shrubland upland landscape

The National Wildlife Refuge System is committed to building partnerships which encourage conservation and preservation of our natural and cultural resources. Partnerships with the Refuge System bring innovative approaches to solving land management and water disputes in the most environmentally protective manner. Scientifically-informed and technologically-based stewardship of our public lands, waters, wildlife and special places must be collaborative efforts between the Refuge System, other government agencies, and private organizations if conservation efforts are to succeed.

By teaming with Federal and State conservation agencies, non-government organizations, and private citizens, Alamosa Refuge helps protect the integrity of the San Luis Valley watershed and habitats. This partnership covers more than 500,000 acres of land and conserves one of the largest and most varied mosaics of wetland habitats remaining in Colorado. Through the San Luis Valley Conservation Area (SLVCA), we join our partners in protecting the remarkable natural values and economies of the high mountain desert. The SLVCA is a strategic habitat conservation initiative focused in the area encompassing the headwaters of the Rio Grande in southern Colorado and a small part of northern New Mexico.

The SLVCA protects Federal trust species and other plants and wildlife of the San Luis Valley while ensuring the long-term function and resilience of its diverse ecosystems. It focuses on protecting the land and water supporting the riparian areas, wetlands, and key uplands that complement and connect existing protected areas. This purpose aligns, but does not supersede, the visions and statutory purposes of the three refuges within the San Luis Valley National Wildlife Refuge Complex.

Currently, the Refuges of the San Luis Valley are in the planning phases of its Comprehensive Conservation Plan, a document that will guide management activities for the next 15 years. Completion is slated for early 2015. For general information about the Refuge System Planning process, please go to

The Colorado Wetlands Program was established by the then Colorado Division of Wildlife in 1996. At the state level, this partnership is represented by Colorado Parks and Wildlife, Great Outdoors Colorado, Ducks Unlimited, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program. This program established eleven wetland focus areas across the state. The San Luis Valley Wetlands Focus Area has been very successful bringing in over $5 million in grants from sources such as the North American Wetlands Conservation Act, Great Outdoors Colorado Trust Fund, Colorado State Duck Stamp Program, Ducks Unlimited and American Farmland Trust. Projects funded have included extensive wetland restoration, and habitat protection. The two national wildlife refuges and Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program in the San Luis Valley have benefited by receiving over $2 million through this program.