Why the Campaign?
The Continental Divide Trail (CDT) needs you. This campaign is a focused crowd sourcing effort to rally outdoor and environmental communities across the country towards supporting the future of this incredible national scenic trail. Federal funds for land preservation are slowly being restricted due to sequestration and federal spending cuts. The trail corridor and its preservation is falling through the cracks, and is facing great capacity difficulties in maintaining what so many have worked so hard to build. Dollars from this campaign will directly support much needed advocacy and protection efforts, map making, data collection, and volunteer trail building.
From 1995 to early 2012, the primary supporter of the Continental Divide Trail was the Continental Divide Trail Alliance (CDTA). The CDTA ceased operations in January of 2012, leaving a large gap in trail stewardship, advocacy and support. Passionate trail management professionals and volunteers have made it their mission to continue building and sustaining the CDT through this new organization, the Continental Divide Trail Coalition (CDTC).
CDT Gap Map
Take a look at this map of the areas where the CDT remains unprotected and vulnerable. Nearly 30% still needs us to finish the job and not let this nationally significant experience falter under our watch.
Urgency to Support the CDT:
While 72% of the Trail is complete, there are still 800 miles in need of construction, reconstruction to national trail standards, moved off of roads, or managed to meet standards of a National Scenic Trail
There are still 200 plus miles of the CDT on Roads with major sections in the Carson National Forest in New Mexico and the Muddy Pass area of Colorado
- The Forest Service Budget is shrinking (17% in 2013 ) and this is impacting how the Trail is managed and supported by the Agency. There needs to be, a voice advocating for this not to happen to say it is worth public funds to keep the progress moving forward on the CDT
- There are numerous threats around the Trail Corridor due to energy projects such as powerlines and wind farms in view from the Trail Corridor or other activity such as clear cuts or open-pit mines that have potential to negatively impact the Trail Experience
- The cost of completion for the CDT including land acquisition, trail construction and management activity are estimated at $27 million dollars
- Deteriorating Trail conditions need our attention including replacing infrastructure like bridges on dangerous river/stream crossings and potential loss of the maintained route
- The need for a free informational map of the CDT with information about its protection, partners and uses, is needed all along the Trail. We have the map, now we need the text
- There are threats of losing protection for all headwaters in the United States which start on the Continental Divide due to loss of Trail Corridor protection which will affect all downstream drinking water for all U.S. citizens
Why Suppoort the CDT? / CLICK HERE to watch interview with Pamela Underhill With out a strong national non-profit partner, the Continental Divide Trail is at risk of being left behind. Pamela Underhilll, former NPS Appalachian Trail Park Office Superintendent, shares why the CDT needs the same kind of partner as the Appalachian Trail Conservancy has been for the Appalachian Trail and why supporting this campaign helps make that happen.
What is The Continental Divide National Scenic Trail (CDT)?
The CDT is one of the most significant trail systems in the world, spanning 3,100 miles from Canada to Mexico. In 1978, Congress established a 50-mile wide corridor on either side of the geographic Continental Divide in which to build the CDT. The CDT connects countless communities along its spine across Montana, Idaho, Wyoming, Colorado and New Mexico traversing three national parks, one national monument, 25 national forests, and eight BLM areas. It is one of the three National Scenic Trails belonging to the ‘Triple Crown’ (along with Pacific Crest Trail and Appalachian Trail) and is typically noted within the thru-hiking community as being the highest and wildest.
Who is the Continental Divide Trail Coaltion (CDTC):
CDTC formed to establish strong community-based relationships through activities that support the construction, maintenance and support of the CDT. The organization feels that cultivating local relationships with communities adjacent to the Trail and involving volunteers on the ground is the most powerful way to build our movement and preserve and protect the CDT. Through these networks of individuals, groups, and local communities, we will build a strong and healthy voice for the CDT that will help promote the vision for the CDT and ensure it remains a national landmark for generations to come.
Plans for 2014:
- Maintenence of 300 miles of CDT in Colorado
- Sponsor 10 volunteer construction projects trail wide
- Develop an additional 5 miles of new CDT
- Coordinate public advocacy efforts to protect CDT
- Update CDT map and line data for public use
- Participate in national trail advocacy efforts
CDTC Mission & Vision: The CDTC seeks to create a community committed to construct, promote, and protect in perpetuity the CDT. Our vision is that the CDT becomes a renowned and revered natural resource for you to connect with friends and family, draw inspiration, and create outstanding personal experiences.
Volunteers of Outdoor Colorado, Leave No Trace and Appalachian Trail Conservancy and American Hiking Society
Sustaining and building a quality organization and program is dependent on strong public and private partnerships across the country. We are so thankful to all of our campaign partners and sponsors!
