Date: June 22, 2022
Honorable John Barrasso
307 Dirksen Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510
Dear Senator Barrasso:
We are writing to formally request legislation to direct the Secretary of Interior to conduct a Feasibility and Suitability Study for designation of the Bozeman Trail in Montana and Wyoming as a National Historic Trail, pursuant to the National Trails Act of 1968, as amended. For the past 20 months the Fort Phil Kearny/Bozeman Trail Association and Our Montana, two 501(C)(3) non-profit organizations, have conducted extensive public outreach to garner support and provide information on the benefits of designating the Bozeman Trail as a National Historic Trail for our communities.
The feasibility and suitability study requires public meetings and full public participation. The study team will use the process to fairly measure the level of public support for National Historic Trail designation. This process provides the opportunity for citizens to ask specific questions and learn how the Bozeman Trail would be managed on federal and split estate lands. Results of the study will provide information on recreation opportunities and economic benefits for our communities with a focus on along the Interstate travel corridor which parallels the historic trail route.
We are confident the feasibility and suitability study will confirm protection of private property and will not result in additional restrictions on energy development projects. A finding of feasible and suitable does not result in National designation. Following the steps prescribed steps in the National Trails Act we would come back to you to request the final National Historic Trail designation legislation.
We have attached a briefing paper and copies of enacted Senate and House of Representative Bills implementing the feasibility study for the Chisholm and Western Trails Stock Trails for your review.
In summary, the history of the Bozeman Trail is a significant cultural component of current and future generations of Wyoming and Montana citizens. Completion of the feasibility and suitability study will allow us as a community to make an informed decision about how we move forward to preserve, promote, and protect our heritage.
To learn more about our organizations and the Bozeman National Historic Trail Initiative please see the attached briefing paper and visit our websites at www.fortphilkearny.com and www.ourmontana.org. We are available at any time to discuss our request, answer questions, and provide additional information. We look forward to hearing your response to our request.
President, Fort Phil Kearny/Bozeman Trail Association
528 Wagon Box Road
Banner, Wyoming 82832
MIKE PENFOLD, Our Montana, Field Program Director
3552 Prestwick Road
Billings, MT 59101
Senator Cynthia Lummis
Representative Liz Cheney
Senator John Tester
Senator Steve Daines
Representative Matt Rosendale
Governor Mark Gordon
Governor Greg Gianforte
Mr. Darin J. Westby, Wyoming Department of State Parks and Cultural Resources
Mr. Aaron Brien, Crow Tribe Historic Preservation Officer
Ms. Teanna Limpy, Northern Cheyenne Tribe Historic Preservation Officer
Ms. Crystal C’Bearing, Northern Arapaho Tribe Historic Preservation Office
Partnership for the National Trail System
Fort Phil Kearny/Bozeman Trail Association