|Citizens Say "Yes"!|
The City of Fort Collins Natural Areas Program, in providing this report on the progress of natural areas conservation, acknowledges the vital role citizens play in making conservation possible. The 11,000+ acres of conserved lands, over 23 miles of unpaved recreational trails, habitat available to wildlife, magnificent scenic vistas – all are here because Fort Collins citizens chose to make them possible.
Funding is a key component in conserving natural areas. Voters have said "yes" to several citizen-initiated sales taxes in support of natural areas. In 1992, Fort Collins voters passed the first ¼-cent sales tax dedicated to natural areas. This tax continued for five years. In 1997, as part of "Building Community Choices," Fort Collins voters extended a major portion of the 1992 ¼-cent City sales tax for natural areas and trails to 2005.
County-wide initiatives also benefit Fort Collins. In 1995, voters of Larimer County passed "Help Preserve Open Space," a county-wide ¼-cent sales tax to fund open space, natural areas, wildlife habitat, parks, and trails. A minimum of 55% of this county-wide tax goes to the municipalities within Larimer County. The remainder goes to lands within unincorporated Larimer County and Larimer County's Open Lands Program. This tax took effect in January 1996 and was initially slated to end in 2003. In 1999, voters extended the tax to 2018.