San Pedro Riparian National Conservation Area
|San Pedro Riparian National Conservation Area|
IUCN category V (protected landscape/seascape)
Fall colors in the San Pedro RCNA
|Location||Cochise County, Arizona, USA|
|Nearest city||Sierra Vista, Arizona|
|Area||57,000 acres (230 km2)|
|Governing body||Bureau of Land Management|
The San Pedro Riparian National Conservation Area contains nearly 57,000 acres (230 km2) of public land in Cochise County, Arizona, between the international border and St. David, Arizona. The riparian area, where some 40 miles (64 km) of the upper San Pedro River meanders, was designated by Congress as a Riparian National Conservation Area on November 18, 1988. The primary purpose for the special designation is to protect and enhance the desert riparian ecosystem, a rare remnant of what was once an extensive network of similar riparian systems throughout the American Southwest. One of the most important riparian areas in the United States, the San Pedro River runs through the Chihuahuan Desert and the Sonoran Desert in southeastern Arizona. The river’s stretch in the southern San Pedro Valley is home to 84 species of mammals, 14 species of fish, 41 species of reptiles and amphibians, and 100 species of breeding birds. It also provides invaluable habitat for 250 species of migrant and wintering birds and contains archaeological sites representing the remains of human occupation from 13,000 years ago.
The area is administered by the Bureau of Land Management.