Healthy rivers are crucial for supporting biodiversity and providing clean drinking water and recreational opportunities. Yet in New Mexico and across the West, rivers are under increasing threat as the climate warms, placing greater stress and demand on freshwater resources. Despite their immense value to people, wildlife, and ecosystems, few rivers and streams are safeguarded under federal or state law.
To support greater awareness of and protection for ecologically important rivers, The Pew Charitable Trusts commissioned Conservation Science Partners to assess the rivers in six Western states: California, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, and Washington. The New Mexico analysis found that hundreds of miles of waterways, including Rio San Antonio and the Gallinas Canyon-Mimbres and Red rivers are worthy of state-level or other preservation mechanisms because of their ecological, economic, and cultural importance.