Primary threats to wildlands in the region

There are many factors contributing to unhealthy biological communities and landscapes in the Sonoran Desert, Sky Islands, and Madrean and Apacherian Highlands.

Some problems like mining are limited in scope, but very obviously destructive and polluting. Others like livestock grazing are even more destructive, but in more subtle, long-term, and widespread ways.

Natural health in the region has seen improvements such as large mammal recovery for some species, while other species like both varieties of pronghorn have had trouble adapting to anthropocentric changes. Ground water depletion and development pressures have been getting worse for decades with no sign of long-term abatement. There have been important efforts and successes at restoring land and reintroducing extirpated wildlife by government entities and conservation organizations.

There is also a growing awareness of the impressive résumé of biological diversity and "resources" of this region, especially in Sonora and northern México. This will hopefully lead to more protective actions including legislation to protect what we have left.

The region covered by this website still has substantial undisturbed, remote, and functional ecosystems. We are lucky compared to many other parts of the globe.

Here is a list of links to more detailed info on some of the larger issues facing wildlands in our region.

Tilling of the desert for buffelgrass and cattle