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Photo Credit: Adriel Heisey

River conservation – restoring the vital arteries of the West


Living rivers are vital to the diversity of life on earth, from the tens of thousands of sandhill cranes that migrate from Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge along the Rio Grande to as far north as southwestern Alberta, Canada, to the human communities whose history is inextricably linked to the ebb and flow of their local waterways. When rivers dry up and vanish, that life vanishes too.

The Wild Rivers Program seeks to revive free-flowing, living rivers in the American West and to achieve a sustainable water future by working to protect clean water, healthy flows, and resilient communities.

Wild Rivers Program Work

WildEarth Guardians is a voice for Western rivers. From the iconic Rio Grande to the Colorado River, we believe in living, dynamic rivers from source to sea. Learn about our vision for the Rio Grande: America’s Great River, the challenges it faces, and how you can help.

Our Vision

Like any living thing, the Rio has a pulse. We strive to restore that pulse—and return life to the river.

The Landscape

The Rio Grande’s flows carve unique geologic features, create a haven for wildlife, and support many human communities.

A Challenged Rio

The Rio faces formidable challenges, from archaic water law to dams, pollution, and climate change.


The Rio Grande is in Crisis

Nearly 30 years after the silvery minnow was listed as endangered in 1994, this once-abundant fish hovers perilously close to extinction. While federal, state, and local agencies have been working to protect and recover silvery minnow populations for decades, critically low population levels show that new solutions are desperately needed.

Sign our petition reminding the Bureau of Reclamation and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, which are in violation of the Endangered Species Act, to reassess how mismanaged projects on the Rio Grande are impacting threatened and endangered species.


How You Can Help

Help revive and restore rivers and all the species that depend on them! Be a guardian for rivers by joining the conversation, learning about current issues, and making your voice heard. Together, we're a powerful force for nature.

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