As winter makes its return to the Divide and snow blankets the mountains, we are reflecting on another wonderful season along the CDT. We are so grateful for the support of every member of the CDT community, who have enabled us to accomplish to much important work along the Trail.
As we reflect on this year’s successes, we are asking you to please consider making a donation of any amount to support our work along the CDT. Your gift will be put directly to work providing information and support to trail users, growing a robust trail community and network of trail advocates, and stewarding and protecting the CDT for all to enjoy.
This past year was filled with excitement as we entered a new Strategic Visioning process that will help guide our work and strategic priorities for the next several years. Nearly 1,000 individuals responded to our Strategic Visioning Stakeholder Survey, which helped inform the conversations and goal-setting priorities of our staff and Board of Directors. We look forward to sharing this new vision with the CDT community in 2024! As we took time to envision our future, we continued to steward the trail, share information with the public, and support and connect communities across the CDT. Below are some of our highlights from this past year:
Cooperative Stewardship and Trail Protection
2023 was a busy year for our field operations team, with a total of 11 volunteer trail projects, 3 adopter trainings, and 8 community stewardship events along the Divide. We continued trail condition surveys through National Forest sections of the CDT to understand the on-the-ground conditions of the CDT, and we worked with our US Forest Service partners to finalize a master list of deferred maintenance projects along the entire CDT. This list will help prioritize and expand annual stewardship projects for CDTC and our partners in future years. We also submitted over 30 comments in the cooperative stewardship of the CDT, working across the administration, Congress, and federal agencies, including actions proposed by the NPS, USFS, and BLM.
We were thrilled to finalize the New Mexico State Land Easement Acquisition with the Bureau of Land Management. This huge accomplishment eliminated the need for hikers to obtain permits to hike through State lands and moved 100% of the CDT in New Mexico onto permanently protected land. We completed construction on four miles of trail near Cuba, NM, and we worked with local ranchers and conservation corps to fabricate and install new trail gates throughout Southern New Mexico.
Trail Information and Awareness
In 2023, we hired a seasonal intern who helped expand our efforts in building support for the Muddy Pass project by increasing engagement and awareness with communities including Walden, Grand County, and Steamboat Springs through the development of new story maps, kiosks, signage, and community outreach events. It was another busy year for events impacting the CDT, and our team provided rapid response communication on 27 situations impacting the trail, including bear activity and wildfire. We continued our efforts to highlight the importance of public lands and the National Trail System with decision-makers in Washington DC, and we’re incredibly proud that in the past year, the CDT and surrounding communities have hosted the President of the United States, 3 Senators, 2 Congressmen, and 3 Cabinet members!
Community Building and Storytelling
It was another year for celebration and community building along the Divide, including the largest Trail Days celebration to date, the 2nd Annual Pride on the Divide campaign, multiple community stewardship events, and more! Our team visited all 21 Gateway Communities and hosted Small Business Roundtables in Montana communities, sharing information to help support local businesses market to the trail community. We also evolved our New Mexico Indigenous Youth Hiking Group by formalizing partnerships with Native organizations to expand programming to more participants. To wrap up a busy season of celebrating community, we partnered with Latino Outdoors for a National Public Lands Day event on Mt. Taylor, bringing alive the cultural landscape through stories from Native Youth and welcoming many new hikers to the CDT.
None of these achievements would be possible without the support of the CDT community.
We’re so incredibly grateful for their support. As we move into 2024 and continue building on this amazing work along the CDT, we are asking you to please consider making a donation to support our efforts along the trail. Every gift, big or small, makes a difference for the future of the Continental Divide Trail.DONATE
We look forward to seeing our community on the trail in the new year!