Prairie Dog Meadows Natural Area Expansion
In May, Prairie Dog Meadows Natural Area was expanded by 3.5 acres. The land was purchased for $200,000 and was occupied by the Larimer Humane Society since 1974. All the structures were removed prior to the sale. The Humane Society parcel was nearly surrounded by Prairie Dog Meadows, so it was a priority for conservation. After acquisition, the new land was regraded and seeded with native grasses to blend in with the natural area.
Rimrock Conservation Easement
A conservation easement on 319.7 acres immediately adjacent to Larimer County's Blue Sky Trail and Rimrock Open Space was acquired in January. Natural Areas partnered with Larimer County and Great Outdoors Colorado (GOCO) to acquire the property from the family who owned the ranch since 1964. The Natural Areas Department contributed funding to Larimer County’s fee purchase and the City will hold the GOCO-required conservation easement. The ranch is primarily agricultural and supports dryland wheat and alfalfa crops and livestock grazing. Rimrock Conservation Easement is within the Foothills/ Buckhorn/ Redstone conservation focus area designated in the Land Conservation and Stewardship Master Plan.
Maxwell Natural Area Addition (pictured above)
Just over 53 acres of grasslands and shrublands adjacent to the Foothills Trail and Maxwell Natural Area were acquired in April. The State Board of Agriculture (CSU’s predecessor) acquired the property in 1940 and used it for livestock grazing. The property falls within the Foothills/ Buckhorn/ Redstone conservation focus area designated in the Land Conservation and Stewardship Master Plan. A variety of wildlife frequents the newly conserved land including mule deer and mountain lions.
Poudre River Conservation Easement
A 72-acre site that has been on Natural Areas potential conservation list for more than a decade was protected from development in September. The ranch is used for agriculture and livestock grazing. A bargain sale meant that the City contributed $200,000 towards the total $950,000 conservation easement value and the landowner will pursue state tax credits for the remaining $750,000 of the donation. The property is within the Poudre River Corridor conservation focus area designated in the Land Conservation and Stewardship Master Plan.