National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF)

National Fish and Wildlife Foundation

Bridging Conservation Work in the Pecos Watershed

The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) introduced the Pecos River Conservation Initiative in 2017 to support habitat and species conservation in the Pecos Watershed of New Mexico and Texas.  A unique feature to this initiative is the partners that they brought to the table now includes 8 oil and gas companies.  The effort focuses on conservation of key riparian and upland grassland wildlife that exist within the watershed but are showing signs of decline. 

New Mexico Association of Conservation Districts (NMACD) applied for a grant in their first round and was awarded $247,500 for brush control on upland sites, salt cedar control along the Black, Delaware and Pecos Rivers and grass reseeding along Pecos River benches where salt cedar had been removed.  One of the many flexible aspects of the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation grants is they provided non-federal dollars from industry as well as federal dollars.  As a result, NMACD was able to leverage the non-federal dollars with the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish to acquire an additional $465,000 for conservation work on the ground.

In addition to NFWF and their oil and gas partners (Anadarko, Apache, Chevron, Marathon Oil, Noble Energy, Occidental Petroleum, Shell Oil, XTO Energy), the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, New Mexico State Land Office, Cimarex Energy, New Mexico Game and Fish, Carlsbad Soil and Water Conservation District, individual landowners and US Fish and Wildlife Service were key participants toward successful efforts on the ground.


In March of 2019, NMACD was awarded 2 new grants for work within the Delaware Basin and expansion of pronghorn antelope movement and habitat enhancements in Chaves and Eddy counties.  NMACD is very honored by the tremendous way in which the partners worked together.  Debbie Hughes, Executive Director for NMACD stated, “In addition to NFWF, we could not have accomplished this amazing amount of work without the Carlsbad Soil and Water Conservation District spearheading the delivery of work on the ground.  We are very proud of all our partner efforts and look forward to expanding our partnership and great conservation work on the ground throughout the Pecos River Watershed in the coming years.”