*see below for other partners and sponsors
$5 / Elk Bugle You are awesome ...and because you're awesome, we're going to give you a once in a lifetime 'elk bugle' style shout-out on our website and social media accounts thanking you for your support! ; )
$15 / Trail Angel Here's our rockin' water bottle. Slick, smooth, classy, lightweight and easy to attach to just about anything!
$20/ Honoring Jim Wolf We're rallying the CDT community to gift one CDT trailhead sponsorship to someone who for years has given so much to this trail and its community. He is responsible for making the CDT thru-hiking experience a successful one for so many through publishing the first set of CDT guides. Contribute $20 now to honor Jim Wolf!
$25 / Sip it, Stick it, Shout-out CDT goodie bag: mug, patch, trail marker, stickers and elk bugle style shout-out. ; )
$50 / The Dreamer You will get a 2014 CDT calendar, Mark Flagler's 'Walking the Great Divide' DVD and CDT goodie bag!
$75 / Beer Lover Tumbler You will receive a limited edition handmade CDT branded Beer Tumbler made high in the Rocky Mountains. Goodie bag included!
$100 / Map Book Genie Pick the map book of your choice! Choose from Montana, Idaho, Wyoming, Colorado and New Mexico. We will contact you shortly after our campaign to check which Map Book you would like. Goodie bag included!
$200 / Honor and Heart Limited edition commemorative wooden brand sign to show a sincere commitment to protecting and honoring the heart and treasure that is the CDT. One beer tumbler and goodie bag included!
$500 / Thru-Hiker For the route planners, adventure seekers and long-distance trail supporters - the ultimate perk! All CDT map books, CDT map, CDT calendar, One Beer Tumbler, one wooden commemorative CDT branded sign, one CDT branded water bottle and goodie bag included! (See images above for visuals of what's included!)
$1,000 / Trail Head Sponsor In recognition of your contribution your name will be placed at one of five trail heads as the official sponsor showing the world how much you love the CDT. Trail head locations willbe across the entire trail and you may even help us install the Trailheads. Trailheads will be installed in 2014. Your support will hit the eyes of thousands as they walk this wild and incredible trail. Beer tumbler and goodie bag included!
$1,750 / Pie Town to Grants Ramble Take a guest and join us for a fun 5 day excursion in either May or September of 2014 traveling and walking along unique roadways and CDT environs throughout Pietown, The El Mal Pais and Grants, New Mexico. Meet locals, connect with the CDT and eat pie. Transportation from Albuquerque will be proivded. Accomodations will be camping and hostel style, but opportunities for some hotelling will be possible. You'll need your own personal gear and the rest of the trip is on us. Beer tumbler, commemorative pie plate, and goodie bag included!
$3,100 / Brewers for a Day & More! We have an exclusive opportunity for 3 lucky people to be "Brewers for a Day" with the AC Golden Brewing Company in Golden, CO. This will come in the form of a certificate and you can schedule the tour when it suits your party of 3. AC Golden Brewing Company only offeres tours to special guests! Plus you'll receive a case of Colorado Native, 3 limited edition CDT beer tumblers, wooden commemorative CDT sign, map book, DVD, calendar and goodie bag!
A huge thank you to our event and campaign sponsors!
The Trail Show, AC Golden Brewing Company - Colorado Native, Great Harvest Bakery, Whole Foods Governor's Ranch, Wildfire Pottery, ULA Equipment, Walk2Connect and Bear Creek Survey Service, Pie-o-neer Cafe
Campaign & Communications Partners:
Thank you to our communication and social sharing partners!
Pacific Crest Trail Association (PCTA), Partnership for the National Trail System (PNTS), Colorado Trail Foundation (CTF), American Hiking Society (AHS), AC Golden Brewing Company - Colorado Native, Continental Divide Trail Society (CDTS), Mark Flagler of Flagler Films
Other Ways You Can Help:
Become a CDTC Member! Consider becoming a long-term supporter and friend with the Continental Divide Trail Coaltion as we work to preserve and protect this incredible corridor and trail. See here for details!
Be a campaign sharing champion! We need ALL the help we can get in regards to sharing this campaign with all who have benefited from being on our beautiful trails. Please consider doing one or all of the following throughout our 45 day campaign!
Share our campaign:
- On Facebook / with a photo of the CDT
- On Twitter / use #hikecdt & include @CDNST1
- In emails to your friends and family
- With any hikers, writers, bloggers, outdoor magazines & publications
- Create photos and flyers and post at local retail shops / ask us for the QR code!
Hiked on the CDT? Share your photos and stories with us! You can email them to email@example.com
Video & Image Credits:
Music Creation: John Hildreth
Video Editing: Jenny Gomez and Kerry Shakarjian (Teresa Martinez, Jonathon Stalls and John Hildreth)
Photo Credits: Eric Herbst, Paul Magnanti "pmags", Jon Pierson, Kerry Shakarjian, Jerry Brown, Anneliese Ring, Teresa Martinez, David Dolton, Stephanie Friday-Allen, CDTC stock images