History and Accomplishments

1993 – 1999: Getting Started


  • The Flying M and Bar T Bar ranches hold a series of public meetings on ranching and public land management. This results in the establishment of the Diablo Trust.


  • Diablo Trust incorporates as a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.
  • USDA designates the Diablo Trust as a National Reinvention Government Laboratory. This designation allowed the Trust, with cooperation of all federal agencies, to “demonstrate innovative approaches to restore and maintain natural processes that create and protect a healthy landscape that supports a diverse flourishing community of human, plant and animal life in the Diablo Trust Land Area.”
  • We publish “Purpose, Goal, Objectives & Desired Landscape Descriptions of the Diablo Trust” which remains our guiding document to this day.


  • Diablo Trust receives the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Award “in recognition of your efforts to protect and preserve the environment.”

2000 – 2006: Deepening the Connections of Community to the Land


  • The Artists’ Program kicks off with its first Artists’ Day on the Land and subsequent, two-month Reflections on the Land art exhibit; this becomes a Diablo Trust institution, exhibiting in 2004, 2007 and 2009.
  • Northern Arizona University and Prescott College, with the Diablo Trust ranches, develop a comparative grazing research project that is still monitored in 2011.
  • Results of the study, titled “Impact of Grazing Intensity during Drought in an Arizona Grassland,” are published in Conservation Biology Volume 21, No. 1, 2007.


  • Landscape-scale grassland restoration project is conceived in partnership with Arizona Game & Fish Department. This will detail over 70,000 acres of planned treatments and result in over 40,000 acres treated over the next decade.


  • Education & Outreach efforts result in quarterly newsletter, now called “Ground Truth,” and the organization’s first website is designed and goes live.
  • Environmental field trip curriculum is designed and implemented in local Flagstaff schools, grades 6-11; the program focuses on rangeland health.


  • Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) is completed, detailing a wide scope of management practices designed to maintain and enhance open spaces and wildlife corridors, among other long-term priorities.


  • Ranchers, Coconino County Board of Supervisors and planners, and local stakeholders meet to discuss economic options that extend beyond ranching; this results in the Diablo Canyon Rural Planning Area (RPA) – a document, developed under State statute, that will guide future economic
  • Development of our 426,000-acre working landscape area.
  • Grassland restoration work is in full swing – thousands of acres of juniper are being treated through clipping, agra-axe and chaining to facilitate better pronghorn antelope habitat and more diverse grasslands. This work is made possible through Wildlife Habitat Improvement Plan (WHIP) and Environmental Quality Improvement Plan (EQIP) cost sharing. Treatments are completed with the help of Arizona Game and Fish, Arizona State Lands Department, Natural Resource Conservation Services (NRCS), Flying M and Bar T Bar ranches, Coconino Rural Environmental Corps (CREC) crews, and local volunteers. Work continues into 2011 with over 40,000 acres treated to date across state, private and federal land.
  • The Landowner Incentive Program (LIP), through Arizona Game and Fish, grants the Diablo Trust $285,000 to treat private lands for the next 2 years.
  • Diablo Trust is honored with the Arizona Association for Environmental Education’s Organization of the Year Award, “in recognition of valuable contributions to Creating Land Stewardship in Northern Arizona.”


  • The 660 page Final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the Bar T Bar and Anderson Springs Allotment Management Plans is completed.
  • Diablo Trust, agency representatives and local stakeholders develop the Integrated Monitoring for Sustainability (IMfoS) program, a comprehensive monitoring system designed to inform management decisions and integrate monitoring protocols and data-sharing across multiple agencies and jurisdictions.
  • Anderson Mesa Pronghorn Antelope Management Plan is developed by Diablo Trust, Flying M ranch, Bar T Bar ranch, Arizona Game and Fish, and the Coconino National Forest to address declining pronghorn antelope population. The plan is designed in concert with the on-going grassland restoration work.


