding for multiple sites, please
prioritize your applications.
EMNRD must receive your RTP application(s) and all pertinent documentation with required
copies in one of the two Santa Fe State Parks offices identified below no later than 4:30 P.M. on
April 30, 2010.
EMNRD shall not accept applications delivered after 4:30 P.M. or those postmarked (but
not received) by April 30, 2010.
EMNRD shall not accept e-mailed or faxed applications.
EMNRD shall not consider ineligible projects and incomplete applications for funding.
Applicants are responsible for verifying that their applications have been received.
Applicants may verify receipt by calling David Certain at (505) 827-1476.
Please send or deliver your trail application(s) and support documentation to:
Mailing Address: EMNRD, State Parks Division
P.O. Box 1147
Santa Fe, New Mexico 87504-1147
ATTN: David Certain
Hand Delivery Addresses: New Mexico State Parks
141 E. De Vargas St.
Santa Fe, New Mexico 87501
ATTN: David Certain
New Mexico State Parks
1220 S. St. Francis Dr.
Santa Fe, NM 87505
ATTN: David Certain
APPLICATION REVIEW AND RECOMMENDATION PROCESS
The RTP staff initially review each application to ensure eligibility. The Board reviews, scores and
prioritizes each eligible application in accordance with the Project Selection Criteria Point System.
RTP staff will submit projects recommended for funding to FHWA for final approval and funding
obligation. Upon FHWA approval, EMNRD and successful Applicants shall enter into a contractual
agreement. You may not start work on an approved project until the New Mexico Department of
Finance and Administration has either approved the contractual agreement and encumbered the funds
(for private entities) or has encumbered the funds (for governmental entities). Selected Sponsors have
three years to complete projects. RTP staff inspects selected projects every five years thereafter to
verify compliance with program requirements.
The highest scoring project applications are in ranking order and conform to the 30%
motorized, 30% non-motorized and 40% diversified minimum funding requirements,
contingent upon the extent and availability of funds. In the event a Sponsor withdraws a
funded project or the project is disqualified, RTP staff may make funding available to the
next approved Applicant through September 30 of that year.
RESOURCES AND ADDITIONAL INFORMATION
Technical Application Assistance
Applicants shall direct requests for technical assistance, comments and questions to David
Certain, State Trails Coordinator, at (505) 827-1476. Applicants can obtain the RTP
application and links to trail resources on the State Parks Division website at
http://www.emnrd.state.nm.us/PRD/rectrails.htm. RTP staff may also provide copies on disk
Youth Group Contacts
New Mexico Youth Conservation Corps www.emnrd.state.nm.us/YCC/
Southwest Conservation Corps http://www.sccorps.org/
Rocky Mountain Youth Corps http://youthcorps.org/
For assistance with trail accessibility, contact the Access Board at 1-800-872-2253. Refer to
the Proposed Architectural Barriers Act Accessibility Guidelines for Outdoor Developed Areas.
Trail Design, Construction and Maintenance
University of Minnesota Extension Office
Professional Trailbuilders Association
Federal Program Guidelines
Federal RTP guidelines are available at the FHWA website at
Reference Materials and Contractual Terms
The following documents are critical to the success of your Application. You should review each one
prior to submitting an Application. You must provide the items in bold with your Application. If your
project is funded, you will be required to comply with the terms and conditions of either a Professional
Services Agreement – required for 501(C) entities; or a Joint Powers Agreement – required for
governmental entities. To obtain these documents, visit the State Parks Division website:
1. Sample List of Environmental Consultants in Central New Mexico
2. Sample Location/Boundary Map
3. Sample Site Development Map
4. Sample Floor Plan
5. NEPA Compliance Procedures
6. W-9 Form
7. NM DOT Equipment Rate Schedule
These instructions correspond with the numbered spaces on the Application Form.
1. Type of entity applying for funds: Check one box, unless you are co-sponsoring a project
with another entity. Non-profits must partner with a governmental entity in order to be considered
eligible for funding.
