Arturo Garcia

Arturo Garcia

Arturo Garcia, Mexico

Tara has worked in conservation for fifteen years focusing on river restoration as well as non-profit management and fundraising. A fourth generation native to the USA’s west coast, she received a Bachelor’s Degree from Santa Clara University, California in Environmental Science and a Masters in Water Resources Management emphasizing watershed health in developing nations from the University of New Mexico in 2006. Tara completed a River Restoration Professional Certificate from Portland State University, Oregon in 2011. Tara has worked with several diverse civil society organizations including affordable housing, federal wilderness area designation, private land protection, and river restoration. After a decade as executive director of a NGO in the Thiess RiverPrize-Winning Willamette Basin, Tara is a contractor partnering closely with multiple foundations and NGO’s to coordinate the Willamette-Laja Twinning Project.

Presentation Title: A North American Migratory Bird Partnership: Restoration, Monitoring, and Community Engagement in the Rio Laja, Mexico and Willamette Basin, USA

Th US and Mexico have been partnering with national legislation and privately led efforts for the conservation of critical migratory bird species and their habitats for nearly 100 years. The Willamette Basin, located in Western Oregon, USA and the Laja Basin, Guanajuato, in Central Mexico, share several “critical” as well as “charismatic” migratory bird habitat types and species, including riparian, wetland and oak woodlands. Extensive multi-decadal data collections in both basins has demonstrated these links thereby creating a platform for partnership in continued monitoring and further habitat restoration. In September 2012, the Willamette Rive Initiative (WRI) was honored to receive the Thiess International Riverprize. The Willamette and Laja basins have been in partnership discussions formally since 2014 when the International River Foundation approved a twinning partnership. From this twinning project a stakeholder team formed focused specifically on the shared migratory bird species. Stakeholders include representatives of NGO’s in Mexico, US Fish and Wildlife Service, Oregon State University, and the Oregon-based foundation Meyer Memorial Trust. Shared migratory species have recently been classified according to watershed habitat and abundance. The partnership has built a shared platform based on decades of monitoring data, performed spatial analysis in the Laja, and engaged several stakeholders. The next step is to receive additional partner and funder support. The team intends to create an advanced framework for monitoring species and habitat and determining restoration effectiveness; coordinate training for local “technical promoters and citizen science” in both basins to support community-based restoration and monitoring; develop joint watershed education program elements; and identify strategic riparian, wetland and floodplain restoration projects in both basins that have multi-species benefits.

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