Today we went hiking (well, it was more like walking because the trail was pretty flat) at the San Pedro National Conservation Area (SPRNCA), about 12 miles east of where we're staying at Ft. Huachuca Army Post in Sierra Vista, AZ. SPRNCA was established in 1988 to protect one of the rarest ecosystems in the US -- a desert riparian forest.
Riparian means located near a river or stream -- in this case the San Pedro River which flows north from Mexico. In the early 1900s, the land was overgrazed and damaged. Now it’s being restored by the Bureau of Land Management with help from volunteers and is home to 82 kinds of mammals, 350 types of birds, and (in the early fall) 250 species of butterflies.
|You can barely see Bev in front of this huge Cottonwood |
tree near the SPRNCA visitors' center. The tree is 36 feet
|Jim and Cooper at the San Pedro River.|