The Rio Grande in Colorado’s San Luis Valley

NFWF Announces $3.1 Million in Conservation Grants from RESTORE Colorado Program

Second round of grants builds on momentum from $2.7 million awarded in 2020

The Rio Grande in Colorado’s San Luis Valley

DENVER (May 27, 2021) – The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) today announced $3.1 million in awards from its Restoration and Stewardship of Outdoor Resources and Environment (RESTORE) Colorado program for projects on public and private conservation lands that have the greatest benefit for wildlife habitat and local communities.

RESTORE Colorado is a public-private partnership that combines and leverages state, federal and corporate funding. Program partners are NFWF, Colorado Department of Natural Resources, Great Outdoors Colorado (GOCO), Colorado Parks and Wildlife, Occidental, Corteva Agriscience, the Gates Family Foundation, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Bureau of Land Management, the U.S. Forest Service and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS). The program launched in 2020 with the purpose of awarding grants to restore or enhance riparian, grassland, sagebrush, forests and big game wintering range habitat in the region.

“Through the RESTORE Colorado program, we are improving and expanding wildlife habitat throughout the state,” said Jeff Trandahl, executive director and CEO of NFWF. “This program, in partnership with public agencies and private landowners, will help create a better future for both Colorado’s native species and its citizens.”

The 10 grants announced today will leverage $8.7 million in matching contributions for a total on-the-ground impact of $11.8 million. These grants build on more than $2.7 million awarded through the program in March 2020 to 11 projects that leveraged $3.4 million in match and generated $6.1 million for on-the-ground impact.

“We’re very grateful for the opportunity to partner with so many esteemed organizations to support large-scale restoration projects leading to meaningful outcomes across the great state of Colorado,” said GOCO Executive Director Chris Castilian. “And thank you to the grantees working so diligently on the ground to accomplish them. We’re pleased that this program provides a single-source funding opportunity, streamlining application processes and creating efficiencies in getting critical restoration work completed.”

Stretching from the rolling shortgrass prairies of the Great Plains to the crest of the Rocky Mountains and into the canyons of the desert Southwest, Colorado hosts some of the most impressive landscapes and wildlife habitat in the country. At the same time, a rapidly growing human population and increasing demands on public and private lands have strained wildlife and their habitats in the region.

"The RESTORE partnership and the work of grantees to provide larger scale restoration outcomes is a step in the right direction for this state,” said Dan Gibbs, Executive Director, Colorado Department of Natural Resources. "Colorado’s renowned wildlife rely upon adequate habitat, movement corridors, and healthy rivers and streams to continue to thrive, all of which this unique partnership seeks to address. I applaud the efforts of RESTORE Colorado to take restoration and stewardship to the next level in Colorado."

The 21 projects on the 2020 and 2021 award slates fund large-scale, cross-jurisdictional habitat restoration, expansion and improvement projects across five priority landscapes that will:

  • Restore 1,750 acres of floodplain habitat and 65 miles of instream and riparian habitat
  • Restore 6,600 acres and improve management on 184,000 acres of public and private grassland
  • Remove 2,600 acres of invasive trees
  • Remove or improve 76 miles of fencing to wildlife-friendly specifications
  • Restore 1,270‬ acres of forestland habitat

Examples of projects funded to date include:

  • Chaffee County, to strategically assess the forests at the headwaters of the Arkansas River in Chaffee County, Colorado to identify and restore the 5-10% of the landscape where treatment will decrease the risk severe wildfire poses to community assets by 50-70%. (2020)
  • Wildlands Restoration Volunteers, to restore sagebrush shrublands and mesic wet meadows to benefit greater sage-grouse and big game species in Northwest Colorado. (2020)
  • Summit County Government, to restore riparian floodplain, wetlands and upland habitat to increase habitat quality and connectivity for native cutthroat, brown and brook trout species in the Swan River Valley. (2021)
  • National Audubon Society, to strategically restore and improve management on private ranches in critical grassland habitat and identify and develop specific ranch habitat management plans and monitoring to benefit focal bird species such as lesser prairie chicken, eastern black rail, lark bunting and thick-billed longspur. (2021)

More about the RESTORE Colorado program and the grants announced today is available here.

