Audubon NM picks new director

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Audubon New Mexico announced March 1 the appointment of Paul Tashjian as Associate Director of Freshwater Conservation.

Tashjian will further bolster Audubon New Mexico’s innovative freshwater conservation program to address the many challenges the state is facing regarding significant declining river flows, and the impact it has on birds, wildlife and New Mexicans.

Tashjian, a longtime resident of New Mexico, will lead Audubon New Mexico’s multi-faceted Freshwater Conservation Program along with Beth Bardwell, Director of Conservation effective March 5, 2018. He will direct efforts to develop and implement policy, market-based, restoration and strategic engagement strategies to protect and restore natural ecosystems for communities, birds and other wildlife on New Mexico’s major rivers and tributaries, with a focus on the Rio Grande and Colorado River Basins.

“I’m very excited to be working with Audubon New Mexico on water and wildlife conservation issues, said Paul Tashjian. “I love our State’s rivers and wetlands and have spent much of my time stomping around these magical places.”

Audubon New Mexico, a leader in the state on innovative environmental water transactions, developed a state-wide Freshwater Conservation Program in 2009 to improve and increase streamflow for the benefit of rivers, securing a greater share of water for birds, other wildlife, and the communities that depend on them. Dedicating water to the state’s beleaguered rivers is one goal of the program, which also includes habitat restoration, community education, and advocating to protect the Gila River.

Tashjian comes to Audubon New Mexico with more than 26 years of hydrology experience from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Southwestern Region. His expertise includes water management and water protection for wildlife, river restoration, water law, and wetland workshop coordination.

Tashjian was the founder and coordinator of the Bosque Hydrology Group, an inter-agency, inter-university think tank that focused on the physical restoration of the Middle Rio Grande.