Apache NRCD

Conservation Practices

  • Coordinated Resource Management Plans

  • Monitoring Sites & Training

  • Wildfire Relief

  • Emergency Watershed Program

  • Rural & Urban Conservation Education

Primary Resource Concerns

  • Wildfire

  • Soil Erosion & Flood Damage

  • Water Availability, Quantity, & Quality

  • Air Quality

  • Conservation Educational Programs

District Contact Information

Sharon Fisher, Clerk

sharon.fisher@az.nacdnet.net

(928) 333-4941 ext. 3

P.O. Box 329, Springerville, AZ 85938

District Meeting information

The next meeting is scheduled for: TBD

Scroll to the bottom of the page to download agenda and minutes

About the District

The lands within the Apache NRCD range from some of the highest elevations in Arizona in the White Mountains down into the semi-arid grasslands in the northern portion of the District. It includes the headwaters of rivers flowing into the most important river systems in Arizona: the Little Colorado, Salt River, and San Francisco River.

Agriculture, mainly ranching, is an important industry in the District and neighboring areas. Most ranches operate on a mixture of private, State, BLM, Forest Service, and other land ownerships. Livestock are often grazed in the high mountains in the summer and on lower grasslands during the winter. Hunting (e.g. elk), fishing, skiing, and other outdoor recreation are also major contributors to the local economy.

Physical Features

  • White Mountains
  • Arid/Semi-arid grasslands characterized by low rainfall
  • Pinyon/Juniper savannah characterized by clumps of trees interspersed with open, grassy meadows
  • Riparian areas & alpine forest characterized by higher-than-average rainfall, ponderosa pines and mixed-conifer, and rare high-alpine wet-meadow habitat

Land Use

Agriculture, mainly ranching, is an important industry in the District and neighboring areas. Most ranches operate on a mixture of private, State, BLM, Forest Service, and other land ownerships. Pronghorn sheep and elk roam the open range alongside cattle.

Board Members

  • Daric Knight, Chairman
  • Macky Trickey Jr., Vice-Chairman
  • Don Lann, Treasurer
  • Milo Andrus, Secretary
  • Kevin Burk, Supervisor

District Highlights

Coordinated Resource Management Plans

Because of the interdependence of land uses on different land ownerships, the District has put a high priority on its unique ability to coordinate various agencies and interest groups to benefit agricultural producers and the other citizens of the area. These efforts include such things as helping to develop Coordinated Resource Management Plans that help provide a unified approach to management, and improvement of ranch operations across ownership boundaries, and cooperative range and watershed monitoring efforts with the State Land Dept., Arizona Game and Fish, Fish and Wildlife Dept., U of A Extension Service, U.S. Forest Service, and the Natural Resource Conservation Service. The District also provides coordination and educational efforts on noxious weeds, which must be addressed across ownerships.

Cattle on Rangeland - Apache NRCD
Mechanical Brush Management
PC: Apache NRCD/NRCS
Mechanical Brush Management PC: Apache NRCD/NRCS

Brush Management

Brush management practices in the Apache District are critical. Invasive Pinyon/Juniper trees are encroaching into historical grassland areas and are removed predominately by mechanical mastication. Chemical and push treatments are also applied, which improves forage for both wildlife and livestock and can reduce sheet/rill erosion.

Fencing/Grazing Management Practices
PC: Apache NRCD/NRCS

Fencing & Prescribed Grazing

Controlling how and when livestock can access rangeland is called grazing management. Proper grazing management can be applied to rangelands to achieve the objectives of sustainable livestock production, environmental protection, and accommodation of other values such as wildlife habitat and water quality. Fencing creates pastures to allow for rotation, giving that area time to "rest" after cattle are moved off the area.

Water Development Tanks, Troughs, Wells, Pumps, & Pipelines

Water development for livestock and wildlife include several practices: well drilling, pumping equipment, storage, pipelines, drinking troughs, ponds, and spring development. These practices are used to provide water in areas where none exists, or to increase the amount and/or reliability of water supply where existing sources are inadequate or unreliable.

Rainfall levels can vary significantly across the District and in any given year. Even in areas with higher rainfall, the drought conditions that Arizona faces will make the development of watering systems vital for both livestock and wildlife. An additional challenge that is faced in this area involves the influence of the Coconino Aquifer. In many areas of the District, the Coconino Aquifer is the only source of water that can be economically tapped into to provide water. This water is caustic due to the paleo-marine geologic formations it passes through and can cause damage to metal pipes or fittings in as little as a year; therefore, plastic-based pipes are typically the preferred choice.

Snow Surveys

Measuring snowpack for use in predicting spring/summer runoff and future moisture trends for the state. Manual surveys help remove some of the error and calibrate the SNOTEL automated systems.

Snow Survey
PC: Apache NRCD/NRCS
Snow Survey PC: Apache NRCD/NRCS

Seasonal High Tunnels

Installation of structures that allow an extension of the growing season by keeping the soil and air warm longer and sooner. Strong spring/fall winds require sturdy, wind-resistant designs.

 

Seasonal High Tunnels
PC: Apache NRCD/NRCS
Seasonal High Tunnels PC: Apache NRCD/NRCS

Farmland Improvements

Irrigation water systems and land-leveling are the most common types of practices on farmlands in the District. Center-pivots and other water-wise systems are becoming more popular due to the continuing drought.

Land-leveling
PC: Apache NRCD/NRCS
Land-leveling PC: Apache NRCD/NRCS

Apache Conservation Education Center

The District also has an active Education Center, which provides conservation education opportunities in the area. Through this Center, the District has cooperated with the National Riparian Services Team, the University of Arizona Extension Service, and local ranchers on training programs for monitoring and management of riparian systems. The Center also provides scholarships for local students to further education and careers in agriculture/conservation fields.

Partnership - Education and Monitoring, Riparian Area
Partnership - Education and Monitoring, Riparian Area

Meeting Agendas

Meeting Minutes