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Collaborative Restoration
Spurred by concerned residents, New Mexico's two senators approved legislation that endorsed a broad-based, collaborative approach to watershed restoration. Since 1997, the Rio Puerco Management Committee (RPMC) that was established by Public Law 104-333, has brought together Indian tribes, federal and state agencies, an array of non-profits, and local citizens to address these problems.

The Committee has focused on strengthening community resolve and capacity to reduce sediment, control erosion, and promote healthy vegetative communities. Our work includes a one-of-a-kind, community-based monitoring effort to gather data on the effectiveness of our projects.
Continuing Success
We have received the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA's) Environmental Excellence Award, the Bureau of Land Management's (BLM's) Legacy of the Land Award, and also the BLM Director's 4 C's Award (Communication, Consultation and Cooperation, all in the service of Conservation).

In 2003, the Rio Puerco was one of 20 watersheds nationwide to receive an EPA Watershed Initiative grant. Our watershed was targeted because of our innovative, low-technology erosion control methods that make use of available materials. We are demonstrating the effectiveness of these techniques through landowner demonstration projects, workshops, and summer youth projects.

Click the image for a detailed view of the Rio Puerco Basin

The Rio Puerco's perennial headwaters originate along the Sierra Nacimiento east of Cuba, in Sandoval County, New Mexico. Traditional villages once dotted its banks and extensive farm fields tapped its waters. Today, in many places the Rio Puerco flows far beneath the historic floodplain, a victim of incision through highly erodable soils, channelization, entrenchment, historically poor land management, and a complex mix of land ownership. Read more about the Rio Puerco Watershed.
In 2006, the Rio Puerco Management Committee developed a vision statement for the next 50 years. Read our vision here.
Get Involved!






For more information on events and workshops, please contact Steve Fischer, Rio Puerco Watershed Coordinator, at 505-761-8993 or

Funding for this website was provided by the EPA's Watershed Initiative grant.