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Securing Arizona's Water Future
Land Ownership in the Morenci Basin

Land ownership, including the percentage of ownership in each category, is shown for the Morenci Basin in Figure  3.9-2.   Primary land ownership features are the large block of national forest land, a significant amount of tribal land and the relatively large contiguous portion of private land around Morenci used predominantly for mining activities.  A description of land ownership data sources and methods is found in Volume 1, Appendix A.  More detailed information on protected areas is found in Section 3.0.4. Land ownership categories are discussed below in the order from largest to smallest percentage in the basin.

National Forest

  • 67.6% of the land is federally owned and managed by the United States Forest Service (USFS). 
  • All national forest land in the basin is in the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest in two ranger districts, the Alpine Ranger District in the northern portion of the basin and the Clifton Ranger District in the southern portion of the basin.
  • A portion of the Escudilla Wilderness is located at the northernmost tip of the basin.  (see Figure 3.0-12)
  • Primary land uses are recreation, wildlife protection and timber production.

Indian Reservations

  • 21.7% of the land is under ownership of the San Carlos Apache Tribe.
  • Primary land use is grazing.

Private

  • 5.8% of land is private.
  • The majority of private land is surrounding Morenci.
  • Private in-holdings are scattered throughout the National Forest lands.
  • Primary land uses are mining, domestic and commercial.

Click to view Figure 3.9-2

Click to view Figure 3.9-2 Morenci Basin

Land Ownership

U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM)

  • 3.3% of land is federally owned and managed by the Safford Field Office of the BLM.
  • The basin contains a small portion of the Gila Box Riparian National Conservation Area in T5S, R29E.
  • All BLM land is in the southern-most tip of the basin and is interspersed with private and state trust lands.
  • Primary land use is grazing.

State Trust

  • 1.6% of land in this basin is held in trust for public schools and to a lesser extent the University of Arizona, hospital for disabled miners and the Arizona Hospital.
  • All state owned land is in the southernmost-tip of the basin and is interspersed with BLM and private lands.
  • Primary land use is grazing.

 

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