Arizona Wildlife Conservation Strategy

Rim 2 River COA

The Rim to River COA extends from the Mogollon Rim at its southern boundary, north to the Little Colorado River (LCR), and is generally bounded by Chevelon Canyon to the east and Clear Creek Canyon to the west. With an elevation range of more than 3,000 feet, it contains a diverse assemblage of vegetation types, ranging from Great Basin desertscrub along the LCR, at an elevation of approximately 4,870 feet above sea level, to the Petran montane conifer forest vegetation type, topping out at approximately 7,960 feet along the Mogollon Rim. This diversity provides habitat for numerous native wildlife and plant species, winter and summer ranges for big game species, and provides for important wildlife-related recreational opportunities. Within this COA are the Beaver Creek Ridge and the Horse Trap Wildlife Quiet Areas, the Chevelon Canyon Ranches and the Chevelon Creek Wildlife Areas, the historic Chevelon Canyon Wildlife Management Unit, as well as numerous lakes, including Willow Springs Lake, Woods Canyon Lake, Bear Canyon Lake, and Clear Creek Reservoir.

Conservation Goals

  • Improve maintain forest, woodland, grassland, and desertscrub vegetation communities within their range of natural variability to maintain and improve wildlife habitat, and to make these communities more resilient to the impacts of climate change.
  • Improve and maintain the hydrologic and ecological function of the watershed conditions, streams, riparian, and wetland areas and the habitats they support.
  • Promote native riparian vegetation and native fish recovery.
  • Maintain and enhance wildlife water availability and distribution.
  • Maintain and enhance travel corridors, and travel, hiding, and thermal cover for a wide variety of wildlife species.


Primary Threats

1. Agriculture

1.2: Wood and pulp operations

2. Biological Resource Use

2.3: Logging and wood harvesting

3. Climate Change and Severe Weather

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

4. Residential and Commercial Development

4.1: Housing and urban areas

6. Energy Production and Mining

6.3: Renewable energy

7. Human Intrusions and Disturbance

7.1: Recreational activities

8. Invasive and Other Problematic Species

8.1: Invasive non-native species
8.2: Problematic native species

9. Natural System Modifications

9.1: Fire and fire suppression

11. Transportation and Service Corridors

11.1: Roads and railroads
11.2: Utility and service lines

Potential Conservation Actions

1. Land and Water Protection

1.1: Site/area protection
  • Conserve a variety of habitats that support healthy populations of fish and wildlife as climate changes.

2. Land and Water Management

2.1: Site/area management
  • Restore and maintain diverse habitats to support broad species assemblages that account for range shifts.
  • Develop and enhance artificial waters on the landscape.
  • Improve management of recreational activities, especially in sensitive riparian areas.
2.3: Habitat and natural process restoration
  • Identify and protect key wildlife corridors for landscape connectivity.
  • Implement projects focused on improving the quality of altered systems creating suitable habitat and/or habitat features for wildlife.
  • Maintain natural fire regimes on the landscape through prescribed burns and natural fire management.

3. Species Management

3.1: Management of specific species of concern
  • Implement long-term monitoring protocols for vulnerable species and habitats to inform adaptive management.
  • Conduct research targeting species and habitat types likely to be vulnerable to climate change impacts.
  • Collect specimens or samples for taxonomic analysis, genetics, research, and/or disease testing.
3.4: Ex situ conservation
  • Establish new wild and/or captive populations of climate vulnerable SGCN.

Habitats Present

Strategy Species


Arizona Toad, Chiricahua Leopard Frog, Northern Leopard Frog, Arizona Tiger Salamander


American Kestrel, American Peregrine Falcon, Bald Eagle, Chipping Sparrow, Common Black Hawk, Flammulated Owl, Golden Eagle, Grace's Warbler, Greater Pewee, Hermit Thrush, Long-eared Owl, Mexican Spotted Owl, Mountain Chickadee, American Goshawk (Northern Goshawk), Northern Harrier, Western Burrowing Owl


Diablo Mountainsnail


Allen's Lappet-browed Bat, Fringed Myotis, Mexican Gray Wolf, Southwestern Myotis, Big Free-tailed Bat, Hoary Bat


Black-necked Gartersnake


See Associated Aquatic COAs for fish species.

Protected Areas and Other Areas of Conservation Value

  • Chevelon Canyon Ranch Wildlife Area
  • Chevelon Creek Wildlife Area
  • Beaver Creek Ridge
  • East Clear Creek
  • Horse Trap Wildlife Quiet Area
  • Willow Creek
  • Woods Canyon

Potential Partners

  • Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest
  • Arizona State Land Department
  • Hopi Tribe
  • Arizona Department of Fire and Forestry Management
  • Arizona Elk Society
  • Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation
  • Arizona Antelope Foundation
  • Mule Deer Foundation
  • Arizona Deer Association
  • Arizona Desert Bighorn Sheep Society
  • Quail Forever/Pheasants Forever
  • Audubon Southwest
  • Private Landowners

Relevant Conservation Plans

Associated Aquatic COAs