Southwest Colorado: Montrose County, just upstream from the San Miguel River's confluence with Tabeguache Creek
The Nature Conservancy is partnering with the Cottonwood Institute and the Telluride Institute to offer an outdoor learning experience for high school students called the "San Miguel River Project." Students will hike and explore the San Miguel River, learn about watershed ecology, discover the impact of invasive plants and help remove tamarisk and other non-native plants that are destroying the habitat along the river.
Why The Conservancy Selected This Site
This preserve protects a broad floodplain supporting high-quality examples of the globally rare Rio Grande cottonwood/skunkbrush sumac and Rio Grande cottonwood/coyote willow riparian plant communities.
What The Conservancy Has Done/Is Doing
In 1988, The Nature Conservancy protected 250 acres along the San Miguel River - the first site to be protected along this waterway. Now with two more preserves and cooperative projects with the Bureau of Land Management and other partners, we have helped to protect more than 30 miles of the river.
Preserving the riparian habitat is The Nature Conservancy's foremost concern at this preserve. This is accomplished through actions such as the following:
- Non-native weed control (tamarisk, Russian olive and Chinese elm)
- Educating the local community about the riparian plant and animal communities
- Creating partnerships within the region to promote conservation