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KSJD Newscast - January 21st, 2016

  • A proposed trail for cyclists, pedestrians, and equestrians leading from Cortez to Mancos has been named one of the highest priority trail projects in Colorado.

A proposed trail for pedestrians, cyclists, and equestrians leading from Cortez to Mancos has been named one of the 16 highest-priority trail projects in Colorado. On Tuesday, Governor John Hickenlooper announced the projects as part of the state’s “16 in 2016” initiative. The designation does not automatically bring funding, but Great Outdoors Colorado is investing $30 million in trails over the next four years, and the 16 priority projects will have an edge. The “Paths to Mesa Verde” project is envisioned to follow the Highway 160 corridor and link Mancos, Cortez, Mesa Verde National Park,  the Phil’s World bike trails, and the Montezuma County fairgrounds. Although previous Montezuma County commissioners were lukewarm to the trail, the current commissioners have vigorously supported it. In a statement, they said it “has great potential to improve the lives and economy of citizens in Montezuma County”. Mesa Verde, the City of Cortez, the Town of Mancos, the Colorado Department of Transportation, and federal public-lands agencies are partnering in the effort. At a recent meeting, the county Planning and Zoning Commission praised the trail idea and said Montezuma County could some day become as crowded as Moab, Utah, during the peak tourist season. The exact route has not been designated, but a preferred alignment is expected in 2016.

Gail Binkly is a career journalist who has worked for the Colorado Springs Gazette and Cortez Journal. She is currently a freelance writer as well as the editor of the Four Corners Free Press, based in Cortez.
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