BLM Logo
National Historic Trails Interpretation Center
Release Date: 06/28/10
Contacts: Lesley A. Collins    

Taking the Path Less Traveled: The NHTIC Celebrates the 10th Anniversary of the National Landscape Conservation System with a Guided Hike and Special Program

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) National Historic Trails Center (NHTIC) is celebrating the 10th anniversary of the National Landscape Conservation System (NLCS) with a guided hike at Independence Rock and a special afternoon program at the NHTIC.

The BLM’s National Landscape Conservation System contains some of the West’s most spectacular landscapes. The NLCS includes wilderness areas, conservation areas, wilderness study areas, 16 national monuments and thousands of miles of scenic and national historic trails.

“These are places that spark the imagination,” said Trails Center Director Mike Abel. “Their spacious beauty has drawn people to the West for generations. The NLCS sustains for the future, and for everyone, these remarkable landscapes of the American people.”

The Trails Center is celebrating the anniversary with the following activities:

  • July 11, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., Guided Hike: A Day at the Rock
    Independence Rock was the beacon in the desert for adventurers, explorers, fur traders and emigrants. This granite monolith is one of the most famous landmarks along the historic pioneer trails. 

    BLM interpreter Jason Vlcan will present a program that includes the sharing of pioneer diary and journal entries. He will discuss the experiences of the pioneers when they passed this landmark over 150 years ago. Vlcan will also lead a guided hike as the group searches for names of emigrants who carved their names and dates into rock.

    This family-friendly hike is part of the BLM’s “Take it Outside” initiative, which encourages families and youth to explore the great outdoors.

    Participants will leave the Trails Center in their own personal vehicles at 9 a.m. and return back to Casper by 2 p.m. The program is free, but space is limited. To make reservations, contact Vlcan at 307-261-7783 or 307-261-7780.
  • July 11, 3 p.m., NHTIC program: Taking the Path Less Traveled: A Modern Day Pioneer on our Historic Trails
    April Whitten can relate to the experiences of emigrants on our historic trails like few others. In 1999, she joined a wagon train and traveled from Nebraska to California, walking most of the way.

    Her responsibilities included gathering terrain, location, weather and environmental data, and documenting her journey through journals and photographs. Her journey was funded by the National Park Service.

    During her travels, she maintained detailed journals and took thousands of photographs. Whitten will present a one-hour program about her journey. She will also discuss the importance of protecting and preserving the remaining traces of our historic trails. Following a break, participants will be encouraged to ask a modern-day pioneer questions about her adventure.

Whitten, of Applegate, Ore., is a geoarcheologist, and her research focuses on migratory routes and historic trails. She is author of, “Are We There? And Lessons Learned Along the Way."

The NHTIC is a part of the BLM's National Landscape Conservation System (NLCS). The areas of the NLCS are specifically designed to conserve, protect and restore the exceptional scientific, natural, cultural, ecological, historical and recreation values of these treasured landscapes.

The NHTIC is a public-private partnership between the BLM and the National Historic Trails Center Foundation. The facility is located at 1501 N. Poplar Street, Casper, Wyo. The Center is currently operating on summer hours and is open daily from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The BLM manages more than 245 million acres of public land, the most of any Federal agency. This land, known as the National System of Public Lands, is primarily located in 12 Western states, including Alaska. The BLM also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. The BLM's mission is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of America’s public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations. In Fiscal Year 2015, the BLM generated $4.1 billion in receipts from activities occurring on public lands.

National Historic Trails Interpretation Center   1501 North Poplar Street      Casper, WY 82601  

Last updated: 06-28-2010