Local Weather



Western is a not-for profit, tax exempt organization dedicated to the protection and maintenance of approximately 1,000 acres of wildlife habitat on mitigation properties owned by the Bureau of Reclamation. These lands are all located on the Colorado and Gunnison Rivers and have been re-planted with native trees, shrubs and grasses to encourage the establishment of native wildlife colonies and support migrating birds.
Western Colorado Wildlife Habitat Association (Western) is dedicated to the scientific, educational and charitable purposes associated with the establishment and maintenance of wildlife habitat areas. Western is committed to a policy of fair representation and will not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability, age, political beliefs, marital or family status, sexual orientation, or geography.

For additional information, to volunteer or make tax-exempt donations please contact the area manager @ (970) 234-3617

About the properties

The four Wildlife Properties managed by Western Colorado Wildlife
Habitat Association were purchased and developed by the US Bureau of Reclamation. The wildlife habitat enhancement on these properties was a direct result of the Colorado River Basin Salinity Control Act of 1974.  A 1984 amendment provided the authority to replace incidental fish and wildlife habitat losses and to fund future operations and maintenance.   

Congress directed the Bureau of Reclamation to implement the Grand Valley Unit of the Colorado River Salinity Control Project and construction took place throughout the 1990s. Earth-lined canals and laterals were replaced with lined canals and pipelines.  Reductions in seepage and clearing of right-of-way directly and indirectly reduced wildlife habitat in the Grand Valley. The wildlife properties are managed for the primary purpose of providing replacement wildlife habitat lost by the construction of the Grand Valley Unit.  Other uses such as recreation actives are allowed only when they do not interfere with the properties primary purpose, (Wildlife Habitat).  All properties have seasonal closures (March 15 to July 31) which are designed to restrict public access and disturbance during the nesting season. 

This wildlife habitat replacement program has proven to be very successful and provides a wide range of wildlife habitats that are home to many different wildlife and bird species. 

Message from the Manager

According to a recent release by the U.S. Census Bureau, in 2006-2007 we were the 9th fastest growing community in the nation. Chances are that not long ago the places where you live, shop, work and play today were once home to one or more of the many animal and bird species that call the Grand Valley area home. The wildlife habitat areas that we manage are the direct results of a project to reduce the annual salt load in the Colorado River. Although this project has been successful and any lost or affected wildlife habitat has been replaced we now face new challenges. The original wildlife habitat areas design and annual budget is specific to the salinity project disturbance. Therefore it did not include any estimates for future wildlife habitat affected by the rapid growth we have been seeing and will continue to see in this area for years to come. These wildlife habitat properties are not mitigation for this new disturbance.  However as a direct result of this human expansion the properties are quickly becoming home to additional wildlife. This in return is placing a serious strain on the original designed resources.  

This is why we need your help. Western Colorado Wildlife Habitat Assn. manages over 1000 acres of wildlife habitat divided into four properties. The DeBeque Wildlife Area is about 40 miles upstream from the Grand Junction Wildlife Area. The Colorado River Wildlife Area and the Orchard Mesa Wildlife Area lay in the middle. We only have two employees and a limited budget to perform all necessary activities on these four properties. 

How can you help? We can use many talents, just to name a few available options: Mowing with a small tractor, irrigation, build and install bird nesting boxes, weed control, caging trees for beaver protection, photographing and monitoring wildlife, vehicle and equipment maintenance, volunteer for on the ground school programs and office work. One of our biggest needs is someone (or a group) to make informational contacts with businesses and individuals for donations and seeking grants.

Just tell us how you can help, we will find a place for you. As you can see we (Western Colorado Wildlife Habitat Assn.) are working hard to provide new and better habitat for the many displaced bird and animal species here in the Grand Valley area. We ask you on their behalf; please help us by volunteering, making a tax deductable donation or simply telling others about us.  

Any questions or comments? Please contact us. We are always looking forward to opportunities to talk to you about the wildlife properties. 

Charles Shannon
Wildlife Area Manager

Western Colorado Wildlife Habitat Assn.



Copyright 2007 [Crafted Webs]. All rights reserved
some photos used are royalty free and public domain