21 November 2001
Subject: Announcing the Start of the Washington-Rochambeau Revolutionary Route Study
The National Park Service is pleased to announce the beginning of a study authorized by Congress through the Washington-Rochambeau Revolutionary Route National Heritage Act of 2000 (PL106-473). The purpose of the study is to determine if the route is eligible to become a National Historic Trail. If the National Park Service determines that the route is nationally and historically significant, retains its integrity and has the potential for public recreation, Congress could designate the route a National Historic Trail. Meeting these criteria could enable the National Park Service to support groups, projects and activities associated with the trail's preservation and interpretation. The study will also identify alternative management options to preserve and interpret this important part of our heritage.
Tasks of the study will include writing an historical narrative, bibliography, and resource inventory; conducting field reconnaissance; reaching out to stakeholders; holding public meetings and a scholars' seminar; presenting the Determination of National Significance Report to the NPS Advisory Board; developing and costing alternatives, with and without NPS involvement in preserving and interpreting the route; and completing an environmental assessment or impact statement if the route is determined to be nationally significant.
During the study, we will consult with interested individuals, groups, and State Historic Preservation Offices to identify the range of resources and themes associated with the route and to design the alternatives. The firm Goody, Clancy & Associates and historian Robert A. Selig, Ph.D., will assist with the study. We have begun assessing the scope of the inventory and have conducted some preliminary site visits. Early in 2002, we plan to hold a series of public meetings to further introduce the study and solicit input from interested parties.
A first phase of the study culminates in November 2002, when the NPS Advisory Board determines whether the route is nationally significant. If it is not, we will assess non-federal alternatives: partnerships with state and local governments, private groups and nonprofit organizations, to preserve the memory of the Washington-Rochambeau Revolutionary Route. The study will assess how much of their armies' march to independence can be revealed through extant resources, enjoyed through interpretation and connected to existing recreational amenities.
We welcome the participation of all interested parties in this study. A website will be created to solicit comments and information, and report on the progress of the study. In the meantime, a link to preliminary information on the project has been established from the National Park Service's Revolutionary War website (www.nps.gov/revwar/). Information about the National Trails System is available at www.ncrc.nps.gov/programs/nts/.
For more information on the Washington-Rochambeau Revolutionary Route Study, or to send names and addresses of additional stakeholders for our mailing list, please contact Brian Aviles, Project Manager at (617) 223-5319, or Brian_Aviles@nps.gov.
Thank you for your interest in the study.
Lawrence D. Gall