Interpretive Master Plan
The Santa Fe National Historic Trail was established by Congress in 1987. The National Park Service (NPS) administers the trail in cooperation with other federal, state and local agencies, non-profit organizations, and private individuals who actually own and maintain sites and segments. The NPS develops agreements with other federal agencies to work cooperatively so that their trail sites and segments meet the criteria for national historic trail status specified in the National Trails System Act and the Comprehensive Management and Use Plan for the national historic trail.
Non-federal trail sites and segments become part of the national historic trail if the owner / manager requests that they be certified as part of the trail. Certification involves a written agreement between the owner / manager and the NFS. Certification is totally voluntary and while it does not place any legal requirements on the owner / manager, they do agree to strive to meet NFS standards and guidelines for resource management protection, visitor use and interpretation. The NFS must abide by all applicable laws and regulations for projects at certified sites. Through certification the owner/ manager becomes eligible for NFS technical and limited financial assistance and is allowed to identify the site through the use of the official trail logo. It should be noted that the trail logo has been registered as an official trademark and cannot be used without permission.
Existing interpretive facilities can also be certified and receive technical and limited financial assistance. For example, the Santa Fe Trail Museum at the Colorado Historical Society's Trinidad History Museum is a certified interpretive facility on the national historic trail. Their museum exhibits will include a Santa Fe National Historical Trail modular exhibit. Other museums and interpretive facilities along the route in Colorado are also eligible for certification. Certified sites on the Santa Fe Trail Scenic and Historic Byway include: Boggsville, Hole-in-the-Rock, John Martin Reservoir, Trinidad Lake State Park and the Santa Fe Trail Museum at the Trinidad Historic Museum. NFS sites, such as Bent's Old Fort do not need to be certified since they already meet NFS criteria.