Yesterday, the Senate passed Congressman Doug Lamborn's bill, H.R. 4073, helping to clarify the legal status of the popular Manitou Incline hiking trail. Senator Michael Bennet, who had introduced a companion bill in the Senate, S.2341, helped push the House-passed bill through the upper chamber. H.R. 4073, which passed the House in July, now heads to President Barack Obama's desk for a signature before becoming law.
The legislation addresses a right-of-way issue with the Manitou and Pikes Peak Railway Company. It allows for the U.S. Forest Service to accept the railway's relinquishment of their right-of-way. This is necessary based on an 1875 federal law.
"The Manitou Incline Hiking Trail is a gem the people of Colorado have treasured for many years. This legislation will finally remove a entury-old legal cloud that has been hanging over a portion of the popular hiking trail. Hikers will soon be able to use it confidently knowing that the trail's safety and beauty will be protected. The legislation will ensure that the Forest Service can professionally manage and maintain the trail. The Manitou Incline is one of the most spectacular hiking trails in the country and valued by locals and tourists alike.
"I am very appreciative of Senator Bennet for his work in the Senate to preserve and protect this spectacular trail. Additionally, I thank Kyle Hybl and Spencer Wren of the Manitou and Pikes Peak Railway Company for their leadership on this issue." -- Doug Lamborn (CO-05)
"The passage of this bill formalizes what hundreds of Coloradans already know -- how incredibly challenging yet beautiful the Manitou Incline hike is. The "vertical mile' is a source of great local pride for residents of Manitou and Colorado Springs, and I'm glad that we can finally make it official. Now hikers can take advantage of this unique trail in a safe manner, and no longer be considered trespassers. This bill preserves the trail for generations to come. Representative Lamborn has been a strong advocate for the Manitou Incline, and I appreciate his leadership in the House of Representatives to help pass this bill."-- Senator Michael Bennet (D-Colo.)