The Colorado River is the lifeblood of the American West. It provides essential habitat for hundreds of species of resident and migratory birds—from Yellow-breasted Chats to Tree Swallows—and dozens of endangered species, like California Condors and Southwestern Willow Flycatchers. But the river and its habitats, which serve as essential migration stopovers, are at risk of running dry.
To address drought worsened by climate change, the U.S. federal government will assess a state-proposed plan to reduce water releases from its reservoirs as soon as next year. The places birds need in the Colorado River Basin are in danger of being overlooked and disappearing. Sign our petition to urge the Bureau of Reclamation to protect all of the habitats, birds, and people who rely on the Colorado River.
The Colorado River is a national treasure and a major driver of the U.S. economy. Protecting it for future generations is essential.
While I support more rigorous actions to reduce the amount of water used on the Colorado River to protect reservoir levels and flows for the long-term, I urge the Bureau of Reclamation to ensure habitat for birds and other wildlife remains protected.
The federal government needs to look more broadly and carefully at the impacts of proposed management actions and create solutions for habitats that do not have a secure water supply.
In particular, I hope you will consider bird habitats in the Grand Canyon, along the Lower Colorado River (Multi-Species Conservation Program), the Salton Sea, and wetlands in the Colorado River Delta--all of which need sustained water in order to protect some of America's most unique and iconic bird species like the Bald Eagle, Yellow Warbler, and California Condor. In fact, some 70% of all wildlife in the region visit the Colorado River's remaining wetlands and riparian forests during their life cycles--this includes 400 different bird species along the Lower Colorado River.
As climate change destabilizes the Colorado River system, I urge Reclamation to identify how important environmental resources will change, and invest in solutions--including available federal funding--to help ensure these habitats continue to support the birds and other wildlife that depend on them.
Over the decades, we've lost a massive amount of habitat--we can't afford to lose any more. The stakes are enormous for people, for birds, and for the entirety of our country.