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Audubon Rockies

Protect the birds and we protect the Earth. Like you, birds depend on Colorado's incredible lands and waters. Your donation will protect them by funding conservation science, education, and policy in Colorado. Help us connect people to birds and nature, because where birds thrive, people prosper.

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Community Naturalist

Class

Environment 

Beneficiaries

Animals
Families
General population
Parents
Teachers

Description

People will only conserve what they care about, but people are increasingly disconnected from nature. That's why our Community Naturalist staff and volunteers deliver in-person field and classroom programs to youth and adults in southwest Colorado. We also engage Coloradans in community science, which builds their understanding of research and generates data for conservation. Finally, by developing high-quality resources for educators, we are expanding our impact even further.

Each year more than 2,000 Coloradans attend education programs at Four Mile Ranch in Pagosa Springs. There, staff and local volunteers lead hikes, lessons, and research projects for students, families, and adults.

Please support the Community Naturalist program to inspire Coloradans to protect the beauty and wildlife of our state.

Learn more at rockies.audubon.org/naturalist

Photos

Evidence of Program's Success

In 2021:

We held 36 in-person education events in Colorado and 41 virtual events.
Our programs engaged 3,498 kids and 6,782 adults.

Our first printing of "Rockie's Migration Adventures," an illustrated book that teaches kids about wildlife migration, sold out, reaching 2,000 kids. We then it and "Rockies Sagebrush Adventures" into Spanish.

Colorado Community Naturalist Keith Bruno received a 2021 Outstanding Educator Award for Excellence in Environmental Education from the Colorado Alliance for Environmental Education.

We helped launch Lights Out Colorado, a program to help save nocturnally migrating birds. Ten news outlets published 13 stories about it.

Habitat Hero

Class

Environment 

Beneficiaries

General Public
Wildlife Enthusiasts
Animals
Children (4-12 years)
Teachers

Description

One of the greatest threats birds face in Colorado is habitat loss, especially from development. To address this, our Habitat Hero program provides Coloradans with the resources to create bird habitat in their own communities. Through the simple but effective act of planting native species, our Habitat Heroes reverse habitat loss, conserve water, and reduce pesticide use. Collectively, we are weaving together a landscape in which birds and wildlife can flourish.

Habitat Hero is also a powerful way to recruit new audiences into bird conservation. By funding bird-friendly gardens, your support not only creates bird habitat and beautiful, water-efficient communities, it connects people to nature.

Learn more at rockies.audubon.org/habitat-hero

Photos

Evidence of Program's Success

In 2021:

We hosted 33 online and in-person educational events, attended by 2,909 Coloradans

We developed a new model for incorporating bird-friendly gardens into solar farms in Longmont and Johnstown, Colorado.

We helped form the Colorado Native Landscaping Coalition to increase awareness of native landscaping and promote its use.



Western Rivers Initiative

Class

Environment 

Beneficiaries

Animals
Outdoor Recreationists
Wildlife Enthusiasts
General population

Description

Colorado's birds, communities, and economies depend on healthy rivers for clean, reliable water. Unfortunately, increasing demand, climate change, and inflexible management are putting them at risk. Audubon Rockies is engaging policymakers, water managers, and more than 8,000 grassroots supporters to reshape western water management. With science as our guide, we're developing market-based solutions that increase water security and restore river health for birds and people.

Learn more at rockies.audubon.org/rivers

Photos

Evidence of Program's Success

We collected 2,735 signatures opposing Colorado's proposal to allow more pollution in rivers and streams. Colorado's Water Quality Control Commission delayed making any decision to amend the antidegradation rule until 2031.

Audubon's network submitted more than 900 signatures that helped a Colorado Water Plan funding bill pass into law.

Conservation Ranching Initiative

Class

Environment 

Beneficiaries

Animals
General population

Description

Grassland birds have recently declined more than any other bird group on the continent, some species by as much as 80 percent. Because the majority breed on private land, working with ranchers is our best hope for conserving them. Believe it or not, cattle can actually improve bird habitat and grassland health. Audubon is partnering with ranchers to implement bird-friendly management. Ranches that meet our protocols receive an Audubon certification, which can help garner a premium price. Conservation ranching protects birds, open spaces, and soil health while supporting rural communities. With your support we're conserving habitat across millions of acres.

Learn more at rockies.audubon.org/ranching

Photos

Evidence of Program's Success

With the certification of the 4M Ranch in Colorado, our program expanded by 137,000 acres for a total of 487,192 acres on 11 Colorado ranches, an area almost twice the size of Rocky Mountain National Park.

We secured $317,000 for three habitat restoration projects on Colorado ranches.

Since 2014, We've conducted eight seasons of bird monitoring and begun vegetation, soil, prairie-dog, sage-grouse, and sagebrush surveys on enrolled ranches.

Sagebrush Ecosystem Initiative

Class

Environment 

Beneficiaries

Animals
Wildlife Enthusiasts
General population

Description

More than 350 species depend on the sagebrush steppe ecosystem, as well as people. Reaching 13 states, the ecosystem is vast and vital bird habitat, but only half of it is left and new threats continue to emerge. Since 2006, Audubon's Sagebrush Ecosystem Initiative has brought together individuals, industry, agencies, and NGOs to promote science-based solutions that balance the needs of people and birds. We raise the profile of this overlooked ecosystem, inform the public of the threats it faces, and empower advocacy on its behalf. Our goal is to ensure a healthy future for the sagebrush ecosystem and its iconic Greater Sage-Grouse.

Learn more at rockies.audubon.org/sagebrush

Photos

Evidence of Program's Success

We were invited to become a member of a working group to advise the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission in September of 2021. The position allows us to help clarify how biological resources are integrated into Colorado's oil and gas permit review process, thus making the state a national leader in holistic energy planning.

Nearly 13,000 supporters told Congress to pass an appropriations bill without a rider preventing the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service from listing Greater Sage-Grouse by the Endangered Species Act. On October 18, 2021, the U.S. Senate passed a draft of the appropriations bill without the rider.

Earlier this year, we published a video in which two ranchers, a hunter, and an Eastern Shoshone Tribe member to explain what's at stake if Western states don't act now to stop the spread. The video amplified the need for collaboration and funding to combat invasive grasses, reaching thousands of viewers, including Congressional leaders. Nearly five thousand members urged their elected officials to fund cheatgrass control and habitat restoration.

Key aspects of this profile information have been reviewed by Community First Foundation staff. Each organization is exclusively responsible for the content that appears on the profile page. Community First Foundation offers general guidance as to the purpose of each area but does not require or encourage charities to include anything in particular in each section.