In 2007, the owners of the Triangle Bar Ranch approached Arizona Land and Water Trust to explore available options to permanently protect their ranching operation. The Trust, in partnership with the Arizona Game and Fish Department, fulfilled a longtime goal of the landowners to protect their ranch and its astounding resources. The Department completed acquisition of the 1,000-acre ranch, including the 36,000-acre state grazing lease, in order to secure significant water rights and protect vital wildlife habitat and cultural resources, while maintaining the ranching operation.
“It was the partnership with the Arizona Land and Water Trust which made this acquisition a reality. The purchase of the Triangle Bar will offer outstanding wildlife conservation opportunities in the San Pedro,” said Angie Lohse, Land and Water Program Supervisor at the Arizona Game and Fish Department.
“The Department has been tenaciously working to acquire this property for the better part of a decade,” said John Windes, Habitat Program Manager for the Department’s southeastern Arizona region. “It is only with the help of the Arizona Land and Water Trust that we were finally able to secure this property for future conservation and as a state wildlife area. The sale closed on the winter solstice. It was indeed a wonderful gift to the citizens of Arizona this holiday season.”
The Triangle Bar Ranch, located along Highway 77 just north of Mammoth and approximately 50 miles north of Tucson, includes an 8-mile perennial stretch of the San Pedro River, with portions of the property located at its confluence with Aravaipa Creek. Both waters are of critical importance to native fish species in Arizona such as the Gila topminnow and Gila chub. The Ranch holds many significant wildlife values including habitat for both the endangered Southwestern willow flycatcher and loach minnow, and the presence of active beaver dams make the property particularly important.
The Ranch is also rich in Arizona history, containing portions of the Old Camp Grant Military Reservation and including Putnam Spring in Camp Grant Wash, a popular spot for hikers and birders.
The Arizona Game and Fish Department acquired the property utilizing both Arizona Heritage Funds (from state lottery ticket sales) and U.S. Fish & Wildlife Section 6 Funds for the protection of endangered species. “The Trust is incredibly proud to be a part of this project, easily one of the most significant conservation acquisitions the state has ever completed,” said Executive Director Liz Petterson. “The transaction perfectly embodies the mission and work of the Trust; sustaining our working landscapes, securing water for our delicate riparian systems, and protecting important wildlife habitat and cultural resources – none of which could have been successfully completed without the key partnerships involved.”
Owned by Arizona Game and Fish Department