2. Sponsor Contact Information: Enter Applicant name. Provide the complete mailing address
where the Applicant will receive correspondence and the county in which the project is located.
3. Population Served: Enter the estimated number of people that will be served by this project.
Use of the SCORP (Statewide Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Plan) may be helpful for this
response. The SCORP is located at http://www.emnrd.state.nm.us/PRD/Scorp.htm.
4. New Mexico Senate, House of Representatives and U.S. Congressional Districts: Enter
the district numbers for your project. This information can be found at
http://www.congress.org/congressorg/home/ by entering the zip code in which your project is located.
5. Planning District: There are seven Councils of Government (COG) – enter the district in
which your project is located. The districts are defined as indicated below:
1. Northwest New Mexico COG – Cibola, McKinley and San Juan counties
2. North Central New Mexico Economic Development District (COG) – Rio Arriba, Santa Fe,
Taos, Los Alamos, Colfax, Mora and San Miguel counties
3. Mid-Region COG – Sandoval, Bernalillo, Valencia and Torrance counties
4. Eastern Plains COG – Union, Harding, Quay, Curry, Guadalupe, De Baca, and Roosevelt
5. Southwest New Mexico COG –Catron, Grant, Luna and Hidalgo counties
6. Southeastern New Mexico Economic Development District (COG) – Lincoln, Chaves,
Otero, Lea and Eddy counties
7. South Central COG – Socorro, Sierra and Dona Ana counties
6. Contact Person Information: Provide the name, title, phone, fax and email of the primary
contact person for the project. Inclusion of an alternate or secondary contact is also helpful.
7. Federal Tax ID: This is a seven-digit number also referred to as the Federal Employer
Identification Number (FEIN).
8. State Tax ID Number: This is an eleven-digit number, also known as the Business Tax
9. Name of Project: Provide a brief descriptive name for your project (i.e. “Sunset Trail
Reconstruction”). EMNRD will use this name in press releases and other documents if your project is
selected for funding.
10. Project Trail Length: Indicate the numbers of miles of trail that will be constructed or
maintained (example -15 miles new trail construction or 6 miles of trail will be maintained)
11. Project Scope: Provide a concise description of what will be done. This description will be
used in your contract if you receive funding. (Example: City of Roswell will improve the Riverside Trail
at the City Park by developing trailhead facilities including a parking area, benches and signage).
You will have an opportunity to provide more detail in your project narrative.
12. Project Location: Provide directions to the project location using landmarks, major
intersections, etc. (The location map you provide should correspond with this description). Please
provide latitude/longitude coordinates for your project location, if available.
13. Trail Funding Category: Check one use that describes the type of trail use for your project.
Refer to the information below to determine which category to select. Categories 1 and 2 count toward
the 30% non-motorized minimum; Categories 2, 3 and 5 count towards the required 40% diversified
minimum, and: Categories 4 and 5 count towards the 30% motorized minimum.
Category 1 - Non-motorized project for a single use: A project primarily intended to benefit
only one mode of non-motorized recreational trail use, such as pedestrian only, or bicycling only.
Projects serving various pedestrian uses (such as walking, hiking, wheelchair use, running, bird
watching, nature interpretation, backpacking, etc.) constitute a single use for the purposes of this
category. (Note: wheelchair use by mobility-impaired people, whether operated manually or
powered, constitutes pedestrian use, not motorized use). Projects serving various non-motorized
human-powered snow uses (such as skiing, snowshoeing, etc.) constitute a single use for this
Category 2 - Non-motorized diverse use project: A project primarily intended to benefit more
than one mode of non-motorized recreational trail use such as: walking, bicycling, and skating;
pedestrian and equestrian use; or pedestrian use in summer and cross-country ski use in winter.
(Note: Electrically powered bicycles, scooters, and personal mobility devices – such as the
Segway – are considered motorized vehicles for the purposes of this program under 23 U.S.C.
206(g)(4). The exception is a motorized wheelchair.)
Category 3 - Diverse use project including both motorized and non-motorized uses: A
project intended to benefit both non-motorized recreational trail use and motorized recreational
trail use. This category includes projects where motorized use is permitted, but is not the
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predominant beneficiary. This category includes projects where motorized and non-motorized
uses are separated by season, such as equestrian use in summer and snowmobile use in winter.
Category 4 - Motorized single use project: A project primarily intended to benefit only one
mode of motorized recreational use. A project may be classified in this category if the project also
benefits some non-motorized uses (it is not necessary to exclude non-motorized uses), but the
primary intent must be for the benefit of motorized use.
Category 5 - Motorized diverse use project: A project primarily intended to benefit more
than one mode of motorized recreational use, such as: motorcycle and ATV use; or ATV use in
summer and snowmobile use in winter. A project may be classified in this category if the
project also benefits some non-motorized uses (it is not necessary to exclude non-motorized
uses), but the primary intent must be for the benefit of motorized use.
14. Trail Type: Check all the trail uses that apply to your project. A project that allows more uses is
not necessarily more significant than one with fewer uses. The successful planning and management
of the uses is more important overall.
15. Project Type: Check all project types that apply to your project.
16. Does this project link to, or is it an integral part of any regionally/nationally significant
trails? If this trail project links to another trail or a trail system, please provide pertinent information
about the trail or system. Examples of regionally and nationally significant trails in New Mexico
include the Continental Divide National Scenic Trail, the Camino Real de Tierra Adentro National
Historic Trail, the Santa Fe National Historic Trail, the Rio Grande Trail (proposed), etc.
17. Has the Applicant received funding from the RTP or Land and Water Conservation Fund
(LWCF) in the past? List previously funded LWCF project sites by name and federal identification
number. List RTP projects by the EMNRD contract number.
18. Schedule of Use: Indicate the hours the facility/trail will be posted open for safe public use.
19. Estimated Annual Operation and Maintenance Budget: Indicate the funds that will be
available and budgeted for continued operation and maintenance of the trail/facility once the project is
20. Certification: The individual responsible for authorizing the submittal of this application to
EMNRD must provide a signature, printed name and title, and date here.
Project Cost Estimate
Identify the estimated cost of all items to be incurred during your trail project. Eligible items include:
limited planning, design and engineering; direct labor costs, special services (i.e. electrician, plumber,
mason), rental equipment (i.e. dozer, backhoe) and materials (i.e. quantity, unit cost). Read the
information below to determine how to complete this portion of the application. You may refer to the
sample cost estimate on page 14 for additional pertinent information. If your project is for trail
amenities only (trailhead, signage, benches and other associated improvements), application questions
concerning technical aspects of the trail will be awarded points based on the trail that the amenities are
serving, so be sure to include this important information in your application.
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Please use the following cost categories to complete the Cost Estimate Form. Most project costs will
fall into these categories. If you anticipate costs that do not fall into one of these categories, please call
RTP staff to make sure they are eligible.
Planning, Design and Engineering - When determining your project costs, you may factor in costs for
planning, design and engineering, but only for those costs to be incurred after a contract is signed with
EMNRD and only if the costs are part of this on-the-ground trail project (not part of another phase).
The total of all planning, design and engineering costs you decide to include on the Cost Estimate Form
must not exceed 10% of the federal share.
Materials – Materials costs can include but are not limited to trail surfacing materials, non-expendable
trailhead amenities, trail signage, bridge materials and culverts. Materials costs may be used as either
the federal share or the sponsor match, but the value of stockpiled materials may only be included as
sponsor match if they will be used for the project. If applicable, please include the unit cost for your
materials, as indicated in the sample cost estimate. One item you must include is a permanent sign at
your project location that indicates the project was funded through the RTP. There is no required size
or format, though we do ask that it is visible and legible to the average trail user. The sign may be
itemized as a federal or matching cost.
Labor – Eligible labor costs may be that of force account and/or volunteer. Force account labor is
labor provided by the sponsoring entity’s paid staff and is valued at actual employee pay rates. Your
estimates for force account labor can include fringe benefits for each employee. Be sure to indicate if
you are including benefits in your cost estimate, and be prepared to show documentation supporting your
estimate at any time. Wages must meet the Fair Labor Standards Act.
Volunteer labor is unpaid labor donated by a third party. The most basic form of volunteer labor is
unskilled. Unskilled laborers often assist with tasks such as clearing the trail corridor, spreading trail
materials and re-vegetation. These volunteers might not be valued as highly as skilled volunteers, who
have previous experience and knowledge of trail-specific techniques and tool use (such as power
equipment or chainsaws). Please refer to the Department of Labor’s Occupational Employment
Statistics to aid in determining an hourly value for your volunteer labor. After going to the following
website, http://www.dws.state.nm.us/eds/, use the regional, statewide or metropolitan categories listed
on the left side of the page depending on your project’s location. After clicking on a specific occupation
(they are first organized by category, then individual occupation), read the description to make sure it
matches your volunteer duties. Then select a wage that does not exceed the “Experienced” wage
shown for each occupation. Your choice should be based on the skills of your volunteers. In some
cases, choosing the “Entry” rate will be appropriate. Common occupations related to trail work are:
construction laborers; helpers in the construction trade; paving, surfacing and tamping equipment
operators; recreation workers; and landscaping and grounds keeping workers.
Other volunteers are those who donate professional services (what they do for a living), such as a
carpenter, lawyer, mason, or electrician. Their time may be valued at the rate they would normally
charge for such services. Force account labor may be a part of the federal share or the sponsor match,
while volunteer labor (like any donation) may only count towards the sponsor match. Convict labor is
permitted as long as it is not within the right-of-way of a federal-aid highway.
Equipment – New equipment specific to your trail project may be purchased so long as the total
federal request does not exceed $5,000. If the use of large equipment is necessary, you can include
the cost for renting that equipment in your cost estimate. Equipment purchase and rental may be
included as federal share or sponsor match, but use of sponsor-owned equipment may only be applied
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to the sponsor match. This can be done using the NMDOT Equipment Rate Schedule. This form is
available as an Attachment. Equipment maintenance services or the purchase of items associated with
maintaining equipment are not an eligible cost. Purchase of office equipment (computer, fax, copier,
etc.) is not an eligible cost. If the equipment you plan to use is not on the list, please contact a rental
company and provide a quote-based rate.
Contractual Services – You may subcontract all or any portion of your trail project. However, you
MUST competitively bid all subcontracts for which you wish to be reimbursed with Federal funds. Also,
be sure to include with your application a list of the items you anticipate bidding out and a justification
for the bid amount. Consider using contractors from the Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE)
Directory when possible (http://www.nmshtd.state.nm.us/main.asp?secid=11175).
Line Item Priority
Because the Board can choose to fund all or a portion of your project, you may prioritize your line items
using the far left column of the cost estimate sheet. “C” tells us that the line item is critical to the trail
project, while “N” indicates the item is needed but not critical. It is not necessary to prioritize every item
in your estimate.
Federal Share and Sponsor Match
Federal Share - An award of financial assistance by the state or federal government to an eligible
recipient. The Recreational Trails Program awards grants on a reimbursement basis only. This means
project sponsors must incur and document project costs and then request reimbursement.
Sponsor Match - The costs of a project not covered by the federal share. Matching funds can come
from the project sponsor or from third-party donations. Matching costs are not eligible for
reimbursement, but are required for the reimbursement of those costs that are eligible. Matching costs
may be in the form of cash, materials, in-kind labor or services contributed to the project by a third-
party. The estimated value of third-party donations must be determined at current fair market value.
Always provide an explanation of how the value of donated items was determined. Donations are not
Tips for Completing the Cost Estimate Form
The categories of eligible costs may be distributed over several line items to provide adequate
information about your project needs. Being too specific can be cumbersome should your project be
funded. For example, identifying the total cost of materials needed to construct a bridge could be
placed in one line item called “Bridge Materials”. This would be acceptable. Placing each length of
lumber in a different line item with a specific price per length is too specific. Because up to one year
can pass before you can begin to incur costs on a funded project, give much consideration to extreme
cost fluctuations for items such as fuel, asphalt and other petroleum-based products.
