DOI / VISTA Team Projects

Rivers and Birds- Rio Grande del Norte National Monument

DOI / VISTA: Shannon Latham
Supervisor: Roberta Salazar
Address: P.O. Box 819, Arroyo Seco, New Mexico 87514
County: Taos County
Voice Telephone: 575-776-7159
Web site:
Web site 2:
Congressional District: 3
Bureau: Bureau of Land Management (BLM)


Rivers & Birds is a Taos-based, non-profit organization whose mission is to provide experiential education that celebrates the interconnection of all life and inspires individuals as leaders for Earth stewardship. This organization works with the Bureau of Land Management in the Rio Grande del Norte National Monument. The mission of Rio Grande Del Norte National Monument is to protect the heritage of the region’s diverse Hispanic and Native American communities, protect wildlife habitat prized by hunters and anglers, and boost economic vitality in Northern New Mexico.

Rivers & Birds-Rio Grande Del Norte National Monument is a Bureau of Land Management (BLM) DOI/VISTA site. The mission of BLM is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of America’s public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations. It administers more public land – over 245 million surface acres – than any other Federal agency in the United States. The BLM’s multiple-use mission, set forth in the Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 1976, mandates they manage public land resources for a variety of uses, such as energy development, livestock grazing, recreation, and timber harvesting, while protecting a wide array of natural, cultural, and historical resources, many of which are found in the BLM's 27 million-acre National Landscape Conservation System. The conservation system includes 221 Wilderness Areas totaling 8.7 million acres, as well as 16 National Monuments comprising 4.8 million acres.


About the Surrounding Community

According to New Mexico Voices for Children’s annual Kids Count in New Mexico, New Mexico is ranked 50th in the nation for the overall well-being of the state’s  children. According to the report, nearly one-third of the state's children live in poverty, 60 % live in low-income families, and about 37 % have parents who lack secure employment. 

Project Overview

BLM and Rivers & Birds are collaborating to provide an outdoor educational program which inspires economically disadvantaged public school students through hands-on learning opportunities on BLM public lands that help build youth skills in math, science, and technology. DOI/ VISTA Hannah Miller is working to address the funding needs for high quality environmental education programs to serve economically under-served youth. She is also assisting with the development of an environmental education program for Taos County schools. This project targets economically disadvantaged youth and those that qualify for free or reduced lunches. She is also creating a Rio Grande Del Norte “Friends” group, and coordinating conservation and fundraising efforts to promote environmental education.

Sponsors and Partners

For more information please visit: