Panel approves study to expand Trail of Tears

Posted on March 29, 2006

A study that could add about 2,000 miles of land and water routes to the Trail of Tears National Historic Trail through eastern Tennessee and portions of eight other states is gaining support in Congress. The U.S. Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee last week approved a bill requiring the proposed $175,000 study, which is backed by Lamar Alexander and Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist — and the National Park Service. The study could lead to greatly expanding the national historic trail of about 2,200 miles of their known land and water routes. The Cherokee Nation, historians and other experts favor national recognition of all routes used as part of the public education about that traumatic period in American history.