Water Protection Fund Grant

Invading Pinyon-juniper woodland

The Arizona Association of Conservation Districts, in support of the Arizona Conservation Partnership, sought after $303,975 in funding from WPF for juniper control on the Brown Ranch in the Apache Natural Resource Conservation District which they received from Arizona Water Protection Fund. The ranch consists of private, State and BLM lands which have been extensively invaded by juniper. Increased brush cover has reduced soil protection, increased flood runoff, increased soil erosion and sediment production, and impacted riparian vegetation. Brush control will improve the watershed condition and contribute to Arizona Conservation Partnership’s goals of conserving resource productivity, enhancing wildlife, improving water quality, and restoring riparian vegetation. Pretreatment monitoring and required environmental and cultural clearances have been done, and some treatments have been applied with funds from BLM and NRCS, but the additional funding they received will help complete the juniper removal treatments. Funding from WPF will help advance this project and add WPF to the membership list of the Arizona Conservation Partnership which includes many other federal, state, local and private organizations. 

Heavily Invasive Pinyon-juniper woodland invading grasslands

Goals of the Arizona Conservation Partnership and Conservation Districts

  • Statewide strategic planning for cropland, forestland, and rangeland
  • Improvement, restoration, and conservation of soil, water resources of the State thereby conserving natural resource productivity, wildlife habitat, and enhancing water quality and riparian vegetation in rivers and streams
  • Developing partnerships through interdisciplinary collaboration with federal agencies, tribal, state, and local governments, private land owners, permit holders, non-profit and non-governmental organizations, and private industry
  • Obtain funding to work on the highest priority resource needs in focal areas

Goals of Brown Ranch Project

  • Controlling the extensive juniper invasion on the Brown Ranch within specified focal area.
  • Brown Ranch is a total of 70,000 acres with over 7,000 acres of Juniper targeted for removal.
  • Initial brush control project targets 2,000 acres in Fields 1-6 of the Southern Brown Ranch and will result in improved cover of perennial grasses and forbs.

Objective of Project

  • Reduce runoff and erosion by removing juniper, resulting in improved water quality and riparian conditions.