There is no specific way to divide your costs between the federal share and sponsor match columns, so
long as the federal share does not exceed 80% of the total project cost. After you have included all
project costs, subtotal each column and then total the entire project in the bottom row. To calculate the
percentages of federal share and sponsor match, use the formulas below.
Formula One: Federal Share / Total Cost x 100 = Federal Share Percentage
Formula Two: 100 – Federal Share Percentage = Sponsor Match Percentage
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Federal Share = $65,000
Sponsor Match = $49,000
Total Cost = $114,000
Formula One: $65,000/$114,000 x 100 = 57% (federal share)
Formula Two: 100 – 57 = 43% (sponsor match)
Because the RTP is a reimbursement program, your entity must be prepared to budget and possibly
incur the total cost of the project before reimbursement can be made. The minimum federal share
request is $15,000.
Project Cost Estimate Form
Priority: C=Critical; N=Needed but not Critical
Priority Cost Estimate Description Federal Share Sponsor Match
Site Preparation – grading, grubbing and relocation of trail
C away from wetland site $17,000.00
C Asphalt Paving ~400 tons (trail W x L x D) $25,000.00
C Sheep Hoof Roller ($1400 per week x 2 weeks) $2,500.00
C Base Course ~550 tons (Trail W x L x D) $9,000.00
N Culverts (4) $ 800.00
N Signage ($50 each. x 10) $ 700.00
C Trailhead and parking to include ADA $15,000.00
N Design and engineering $ 6,000.00
C Volunteer Labor (~1609 hours of labor @ $8.00 /hour) $14,000.00
Sub-Totals $80,000.00 * (80%) $20,000.00 * (20%)
Total Cost of Project $100,000.00 * (80% + 20%)
Project Narrative Requirements
Follow the outline below when composing your project narrative:
NOTE: Failure to address the items listed below will result in a loss of points or application ineligibility
upon review. Information that is in a logical order with bold or numbered headings makes the scoring
process quicker and more enjoyable for everyone involved. Applicants are asked to fill out the Project
Selection Criteria Point System form based on their perspective of the project, but are not required to do
1. Describe the nature and pertinent history of the entity requesting funds.
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2. Provide basic project facts including but not limited to project location, trail length, types of
facilities available/provided, and how the funds will be used. Also indicate if the trail (not necessarily
the facility in which the trail is located) requires the user to pay a fee.
3. Describe the project need and any local or regional support.
B. Project Selection Criteria Point System
1. What uses will this trail project accommodate? Who is the intended audience?
2. How will this project link to other areas? Show these links on your site development map if
possible. Consider describing the potential benefits as a result of linking trails to these areas, even if
the links are part of a larger planned or existing system/network of trails.
3. Describe the high-quality aspects of this trail project (e.g. design elements, aesthetic value,
unique aspects, etc.) and identify/describe the standard to which this trail is/was built, if applicable
(e.g. IMBA, Forest Service). If you are not using established trail design and construction standards,
please review the list below and choose a standard that meets your needs. If you are unsure of
which standard to choose, please call the RTP staff for technical assistance.
a) International Mountain Bicycling Association (suitable design and construction techniques for
all natural surface trails, including hiking, mountain biking, equestrian and motorized)
b) U.S. Forest Service Trail Design & Construction Notebook (suitable for backcountry and front
country trails, does not address accessibility). RTP staff can provide a hard copy on request.
c) American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials, Guide for the
Development of Bicycle Facilities (suitable for urban trails and trails with a developed firm
surface) Designing Sidewalks and Trails for Access
d) Forest Service Outdoor Recreation Accessibility Guidelines (FSORAG)
4. Describe how your entity considered and will accommodate safety in this trail project’s design,
construction, operation or maintenance.
5. Describe the nature of any sharing between motorized and non-motorized uses in this trail
project, if applicable.
