MALTA, Idaho – New markers dot a 2-mile stretch of the Oregon Trail near Malta, thanks to the work of an aspiring Eagle Scout, a number of volunteers, and a Bureau of Land Management archaeologist.

Clayton Koyle, who is working toward his Eagle Scout, along with Luke Hittner with the BLM, and 12 Scouting volunteers placed the new carsonite markers this past weekend near the Hudspeth Cutoff, according to information from the BLM.

In a news release on Wednesday about the project, the BLM explained:

"The project’s timing coincides perfectly with both National Public Lands Day and the 50th Anniversary of the National Scenic and Historic Trails Act. The group of volunteers, which included fellow scouts, cub scouts and scoutmasters, also removed damaged or broken markers and replaced them with the new trail markers."

The Hudspeth Cutoff was in use for about 10 years during the trail’s use, according to the BLM, which estimates that some 250 wagons, carrying 16,000 to 25,000 people, traveled the trail each day in mid-summer 1849. The number of people who used the trail grew over the next few years, with an estimated 50,000 by 1852.

“Whether you are a National Historic Trail enthusiast, hiker or equestrian, these new markers set by Mr. Koyle and company will help you follow in the footsteps and wagon ruts of the pioneers,” Hittner in the news release. “These efforts to mark Oregon Trail routes like Hudspeth Cutoff will increase public recognition of the important historic and cultural events that shaped the United States.”

BLM officials say they are happy that a local Scout took the time to help preserve a piece of history.

“I’m so pleased with Clayton’s commitment to preserve this piece of the United States’ historic heritage,” Burley Field Manager Ken Crane said. “The weather was just right for them to place markers. It was a great day’s work!”

Source: The Bureau of Land Management

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