In this issue: Bison, Devil's Backbone and Trails
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NR News Issue 15 | October 2015

This calf is one of 10 bison to be released Nov. 1 onto 1,000 fenced acres on Red Mountain and Soapstone Prairie. Photo by John Eisele, Colorado State University.

Welcome Bison Home to Northern Colorado Prairie

This fall, an iconic species of the shortgrass prairie will return to its ancestral home. Join us in celebrating the reintroduction of bison on Red Mountain Open Space and Soapstone Prairie Natural Area with public events Nov. 1.

Ceremony, 10 a.m.-noon, National Wildlife Research Center on CSU Foothills Campus. See bison, enjoy kids' activities and learn about the project.

Field Trip, 12:15-5 p.m. Take a bus tour to visit the bison pasture and see the release. Registration required at

Celebration, 5:30 p.m., Pateros Creek Brewery. Toast the bison with a special Prairie Thunder Imperial Brown Ale. Proceeds support the bison project.

Learn more about the Larimie Foothills Bison Conservation Herd »

Support the future of bison! Project partners are seeking $20,000 to help build a corral for the bison herd. Donate to the bison project »

Preview talks at Sierra Trading Post: Join us for talks about the bison project at 1 and 2 p.m. on Oct. 10 at Sierra Trading Post in Fort Collins.

Bison Project Partners
Plaster Mill Ruins

Ruins of a plaster mill, founded in the late 1880s by Alfred Wild and operated until 1965, still exist on the lands that comprise Devil's Backbone Open Space. Photo by Richard Snell.

Bone Up on the 'Wild' History of Devil's Backbone

From plaster to gun threats to pots and pans, Devil's Backbone is rich with history. A recent project to research and catalog historic buildings on Larimer County Open Spaces has shed more light on this popular, colorful locale.

Learn the backstory of Devil's Backbone in this Reporter-Herald article »

Foothills Trail Work

Volunteers work on a rerouted section of the Foothills Trail at Horsetooth Reservoir. The trail had eroded due to high water in the reservoir. Photo by Pam Mayhew.

Break Out Your Bike and Explore New Trail!

Foothills Trail on the east side of Horsetooth Reservoir was rerouted due to erosion and is now open. Big thanks to In-Situ, Larimer County Horseman's Association, Team B.O.B., Overland Mountain Bike Club, other volunteers and our stout trail crew for work on the trail. You all rock!

Poudre Trail is 3.7 miles longer thanks to two projects near I-25 that were recently completed by Larimer County, City of Fort Collins and Town of Timnath, with support from Great Outdoors Colorado. Our vision of the Poudre Trail going from Bellvue to Greeley is that much closer to completion!

Read more about the Poudre Trail projects »

Our Open Space Story

Open Spaces Video Wins National Award

A video about the evolution and importance of open spaces in Larimer County won a first-place award from the National Association of Telecommunications Officers and Advisors. Yay! The creative, cost-effective video was produced by Larimer County, City of Fort Collins Cable 14 and ConverSketch.

The Help Preserve Open Spaces ballot measure was renewed last year by 82% of voters. This award is icing on the cake!

Watch the 'Our Open Space Story' video »


This bobcat was caught on camera prowling the grounds of Hermit Park Open Space. Photo courtesy of the Rocky Mountain Cat Conservancy.

Wildlife Cameras Capture Cool Critters at Hermit Park

The Rocky Mountain Cat Conservancy, volunteers and Larimer County staff recently installed wildlife cameras on Hermit Park Open Space to document and research animals on the property. In only a short period of time, we've caught a variety of cool critters on camera.

Visit our Facebook page to see what animals have been photographed »

Volunteer Project

Service projects allow citizens to be a part of conservation in Larimer County. Photo of fire scar restoration work at Hermit Park Open Space in the fall of 2014 by Jeff Andersen.

Volunteers Needed for Fire Scar Restoration Project

Fri., Oct. 23, 9 a.m. - 2 p.m., Hermit Park Open Space
Assist in re-establishing native vegetation within fire scars by breaking up soil, broadcasting a seed mix and covering with mulch. Carpool available.

Sign up or get info: Pam Mayhew, 970-619-4552,

This project is part of United Way of Larimer County's Make a Difference Day.

Watercolor Painting by Alison Dickson

Alison Dickson, who painted the watercolor above, will lead a workshop on plein air painting on Oct. 10. Alison is Larimer County's 2015 Visual Artist of the Year.

Upcoming Guided Hikes and Programs

Tiny Trekkers - Oct. 6 (Tues.), 10 a.m., Devil's Backbone Open Space

Chimney Hollow Open Space Tour - Oct. 7 (Wed.), 9 a.m., meet at 1800 S. County Road 31 in Loveland (waiting list only)

Plein Air Painting with Alison Dickson - Oct. 10 (Sat.), 8:30 a.m., Soderberg Trailhead at Horsetooth Mountain Open Space

Night Sky Photography Workshop - Oct. 16 (Fri.), 6 p.m., Devil's Backbone Open Space

Big Birds of River Bluffs - Oct. 17 (Sat.), 10 a.m., River Bluffs Open Space

Geology Underfoot at the Devil's Backbone - Oct. 23 (Fri.), 10 a.m., Devil's Backbone Open Space

Registration is required for all programs.

Information and registration:, or Zach Schierl at (970) 619-4565 or

Got a Few Minutes? Help Larimer County with a Survey

Larimer County is seeking input from community members to inform an update to its Hazard Mitigation Plan. We greatly appreciate your help!

Take the 'Visions for a Resilient Larimer County' survey »

Masthead photo: Lions Open Space by Jeff Andersen
Copyright © 2015 Larimer County Natural Resources, All rights reserved.

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