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National Historic Trails Additions to be Considered

Oregon National Historic Trail

National Park News

The National Park Service (NPS) is seeking public comments concerning 64 historic routes that are being evaluated for possible addition to the existing Oregon, California, Pony Express, and Mormon Pioneer National Historic Trails. This NPS study and environmental assessment, which is in its initial information-gathering phase, will address trail study segments in more than a dozen states from the Mississippi River to the Pacific Coast. If included, the routes would add thousands of additional miles to these existing national historic trails.  

Public meetings (please refer to schedule below) to gather information, comments, and concerns will be held in communities along the existing national historic trail routes.  The National Park Service invites everyone with an interest in the trails and their history to attend one or more of the public meetings. 

In addition to offering comments in person at the meetings, interested persons may submit their written comments regarding the study online at until July 31, 2011. Comments may also be submitted via email or in writing to or Gretchen Ward, National Trails Intermountain Region, National Park Service, P.O. Box 728, Santa Fe, NM 87504. 

Comments provided by the public during this initial planning phase will be used to develop a full range of alternatives, or proposals, for analysis and consideration.  All comments will be consolidated into a scoping report which will be posted online for the public to view.  The scoping report will be used to document public involvement in the planning process.

The study, which was authorized by Congress, will evaluate the suitability and feasibility of adding the 64 historic routes to the national historic trails under the study provisions of the National Trails System Act of 1968. The study includes an environmental assessment that will identify, evaluate, and document the potential environmental impacts of designating the routes as part of a national historic trail. The public will have an opportunity to review and comment on the draft study/environmental assessment when it becomes available in the fall of 2012. The final study/environmental assessment will be submitted to Congress, which will then decide whether to add some, all, or none of the routes to the national historic trails. 

The Oregon, California, Mormon Pioneer, and Pony Express National Historic Trails commemorate the westward movement of emigrants and others across the nation during a time of expansion and increased western settlement.  If the routes are designated, the Secretary of the Interior would continue to work in cooperation with Indian tribes and other federal, state, and local agencies, private organizations, landowners, and others to tell the trails’ stories and provide opportunities for people to visit important sites along the routes. Land ownership and private property rights would not be affected by designation and addition of these routes.  

The National Park Service grants the media permission to extract text and/or images provided in the press release and/or newsletter.

Public meetings will be held at the following locations:

April 18 – Denver, Colorado

Four Mile Historic Park

6-8 pm – 715 South Forest Street


April 19 – Casper, Wyoming

Central Wyoming Fair and Rodeo – Arena Building

5:30-7:30 pm – 1700 Fairgrounds Rd.


May 9 – Tahlequah, Oklahoma

Cherokee Nation Complex –

Tribal Council Chambers

3-5 pm - 17675 South Muskogee


May 10 – McPherson, Kansas

The McPherson Public Library

2-4 pm – 214 West Marlin


May 11 – Topeka, Kansas

Kansas Museum of History

10 am-Noon – 6425 SW 6th Avenue


May 11 – Independence, Missouri

National Frontier Trails Museum

6:30-8:30 pm – 318 West Pacific


May 12 – Lincoln, Nebraska

Nebraska History Museum – Blackman Auditorium

6-8 pm – 15th & P Streets


May 13 – Des Moines, Iowa

State Historical Building of Iowa

3-5 pm – 600 East Locust Street


May 31 – Salt Lake City, Utah

The City Library

10 am-Noon – 210 East 400 South


May 31 – Rock Springs, Wyoming

Rock Springs Historical Museum

6:30-8:30 pm – 201 B Street


June 1 – Boise, Idaho

Idaho History Center

6-8 pm – 2205 Old Penitentiary Road


June 2 – Walla Walla, Washington

Fort Walla Walla Museum at Fort Walla Walla Park

6-8 pm – 755 Myra Road


June 3 – Vancouver, Washington

Fort Vancouver National Site - Red Cross Building

6-8 pm – 605 Barnes Street


June 4 – The Dalles, Oregon

Columbia Gorge Discovery Center

10 am-Noon – 5000 Discovery Drive


June 14 – Carson City, Nevada

Carson City Library

5:30-7:30 pm – 900 North Roop St.


June 15 – Sacramento. California

Sutter’s Fort State Historic Park – Distillery Building

5:30-7:30 pm – 2701 L Street



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