Department Of Interior

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NPS National Trails System Group Office
Hold for Release: June 21, 2003
BLM National Landscape Conservation System

Old Spanish Trail to be Jointly Administered by
National Park Service and Bureau of Land Management

WASHINGTON - It's been called the longest, crookedest, most ornery pack trail in the history of the United States. The Old Spanish Trail, which crosses six western states, became a part of the National Trails System last December. Interior Secretary Gale A. Norton has now assigned administration of the 25-hundred mile trail to the National Park Service and the Bureau of Land Management.

This clears the way for both agencies to assign staff to develop a comprehensive management plan and establish an advisory council. This decision was announced today at the annual conference of the Old Spanish Trail Association in Durango, Colorado.

All National Scenic and Historic Trails designated by Congress are administered and managed in the spirit of partnership and cooperation with affected Federal, State and local agencies as well as trail organizations, interest groups and the public.

The Old Spanish National Historic Trail traverses several routes from Santa Fe, New Mexico, to Los Angeles, California. Linking Indian trails and trails established earlier by Spanish and Mexican explorers, this trail's greatest significance was in the 1830s and 1840s as a trade route exchanging Mexican woolens for California horses. Fur traders, Indian slave traders, emigrants, military expeditions and gold seekers also used the trail.


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