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National Historic Trails program honored for historic preservation efforts

Chairman’s Award for Federal Achievement In Historic Preservation for Exemplary Tourism, History Education Public Benefits


National Historic Trails, part of the National Trails System, today were honored with the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation (ACHP) Chairman’s Award for Federal Achievement in Historic Preservation at a public meeting at Union Station, Missouri.

The occasion for the presentation was the summer business meeting of the ACHP. Missouri Governor Matt Blunt, who is the presidentially appointed representative for the nation’s governors to the ACHP, attended and participated in the session.

“There is no better strategy than National Historic Trails for spurring heritage tourism, public history education, and creating unique local links to our shared national story,” said John L. Nau, III, ACHP chairman. “It is absolutely appropriate that we recognize their importance here in Missouri, a state that is directly connected to one-third of our 18 historic trails, as we celebrate 40 years since Congress created the system.”

The award went jointly to the Department of the Interior and the Department of Agriculture, who administer the congressionally designated National Historic Trails and National Scenic Trails. Partnership commendations went to the Partnership for the National Trails System and the Department of Transportation, organizations that play essential support roles in creating, maintaining, funding, and building public support and awareness for these trails. Among the Department of the Interior agencies that play the largest part in administering the trails are the National Park Service, Bureau of Land Management, and Fish and Wildlife Service. For the Department of Agriculture, the Forest Service is the principal responsible agency.

Deputy Secretary Lynn Scarlett of Interior and Under Secretary for Natural Resources and Environment Mark Rey of Agriculture accepted the awards on behalf of their departments. Accepting the commendation on behalf of the Partnership for the National Trails System was the organization’s president, Ross Marshall, of Merriam, Kansas. Accepting the partnership commendation on behalf of the Department of Transportation was Linda Lawson, director of the Office of Safety, Energy and Environment.

The National Trails System is a network of scenic, historic, and recreation trails created by the National Trails System Act of 1968 and this year is celebrating 40 years of service to the nation. These trails provide for outdoor recreation needs, promote the enjoyment, appreciation, and preservation of open-air, outdoor areas and historic resources, and encourage public access and citizen involvement.

To date, there are 18 National Historic Trails. These trails are created by congressional declaration. The existing trails are listed below, in order of date of establishment. The six trails connected to Missouri appear in boldface italic type.

Oregon National Historic Trail – 1978
Mormon Pioneer National Historic Trail – 1978
Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail – 1978
Iditarod National Historic Trail – 1978
Overmountain Victory National Historic Trail – 1980
Nez Perce National Historic Trail – 1986
Santa Fe National Historic Trail – 1987
Trail of Tears National Historic Trail – 1987
Juan Batista de Anza National Historic Trail – 1990
California National Historic Trail – 1992
Pony Express National Historic Trail – 1992
Selma to Montgomery National Historic Trail – 1996
El Camino Real de Tierra Adentro National Historic Trail – 2000
Ala Kahakai National Historic Trail – 2000
Old Spanish National Historic Trail – 2002
El Camino Real de los Tejas National Historic Trail – 2004
Captain John Smith Chesapeake National Historic Trail – 2006
Star-Spangled Banner National Historic Trail – 2008
For more information on the National Trails System, see and

ABOUT THE ACHP: The ACHP, an independent federal agency, promotes the preservation, enhancement, and productive use of the nation’s historic resources, and advises the President and Congress on national historic preservation policy. It also provides a forum for influencing federal activities, programs, and policies that impact historic properties. In addition, the ACHP has a key role in carrying out the Administration’s Preserve America program. See for more information.

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