Gila River NRCD

The Gila River NRCD is located along the Gila River in Central Arizo- na. This area is mainly Sonoran desert shrub and receives low rainfall. There is some livestock grazing on the desert, especially when winter rain is abundant, but year round carrying capacity is low. The prima- ry agricultural production in the District is on irrigated land which
produces cotton, hay and other crops.

Conservation Practices on the Ground

  • Improved Irrigation Management and Efficiencies

  • Soil Conservation

  • Monitoring Sites & Training

  • 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 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
Wildfire in the Apache District

Wildfire Relief

In the summer of 2011, the Wallow Fire, the largest wildfire in Arizona history, burned a significant portion of the area. The District was actively involved in helping solve two major problems associated with this fire. Because of the fire, thousands of elk were displaced from their normal range and often congregated on private lands and meadows at the lower elevation where they had significant impact on forage and hay produced for livestock on these lands. The District worked with the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, the Rocky Mountain Elk Society, and the Arizona Game and Fish Department to provide free hay worth $175,000 to landowners to offset these losses.

Emergency Watershed Program

Another major concern due to the Wallow Fire was the threat of flooding and soil erosion on denuded watersheds. The District worked cooperatively with NRCS and Apache County to implement the Emergency Watershed Program. Thirteen projects were implemented to protect the communities of Greer, Eagar/Springerville, Alpine, Southfork, and Nutrioso. These measures will protect 322 people, 92 homes, and numerous roads and utilities. Projected costs are $656,000. The District also partnered with the Watershed Improvement Council to obtain a $250,000 grant for watershed conservation in the Coyote Creek Watershed.

Watershed Project

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

District Contact Information

Sharon Fisher, Clerk
(928) 333-4941 ext. 3

P.O. Box 329, Spingerville, AZ 85938