Overgrazing and fire suppression have led to a loss of deep soils and vegetative cover in the 420,000 acre Alamosa Creek watershed in southwestern New Mexico. Rain and snow melt are no longer held by the soils and released slowly, but run off in floods, resulting in catastrophic flows and severe erosion that contribute sediment to Elephant Butte Dam. The diverse community of farmers that irrigate 800 acres of valley land on 49 farms in Cañada Alamosa are looking to revive traditional and develop innovate new practices to maintain their way of life. Partnerships are required to design new land management practices between scientists and local land managers. This project is a component of a larger Alamosa Land Institute goal to restore the Cañada Alamosa watershed and lessen the catastrophic consequences of flood events. We will work with community members to recover knowledge about traditional methods and identify the current needs of ranchers and farmers. We will then combine this information with our current scientific understanding of riparian ecosystems processes to design a restoration model that can benefit both the river and the local community. We will develop a demonstration project with a local landowner to implement the theoretical model. This project will give farmers the tools to adapt to climate change and protect and develop their livelihood and way of life, while at the same time beginning to restore the healthy riparian ecosystem upon which the community ultimately depends.