Size: 7,447 acres
Location: Sierra County
Eco-Region: Arizona-New Mexico Mountains, Chihuahua Desert
Conservation Values: Agriculture, Scenic Open Space, Wildlife Habitat
Type of Project: Donated Conservation Easement
Date Completed: December, 2004
The Berrenda Creek Ranch conservation easement is located in the foothills of the Mimbres and Black Ranges, approximately 15 miles southwest of Hillsboro. The ranch consists primarily of Chihuahua desert grassland and scrub, with pinyon-juniper woodland at the higher elevations and riparian zones along Berrenda and Jaralosa creeks. The property provides excellent natural habitat for elk, mule deer, pronghorn antelope, javelina, mountain lion, black bear, and a variety of small mammals and birds. The property is interspersed with Bureau of Land Management and State lands, and is located nearby the Gila National Forest. The property is located along State Highway 27, which has been designated as a National Backcountry Byway, and is nearby the Lake Valley Historic (Mining) District.
The property is adjacent to two other protected ranches owned by the landowner – the Lake Valley Ranch and the Double Lightning Ranch – and is thus part of a larger protected landscape totaling nearly 15,000 acres. NMLC holds a conservation easement over Lake Valley Ranch and The Nature Conservancy holds a conservation easement over the Double Lightning Ranch. The property is currently being used for livestock production, and ecological and archaeological research. The property is part of an innovative conservation development and is also occasionally used for passive recreational uses by adjacent homeowners.