Source: United States House of Representatives – Congressman Ron Estes (R-Kansas)
WASHINGTON – Congressman Ron Estes (R-Kansas) introduced legislation today in the House of Representatives to amend the National Trails System Act to designate the Chisholm National Historic Trail and the Western National Historic Trail. Sen. Jerry Moran (R-Kansas) introduced companion legislation in the U.S. Senate.
“When we think about advances that moved our country forward, the Chisholm and Western Trails are two of those elements that helped shape the midwestern economy – with millions of cattle traveling through the Great Plains,” said Rep. Estes. “Farmers and ranchers from Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas and Nebraska have always been a critical part of this country, and the cowboy culture that was evident on the Chisholm and Western Trails are at the very heart of who we are as Americans – hard-working, rugged and independent. Designating these trails is more than just noting paths through the Great Plains, but showcasing the historical significance of the people who traveled the more than 1,300 miles through multiple states, and their way of life.”
“As the country expanded westward, the Chisholm and Western cattle trails helped ranchers move millions of cattle across the plains to train depots, playing an important role in the economy of the country and supplying food for Americans,” said Sen. Moran. “Designating these trails as historic trails will help preserve the role they played in our nation’s history for the pleasure and education of future generations of Americans and provide economic opportunities for Kansas communities to promote tourism to our state.”
The earliest history of Wichita begins with Jesse Chisholm and J.R. Mead establishing trading posts at the confluence of the Arkansas and Little Arkansas Rivers where Wichita stands today. The Chisholm and Western Trails played a critical role in trade, commerce, communication and transportation in the United States. Beyond the economic value the trails provided, it also reinforced the cowboy culture of the American West – creating a significant and recognizable way of life that has been depicted in countless books and movies.
Earlier this year, Rep. Estes and Sen. Moran were awarded the inaugural Robert L. Klemme Memorial Chisholm Trail Champion award by the International Chisholm Trail Association for their work on celebrating and promoting the trails’ history and for working on the legislation introduced today.
Rep. Estes is joined by five of his House colleagues as original cosponsors: Jodey Arrington (R-Texas), Tom Cole (R-Oklahoma), Kendra Horn (D-Oklahoma), Roger Marshall (R-Kansas) and Steve Watkins (R-Kansas).
Ron Estes is a 5th generation Kansan and represents Kansas’ 4th Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives. He serves on the House Committee on Ways and Means.