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BLM > Arizona > What We Do > Recreation > Wildlife Watching > Muleshoe Ranch Cooperative Management Area
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Muleshoe Ranch Cooperative Management Area
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muleshoe sceneryThe Muleshoe Ranch Cooperative Management Area (CMA) is 55,000 acres of rugged beauty, lush riparian areas, and an array of recreational opportunities for outdoor enthusiasts. This area is jointly owned and managed by The Nature Conservancy, the Forest Service, and the  Bureau of Land Management. These three groups are working together to conserve and enhance the unique ecosystems found here and to protect endangered species, as well as the areas they depend upon.

Within the Muleshoe is found most of the watershed area for seven permanently flowing streams, representing some of the best remaining aquatic habitat in Arizona. Some 80% of the region's wildlife species depend upon these streamside communities at some time in their lives. The importance of this area to early settlers is seen in the numerous ranches and homesteads that dotted the area in the last 150 years. They were also critically dependent upon the riparian communities for their survival in such a rigorous landscape.

The Muleshoe provides everyone with the opportunity to learn more about southeastern Arizona's rich natural and cultural history.

The Muleshoe Ranch Cooperative Management Area (CMA)

muleshoe scenery The Muleshoe Ranch Headquarters is owned and managed by The Nature Conservancy. This area includes the, nature trail, visitor center, and overnight casitas.

All visitors should register at the kiosk area located outside the main gate.

The CMA is a mosaic of public and private land cooperatively managed by The Nature Conservancy, the Bureau of Land Management and the U.S. Forest Service.  All regulations and guidelines pertaining to public lands, including wilderness areas, apply to BLM and Forest Service lands within the CMA.

Access to the CMA by vehicle, horseback, or hiking is provided via Jackson Cabin Road. However, this road is limited to 4-wheel drive vehicles only, since it is very rough, not well maintained and subject to regular washouts. Drivers assume this risk. Day hikers wishing to drive to Bass Canyon via Jackson Cabin Road are asked to park in the designated area found in the canyon.

Backcountry facilities in the CMA are available for overnight use. Pride Ranch, owned and managed by The Nature conservancy, is located approximately 6 miles from the Headquarters area via Jackson Cabin Road.  Availability is on a first come basis.  Other backcountry destinations include Jackson Cabin (approx. 14 miles) and Hooker Cabin (approx. 20 miles).  For additional information, please contact The Muleshoe Ranch at (520) 212-4295 or email

The Riparian Monitoring Zones

muleshoe scenery The Riparian Monitoring Zones are designated areas within the CMA that are of special environmental concern because of their unique flora, fauna, and hydrologic values.  Activities permitted within these areas include hiking, low-impact camping, and horseback riding.

For the safety of others and protection of the sensitive wildlife and habitats in these areas, The Nature Conservancy asks that visitors please refrain from the following activities within the Riparian Monitoring Zones on Conservancy lands:

  • Shooting or discharging firearms and weapons
  • Collecting flora, fauna, minerals, and artifacts
  • Car or RV camping
  • Operating vehicles off existing roads
  • Littering or dumping of refuse
  • Woodcutting