Arizona Wildlife Conservation Strategy

Canyon Creek COA

This perennial stream begins along the Mogollon Rim and flows south to its confluence with the Salt River. Canyon Creek provides important riparian habitat for both terrestrial and aquatic species. The area consists of primarily undeveloped portions of xeric-habitat with a small band of riparian vegetation along the stream channel. Canyon Creek has an AZGFD fish hatchery as well as a private ranch operation in the upper section of the creek. There is approximately 4 miles of perennial water before reaching White Mountain Apache tribal land boundary, where the majority of the creek flows until it reaches its confluence with the Salt River.

Conservation Goals

  • Improve important riparian habitat for SGCN species through augmenting streamflow and habitat restoration.
  • Restore habitats to their proper functioning conditions post wildfire and flood events.
  • Increase forest and grassland resilience and sustainability and reduce hazards associated with undesirable fire effects.


Primary Threats

1. Agriculture

1.3: Livestock farming and ranching

3. Climate Change and Severe Weather

3.1: Habitat shifting and alteration
3.2: Droughts
3.3: Temperature extremes
3.4: Storms and flooding

7. Human Intrusions and Disturbance

7.1: Recreational activities

9. Natural System Modifications

9.2: Dams and water management

Potential Conservation Actions

2. Land and Water Management

2.1: Site/area management
  • Increase forest and grassland resilience and reduce hazards associated with undesirable fire effects.
2.3: Habitat and natural process restoration
  • Restore natural streamflow where previously altered.
  • Reintroduce prescribed burns to increase habitat resiliency in these unique and diverse habitats.
  • Continue to implement riparian and aquatic restoration to restore overall stream health.

3. Species Management

3.1: Management of specific species of concern
  • Implement long-term monitoring protocols for native species and habitats to inform adaptive management.
3.2: Species recovery
  • Improve habitat for riparian obligate SGCN such as the Chiricahua leopard frog and narrow-headed gartersnake.
3.3: Species reintroduction
  • Reintroduce SGCN species such as Chiricahua leopard frog.

4. Education and Awareness

4.3: Awareness and communication
  • Raise awareness of narrow-headed gartersnakes and Chiricahua leopard frogs by providing information through various outreach and signage.

Habitats Present

Strategy Species


Arizona Toad, Chiricahua Leopard Frog


Common Black Hawk, American Kestrel, Mexican Spotted Owl, Golden Eagle, Bald Eagle, Broad-tailed Hummingbird, Grace's Warbler, Western Wood-Pewee


Diablo Mountainsnail


Mexican Free-tailed Bat, Southwestern Myotis, Yuma Myotis


Arizona Black Rattlesnake, Narrow-headed Gartersnake, Sonora Mud Turtle


See Associated Aquatic COAs for fish species.

Protected Areas and Other Areas of Conservation Value

  • Mule Creek

Potential Partners

  • US Forest Service
  • National Forest Foundation
  • Trout Unlimited
  • US Fish and Wildlife Service
  • AZ Department of Environmental Quality
  • Mogollon Sporting Association
  • US Army Corps of Engineers

Relevant Conservation Plans

Associated Aquatic COAs