Size: 94 acres
Location: Cibola County
Eco-Region: Arizona-New Mexico Mountains
Conservation Values: Agriculture, Scenic Open Space, Wildlife Habitat
Type of Project: Donated Conservation Easement
Date Completed: November 2009
The EC Bar Ranch is located adjacent to the Coronado Trail Scenic Byway in the White Mountains of eastern Arizona and has been nationally recognized through newspaper and magazine publicity for riparian corridor conservation projects. The EC Bar Ranch is a working cattle ranch that includes 3 miles of Nutrioso Creek, a perennial stream that has been restored in recent years to one of the highest standards for water quality and aquatic/wildlife habitat in Arizona. The controlled timing, duration, and frequency of livestock grazing through riparian pastures have helped in the restoration process. The property has been grazed historically, but the landowner has made significant efforts to implement stream restoration in concurrence with sustainable grazing practices.
The property consists of significant natural habitat along a key tributary of the Little Colorado River. Nutrioso Creek provides important habitat for plants and animals including the Little Colorado River Spinedace, which is listed under the Federal Endangered Species Act; potential habitat for the Southwestern Willow Flycatcher and Arizona Willow; and other species of special concern listed in Arizona by the Arizona Game & Fish Department. Nutrioso Creek also serves as important breeding habitat and a migration corridor for a great number and variety of passerine birds.