Conservation

Audubon's Western Rivers Initiative

In the arid West, rivers are the lifeblood of our land, our economy, our way of life.

Water connects us all 

From the Rockies’ high snow-covered peaks to the arid Southwest, the Colorado River and its tributaries provide a critical lifeline to seven states. Western rivers provide essential habitat for birds and other wildlife, while fueling economies, sustaining agriculture, and providing world class recreation opportunities. The history of the West is written in water and our continuing legacy depends on it.  

Havasu Creek Photo: Abby Burk

Rivers and birds at risk – we need your help

A lingering drought, climate change, contamination, invasive species, unsustainable management and over-allocation often are running our rivers dry. Our Western rivers and all they support are at risk. Many of the birds that depend on them, like the Western Yellow-billed Cuckoo and Bell’s Vireo, are in decline, and the future of the communities and economies surrounding Western rivers is uncertain. Audubon needs your help. Help us as we rise to this historic challenge to create healthier Western rivers for the birds, wildlife and people.

Audubon in action - Western Rivers Initiative (WRI)

The Colorado River and Western rivers are at risk like never before. Audubon is equal to, and ready for the challenge to make an impact for Western rivers and the birds and people that depend on them. Together we can advocate for conservation actions that will increase river flow, enhance the health of our environment, and restore valuable wetlands and riparian habitats.

Audubon and our chapter members are already making a positive difference – together. Audubon’s Western Rivers Initiative (WRI) is rooted in finding collaborative water solutions for the environment and people by using science, and allowing science to guide policy and on-the-ground-efforts.

Science.  Science is the keystone of Audubon’s action for rivers and the birds that depend on them. The best available data amplifies and directs: education efforts (decision makers and constituency); policy; and on-the-ground work. Science and data drive our best conservation outcomes and provides clarity for measurable objectives.

Policy.  Policy efforts are guided by science and fulfilled by Audubon’s Western Rivers Action Network (WRAN). WRAN is a grassroots water and river advocacy network operating at local, state, and federal levels. WRAN is built on the foundation of strong state chapters while welcoming all who care about rivers and riparian habitat. Since 2013, WRAN has proven to be an influential water policy leader across the Colorado River Basin. WRAN has significantly grown due to proven policy successes.For example, in Colorado alone WRAN has grown from 3,000 individuals in 2013 to an activated network of over 10,800 today. Find out more about WRAN and help our rivers.  

On-the-ground Work.  The health of each river and wetland contributes to the ecological functioning of the watershed. Audubon Rockies actively supports riparian and wetland restoration projects across Colorado and Wyoming. Targeted riparian and wetland restoration projects attempt to prepare aquatic systems for an uncertain hydrologic future by focusing on restoring ecological functions and environmental resiliency. 

Help us as we rise to this historic challenge to create healthier Western rivers for the birds, wildlife and people.

Contact Abby Burk Western Rivers Program Lead| Audubon Rockies for more WRI information.   Follow Abby on twitter @Abby_RiverH2O

Audubon Rockies | Rocky Mountain Regional Office

116 N. College Avenue, Suite 1, Fort Collins, CO 80524

(970)-416-6931 | http://rockies.audubon.org

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