Healthy rivers are essential to our livelihoods and wildlife
Photo: Doug Von Gausig, 2013
Western Rivers Action Network (WRAN) is Audubon's multi-state grassroots effort to protect rivers.
In the arid West we are all connected by rivers; they are the lifeblood of our land, our economy, our way of life. Western rivers, like the Colorado River and its tributaries, provide water for tens of millions of people, including twenty-two Native American tribes and the major cities of Denver, Phoenix, Albuquerque, and Tucson.
We aren’t alone in our reliance on western rivers. Many birds in our flyway depend on these river habitats.
Unfortunately the health of these rivers and the livelihood of the people and the wildlife that depend on them are in jeopardy. A combination of drought, invasive species, over-allocation and unsustainable management are running our rivers dry. In 2013, American Rivers named the Colorado River America's most endangered river and in 2014 both the Gila and Upper Colorado made the top five (read more). Many of the birds that depend on these rivers, like the Western Yellow-billed Cuckoo and Bell’s Vireo, are in decline, and the future of the communities and economies surrounding our rivers is uncertain.
However, we can help. Together we can advocate for conservation actions that will increase river flow, enhance the health of our environment and restore valuable wetlands and forests.