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Larimer County Department of Natural Resources (LCDNR) is pleased to report significant progress in site restoration and planning efforts at its most recently acquired open space, formerly known as Heaven's Door Ranch, located near the Big Thompson Canyon.

Now conserved, this 1,547-acre property will rank as one of the crown jewels of northern
Colorado’s open space system, connecting numerous already conserved lands in the area. Its acquisition in 2022 was a cornerstone of Larimer County’s conservation strategy in a high-priority area.

One of the notable restoration achievements on the property includes the successful deconstruction and removal of a former residence and several outbuildings, which were out of building code compliance and deemed incompatible with open space objectives.

Since last October, LCDNR has collaborated with Delehoy Construction (general contractor), National Center for Craftsmanship (building deconstruction subcontractor), and GL Hoff (civil demolition and restoration) to sell, repurpose, or recycle most building materials on site.

Overall, 53 tons or 106,000 pounds of material from the project were sold, repurposed, or recycled, diverting valuable resources from the Larimer County landfill, and saving over $14,000 in haul off costs. This effort aligns with LCDNR's commitment to environmental sustainability and financial stewardship of the public’s Help Preserve Open Spaces sales tax dollars.

Additionally, the deconstruction project was utilized as a learning opportunity for sixty (60) local high school students interested in learning building trades, along with their instructors. The National Center for Craftsmanship coordinated the valuable hands-on field learning experience at the open space.

The building footprint will be restored to native habitat. This work returns the property to its natural state and removed structures that interrupted the property’s scenic views of sprawling grasslands and dramatic hogbacks. Additional activities underway on-site include removing non-native Russian olive trees, treating noxious weeds, developing forest management plans and conducting resource inventories.

Beginning this summer, staff-guided public tours will provide community members access to the open space. Upcoming management planning will occur in 2026 and help determine future public access and associated improvements. Construction of public access facilities would take place 2027-2029 with a tentative opening date of 2030.

“We are excited to share opportunities for the public as early as this summer to experience the open space before we begin our management planning,” said Daylan Figgs, Director, LCDNR. “We look forward to engaging the community throughout each phase of the process.”

Meanwhile, Larimer County is beginning the management plan for Chimney Hollow Open Space, which will be the next county property to open to the public. This spring, a technical advisory committee in tandem with the greater community will be solicited for feedback via online, in-person, and virtual experiences.

Located west of Carter Lake, the 1,847-acre Chimney Hollow Open Space will expand recreation access in Larimer County by offering wakeless water-based opportunities and trail-based access with approximately ten to twelve (10-12) miles of natural surface trails. The public opening of Chimney Hollow Open Space is tentatively slated for 2027.

Together, these two future open spaces represent important additions to the Blue Mountain Priority Conservation Area of Larimer County’s Open Lands Master Plan. For more information about how to engage with LCDNR and future open space planning and guided tours, please visit

Click a photo to enlarge.

Workers remove debris at Heaven's Door Ranch
Published on: 
Tuesday, March 19, 2024 - 2:25pm
Contact Details:

Meegan Flenniken, Division Manager
Land Conservation, Planning, Resource Management
Larimer County Natural Resources, 970-619-4562

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