The Rio Grande Initiative by Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies

Colorado’s wildlife action plan identifies the Rio Grande River as important habitat for the endangered southwestern willow flycatcher and rare fish such as the Rio Grande cutthroat trout and Rio Grande chub. As Colorado grows, this valued habitat and open space is under pressure from the subdivision of farms and ranches into vacation properties. 

Through a proactive State Wildlife Grant of just $16,000, the Colorado Division of Wildlife helped the Rio Grande Headwaters Land Trust complete a strategic mapping project which later attracted $7.4 million in state lottery funds, the largest award to a private conservation organization. The plan developed through The Rio Grande Initiative includes information that will help focus the habitat conservation efforts of more than 25 partners, including federal, state and local agencies, county governments, and conservation organizations. 

Ultimately, the Rio Grande Headwaters Trust aims to protect 27,000 acres or nearly half of the large parcels of private lands in the river corridor, conserving the wildlife and natural places that are so important to our family traditions.

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