What is the Trail?

What is the Trail? > Advisory Council

The advisory council for the Star-Spangled Banner Trail was appointed by Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar in 2011. It consists of representatives from federal and state agencies and organizations that have an established and recognized interest in the trail. The council consults with the secretary on matters relating to the trail and assists the National Park Service in planning, identifying trail resources, and other matters.

The council’s bylaws and operating procedures are described below. The establishment of the Star-Spangled Banner National Historic Trail Advisory Council is authorized by the National Trails System Act, 16 U.S.C. 1241 to 1251(a) et seq, as amended, and Title III, Section 341 of Public Law 110-229, May 8, 2008.

How and by whom are nominations for the advisory council made? Who decides who serves on the advisory council?

The Council must not exceed 35 members, who are appointed by the Secretary of the Interior (Secretary) to include:

  1. The head of each federal department or independent agency that administers land through which the trail route passes, or a designee;
  2. One member that represents Maryland and one to represent Virginia, the states through which the trail passes, as recommended by each state’s governor;
  3. One member that represents the District of Columbia, through which the trail passes, as recommended by the Washington, DC, mayor; and
  4. One or more members that represent private organizations, including corporate and individual landowners, land users, and other state and local agencies which, in the opinion of the Secretary, have an established and recognized interest in the trail. Appointments are made by the heads of such organizations.

What is the role of the advisory council?

The role of the council is to advise the Secretary on developing a comprehensive plan and other matters relating to the trail.

How long does the advisory council serve?

The council serves for ten years after its creation. The Star-Spangled Banner Trail Advisory Council was established on April 11, 2011, and will conclude its duties in 2021.

How long are the members’ terms? If someone leaves, what is the process for filling the vacancy?

The Secretary appoints members for two-year terms and fills vacancies by the same process as original appointments. If no successor is appointed on or prior to the expiration of a member’s term, the incumbent member continues to serve until the new appointment is made.

How does the public participate in the deliberations of the advisory council?

Members of the public may attend any meeting or portion of a meeting that is not closed to the public and may, at the determination of the council chairperson, offer oral comments. The chairperson may decide in advance to exclude public comments during a meeting; the meeting announcement published in the Federal Register will indicate this decision and invite written comments instead.

How are advisory council meetings advertised?

Advisory council meetings are advertised in the Federal Register 15 calendar days prior to the meeting date. Other media (newspapers, radio, etc.) are used to supplement the Federal Register notice if deemed appropriate by the council.

Are the minutes of the advisory council meetings published?

The minutes of each meeting are not published, but the minutes of open meetings are available to the public upon request. Minutes of closed meetings are also available to the public upon request, subject to the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). The public may request copies of the minutes by contacting the NPS Chesapeake Bay Office.

Interactive Content

Attend an Event


Find a fun and exciting event to attend!

Learn More

Learn and Explore


Get the trail's history and travel guide.

Learn More

Get the App!

Chesapeake Explorer app image

Download our FREE mobile app!

Learn More