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More ranch acreage in Cochise County protected as open space

November 11, 2021 GMT

TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) — An Arizona conservation group says an additional 1,850 acres (749 hectares) of a cattle ranch that is part of an important wildlife corridor in western Cochise County are now protected as open space.

With the additional acreage, a total of 3,800 acres (1,538 hectares) of the Rain Valley Ranch are now protected through conservation easements, the Arizona Land and Water Trust announced Wednesday.

The ranch along State Route 82 east of Sonoita includes part of a wildlife corridor that links the Whetstone, Mustang, and Huachuca mountains.

“With large properties in the Sonoita/Elgin area continuing to be purchased for single-family homes or ‘ranchettes,’ the threat of development increases for locations like Rain Valley Ranch, making its conservation critical,” the trust said in a statement.

The additional protected landscape also benefits nearby Fort Huachuca by ensuring that potential electromagnetic interference with military training activities associated with the Army base remains low, the trust said.