Rep. Neguse Bill to Complete the Continental Divide Trail Included in FY23 NDAA
Washington, D.C. — Today, Congressman Joe Neguse, Chair of the National Parks, Forests, and Public Lands Subcommittee, announced that his bill – the Continental Divide Trail (CDT) Completion Act – passed the House of Representatives as part of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year (FY 2023). The provision directs the U.S. Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management to work together to complete the 3,100-mile Continental Divide National Scenic Trail by its 50th anniversary in 2028 to the maximum extent possible.
“Our proposal to complete the CDT fulfills a promise made by Congress more than four decades ago. This trail encompasses a vast array of beautiful landscapes and world-class recreational opportunities, all of which add to the spirit of our state. For our mountain communities and for our nation’s wildlife, we must invest in this refuge area, protecting all those that rely on it.” said Congressman Neguse.
Congress created the CDT in 1978 as part of the National Trails System, a network which spans all 50 states. The CDT is the highest, most challenging, and most remote of 11 National Scenic Trails, running along the Continental Divide through Montana, Idaho, Wyoming, Colorado, and New Mexico. 230 miles—7.5% of the entire trail—traverses Colorado’s 2nd District. The trail’s corridor helps protect the headwaters of the Colorado, Rio Grande, Columbia, and Mississippi Rivers.
More than 40 years after its creation, the Continental Divide Trail remains incomplete due to gaps along more than 160 miles of its route. In these areas, the CDT is forced to follow along roads to connect one completed section to another. When the trail is complete, it will connect an unbroken corridor of more than 2 million acres of public land for wildlife to safely traverse along their migration routes. It will also expand access to the outdoors by offering more opportunities to thru-hikers and would boost rural economies, known as gateway communities, that run along the trail.
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