JULY, 2015

Rachel Conn
Rachel Conn, 
Interim Executive Director 

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Columbine Hondo /Big Horn Lamb

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Cisco Guevara, 2015
Cisco Guevara (Taos),
President of the Board of Directors

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Casa Baca

Contact Info

Amigos Bravos
P. O. Box 238
105-A Quesnel St.
Taos, NM 87571


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Shannon Romeling
Shannon Romeling, Projects & Communications Coordinator

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upper watershed
Upper Watershed 

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We value your
regarding all aspects
of our work !

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Snowflower Romero
Snowflower Romero, Membership Assistant

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Would you like to
support the 
of the cultural and
ecological richness
New Mexico's

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Peggy Nelson
Peggy Nelson (San Cristobal), Vice President of the Board of Directors

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Join our efforts
by becoming a
or making a
contribution to
Amigos Bravos

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Pilar Green
Rio Grande at Orilla Verde 

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Sally Wisely (Albuquerque), Secretary of the Board of Directors 

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Canoe, lower rio
Lower Canyons of the Rio Bravo/Rio Grande

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Jon Klingel (Santa Fe), Treasurer of the Board of Directors 

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red river trout
Fishing in the rivers of New Mexico

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Columbine Hondo/ Big Horn Sheep

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Nicola Ulibarri
Nicola Ulibarri, Phd (Taos), Board of Directors

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Columbine Hondo/Gold Hill
Gold Hill

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Michael Coca
Michael Coca (Santa Fe), Board of Directors

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Mary Humphrey (Los Cordovas), Board of Directors

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Green Shoots

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Midnight Meadows, one of eight "Wetland Gems" identified by Amigos Bravos and WELC


One of the best ways to create resilience in the face of climate change is to protect and restore mountain wetlands. Wetlands are the sponges of our watersheds. They store water naturally, then release clean water over time to nourish downstream ecosystems and communities.

Amigos Bravos, with help of GIS consultants, analyzed, prioritized, and mapped wetlands in the Carson National Forest. Eight "Wetland Gems" were identified. Amigos Bravos, in partnership with Western Environmental Law Center, has now begun making plans for how best to advocate for special protections under the Carson Forest Planning process for those crown jewels of New Mexico's Rio Grande headwaters.



What we mean when we way: "Our wetlands are the sponges of our watersheds" 

Fragile, small, cold streams created by snowpack and springs form throughout the watershed. They slowly saturate the soil and create sponge-like wetlands such as wet meadows that are rich in flora, fauna, and cold, clean, water. Healthy wetlands slowly release cold water providing downstream communities and ecosystems with a consistent water supply.  


Current conditions

Our upper watersheds are becoming dry meadows and in some cases are being filled-in with woody species. These changes are due to climate change, drought, and poor land use. Roads, un-regulated off-vehicle use, cattle-grazing, and wildlife grazing are creating erosional features such as head-cuts and stream-bank-cuts that are draining theses wetlands and turning them into dry land areas. Through this process the water flows to the lowest point on packed, dry soil, creating deep arroyos. During spring run-off, the water travels swiftly through those arroyos, creating an even deeper trench as it flows downstream, instead of saturating the wetlands and slowly releasing the water over time to river, forest, and valley ecosystems and downstream users below.

The US Forest Service is creating a new plan for the next 30 years, which is a critical opportunity to protect the eight identified "Wetland Gems" with special designations. Watch for more information about how you can participate, through our email Action-Alert and future E-Currents.


To see an interactive PDF of this project, with maps and description, go to 

and look under watershed restoration projects.

click here to 



Amigos Bravos & Albuquerque Wildlife Federation at Midnight Meadows




Amigos Bravos and the Albuquerque Wildlife Federation (AWF) teamed up to host a weekend-long volunteer project, June 19-June 21, 2015, at Midnight Meadows in the Carson National Forest near Questa, NM. Volunteers from both groups donned sun-hats and gloves and spent Father's Day weekend working to improve the integrity of streams and wetlands in the area, via repairs to enclosure fencing, planting, and taking inventory for potential future restoration. The weekend project marked the first time AWF and Amigos Bravos have conducted restoration work in the Midnight Meadows site since 2007.

"Midnight Meadows is one of our eight 'Wetland Gems' in the Carson National Forest," explains Rachel Conn, Interim Executive Director of Amigos Bravos. "We're working to grant those sites special protection during the ongoing Forest Service planning process."

Conn goes on to report that "During the weekend, we finished a 2.5 acre riparian enclosure and performed an inventory of over 200 impacted sites that need restoration in the future. (Thirty-eight volunteers joined us!) The inventory will help inform the review process under the National Environmental  Policy Act (NEPA) that is required prior to more on-the-ground restoration work on the sites. We still have a lot of work to do because there are hundreds of additional sites that need to be inventoried in the Midnight Meadows area before NEPA can be completed."  


As part of the weekend volunteer project, Amigos Bravos and the AWF offered camping opportunities with catered breakfast, a potluck and catering for Saturday's dinner, and refreshments.


For more information about Amigos Bravos' Rio Grande Wetland Gems Project and restoration work, visit http://amigosbravos.org/on-the-ground-restoration or call Shannon Romelling at the Amigos Bravos office, (575) 758-3874. 

click here to
Orilla Verde, by Brian Shields (2005)




The winner of the 2015 Amigos Bravos Raffle for the Rio! is Craig O 'Hare, of Santa Fe.  
Congratulations to Craig and to everyone who supports the protection and restoration of New Mexico's waters. 


Many thanks to all of our members and friends for your purchase of tickets that made this year's Raffle for the Rio! one of the best ever. 


Special thanks to the Raffle for the Rio! party hosts: Linda Fair, Barbara Zaring and Steve Rose, and Kristin Ulibarri and Ross Ulibarri.  



Ross Ulibarri and Linda Fair 
Barbara Zaring
Kristin Ulibarri and Steve Rose 


A very big thanks to KTAO Radio for hosting the Amigos Bravos Raffle for the Rio! on the air ~
Brad Hockmeyer (of KTAO Radio), Julia Pyatt (Amigos Bravos Raffle for the Rio! Outreach Coordinator), and Cisco Guevara (President of Amigos Bravos) 


Many thanks, also, to Sarah Pyatt, long-time raffle volunteer for Amigos Bravos  and current student at Sarah Lawrence College. 

Sarah Pyatt


(Here's Cisco Guevara, shaking up the Raffle for the Rio!  ticket/cookie jar!) 
Cisco Guevara

A really GIANT THANKS to Julia Pyatt, Outreach Coordinator for the Raffle for the Rio! and Coordinator for the 2015 Taos County Land and Water Clean-Up , led by Amigos Bravos. 

Snowflower Romero gives the 2015 Raffle for the Rio! a thumbs up! ~ 


for more information, click on our website link: