WildEarth Guardians

A Force for Nature

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Photo Credit: Adriel Heisey

River conservation – restoring the vital arteries of the West

Rivers

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.

To ensure the future health of Western rivers and all the species that depend on them, WildEarth Guardians revives the pulse of great waterways, exposes the historic injustice to rivers, and aims to untie the tangled knot of archaic water law. Instead of controlling and diverting rivers with levees, ditches, and dams, and pumping them into the hands of the highest bidder, we seek to restore their natural course from source to sea.

 

The Rio Grande is in Crisis

By 2100, the Rio Grande will lose up to 50% of its current flow because of one-hundred years of water mismanagement policies compounded by climate change. That’s why we launched our #LivingRio campaign to give a voice to the once mighty Rio Grande.

We invite you to join us! With your support the #LivingRio campaign will finally give the Rio Grande a right to its own water and the freedom to flow. A Living Rio is necessary for clean water and all downstream communities.

SPEAK OUT

 

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.

Report Pollution

Do your part to protect the Rio Grande. If you spot pollution, contact us here.

A Voice for the River

Guardians’ Wild Rivers Program Director, Jen Pelz, is fighting for every last drop in the Rio Grande.

Photo: Seth Hughes

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.

Recent Stories From Rivers

Rio Grande: A photo essay

December 15, 2021

Javier Gallegos traveled from northern New Mexico to El Paso, Texas documenting the ecological impacts of the drying Rio Grande, but also capturing the ways that humans connect with this artery of life

Read more >

This is not a moment; it’s a movement

February 23, 2022

WildEarth Guardians’ 2021 annual report shows how we wielded patience and relentless persistence to make seismic shifts

Read more >

This is not a moment; it’s a movement

February 23, 2022

WildEarth Guardians’ 2021 annual report shows how we wielded patience and relentless persistence to make seismic shifts

Read more >

This is not a moment; it’s a movement

February 23, 2022

WildEarth Guardians’ 2021 annual report shows how we wielded patience and relentless persistence to make seismic shifts

Read more >

Rivers Press

The simple, big reason Colorado’s rivers are drying up

The Colorado Sun | Apr 6, 2022

Icy beads of water are beginning to form and flow off the San Juan Mountains in southern Colorado. As the droplets merge into tiny trickles, they are pulled on vast journeys to the rivers who carry them to the sea.

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All Rivers Op-Eds

Writers Gone Wild

Santa Fe Reporter | May 11, 2022

From the howling lobos to the silent native Gila trout, the endangered animals that live in the Gila Wilderness are among its best-known inhabitants; the lumbering pines and the rushing rivers take a close second.

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All Rivers In the News