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(Outdoor Retailer Show, Salt Lake City) Continental Divide Trail Alliance is once again pleased to recognize REI, the country’s renowned supplier of specialty outdoor gear, for its support of two programs that play a critical role in helping us reach our goal of completing the country’s highest, wildest, longest backcountry trail.
REI support has enabled the CDTA to increase its emphasis on Volunteer and Youth Corps programs. In 2006 alone, volunteers from across the country will work on over 50 projects and we anticipate over 1,000 participants will contribute over $400,000 in volunteer labor.
Goals for volunteer projects in 2006 call for building 101 new miles of trail, five bridges and four trailheads. Volunteers also will be doing maintenance on 53 miles of existing trail. In 2007 plans call for 345 miles of construction and 6 new trailheads. None of this work could be done without our volunteers.
Our Youth Corps program offers opportunities for young people ages 17-25 to work on the Trail in Colorado, New Mexico and Wyoming in 2006 and we are now making plans to establish a Montana Youth Corps in 2007. Dedicating nine weeks to trail construction and one week to presentations to communities in CDT states, young people experience the CDT first-hand. Thanks to REI’s support, this program has become one of CDTA’s most successful efforts in engaging youth as future environmental stewards.
â€œREI has really set the bar for all outdoor companies when it comes to being proactive in giving back to the outdoor community. We just couldn’t do what needs to be done without them,â€ according to Bruce Ward, CDTA co-executive director.
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.