Scotts Bluff National Monument

Scotts Bluff National Monument

Park Service seeks ways to preserve Oregon Trail ruts

February 2, 2012, 2:19 pm

History can be hard to preserve, especially when the history — a scarred landscape — has been exposed to the elements for more than 140 years.

The National Park Service is trying to address the challenge of protecting and interpreting the Oregon Trail. There's little doubt, however, that eventually, nature will have its way in reclaiming the traces of history.

Since the establishment of Scotts Bluff National Monument in 1919, visitors have been drawn by its natural and rugged beauty while considering and celebrating its Mitchell Pass as a vital artery along the Oregon Trail. A five-mile section of the 2,000-mile route is federally protected within the monument's 3,000-acre boundary.