Karyn Stockdale

Western Water Initiative Senior Director

Karyn Stockdale is Senior Director of Audubon’s Western Water Initiative working to address precipitous declines in water across the arid West—with a focus on the Colorado River and saline lakes. Karyn leads innovative conservation efforts - from public policy to restoration - to help decision-makers adapt to diminishing water supplies with improved policies and increased investments in climate resilient strategies.

Karyn believes we must adopt new and better ways to interact with and restore the natural world around us, recognizing all that it provides communities, birds, and wildlife in the face of the intensifying reality and stresses of our warming climate. She believes that nature also has the power to heal us. Through social services work early in her career, Karyn learned the importance of inclusive and equitable access to wild places, and this continues to influence her view that we need strategies and solutions premised on equity for people—which is critical to positive outcomes for nature. As we are currently experiencing severe, climate change-related drought conditions and impacts to our water supplies, Karyn sees it is time to address the history of water development in the West, and how its systemic inequities denied some communities access to water as well as water for nature.

Karyn oversees a multi-departmental Audubon team to address Colorado River basin water shortages and apply these lessons to other river basins, to scale up restoration projects in the Colorado River Delta and at the Salton Sea, and to conserve saline lakes—including Great Salt Lake—essential to birds across the West. Her work spans across Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Wyoming and northwestern Mexico.

Karyn joined Audubon in 2007 as Vice President, Executive Director of Audubon New Mexico. Prior to Audubon, Karyn worked for the Trust for Public Land on the protection of open space, cultural and historic sites, and environmentally sensitive lands, with a focus on the Rio Grande.

Karyn works to live in line with her core values. Besides sticking her neck out for what she believes is right, Karyn is raising two teenagers, settling back in Colorado, and striving for more time outdoors— and sometimes she wishes she would have been a field biologist.

Articles by Karyn Stockdale

Critical Habitat Finally Designated for Western Yellow-billed Cuckoo

April 23, 2021 — Although smaller area designated, Audubon encouraged by final rule.

Western Water in the New Year

January 27, 2021 — Moving forward with urgency for policies that are equitable and rooted in science.

Western Water en el Año Nuevo

January 26, 2021 — Avanzando con urgencia para políticas equitativas y arraigadas en la ciencia.

Western Yellow-billed Cuckoo Remains Federally Protected after Delisting Threat Falls Flat

September 25, 2020 — Another example of the Audubon network delivering a victory for birds.

El Cuclillo Pico Amarillo Permanece Protegido Federalmente Después de que Falla la Amenaza de Exclusión de la Lista

September 24, 2020 — Otro ejemplo de cómo la red Audubon ofrece una victoria para las aves.

Audubon “Wingspan” Weighs in on Colorado River Lake Powell Pipeline

September 09, 2020 — In an official letter to the Bureau of Reclamation, Audubon experts and 35 chapters demonstrate support for the No Action alternative.

Water Policy Wins in Colorado, Utah, and New Mexico before Coronavirus Closures

May 12, 2020 — Audubon backed 8 wins before many western legislative sessions ended early.

Audubon Calls for More Resources and Attention (not Less) for Western Yellow-billed Cuckoo

February 27, 2020 — U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service proposes 9% decrease in designated critical habitat.

Building a Positive Water Future: Western Water Highlights in 2019

December 17, 2019 — By protecting water resources, Audubon worked to protect people and birds in the arid West.

Audubon’s New Climate Report and What it Means for Birds in the Arid West

October 22, 2019 — Fires and drought put increasing stress on western forests and the birds who live there.