Colorado Fourteeners Initiative protects and preserves the natural integrity of Colorado’s 54 14,000–foot peaks —the “Fourteeners”— through active stewardship and public education.
Colorado’s Fourteeners contain rare and fragile native alpine tundra ecosystems that are uniquely adapted to living on these high peaks. These tundra plants –some of which exist nowhere else on earth– are ill-adapted to being trampled by the estimated 415,000 hiker use days that occur on these peaks every year. In many places, resource damage is past the point of natural recovery.
CFI partners with the US Forest Service, the Bureau of Land Management, and passionate volunteers and donors nationwide to:
- Create a structure for engaging local communities in the protection of Colorado’s highest peaks
- Build and maintain sustainable hiking routes on Colorado’s 14ers to accommodate hiking use while minimizing damage to native alpine ecosystems
- Close, stabilize, and restore trampled and eroded areas to protect sensitive alpine plant and animal communities
- Educate Fourteener hikers about Leave No Trace principles and sustainable recreational practices designed to lessen ecosystem impacts
Through this unique, voluntary partnership, Colorado’s 14er ecosystems are protected from harm while continuing to make the peaks accessible to hikers without burdensome restrictions and fees.