Wetlands at Valles Caldera
Wetlands at Valles Caldera New Mexico’s Rio Grande and its tributaries supply water to more than half of New Mexico’s population. © Alan Eckert Photography

Stories in New Mexico

Conserving the Land of Enchantment

We’re working to keep New Mexico the place you love to live, work and play.

Collecting fish from a drained pond to be released in tributaries of the Colorado River
Freshwater Conservation Young razorback suckers removed from drained ponds in New Mexico. These endangered freshwater fish will be scanned and released into tributaries of the Colorado River. © Erika Nortemann/The Nature Conservancy

The Nature Conservancy is a leading conservation organization working locally and around the world to protect ecologically important lands and waters for nature and people. We address the most pressing conservation threats at the largest scale and—for 40 years—have been safeguarding the bounty of nature that defines New Mexico.

Thanks to the generous support of thousands of New Mexicans and friends outside our borders, we have protected 1.4 million acres of land, secured voluntary conservation easements on 500,000 acres, and improved management on an additional 18 million.


It’s who we are and how we work that has made The Nature Conservancy so successful. Three strengths set us apart:

  • Innovative, science-based solutions that create the greatest positive impacts.
  • Trusted partnerships with tribes, businesses, government and individuals, allowing nature and communities to prosper together.
  • Capacity to work at a meaningful scale that benefits our state and our world.


Together, with our strong network of partners, The Nature Conservancy is showing that foresight, science and creativity have the power to preserve our way of life. In New Mexico, we are focused on five transformational initiatives: providing water security, restoring our forests, protecting important lands, building healthy cities, and tackling climate and energy issues.

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PROTECTING treasured places like our Santa Fe Canyon and Gila Riparian Preserves and the diverse plant and wildlife they support.

TRANSFORMING the relationship between nature and people, and irreplaceable natural systems like the Rio Grande watershed.

INSPIRING a movement of hearts and minds committed to helping nature and people thrive in New Mexico.


To keep the Gila River free flowing and restore habitat and flows on the San Juan and Mimbres Rivers

Water is life. That’s why we are employing the latest science and partnering with local tribes, farmers and others to restore habitats and secure clean, reliable flows on the Gila, Mimbres and San Juan Rivers. A key strategy is helping the agriculture industry embrace the vital role it can play in sustaining New Mexico’s water well into the future.


To rehabilitate 600,000 acres of Rio Grande headwater forests that provide water to 1 million people

The Nature Conservancy-led Rio Grande Water Fund is a public–private partnership launched to exponentially pick up the pace of protecting our forested water sources. This initiative includes collaborative strategies that also help boost our economy by creating jobs, such as thinning overgrown forests, managing fire, and restoring streams and areas that flood after wildfires.


To safeguard ample acres to combat environmental pressures and protect hundreds of at-risk species

We continue our legacy of conserving vast tracts of working wilderness vital to farmers, ranchers and a host of native species, including several nature preserves. At special places like Santa Fe Canyon Preserve and the Gila Riparian Preserve near Silver City, we engage local volunteers and the community, and connect youth with nature.


To improve Albuquerque’s resiliency to drought and climate change, and build a broader and more diverse constituency for conservation

Part of the Conservancy’s North America Cities Network, the Albuquerque metro area is one 20-plus U.S. cities where we are helping find natural solutions to improve resiliency to drought, quality of life and sustainability, especially for people in economically-challenged neighborhoods.


To accelerate a clean energy future and reduce New Mexico contributions to climate change emissions

The Nature Conservancy’s core identity as a science-based organization—and our value of integrity beyond reproach—demands we seek a better road forward for the planet. Working with businesses and policy makers to encourage greater investments in natural climate solutions, emissions reduction and smart energy siting complements our ongoing efforts to help people and natural systems adapt.