As much as Coloradans love hiking on the state's 54 fourteeners -- those peaks over 14,000 feet high -- we aren't doing a good job protecting them. That's 5280 Magazine's first read of an upcoming report card by the Colorado Fourteeners Initiative (CFI).
CFI plans on releasing the full report sometime later this week. The organization's executive director told 5280 how the document will shape the future:
"The report card is kind of our way of taking inventory,” says Lloyd Athearn, CFI's executive director. “It helps us determine what our priorities should be for projects.”
The nonprofit already spends more than $500,000 annually to maintain trails on 42 of the mountains taller than 14,000 feet. The first-of-its-kind report card identifies a need for far greater resources--around $24 million--to bring trails up to standards for width, erosion and existing structures along the pathways.