I have just been told by Senator Boozman’s office that they would like to have OCTA members contact the offices of their U.S. Senators ASAP urging support for the Butterfield authorization bill, the “Butterfield Overland National Historic Trail Designation Act”.
Here are some talking points that may help you craft a message:
- The Butterfield route served a critical need, tying the country together and providing an overland route within the continent’s borders.
- Tourism: The Butterfield Overland National Historic Trail will generate millions of heritage tourism dollars for the economies of the states through which it crosses. Research shows that more people are seeking travel experiences that connect them to local culture and unique stories, such as those offered by the Butterfield.
- Culture: The Butterfield was the first “transcontinental” route connecting California and various western territories to the Eastern United States. For Americans today, the stagecoach is a symbol of the Old West and the original trail needs to be preserved.
- Economics: The implementation of the Butterfield route brought the country together by providing twice-weekly stages to and from California, replacing, for many, the sea routes via the Isthmus of Panama and the much longer travel over the Oregon and California Trails.
- This is a low-cost opportunity to preserve an iconic symbol of the Old West. The National Park Service existing staff will prepare a Comprehensive Management Plan for the Butterfield, which may include signage, brochures, a website and more, all of which will be part of the NPS budget.
In summary, the Butterfield Overland National Historic Trail demands protection for economic, historic and cultural reasons and because of the continuing impact that designation will have on the travel and tourism economies of the states through which it crosses.
It is important that OCTA members generate letters and phone calls to their U.S. Senators asking them to support Senator Boozman’s legislation. Please be sure to mention the name of the draft bill, the “Butterfield Overland National Historic Trail Designation Act” in your communications. .
Your help is greatly appreciated.
Member, OCTA Board of Directors
OCTA Liaison, Partnership for the National Trails System
OCTA Past President