Success Story 2021

Upper Rio Grande Connectivity

Photo: National Wildlife Federation
Upper Rio Grande Connectivity
National Wildlife Federation
278,000 acres protected

The National Wildlife Federation, working closely with Hispanics Enjoying Camping, Hunting and the Outdoors (HECHO) and others, successfully included 278,000 acres of Special Management Areas in the United States Forest Service management plans for the Carson and Sante Fe National Forests in New Mexico. The plans include multiple forest-wide components that support wildlife connectivity. Elk, mule deer, pronghorn and many other species depend on these connected pathways for food, mating, and seasonal migrations between New Mexico and Colorado. This landscape also contains cultural, archeological, sacred, and historical sites. The National Wildlife Federation collaborated with a diverse group of stakeholders and community leaders, including Tribal leaders, hunters, anglers, traditional land users, and private landowners in securing these Special Management Areas.

The Valle Vidal Management Area includes approximately 100,000 acres of rolling, grassland meadows surrounded by conifers, bristlecone pines, and aspen stands in the northern portion of the Questa Ranger District. The Caja del Rio Wildlife and Cultural Interpretive Management Area approximately 61,121 acres runs down the middle of the Caja del Rio plateau, which is about 15 miles west of the city of Santa Fe. The San Antonio Management Area comprises approximately 117,035 acres of rolling grassland surrounded by conifers, ponderosa pines, and aspen stands in the northern portion of the Tres Piedras Ranger District.