About Us

Rio Grande Return restores riverscapes and ecosystems unique to the arid Southwest using low-tech and process-based methods to foster resilience, adaptive capacity and stewardship in these important land and water resources.

Founded in 2007, Rio Grande Return has been advocating for the protection of the unique waters, wetlands, and wildlife of the Southwest. Additionally, we have been involved in the development and management of many on-the-ground projects resulting in the protection and restoration of thousands of acres of wetlands throughout New Mexico.

Since January of 2020, RGR has planted over 200,000 willow, 6,000 cottonwood and Gooddings willow, 1,200 native riparian container plants and 44,000 salt grass plugs; has cultivated wetland seed on over 200 acres; cleared invasive trees from over 400 acres of wetlands; constructed exclosures to protect riparian areas from cattle and elk on more than 50 acres; erected/repaired over 15 miles of wildlife friendly fence; constructed and maintained more than 650 in-stream structures on over 10 miles of streams; installed pond levelers in rural communities to promote beaver co-existence strategies; engaged in erosion control activities to support post-fire mitigation; established a native seed propagation farm; formed a Habitat Conservation Program focused on strategies for development of native wildlife habitats and refuges on formerly agricultural lands; and provided professional services and design planning to state and federal agencies regarding environmental restoration projects.