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Malpai Borderlands Group
© MBG, 2013.
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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.
The Malpai Borderlands area (click here for map) 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.
The Malpai Borderlands Groupís 2013 Science Conference was convened at the Cochise College Little Theater on Tuesday, January 8, 2013. Attendance was down a little this year from the past two or three years, but we still had one hundred and seven people register for this yearís meeting. Executive Director and Board Member Bill McDonald welcomed attendees to kick off the conference.