The renaming of southeastern Kentucky’s Daniel Boone Parkway for Congressman Hal Rogers continues to take new twists and turns. The Boone Society has decided to ask the citizens of the Commonwealth to decide the matter in an Internet petition drive.
State Representative Brent Yonts has worked tirelessly to return an honor to Daniel Boone that was taken away in 2003 in a move, unbeknownst to Congressman Rogers, in which former Governor Paul Patton removed Daniel Boone’s name from what is now the Hal Rogers Parkway.
Governor Patton’s decision to honor Congressman Rogers in this way backfired and became a public relations nightmare. The media pulled the Boone Society in and the appearance of a feud developed between Congressman Rogers and the Boone Family. Recently, because of a story the Fox News Channel is working on, the controversy has been re-ignited.
In an official statement released by the Boone Society on February 14, 2005 we clarified our position, congratulated Congressman Rogers for the honor he received, and asked the people of Kentucky and state lawmakers to rename US Highway 25E in Daniel Boone’s honor.
U.S. Highway 25E is the perfect solution. It virtually traces the Wilderness Trail that Daniel Boone carved through the frontier over two centuries ago from the Cumberland Gap to present-day Corbin. Representative Yonts drafted HJR 7 to rename U.S. Highway 25E “The Daniel Boone Wilderness Trail” and began looking for support among his colleagues.
The Boone Society received a telephone call on February 14 from Congressman Rogers’ press secretary, Leslie Cupp, who informed us that Congressman Rogers fully supports Representative Yonts’ resolution.
Ms. Cupp also expressed Congressman Rogers’ desire to create a friendly and open relationship with the Boone Family; something we welcome and also desire.
Ms. Cupp asked the Boone Society to remind the public that Congressman Rogers is a great admirer of Daniel Boone and spearheaded Federal funding to restore the original Daniel Boone Wilderness Trail in the Cumberland Gap National Park. This includes obtaining funding to dig a new tunnel through the mountain at the Cumberland Gap, which allowed the original Daniel Boone trail to be restored.
The Boone Society is grateful for Congressman Rogers’ support in renaming U.S. Highway 25E “The Daniel Boone Wilderness Trail.” But just when we thought we had found a satisfactory solution, a new politician has thrown a wrench into the machine.
State Representative Jim Stewart, for reasons that remain unclear to us, will not support renaming U.S. Highway 25E “The Daniel Boone Wilderness Trail.” The Boone Society contacted his office for clarification and has not received a reply. Because of Representative Stewart’s opposition, the resolution to rename U.S. Highway 25E died in committee.
Going forward, the Boone Society would like to appeal to the people of Kentucky to let their voices be heard on this matter. We would still like to see U.S. Highway 25E renamed “The Daniel Boone Wilderness Trail”, but it should be up to the people to make that decision by contacting their political representatives. It will only be an honor if bestowed by the expressed will of the citizens of the Commonwealth of Kentucky.
The Boone Society has created an online petition asking that U.S. Highway 25E be renamed “The Daniel Boone Wilderness Trail.” We invite the public to sign our petition at www.boonesociety.com.
Your friends at the Boone Society