Peters Cosponsors Bill to Support North Country Trail

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Gary Peters (MI) announced today that he is cosponsoring the National Scenic Trails Parity Act to provide administrative parity within the National Park System for the country’s National Scenic Trails, including the North Country National Scenic Trail (NCNST) that runs through Michigan. The bill was cosponsored by former U.S. Senator Carl Levin (MI) in the last Congress.

“From the northern edges of the Upper Peninsula all the way through southwest Michigan, the North Country Trail offers Michiganders the opportunity to take in some of our state’s most beautiful scenery,” said Senator Peters. “National Scenic Trails like this deserve to be able to compete on a level playing field for resources from the National Park Service, so that they can continue to be maintained and kept accessible to the public.”

The National Scenic Trails Parity Act would make the North Country, Ice Age, and New England National Scenic Trails units of the National Park System, which would provide parity in the existing resources available to these trails for management and promotion. Without unit status, these National Scenic Trails are not on equal footing in terms of access to National Park Service funding and other programs, putting them at a disadvantage compared to the Appalachian, Potomac Heritage and Natchez-Trace National Scenic Trails.

The designation as a unit is an administrative decision made by the National Park Service that was applied inconsistently as the National Scenic Trails were established. The agency has recognized there is no significant difference between the unit and non-unit trails but has failed to resolve this disparity.

Peters is also cosponsoring the North Country National Scenic Trail Route Adjustment Act, which would revise the NCNST to protect environmentally sensitive areas of the trail and extend it into Vermont to connect with the Appalachian National Scenic Trail.