Congress passed his bill H.R. 4073 on Wednesday, approving the Cog Railway's relinquishment of its right-of-way on the Incline. The bill chops down some red tape and allows the Incline legalization process to move forward. The passage of this bill through Congress does not make the Incline legal to climb.
The following is a press release from Congressman Doug Lamborn:
Today the House passed by voice vote Congressman Doug Lamborn’s (CO-05) bill helping to clarify the legal status of the popular Manitou Incline hiking trail. H.R. 4073 is supported by the Colorado Springs City Council, the Manitou Springs City Council and Mayor, the Colorado Springs Mayor, and the Manitou and Pikes Peak Railway Company.
“This bill will remove a centuries-old legal cloud that has been hanging over a portion of the popular hiking trail. Hikers will be able to use it confidently knowing that the trail's safety and beauty will be protected. It 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 loved by locals and tourists alike. It is a treasure unique to Pikes Peak and we want to ensure it is kept up for generations to come." -- Doug Lamborn (CO-05)
H.R. 4073, is technical and narrow in scope. It specifically addresses a right-of-way issue with the 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.
Senator Michael Bennett has introduced companion legislation on the Senate side, S.2341. The bill must pass both the House and the Senate and be signed by the president to become law.
This statement from Bennett came today:
Colorado U.S. Senator Michael Bennet released the following statement on House passage of a bill that would help open access to the Manitou Incline Trail. The bill was introduced by U.S. Rep. Doug Lamborn.
“Access to public lands is one of the reasons people both move to and visit the Pikes Peak region. Developing a safe Manitou Incline Trail will contribute to the quality of life and to tourism as an important economic driver in the area,” Bennet said.
“The House passage of Representative Lamborn’s bill is an important step. I look forward to the completion of this process in the Senate, which will help local leaders create safer conditions and new recreational opportunities.”
Bennet has introduced a companion bill in the Senate, which has the support of area leaders and the Colorado Springs and Manitou Springs communities.
Congress passes railway abandonment bill; Senate approval is next