Larimer County 2015 Annual Report Highlights Successes in Conservation, Recreation
LOVELAND, Colo. – Larimer County Department of Natural Resources has released its 2015 Annual Report, a reporting commitment to Larimer County citizens through the Help Preserve Open Spaces sales tax.
The 16-page report features successes in conservation and recreation across Larimer County last year. Highlights from the report include:
Help Preserve Open Spaces Sales and Use Tax Collected and Distributed: Over $181 million in Help Preserve Open Spaces sales and use tax revenue has been collected countywide from 1996 to 2015. Funds from this tax allow Larimer County and the eight municipalities in the county to conserve open space, wildlife habitat, natural areas and agricultural land and develop recreation facilities. Of the total, about $105 million has been distributed to the cities and towns within the county and about $76 million to Larimer County.
Celebrating 20 Years of Help Preserve Open Spaces: The Help Preserve Open Spaces sales and use tax began generating revenue in 1996. The report includes a timeline of successes achieved by Larimer County's Open Lands Program over the last 20 years using these tax funds, as well as the values of open spaces.
Conserving Our County's Natural Resources: The Department of Natural Resources worked with partners to reintroduce bison to the prairie of northern Colorado, monitor the night sky, track raptors that fledge their nests on county open spaces, parks and conservation easement lands, and tackle a big year for noxious weeds.
Enhancing Amenities for Outdoor Recreation: The Department of Natural Resources opened the remodeled campground at Pinewood Reservoir, upgraded the pavilion at Hermit Park Open Space, rebuilt a section of the Foothills Trail with the help of volunteers, and extended the Poudre River Trail in Timnath with partners.
Connecting People to Nature: In 2015, more than 8,900 people participated in 184 activities, including guided hikes, school field trips, community events and more, and 360 volunteers donated 21,078 hours of service to the Department of Natural Resources. Activities last year included more nighttime programs, the 10th year of the department’s Visual Artist Program, and a Junior Ranger Guide and Junior Ranger hikes.
Planning for the Future: The Department of Natural Resources released a guiding document for recreation and conservation in the Big Thompson Canyon with partners, assessed historic structures on its properties, and gained two trail easements to eventually close gaps in the Poudre River Trail between Timnath and Windsor.
Collaborating with Partners and Landowners: Working across the entire county, the Department of Natural Resources contributed funding to support its partners' projects, including $375,000 to the City of Loveland to purchase a 188-acre property and $50,000 to the Rocky Mountain Conservancy to acquire Cascade Cottages. In addition, the department monitored 48 conservation easement properties and found no violations.
Citizens can view the report at www.larimer.org/naturalresources/plans.htm, or pick up a copy at the Department of Natural Resources’ Administrative Office, 1800 S. County Road 31 in Loveland.