Policy Update Nov 29, 2016

Position on H.R. 799 and H.R. 3683

NPCA submitted the following positions to the Federal Lands subcommittee of the House Committee on Natural Resources ahead of a hearing on November 30, 2016

H.R. 799: North Country National Scenic Trail Route Adjustment Act - NPCA supports this legislation as it would change a portion of the official route of the North Country National Scenic Trail (NST) in northeastern Minnesota to a more scenic and sustainable location. The route change would incorporate into the North Country NST the now-existing, world-class hiking trails in Minnesota’s Boundary Waters and along the North Shore of Lake Superior–trails that did not exist when the NST was originally authorized in 1980. Their inclusion in the NST greatly enhances local tourism and eliminates the need to route the trail through sensitive wetlands and bogs of the original (and as yet unbuilt) route, saving construction and maintenance costs. The bill would also complete the connection between the North Country NST and its sister trail, the Appalachian NST, in Vermont, as originally envisioned. The changes to the trail would not adversely affect the rights of landowners as the National Park Service only has the authority to purchase land or rights of way from willing sellers.

H.R. 3683: African American Civil Rights Network Act of 2015 – Although many sites significant to the U.S. Civil Rights movement have been identified and protected as units of the National Park System, many more remain unidentified or without adequate resource protection. The establishment of a Civil Rights Trail would provide some National Park Service funding and technical expertise to the individuals, groups, associations or agencies that own such properties and enable them to better protect and interpret important resources and stories. NPCA supports this important legislation.