Purpose and Overview

The Diablo Trust is the forum for the collaborative management of our intermingled ownership land area. We bring together a wide range of land managers and stakeholders in order to maximize the efficiency and effectiveness of a collaborative stewardship process that has a proven track record of making a difference on the land.

We are comprised of ranchers, Federal and State agency personnel, environmentalists, university scientists and students, recreationists, and other citizens working together to achieve a variety of goals by engaging a collaborative stewardship process.

Land type varies from eastern desert grasslands (5,010 feet elevation), through east-central shrub-grasslands, central woodland/ grassland, west-central woodland (PJ)/ forest, riparian canyons, Western forest (Ponderosa Pine) up to 7,660 feet elevation.

Key goals are sustaining open space (preventing land fragmentation); sustaining biological diversity; sustaining multiple-generation stewards working on the land; producing high quality food; protecting watersheds with stable living soils; restoring historic grasslands; enhancing wildlife corridors; achieving community of place.


Diablo” refers to Diablo Canyon, which forms the main watershed drainage of the area and
is the boundary separating the Bar T Bar and Flying M ranches. “Trust” refers to the trusting
relationship that holds the collaborative group together. The Diablo Trust is a land trust in
the fiduciary sense of the term.


The Diablo Trust operates as an informal collaboration of land managers, and other interested stakeholders which meets monthly to discuss and work on issues of mutual interest and benefit to the land.

  • Diablo Trust maintains an office on the NAU campus in Peterson Hall.
  • Jeremy Krones is the program manager, and can be contacted at (928) 523-0588; info@diablotrust.org; PO Box 3058, Flagstaff, AZ 86003-3058
  • The website is www.diablotrust.org, and contains a regularly-updated listing of programs and archives of photos and documents.
  • Diablo Trust was legally incorporated as a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization in 1998 under the name Diablo Canyon Group.
  • Board of Directors (alphabetically, 2018): Diana Kessler, Norm Lowe, Kit Metzger, Ellen Parish, Chuck Phillips, Bob Prosser, Judy Prosser, Bill Towler, Norm Wallen, Stephen Williams
  • Diablo Trust is not a membership organization, and no fees are attached to participation. All are welcome to attend meetings and functions, and may be included on the mailing list by request.
  • Funding is through donations, fundraising events, and grants for operations and special projects. Volunteer labor is provided by many participants for events and land projects.
  • Committees or working groups (listed below) are formed as needed to work on goal areas and special projects and issues.

Key Collaborators

Diablo Trust is open to all who wish to attend and participate – to create a place-based democratic community participatory process involving stakeholders and citizens. (See Collaborators)

Participants include

  1. Land & resource owners & managers: Bar T Bar and Flying M ranches, directors and staff of Coconino National Forest, AZ State Land Department, and AZ Game & Fish Department
  2. Directors, staff, students and members of non-owner land and resource agencies, institutions, and formal groups including: Coconino County, Natural Resource Conservation Service, US Geological Survey, Northern Arizona University, Prescott College, University of Arizona Cooperative Extension, Museum of Northern Arizona, Merriam-Powell Center for Environmental Research, Hopi Tribe, Arizona Wildlife Federation, Arizona Antelope Foundation, Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, Coconino Trail Riders, among others
  3. Other non-formal participants including: concerned citizens, environmentalists, recreationists, public school teachers and students, artists, neighboring ranchers and businesses.


The Diablo Trust, as an organization, promotes and facilitates the following goals:

  1. Land stewards live in a safe and secure, aesthetically pleasing and ecologically functioning setting;
  2. Our rural land culture is prosperous and composed of multiple generations;
  3. Ranchers are recognized as the key to maintaining land health and open spaces;
  4. Ranchers, agencies, academia, and community members contribute to expanding our knowledge base about our resources;
  5. Decision makers commit to, and participate in, planning project implementation, and monitoring;
  6. The Diablo Trust’s greater community of supporters provides and discusses ideas and resources for our continued longevity;
  7. Diablo Trust provides education and outreach to itself and the greater community;
  8. The land-based enterprises continue to be economically advantageous for the ranches;
  9. Wildlife populations are diverse and economically advantageous to both the ranches and the local communities;
  10. Grasslands, woodlands, and forests are well-managed using all available tools;
  11. Recreation is diverse, well-managed, and compatible with other land uses and economically advantageous to both the ranches and local communities;
  12. Wide-open spaces and scenic beauty are maintained;
  13. A healthy water cycle predominates the landscape;
  14. Organic matter increases in the soil, and bare ground diminishes across all landscape zones;
  15. Vegetation is vigorous, has a diverse composition, and varied age structure across all zones.

