Landscape Conservation Cooperatives
The Desert LCC encompasses portions of five states: California, Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas, as well as a substantial portion of Northern Mexico. The area is topographically complex, including three different deserts (Mojave, Sonoran, and Chihuahuan), grasslands and valley bottoms, and the isolated mountain ranges in the southern portion of the LCC (Apache Highlands and the New Mexico-Texas Highlands, also known as the “Sky Islands”). Elevations range from near sea level to over 10,000 ft. The richness of the topography leads to equally diverse species composition; the area supports habitat for many native plants, fish and wildlife species, including many endemic species that are extremely susceptible to climate change.
The Desert LCC also includes several large river systems, including the lower Colorado, Gila, Rio Grande, San Pedro, and Verde Rivers. The Colorado River Basin is one of the most critical sources of water in the West. The Colorado River and its tributaries provide municipal water supplies for 30 million people, irrigation of nearly 4 million acres of land, and hydropower facilities that generate more than 4,200 MW, helping to meet the power needs of the West. The Colorado River is also the lifeblood for at least fifteen Native American tribes, seven National Wildlife Refuges, four National Recreation Areas, and five National Parks.
Last updated: 5/7/13