6. Describe project partnerships that will provide tangible contributions (land, labor, services,
funding, etc.). Partners can include but are not limited to state, federal or tribal entities, local
governments, schools, businesses, special interest groups or private individuals. Applicants may
include letters of general support, but the letter writers are not considered “partners” for this
7. Describe specifically how this trail project will positively affect the environment. Examples include
but are not limited to xeriscaping, using less toxic products, educating the public, stabilizing a stream
bank, protecting plants or animals, preserving archeological sites, etc.
8. What portion of this trail project, if any, provides access for persons with disabilities? Consider
accommodating pedestrians as well as users who access trails by horse, ATV, snowmobile or other
means. RTP staff defines routine accommodation as minimum compliance with the Americans with
Disabilities Act and Architectural Barriers Act (ABA). Be sure to describe if your efforts go above and
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beyond routine accommodation. Examples of “above and beyond” include accessible horse
mounting ramps, Braille, auditory communication, etc..
Though there are no mandatory technical standards for making recreational trails accessible for RTP
projects, there are still statutory responsibilities at the state and private sector levels which you are
responsible for meeting. The Access Board established the Regulatory Committee on Accessibility
Guidelines for Outdoor Developed Areas, which issued its report on September 15, 1999. The
technical information provided in this report is, at the time of this application cycle, being considered
for inclusion in the ABA. As of this grant cycle, there is no requirement to use the recommendations
for RTP projects, but familiarity with the Access Board’s recommendations is highly recommended.
Some federal agencies have already adopted the Access Board’s recommendations as policy.
9. Is this trail project part of a local, county or regional plan? Describe how your project fits into long-
range plans for the area it will serve. The proposed project can specifically or generally be part of a
plan prepared by the Applicant’s organization or part of an overall recreation/trail plan prepared by
a governmental entity. The Board will consider funding individual projects that are not part of an
overall plan, but views projects that fit into an overall long-term plan more favorably. Therefore,
RTP staff encourages Applicants to develop a trail plan if the development of additional trails is
anticipated in the future. Do NOT include copies of entire plans with your application – only
include the cover page and the pages pertinent to this project, with the appropriate passages
10. Please describe how your entity plans to make the most out of the RTP funds, leveraging for
additional dollars both now and in the future.
11. Using volunteers to complete aspects of your trail project will save money and provide valuable
matching dollars, plus provide a unique way for the community to be directly involved with the
project. The RTP encourages the use of conservation or service corps, including but not limited to
the Youth Conservation Corps and the Student Conservation Association. Indicate what percentage
of labor for this project will be completed using volunteer and/or service corps labor, and what
services the group(s) will provide.
12. Though construction of new trails is important, having the resources to maintain them is vital.
Indicate how your entity plans to operate and maintain this project once it is completed.
Documentation of a firm commitment (such as a line item in your budget or statement in your long-
range plan) is required.
13. Does this trail project have the potential to serve as a model to the region, state or nation?
Describe the demonstration value of the project and how your entity will document and promote the
project as a model.
14. This federal-aid program requires compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act
(NEPA) (which includes state compliance with the State Historic Preservation Division) (SHPD).
How will your entity effectively meet the NEPA requirements in this trail project? Indicate the status of
your compliance with regards to this project and your plans to reach full compliance should your
project be selected for funding. You will not be awarded the full points unless your application is
signed by the appropriate individuals regarding environmental and cultural/archeological compliance.
See the Attachments document for a list of environmental consultants.
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15. Administrative Score – RTP staff will rate Applicants on the basis of their past experience with
the RTP, based on a scale. Below are the criteria used by the RTP program managers (with review
by the Board) to determine the administrative score:
Timeliness of Reporting – The RTP requires quarterly reporting as well as when reimbursement is
Communication – Regular communication with RTP program managers is essential to the
success of your project. For example, all project scope and budget changes require prior
approval. If your entity has made changes without approval in past RTP projects, it will be
Quality of Reimbursements – Requests for reimbursement must follow a specific format outlined
in the Billing Procedures (available on the State Parks Division webpage). Items to consider in
this category include mathematical errors, unorganized documents and incomplete packets of
Contract Compliance – Your EMNRD contract will stipulate several state and federal
requirements that must be followed. Examples include the NEPA and Section 106 process,
inclusion of a sign acknowledging the funding source, and insurance requirements.
