We need your voice to ensure innovative watershed protections will make a difference for Western lands. Add your name today!>>
Conserving our natural landscapes is essential for our communities, wildlife, and economy. However, our landscapes are increasingly threatened by urban sprawl, oil and gas drilling, and road building. That’s why WRA is using an exciting tool to advance conservation in the West — Outstanding National Resource Waters designations.
The federal Clean Water Act gives states the ability to designate streams, lakes, or wetlands as Outstanding National Resource Waters, also called Outstanding Waters. When a state makes this designation, future activities must protect, not lower, the water quality.
In this way, these designations protect not just the water itself, but the land around and upstream of it. These designations can be used as a creative solution to protect Western lands, but not without advocates like you. Your input will be essential to securing new designations and improving designation processes.
We’re working to advance new Outstanding Waters designations across our region — and we’ll be reaching out via email later this year to let you know when we need you!.
- In Colorado, we’re helping make the case for new Outstanding Waters designations in the San Juan and Gunnison river basins. This fall, we’ll reach out to let you know the right moment for you to weigh in.
- In New Mexico, we’re campaigning for the state to designate the headwaters of the Pecos River as an Outstanding Water. The River and nearby Pecos Wilderness—home to some of New Mexico’s most spectacular hiking, hunting, and fishing sites—are currently under threat from a proposed mine.
- In Nevada, we’re working to make the Outstanding Water designation process stronger and more transparent. Our goal is to make it easier for Nevadans to weigh in about protected lands in their state.