Animas River Wetlands, LLC is creating a wetland project to provide another viable option to comply with the federal goal of "no net loss" of wetlands. Our wetlands is located in southwest Colorado on the Animas River. To talk about the project, please call 970-759-5585 or email us.

Photo Gallery

Read The Durango Herald article about the wetlands.

Colorado Riparian Association Award

Youtube video

We provide both wetland and steam mitigation credits. A credit is a unit of trade used to offset loss of either wetland and steams in waters of the US.

The Animas River Wetlands project will satisfy two primary goals: 
To provide an off-site alternative for the mitigation of wetlands that have been adversely impacted; and to expand and enhance the natural wetlands in the Animas River watershed while conserving and protecting the lands forever.


Off-site mitigation is often preferred because the success rate of larger, concentrated wetland projects is usually better than small, isolated on-site efforts. Additionally because Animas River Wetland Bank will be ready prior to the need for mitigation, our area will avoid the temporal loss of wetlands for wildlife. In Colorado only 3% of the land is wetlands but 90% of Colorado's wildlife depends on the 3%.

The number of birds we have seen in the wetlands has increased from 26 to 94. For a list of birds visiting the wetland click on the wildlife page. The data for all of the monitoring is on the wildlife page.

On October 1, 2012 a moose was in the wetlands.

What's new, we have a beaver who is enjoying our wetlands and unfortunately for us cutting down some cottonwoods.

Experts often call wetlands, "nature's kidneys" for how they collect, filter and purify water.

The Animas River Wetlands mitigation sight is located approximately five miles north of the City of Durango, CO in Section 27, Township 36N, Range 9W, New Mexico Principal Meridian (NMPM), in La Plata County, Colorado and is depicted on the Durango East, CO 7.5’ US Geological Survey (USGS) quadrangle map.The approximate 50 acre project is located just north of Durango on the Waterfall Ranch property owned by Ed and Patti Zink.  The ranch has been in the Zink family since 1917-over 100 years.

willows The project will be constructed in multiple phases on terraced acreage adjacent to the Animas River, and includes the development of five categories of wetland habitat:  aquatic, marsh, wet meadows, willow and cottonwood.  These habitats combine to provide shelter, food and migration routes for hundreds of species of birds and mammals.The protection of these habitats has been identified as a top priority for local residents as well as government officials charged with protecting the diverse natural resources of La Plata County.

This wetlands mitigation site has the oversight of an Interagency Review Team. The team members include the Army Corp of Engineers with representatives from La Plata County, US Fish and Wildlife, Colorado Division of Wildlife, Environment Protection Agency and Natural Resource Conservation Service.

Targeted grading of the created wetlands will be suitable for the establishment of aquatic, marsh, wet meadows, willow, and cottonwood habitats.  This stratification of aquatic habitats creates a broad spectrum of niches to facilitate wetland plant species diversity and habitat utilization by wildlife within the mitigation site.

The establishment, use, operation and maintenance of the wetland bank will be carried out in accordance with the following authorities:

  • Clean Water Act (CWA) (33 USC 1251 et seq.)
  • Fish and Wildlife Coordination Act (16 USC 661 et seq.)
  • Regulatory Programs for the Corps of Engineers, Final Rule (33 CFR Parts 320-332 and 33 CFR Parts 325 and 332)
  • Guidelines for Specification of Disposal Sites for Dredged and Fill Material (40 CFR Part 230)
  • Memorandum of Agreement between the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of the Army concerning the Determination of Mitigation Under the Clean Water Act, Section 404 (b)(1) Guidelines (February 6, 1990)
  • Federal Guidance for the Establishment, Use, Operation of Mitigation Banks (60 FR 58605 et seq.) (December 28, 1995)
  • National Environmental Policy Act (42 USC 4321 et seq.) and implementing regulations
  • National Environmental Policy Act (16 USC 470 et seq.)
  • The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Mitigation Policy (January 23, 1981)
  • State Water Quality Certification (Section 401)
  • National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) (Section 402) (33 USC 1342 et seq.)
  • Endangered Species Act, as amended (16 USC 1531-1543)
  • Federal Agriculture Improvement and Reform Act of 1996 (7 USC 7201)
  • Title XII of the Food Security Act of 1985
  • US Army Corps of Engineers Memorandum – Regulatory Guidance Letter 93-2 (August 23, 1993)
  • US Army Corps of Engineers Memorandum – Regulatory Guidance Letter 02-2 (December 24, 2002)
  • US Army Corps of Engineers Memorandum – Regulatory Guidance Letter 06-03 (August 3, 2006)
  • Any future applicable revisions, clarifications, and updates of the above statutes and guidance documents; that is, as documents are prepared pursuant to this agreement, they will conform to the standards and guidelines in place at the time of submission.