Sky Island Alliance is supporting landowners to enhance their natural resource management strategies. We strive to improve wildlife habitat and water sources for both native species and people throughout our region in Sonora. If you would like to learn more about our work, please contact our Mexico Projects Manager Zach Palma. Below are our current projects.

Rancho Agua de En Medio — Sky Island Alliance is partnering with Profauna, university students, and landowners at this ranch just east of Cananea to invest in regenerative ranching that’ll enhance habitat quality for the Rio Sonora watershed. Activities include the creation of erosion-control structures to improve soil quality and water retention. Cattle-exclusion fencing will also be installed to protect important riparian areas, and construction of a tree nursery is underway.

Rancho Agua Verde — SIA staff have been building a relationship with landowners at this northern Sonora ranch with several positive results and more on the horizon. So far, an additional paddock has been added for increased rotational grazing. Two spring restoration projects are underway. And currently both springs are receiving wildlife-friendly fencing to keep out cattle. Our staff is also helping the owners plan for future ecotourism possibilities, including visits to an underground cave, as an alternative income to cattle ranching.

Rancho El Cajete — in the face of drought and degrading soils, water shortages have been a continued problem for landowners at this ranch outside Moctezuma, Sonora. Our staff is leading restoration workdays with local students to construct erosion-control structures that’ll help retain water in the soil. And a rainwater-harvesting system has been designed with the family to provide water for all their ranch-house needs and to water native trees nearby.

Rancho El Mezquite — SIA staff have been working with landowners at this 10,000-acre ranch in northern Sonora to monitor wildlife like this black bear seen in January. An expedition with university students is planned for May 2023 to document springs, record flora and fauna, and evaluate the ecosystem’s health.

Rancho Los Fresnos — Rancho Los Fresnos is an ecologically important area with wetlands, located in the southern Huachuca Mountains along some of the last unwalled border within the region. Our staff are collaborating with The Nature Conservancy to support protection of the ranch’s riparian habitats, including springs like Agua Dulce.

Rancho Nuevo and Tombabi — we’re working with landowners at these ranches outside Moctezuma, Sonora, to monitor wildlife on a small scale, while taking advantage of proximity to the Universidad de la Sierra to host a wildlife-camera workshop with students. Our hope is to help provide these future biologists with the on-the-ground experience they need to be the next generation of stewards in the region.