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Along the Rio Grande, An Innovative Water Market Restores Riverside Habitat

With rivers in the American Southwest dammed, diverted, drought-stricken and running dry, their fate is increasingly in human hands. Now, in the southern portion of the Rio Grande in New Mexico, a unique partnership of irrigators, government agencies and conservationists is returning some water to the river’s floodplain – and to the native trees, songbirds,…

Sandhill Cranes are Back Along the Rio Grande

The sandhill cranes are back in the Rio Grande Valley of New Mexico, where they’ll over-winter until March.  Yesterday, I saw scores of the prehistoric-looking birds pecking through corn stubble on farms near the river.  A bit later, a dozen or so squawked loudly as they flew in formation high in the air.  I decided…

The Bosque of the Rio Grande, a Gem to Protect

September’s record-breaking rainfall and floods brought tragic loss of life and property to parts of Colorado and New Mexico.  The devastation has been hard to fathom. But for a river like the Rio Grande, which has suffered through years of drought, the floods produced a welcome reunion in parts of New Mexico: the river once…

Drought Fuels Water War Between Texas and New Mexico

As climate change alters rainfall patterns and river flows, tensions are bound to rise between states and countries that share rivers that cross their borders. In the Rio Grande Basin of the American Southwest, that future inevitability has arrived. Last week Texas, suffering through a devastating drought, filed a lawsuit with the U.S. Supreme Court…

Sandhill Cranes Are Home–for Now–in the Middle Rio Grande

  Here in the middle stretch of the Rio Grande, this time of year is an avian spectacle of sight and sound. The sandhill cranes are home for the winter. Many have journeyed long distances from their breeding grounds in the northern Rockies, and they’re here to spend a few quiet months along the river’s…