The Malpai Borderlands Group is organized and led by ranchers who live and work primarily in Southeast Arizona and Southwest New Mexico. It is a collaborative effort that is built around goals shared by neighbors within our community. Our group originated as a series of informal discussions among ranching neighbors who recognized that a way of life, and a wild landscape, that they all loved was being threatened by spread of development and subdivision from nearby towns.
The Malpai Borderlands Group was formally organized as a non-profit organization in 1994. Since then, we have pursued activities in several program areas directed at protecting and restoring the ecological diversity and productivity of our land:
Land protection: We have protected 78,000 acres of private land through conservation easements, which will protect it as natural wildlife habitat and productive ranch land by preventing subdivision and development.
Innovative cooperative land management: Our group invented the concept of “Grassbanking” by which neighboring ranchers who were experiencing serious drought could rest their ranches from grazing by moving their herds to the Gray Ranch under reciprocal conservation agreements.
Habitat restoration: We have undertaken many restoration projects to restore native grassland and savanna habitat, including an ambitious goal of restoring fire as a natural landscape process. We have cooperated with numerous agency and private partners to conduct prescribed fire over 69,000 acres. Our monitoring has shown that our projects are resulting in improved ecological condition over many thousands of acres.
Community outreach: To enable others to benefit from our work we host several meetings each year that are focused on sharing new scientific and land management information with our neighbors and cooperators.