An American Dipper in a stream.
An American Dipper in a stream.
Western Rivers Initiative

Western Rivers Initiative

River health for water security
American Dipper. Photo: Evan Barrientos/Audubon Rockies
American Dipper. Photo: Evan Barrientos/Audubon Rockies
Western Rivers Initiative

Western Rivers Initiative

River health for water security

Water connects us all

Colorado, Wyoming, and Utah’s environment, communities, and economies depend on healthy, flowing rivers, but increasing demand, climate change, and inflexible management are putting rivers 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. Help us as we rise to this historic challenge to create healthier Western rivers for birds, wildlife, and people.

Audubon is 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 bird conservation and water conservation actions that will increase river flow, enhance the health of our environment, and restore valuable wetlands and riparian habitats. Audubon’s Western Rivers Initiative 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 bird conservation efforts.

Science. Science is the keystone of Audubon’s action for rivers and the birds that depend on them. The best available data amplify and direct our education, policy, and on-the-ground work.

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. Find out more about WRAN and become a river advocate

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. Sign up for a river restoration project

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

River Resources
Western Rivers Initiative

River Resources

Learn more about river and riparian managment from our downloadable fact sheets.

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Become a River Advocate
Western Rivers Initiative

Become a River Advocate

Join Audubon's Western Water Action Network to speak up for responsible river management.

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Watch: Supporting Colorado’s River Restoration
Western Rivers Initiative

Watch: Supporting Colorado’s River Restoration

Learn how all of Colorado benefits from river restoration in our new video.

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News and Stories

Get Outside and Lend a Hand to Rivers
Western Rivers Initiative Articles

Get Outside and Lend a Hand to Rivers

Sign up for Audubon Rockies-sponsored Wildlands Restoration Volunteers volunteer projects.

Connected by Water
Western Rivers Initiative

Connected by Water

Healthy rivers are key to our physical, emotional, and economic recovery.

Grand Valley Audubon's Wetlands Restoration Project Is Underway
Western Rivers Initiative

Grand Valley Audubon's Wetlands Restoration Project Is Underway

How an Audubon chapter is restoring habitat along the Colorado River.

Bound by Water From Healthy, Flowing Rivers
Western Rivers Initiative

Bound by Water From Healthy, Flowing Rivers

A water Colorado Legislature update amid COVID-19.

Colorado Legislature Votes to Expand Key Instream Flow Program
Western Rivers Initiative

Colorado Legislature Votes to Expand Key Instream Flow Program

Audubon—along with many stakeholders—advocated for the changes that are good for people, rivers, and birds.

Audubon Calls for More Resources and Attention (not Less) for Western Yellow-billed Cuckoo
Western Rivers Initiative

Audubon Calls for More Resources and Attention (not Less) for Western Yellow-billed Cuckoo

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service proposes 9% decrease in designated critical habitat.

Colorado Thrives When Our Rivers Do
Western Rivers Initiative

Colorado Thrives When Our Rivers Do

Plus, an invitation to join our webinar on healthy rivers.

Legislative Water Priorities in 2020 for Colorado’s Rivers, Birds, and People
Western Rivers Initiative

Legislative Water Priorities in 2020 for Colorado’s Rivers, Birds, and People

Policy priorities for the 2020 Colorado legislative session.

Proposed Bear River Development Would Be Detrimental to People and Birds
Western Rivers Initiative

Proposed Bear River Development Would Be Detrimental to People and Birds

The future of Great Salt Lake and Bear River Bay depend on adequate long-term flows from Bear River, the largest single source of flows to the lake.

Colorado Bets on New Funding for Water Plan
Western Rivers Initiative

Colorado Bets on New Funding for Water Plan

This new funding represents a down payment on the needed $100 million annual investment.

How you can help, right now