When we first started our non-profit partnerships we realized that this was just the beginning of what we could accomplish and that they would grow into something really special over time. This holds most true with the Continental Divide Trail Coalition for whom we work closely as donation partners and trail adopters. As we continued to work closely with the CDTC and our adopted 75 mile section of trail, we asked them what were the priorities for them and the trail this season.
Their answer was to get people off the highway sections of the trail, meaning that there are sections where the dirt trail ends and you must get on to a paved highway to get to the next section of dirt trail. The Muddy Pass area near our home town of Steamboat Springs is one of those top priority sections. We have started to work with them on this reroute project but it is no simple task as it takes multiple partners to make such an endeavor happen.
For this upcoming season CDTC’s main goal is to complete the Optimal Location Review (OLR). This will inform the direction of the reroute moving forward and is a collaborative effort with Federal and State agencies partners.
To complete the OLR, they will be finishing field scouting on several alternative alignments, meeting in the field with partners from Colorado Parks and Wildlife, USFS, BLM, local partners and stakeholders, and landowners to refine the alignments and address ideas and concerns about the project. There will be some public outreach components as well to inform the public of the CDT, CDTC, and Muddy Pass project and build stronger relationships in the area.
From all of this current work the main goal is to have the ability to build a substantial Land & Water Conservation Fund request for the completion work.
-Dan Carter, Trail and Lands Conservation Program Manager at the Continental Divide Trail Coalition.