Loveland Bike Trail
 
> Departments > Natural Resources > Laramie Foothills > Red Mountain Open Space Management Plan Info Sheet

Red Mountain Open Space Management Plan Info Sheet

Background Information

Red Mountain Open Space (RMOS) is part of a greater vision for protecting lands in the Laramie Foothills (2001 Open Lands Master Plan). This 13,500-acre property was acquired in 2004 to protect native and rare vegetation and wildlife, provide for continued grazing, preserve scenic views, and provide non-motorized recreation. About 6,000 acres will be kept fee-simple with public access. Purchased with Open Spaces Sales Tax ($1.85 mill) and GOCO ($7.85 mill) funds, RMOS is part of the mountains to plains partnership to protect over 55,000 acres in this region.

Vegetation

  • In the Laramie Foothills 2 ecosystems converge - central shortgrass prairie and Rocky Mountain foothills - creating an ecological transition zone and an area rich in biodiversity. This area contains one of the most extensive high-quality foothills shrubland-grassland complexes on the Front Range.
  • RMOS has a Colorado Natural Heritage Program very high biodiversity ranking due to the extensive state and globally rare mountain mahogany shrubland communities and globally rare foothills riparian communities.

Wildlife

  • RMOS includes a large regional mule deer migration and winter concentration area that extends from WY to Boulder Co and numerous raptors including peregrine falcon (Species of Concern), Cooper's hawk, nesting barn owls, great-horned owl, bald eagle and 3 golden eagle nest sites.
  • Potential to support rare species such as McCown's longspur, mountain plover, chestnut-collared longspur, burrowing owl, ferruginous hawk, black-footed ferret and swift fox. .

Cultural:

  • Known sites include: rare protohistoric sites and lithic source areas that served the region for over 10,000 years. Lithic scatter suggesting short term activities by prehistoric inhabitants, historic sites, stone circles and kill sites have been documented in the area.

Grazing:

  • The Natural Resources Conservation Service conducted a grazing assessment and rated RMOS as excellent range condition and will use the property as a reference site for developing ecological site models.
  • Current grazing style is very good; the recommended capacity is 125 AUM.

Infrastructure:

  • Ranch roads are present on-site along with livestock management facilities.
  • Most boundary and pasture fences are good condition, 4-strand barbed wire

Hydrologic Resources:

  • 4 adjudicated springs plus rights to spring water from Wyoming
  • Both Sand and Boxelder creeks are perennial and support riparian vegetation.
Background Image: Loveland Bike Trail by Sharon Veit. All rights reserved.