San Juan River Basin Recovery Implementation Program Partners Collaborate to Recover Rare Native Fishes
Recovery Program Partners
The State of Colorado is a partner in both the Upper Colorado and San Juan programs, represented by the Colorado Department of Natural Resources (DNR). The Colorado Department of Natural Resources’ mission is to develop, preserve, and enhance the state’s natural resources for the benefit and enjoyment of current and future citizens and visitors. In support of the Program, staff from DNR, Colorado Parks and Wildlife and Colorado Water Conservation Board serve as experts and committee members at multiple levels.
Leaders in conservation, the Jicarilla Apache is one of several loosely organized autonomous bands of the Eastern Apache, referring to the members of the Jicarilla Apache Nation currently living in New Mexico. They are a valued partner of the San Juan River Recovery Program, actively participating since 1992. Fisheries and Wildlife Resources within the 850,000 acre Jicarilla Apache Reservation are managed by the Jicarilla Game & Fish Department, whose mission is “To conserve, enhance and protect wildlife, fish and their habitat for the benefit of the Jicarilla Apache people, while perpetuating sovereign rights and traditional values”.
The Nature Conservancy serves as representation for the conservation community on both programs. As partners, they help to protect more than 1,000 miles of Critical Habitat for listed endangered fish in the basin. TNC develop specific resources that benefit natural resources and the programs, including Matheson Wetland in Utah and stream restoration efforts in the San Juan basin. “This program is more than a restoration program for these four endangered fish. This is an investment program that restores river flows and habitats to much of the Upper Colorado River Basin at the same time that it provides legal certainty to water users,” explained Patrick McCarthy, TNC’s Colorado River Program Conservation Director.
The Navajo Nation has been a highly respected and valued partner of the San Juan Recovery Program since the Program was created in 1992. Their expertise and participation is helping lead the way for native fish conservation within the San Juan River Basin and their impact in these efforts will be felt for generations. Fish and wildlife within the borders of the Navajo Nation are managed by Navajo Nation Department of Fish and Wildlife whose mission is to conserve, protect, enhance and restore the Navajo Nation’s fish, wildlife, plants and their habitat, through aggressive management programs for the spiritual, cultural and material benefit of present and future generations of the Navajo Nation.
The State of New Mexico has been long-standing partner of the San Juan Recovery Program since its establishment in 1992. Fish and wildlife within the state of New Mexico are managed by New Mexico Game and Fish whose primary mission is to conserve, regulate, propagate and protect the wildlife and fish within the state of New Mexico using a flexible management system that ensures sustainable use for public food supply, recreation and safety; and to provide for off-highway motor vehicle recreation that recognizes cultural, historic, and resource values while ensuring public safety. The Interstate Stream Commission has broad powers to investigate, protect, conserve, and develop New Mexico’s waters including both interstate and intrastate stream systems. New Mexico Game and Fish and the Interstate Stream Commission support the program by serving as subject matter experts and committee members.
The Southern Ute Indian Tribe is a highly valued partner with a wide range of skills. As a partner with the San Juan River Recovery Program since the project began in 1992, their input and efforts to recover native fishes within the San Juan River Basin will be apparent for generations to come.
Mission Statement of the Southern Ute Indian Tribe: We are a sovereign tribe, managing resources and protecting our culture as we serve our people now and into the future. We strengthen sovereignty by exercising self-determination and self-sufficiency. We act as guardian of Tribal natural, fiscal, human, and cultural resources through sound business practices demonstrating accountability, responsibility, and efficiency. We provide a foundation for our people to prosper, while sustaining Ute identity and quality of life. We foster quality relationships with respect and dignity. We communicate with our Tribal Members ensuring they are aware of important issues and building trust.
Without the hard work and dedication of the Bureau of Indian Affairs, the recovery of native endangered fish within the basins of the Upper Colorado and San Juan rivers would be incredibly challenging if not impossible. U.S. B.I.A. has been invaluable since the beginning of both Recovery programs dating back to 1992. Their noble mission is to enhance the quality of life, to promote economic opportunity, and to carry out the responsibility to protect and improve the trust assets of American Indians, Indian tribes and Alaska Natives.
The Bureau of Land Management has been preparing Biological Assessments addressing water depletion issues and their effect on native fish in the Colorado River Basin since 1994. BLM is a partner in the San Juan Program and their work has played a vital role in maintaining a healthy ecosystem for Colorado and San Juan river fishes to live and flourish, as well as other animals that inhabit the basin. BLM also provides unique opportunities to the Upper Colorado Program, including management of a wetland on their land along the Green River. The Bureau of Land Management’s mission is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations.
As a primary partner of both Recovery Programs since their inception, Bureau of Reclamation authorizes appropriations to the Secretary of the Interior to undertake capital projects for the recovery of endangered fish species in the Upper Colorado and San Juan River basins. The long term recovery of native fishes in the Colorado and San Juan rivers depend on the powerful cooperation that the Bureau of Reclamation helps to facilitate. The mission of the Bureau of Reclamation is to manage, develop, and protect water and related resources in an environmentally and economically sound manner in the interest of the American public.
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service plays a vital role in the recovery of endangered fish in the Upper Colorado and San Juan river basins as partners in and staffing both recovery programs. Biologists from multiple field stations work together conducting research, monitoring, and management activities on native fish populations with a goal of recovering native endangered fish. The Service’s mission –“Working with others to conserve, protect, and enhance, fish, wildlife, plants, and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people” – reflects the value the agency places on working in partnership with others.
Ute Mountain Ute communities work to conserve resources and protect the environment in order to increase the quality of life for all members and future generations of the Ute Mountain Ute Tribe. A valued and respected partner of the San Juan Program since it was initiated 1n 1992, Ute Mountain Ute Indian Tribe hold an irreplaceable role in the conservation of native fishes in the basin.