Conservation Corner

Arizona's Conservation Districts Newsletter

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Sponsored by the Arizona Association of Conservation Districts

Conserving Arizona Since 1944

November/December 2021

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Meet Your Local Conservationist

Peggy Davis, Whitewater Draw NRCD


Rancher. District Administrator. District Conservation Education Center Director. Advocate for natural resources and border security. These are just some of the things that come to mind when one thinks about Peggy Davis from Whitewater Draw NRCD.

Born and raised in Colorado, Peggy is a third-generation rancher. Growing up, Peggy was a Colorado State Horse 4H Project Winner in 1969 and attended the National 4H Congress in Chicago and was named an Outstanding Teenager of America in 1970. Over the years, Peggy has remained connected to her love of horses and livestock through volunteer work with 4H; she sat as President of the San Pedro Cow Bells in the 1980s; and was President of Miss Rodeo Arizona Incorporated and sat on the Miss Rodeo America Advisory Council.  

In 1972, while on the rodeo circuit, Peggy met future husband Fred Davis, a fourth-generation Arizona rancher whose ancestors settled in Arizona in the 1860s and 1880s. After marrying, newlyweds Peggy and Fred moved to the family ranch in Bisbee. When the Bisbee ranch sold in 1977, Fred and Peggy moved to their current ranch in the Whitewater Draw District and raised two kids—Marlo and Jared—who still live on the ranch. Marlo and her husband are raising the sixth generation of Davis ranchers—Zane and Macy.


As an active voice of conservation in her District—and the state—Peggy fights every day to keep ranching alive in Arizona while caring for the land and our natural resources. Over the last several years, this task has proven difficult in the Whitewater Draw District, as the Douglas area has battled the negative repercussions of illegal border crossings. Crime and destruction of property (broken waters, destroyed fences, etc.) hurt the local community, while excessive trash, illegal burning, and more plague the natural environment along the Arizona/Mexico border. And no one knows this as well as Peggy.

As an active member of her District for over 30 years, Peggy has worked hard to get the word out – especially recently – about the Border Issue, showing and telling folks from Washington, D.C. just what it’s like living and working amongst this national predicament. Generally, the news focuses on the “human” element of those flooding across the border, but rarely is it discussed how these individuals entering the country illegally affect those who live and breathe the land so close to the border.


In a valiant effort to get the message across to the law makers and representatives back East, Peggy, as well as other District folks like John Ladd from Hereford NRCD, have worked and are working hard to be heard. For example, Peggy has played host to over 22 members of Congress in one day, and countless more D.C.’ers over the years. She has also been interviewed on several podcasts and web shows (click on links below to listen!) and has testified before Congress in the past.

It is through the efforts of Peggy and those like her that we can continue to get the word out and work together to conserve AZ!

Interview on The John Fredericks Show
Interview on Bloomdaddy in D.C.


“Utilization” is a technical term referring to the intensity of grazing use. It can refer to individual plants, to a key forage species (one or more), or to the range as a whole. Utilization can be measured by several techniques, or it can just be described by adjectives such as “heavy”, “moderate”, “light”, “proper”, “safe”, “conservative”, etc. Utilization is a valuable tool used in grazing management and interpretation of data on rangeland condition and trend. But it can also be misused.

This brief overview of "utilization" gives the reader a highlevel understanding of how and (Photo above: Example of utilization measurement)

when utilization should be used on the open


Click Here for the Full Article

Major Land Use Areas in Arizona


Did you know there are seven MLRAs in Arizona? The document linked below (on AACD's website) is intended to provide a concise description of each Major Land Resource Area that can be used in Conservation Action Plans. It is based on information contained in “Land Resource Regions and Major Land Resource Areas of the United States, the Caribbean, and the Pacific Basin”, published in the U.S. Department of Agriculture Handbook 296 (2006).

Click Here
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