State Land Office Signs Special Use Permit With Continental Divide Trail Coalition

From left: Teresa Martinez, Executive Director of the CDTC and Land Commissioner Stephanie Garcia Richard with the special user permit for the Continental Divide Trail. Courtesy photo.

State Land Office Signs Special Use Permit With Continental Divide Trail Coalition

Coalition gains ability to issue permits to hikers as trail season begins

SANTA FE, NM – Commissioner Stephanie Garcia Richard has signed Special Use Permit No. 2019-001 giving the Continental Divide Trail Coalition (CDTC) the ability to issue permits to Trail hikers and horseback riders that will allow them to lawfully access the portions of the Trail that are on State Trust Lands. The Continental Divide Trail spans over 3,000 miles in North America, with 820 miles of trail in New Mexico. The boot heel near Lordsburg serves as the southern terminus of this National Scenic Trail, which draws thousands of recreationists each year to experience its rugged beauty.

The CDTC is a non-profit with over 1,500 active members. Their mission is to complete, promote, and protect the Continental Divide Trail, which includes providing resources and information for those looking to access the CDT

“This special use permit is going to streamline the process for recreationists from around the world who travel to explore and experience New Mexico’s beautiful lands spanning the Continental Divide Trail,” Commissioner Garcia Richard said. “We have some of the most beautiful views in the Country – from the Burro Mountains in the Gila National Forest, El Malpais National Monument near Zuni and Acoma, to Chama River Canyon in the Santa Fe National Forest – New Mexico landscapes are unmatched. We want to encourage as many people as possible to experience them.”

“We are so appreciative that Commissioner Garcia Richard and the State Land Office have been willing to work with us on permitting hikers and horseback riders to easily access the Continental Divide Trail where it traverses State Trust Lands,” said Teresa Martinez, Executive Director of the CDTC. “This unprecedented partnership is a model for our work in other states and affirms the value of the CDT as a resource for the state of New Mexico.”

Recreational permits to access state trust land are currently only available in person from the State Land Office. Permits last one year and cost $35. CDTC will have permitting access until March 28, 2020, at which time the State Land Office and CDTC will have the option to renew permitting access.

CDTC estimates that more than 400 people will travel to Southern New Mexico this spring to attempt to thru-hike the entire CDT, while many more will enjoy the trail for a weekend or just an afternoon. For more information on the CDT in New Mexico, visit

Click the following link to access the permit on the CDTC website:


Oil, gas, and mineral production, ranching and farming, and commercial development on State Trust Lands support public schools, seven universities, New Mexico Military Institute, New Mexico School for the Deaf, New Mexico School for the Blind and Visually Impaired, three hospitals, correctional facilities, water conservation projects, and public building construction and repair. In fiscal year 2018, the State Land Office collected $852 million from lease payments, oil and gas lease sale earnings, rights-of-way, permits, interest, fees, and oil, gas, and mineral royalties.

About the Continental Divide Trail

The CDT is one of the world’s premiere long-distance trails, stretching 3,100 miles from Mexico to Canada along the Continental Divide. Designated by Congress in 1978, the CDT is the highest, most challenging and most remote of the 11 National Scenic Trails. It provides recreational opportunities ranging from hiking to horseback riding to hunting for thousands of visitors each year. While 95% of the CDT is located on public land, approximately 150 miles are still in need of protection.

About the Continental Divide Trail Coalition

The CDTC was founded in 2012 by volunteers and recreationists hoping to provide a unified voice for the Trail. Working hand-in-hand with the U.S. Forest Service and other federal land management agencies, the CDTC is a non-profit partner supporting stewardship of the CDT. The mission of the CDTC is to complete, promote and protect the Continental Divide National Scenic Trail, a world-class national resource. For more information, please visit