Old Spanish Trail National Historic Trail Feasibility Study Available for Public Review
The draft report on the Old Spanish Trail National Historic Trail Feasibility Study and Environmental Assessment is now being made available for public review and comment by the National Park Service for a 90-day period beginning July 17, 2000. The National Park Service was directed by Congress to evaluate the feasibility and eligibility of designating the Old Spanish Trail a National Historic Trail under the National Trails System Act. The Old Spanish Trail was primarily a horse and mule pack route between Los Angeles, California and Santa Fe, New Mexico. Parts of the route went through the present-day states of California, Arizona, Nevada, Utah, Colorado, and New Mexico.
The history, background, and significance of the Old Spanish Trail have been researched and analyzed in accordance with the requirements of the National Trails System Act. The study concludes that the Old Spanish Trail meets all but one of the criteria of the National Trails System Act for eligibility as a national historic trail. The study finds that, with respect to the historic theme of trade and commerce and its effects on broad patterns of American culture, there is currently insufficient information upon which to conclusively base a determination of national significance. With respect to a number of historic themes and uses that were evaluated, the Old Spanish Trail is found to be of state or local significance. Therefore, the trail does not meet the criterion for national significance in section 5(b)(11)(B) of the National Trails System Act. There is a marked lack of consensus among historians consulted to date as to the significance of the trail, due in part to the paucity of historical documentation about trail use and its effects, especially with respect to the New Mexican trade caravans.
The draft study report presents an alternative that could be implemented by private organizations and the states to help preserve and interpret the Old Spanish Trail. Federal land management agencies could participate using existing authorities, or Congress could prescribe additional federal involvement.
A limited number of copies of the draft study report are available by contacting the John Paige, at the address below. The full draft study report is also available on the National Park Service web page at www.nps.gov/planning/lodi.
To provide adequate time for public review and comment, written or e-mail comments will be received through October 16, 2000. Comments should be sent to:
National Park Service
Denver Service Center, PDS
P.O. Box 25287
12795 W. Alameda Parkway
Denver, CO 80225-0287
e-mail to email@example.com
All comments received will be considered prior to the finalization of the study report, and the findings will be reevaluated based on these comments. The National Park Service will also consult with the National Park System Advisory Board next fall as to the determination of national significance per the provisions of the National Trails System Act. The completed study report will be sent to Congress for its consideration in early 2001.
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