Nature & Science

Natural Resources

The Rio Grande National Forest is open to anyone, but how much do you really know about the plants, animals, and other natural features of the area?

Find out more about the physical, biological and ecological aspects of southcentral Colorado that make the area unique.


Numerous streams, lakes, reservoirs, varied topography, climate, and vegetation of the Rio Grande National Forest provide habitats for an abundance of native fish and wildlife, including many of the most striking animals found in North America.


Learn about the ecology of forests and grasslands—ties between the land, water, plants, animals, fire, weather, and other resources and factors that occur together over time. 


Geological Resources

Dinosaurs, igneous rocks, and gold, oh my! Find out about geological resources and processes—rocks, formations, caves, fossils, minerals, and energy sources—within our mountains, plateaus, and plains.

Heritage Resources

The Rio Grande National Forest is rich not only in natural history, but in human history. Learn more about archaeological activities and the human history of the forest.


The Rio Grande National Forest contains a variety of trees and plants. 

Rangeland Management
Rangelands are valuable and extensive ecosystems within the Rio Grande National Forest and San Luis Valley BLM Field Office, comprising about 93% of the public land in our area. They provide clean water and forage for grazing and browsing animals, cover for many wildlife species, and a variety of recreational opportunities for our visitors. Rangelands are also of vital economic importance to our local communities.


The Rocky Mountain Research Station supports our natural resource programs through research and development of state-of-the-art management tools

Water, Air & Soil

The stewardship of water, soil, and air resources is an important part of Rio Grande National Forest management.


Land, Water & People articles

Land, Water & People articles since their inception! 

Natural Resources

Rangeland Management

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