January 2016
Naturally Yours
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Cultivating Connections for a Healthy, Working River


The Poudre River Forum is an annual gathering of diverse voices interested in making the Cache la Poudre "the world's best example of a healthy, working river." You'll hear from a panel discussing the past, present and future of agriculture, enjoy stories of inspiring collaborations, have the chance to visit educational displays, participate in dialog, and see short videos. The day wraps up with a celebration reception and live music. Fee of $50 includes lunch and social hour, scholarships available.  Registration deadline is Monday, January 25, learn more here.

Bald Eagle Watches


Bald eagles from the north spend nights in communal roosts at Fossil Creek Reservoir Natural Area. Volunteer Master Naturalists will be stationed at the pier to explain the eagles’ natural history and help visitors view them through spotting scopes and binoculars. Drop by anytime during program hours, dress warmly. Free! May be canceled if temperatures are below freezing, or if its windy or foggy, check fcgov.com/naturalareas before you go!

Friday, January 8, 3:30-5:00 p.m.

Saturday, January 9, 3:30-5:00 p.m.

Friday, January 15, 3:30- 5 p.m.

Saturday, January 16, 3:30-5 p.m.

Many more dates are on the naturetracker calendar (no login required)!

Enhancement Grantees Announced

Natural Areas Enhancement grant awards have been announced! Congratulations to Dellwood Heights Home Owners Association (HOA), Fossil Creek Meadows HOA, Fossil Lake Ranch HOA, Dean Acres HOA, Maple Hill HOA, Greenstone HOA and Hampshire Pond Community Association! These groups will be improving the natural area values and habitat of their property, great job! Learn more >>>

Seeking Volunteer Ranger Assistants, Deadline 12/20


Have you dreamed about becoming a park ranger?  You can help natural area and park rangers with many important tasks as a volunteer! Applications are now being accepted for Volunteer Ranger Assistants! It is a fun and active outdoor volunteer opportunity with a flexible schedule. The training will be Tuesday, February 16, 6-9 p.m., Thursday February 18, 6-8 p.m., and Saturday February 20, 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Apply by January 20 (You must create an account in NatureTracker.) Learn more, read the press release >>>

New! Pronghorn Hunting at Soapstone Prairie

pronghorn.jpg Limited pronghorn hunting will begin at Soapstone Prairie Natural Area in late 2016. This exciting change provides an additional recreational opportunity, assists Colorado Parks and Wildlife with managing the pronghorn population and supports Soapstone Prairie’s management plan.  City code was changed to allow hunting in August, 2015 and a limited pronghorn hunt was explored in the Natural Areas Master Plan public outreach process. The hunt will be held in cooperation with a similar program at Larimer County’s Red Mountain Open Space. Interested hunters should visit Larimer County’s website for a Special Access Hunting Permit by the end of February ($10).



One advantage of winter's long nights?  Great skygazing opportunities!  Each month volunteers from the Northern Colorado Astronomical Society provide telescopes for your viewing pleasure and share their knowledge about stars, planets, galaxies, and more. Dress warmly and bring a blanket or chair to sit on. Meet in the parking lot off Carpenter Road. Free, no registration required. For weather updates, visit the NCAS website at www.NoCoAstro.org.

Friday, January 15, 7:30 p.m.

Saturday, January 30, 7:00 p.m.

Partnering for the Birds


Birds rely on natural areas for survival, and when several organizations partner to support bird habitat, both wildlife and people benefit! This fall and winter, the Natural Areas Department collaborated with Bird Conservancy of the Rockies with funding through New Belgium Brewing, Patagonia and Audubon of the Rockies to bolster wetland habitat at North Shields Ponds Natural Area. Newly planted wetland plants will support the entire food web. Native plum shrubs were also planted to provide food and cover and fill a gap in ecological structure between grasses and trees. It was a valuable collaboration that makes North Shields Ponds greener for people while supporting the wildlife that we love to watch. Thank you partners!


naturalareaslogo.gif Natural Areas News is published on the first Tuesday of the month with occasional special editions. Newsletter comments are welcome. Please contact Zoe Shark, City of Fort Collins Natural Areas Community Relations Manager, 970-221-6311 or zshark@fcgov.com.

To learn more about Natural Areas, visit our website.

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