Size: 160 acres
Location: Grant County
Eco-Region: Arizona-New Mexico Mountains
Conservation Values: Scenic Open Space, Wildlife Habitat
Type of Project: Donated Conservation Easement
Date Completed: December, 2006
The XSX Ranch – consisting of two separately-owned properties and, therefore, two conservation easements – is located along the East Fork of the Gila River, approximately 40 miles north of Silver City in Grant County. The properties are in-holdings within the Gila Wilderness Area, administered by the Gila National Forest. The XSX Ranch comprises 160 acres of mixed pinyon-juniper woodland, grasslands, and a deciduous, gallery forest of cottonwoods, willows, sycamores and walnuts along a one-third mile stretch of the East Fork of the Gila River. With some of the highest biodiversity values in the southwest part of the state, these vegetative communities and the river and provide important habitat for mule deer, elk, black bear, mountain lion, and a variety of federal and state threatened and endangered species, including Southwest willow flycatcher, yellow-billed cuckoo, bald eagle, peregrine falcon, Mexican spotted owl, loach minnow and spikedace. In addition to the wildlife and scenic open space values protected by the conservation easements, the easement on one of the properties also protects a significant pre-Colombian cultural site.