Friday, December 21, 2007

North Country Trail Arrowhead Re-Route Moves Closer to Approval

North Country Trail Minnesota Arrowhead map
North Country Trail Minnesota Arrowhead map

The Arrowhead Re-route is an effort to officially designate a revised route for the North Country National Scenic Trail (NCT) in northeastern Minnesota (see map). This change, which requires the approval of Congress, would replace a 100-mile stretch of trail route identified in the National Park Service’s 1982 Comprehensive Plan for Management and Use of the North Country Trail. The 1982 route lies between Jay Cooke State Park southeast of Duluth and the eastern end of the NCT in the Chippewa National Forest near Remer.

Since the NCT was authorized by Congress in 1980, there have been no efforts to construct trail along this route because it contains extensive wetlands. It also lacks the outstanding scenery found along the Arrowhead Re-route..

On December 5th, Congressman Jim Oberstar (D-MN) introduced the North Country National Scenic Trail Route Adjustment Act of 2007, otherwise known as the Arrowhead Re-Route. This long-awaited legislation provides for official Congressional recognition of the NCT route along the established Border Route, Kekekabic and Superior Hiking trails in northeast Minnesota.

The Trail would extend eastward through Grand Rapids (MN) along the northern border to Lake Superior, and then southwest along the Superior shoreline to Duluth. This would replace the currently authorized and undeveloped route, consisting of about 80 miles of bog and blackflies. The North Country Trail Association (NCTA) has assumed this route for some time; however it will not be included as an official segment until Congress authorizes it and the President signs it.

The bill was assigned to the House Natural Resources committee, where it is expected to see action early in spring 2008. A companion bill in the Senate awaits sponsorship, and is the focus of the efforts of Congressman Oberstar and others.

Congressman Oberstar, recipient of the NCTA's 2008 Vanguard Award, made a commitment upon receiving the award that he would introduce this legislation this year. The NCTA will be tracking progress closely and alerting members when their advocacy is needed. The Re-route will be a top priority for the NCTA's Hike The Hill delegation during their February visit to Washington.

from the North Country Trail Association, Dec 20, 2007
See NCTA Arrowhead Re-Route Advocacy Center
See bill HR 4291
These links are checked on the date of the article. As the article ages, some links may become invalid

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See North Country Trail- Manistee County

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