Arizona Land and Water Trust is pleased to announce the protection of the Pyeatt Ranch in Canelo Hills, just west of Fort Huachuca. Permanent protection of this property brings the Trust’s total protected lands to 60,500 acres! The Arizona Land and Water Trust (Trust) has been working with its landowner partners to preserve Southern Arizona’s western landscapes, farms and ranches, wildlife habitat and the waters that sustain them since 1978.
The 800-acre conservation easement is part of the Pyeatt Ranch’s larger operation which consists of over 5,050 acres at the base of the Huachuca Mountains near Canelo, Arizona. Family-owned and operated since 1919, the ranch is currently managed by Manuel Murrietta. Manuel has worked diligently to protect and improve the ranch’s grasslands, water resources, and wildlife habitat while increasing agricultural production.
The Ranch is part of a much larger working landscape of which has been used to support livestock grazing since the turn of the century. The Pyeatt Ranch borders the Trust’s Diamond C Ranch conservation easement to the north and the Coronado National Forest on three sides. Pyeatt Ranch is home to perennial springs, riparian floodplains as well as rare sacaton grasslands and is a welcome addition to the growing conservation landscape in the Elgin – Sonoita grasslands and Upper San Pedro River Watershed.
“Arizona Land and Water Trust is proud to partner with the owners of the Pyeatt Ranch and Fort Huachuca. The project highlights the important heritage of this multi-generational working landscape, the significant wildlife and grassland values found on the property and conservation partnerships which help to sustain the critical mission of the Fort. ” said Liz Petterson, Executive Director.
Protection of the property also contributes to maintaining an unrestricted military mission environment for Fort Huachuca by reducing land and water development under the R2303 Restricted Military Airspace, which will improve the Fort’s capability to support some 160,000 annual air operations and reduce the proliferation of electromagnetic interference within the Buffalo Soldier Electronic Test Range. Protection of Pyeatt Ranch also furthers joint goals of the Trust and the Fort to protect and enhance groundwater availability and the Pyeatt Conservation Easement. This project was supported by the Department of Defense’s Readiness and Environmental Protection Integration program in partnership with Fort Huachuca.