February 2018
Naturally Yours
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Get Outside for Winter Fun With These Free Activities

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Eagle Watches Wrap Up This Month

Did you know that bald eagles come to Fort Collins in the winter? Free Eagle Watches at Fossil Creek Reservoir Natural Area are a great way to see them because friendly Master Naturalist volunteers provide spotting scopes and interesting information about these majestic creatures. Eagle Watches are a free drop-in activity. Remember: If temperatures are below freezing, or it’s windy or foggy, the Eagle Watches may be canceled so be sure to visit www.fcgov.com/naturalareas for weather cancelations and updates before you go.

Friday, February 9, 4 - 5:30 p.m.

Saturday, February 10, 4 - 5:30 p.m.

Friday, February 16, 4 - 5:30 p.m.

Saturday, February 17, 4 - 5:30 p.m. *Last Eagle Watch of the season!*

Skygazing

Friday, February 23, 7 p.m. Fossil Creek Reservoir Natural Area. 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, registration required. For weather updates, visit the NCAS website.

Limited Pronghorn Hunt at Soapstone Prairie

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Limited pronghorn doe hunting provides a recreational opportunity, assists Colorado Parks and Wildlife with managing the population, and supports Soapstone Prairie’s management plan.  The hunt is coordinated with the hunt for bull elk, cow elk, and buck deer at Larimer County’s Red Mountain Open Space, adjacent to Soapstone Prairie Natural Area. The hunt is held when the natural area is closed to other visitors. Interested hunters must apply for a Special Access Hunting Permit by the end of February ($10). 

2017 Restoration Report

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Stewardship of Fort Collins' natural areas is a big, multi-faceted job! Planting native trees and shrubs, seeding grasslands, controling weeds, conducting prescribed burns, planning, and monitoring results are all important aspects of caring for the community's treasured lands. Stewardship efforts are led by the Natural Areas Resource Management Team- read the 2017 highlights of restoration in this summary.

Nearly 2,500 Acres Conserved in the Foothills

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In January, Larimer County Open Lands and the City of Fort Collins Natural Areas closed on the last in a series of land acquisitions south and west of Horsetooth Reservoir, conserving 2,492 acres of rocky ridgelines, mountain mahogany shrublands, hillsides forested with ponderosa pines, and rolling grasslands. The newly conserved areas are adjacent to Coyote Ridge Natural Area, Horsetooth Mountain Open Space, and Devil’s Backbone Open Space. Great Outdoors Colorado invested nearly $5 million in the project with additional funding from City of Fort Collins Open Space Yes! and Larimer County Help Preserve Open Spaces sales tax ballot measures. The future of these sites, including outdoor recreation and public access, will be determined through public planning processes in the coming years.

Volunteers Wanted to Plant Trees & Connect People to Nature

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Start the new year off right by giving back to the environment! In partnership with Bird Conservancy of the Rockies Eastern-Screech Owl Citizen Science program, volunteers will work to restore Udall Natural Area by planting native shrubs and trees. The Eastern-Screech Owl Citizen Science program works to provide science-based support to help identify restoration areas that will benefit owls, birds and other wildlife. Thanks to Patagonia and New Belgium Brewery for their kind support of restoration along the Cache la Poudre River.

Join the fun! Thursday, February 15, 11 a.m.- 2 p.m., free, lunch provided. Register here!

Become a Volunteer Master Naturalist!

Master Naturalists are volunteer educators with the City of Fort Collins Natural Areas Department. During this training you'll experience a variety of natural areas and learn how to lead fun, hands-on field trips that connect people to the outdoors. Attendance at all classes is required.  Those who volunteer are eligible for partial reinbursement of the class fee, $172. Recreator registration starts Thurs. Feb. 8, class 207415-01

Twenty  Five Years of Natural Areas

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Thank you for a quarter century of Natural Areas land conservation, stewardship, and volunteerism, all made possible by sales tax ballot measures!

This 7 min. video was made for the occassion!

 

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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