HUTCHINSON — Sen. Jerry Moran and Rep. Ron Estes were honored as Chisholm Trail Champions during the virtual International Chisholm Trail Association Conference on Oct. 23. Both representatives have promoted the Trail and are planning to introduce legislation to name the Chisholm Trail a National Historic Site.
"After an extensive feasibility study, the National Park Service reported that the Chisholm and Western trails meet the criteria for a national designation," said Ron Wilson, the ICTA legislative chair. "We are so grateful to Sen. Moran and Congressman Estes for their leadership in working to achieve national recognition for these historic trails in Kansas and beyond."
During the conference, both Kansas representatives were recognized and presented with awards for their service toward the Trail.
"Sen. Moran and Congressman Estes have been extremely important in this work," Wilson said. "We are delighted that they have stepped up to be the original sponsors of the legislation, and we thank Sen. Pat Roberts and Congressman Roger Marshall for agreeing to be original cosponsors as well."
Wilson said he understands that Estes and Moran will introduce the legislation this fall when the House and Senate reconvene. If there is not time for the legislation to get through the process this year, he anticipates it would be introduced during the next session.
"Sen. Moran and Congressman Estes have been outstanding leaders in celebrating and promoting this important part of Kansas history," ICTA president Dennis Katzenmeier said in a release.
Only Congress can designate a National Historic Trail. Nineteen trails have already been designated as national trails, including the Santa Fe and Lewis and Clark Trails. During the late 1800s, millions of cattle were moved along the trail from Texas to Kansas.
The purpose of the ICTA is to identify, preserve and promote the Chisholm Trail and all the Cattle Trails. More information can be found at www.chisholmtrailassn.com .