Local government for the win on this recent giant land acquisition.

IT’S NO SECRET that NoCo’s booming economy and greatest-place-ever status is also contributing to open space being gobbled at a troubling rate. But here’s a big victory to celebrate—Fort Collins and Larimer County have teamed up for another conservation win, this time adding 2,492 acres adjacent the existing preservation areas of Coyote Ridge Natural Area, Horsetooth Mountain Open Space and Devil’s Backbone Open Space.

The purchase, which featured four separate deals with private landowners, has been in the works for years, with a little over half of the acreage purchased outright and the remaining placed into conservation easements. All that doesn’t come cheap—the $11,570,200 price tag was split between the county and town (thanks to voter support of a sales tax ballot measure), and the lottery-funded Great Outdoors Colorado. The real heroes? You..

“Conserving land in the iconic foothills just outside of the city, next to some of the most treasured and popular natural areas and open spaces, means that they will be here for us, wildlife and future generations,” said Mark Sears, Fort Collins Natural Areas Manager and Acting Director. “The opportunity to conserve such a large area is increasingly rare, and we are thrilled to be part of the project.” —C.M.


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