Land and Wildlife

Land health and wildlife survival are dependent on the ability of wildlife populations to move across the landscape.  In the Alliance region, this is particularly important as wildlife roam from the high elevations in summer to the lower elevations for winter. The Alliance has initiated an effort to identify and protect wildlife movement corridors across public and private boundaries. Partners in this effort include private landowners, the  Jicarilla Apache Nation, the Southern Ute Tribe, and state and federal agencies.

In 2014, the Alliance commissioned a study to gather and analyze cross-jurisdictional information on the health and viability of the mule deer and elk herds in the region. Click here for a copy of the report.

Chamita Valley

Many of the Alliance members are adjacent landowners and much of the Alliance region is currently being managed with conservation and wildlife in mind. There are a few properties for sale within the Alliance region that are extremely important pieces of an overall intact landscape. Members of the Alliance are working to attract conservation opportunities for these remaining parcels.

For example, the Chamita Valley is a major funnel for wildlife migrating between summer range in the high elevations of the San Juan mountains of Colorado and winter range in the lower elevation woodlands of northern New Mexico.

Migration Corridors

The Alliance develops close relationships with tribes and state and federal wildlife agencies in both Colorado and New Mexico to improve wildlife management and viability, including long distance migration corridors of mule deer and elk between summer and winter ranges. Alliance members have also called attention to elk harvest levels. Some members of the Alliance have voluntarily reduced the number of landowner game permits they use in order to improve the sustainability of elk populations over the long-term. This has benefits for current and future generations as well as maintaining a vital economy in our rural landscape.

Economy

The economic contribution of hunting, fishing and wildlife watching is direct and positive for local individuals, businesses and communities. Wildlife creates jobs and brings money into local and state economies through retail, lodging, dining purchases, and sales taxes.

The county-by-county totals for the Southwest Region illustrate just how important hunting and fishing are to the local economy: Alamosa sees $20.3 million in economic activity; Archuleta, $19.1 million; Conejos, $4.2 million; La Plata, $43.3 million; Mineral, $4.4 million; Rio Grande, $13.3 million; Saguache, $3.3 million; San Juan, $3.9 million; San Miguel, $17.3 million; Ouray, $3.4 million.