Congressman Doug Lamborn introduced legislation in Washington on Thursday to help open up access to the Manitou Incline.
The legislation addresses a right-of-way issue involving the Manitou and Pike's Peak Railway and the U.S. Forest Service.
Congressman Lamborn got involved at the request of the Manitou and Pike's Peak Railway when it became evident last year that an Act of Congress was necessary to help overcome one of the roadblocks to giving the public legal access to the incline as a hiking trail.
The bill 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.
"This is just one of many necessary steps needed to hopefully open the Manitou Incline. I want to recognize and thank all those in Manitou Springs and Colorado Springs who have been working on resolving this issue for years. This Act of Congress addresses an obscure territorial-era law on the federal books related to railways. I have every expectation that this bill will move quickly through the House and could become law as early as this Spring, pending passage in the Senate. This bill does not resolve all the issues necessary for legal access to the Incline, but does solve the critical federal roadblock," Lamborn said.
Scott Hente, President of Colorado Springs City Council, thanked Lamborn for his efforts in pushing legalization of the Incline. "The Manitou Incline is perhaps the most unique hiking trail in the country and is indicative of the unique outdoor lifestyle that we enjoy in the Pike's Peak region," Hente said.