ST. LOUIS, Mo. – Deputy Secretary of the Interior Lynn Scarlett and Under Secretary of Agriculture Mark Rey today accepted historic preservation awards on behalf of their departments, honoring the heritage tourism and history education achievements of the National Historic Trails program.
The Advisory Council on Historic Preservation presented the departments its Chairman’s Award for Federal Achievement in Historic Preservation to recognize the exemplary accomplishments of The National Historic Trails program, which is part of the National Trails System. The departments of the Interior and Agriculture jointly administer the congressionally designated National Historic Trails and National Scenic Trails programs.
“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, chairman of the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation. “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.”
“This award recognizes the outstanding vision, excellent management, and hard work of a number of dedicated Interior and Agriculture employees,” Deputy Secretary Scarlett said. “I want to commend and thank them not only for the high quality of their work but also for their commitment and dedication to the historic preservation goals of the National Historic Trails program.”
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.
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 presentation took place at a public meeting at Union Station, Missouri, during the summer business meeting of the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation. Missouri Governor Matt Blunt, who is the presidentially appointed representative for the nation’s governors to the Advisory Council attended and participated in the session.