The majority of the land in the Winkelman Natural Resource Conservation Dis- trict is in eastern Pinal County, but covers part of Gila, Graham, and Pima. It encompasses 1.6 million acres. The San Pedro River Valley and the Aravaipa Canyon are two of the special natural features in the District. The mining industry is the major activity of the district along with the State and Federal Prison systems in Florence. The second largest activity is livestock, agricultural, and agronomic re- lated businesses. Other towns include Kearny, Winkelman, Hayden, San Manuel, Mammoth, Saddlebrooke and Oracle.

Physical Features

Elevation: 1,550 ft. near Florence at Gila River to 8,400 ft. at the Catalina Mountains

Terrain: Chihuahuan-Sonoran, Semi-Desert Grasslands, to Upper Sonoran Desert, and Mexican Oak-Pine Forest

Precipitation: Average of 7-25″ annually, varying with elevation

Land Ownership in Winkleman

  • Federal 397,523 acres
  • State Trust 889,777 acres
  • Private 292,938 acres

Primary Resource Concerns

  • Soil Erosion
  • Water Quantity/Quality
  • Soil Condition
  • Air Quality
  • Animal/Plant Conditions

Conservation Practices on the Ground

  • Watering Facilities, Pipe/Spring Development
  • Prescribed Grazing
  • Fencing Lines
  • Improved Irrigation Management and Efficiencies
  • Seeding Trails
  • Installation of Renewable Energy Production Systems

District Highlights 

The Winkelman Natural Resource Conservation District will work with and provide guidance to rural property owners, farmers and ranchers for the protection, restoration and conservation of land, water and soil resources of the District and State to include the preservation of water rights and the control and prevention of soil erosion. There are 24 farm units and 50 ranch units that utilize 795,155 acres or 97% of the land resource. Much of the mining property is used in conjunction with livestock grazing. Agronomic croplands, approximately 4,920 acres, produce varied commodi- ties. Listed in respective order of acres planted these crops are: irrigated pasture, hay, small grains, grain sorghum, cotton, pecans, apples, citrus, and smaller amounts of other varied crops.

The District will assist private property owners in conserving natural resources, fish and wildlife and their habitat, rivers and streams and associated riparian habitats, protecting the tax base, protecting public lands, and assisting private property owners to make viable and responsible use of their pri- vate lands. It will utilize available resources to monitor fish, wildlife and plant species within the dis- trict, and recommend appropriate action for their protection. Winkelman will invoke coordination with any Federal Agency connected with the Federal Land Policy Act and Management Act in order to coordinate future action within the District to further our goals, plans ,and policies.

Our District is very much influenced by the growing urban centers of the Sun Corridor. Off High- way Vehicle use and the degradation it causes is of paramount concern, as is garbage and littering in general. We have tried to sponsor and support State Legislation to control so of the rampant disre- gard for the environment and private property we are experiencing. The District has spear headed a county wide taskforce on the illegal dumping issue. This culminated with the publication “A Guide to All Things Garbage”.

The San Pedro River and Aravaipa Canyon are two very special ecological areas in the district. We have been very active in protecting these areas by coordinating with Federal Agencies on NEPA re- lated projects. There has also been scientific input into the decisions to list endangered spe- cies such as the Sonoran Desert Tortoise.


Contact Information

P.O. Box 486

Kearny, AZ 85137