Bennet Pushes Through Bill to Clear Up Manitou Incline Legal Status

Measure Sent to President’s Desk to Be Signed into Law

December 31, 2012

The U.S. Senate late last night approved a bill Colorado U.S. Senator Michael Bennet pushed through to clarify the legal status of the popular Manitou Incline hiking trail. Representative Doug Lamborn led the effort in the House, where the bill passed in July.

The bill 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 its right-of-way. This is necessary based on an 1875 federal law.

“The ‘vertical mile’ is a source of great local pride for residents of Manitou and Colorado Springs. I’m glad that we are a step closer to allowing hikers to take advantage of this unique trail in a safe manner while not being considered trespassers,” Bennet said. “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.”

“The Manitou Incline Hiking Trail is a gem the people of Colorado have treasured for many years. This legislation will finally remove a century-old legal cloud that has been hanging over a portion of the popular hiking trail,” Lamborn said. “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,” added Lamborn. “Additionally, I thank Kyle Hybl and Spencer Wren of the Manitou and Pikes Peak Railway Company for their leadership on this issue.”

Note: The legislation received letters of support from the following (click on the links to read the full letter):

The Mayor and City Council of Manitou Springs

The Mayor and City Council of Colorado Springs

The General Manager of the Manitou and Pike’s Peak Railway Company

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