New River Nature Reserve
The palm trees seem out of character for this 20-acre preserve along New River, but in 1886 it was a bustling ranch headquarters. The owners, the Frank Alkire family, planted palms and eucalyptus to shade the stream-side home they called the Flying Y Ranch.
Over one hundred years later rancher Steve Bragg bought the acreage. Realizing the historical and environmental significance of the property, he began discussions with DFLT, and deeded the reserve to the Land Trust in 1994.
The lush wildlife habitat, fed by a year-round spring, includes a rare willow and cottonwood forest, considered the most endangered forest type, as well as mesquites and native walnuts.
Because the reserve is in the midst of ranch land, certain restrictions have been placed on the property. A fence was built around the area to keep cattle from eroding the banks of the stream. A well and windmill were added inside the reserve, feeding to a tank outside the fence. This provides a source of water for cattle and demonstrates that ranchers and conservation groups can work together.
Gates allow entrance for people on foot, bicycles or horseback. The New River Reserve is readily accessible from Old Stage Coach Road in New River and is open year round during daylight hours.