US Forest Service
National Fish and Wildlife Foundation
Rio Grande Forest Service
Volunteers for Outdoor Colorado
Southwest Conservation Corps
The activities described above will benefit watershed health, riparian corridors, and native aquatic species. Specific project outcomes include:
The Rio Grande National Forest (RGNF) Wet Meadows Restoration Project is focused on improving the ecological health and function of high elevation meadows across the RGNF. When healthy, wet meadows help maintain streamflows and provide habitat for many at-risk fish species, such as the Rio Grande chub, sucker, and cutthroat trout. Over the years, these fish species have faced decline due to habitat loss, predation and competition from non-native species, wildfire, climate change, and disease. Additionally, riparian areas in the upper Rio Grande have ben impacted over time by road encroachment, development, recreation, grazing, mining, and other human activity. The North American beaver can be a valuable tool for watershed restoration as their dams have the ability to enhance aquatic habitat, improve channel function, and reestablish riparian vegetation.
This project is partnership between the RGNF, RGHRP, and local stakeholders to harness the restoration potential of beavers to address impacts to aquatic species and riparian areas across the headwaters.
5/19/2020 - Potential sites within the Rio Grande National Forest are being identified through GIS modeling software. These sites will be ground truthed later this summer
RGNF Wet Meadow Restoration Project