Santa Fe Trail Scenic and Historic Byway Mountain Branch
Contact: Wyvonne Phillips, Byway Manager
135 W Main Street, Trinidad, CO 81082

October 14, 2004

PRESS RELEASE- Santa Fe Trail Scenic and Historic Byway - Mountain Branch election.

The Santa Fe Trail Scenic and Historic Byway-Mountain Branch is one of Colorado’s Scenic Byway Programs funded by the National Scenic Byways Program of the FHWA. Funds are distributed through a competitive grants process and are administered by CDOT State Scenic Byway Program. This grant is renewable for up to five years and it is our intention to become self sustaining by the year 2007. Our Scenic Byway Program received its first $25,000 seed grant to hire a part time manager to implement the Corridor Management Plan. Wyvonne Phillips was hired on February 15, 2003. We have been awarded our second $25,000 seed grant for 2004 operations and we submitted our third grant request in September which ranked seven in priority. We are located at 136 West Main Street, Trinidad, CO. Trinidad Las Animas County Economic Development is our current fiscal sponsor, and Trinidad State Junior College Foundation is our matching funds contributor.

Roberta Cordova, the founder of the Santa Fe Trail Scenic and Historic Byway, the Scenic Byway Committee, Byway Stake holders and Partners, City Governments and prestigious members of our Byway Communities worked for many years to develop our Scenic Byway and achieve it's designation as a National Scenic Byway. In 1992 Governor Roy Romer and the Colorado Department of Transportation designated the Mountain Branch as a Colorado State Scenic Byway. We received National Scenic Byways Program designation in 1998 by the FHWA. Our officers are President- Roberta Cordova, , Vice President- Michelle Stevens, Heritage and Recreation Programs Manager, Comanche National Grasslands, and Priscilla Opper who has recently resigned as our treasurer. Thank you Priscilla for assisting us with the development of our Byway's Incorporation. We will be holding an election meeting on November 5, 2004, 9AM at the John's Building in Trinidad, CO. Byway Ambassadors and a secretary treasurer are needed. We want good representation of the Trail Corridor consisting of well-qualified individuals to make up our Board of Directors and Ambassadors. Please send in your nominations to SFTS&H Byway 136 W. Main, Trinidad, CO. If you feel that you would be a good choice, why not let us know and join our organization today. To join our Byway Group print out a membership form located on the Byway Web site

We are thankful to the Colorado Historical Society for the contribution of our first membership incentive. It was a very generous gesture for you to grant our Scenic Byway members free admission to the Trinidad History Museum with their membership to our new organization. Your support to our past initiatives has been invaluable and we want you to know that our Byway is very grateful. This year we partnered with Trinidad Historical Society at Santa Fe Trail Days Festival Booth. We now have a beautiful booth for future historic presentations throughout our Byway. We conducted a Scenic Byway Assessment with the Southeast Colorado Tourism Board and CSU marketing specialists. We have come away from that assessment with many new and innovative ideas to increase our Scenic Byway visibility and promotions. A business plan is near completion which will take into account the tourism promotional efforts which are being planned throughout our Scenic Byway. We intend to continue to work with this group and other non profit groups to assist in grants that will be beneficial to our Scenic Byway. We are looking forward to creating more productive partnerships with these groups to accomplish our mutual missions. Our future is bright and we welcome you to join our organization and support our efforts to provide projects that will increase knowledge and recognition of the Santa Fe Trail Scenic and Historic Byway.


"Listening For The Sound Of Wheels" an audio recording of True Stories of the Santa Fe Trail, beautifully depicts the pioneer spirit of Santa Fe Trail Travelers. Writers: John Stansfield, Mark Gardner, Dan McCrimmon, Narrator: John Stansfield, Sound Recording: Don Martin Productions, Producer: John Stansfield, Cover Design: Wyvonne Phillips, Voices: Marian Sloan and Julia Holmes — Nancy Harris; Young Marian Sloan — Morgan Weinert, “Excerpts from Land of Enchantment: Memoirs of Marion Sloan Russell Along the Santa Fe Trail used by permission of University of New Mexico Press.” Funded by the Colorado Department of Transportation. A must have for modern day Trail Travelers. Pop it in for your tour of the Mountain Branch and find out what it was really like in the wild west. This audio recording was nominated for the National Interpreters Award 2004. It is available in CD only. You can order a copy via our website at the Mountain Branch Store for $16.00, or they are available at Boggsville Historic Site- Las Animas, Bent's Old Fort- La Junta or the Santa Fe Trail museum in Trinidad. If you are a business interested in carrying our CD's for sale at your location, please contact Wyvonne Phillips, Byway Director for details on purchasing them for resale. voice mail @ 719-846-5645 or email us from our Byway web site. Please visit our historically robust Web Site with touring suggestions to scenic byway sites of interest. The site receives over 1,000 visitors a month since it's conception in May 2003 and contains information on: Byway communities and their sites of interest, links to our Scenic Byway friends and family, events along the Byway, pages which highlight cultural, historical, scenic, archaeological, and recreational qualities of our Byway, and Scenic Byway Press Releases.

We completed the development of three watchable wildlife areas to add to our Scenic Byway Inventory. With the assistance of Comanche National Grasslands and the US Forest Service we have three beautiful new panels going up in the near future. One at Timpas Creek and two at Picket Wire Canyonlands on Comanche National Grasslands. Future projects for the Santa Fe Trail Scenic and Historic Byway include a hiking and biking Trail on Raton Pass, an interpretive brochure with a map to the DAR Markers along the Byway which mark the path of the original Santa Fe Trail. We will also seek funding for our web site. It is a very big site and we need tools to assist in navigating the grass roots site and we want to continue to build on it's historic strength to promote Heritage Travel on the Santa Fe Trail. We have asked for a grant from the Trinidad Tourism Board to repair our three radio transmitters located in the Trinidad area. We will be seeking funding for updating these historic messages to include visitor services information and suggested sites of attraction throughout the byway. We seek partnerships with Scenic Byway Junior and Community Colleges to assist us in the production of these new broadcasts.