The Altar Valley Conservation Alliance: Collaborative Conservation in a Polarized West

Southwest Center Series - Free Online Event


noon, March 31, 2023

Fryday, March 31, 2023 - 12 pm AZ Time

Zoom Registration:

Join Tom Sheridan, Sarah King, and Mary Miller as they discuss the achievements and role of the Altar Valley Conservation Agency in the preservation of Southern Arizona's landscapes and ranches.

Founded in 1995, the Altar Valley Conservation Alliance (AVCA) is a grassroots collaborative conservation organization of ranchers southwest of Tucson, Arizona.  At a time when “Cattle Free in ‘93” was a goal of some environmental groups, who wanted to remove cattle from federal and state lands, the AVCA positioned itself in the “Radical Center,” bringing ranchers, environmentalists, and agency land managers together to seek common ground on Arizona range lands.  After years of dialogue and numerous projects on the ground, AVCA has forged strong partnerships with Buenos Aires National Wildlife Refuge, Pima County, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Arizona Game and Fish Department and many other non-profits and state and federal agencies. AVCA and its partners have indeed found common ground to restore grassland watersheds and return life to fire-adapted landscapes in order to increase native grasses, decrease brush encroachment, and make working landscapes and sustainable ranching an integral part of large-landscape conservation. In the process, AVCA and its partners have demonstrated time and again that if individuals and interest groups are willing to sit down together and listen to one another’s concerns, the preservation of Arizona’s open spaces and biodiversity can be achieved.

SARAH KING is a rancher and the Executive Director of the Altar Valley Conservation Alliance. Sarah and her husband, Joe, work on their family's cattle ranch in southern Arizona. They have two kids who are the 5th generation to live on the Anvil Ranch, founded in 1895. She is on the boards of the Arizona State Parks, Arizona Farm Bureau, Pima & Santa Cruz County Farm Bureau, and the Friends of the Buenos Aires National Wildlife Refuge. In January 2021, she was recognized by the Society for Range Management, Arizona Section, for Outstanding Service.

MARY MILLER lives and works at Elkhorn Ranch in the Altar Valley.  Elkhorn is a founding member ranch of the Altar Valley Valley Conservation Alliance, and Mary has been involved as a board member or staff since 1995.