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Continental Divide Trail Alliance Announces $1.2 Million in New Funding
(Pine, Colo.) â€“ Continental Divide Trail Alliance’s efforts to complete the National Scenic Trail received a significant boost thanks to the support of Senator Wayne Allard (R-Colo.), a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, and members of the U.S. House of Representatives from three states. Senator Allard announced that $1.2 million in special funding specifically designated for the Continental Divide Trail (CDT) will be added to the President’s Budget for the U.S. Forest Service for Fiscal Year 2007.
â€œI am pleased to have again secured funding for the important work being done on the Continental Divide Trail,â€ Senator Allard said. â€œOutdoor recreation is a vital part of the lives of many Coloradans, and the fact that the trail is located within 25 miles of 95 towns and cities really speaks to the number of people who have access to it. I would also like to commend the Continental Divide Trail Alliance for the hard work they have put into the Trail over the years. They have shown real dedication to preserving this masterpiece we are lucky to have in the state of Colorado.â€
â€œThis level of support is critical to our efforts to complete this national treasure,â€ said Harv Erickson, CDTA Board Chairman. â€œWe greatly appreciate the tremendous bipartisan support from Senator Allard and Representatives from Colorado, Wyoming and New Mexico.â€
Utilization of the funds by the Forest Service, National Park Service and the Bureau of Land Management will be based on high-level priorities along the Trail from Canada to Mexico. Special emphasis will be placed on projects that involve volunteers and private sector support.
Senator Allard has supported the CDTA since its founding in 1995 and worked with former Senator Ben Nighthorse-Campbell until his retirement. He continues that collaboration with Senator Ken Salazar (D-Colo.) who also supports CDTA’s efforts to complete the CDT.
Along with Senator Allard’s significant support, Congressman Joel Hefley (R-Colo.) pushed for the additional funds and gained the additional support of fellow members from the House â€“ Rep. Tom Udall (D-N.M.) and Rep. Barbara Cubin, (R-Wyo.), as well as fellow members of the Colorado delegation, Rep. Bob Beaprez (R), Rep. Mark Udall (D), Rep. Tom Tancredo (R), Rep. Diana DeGette (D) and Rep. John Salazar (D).
â€œProtecting the National Trail System is important to both Colorado and our country,â€ Senator Allard said. â€œNot only does the trail system provide ample opportunity to explore and experience the beauty of the outdoors, it also serves as a historical link for the present generation to our past heritage.â€
Senator Allard has also introduced the Willing Seller Bill on behalf of the CDT. This legislation will be critical to CDTA efforts to acquire private land to complete the Trail.
The Continental Divide Trail was established by Congress as a National Scenic Trail in 1978. When complete, the â€œKing of Trailsâ€ will be the most significant trail system in the world. Stretching 3,100 miles along the backbone of America from Canada to Mexico, it accesses some of the most wild and scenic places left in the world while conserving the environment and promoting personal well being.
Since 1995, the Continental Divide Trail Alliance has played a central role toward the completion, management and protection of the Trail and it is the voice for unity in the diverse story of the Trail.
For more information about the Continental Divide Trail, call (303) 838-3760 or toll-free 1-888-909-CDTA (2382). Or visit www.cdtrail.org.