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Fish and Wildlife Service Participates in Planning Habitat Restoration in the Rio Grande in southern New Mexico
Southwest Region, December 12, 2006
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The New Mexico Ecological Services Field Office attended a meeting December 12, 2006, to discuss the Rio Grande Canalization Project (105 miles of the Rio Grande), maintained by the International Boundary and Water Commission (IBWC), in southern New Mexico.  The Canalization Project was constructed between 1938 and 1943 to deliver water to New Mexico, Texas, and Mexico.  The Project also controls floods in this reach.

The IBWC recently evaluated river management alternatives for future operations and maintenance that resulted in a final Environmental Impact Statement June 29, 2004.  Because of numerous comments from various agencies and elected officials, the IBWC convened a workshop to explore further protection and enhancement of the Rio Grande.  Sponsors of the workshop are the The IBWC sponsors the workshop and has contracted the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to help develop and implement actions.  The World Wildlife Fund, Environmental Defense and the Elephant Butte Irrigation District are partners in this project.   Participants in the December 12 workshop included an equal number of landowners and others.  Participants included agencies such as the Natural Resources Conservation Service; Bureau of Reclamation; Fish and Wildlife Service; Southwest Environmental Center; Audubon; Senator Domenici office; and New Mexico State agencies such as State Parks, Environment Department, Department of Agriculture, Water Resources Research Institute, Office of the State Engineer and New Mexico State University.

Future meetings are anticipated to develop and review measures to improve the environment.  The measures will be implemented by the IBWC.  By using this group approach, actions should be developed that have a broad base of support.

Contact Info: Martin Valdez, 505-248-6599, martin_valdez@fws.gov



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