The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) will acquire the ET Ranch with the goal of increasing access for hunters, hikers, and backpackers to the Santa Teresa Wilderness Area in Arizona. Critics say the deal is part of an effort to appease those who were disappointed with Secretary of the Interior, Ryan Zinke’s, failure to reduce the footprint of some monuments.
The acquisition of the 600 acre ranch is the culmination of the shared conservation partnership between the BLM, the Trust for Public Lands (TPL), the Arizona Game and Fish Department (AGFD) and the South Eastern Arizona Sportsman Club. The BLM purchased the land, which will now be off the tax rolls, from TPL using $480,000 from the Sportsman’s and Recreational Access component of the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF), which is generated from offshore oil and gas revenue.
This acquisition opens public access to the 5,800-acre BLM wilderness area, located northwest of Safford, Arizona, and the nearby 26,800-acre Santa Teresa Wilderness Area in the Coronado National Forest. Both areas are located in the Santa Teresa Mountains and offer great hunting, hiking and backpacking opportunities.
Funding for a public access easement was provided by AGFD, through their Landowner Relations Program, and the National Wild Turkey Federation. That easement is currently held by the South Eastern Arizona Sportsman Club.