Monday, November 28, 2011

North Country Trail office moves from Madison to Lowell

After two decades in Madison, Wisconsin the National Park Service (NPS) recently relocated its North Country National Scenic Trail office to Lowell, Michigan. For years federal staff for the North Country Trail (NCT) shared an office with Ice Age National Scenic Trail staff on Madison's west side. The two trails even shared some staff, which provided some administrative efficiencies. But those efficiencies were wiped out by the travel required anytime North Country Trail staff needed to be on or near any part of the NCT itself. Plus not having a shared federal office will provide an emotional boost to both National Scenic Trails, especially for NCT volunteers who now have their own office and staff located on the NCT.

The kind of synergy of having federal and non-profit offices for the Appalachian Trail located in Harpers Ferry, West Virginia can begin to benefit the NCT in Lowell. I applaud the move.

For more on this story, see

Sunday, November 6, 2011

One of the Top 100 Great Outdoors Projects in America

By Drew Hanson
A new report from the U.S. Department of the Interior highlights the Ice Age Trail as one of the country’s most promising projects designed to protect special places and increase access to outdoor spaces. The full report is at
In a news release about the report, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar stated, “We have listened to the American people and their elected representatives about the most important things we can do to conserve our land and water and reconnect people, especially young people, to the outdoors. These projects represent what states believe are among the best investments in the nation to support a healthy, active population, conserve wildlife and working lands, and create travel, tourism and outdoor-recreation jobs across the nation.” The report lists 100 projects nationwide—two in every state.
One of the goals of the America’s Great Outdoors: Fifty-State Report is to "expand the Ice Age Trail through strategic conservation easements”.
USA Today mentioned "completing gaps in Wisconsin's Ice Age Trail" in the first paragraph of an article about the report that appeared at,
This sounds like good news! Fifty-three years after Ray Zillmer first called on the federal government to help acquire the land needed for the Ice Age Trail, maybe it’s finally about to happen. Let’s hope so.