Completing our efforts on the Rio de Los Pinos, Western Rivers Conservancy has permanently protected some of the finest trout water in Colorado. In October, we conveyed our second property on the Los Pinos to the Rio Grande National Forest, protecting an additional 268 acres of prime open space and securing public access to a stunning stretch fly fishing water. Combined with the adjacent parcel we conserved last year, the land traces more than a mile of the Rio de Los Pinos along some its most accessible reaches, just off Highway 17, northeast of Chama, New Mexico.
Last month, Western Rivers Conservancy dropped the final piece into place in the effort to create the country’s newest unit of the National Wildlife Refuge system. WRC’s donation of a conservation easement to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service officially established the San Luis Valley Conservation Area, which is now poised to protect up to 530,000 acres in southern Colorado and northern New Mexico.
In Colorado’s San Luis Valley, the city of Alamosa has been searching for a way to improve livability for its residents by connecting the community to the Rio Grande, which flows through the city’s backyard but can be difficult to access. Western Rivers Conservancy found a perfect way to do it, while simultaneously protecting a mile of the river for fish and wildlife.
In the heart of the San Luis Valley, a new state wildlife area now protects 17,019 acres of public open space along the Rio Grande, as well as outstanding habitat for fish and wildlife, thanks to the efforts of Western Rivers Conservancy (WRC) and its partners Costilla County, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), Great Outdoors Colorado (GOCO), Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW), the LOR Foundation and Colorado Open Lands.
In Colorado’s San Luis Valley, Western Rivers Conservancy launched an exciting new project to expand open space and improve river access for the city of Alamosa. Our effort will conserve a valuable stretch of the upper Rio Grande as both nature park and outdoor playground, doubling the size of Alamosa’s public park system and meeting the community’s need for recreational opportunities centered around the river.