Grant to help protect land along border
ARIZONA DAILY STAR
Tucson, Arizona | Published: 03.21.2008
A $1 million grant to The Nature Conservancy in Arizona is paying for the conservation of 9,500 acres along the Arizona-New Mexico border.
The newly protected area will extend the land protected by a ranchers’ group in New Mexico and Southeastern Arizona to nearly 85,000 acres.
The area is rich in rare and endangered species and vital to profitable ranching and other traditional livelihoods, says The Nature Conservancy, a conservation organization. However, it was under threat by encroaching development.
The property secures a corridor of wildlife habitat from grasslands in the San Simon Valley to woodlands in Coronado National Forest.
It contributes to a key migratory corridor for several species — including jaguars in their northernmost route — along the United States-Mexico border, The Nature Conservancy says.
Five statewide projects will be funded with $1 million from a $13 million regional grant from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, among them the 9,500 acres, the group says.
The conservation area is the result of an agreement between the Malpai Borderlands Group and the owners of a ranch in the border area.
The Malpai Borderlands Group is a collaboration of ranchers who live and work primarily in Southeast Arizona and Southwest New Mexico who want to maintain their livelihood while also protecting the environment.
The agreement extends the land protected by the Malpai group to nearly 85,000 acres, providing what Nature Conservancy officials say is a critical buffer to subdivisions.
The money is coming from a total $13 million regional grant from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation to The Nature Conservancy in five states: Arizona, Colorado, Montana, New Mexico and Wyoming. Regionally, $11 million of the total grant will be devoted directly to wildlife conservation, Nature Conservancy officials say.
The Doris Duke Charitable Foundation’s mission is to support environmental conservation, the performing arts, medical research and the prevention of child maltreatment.