16. The amount of financial assistance available through the RTP is limited. Applications must
reflect the highest recreation needs of users. The assessment of these needs should be based upon
coordinated, long-range planning efforts and a review of the 2004-2009 Statewide Comprehensive
Outdoor Recreation Plan (SCORP). These needs are usually determined through conscientious
planning and decision-making procedures rather than from administrative or political impulses.
Therefore, evidence of an Applicant’s recreation planning and public involvement process is required
as part of this application. Briefly describe how this trail project meets public needs through your long-
range planning efforts and as they are outlined in the SCORP. Do not simply copy and highlight
the SCORP. Instead, relate HOW your project meets the needs outlined in the SCORP. Use
geographic, economic and social/cultural/historic information pertinent to your region, as well as how
you are meeting demand, not just following the trends. You may wish to note what resources your
community/region has currently and explain how this particular project will diversify, improve or
otherwise benefit your area.
Required Support Documentation
The items below are lettered in the order in which they shall be submitted, as indicated on the
application checklist. Items A-E are included in the RTP Application.
A. Application Checklist
B. Application Form
C. Project Cost Estimate
D. Project Narrative (including relevance to SCORP)
E. Project Selection Criteria Point System
F. W-9 Form - Complete the W-9 Form in the application in order for EMNRD to verify your status
as a vendor or add your organization as a new vendor in its accounting system should you be
selected for funding.
G. Transmittal letter or Resolution signed by the appropriate agency/entity official. (Please notify
RTP staff if there is a change in authorized signatory). The transmittal letter, which may have multiple
signatures, should include the following statements:
1. This project is in compliance with 23 U.S.C. 206(g) of the RTP legislation (below):
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23 U.S.C. 206(g) Uses Not Permitted.--A State may not obligate funds apportioned to carry
out this section for--
(1) condemnation of any kind of interest in property;
(2) construction of any recreational trail on National Forest System land for any
motorized use unless--
(A) the land has been designated for uses other than wilderness by an approved
forest land and resource management plan or has been released to uses other
than wilderness by an Act of Congress; and
(B) the construction is otherwise consistent with the management direction in the
approved forest land and resource management plan;
(3) construction of any recreational trail on Bureau of Land Management land for
any motorized use unless the land--
(A) has been designated for uses other than wilderness by an approved Bureau
of Land Management resource management plan or has been released to uses
other than wilderness by an Act of Congress; and
(B) the construction is otherwise consistent with the management direction in the
approved management plan; or
(4) upgrading, expanding, or otherwise facilitating motorized use or access to
recreational trails predominantly used by non-motorized recreational trail users and
on which, as of May 1, 1991, motorized use was prohibited or had not occurred.
2. A statement from the agency landowner(s) indicating that they authorize and support this
application for funding, AND that they will ensure public access to the trail for a minimum of 25
years. Private landowner(s) must indicate their willingness to provide an easement or other
legally binding agreement that ensures public access to recreational trail improvements
funded through the RTP for a minimum of 25 years. Include private landowner statements on
separate attached letters.
The Resolution passed by the appropriate governing body or board should 1) authorize the
submission of this grant application, 2) assure that the project sponsor has matching funds available
to complete the project within the grant term and 3) ensure public access to the recreational trail
improvements funded by the grant for a minimum of 25 years. Resolutions must be
approved/signed by the application deadline.
H. Trail Signage Information – You must provide a drawing or samples of the types of
trailhead/roadside and/or trail markers for this project. Include the type, location, width, height,
material, and a sample of what will be printed on the sign. If your project is funded, you MUST
include language that acknowledges funding support by the Federal Highway Administration’s
Recreational Trails Program and EMNRD - State Parks Division.
