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FEATURED PROJECT:

Tri-Community Mobile Farmers Market 

The Rio Puerco Alliance, is working with local residents of the Eastern Navajo Nation to create a Mobile Farmers Market that will bring local, naturally grown produce to the Eastern Navajo Nation, and will support local Navajo farmers in expanding and improving their fields… LEARN MORE

You can donate directly to this campaign via our DONATE button on the upper right of this website.


The Rio Puerco Alliance:
Working Collaboratively to Restore Watersheds to Productivity

The Río Puerco Alliance (RPA) is a 501c3 non-profit whose mission is to restore the Río Puerco Watershed in Northwestern New Mexico for present and future generations through outreach, education, and collaborative action. The RPA focuses on developing ecological as well as community resilience within the region as a means of sustainably addressing ever-changing environmental and economic conditions.
RPA was organized in 2005 by members of the Rio Puerco Management Committee and interested citizens and incorporated in 2006. We work closely with the RPMC, the Sierra Club, local landowners, and other groups within the watershed.

Rio Puerco Watershed MapThe Río Puerco Watershed originates in the Nacimiento Mountains north of Cuba, New Mexico, and comprises approximately 7,350 square miles (4.7 million acres), across portions of seven counties, ultimately merging with the Río Grande at Bernardo, New Mexico.  While the Río Puerco contributes less than 10% of the water, it is a primary source of sedimentation in the Middle Río Grande, contributing the majority of the silt entering Elephant Butte Reservoir approximately 65 miles downstream of its confluence with the Río Grande. The Río Puerco, once the “breadbasket of New Mexico,” has achieved worldwide notoriety as a severely impacted and degraded watershed, the poster child for accelerated erosion. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has identified the Río Puerco as the most eroded watershed in the entire country. Traditional villages once dotted its banks and extensive farm fields tapped its waters. Today, when the Río Puerco flows, it flows far beneath the old floodplain, a victim of highly erodible soils, channelization, historically poor land management, and a complex mix of ownership.

The region has historically been used for agriculture, grazing, logging, mining, and a wide range of recreational purposes, and while relatively sparsely populated, the encroachment of urban development is increasing. Presently, agriculture is the dominant watershed-wide activity, but a substantial portion of the rural population is concerned about its ability to maintain a traditional lifestyle with a natural resource-based economy. Erosion carries away the region’s most productive topsoil and reduces the land’s already limited ability to absorb water. That ability is being further affected by unpredictable changing climate conditions. Restoring vegetative cover on degraded lands, by retaining water in the soil, can be a win-win-win strategy for addressing the changing climate, rural poverty, and water scarcity… LEARN MORE