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A 1995 report concluded that the southwestern cottonwood-willow forest is one of North America’s most endangered ecosystems

Date
January 1, 2000
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WildEarth Guardians
In This Release
Wildlife  

Streams are the arteries of life in the arid Southwest. Today, these once biologically rich areas are in the “worst shape in history,” according to the EPA, the result of being clogged with cattle for a century or more. The cottonwood/willow gallery forest has declined by an estimated ninety-five percent from pre-settlement times. Despite making up only one percent of the arid Southwest, river forests provide clean water and critical wildlife habitat.

Read the Fact Sheet (PDF)