Rio Grande, the iconic artery of life in the Southwest, is an overtapped
oasis. It’s been damned, diverted
and dried up to the point that today it is one of the most endangered rivers in
top of that long list of threats climate change, reduced snowpack and drought
make the river’s condition even more dire.
recently Interior Secretary Ken Salazar asked New Mexicans and citizens who
care about the Rio Grande to tell him what you think should be done to conserve
the recreational, educational and ecological values of the river in central New
Secretary Salazar you want a living Rio Grande, one that has a right to its own
water; not a river that will continue to be diverted to satisfy the
unquenchable thirst of cities and to benefit wasteful and inefficient
Secretary’s Middle Rio Grande Conservation Initiative also comes at the same
time that federal and state agencies are developing a separate plan for the
protection of the river’s endangered species.
Guardians believes that these two plans could be harmonized and, if so, could
bring about long-overdue changes to protect the Rio Grande.
believe the unifying theme for both plans should be connection and connectivity. Connecting people to the river by
ensuring uniform access, trails and paths and ensuring a secure supply of water
that connects habitats all along the river’s 180-mile path in central New
a secure supply of its own water not only will the river’s endangered species
be more imperiled but also the recreational and educational values of the river
will be diminished as well.
common ingredient to ensure both connection and connectivity is federal
Secretary Salazar that you want plans that ensure a living Rio Grande.
For the Rio,
John C. Horning
P.S. Become a River Guardian by emailing me
and I’ll let you know other ways you can help us build a movement to secure a
better future for the Rio Grande.