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In partnership with local landowners Mark and Candee Steputis, Larimer County Natural Resources has conserved an 884-acre ranch via conservation easement in northern Larimer County.  The conservation easement acquisition is made possible due to a generous donation from the Steputis family as well as being a component of the Great Outdoors Colorado (GOCO) 2020 Laramie Foothills Expansion Grant, which bolsters the efforts of Larimer County and City of Fort Collins to conserve lands in this region. 

The Little Ponderosa Ranch boasts scenic rolling grasslands and ponderosa pine forest, rock outcroppings, and key wildlife habitats west of Red Mountain Open Space. 

The Steputis family has called this ranch home for more than thirty years, 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. 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,” noted Mark Steputis.

“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.”

About Larimer County Department of Natural Resources
The Department of Natural Resources manages Larimer County’s great outdoor places, including open spaces and magnificent water-based recreation areas, and fosters responsible land stewardship through weed management and healthy forest practices. To learn more, visit

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Landscape in northern Larimer County; Conservation
Published on: 
Tuesday, December 15, 2020 - 11:07am
Contact Details:

Meegan Flenniken
Land Conservation, Planning & Resource Division Manager
(970) 619-4562

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