About the San Pedro Riparian National Conservation Area

Stewarded by Friends of the San Pedro River

The San Pedro Riparian National Conservation Area (NCA) contains nearly 57,000 acres of public land in Cochise County, Arizona, between the international border and St. David, Arizona. The riparian area, where some 40 miles of the upper San Pedro River meanders, was designated by Congress as a Riparian National Conservation Area in1988. The primary purpose for the special designation is to protect and enhance the desert riparian ecosystem, a rare remnant of what was once an extensive network of similar riparian systems throughout the American Southwest. One of the most important riparian areas in the United States, the San Pedro River runs through the Chihuahuan Desert and the Sonoran Desert in southeastern Arizona. The river’s stretch is home to 84 species of mammals, 14 species of fish, 41 species of reptiles and amphibians, and 100 species of breeding birds. It also provides invaluable habitat for 250 species of migrant and wintering birds and contains archaeological sites representing the remains of human occupation from 13,000 years ago.

From the blog

  • 03.1.14

    Friends of the San Pedro River Recognized for 10,000 Hours of Volunteer Support

    Friends of the San Pedro River were surprised in early February with special recognition from BLM Director Neil Kornze, who thanked members of the group for providing over 10,000 hours of volunteer support in 2013 for resource management planning education forums and other interpretative, public outreach and maintenance programs at … read more

  • 01.3.14

    Ron Beck’s Big Year (and one for Friends of the San Pedro River)

    Ron Beck, a resident of Cochise County in Arizona, is an expert birder and supporter of Friends of the San Pedro River. Ron recently completed a record-setting Big Year, which for birders is the incredible accomplishment of seeing and identifying more than 300 bird species in one year.  Ron’s achievement … read more

  • 10.10.13

    Closed Part 2- The Friends Grassroots Network Experiences the Impact of the Shutdown

    Since the shutdown, the Friends Grassroots Network has directly experienced the effects through the termination of all volunteer activities and events.  The government shutdown has also led to: the closure of visitor centers including Friends offices; cancelation of all recreational and education events; and serious economic impacts on gateway communities … read more