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Memorandum

Subject: ACTION: National Scenic Byways Nominations - Due to Headquarters by January 16, 2009

From:Gloria M. Shepherd, Associate Administrator for Planning, Environment, and Realty

To:Division Administrators, Resource Center Directors, and Federal Lands Highway Division Engineers

The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) is announcing the sixth National Scenic Byways Program nomination cycle. A hard copy of the completed nomination and completion of the online nomination are due from the State, Indian tribe, or Federal land management agency to the FHWA Division Offices by December 17, 2008 (see attached package). Division offices should submit applications to the Office of Planning, Environment, and Realty by January 16, 2008 to the address below:

Ms. Cindi Ptak, (HEP-2)
Federal Highway Administration
1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
Washington, DC 20590

To avoid the effects of radiation on all surface mail, we encourage Divisions to send the packages via a delivery service like UPS, DHL or FedEx.

2008 National Scenic Byways Nomination Schedule

Milestone Date
Online nomination opens. See http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/hep/scenic_byways/nominations/ September 17, 2008

State, Indian tribe, or Federal land management agency submits nomination to Division

  • Hard copy
  • Online Nomination with added input
December 17, 2008*

FHWA Division submits nomination to the Office of Planning, Environment and Realty

  • Hard copy
  • Online Nomination with added input
January 16, 2009

* States, Indian tribes, and Federal land management agencies are encouraged to establish intermediate review dates so that the claims made on behalf of each route can be verified prior to the start of the Division review period.

All nomination applications must be completed online and submitted both electronically and as a signed hard copy. The hard copy should include the corridor management plan, route map, digital photos, and letters of support.

The FHWA has produced several documents to help potential nominees prepare their nomination, available at http://www.fhwa.dot.gov//hep/scenic_byways/nominations/ including:

WHO MAY NOMINATE A ROAD?

Anyone may nominate a road for possible designation as a National Scenic Byway or an All-American Road. However, the byway must have a corridor management plan and the nomination must be submitted through a State's identified scenic byway agency, an Indian tribe, or a Federal land management agency. In most States, the Department of Transportation serves as the scenic byway agency.

WHAT'S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A NATIONAL SCENIC BYWAY AND AN ALL-AMERICAN ROAD?

The Secretary of Transportation recognizes certain roads as National Scenic Byways or All-American Roads based on their archeological, cultural, historic, natural, recreational, and scenic qualities. Currently, there are 125 such designated byways in 44 States. The FHWA promotes the collection as America's Byways®

To be designated as a National Scenic Byway, a road must possess at least one of the six intrinsic qualities. The significance of the features contributing to the distinctive characteristics of the corridor's intrinsic qualities must be recognized throughout the multi-State region.

To receive an All-American Road designation, a road must possess multiple intrinsic qualities that are nationally significant and contain one-of-a-kind features that do not exist elsewhere. The road or highway must also be considered a "destination unto itself." That is, it must provide an exceptional traveling experience so recognized by travelers that they would make a drive along the highway a primary reason for their trip.

HOW DOES THE SECRETARY DECIDE WHICH ROADS TO DESIGNATE?

The full criteria for designation are included in FHWA's Interim Policy for the National Scenic Byway Program published in the Federal Register on May 18, 1995. There is a four-step review of the nominations.

Step 1: State, Indian Tribe, or Federal Land Management Agency Review and Concurrence

Under 23 U.S.C. 162(a)(3), a road must be nominated by a State, an Indian tribe, or a Federal land management agency and must first be designated as a State scenic byway, an Indian tribe scenic byway, or, in the case of a road on Federal land, as a Federal land management agency byway. As part of the online submission to the FHWA Division Office, FHWA will request the State, Indian tribe, or Federal land management agency to determine whether the scenic byway possesses intrinsic qualities sufficient to merit its nomination as a National Scenic Byway or an All-American Road.

Step 2: FHWA Division Office Review

Each division office will review the nomination to ensure it is complete and that the corridor management plan conforms with Section 9 of FHWA's Interim Policy. The division office will provide its own assessment of each road as part of the online submission to the Office of, Planning, Environment, and Realty.

Step 3: Independent Assessment

Several experts from outside FHWA will assess each nomination using the criteria in FHWA's Interim Policy. The experts will reflect a cross-section of the scenic byways community of interests, including experts on the intrinsic qualities, tourism, and other State and byway interests. After completing their initial assessment, they will meet face-to-face to discuss their observations. A facilitator will assist with their discussions. The FHWA will identify concerns associated with each nomination that the experts should consider during their discussions. The experts will not be charged with reaching consensus on whether the Secretary should designate a particular road, but rather each expert will complete an independent assessment of the nominations.

Step 4: Secretary's Decision

The FHWA Office of Planning, Environment, and Realty will compile the results of the reviews and assessments of each nomination for use by the Federal Highway Administrator and the Secretary in deciding which roads to designate as National Scenic Byways or All-American Roads.

WHERE TO GO FOR HELP

Information can be found on the nomination section of FHWA's Web site, http://www.fhwa.dot.gov//hep/scenic_byways/nominations/. If you have questions about nominating a road for possible designation as a National Scenic Byway or an All-American Road, feel free to contact either Cindi Ptak at 202-366-1586 or cindi.ptak@dot.gov or Gary Jensen at 202-366-2048 or gary.jensen@dot.gov.

Updated: 09/03/2013
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