Wildlife

Wildlife is integral to the Diablo Trust lands and to Northern Arizona. The ranches and surrounding public lands are home to many wildlife species including deer, elk, pronghorn antelope, reptiles, mountain lion, and many types of birds.

Lack of winter precipitation in recent years brought the well-being of wildlife into the public eye and into local newspapers. The Wildlife Working Group, including agency personnel, ranchers, concerned citizens, and students, came together to look for solutions.

Past Projects:

With the help of local agencies, volunteers and the Arizona Wildlife Federation the Diablo Trust has removed old fences and worked to maintain existing ones on wetlands and lakes on Anderson Mesa.

Due to extreme drought conditions in 1996 and 2002, the Diablo Trust undertook a number of measures to aid wildlife, including:

  • hauling over 1,000,000 gallons of water in 2002;
  • improving roads to access and maintain water sources;
  • purchasing, installing, and maintaining many water tanks;
  • fencing off many drying lakes and tanks that were deadly mud bogs that can trap thirsty animals.

Elk in pasture (Diablo Trust archives)

The Diablo Trust also participated with the United States Forest Service in the Citizen’s Working Group for the Anderson Mesa Landscape Scale Assessment. The result was a document illustrating existing conditions, desired conditions, and possible management practices.

Antelope to the east (Diablo Trust archives)

Pronghorn Antelope on a hill (Diablo Trust archives)

The Wildlife Working Group participated in discussions with the Arizona Game and Fish Department, other agencies, organizations and volunteers concerning declining pronghorn populations. This resulted in the development of the Anderson Mesa Pronghorn Antelope Management Plan. The Trust only supports gunning coyotes on Anderson Mesa to promote greater survival of pronghorn fawns when it is part of an overall management plan.

Future Goals of the Wildlife Working Group:

  • Facilitate discussions on emerging wildlife issues.
  • Collaborate on potential opportunities for providing water for wildlife, especially pronghorn antelope, on Anderson Mesa and other priority areas.
  • Work with Northern Arizona University students to monitor the use of wildlife corridors established between Anderson Mesa and state and private land.
  • Promote the gathering of baseline wildlife information (including bird use) of the Hay Lake area, and changes in wildlife use of improved habitat areas.
  • Add to the baseline data on ephemeral lakes.
  • Work with various wildlife conservation organizations in Arizona and the region, such as the Arizona Antelope Foundation and others.
  • Continue support for private antelope surveys

We hope to make progress on every goal in the coming year. Volunteers are always needed and welcome!

Please contact the Wildlife committee Chairperson:
Tom Mackin -- tmmackin@q.com