Chevelon Canyon Wildlife Area
The properties consists of five parcels totaling 157.95 acres, four of which (Dye-38.03, Duran-31.40, Tillman-20.71, Wolfe-31.41, and Vincent-36.4) were acquired in November 1961. The last parcel, Vincent Ranch, was obtained in May 1968. The parcels are located within the Chevelon Canyon grazing allotment of the U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service (USFS), and a "Memorandum of Understanding" between the Forest Service and the Arizona Game and Fish Commission (Commission) was developed to "close the allotment to grazing of domestic livestock for the purpose of providing range needed for wildlife". This management approach has since terminated, and the allotment is now grazed by cattle.
As in most Ponderosa Pine ecosystems of the Mogollon Rim, meadow habitats and sensitive riparian habitats are limited, and of importance for many species. The properties provide protection of these sensitive habitats since each property is fenced to exclude livestock grazing. The entire area surrounding each of the properties is included in the USFS domestic livestock grazing allotment program.
Recreational Opportunities: All five properties contain intermittent riparian, upland meadow, and wet meadow habitats associated with ponderosa pine ecosystems. All three of these habitat types are of key importance since they are limited habitats found within the ponderosa pine ecosystems of the area. Recreational opportunities include hunting, educational, and watchable wildlife viewing opportunities. Old ranch buildings are found on all five properties. Vincent Ranch is used as an administrative site by the Department. Dye Ranch contains a well, Registration No. 55-628191. The properties occur within Designated Critical Habitat for the Mexican Spotted Owl (Strix occidentalis lucida) (60 FR 29914, June 6, 1995). The ranches provide foraging areas for mule deer, elk, turkey; roosting, loafing and brood habitat for turkey; and calving and fawning areas for elk and mule deer. Numerous small game and nongame species provide watchable wildlife opportunities.
Location: The Chevelon Canyon Ranches are located 25-50 miles south of Winslow, in Sitgreaves National Forest, Coconino County.
Funds: The five Chevelon Canyon Ranches (Dye, Duran, Tillman, Wolfe, and Vincent) were acquired under Federal Aid Project W-88-L.
Camping: No overnight public camping.
Hunting: Open to hunting in season, located in Unit 4A.
- No open fires
- No firewood cutting or gathering
- No overnight public camping
- Motorized vehicle travel permitted on designated roads only, except as permitted by R 12-4-110(G)
Plants: Habitat of the area is predominately grassland meadow surrounded by pine. Grass species include gramma (Bouteloua spp.) and dropseed (Sporobolus spp.). Ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa) is the predominant tree.
Wildlife Viewing: In addition to the resident elk, turkey and deer for which the properties were acquired, a variety of nongame birds and other wildlife typical of forest and meadow environs inhabit the property.
Chevelon Ranches provide foraging areas for mule deer, elk, turkey; roosting, loafing and brood habitat for turkey; and calving and fawning areas for elk and mule deer. Abert's squirrel and numerous other small game and nongame species inhabit the area. The wildlife attracted to these habitats provide recreational opportunities for wildlife watching and hunting.
Sensitive species in the area include desert suckers, Little Colorado spinedace, speckled dace, northern goshawk and golden eagles, belted kingfishers, Mexican spotted owls and American pererine falcons. Also present are narrow-headed garter snakes, and fringed and Arizona myotis.
Management: The management objectives and goals for all of the Chevelon Canyon Ranches is to maintain high quality, riparian, wet meadow, and upland habitat for the exclusive use of wildlife. All of the properties are surrounded by USFS lands, which are managed for multiple-use. All are within a federal grazing allotment, although Commission properties are excluded through fencing.
At a minimum the uniqueness of the properties dictates the necessity of excluding domestic livestock grazing. Other management options include controlling tree encroachment into meadows, enhancing meadow grasses by reseeding, fertilizing or irrigating meadows, and manipulating riparian areas to increase ground water.