Western Rivers

The Bottom Line

Conservation impact on 536,000 U.S. acres; improved outcomes for 12 priority bird species.

The Rio Grande and Colorado rivers provide life-sustaining waters from the Rocky Mountains to the Southwest’s arid deserts. Water management is one of the most significant challenges for western communities as well as for wildlife. With more water diverted for human use, vital riparian habitats—riverside forests and wetlands that are critical for feeding and breeding—disappear. That’s why Audubon is working to identify, protect, and restore priority riparian Important Bird Areas throughout the Southwest. We are employing multiple strategies, including working with water resource agencies, cities, farmers, and ranchers to put water back in rivers, adopt bird-friendly agricultural practices, and optimize water management for the basin’s urban, agricultural, and ecological needs. 

In Arizona, the Nina Pulliam Mason Rio Salado Audubon Center is engaging Phoenix residents in good water management practices. Audubon New Mexico and Southwestern New Mexico Audubon are also partnering to protect the riparian corridor of the Gila River, now threatened by even more water diversions. In Colorado, Audubon Rockies is engaging WRAN members to advocate for water conservation and river health in the inaugural Colorado Water Plan.


Help protect our rivers and the birds, wildlife and communities that depend on them.  Join the Western Rivers Action Network today.

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Salton Sea
Salton Sea

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