Press Release – Royal Bank of Canada invests in Río Grande conservation

RBC grant to support river conservation, youth corps, and stewardship on public lands

(Albuquerque, NM – June 2, 2015) – The Conservation Lands Foundation is proud to announce it received a $20,000 Leadership Grant from Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) to put a nine-person youth conservation corps to work improving water quality and restoring river habitat on a portion of the Río Grande in the Río Grande del Norte National Monument near Taos, New Mexico.

“RBC’s grant is going to provide employment and job training for nine young people, improve habitat along the river, and help educate people in the region about the importance of the Rio Grande for business, quality-of-life and wildlife,” said Charlotte Overby, Restoration Program Director for the Conservation Lands Foundation.

RBC’s $20,000 community investment in the Río Grande del Norte National Monument is part of the RBC Blue Water Project which focuses on efforts that help provide access to drinkable, swimmable, fishable water, now and for future generations both in the United States and across the globe. The RBC Blue Water Project is also involved in initiatives that promote responsible water use, raise awareness about the economic value of water and build a shared understanding between business, government and others about the broad economic and environmental impacts of water.

Beginning on June 16, the Rocky Mountain Youth Corps wll work for two weeks eradicating invasive plants, encouraging the growth of native species that help filter and improve water quality, and making enhancements to campgrounds in the National Monument’s Orilla Verde Recreation Area. In addition to pay, corps members receive job training, mentoring from staff at the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), and are eligible for AmeriCorps education awards.  Members of the community will be invited to work alongside the corps on a special volunteer workday June 20.

The work will take place in the Río Grande del Norte National Monument, which was designated in 2013 and became part of the National Conservation Lands—30 million acres managed by the BLM that are some of the most ecologically rich and culturally-significant lands throughout the West.

In New Mexico, the National Conservation Lands include national monuments and national conservation areas—places like El Malpais National Conservation Area, and Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks and Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monuments—as well as BLM-managed Wilderness and wilderness study areas, wild and scenic rivers including the Red and Chama Rivers, and national scenic and historic trails like the Continental Divide Trail and the El Camino Real. These public lands are open to all for hiking, camping, hunting, fishing and other outdoor recreation. These areas also protect important watersheds, natural features and wildlife habitat while preserving traditional uses like grazing.

RBC, which has offices in Albuquerque and throughout the globe, will be celebrating the company’s annual RBC Blue Water Day on June 4. Since 2007, RBC has pledged nearly $41 million to more than 700 charitable organizations worldwide that protect water, with additional funding pledged to universities for water programs.

For more information about the RBC Blue Water Project, visit www.rbc.com/bluewater.

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