About the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation
Chartered by Congress in 1984, the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) protects and restores the nation’s fish, wildlife, plants and habitats. Working with federal, corporate and individual partners, NFWF has funded more than 5,000 organizations and generated a total conservation impact of $6.8 billion. Learn more at

About the Bureau of Land Management
BLM manages 245 million acres of public land located primarily in 12 western states, including Alaska.  BLM also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation.  Partnerships are vital to our agency's success, and BLM congratulates NFWF and our other cooperators on today's announcement of matching contributions for habitat restoration in the northern Great Plains.
About the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

The mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working with others to conserve, protect, and enhance fish, wildlife, plants, and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. We are both a leader and trusted partner in fish and wildlife conservation, known for our scientific excellence, stewardship of lands and natural resources, dedicated professionals, and commitment to public service. For more information on our work and the people who make it happen, visit

About the U.S. Forest Service
Established in 1905, the Forest Service’s mission is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of the nation’s forests and grasslands to meet the needs of present and future generations. The agency manages 193 million acres of public land, provides assistance to state and private landowners, and maintains the largest forestry research organization in the world. Public lands managed by the Forest Service provide 20 percent of the nation’s clean water supply and contribute more than $10 billion to the economy each year through visitor spending alone. The agency has a direct or indirect stewardship role in caring for about 80 percent of the 850 million forested acres in the U.S. This includes 100 million acres in urban areas where most Americans live. The U.S. Forest Service is an agency of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. For more information, visit

About the Natural Resources Conservation Service
The Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), is an agency of the U.S. Department of Agriculture that provides one-on-one, personalized advice on the best solutions to meet the unique conservation and business goals of those who grow our nation’s food and fiber. NRCS helps landowners make investments in their operations and local communities to keep working lands working, boost rural economies, increase the competitiveness of American agriculture, and improve the health of our air, water, and soil. NRCS also generates, manages, and shares the data, research and standards that enable partners and policymakers to make decisions informed by objective, reliable science. In simpler terms, NRCS’s focus is “Helping People Help the Land.” For more information, visit

About Great Outdoors Colorado
Great Outdoors Colorado (GOCO) invests a portion of Colorado Lottery proceeds to help preserve and enhance the state’s parks, trails, wildlife, rivers, and open spaces. GOCO’s independent board awards competitive grants to local governments and land trusts and makes investments through Colorado Parks and Wildlife. Created when voters approved a constitutional amendment in 1992, GOCO has since funded more than 5,300 projects in all 64 counties of Colorado without any tax dollar support. Visit for more information.

About Corteva Agriscience
Corteva Agriscience is a publicly traded, global pure-play agriculture company that provides farmers around the world with the most complete portfolio in the industry - including a balanced and diverse mix of seed, crop protection and digital solutions focused on maximizing productivity to enhance yield and profitability. With some of the most recognized brands in agriculture and an industry-leading product and technology pipeline well positioned to drive growth, the company is committed to working with stakeholders throughout the food system as it fulfills its promise to enrich the lives of those who produce and those who consume, ensuring progress for generations to come. Corteva Agriscience became an independent public company on June 1, 2019 and was previously the Agriculture Division of DowDuPont. More information can be found at Follow Corteva on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter and YouTube.

About Occidental
Occidental is an international energy company with assets in the United States, Middle East, Africa and Latin America. We are one of the largest oil producers in the U.S., including a leading producer in the Permian and DJ basins, and offshore Gulf of Mexico. Our midstream and marketing segment provides flow assurance and maximizes the value of our oil and gas. Our chemical subsidiary OxyChem manufactures the building blocks for life-enhancing products. Our Oxy Low Carbon Ventures subsidiary is advancing leading-edge technologies and business solutions that economically grow our business while reducing emissions. We are committed to using our global leadership in carbon management to advance a lower-carbon world. Visit for more information.


Contact: Rob Blumenthal, 202-857-0166,