Courier April/May Courier - Page 14

BUSINESS A pair of golden anniversaries 2018 marks the 50th anniversary of two federal acts that preserve outdoor recreation BY BONNIE LIPPITT America’s National Trails System of today are those who like to walk, hike, ride horseback or bicycle. For them we must have trails as well as highways … I am requesting, therefore, that the Secretary of the Interior work with his colleagues in the federal government and with state and local leaders and rec- ommend to me a cooperative program to encourage a national system of trails.” Three years later, on Oct. 2, 1968, the president signed into law the National Trails System Act, creating a system of national scenic, recreation, and con- necting and side trails. The act desig- nated the Appalachian and Pacific Crest Trails as the first two National Scenic Trails. A decade later, President Jimmy Carter signed an amendment to the act, creating an additional category: Pacific Crest National Scenic Trail, California 10 April/May 2018 National Historic Trails. While both types of trails must be designated by congress, the secretaries of the Interior and Agriculture have the authority to designate National Recreation Trails. This year, the U.S. National Trails System celebrates its 50th anniversary. Today there are 11 National Scenic Trails, 19 National Historic Trails and more than 1,300 National Recreation Trails, all comprising a network of more than 60,000 miles of trail across all 50 states; Washington, D.C.; and Puerto Rico. Nationally, administration for these trails is coordinated by the National Park Service, the U.S. Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management. However, land ownership may be in public or private hands, and BEFORE THERE WERE RAILROADS, highways and airplanes to help people get from one place to another, travel- ers relied on trails, whether by foot, horseback or wagon. In the early 20th century, outdoor enthusiasts began con- structing footpaths to provide access to scenic mountainous terrain. These trails helped the public pursue healthy outdoor recreation while enjoying spec- tacular natural beauty. In 1965 President Lyndon B. Johnson delivered a speech titled “Conservation and Preservation of Natural Beauty.” In it he stated, “The forgotten outdoorsmen