CTF Comment on EA to Reroute 32 Miles in Cochetopa Hills
The USFS issued their Environmental Analysis to reroute 32 miles of the CT (co-located with the CDT) in the Cochetopa Hills from Lujan Pass to near the La Garita Wilderness Area. Click here for the Environmental Analysis.
The current trail alignment is on roads, mostly double-track in character. The CTF has long advocated this reroute because the new route will be single-track and non-motorized. We are grateful for the extensive efforts of all participants who've moved this project along. However, under the USFS Preferred Alternative (#2), the new single-track route would be open only to hikers and horseback riders. Cyclists would not be allowed. Bicyclists would be required to use the old (current) route (along with the motorcycles, ATVs and jeeps) that is slated for road upgrades to accommodate logging trucks. This "bicyclists disallowed" aspect of the preferred alternative is opposed by the CTF. The CTF Board (and staff) carefully considered this. Click here for the CTF Comment.
CTF Comment on "Proposed" Relocation of the CDNST Windy Peak to La Garita
The Rio Grande and Gunnison National Forests have been working to relocate the Trail in the Cochetopa hills. There are two main reasons for this: much of the Trail is in poor condition (eroded) and most of the Trail is open to motorized travel. The entire Trail is co-located: Colorado Trail and Continental Divide National Scenic Trail. The CTF has, since inception, had the goal of a non-motorized trail end to end and the CDNST also desires a non-motorized path.
Both CTF and CDNST have been working with the USFS toward solutions limiting motorized Trail miles. The proposed relocation in the Cochetopa hills is the result. The CTF generally likes the proposal because it reduces motorized Trail miles. Counter to the proposal, the CTF encouraged the USFS to allow bicycles on much of the relocation. Toward the goal of end-to-end non-motorized, the CTF requested that the USFS undertake future effort to find a non-motorized solution for the many Trail miles in the Cochetopa Hills not currently proposed for relocation or other non-motorized solution.
Click here to view the CTF comment plus the USFS and scoping document.
CTF Comment on the Continental Divide Trail "Proposed Directive"
The Forest Service has begun an effort to plan the future of the Continental Divide National Scenic Trail. The CDNST Proposed Directive greatly affects The Colorado Trail, as approximately 150 miles of the CT is co-located with the CDNST, and the two trails share a corridor that is approximately 200 miles long. Click here to view the CDNST Proposed Directive.
Because this planning effort for CDNST so greatly impacts the CT, the CTF studied the subject carefully, consulted our entire Board of Directors, and submitted the attached comment. In a nutshell, we hope the CT becomes fully non-motorized as has been our goal since inception, but otherwise remain open to all other user groups that are currently allowed, namely hike, bike, and horse.
Click here to view the CTF Comment in its entirety.
CTF Comment on the "Proposed" Hermosa Wilderness
The San Juan National Forest has underway an effort to finalize a new Land Management Plan. The proposed plan affects The Colorado Trail near Durango, particularly the proposal for new Hermosa Wilderness. New Wilderness, depending on the boundaries and particulars might change who is allowed to use The Colorado Trail. Mountain bicyclists who currently make up to one half of the users on Segment 27 from the Grindstone Trail to Kennebec Pass TH might not be allowed to pass through.
Because this Forest planning effort potentially impacts CT users, the CTF studied the subject and submitted comment. We advocated for very strong land preservation that would also preserve the currently allowed uses on The Colorado Trail including mountain bicycling as well as hiking and riding horseback.
Click here to view the CTF Comment on the draft San Juan Land Management Plan.
Click here to view the Map detailing the CTF proposal for Hermosa Area Preservation.