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[CDT-L] Cuba

<< ... in all my miles of walking on trails I've found the denizens of New 
 Mexico to be the most friendly, helpful, and generous of all the states I've 
 visited. Therefore I feel privledged to present my experiences along New 
 Mexico's CDT in my new book: Along New Mexico's Continental Divide Trail, 
 Westcliffe Publishers. >>

>From my admittedly far-removed point of view, it seems odd that the CDT 
through New Mexico hasn't been more defined and developed than it is to date. 
 It would seem to be in the best interests of all the diverse interests in 
the state.  I'm a newcomer to this list and you all may be tired of beating 
on this issue -- or maybe not -- so don't jump on me too hard for tossing out 
my humble opinion.  Which is:  

The CDT should take hikers on a tour of some of the historic and geological 
wonders of New Mexico, even at the expense of adding miles, and provide an 
unpaved (off-road) path for visitors to enjoy.  

o  The value of a relatively narrow trail right-of-way through private lands 
is surely higher than the value of the grazing land forfeited.  At worst, the 
land could still be grazed on a shared basis.

o  Native American historic sites are a huge tourist attraction.  Isn't there 
some educational as well as economic value in bringing hikers into these 
sites?  What an opportunity for historic and cultural education!    

o  Tourists bring money into the state.  CDT hikers are the most desirable 
kind of tourist.  They (with maybe one or two exceptions) do not litter or 
pollute, are thankful for any assistance, eager to learn about local 
geologic, historic and archeologic attractions, and always return to there 
homes full of stories about the wonders they have seen along the way, no 
matter how tough it may have occasionally been for them.

It seems to me that there is opportunity here, for the state, citizens, 
businesses, special interests and the hikers, to benefit from an established 
National Scenic Trail.