Marchers on the Edmund Pettus Bridge during the 1965 Selma to Montgomery March

Selma to Montgomery National Historic Trail Special Resource Study

Denver Service Center » Selma to Montgomery National Historic Trail Special Resource Study » Document List

The National Park Service (NPS) conducted a special resource study of the Selma to Montgomery National Historic Trail in Alabama, associated with the 1965 Voting Rights March. The study was prepared pursuant to the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2022 (P.L. 117-103), which authorized the "Study for Selma to Montgomery National Historic Trail" and directed the Secretary of the Interior to evaluate: 

1. resources associated with the 1965 Voting Rights March from Selma to Montgomery not currently part of the Selma to Montgomery National Historic Trail that would be appropriate for addition to the Trail; and

2. the potential designation of the Trail as a unit of the national park system instead of, or in addition to, remaining a designated part of the National Trails System.

In addition to sites comprising the existing Trail, the study also evaluates sites in central Alabama's Perry, Dallas, Lowndes, and Montgomery counties associated with an expanded period of significance from 1957 through 1970, including many sites not part of the currently designated Trail. The sites contained within this study represent an expansion of recognition and scholarship acknowledging the efforts by everyday Americans who contributed to the passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

The 1998 National Parks Omnibus Management Act (54 United States Code 100507) established the process for identifying and authorizing studies of new national park units. A study area must meet four criteria to be recommended as an addition to the national park system. These criteria include: 1) national significance, 2) suitability, 3) feasibility, and 4) need for NPS management.

The study concluded that the Trail's current designation should remain, with a proposed additional new national park unit designation.

While the National Park Service conducted the study, which resulted in positive findings, the designation of national park units is ultimately the purview of Congress and the President. The purpose of the study was solely to evaluate the area and report to Congress.

The study was completed and transmitted to Congress for their consideration on November 16, 2023.

Contact Information

Amy Wirsching

Ben West