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Fort Collins,city (1990 pop. 87,758), seat of Larimer co., N Colo., on the Cache la Poudre River, at the foot of the Rocky Mts., inc. as a city 1883. The area was settled in 1864 around a fortification built to protect a strategic trading post; the city itself was named for the military commander there. Fort Collins is a trading, shipping, and processing center of a rich agricultural area that produces grain and sugar beets. Lamb and other livestock are also raised. Diversified manufacturing adds to the economy, and tourism is important. Colorado State Univ. is in Fort Collins. Nearby are the Roosevelt National Forest, Rocky Mountain National Park, and several dams of the Colorado–Big Thompson projectColorado–Big Thompson project,
constructed by the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation to divert water from the headstreams of the Colorado River to irrigate c.720,000 acres (291,400 hectares) of land in NE Colorado and to supply power; built 1938–56.
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