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The grasslands of southern Arizona include some of the most biologically diverse habitat in the Southwest.  Grasslands are of particular importance because they serve as important core habitat for a large number of species, as well as proving corridors for species traveling from one habitat core to another.

Canoa Ranch

The conservation of working ranch lands protects vast areas of open space and preserves the heritage and culture of the Southwest. By virtue of the ongoing land stewardship and management provided by ranchers, ranch lands are uniquely suited to preserve natural, unfragmented open space, habitat, and the land's natural and cultural resource value. Since 2000 the Trust has partnered with conservation buyers and willing landowners to protect a number of working ranches in southern Arizona including: Sopori Ranch, Carpenter Ranch, Sands Ranch, Six-Bar Ranch and Canoa Ranch in Pima County; the O-O Ranch in Graham County; and the High Haven Ranch in Santa Cruz County.

In June of 2007 Arizona Land and Water Trust partnered with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Arizona Game and Fish Department to permanently protect 960 acres of the 47 Ranch, a working ranch in the Hay Mountain Watershed in Cochise County. The Watershed drains into Whitewater Draw in the Sulphur Springs Valley, eventually joining the Rio Yaqui just south of the U.S.-Mexico border. NRCS has mapped no less than 14 different ecological site types within the boundaries of the Ranch itself, making it potential habitat for several species quickly disappearing from southern Arizona, including the Chiricahua leopard frog, lowland leopard frog, Cochise pincushion cactus, jaguar, lesser long-nosed bat, Northern aplomado flacon, ocelot, black-tailed prairie dog and Gould's turkey.

In May of 2005, using funds from the Pima County Open Space Bond, Arizona Land and Water Trust permanently protected a historic ranch in the Altar Valley that includes 36,000-acres of important wildlife habitat and archaeological sites. Under a 10-year contract with the County, the Carrow Cattle Company will continue to operate Rancho Seco at its own expense as a working cattle ranch, which includes 26,800 acres of land leased from the Arizona State Land Department and Bureau of Land Management.