Key strategies and activities

One of the key components of Diablo Trust’s success is the work that has been produced from cooperative planning and action. Committees form and select leadership as needed to do focused activities. Following are key groups, listing their main purpose and types of work they do.


Needed to facilitate collaboration of diverse groups and individuals. An Operations Team does monthly coordination.

Types of meetings include: Monthly or bi-monthly public meetings on topics of interest; an annual meeting with keynote speakers; an annual campout; land tours for various focus issues; fundraising events.

Ranch and land management

Needed to facilitate planning to comply with regulatory requirements and to meet sustainability goals of the ranches. Ranchers and regulating agencies take the lead for this work.

Types of activities include: Intensive livestock rotation under Best Management Planning for livestock maintains healthy plants and soil cover. NEPA environmental assessment needs, including comprehensive EIS and Range Management Plan for multiple ownership jurisdiction on the whole 426,000 acre land area covering six ecological zones; Biological Assessment & Evaluation. Ranch beef is being marketed locally.

Land and Watershed Projects

Needed to implement land improvement projects. A Projects working group prioritizes and coordinates this work.

Types of work done includes: Juniper removal for winter range and browse improvement for wildlife and livestock as well as erosion abatement and watershed stabilization. Much of this work is done for wildlife priorities as articulated by Arizona Game & Fish Department, funded by Game & Fish, NRCS and supported by stewardship agreements with the Coconino National Forest.


Needed to restore deteriorated habitats and attain biodiversity goals. A Wildlife working group prioritizes and coordinates this work.

Types of work done includes: Anderson Mesa antelope study (including collaring and tracking of animals by AZGF); prairie dog studies; extensive fence reconstruction for antelope passage; major water hauling efforts for drought relief (1 million gallons hauled in 2002); 17 year continuing rancher/multiple agency Forage Research Study Group (FRSG); riparian survey and stock pond fencing; and thousands of acres of land treated to improve key winter/spring habitat and migration routes for antelope.


Needed to check progress towards land health goals, and obtaining data for replanning. A Science and Monitoring working group coordinates this work.

Types of work done includes: Eleven year continuing study plots read by NAU’s Sisk Lab and Prescott College to compare types of grazing impacts to land; comprehensive Integrated Monitoring for Sustainability (IMfoS) program, including establishment of 77 long-term ecological monitoring plots; forest and grassland health research by NAU Forestry Department.

Roads and Recreation

Needed to monitor and control effects of heavy recreation impacts. The Operations team coordinates with recreation specialists.

Types of work done includes: An off highway vehicle (OHV) study and large meetings held in cooperation with local mountain bike, motorcycle groups and Forest Service. A Recreation Planning Process Panel (RecP3) is funded by the National Forest Foundation.

Land Use Planning

Needed to assure rural lands receive planning to promote and sustain long-term values. The Operations Team coordinates with agency planners.

Types of work done includes: A Rural Planning Area (RPA) plan document developed under State Statute and in coordination with Coconino County to address alternatives for sustainability and stewardship issues, including protection of open space values; planning for development of wind energy farms; exploration of ecological services Diablo Trust can provide society.


Needed to inform and involve a diverse public of all ages, backgrounds, and educations. An Education working group coordinates this work.

Types of works done include: Production of a one-hour interactive video and curriculum notebook produced in cooperation with NAU TV for grades 6-12, and presentation to many area schools, including several field trips; production of brochures and fact sheets.


Needed to involve creative interests of hundreds of people in appreciation of diverse resource values. An Artist working group coordinates activities.

Types of works done include: Over 100 visual, literary, and performing artists have participated in 2004, 2007 and the 2009 “Reflections on the Land” programs which have culminated in exhibits at the NAU’s Art Museum.