Where We Work

Keeping the Southern Rockies Wild

Rocky Mountain Wild protects the southern portion of our namesake Rocky Mountains. Encompassing the entirety of Colorado, northern New Mexico, southern Wyoming and eastern Utah, the Southern Rocky Mountain ecoregion boasts the highest summits in the entire Rocky Mountain range. With an average elevation of 9,670 feet and 54 peaks soaring above 14,000 feet, our region is truly the rooftop of North America. These mountains slope to meet high desert mesas and red rock canyons to the west and golden prairies to the east.

More than 180 species and subspecies found in the Southern Rocky Mountains are endemic (found no where else in the world), making our region one of the most biologically rich areas in the lower 48 states. We conserve a diversity of forest, river, sagebrush, alpine and desert habitats to preserve a diversity of plant and animal life for future generations. In addition, we preserve and restore the ancient migration corridors that link habitat areas to one another, enabling wildlife to travel safely to forage, hunt, mate and seek refuge from a warming climate in cooler, high altitude territory.



Mount Elbert is the highest peak of the Southern Rocky Mountains. Photo © Sally Pearce, Colorado Department of Transportation

Wildlands Network is a network of conservation partners, including Rocky Mountain Wild, that work at local, regional, and continental scales to re-construct the world’s most extensive network of protected, connected landscapes.  First as the Southern Rockies Ecosystem Project, then as Center for Native Ecosystems and Colorado Wild, and now as Rocky Mountain Wild all of our work helps accomplish this ambitious goal.   Our projects that specifically span the landscape of the Greater Southern Rockies include:

  • The State of the Southern Rockies Eocregion examines the ecological health of the Southern Rockies. The report analyzes whether human uses of land and water resources have resulted in significant ecological changes or biological impoverishment.
  • The Southern Rockies Wildlands Network Vision s a science-based plan that provides an ambitious but practical approach to protecting networks of land in the Southern Rockies to maintain and restore native biological diversity in this spectacular region.
  • Linking Colorado’s Landscapes identifies and prioritizes wildlife linkages across the state of Colorado. The goal of this work is to provide transportation planners, state and federal agencies, community leaders, engineers, and conservationists with a statewide vision for reconnecting habitats that are vital for maintaining healthy populations of native species.
  • Colorado Corridors Data Set supports Colorado Parks and Wildlife’s role in managing and protecting habitat by collecting information about wildlife movement corridors—sometimes referred to as linkages—and synthesizing this information into planning tools for use by the Division’s field staff and others.