Notice: I've taken a part-time job, and it's definitely affecting my blogging time. I'll continue to add content here as often as possible. Pertinent guest posts are always welcome.


Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Update on the Status of the Arrowhead Reroute

Border Route Trail view
Lyle Bialk taking in the view from the BRT (photo by JHY)

from Matt Davis, Regional Trail Coordinator, NCTA

I wanted to share the latest on the Arrowhead Re-route legislation's status since it was recently discussed on the post...

We (the NCTA) are hoping that the Senate Bill (S.553, introduced by Sen. Klobuchar) will advance out of the Senate's Energy & Natural Resources Committee early this summer. They should be having a committee markup session in May at which time the bill will be tweaked (to make a necessary change in the language that would not strip the recently obtained wiling seller authority) while amendments *could* be added. Our hope is that no amendments that could have negative impacts to the National Trails System will be added like those added to the House bill (H.R. 481) in Committee markup. We will be watching it closely and we do have an ally sitting on the Committee in Senator Stabenow from Michigan. So, we're hopeful the political shenanigans won't strike again.

Eventually, S. 553 and H.R. 481 would either need to be reconciled in conference committee (if passed by their respective full chambers) where the negative amendments could be stripped out *OR* the Arrowhead Re-route legislation could be included in another piece of omnibus legislation like 2009's omnibus public lands bill.

At this point, it's important to get U.S. Senators from other North Country Trail states (Wisconsin, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and New York) to sign on as co-sponsors. So far, we only have Minnesota's two Senators, Wisconsin's Feingold, and Michigan's two Senators on board. We've been told that having a Republican on board will help greatly so we're targeting Sen. Voinovich of Ohio and hoping that our Buckeye Trail folks will help us out with him. If there are any Hiker members from these states please help us. If you are from MN or MI and know of hikers and/or NCT supporters in WI, OH, PA, or NY please ask them to make some contacts.

We are hoping that this will FINALLY happen in 2010 and that we will be able to celebrate with a big, public ceremony on the SHT in Duluth...complete with a ribbon cutting by Senator Klobuchar and Rep. Oberstar.

See NCTA Arrowhead info

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