Malpai Borderlands

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Arizona/New Mexico - In response to concerns about rangeland fragmentation associated with exurban development, ranching families, agency representatives, and conservation groups have organized to address management concerns through the Malpai Borderlands Group (see: http://www.malpaiborderlandsgroup.org). This group promotes large acreage conservation easements throughout the region as means to promote rangeland connectivity. Shrub encroachment and long-term loss of grass productivity are primary natural resource concerns. Fire, which is facilitated in areas free of exurban development, is a key conservation practice. Additional practices include mechanical brush management, prescribed grazing, and erosion control structures. The conservation challenge in this area is to maintain perennial grass cover and livestock production in the face periodic drought conditions via prescribed grazing and regular use of fire to limit shrub encroachment.

We have collected data sets from multiple sources of both a public and a private nature to assist in landscape scale analyses of the effects of management practices and landscape dynamics over time. Access to privately collected and held data sets require prior permission and registration (to be available soon).

How to access the Malpai portal: