Our goal is to restore and maintain the natural processes that create and protect a 
unfragmented landscape to support a diverse, flourishing community of
plant and animal life in our borderlands region.
             Together, we will accomplish this by working to encourage profitable ranching 
and other traditional livelihoods, which will sustain the open space nature of
our land for generations to come.


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In July of 2010 the Board of Directors of the Malpai Borderlands Group voted to establish a scholarship fund, in the memory of former Malpai Board Member Rob Krentz, to assist worthy high school graduates in the Malpai Borderlands region with furthering their education.

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Read the MBG Science Conference Presentations!

High Country News; Why being a good neighbor is a good idea

Cover-Oct-Nov_172x215The Nature Conservancy Magazine; New Life in the Badlands


Following are links to past issues of the 
Malpai Borderlands Group Newsletters 
from 1994 to the present year. 
Please click here to read the newsletters.



Rich Winkler


Dear Friends of the Malpai;

I hope this letter from the borderlands finds you well.  For those of you that don’t know me I would like to introduce myself.  My name is Richard W. Winkler and I have lived in the borderlands for most of my life as a rancher, school teacher, fire fighter and Malpai board member. 

My story begins and continues on the same small cattle ranch near Rodeo, N.M.  In 1971 my family moved to the San Simon Valley from Douglas, Arizona to begin a small ranching operation.  I enjoyed growing up with the experiences provided in the rural valley between the Peloncillo and Chiricahua mountains.  Living and working on the ranch during the wet monsoons of the 1970’s and 80’s shaped my understanding of open spaces that is still important to me today.

As I grew up, the first “Land for Sale” advertisement signs for subdivisions began in our valley.  By the time I returned from college I could see that our valley was changing and that many ranches had been turned into housing developments.  It was at this time that many founders of the Malpai Borderlands Group were already working together to save ranches from subdivision, improving wildlife habitat and using collaborative efforts with scientists to return fire to the landscape.  My parents and I knew that this was an opportunity to preserve our ranch from fragmentation in perpetuity and to improve the ecology of our ranch by participating in the new idea of grassbanking.  The Malpai organization has continued to work with our ranch. The Malpai has provided support on projects that have improved our water systems which will benefit both wildlife and cattle.  Along with this, improvement projects which remove net wire and replace it with wildlife friendly fences is another example of the Malpai’s continued support.  Together with my wife Tamara, son Zachary and daughter Parker, our family continues to work with the Malpai toward the best practices for our ranch.      

Since its inception, the Malpai organization and its mission have always been something that our family has believed in.  Unfragmented landscapes, traditional livelihoods and the protection of habitat are still needed as development pressures seek to put many ranches out of production.  New challenges also arise as ranches transition to new generations.  It is the responsibility of the sons and daughters of existing ranches as well as other individuals to take a lead role in the continuation of the goals of the Malpai Borderlands Group.  I recognize the honest character and years of hard work of the founding members and the organization’s supporters throughout the Malpai’s history, prior to my tenure on the Board of Directors.  Their foresight, good working relations and good decisions should continue.

As the incoming Executive Director starting July 2017, I ask that you join me in working toward keeping open spaces and furthering the goals of the Malpai’s mission.  The future will certainly bring new challenges that we should work to solve together.  I invite you to be a part of working together in common goals.  Large tasks have always been easier when many people lend a hand.  I would like to hear from you and your ideas on how we can work together. I look forward to meeting you.    

Richard W. Winkler


We are a grassroots, landowner-driven nonprofit organization attempting to implement ecosystem management on nearly one million acres of virtually unfragmented open-space landscape in southeastern Arizona and southwestern New Mexico.

The Malpai Borderlands area includes the San Bernardino Valley, the Peloncillo Mountains, the Animas Valley and the Animas Mountains. It is roughly pyramid shaped, with the base of the pyramid beginning just east of Douglas, Arizona along the Mexican Border to just west of Antelope Wells, New Mexico. The apex is just south of Animas, New Mexico.

With elevations ranging from 3500 to 8500 feet, the Malpai is a diverse area of mountains, canyons, valleys and riparian corridors. Several rare, threatened, and endangered plant and animal species are found here. It is the only place in the U.S. where Gould's turkey and white-sided jackrabbits occur naturally. It is also home to popular big-game species such as Coues deer, mule deer, pronghorn and Desert Bighorn sheep.

Perhaps the most remarkable feature of this huge landscape is that fewer than 100 human families reside on it. Many of the families who live here have been here for generations. Except for two small wildlife preserves, this is cattle ranching country. As ranchers, we have been concerned about a key resource we depend on for our livelihoods and way of life - the diminishing quality of grasslands for grazing. Fragmentation of the landscape, beginning with the subdivision of some ranches in our area, has also been a looming threat.

We formed a nonprofit organization to bring ranchers, scientists, and key agencies together, and today the Malpai Borderlands Group now carries out a series of conservation programs and activities, including land restoration; endangered species habitat protection; cost-sharing range and ranch improvements; and land conservation projects.

We invite you to explore our website and learn more about our efforts., HotDoodle™ Custom Web Design and Quality Affordable Website Designers for Small Businesses and Professionals
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