In this issue: Welcome, Baby Bison!
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Horsetooth Mountain Open Space
NR News Issue 22 | May 2016
Bison Calf

This bison is one of two calves born last week on a pasture at Red Mountain Open Space and Soapstone Prairie Natural Area. Photo by John Eisele, CSU Photography.

Welcome, Baby Bison! Two Calves Born to NoCo Herd

Two bison calves were born last week on the prairie of northern Colorado to the Laramie Foothills Bison Conservation Herd. Birth of the calves coincided with President Obama's signing of the National Bison Legacy Act, making American bison the official mammal of the United States. What a week for bison!

Read about the birth of the bison on conserved lands in Larimer County »

Horsetooth Boating

Boaters enjoy a lovely day on Horsetooth Reservoir. Photo by Sue Burke.

Boat Ramp Hours Extended at Horsetooth, Carter

On May 1, boat ramp hours extended to 6 a.m.-10 p.m. daily on most ramps at Horsetooth Reservoir and Carter Lake.

Get boat ramp hours, boating safety and ANS inspection information »

Soderberg Trailhead

Larimer County crews build a new horse trailer parking lot at Soderberg Trailhead, the lower lot for Horsetooth Mountain Open Space. Photo by Steve McCorkel.

Construction Crews Busy Enhancing Parks, Open Spaces

Construction and trail-building projects are progressing nicely. Thank you for your patience as we strive to improve your parks and open spaces!

Devil's Backbone Open Space - The new Hidden Valley Trail for bikers and equestrians is nearly done and should open in late May. At that time, the Wild Loop Trail will become hiking only. Learn more »

Horsetooth Reservoir - Work continues on the new information center and maintenance building. Both are scheduled to open this summer. Access is not impacted for visitors to the South Bay area. Learn more »

Soderberg Trailhead - The new horse trailer parking area at this trailhead, with access to Horsetooth Mountain Open Space, should officially open soon. More single-vehicle spaces will then be added to the existing lot. Learn more »

Prickly Pear Cactus

A prickly pear cactus blooms at Horsetooth Mountain Open Space. Photo by Mark Yoder.

Where to Go to Enjoy Colorful Spring Blooms

As the saying goes, "April showers bring May flowers," and we've had plenty of rain! Take a hike on a park or open space this spring and bask in the colorful flowers. Check out the event listings below for guided wildflower walks, or hit the trail on your own and bring our Wildflower Guide.

Read this Reporter-Herald story for the best places to see wildflowers »

Trail Building

Service projects allow citizens to be a part of conservation in Larimer County. Photo of a trail-building project last year at Pinewood Reservoir by Pam Mayhew.

Volunteers Needed for Trails, C.A.S.T. for Kids, Weeds

Sat., May 21, 8 a.m. - 2 p.m., Horsetooth Mountain Open Space
Assist with trail maintenance and grooming.

Sat., June 4, 7 a.m. - 1 p.m., Horsetooth Reservoir
Help with registration at the annual Catch A Special Thrill (C.A.S.T.) fishing event for children with disabilities.

Fri., June 17, 8 a.m. - 12 p.m., Blue Sky Trail
Cut and bag seed heads and pull mature weeds at this special work party, which will be followed by lunch. Rain date: June 24. Part of the 20th anniversary of Help Preserve Open Spaces project series.

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


Discover the diversity of birds at Eagle's Nest Open Space during a birding tour on June 3 with Bird Conservancy of the Rockies. Photo by Dale Erickson.

Upcoming Guided Hikes and Programs

20th Anniversary Program Series: Prehistoric Peoples of Roberts Ranch - May 21 (Sat.), 8:30 a.m., Roberts Ranch Conservation Easement, presented by Dr. Jason Labelle (waiting list only)

Wildflower Walk with Friends of Larimer County Parks and Open Lands - May 21 (Sat.), 8 a.m., Devil's Backbone Open Space (waiting list only)

Wildflower Ecology of Devil's Backbone - May 28 (Sat.), 9 a.m., Devil's Backbone Open Space

20th Anniversary Program Series: Birding Tour of Eagle's Nest - June 3 (Fri.), 6:30 a.m., Eagle's Nest Open Space, presented by biologist Jeff Birek of Bird Conservancy of the Rockies

Passport to Your Open Spaces Hike with Commissioner Tom Donnelly - June 3 (Fri.), 9 a.m., Devil's Backbone Open Space

Geology Underfoot at the Devil's Backbone - June 3 (Fri.), 10 a.m., Devil's Backbone Open Space (waiting list only)

Tiny Trekkers - June 7 (Tues.), 10 a.m., Devil's Backbone Open Space

Native Plants of Devil's Backbone - June 7 (Tues.), 5:30 p.m., Devil's Backbone Open Space

Eagles, Owls and More of River Bluffs - June 11 (Sat.), 10 a.m., River Bluffs Open Space

Junior Ranger Hike at Horsetooth Mountain - June 15 (Wed.), 5 p.m., Horsetooth Mountain Open Space

Wildflower Photography - June 18 (Sat.), 9 a.m., Eagle's Nest Open Space

20th Anniversary Program Series: Epic Mountain Bike Ride - June 25 (Sat.), 8:30 a.m., Red Mountain Open Space

Registration is required for all programs.

Information and registration:, or Dan Marotti at (970) 619-4565 or

2015 Annual Report

2015: A Year of Success in Conservation, Recreation

Hot off the presses! Our 2015 Annual Report features stories on bison, new trails, night sky monitoring, historical buildings, partnerships and more.

The report also contains a 20-year timeline of successes from the Help Preserve Open Spaces tax and the values of open space.

To get a copy, call (970) 619-4561 or view the annual report online.

The Larimer County Passport to Your Open Spaces

Coming Soon to an Open Space Near You!

Explore your open spaces. Win prizes!

We're launching a passport program for our open spaces this spring. Posts are being placed on eight open spaces. Each post has a plaque affixed to it with a unique image. Place your passport over the plaque and make a rubbing of the image to “stamp” your passport. Collect rubbings and win cool prizes!

The passport will be available starting in June at open space kiosks, or by calling (970) 619-4561.

Masthead photo: Horsetooth Mountain Open Space by Brendan Bombaci
Copyright © 2016 Larimer County Natural Resources, All rights reserved.

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