Larimer County to decide on Roberts Ranch in February

FORT COLLINS – Larimer County commissioners are expected to make a decision next month whether to accept the 16,500-acre gift known as The Roberts Ranch in Livermore Valley.

A public hearing on the matter will be held 6:30 p.m. Feb. 4 in the hearing room on the first floor of the Larimer County Courthouse Offices, 200 W. Oak St. in Fort Collins.

The Roberts family homesteaded the ranch in 1874. The active cattle ranch is now owned by Catherine Roberts, who offered it to the county.

Commissioners will consider a recommendation from the Larimer County Open Lands Advisory Board, citizens and other input they have received.

The lands board meets in private 5 p.m. Thursday. The meeting will be opened to the public at 5:45 p.m., when county employees will present on management costs as well as a waste tire site on the property.

Lands board members will then decide whether to recommend that the county accept the land.

It would be the single largest conservation project in the history of Larimer County, an area that includes Steamboat Rock and the Campbell Valley near Highway 287.

The Nature Conservancy and the city of Fort Collins already hold two conservation easements put in place by Roberts in 2004 and 2006.

If the project is approved, Larimer County Open Lands envisions that the area would be used to offer guided agricultural education tours, limited hunting and fishing, and limited public access.

The area would be named “The Roberts Ranch,” honoring the conditions of the conservation easements including bans on subdividing the land, and reserving a residential life estate for Roberts’ use.

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