Aravaipa Canyon is noted for its ~20-mile perennial desert stream, majestic cliffs, and wildlife. Aravaipa Creek cuts through the northern end of the Galiuro Mountains and drains into the San Pedro River. The Nature Conservancy’s 54,000-acre Aravaipa Canyon Preserve (ACP) includes lands at both the east and west ends of the canyon as well as preserve lands intermixed with public land. The canyon hosts one of the most intact native fish assemblages in Arizona, over 200 species of birds, and a suite of charismatic fauna including desert bighorn sheep, black bears, bobcats, coatimundi, ringtailed cats, coyotes, and mountain lions. ACP protects the riparian canyon, the surrounding table lands, and the ecosystem that it supports. Fish monitoring, controlled burning, and other conservation management activities on ACP are directed toward ensuring the long-term protection of the stream system and its mixed broadleaf riparian forest composed of cottonwood, willow, walnut, alder, and sycamore trees.

by Evan Pilling, published February 8, 2019