Human history at Soapstone Prairie exceeds 12,000 years - from Ice Age PaleoIndians to at least a thousand years of American Indian groups, and more recently a century-plus of homesteaders, and cattle and sheep ranchers.  This Wednesday Fort Collins Natural Areas Master Naturalist, Brian Carroll, will review Soapstone’s homesteading history and its influence on our culture today.  Carroll will be introduced by his brother-in-law, RCFC Programs Co-Chair Dave Stewart.
The Homestead Act of 1862 has been described as one of the most important pieces of legislation in American History.  It had a profound effect on the nation and the west, and in particular Northern Colorado, as cattlemen, sheep ranchers, and farmers competed for the area’s last pieces of open range.  Ultimately the stockmen prevailed.  A look at Soapstone Prairie’s homesteading history gives a glimpse into the challenges and hardships homesteaders faced managing their “160 acres.”
Following a career as a Special Agent with the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Brian Carroll and his family moved to Fort Collins in 1996 and established a Security Management services consulting company.  His last posting with the FBI was in Chicago, Illinois.  In retirement he continued to provide contract services to the FBI and U.S. State Department Anti-Terrorism Assistance Program, providing instruction and guidance to foreign police officials for managing terrorist incidents.  
Carroll has also been actively involved with several Fort Collins Boards and Commissions, including twelve years as an active Volunteer with Fort Collins Natural Areas Program.  There he has focused on the relationship of human culture with the natural environment.  
Brian and his wife of almost fifty years, Vicki, have three daughters and four grandchildren who all live in Fort Collins.