NRR - Partnerships (header)

NRR - Partnerships (title)

A Few of our projects

NRR - Partnerships (greenstrips)


noun :  long, narrow bands of native vegetation that slow the spread of wildfire and non-native cheatgrass

NRR - Partnerships (greenstrips details)

Cheatgrass: the West's pervasive invasive 

Cheatgrass is the uninvited guest of the West, spreading its seeds and out-competing native grasses. But it doesn't just overstay its welcome — this weed fuels wildfires and is the first to rebound after flames scorch the landscape.

Under the direction of researchers from the Agricultural Research Service and the University of Nevada-Reno, we are testing "greenstrips" as a way to weaken the fire-cheatgrass cycle. We are planting strips of native grasses as fuelbreaks on the North Rim Ranches. When data collection ends in 2019, we will have a better idea of techniques that keep cheatgrass at bay. 


Using a triple threat approach, we're simultaneously testing three factors that help fuelbreak success:

NRR - Partnerships (greenstrips graphics)


Different species of native grasses may be more/less effective at competing with cheatgrass.


Different seed coating techniques may enhance the water uptake capacity of native seeds.


Cattle chowing down cheatgrass at optimal times might reduce the populations of this pest. 


NRR - Partnerships (SEGA)

2Southwestern Experimental Garden Array (SEGA)

noun : a network of 10 five-acre gardens planted at different elevations across northern Arizona

NRR - Partnerships (SEGA details)

Experimental Gardening

A changing climate means shifts in where and how native plants grow in the Southwest. To understand these shifts, the Trust is pairing up with scientists from Northern Arizona University and other partners on the Southwestern Experimental Garden Array project (SEGA)

Together, we are planting a network of experimental gardens across the North Rim Ranches at different elevations, ranging from low deserts to alpine forests.

By examining how the same plant species grow at different elevations, temperatures, and moisture levels, we'll get an idea of how climate change might affect individual plant species, plant communities, and ecosystems. This should help us identify which plants are most likely to survive and reproduce in a hotter, drier future.


Learn more about SEGA and our climate change research ›

NRR - Partnerships (SEGA photos)

  • Volunteers from Flagstaff High School help build fences for the SEGA project.

  • Volunteers help plant western white pines; install irrigation, and conduct vegetation surveys.

Our Four Sites

We're hosting four of the 10 SEGA sites in the following vegetation zones:

  • Desert grassland
  • Piñon-juniper
  • Ponderosa pine
  • Aspen-mixed conifer 

NRR - Partnerships (springs)

3Springs Restoration

noun : the act or process of returning springs to healthy ecosystems

NRR - Partnerships (springs details)

Water Is Life

Springs are the lifeblood of arid lands — sweet nectar for the plants, wildlife, and people of the Colorado Plateau.

In a warming climate, water sources are even more important. We're working to restore springs on the ranches to reduce the effects of stresses like invasive species, and to balance the needs of livestock, people, and ecosystems.

Thanks to the support of our partners and many dedicated volunteers, we are removing invasives such as tamarisk, increasing wildlife access to water resources, and reducing the risk of ongoing erosion at these springs. Learn more about springs restoration, and join us in the field › 


Steps to a Healthy Spring:

NRR - Partnerships (springs how-to)


Each restoration begins with a site evaluation, where we figure out how to work with nature to improve the health of the spring. 


We get our hands dirty in the name of restoration! From reviving pools to removing invasive tamarisk trees, we make springs healthier. 


Restoration is challenging, and we don't always get it right on our first shot. We check back and monitor our sites often to see how they're doing. 


NRR - Partnerships (wildlife connectivity)

4. Wildlife Connectivity

noun : open pathways for animals to freely move across landscapes to reach food, water, and migration routes

NRR - Partnerships (wildlife connectivity) details

Reconnecting Wildlife Habitat

Animals need healthy habitat and that means landscapes that are connected, protected, and restored. Scientists and volunteers use motion-activated camera traps to learn where mountain lions, bighorn sheep, mule deer, and other animals roam. From fence removal to spring restoration, we reconnect animals to their homes. Read our 3-part blog series ›


Learn more about how we help animals move across the North Rim Ranches ›

Making pronghorn-friendly fences

Denise Ayers-Mondragon
Denise Ayers-Mondragon
Denise Ayers-Mondragon
Denise Ayers-Mondragon

NRR - Research Projects (bird and bat surveys)

4Bird and bat surveys

noun: The act of watching, listening, and identifying species of birds and bats.

NRR - Research Project (bird and bat details)

Recording bat calls and bird songs

The Paria Plateau is best known for its colorful swirls of slick rock. It is remote, rugged, and richer in plant and animal life than meets the eye. We are working to determine what species of birds and bats live on the Paria Plateau in Vermilion Cliffs National Monument. Read a birder’s story about her field work for the Vermilion Cliffs National Monument Songbird Survey, and a Q&A with our bat research partner ›

Volunteer - CTA (volunteer with us)

Volunteer with us!

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