Larimer County Natural Resources and local landowners Mark and Candee Steputis have partnered to conserve an 884-acre ranch through a conservation easement in Northern Larimer County.
The conservation easement acquisition was made possible through a donation from the Steputis family and a component of the Great Outdoors Colorado (GOCO) 2020 Laramie Foothills Expansion Grant. The grant works to bolster the efforts of Larimer County and the City of Fort Collins to conserve lands within the region.
“The Steputis family is tremendously generous to have the foresight to protect this habitat and landscape from parceled development,” said Meegan Flenniken, Land Conservation, Planning & Resource Division Manager, Larimer County Natural Resources. “It’s been an honor to work with Mark and Candee to achieve their vision for conservation, and we sincerely thank them for partnering with us,” Meegan said.
The Little Ponderosa Ranch boasts scenic grasslands and ponderosa pine forest, rock outcroppings, and wildlife habitats West of Red Mountain Open Space.
The Steputis family called this ranch home for over thirty years while managing the forest and acquiring additional smaller parcels to stitch the ranch together.
“I am proud to have been able to partner with Larimer County to achieve our common goals and vision, with regard to Little Ponderosa Ranch,” said Mark. “As a long-time resident and owner, I am comforted in the knowledge that our property will remain intact without being subdivided while protecting wildlife habitat for the natural world – just as we found it in 1987,” Mark said.
For more information regarding Larimer County Department of Natural Resources, visit: www.larimer.org/naturalresources