They tell me that temperate grasslands are one of the most threatened habitat types left on Earth. Their rich soils – the product of millennia – make them particularly useful for our use. It’s no wonder less than four percent of them are protected worldwide.
The unique grasslands of Southern Arizona are no exception, whittled down from their original expanse. But you can’t help but be drawn to them and their impressive array of grasses: the delicate Cottontop, the tall Sacaton or the distinctive Blue Grama. The grasses are complemented, balanced in a way by the lone oak or a striking agave.
The animals are no less charismatic, whether it’s a Mojave Rattlesnake that crosses in front of your truck, or the inquisitive bobcat caught on a BLM wildlife camera. These places are so vast, so open, and so alive that you expect to see something at every turn.
Story and photos by Adam Milnor, Gila District Public Affairs Specialist