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.
Deepening our commitment to Colorado’s San Luis Valley and the upper Rio Grande, Western Rivers Conservancy is preparing to purchase 368 acres along the Rio de los Piños. This high-elevation trout stream flows from nearly 10,000 feet in the San Juan Mountains and descends swiftly toward the San Luis Valley. Below Cumbres Pass, just off the Los Caminos Antiguos Scenic and Historic Byway, the river enters a high plateau and slows to a picture-perfect, meandering trout stream, surrounded by open meadows and mixed conifer forests of spruce and fir.