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

Colorado Water Plan Update Is Underway
Western Rivers Initiative

Colorado Water Plan Update Is Underway

Help define this moment for birds, rivers, and people.

Colorado Water Priorities for the 2021 Legislative Session
Western Rivers Initiative

Colorado Water Priorities for the 2021 Legislative Session

The decisions we make around water impact everyone—birds, people, and the environment.

New Protections for Wildlife in Colorado’s Energy Future
Policy

New Protections for Wildlife in Colorado’s Energy Future

The Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission has adopted a groundbreaking model for energy development after months of public involvement.

Water Wins in the Colorado Election
Western Rivers Initiative

Water Wins in the Colorado Election

Audubon and our partners backed local water funding measures that will generate nearly $8 million annually.

Incendio Forestal en nuestras Cuencas Hidrográficas
Western Rivers Initiative

Incendio Forestal en nuestras Cuencas Hidrográficas

Cómo la ciencia puede informar el plan de agua de colorado.

Wildfire in Our Watersheds
Western Rivers Initiative

Wildfire in Our Watersheds

How science can inform the Colorado Water Plan

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.

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.

How you can help, right now