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The Colorado River Program

Where We Work

Demonstrated Innovation

With 15 priority projects on the Colorado River and its tributaries, the Conservancy is uniquely poised to share and demonstrate knowledge gained through on-the-ground work. Examples of the Conservancy’s work along the Colorado include:

  • Bill Williams River, Arizona — Here the Conservancy helps protect the largest remaining native forests and plant communities along the Lower Colorado River.
  • Colorado River, Colorado -- Watch a video that shows the ecological significance of the Colorado River headwaters, threats and what the Conservancy is doing to address threats and challenges here and throughout the entire length of this iconic river.
  • Dolores River, Colorado & Utah — In the southwest corner of Colorado, the Conservancy is helping develop solutions to restore a healthy river below McPhee Reservoir in a way that respects the needs of local communities and agriculture operations.
  • Escalante River, Utah — This river sustains agriculture and provides habitat for more than 200 species of migratory birds and at-risk fish like the Colorado River cutthroat trout.
  • Upper Green River& Lower Green River, Wyoming & Utah — The Upper Green River is a natural bottleneck where wildlife move through ancient migratory pathways. In the lower 48’s longest big-game migration, pronghorn travel from summer ranges in the Greater Yellowstone’s mountain highlands, to winter stomping grounds in the Upper Green’s sagebrush-covered valley.
  • Gila and San Fransisco rivers, Arizona & New Mexico — On the Gila, the Conservancy helps protect forests along the last of the Southwest's free-flowing rivers. Like the Gila, the San Fransisco starts in New Mexico, and flows into the upper Gila River in Arizona.
  • Gunnison River, Colorado — Rising in west central Colorado, this river formed Black Canyon -- one of the deepest and longest gorges in the world. Dams on this 164-mile Gunnison River form three lakes that provide hydroelectric power and serve as water supplies.
  • Muddy River, Nevada — The 32-mile Muddy River lies about 60 miles northeast of Las Vegas, and begins a series of thermal springs in the Moapa Valley before reaching Lake Mead. It represents one of the most biologically rich areas in Nevada.
  • San Juan River, New Mexico, Utah & Colorado — This river once supported six-foot long, 100-pound Colorado pikeminnows and five-foot razorback suckers.Today the Conservancy is working to restore secondary channels and improve habitat along the river by removing non-native shrubs. The Conservancy is also involved in efforts to ensure flows from dams that meet the needs of people and nature.
  • San Miguel River, Colorado — In addition to improving this river's help by battling invasive shrubs that out-compete native species along the river, the Conservancy also has three preserves that are open to the public along this scenic river. Learn more.
  • San Pedro River, Arizona — The San Pedro River basin is home to 84 species of mammals, 14 species of fish, and 41 species of reptiles and amphibians. Species such as the jaguar and black bear stalk the region’s forested mountains while the Mexican gray wolf and black-tailed prairie dog reside in the expansive grasslands.
  • Verde River, Arizona — Here, the Conservancy is assessing flow needs required by several key wildlife species and habitats, and working with ranchers, farmers, communities and other partners to protect land along the river and above the aquifer that feed the springs.
  • Virgin River, Utah — With local, state and federal partners, the Conservancy is working on Virgin River flows, riparian restoration, and strategic acquisitions to benefit six native fish including the endangered woundfin and Virgin River chub, the southwestern willow flycatcher and many other species who are dependent upon the river corridor in this biodiverse watershed. 
  • Yampa-Little Snake-White Headwaters, Wyoming & Colorado — Together, these rivers for the "wetlands" of southern Wyoming and northwest Colorado.

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