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Bozeman National Historic Trail Project

June, 2022 Update


We have had good success with our outreach to inform people of the benefits of getting the Bozeman Trail nationally designated as "Historic."  We have now asked our Congressional Delegations in Montana and Wyoming to pass a bill in Congress to direct that a feasibility study be completed. We believe it is critical that we show our Congressional members and Governors the public support for recognizing the historical significance of the old Bozeman Trail.


We would appreciate a letter of support from you.  Below is the letter we have sent to congressionals, the final briefing paper, and copies of the Chisholm Trail Senate and House legislation. 

Here is the link for congressional mailing addresses.    


Thanks much for your help and support.


Mike Penfold 

Field Program Director, Our Montana

Dave McKee

President, Fort Phil Kearny/Bozeman Trail Association


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 and 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

Our Montana

Fort Phil Kearny/Bozeman Trail Association


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