I. Maps - You must provide a project location/boundary map and a site development map. Refer to
the Attachments document for examples of required maps. The project location/boundary map
should be a U.S.G.S. topographic map (or a portion of one – if including a portion, please indicate the
name of the quadrangle). Map size (except U.S.G.S. map) should not exceed 8 1/2" X 11". BE
SURE MAPS ARE LEGIBLE. THE SITE DEVELOPMENT MAP SHOULD CLEARLY DEPICT THE
AREA TO BE ACQUIRED, DEVELOPED OR IMPROVED. THIS IS CRITICAL FOR THE REVIEW
PROCESS. If your project involves the development of a structure, please provide a floor plan similar
to the sample in the Attachments document. An acceptable topographic map can be obtained from
the following website, http://terraserver-usa.com/default.aspx.
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J. Trail Cross-section Diagram - Complete the Trail Cross Section Diagram included as an
Attachment. This will aid our staff in determining if your trail meets the needs of the users it will
K. Environmental/Cultural Status Documentation - All RTP projects must meet the
requirements of the New Mexico State Statutes, the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA)
and the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) before site work or on-the-ground work can be
started. Please refer to the Attachments document for detailed information about this process. If
you have already consulted with SHPD, please include evidence of concurrence. Likewise, if you
have conducted environmental work, include your document (CE, EIS, EA) (approved by a person
authorized to sign the document) with this proposal. If you have utilized federal funds for your
project area in the past, you may include previously approved applicable documents. If you plan to
utilize RTP funds to conduct your cultural or environmental undertakings, you cannot begin this
work until your application has been approved and a contract is in place.
L. Insurance - Provide documented proof of insurance referencing 1) Worker’s compensation
protection that complies with the New Mexico Worker’s Compensation Act, NMSA 1978, Sections 52
1-1 et seq.; and 2) comprehensive public liability protection concerning property damage and
personal injury liability, NMSA 1978, Section 41-4-19. Insurance must remain in effect throughout
M. Proof of Ownership - Provide documents such as deeds and plats/maps verifying ownership of
the land(s) to be acquired, developed or improved. (i.e. deeds, plats/maps that delineate property
boundaries, federal/state lease agreements, etc.).
N. 501(c) Verification - Organizations with 501(c) designation must provide documentation that
verifies not for profit status.
O. Letters from Appropriate Reviewing Entities - If your entity is proposing to conduct project
activities on land leased from another public agency, a letter is required from the appropriate
agencies and reviewing entities verifying their review and comments on the proposed project as it
relates to activities that fall within their area of jurisdiction. It is also helpful to obtain approval of your
proposal from the regional planning organization in which your project is located.
Permits and/or approvals are required for the following situations. It is your responsibility to obtain
all necessary permits and/or approvals for the following:
o The crossing of any public highways: Applicant must include a statement or copies of
letters certifying the appropriate officials having jurisdiction over the public road where the
trail crosses have reviewed this project and the proposed crossing meets their approval.
o The crossing of any railroad, gas line, power line, or other utility rights-of-way: Applicant
must include documentation certifying that appropriate officials and or utility company have
reviewed this project and the proposed crossing meets their approval.
o The crossing of any stream/encroachment on any wetlands: Applicant planning to
construct, operate, maintain, enlarge or abandon any obstruction (bridge, channel change,
etc.) that will affect a watercourse, its 100-year floodway or any lake, pond, reservoir,
swamp, marsh or wetland, must obtain appropriate approvals. (Examples: changing a
stream channel, dredging, or crossing; building or modifying a bridge, dock, culvert, or
pier; installing or changing an intake or outfall structure; working on bank protection,
including fill, levees, dikes, bulkheads, and flood walls; placing an aerial crossing, such as
a power line over a navigable stream).
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o Building structures or providing a water supply: Applicants must secure a copy of any
building permits that may be required by the local township code enforcement officer or a
statement stating a permit is not necessary in this case.
P. Photographs – RTP staff strongly encourages providing photographs of the proposed project
site to assist in evaluation process.
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