The City of Fort Collins, CO. and Larimer County Department of Natural Resources recently announced that they will jointly spend more than one million dollars to acquire 320 acres near the Devil’s Backbone Open Space and the Blue Sky Trail as part of a project to preserve approximately 2,500 acres between Horsetooth Mountain Open Space, which is located west of Fort Collins, and the geology formation west of Loveland known as “The Devil’s Backbone”.
The money for the purchase comes from the sales tax revenue that voters approved for open spaces and from a Great Outdoors Colorado grant, which distributes lottery revenues into parks and open spaces throughout the State of Colorado.
Larimer County Commissioners voted unanimously to spend $369,750 on the acquisition. The City of Fort Collins paied the same amount, and the grant money will cover the balance of $300,500.00.
The land, which previously belonged to John and Marabeth White and their charitable trust, will continue to be used as grazing land after Larimer County takes ownership, but future development involving trails may occur. The purchase represents the last piece of a larger effort to protect area west and south of Horsetooth Reservoir. Previously, 777 acres adjacent to the Coyote Ridge Natural Area called “The Spring Canyon Ranchland” and 1,000 acres of the William Harold Wright Ranch near Horsetooth Mountain Open Space were acquired. A preservation of acreage known as “Rimrock Ranch” and 300 acres located to the west side of Horsetooth known as the “Sanem Property” were also added to the overall holdings.