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 http://www.mlive.com/outdoors/index.ssf/2011/11/world_traveler_now_in_lowell_t.html