Trust Awarded $15M In Grants

Arizona Land and Water Trust awarded $3.5M in federal, state military grants. Awards exceed $15M over past two years.

Arizona Land and Water Trust was awarded an additional $3.5 million in federal and state grants last month to advance its land and water conservation efforts in partnership with Fort Huachuca.

The Trust has now been awarded more than $15 million in federal and state grants in the last two years for its work with Fort Huachuca and has protected nearly 3,000 acres of working ranch lands around the Fort with more projects on the horizon.

The most recent grants are:

A $2.6 million Readiness & Environmental Protection Integration (REPI) award from the U.S. Department of Defense, one of only three given this year.

$900,000 from the Arizona Department of Military Affairs’ Military Installation Fund (MIF) program.

Both the REPI and MIF programs are vital tools aimed at preventing development and encroachment that can hinder or restrict the missions of military installations. This protection from development will support Fort Huachuca’s 160,000 annual air operations, including flight patterns used by A-10 and F-16 training aircraft, and reduce proliferation of electromagnetic interference with electronic testing.

Because historic working ranch lands constitute most of the landscape under Fort Huachuca’s military airspace and in its Buffalo Soldier Electronic Testing Range, this funding will also help permanently protect agricultural landscapes through the purchase of conservation easements from willing landowners. The protection will also prevent degradation of water resources within the San Pedro River watershed.

“Fort Huachuca’s partnership with the Arizona Land and Water Trust is critical to sustaining the installation’s ability to support its multiple missions, including critical cyber defense and unmanned aviation testing and training,” said Kristin Thomasgard-Spence, Program Director in the REPI Program Office of the Deputy Under Secretary of Defense.

“Their approach to conserving ranchlands and groundwater resources ensures Fort Huachuca’s viability as an important Army installation and the protection of numerous endangered or protected species, while also reducing development and maintaining an electromagnetically quiet environment under key military airspace.”

Additional partners in this project include the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, U.S. Forest Service, State of Arizona and the landowners who are working with the Trust to permanently restrict development on over 3,500 acres near Fort Huachuca.

“By bringing together local, state, and federal stakeholders, the partnership continues to advance our mutual goals of defending military readiness and protecting the natural landscape that Fort Huachuca calls home,” Thomasgard-Spence said.

“The Trust has been an invaluable partner in our efforts to reduce potential encroachment around Ft. Huachuca while maintaining our ranches and grasslands. The health needs of the Babocomari and the San Pedro Rivers is also being sustained through this process”, states U.S. Army Retired Colonel Tom Finnegan, Co-Chair of the Arizona Military Affairs Commission.

Liz Petterson, Executive Director of the Trust, said the Trust owes much of its success to its “incredible supporters and our landowner, agency, military, and foundation partners.”

“Together, we are able to attract significant conservation funding to Southern Arizona, which is a direct result of the private dollars the Trust is able to secure and then leverage. Our work is a true community partnership effort.”

We thank you, our supporters, for your dedication to our work and mission, along with our project partners who include:

  • Arizona Department of Agriculture
  • Arizona Antelope Foundation
  • Arizona Game and Fish Department
  • Arizona State Forestry Division
  • University of Arizona Cooperative Extension
  • University of Arizona Department of Hydrology and Water Resources
  • Audubon’s Appleton-Whittell Research Ranch
  • Borderlands Restoration
  • Bureau of Land Management
  • Cienega Watershed Partnership
  • Cochise County Board of Supervisors
  • Congressman Raul Grijalva
  • Congresswoman Martha McSally
  • Desert Landscape Conservation Cooperative
  • Governor Doug Ducey
  • Ecosystem Economics
  • Fort Huachuca
  • Hereford Natural Resources Conservation District
  • Santa Cruz Board of Supervisors
  • Santa Cruz Natural Resources Conservation District
  • Sky Island Alliance
  • U.S. Department of Defense
  • U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
  • U.S. Forest Service
  • U.S. Geological Survey
  • Western Regional Partnership

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