[Cdt-l] La Garita to Lujan Relocation
mail at cdtsociety.org
Wed Jun 26 22:51:17 CDT 2013
The Forest Service has decided to proceed with the relocation of the CDT
segment in the Cochetopa Hills area of Colorado.
The new route will be a nonmotorized route following an alignment close
to the Continental Divide.
So far, so good.
But, we are very disappointed by the decision's approval of mountain
bike use on the new trail. We had suggested an alternative that would
have allowed bikes to continue to travel in the area -- mostly on the
existing roaded route, but with a few miles on the Divide. The CDT
itself, however, would be limited to foot and equestrian travel.
While we will not challenge the mountain bike decision, we have filed a
detailed appeal on the issue of water access. As designed, the segment
is about 31 miles long, without a single reliable water source. The
comments that CDTS had filed would call for a small realignment that
would provide easy access to Los Creek, which has been characterized
(Guide to CDT, v.5: Cochetopa Hills Segment 4:8.3) as a "dependable
water source" -- a characterization that has never been disputed in any
hikers' comments. Los Creek is about 20 miles north of water at
Cochetopa Creek -- a bit far, but something we regard as manageable. We
also object to one part of the proposed alignment that would
unnecessarily drop hundreds of feet off the Divide for no good reason.
The Forest Service did not address our concerns. Our appeal claims that
the decision was in violation of the National Trails System Act (calling
for "high-quality" hiking opporunities) , the National Environmental
Policy Act (requiring a hard look at reasonable alternatives), and the
Administrative Procedures Act (barring actions that are arbitrary and
Our appeal, including maps, has been posted in the What's New page of
our website. That page also includes a link to the Rio Grande NF web
page for this project.
Please take a look and let us have your thoughts.
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