Protecting Montane Natural Lakes
Natural lakes provide valuable water and riparian habitats for wildlife species, but are also attractive to livestock. Our volunteers have helped the Forest Service to build fences that prevent livestock from accessing these areas, but allow wildlife to pass through.
Arizona's perennial riparian areas comprise only 0.4% of the state's total land area but they are one of the state's most important wildlife habitats. Less than 20% of the western riparian habitat of pre-settlement times still exists today, thus it is crucial to protect those that remain intact. On the Kaibab Plateau, 28 natural lakes dot the landscape, giving rise to unique riparian plant communities that provide diverse habitats for fish and wildlife. These lush areas also attract livestock, which often congregate and trample or consume riparian and wetland vegetation. In order to maintain their ecological integrity, it is important to exclude livestock from riparian and wetland areas.
In partnership with the Forest Service and the Arizona Deer Association, Grand Canyon Trust volunteers are fencing off the lakes of the Kaibab Plateau to protect these sensitive riparian areas from livestock trampling, while allowing wildlife to pass through.
The Grand Canyon Trust will continue to work with appropriate agencies to ensure that we are protecting sensitive riparian environments from grazing and trampling by livestock.