photo of mountain range with wildflowers on Oregon Trail

Feasibility Study Revision for Additional Routes to the Oregon, California, Mormon Pioneer, and Pony Express National Historic Trails

National Trails System » Feasibility Study Revision for Additional Routes to the Oregon, California, Mormon Pioneer, and Pony Express National Historic Trails » Document List

Welcome to the Feasibility Study Revision for Additional Routes to the Oregon, California, Mormon Pioneer, and Pony Express National Historic Trails.

Since the original designation of the Oregon, Mormon Pioneer, California, and Pony Express national historic trails, a significant amount of interest and research has developed concerning additional routes followed by emigrants to Oregon, California, and Utah, and on alternate routes used by the Pony Express.

In recognition of the perceived national importance of these routes and in response to public advocacy for the inclusion of these routes in the National Trails System, Congress passed the Omnibus Public Lands Management Act (Public Law 111-11) in March 2009. The Act in part directs the Secretary of the Interior to revise the original feasibility studies of the Oregon, Mormon Pioneer, California, and Pony Express national historic trails. The purpose of the revisions is to determine the feasibility and suitability of designating 64 additional components, specifically named in the law, as well as "such other routes ... that the Secretary considers appropriate ..."

The Secretary chose the National Trails office in Santa Fe, New Mexico, to revise the 1977 Oregon Trail Feasibility Study, the 1978 Mormon Trail Feasibility Study, and the 1987 California and Pony Express Trails Feasibility Study for the possible inclusion of the routes named in the legislation, and other appropriate routes so as to provide a more accurate and comprehensive commemoration of historic trends and events.

The revisions were prepared as a single, combined document, not trail by trail. Although initial internal scoping determined that an environmental assessment would be required, policy directed the use of a categorical exclusion for NEPA compliance.

This study was completed and transmitted to Congress in January 2020 for consideration. The study document, appendix, and transmittal letters are available at: https://parkplanning.nps.gov/FinalFourTrailsNHTStudy2020

Thank you for your interest in this planning project.

Aaron Mahr
Superintendent
National Trails Intermountain Region

Contact Information

Aaron Mahr
Superintendent
National Park Service
National Trails Intermountain Region
P.O. Box 728
Santa Fe, New Mexico 87504
505-988-6736
aaron_mahr@nps.gov