Vermejo Park Ranch Receives the President’s Fishery Conservation Award

August 23, 2023

Contact: Beth Beard
[email protected]


(Grand Rapids, Michigan) August 23, 2023 –Vermejo Park Ranch in Raton, New Mexico, received the President’s Fishery Conservation Award at the American Fisheries Society (AFS) 153rd Annual Meeting in Grand Rapids, Michigan. AFS President April Croxton presented the award to Carter Kruse, Director of Conservation and Science for Turner Enterprises, Inc., at the Business Meeting of the Society. The President’s Fishery Conservation Award is awarded for singular accomplishments or long-term contributions that advance aquatic resource conservation at a regional or local level.

Vermejo Park Ranch (VPR) was recognized for their long-term partnership with federal and state entities for 35 years in efforts to restore the habitat on more than 550,000 acres of mountains and plains in northern New Mexico and southern Colorado. This vast expanse includes extensive headwater habitats for Rio Grande Cutthroat Trout, Rio Grande Chub, and Rio Grande Sucker. After the completion of the project elements on the ranch, VPR continued to provide support as the project moved downstream onto Carson National Forest lands. In total, 120 miles of stream habitats and the lakes and reservoir mentioned above will be restored for native species, increasing the range-wide distribution of Rio Grande Cutthroat Trout by 16%.

“We congratulate Vermejo Park Ranch and Turner Enterprises (TEI) for their dedication to restoring aquatic habitat for the benefit of these at-risk native species. They set a wonderful example of what a long-term partnership between private landowners and state and federal agencies can accomplish. Simply put, this project would not have been possible without the dedicated and gracious partnership of VPR and TEI,” said Croxton.

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Editor’s Notes:

Founded in 1870, the American Fisheries Society (AFS) is the world’s oldest and largest fisheries science society. The mission of AFS is to improve the conservation and sustainability of fishery resources and aquatic ecosystems by advancing fisheries and aquatic science and promoting the development of fisheries professionals. With five journals and numerous books and conferences, AFS is the leading source of fisheries science and management information in North America and around the world.

General link:

Link to AFS Annual Meeting: