Malpai Borderlands Conservation Cost Share Projects 2023

By Don Decker, NRCS MBG Coordinator


The Malpai Borderlands Group has entered into grant agreements with the United States Fish & Wildlife Service-New Mexico and Arizona.  These grants help to fund cost share projects for certain conservation practices in the MBG area.  The monies are for projects on private lands that have a benefit to wildlife and could include creation of permanent water sources, wildlife friendly fencing, erosion control structures and/or brush management.  A 50/50 cost share between the rancher and the grant monies is used.  Six projects were completed in the past year.  2,060 feet of wildlife friendly livestock fence was installed in the San Simon Valley side of the MBG area.  This will greatly aid the ranch in its grazing rotation and deferment options.  11,856 feet of wildlife friendly livestock boundary fence was also installed on the San Simon side of the MBG area.  This replaces a decrepit, dangerous net wire fence that was there previously.  A dirt tank cleanout was completed in the upper Animas Valley.  Another dirt tank clean out was performed in the Pelloncillo Mountains.  4,292 feet of wildlife friendly livestock division fence was completed in the upper Animas Valley.  A nonfunctioning trough was replaced by a large wildlife friendly trough.  The water development improvements will help with grazing management distribution and livestock rotational options, and they will be available full time for nearby wildlife.  These improvements will greatly aide in the application of proper grazing management on these ranches along with improving livestock distribution.  Wildlife of all kinds will be benefited with more available water in the area along with better habitat connectivity created by more wildlife friendly fencing.  All these conservation practices were designed and built according to NRCS specifications. 

As the MBG Project Coordinator and an advisor to the MBG for the Natural Resources Conservation Service, I work with the ranchers to help plan out these potential project proposals.  I also work with the ranchers on practice design and complete a construction inspection after completion, which I report back to the MBG.  Although the ranchers had desired to do these projects for quite a while, with the MBG cost share funding half of the project, it helped to get the projects done sooner.  The Malpai Borderlands cost share projects help to put needed conservation in place, while working voluntarily with interested ranchers.  The extra funding provides the needed incentive to move the projects from the planning list into reality on the ground.  If this grant is deemed successful at quickly implementing important wildlife friendly conservation practices, more funding could be possible in the future.



Last Updates:  12/8/21

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