Embudo Station cottonwoods. © Alan Eckert Photography
Embudo Station cottonwoods in Autumn. © Alan Eckert

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Financial Boost from County to Protect Your Water, Quality of Life

Albuquerque, NM

Bernalillo County is protecting your water with a $100,000 commitment to support The Nature Conservancy-led Rio Grande Water Fund. The Water Fund is a far-reaching collaborative effort to restore 600,000 acres of at-risk forests in New Mexico that will secure clean drinking water for 1 million people. The work is happening from Taos to Albuquerque.

"As a county, we recognize that healthy watersheds and flowing springs hold recreational and open space value. Our contribution signifies our awareness and responsibility to help preserve and protect those resources," says Bernalillo County Manager Julie Morgas Baca. "BernCo is committed to leveraging strategic partnerships for the benefit of all its citizens."

The Water Fund is a solid example of successful collaboration. There are now more than 80 funders, agencies, businesses and individual supporters who are part of the effort that is reducing wildfire risk, supporting recreational opportunities, boosting local economies and enhancing wildlife habitat.

The funds from this grant will support work to improve the health of the Sandia Mountains and Cedro National Forest in Bernalillo County. In the Sandia's, trees that have died from insects and diseases will be removed while Pinon-junipers will be thinned in the Cedro National Forest to create a healthier forest.

Additionally, The Nature Conservancy will create a demonstration site to educate communities about the importance of healthy forests similar to the one near Taos.

Since launching the Rio Grande Water Fund in 2014, tens of thousands of acres have been thinned to prevent catastrophic fires and secure water.

"By joining forces with Bernalillo County and others, we're truly making a difference," says Terry Sullivan, the Conservancy's New Mexico State Director. "We are working with partners and communities to protect wildlife and improve the health of our incredible Rio Grande Watershed."

Thanks to the support of all of our partners—including Taos, Santa Fe, Los Alamos, and Sandoval Counties—an additional 330,000 acres are in the pipeline for restoration.

For more information, visit: www.nature.org/riogrande.

The Nature Conservancy is a global conservation organization dedicated to conserving the lands and waters on which all life depends. Guided by science, we create innovative, on-the-ground solutions to our world's toughest challenges so that nature and people can thrive together. We are tackling climate change, conserving lands, waters and oceans at an unprecedented scale, providing food and water sustainably and helping make cities more sustainable. Working in 79 countries and territories, we use a collaborative approach that engages local communities, governments, the private sector, and other partners. To learn more, visit www.nature.org or follow @nature_press on Twitter.