Conduct scoping and public meetings
Prepare draft environmental assessment (EA) and plan
Release draft EA and plan for public review
Complete environmental review and final plan
Colorado and New Mexico
The Service is proposing to establish the San Luis Valley Conservation Area in south-central Colorado and far northern New Mexico.
The proposed conservation area is defined by the headwaters of the legendary Rio Grande, which begins its nearly 1,900-mile journey to the Gulf of Mexico in the San Juan and Sangre de Cristo Mountains that surround the San Luis Valley.
Runoff from mountain snowpack creates wetlands and riparian areas in the midst of what otherwise is a high-mountain desert, providing important habitat for dozens of species of migratory birds and other sensitive or imperiled species.
The surrounding sagebrush shrublands and mountains provide homes and migration corridors for the Rio Grande cutthroat trout, Canada lynx, and important State game species such as elk and deer.
We are planning for this conservation area as part of developing the comprehensive conservation plan for the refuges in the San Luis Valley.
After public comment on our draft plan (under "Documents" below), we decided to separate out a portion of the proposed San Luis Valley Conservation Area that has immediate conservation need and opportunities. This is the Sangre de Cristo Conservation Area.
Conservation easement contracts would specify perpetual protection of habitat for trust species and limits on residential, industrial, or commercial development. Contracts would prohibit alteration of the natural topography, conversion of native grassland to cropland, and drainage or filling of wetlands. When appropriate, easement contracts would prevent the sale of surface water rights or change in water use that would have substantial negative effects on the wildlife value of the property.
Easement land would remain in private ownership. Therefore, property tax and invasive plant control would remain the responsibility of the landowner, who also would retain control of public access to the land. Contracts would not restrict grazing on easement land.
To hear from us about this planning effort, you can get on our mailing list.
You can contact us by comment form, email, postal mail, telephone, or fax (refer to "Contacts" below.
None at this time.
Planning team leader
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Division of Refuge Planning
134 Union Boulevard, Suite 300
Lakewood, Colorado 80228
303 / 236 8132 telephone
303 / 236 4792 fax|
Project email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Refuge complex email
Refuge complex mailing address
San Luis Valley National Wildlife Refuge Complex
9383 El Rancho Lane
Alamosa, Colorado 81101
Land protection plan (LPP)
Draft environmental assessment (EA) and LPP 2012 (6 MB PDF)
By section, for faster download:
Draft EA Chapter 1, Purpose of and Need for Action (1 MB PDF)
Draft EA Chapter 2, Alternatives (1 MB PDF)
Draft EA Chapter 3, Affected Environment (3 MB PDF)
Draft EA Chapter 4, Environmental Consequences (PDF)
Draft EA Chapter 5, Coordination and Environmental Review (1 MB PDF)
Draft LPP Chapter 1, Introduction and Project Description (1 MB PDF)
Draft LPP Chapter 2, Area Description and Resources (PDF)
Draft LPP Chapter 3, Introduction and Project Description (1 MB PDF)
Draft LPP Chapter 4, Introduction and Project Description (2 MB PDF)
Appendixes (1 MB PDF)