The Paul Bunyan Scenic Byway Association, like many organizations, is able to get a lot accomplished because of grant funding support. So when a vital federal grant application bumped into trouble on its bureaucratic journey through the various Washington offices, PBSBA chair Lynn Scharenbroich got in touch with the chairman of the House Transportation Committee, James Oberstar.
The National Scenic Byways Program has no greater champion than Congressman Oberstar. As early as 1989, Oberstar, along with Sen. Jay Rockefeller, successfully encouraged the requirement of a byways study by the Federal Highway Administration, eventually leading then-president George H.W. Bush, who called byways "the roads Americans love" to sign ISTEA into law in December 1991, thus creating the National Scenic Byways Program.
Oberstar's local staffer, Ken Hasskamp, helped move the PBSBA's message through the proper channels, and just before Christmas, administrative assistant Bill Richard contacted Scharenbroich for further information. Scheduling allowed Congressman Oberstar to meet with Scharenbroich and PBSBA chair-elect Linda Ulland on Saturday at Scharenbroich's home near Crosslake. While the focus was on the grant application discussion, the role of the many unique and valuable partnerships developed by the Byway also was an important supportive message.
For more information about the Paul Bunyan Scenic Byway, visit www.paulbunyanscenicbyway.org. To learn more about the Federal Highway Department's National Scenic Byways Program, go to www.byways.org.
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