Bennet Blazes Forward on Pike National Trail Designation

Bennet Testifies in support of Pike National Historic Trail Bill at Senate Committee Hearing

Colorado U.S. Senator Michael Bennet testified today in support of his Pike National Historic Trail Study Act at a hearing held by the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Subcommittee on National Parks.  Pike’s Trail runs through significant portions of the state and follows Zebulon Pike's expedition into the American Southwest that began in Missouri in 1806.

Bennet introduced the bill in March. It instructs the National Parks Service to conduct a feasibility study on designating the trail as a National Historic Trail. If the results of the study lead to a recommendation of support, Bennet would introduce a bill to formally designate the status.  The designation preserves significant sites along the trail for future generations and would increase opportunities for heritage tourism in surrounding Colorado communities.

In his remarks Bennet said, "The historical significance of the journey to Colorado, to the West and the nation goes well beyond this brief summary.  Beyond recognizing an American pioneer and the rich history of the western landscape, the establishment of the Pike Trail would provide opportunities for economic development, as the chairman mentioned, all along the route. The legislation is widely supported by local governments across five states."

Colorado counties supporting the bill include Alamosa, Bent, Chaffee, Custer, El Paso, Fremont, Huerfano, Lake, Morgan, Otero, Park, Prowers, Pueblo, Rio Grande, Saguache and Teller.

Today's committee meeting was chaired by the bill's cosponsor, Senator Mark Udall.