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Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Will the NCT Finally Be Funded at $1 Million?

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by Joan H. Young with materials from the North Country Trail Associaton

You might wonder how National Trails get their money. National Trails receive federal dollars. But not all trails are created equal. Although the North Country Trail is the longest of the trails, its current funding level of $928,000 is the highest it has ever been. On this budget the National Park Service supports 3.5 employees and shares the balance with the North Country Trail Association. The NCTA (with membership and grant monies added) has 5 full-time and 3 part-time staff.

You might indeed wonder how they manage to accomplish as much as they do! Whenever I hear of a million dollars wasted on this or lost on that it just makes my blood boil.

But there is some good news this week. Our trail champion in Congress, Senator Carl Levin, is circulating a Dear Colleague letter with a request to increase the base funding for the NCT to $1.323 million!

Part of this money would be used to establish a National Park Service office for the NCT in Michigan. Currently the NCT shares a Superintendant and an office with the Ice Age Trail, in Madison, Wisconsin.

Another portion of the money would help to implement the Willing Seller Authority which was granted last year after more than a decade of legislative meandering.

MI Senator, Debbie Stabenow, has already signed on. Please encourage your Senators to do likewise.

See the Dear Colleague Letter


Mike Duchek said...

I am sure you mean the Ice Age Trail, not the Lewis and Clark Trail, the latter of which does not run through Wisconsin. His name actually is Tom Gilbert. Very nice guy. I did not realize he was the superintendent for both trails. In any case I'll concede that it would make more sense to administer the trail out of somewhere in MI rather than here in Madison.

Sharkbytes (TM) said...

Oh, Duh... that's what I get for writing in a hurry. Ice Age, yes. I'll fix it. I know Tom well.