LOVELAND, Colo. (CBS4) – Larimer County announced on Wednesday it is finalizing the purchase of a 1,091-acre ranch bordering Red Mountain Open Space. The $3.5 million purchase was funded by the county’s Help Preserve Open Spaces sales tax, city of Fort Collins’ Open Space Yes sales tax, Great Outdoors Colorado, and the Friends of Larimer County Parks and Open Lands.
“This purchase further stitches together lands conserved through a long-term partnership among Larimer County, Fort Collins, private landowners and others in the Laramie Foothills,” said Meegan Flenniken, Land Conservation, Planning & Resource Division Manager, Larimer County Natural Resources.
Hawk Canyon Ranch is located west of Red Mountain Open Space and east of Colorado State University’s Maxwell Ranch. Officials said the acquisition includes a conservation easement on the land to the city of Fort Collins.
“We are honored to be able to partner with this landowner to protect the ranch in perpetuity,” said Daylan Figgs, Director, Larimer County Natural Resources. “Sincere thanks to the citizens of Fort Collins and Larimer County for their continued support of local open space initiatives that make projects like this possible.”
The project is one of four ranches identified for conservation in the Laramie Foothills area. Officials said the property includes canyons, hogback rock outcroppings, ponderosa pine forests, and one of the largest mountain mahogany shrubland communities.
“This acquisition is an exciting addition to a beloved and increasingly important landscape of conserved lands in the Laramie Foothills,” said Mark Sears, Natural Areas Manager, City of Fort Collins Natural Areas Department. “These lands provide critical habitat and migration corridors for wildlife and much needed respite from urban life for all people.”