At a Glance

By integrating ecology in the master planning phase, the newly formed, 3,000-acre Pecos Canyon State Park will not only enhance recreational opportunities, but also local ecology.

Project Description

Located in northern New Mexico's Sangre de Cristo Mountains , Pecos Canyon State Park will offer unique opportunities to experience the Pecos River and its tributaties within the headwaters region. Just a short drive from Santa Fe, the park includes seven day-use and camping areas along the Pecos River, a federal Wild and Scenic River which recently received additional protections as "Outstanding Waters" by the New Mexico Water Quality Control Commission. Although the river had benefited from previous restoration efforts, several reaches, along with the riparian zone and uplands, had been degraded by overuse and high levels of unregulated recreation.

As the ecological consultant on a master planning team led by Design Office, Biohabitats guided New Mexico State Parks in integrating ecological restoration and watershed management into the park's master plan. After conducting a comprehensive ecological assessment of each day use and camping site, Biohabitats guided the ecological vision for the master plan, which included recommendations related to conservation, ecological restoration, flood mitigation, and other climate change planning. The Pecos River's Wild and Scenic River and Outstanding Waters designations have implications for design and permitting, so Biohabitats also provided regulatory guidance for the planning process and comments on the design plan.

The collaborative master planning effort, which involved water systems and civil engineers, landscape and building architects, fluvial geomorphologists, and GIS specialists, led to the vision of a park that provides users with sage, interconnected spaces for enjoying the Pecos River while also enhancing and protecting its ecological integrity, water quality and habitats.



Southwest Basin & Range



Expertise Areas

Climate Change, Conservation, Ecological Restoration, Water


New Mexico Department of Energy, Minerals, and Natural Resources


Tererro, New Mexico, United States

Project Team
  • Design Office