Respect the River/Rio
Respect the River and Respect the Rio are connecting people to their riparian environment through EDUCATION, returning watersheds and rivers to a healthy state through RESTORATION, and involving the public in the restoration process through EMPOWERMENT.
Respect the River and Respect the Rio are multi-faceted restoration and education programs designed to balance the need for preservation of riparian and flood-prone areas with needs of the public. They seek to do this by accomplishing the following goals:
- Identifying and addressing water quality issues that have developed from
- Educating the public about habitat, habitat needs and on-going restoration
- Creating community partnerships
- Creating a program and materials that are easily adaptable to other forests
Respect the River began in 1993 on the Methow Valley Ranger District in the Pacific Northwest Region to improve fish habitat and protect endangered fish species while reducing the impacts of recreation in riparian areas. Respect the Rio, created to address water quality issues in heavily used areas of the Santa Fe National Forest and to meet the needs of the high Hispanic population of the southwest, began in 2001.
Friendly to both fish and people, Respect the River and Respect the Rio work on two fronts: education and restoration. They use Contact Rangers, newspaper and radio ads, brochures, and interpretive signs in combination with restoration treatments such as fence and boulder barriers, scarification, and re-vegetation. Education provides recreationists with an opportunity to be stewards of public lands and protects the investment of improving habitat.