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MRO Joins Pecos Watershed Conservation Initiative

MRO Joins Pecos Watershed Conservation Initiative

April, 2019 — Northern New Mexico

The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) announced that Apache Corporation and Marathon Oil have joined a coalition of industry partners in making a multi-year commitment to support the Pecos Watershed Conservation Initiative, a partnership between NFWF and oil and gas companies committed to investing in conservation of landscapes where they operate.

"The Pecos Watershed Conservation Initiative is an impressive example of what industries can achieve working together with nonprofit and governmental partners."
Jeff Trandahl, NFWF executive director and CEO

Apache and Marathon Oil join six existing industry partners including Anadarko Petroleum Corporation, Chevron Corporation, Noble Energy, Occidental Petroleum, Shell Oil Company and XTO Energy, Inc., as well as the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service in New Mexico and Texas. The commitments from Apache Corporation and Marathon Oil boost the total initiative funding by industry partners to $4.6 million.

“With this additional funding, NFWF will be able to restore more acres of desert grasslands, protect more habitat for native fishes and expand partnerships with the private landowners who are the stewards of this landscape,” said Jeff Trandahl, executive director and CEO of NFWF.

Currently in its second year, the Pecos Watershed Conservation Initiative supports conservation investments in the greater Trans-Pecos region of eastern New Mexico and West Texas, working to provide critical habitat for wildlife in the Pecos River Watershed and adjacent Chihuahuan Desert native grasslands. Projects funded by the initiative in its inaugural year are already having an on-the-ground impact and will restore more than 8,000 acres of grasslands and more than 50 miles of river habitat.

The Pecos River winds more than 900 miles from its headwaters in the ponderosa pine forests of northern New Mexico through the Chihuahuan Desert grasslands of southeastern New Mexico and West Texas. The river supports some of the most biodiverse arid and semiarid ecosystems in the world.

“We’re excited about this opportunity to conserve and strengthen the important wildlife habitats and landscapes in eastern New Mexico and West Texas,” said Lee Tillman, Marathon Oil CEO.

“The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation’s Pecos Watershed Conservation Initiative fits perfectly with our commitment to be an environmental steward, promote biodiversity and address the critical needs of the communities where we live and work," Tillman said. "As an operator in the New Mexico Permian Basin, we believe the watershed initiative will benefit our communities for generations to come.”

The Pecos Watershed Conservation Initiative invests in projects that will:

  • ​Strengthen the health of riparian and grassland habitats along the Pecos River and its tributaries in eastern New Mexico and West Texas.
  • Protect some of the last remaining populations of native desert fish and other aquatic species found only in Chihuahuan Desert ecosystems.
  • Restore native grasslands and increase landscape connectivity by expanding and improving habitat for wintering migratory grassland birds and iconic pronghorn.
  • Address water quality and scarcity concerns for wildlife and agricultural uses.
  • Identify opportunities to expand species to areas of their range where they have been lost, or bolster small remnant populations.

Additional information on the program can be found at the Pecos Watershed Conservation Initiative program page.

About the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation
Chartered by Congress in 1984, the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) protects and restores the nation’s fish, wildlife, plants and habitats. Working with federal, corporate and individual partners, NFWF has funded more than 4,500 organizations and generated a conservation impact of more than $5.3 billion. Learn more at