Located a few miles south of Sierra Vista, Arizona, Ramsey Canyon Preserve is at the ecological crossroads of the Sierra Madres, Rocky Mountains, and the Sonoran and Chihuahuan deserts. The abrupt rise of the Huachuca Mountains from the surrounding grasslands creates one of the “sky islands” that harbor tremendous habitat diversity. A spring-fed stream, northeast orientation, and high canyon walls provide Ramsey Canyon with a cool, moist environment unusual in the Southwest. This combination of factors gives Ramsey Canyon Preserve its notable variety of plant and animal life, including such southwestern specialties as ridge-nosed rattlesnake, lesser long-nosed bat, and elegant trogon. Water-loving plants such as sycamores, maples, and columbines line the banks of Ramsey Creek, often growing within a few feet of cacti, yucca, and agaves.

The preserve serves as The Nature Conservancy’s southeastern Arizona program office—a base for the Conservancy’s work with regional partners on large-scale projects such as fire management, stream restoration, and protection of rare species. We are always looking for volunteers to run the visitor center and help with restoration projects.

by ian, published February 23, 2018