MALPAI BORDERLANDS GROUP

OUR MISSION

Our goal is to restore and maintain the natural processes that create and protect a healthy, unfragmented landscape to support a diverse, flourishing community of human, plant and animal life in our borderlands region.

Together, we will accomplish this by working to encourage profitable ranching and other traditional livelihoods, which will sustain the open space nature of our land for generations to come.

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THE GUADALUPE WILDFIRE

Since its beginning, the Malpai Borderlands Group has worked to encourage all the land management agencies to allow fire to play its natural role in the ecosystem whenever circumstances allow.  The Coronado National Forest has proven to be a dependable partner in this endeavor, having conducted five different prescribed burns in the Peloncillo Mountains over the last twenty years.  The Peloncillo Programmatic Plan facilitates prescribed burning and also the management of naturally ignited fire for the benefit of wildlife habitat, watershed function and forage production.  The Guadalupe Wildfire is a good example of the latter.

On June 2nd, smoke was observed on the south side of Guadalupe Peak in the Peloncillo Mountains just inside the New Mexico side of the state line.  Coronado Forest  fire investigators determined the cause to have been a lightning strike on the evening of June 1st.  This determination allowed District Ranger Kevin Warner more latitude in managing the fire than if it had been human caused.

A strategy was developed to build line at natural terrain barriers and allow the fire to move to the barriers.  Where needed, burn outs were used between the fire line and the approaching fire.  This robs the fire of fuel and forces it to stop, absent high winds that can possibly start spot ignitions.  This strategy is designed to enhance firefighter safety in rough and remote country while still protecting structures and other valuable property.  The management of this fire was made easier because prescribed burns had been conducted over some of the same terrain over the past two decades.  That kept the fire intensity at a manageable level.

Slowed by a couple of moisture pulses moving up from Mexico, the Guadalupe Fire still burned for six days and covered some 5,900 acres.  Within the fire perimeter, patches of terrain burned at varying intensities and a few spots remained unburned.  This resulted in a mosaic that aids wildlife by creating edge effects and opening up brush choked areas.

Altogether this fire burned on parts of the grazing allotments of three different ranches.  The communication between the Coronado Forest personnel and the affected ranches was exemplary throughout the period the fire was burning.  The action taken in response to the Guadalupe WildFire has reinforced the importance of public land managers and ranchers working together in partnership to improve our landscape. 

 

Follow this link to learn more about the Hog Fire in the Malpai Boderlands Group area.

http://tucson.com/news/local/a-good-year-for-fire-in-the-peloncillos/article_54ae36d9-9619-53bd-a9c7-7a8903308f34.html

For information about the HOG Fire click on the link below for KUAT's Arizona Week program from July 17, 2015.

https://originals.azpm.org/p/on-azweek/2015/7/17/68326-az-week-fire-burns-benefits-southern-arizona/


NEWS MEETINGS & WORKSHOPS

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SCHOLARSHIPS

In July of 2010 the Board of Directors of the Malpai Borderlands Group voted to establish a scholarship fund, in the memory of former Malpai Board Member Rob Krentz, to assist worthy high school graduates in the Malpai Borderlands region with furthering their education.

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MALPAI NEWSLETTERS

Following are links to past issues of the

Malpai Borderlands Group Newsletters

from 1994 to the present year.

Please click here to read the newsletters.


WHO WE ARE

We are a grassroots, landowner-driven nonprofit organization attempting to implement ecosystem management on nearly one million acres of virtually unfragmented open-space landscape in southeastern Arizona and southwestern New Mexico.

The Malpai Borderlands area includes the San Bernardino Valley, the Peloncillo Mountains, the Animas Valley and the Animas Mountains. It is roughly pyramid shaped, with the base of the pyramid beginning just east of Douglas, Arizona along the Mexican Border to just west of Antelope Wells, New Mexico. The apex is just south of Animas, New Mexico.

With elevations ranging from 3500 to 8500 feet, the Malpai is a diverse area of mountains, canyons, valleys and riparian corridors. Several rare, threatened, and endangered plant and animal species are found here. It is the only place in the U.S. where Gould's turkey and white-sided jackrabbits occur naturally. It is also home to popular big-game species such as Coues deer, mule deer, pronghorn and Desert Bighorn sheep.

Perhaps the most remarkable feature of this huge landscape is that fewer than 100 human families reside on it. Many of the families who live here have been here for generations. Except for two small wildlife preserves, this is cattle ranching country. As ranchers, we have been concerned about a key resource we depend on for our livelihoods and way of life - the diminishing quality of grasslands for grazing. Fragmentation of the landscape, beginning with the subdivision of some ranches in our area, has also been a looming threat.

We formed a nonprofit organization to bring ranchers, scientists, and key agencies together, and today the Malpai Borderlands Group now carries out a series of conservation programs and activities, including land restoration; endangered species habitat protection; cost-sharing range and ranch improvements; and land conservation projects.

We invite you to explore our website and learn more about our efforts.


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