Diablo Trust is awarded the USDA Forest Service National Rangeland Management Award, “in recognition of your outstanding efforts to promote sound rangeland

  • stewardship on the Coconino National Forest.”
  • National Cattlemen’s Beef Association honors Diablo Trust with their Regional Environmental Stewardship Award & National Award Finalist, “in recognition of your outstanding stewardship practices and conservation achievements protecting the environment, improving fish and wildlife habitats, and leaving the land in better shape for future generations while also inspiring the next generation of land stewards.”
  • The Diablo Canyon Rural Planning Area, the planning area dedicated to working landscapes in Arizona, is recognized and awarded the Arizona Governor’s Excellence in Rural Development and the Western Planners Association Sheldon D. Gerber Merit Award for Excellence in Environmental Planning.
  • Diablo Trust is honored with the Natural Area Conference’s Carl N. Becker Stewardship Award. “The Diablo Trust confronted several seemingly intractable issues and used the diverse skills of its membership and an open approach to consensus-building to identify solutions to protection of wildlife habitat on the Colorado Plateau. We acknowledge the dedication and sustained commitment of the Diablo Trust which has insured that thousands of acres of habitat will sustain viable wildlife populations for the enjoyment of future generations of Americans. In building effective conservation partnerships, the Diablo Trust serves as an example to other groups of what can be accomplished by working together in support of conservation. The Natural Areas Association 2006 Carl N. Becker Stewardship Award honors the dedication, commitment, vision and leadership of the Diablo Trust to conservation and stewardship of natural areas.”
  • Dr. Thomas Sisk, Professor of Conservation Biology at Northern Arizona University, publishes “Ten years of Conservation Science with the Diablo Trust,” in Ground Truth.

2007 – 2011: A New Era of Ecosystem Stewardship


  • Board of Directors grows for the first time since 1998, expanding to 17 as a result of two-year-long development and recruitment process.
  • Second of three Annual Gatherings of the Sustainers of the West, co-hosted with the Museum of Northern Arizona, brings a range of active and prospective donors out to Diablo Trust to hear about conservation work on the Colorado Plateau, enjoy a Pit Barbeque and live music.


  • Annual Meeting on “Taking the Wreck out of Recreation” features Dr. Rick Knight of Colorado State University, and furthers the design and development of the Recreation Management Plan addenda to the Diablo Canyon Rural Planning Area.
  • Second round of IMfoS monitoring is conducted. Revised and streamlined, IMfoS is now institutionalized within Diablo Trust and participating agencies and proves to be a model for innovative, collaborative monitoring in the West.
  • Diablo Trust launches its “One Dollar Per Acre” fundraising campaign, designed to integrate the emerging language of Ecosystem Stewardship in long-standing and ongoing collaborative land management practices and priorities.
  • National Forest Foundation approves the Diablo Trust for funding through the Collaborative Support Program with a grant of $10,000 for the Recreation Management Planning Project. Coconino County and local recreation-based organizations also contribute to the project with cash and in-kind donations.
  • 2009
  • Annual Meeting on “What the Heck are Ecosystem Services?” features Dr. Tim Crews of Prescott College.


  • Funded by the Blackstone Ranch Institute, Diablo Trust hosts a gathering of western, ranching-based collaboratives and academics specializing in Ecosystem Services, in Phoenix. This group will make up much of the core organizers of the 2011 Ecosystem Services Workshop at Colorado State University (see below).
  • The Collaborative Resource and Operational Plan (CROP) designed to address agency turnover and discontinuity; this plan includes input from state and federal agency representatives, ranchers, and Diablo Trust regarding working history, monitoring, and maps to maximize effectiveness of past, current and future land projects.
  • Forage Resource Study Group (FRSG) now in its 20th year. This long standing multiparty monitoring group involves ranches, Arizona State Land Department, Arizona Game and Fish and goes out into the field three times a year, come rain, dust storms or snow, to track precipitation and the utilization of priority forage species.


  • Annual Meeting on “Regional Success in Landscape-scale Collaborative Conservation” features Malpai Borderlands Group, Laramie Foothills Group, Altar Valley Conservation Alliance and Diablo Trust - each telling their story of work in the Radical Center.
  • We help organize and participate in the widely-attended “Marketing Environmental Services on Working Lands of the American West” workshop at Colorado State University in Fort Collins, Colorado.


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