In Colorado’s San Luis Valley, Western Rivers Conservancy is forging ahead with an exciting project near the city of Alamosa that brings community, conservation and wellness together on the banks of the Rio Grande. This winter, the project received a critical funding boost from Great Outdoors Colorado (GOCO), which ranked it its top-priority Open Space Project in 2018.
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.