By: Associated Press
posted: 8:15 AM, Jul 20, 2016

FORT COLLINS, Colo. — Larimer County officials are moving forward with plans to clean up a ranch property where hundreds of thousands of tires have been strewn in piles since the 1970s.

The Coloradoan reports the county recently received a nearly $500,000 state grant for the cleanup of the Roberts Ranch, a17,000-acre conservation easement.

The tires were first dumped there in the 1970s with the idea of having them serve as protection against erosion from irrigation runoff. But Sallie Ross with The Nature Conservancy says the tires do the exact opposite by preventing the growth of native plants.

Ranch manager Zach Thode says the estimated 200,000 to 300,000 tires have become a habitat for mosquitoes. There’s also concerns about wildfire risk.

A $100,000 state grant a couple years ago removed about 22,000 tires.

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