Habitat Conservation

Ecological resurgence through fostering resilient landscapes.

Regenerating agricultural lands into native habitat

Our Habitat Conservation Program is led by program director, Cameron Weber, and is dedicated to the resurgence of agricultural lands into richly patterned habitat assemblages that are essential to wildlife and vital to humanity. It exists as a distinct set of projects for long-term habitat resurgence and reconstitution within the footprint of agriculture. The Habitat Conservation Program is determined to implement habitat projects that create and demonstrate a dynamic model of conservation that are responsive to and guided by civic concerns and environmental justice.

The constructed habitats of the Middle Rio Grande are often described as a string of pearls. The value of these habitats for migrating and resident wildlife is enormous, and the effort to reclaim lands for their benefit and ours is ongoing. Rio Grande Return has long been influential in adding pearls to the string. The Habitat Conservation Program advocates for policies and projects that will protect and extend that vision.

Habitat Conservation Projects

Native Seed Propagation

Generating dynamic habitats by design is utterly reliant on our ability to source diverse native plant materials. To ensure the most locally appropriate plants are included in our habitat conservation plans, we are growing native seed in agricultural settings, and we are working with land managers and local nurseries to collect and increase wild populations of native plants and seed. Seed from native plants grown at the seed farm are planted on former hay fields as part of the transition from traditional agriculture to wildlife refuge.

Urban Habitat Restoration

Urban habitat restoration projects require us to step in to support human systems when nature is unable to do so. Excellent examples of this type of restoration work are our projects utilizing revegetation of native riparian speciesĀ  such as willow and cottonwood, or implementing green stormwater infrastructure projects. Healthy ecosystems provide extensive benefits to human communities. We strive to learn from these wildland examples and utilize the same principles to provide stability and function in urban settings.

Support our restoration efforts

We all have a responsibility to repair what we’ve broken. Our restoration and conservation work is made possible through federal, state, and private funders like you.

Your donation will help us keep the lights on while supporting our field work.