The property is or will be encumbered by a conservation easement as described below.
The 2156-acre Three Links Farm stretches for six miles along the San Pedro River in Southeastern Arizona. The river has perennial flow through much of the property and supports a cottonwood-willow forest. About half of the farm consists of floodplain terraces that have been irrigated for alfalfa and pasturage. Work has begun to restore the agricultural fields to native vegetation which includes mesquite and native grasses. With the cessation of large-scale irrigation, we expect the natural vegetation to recover dramatically.
The Three Links Farm sits at the upstream end of the Lower San Pedro River basin. The San Pedro River is an extremely important migratory pathway for birds and other wildlife. The gallery of riparian forests provide nesting sites for rare and endangered species. The Conservancy purchased the Farm in order to retire nearly 1000 acres of irrigation, which hydrological modeling shows will benefit twenty miles of river with increased base flows and healthier riparian vegetation.
The San Pedro River is a major migratory pathway for neotropical birds such as gray hawk and the rare yellow-billed cuckoo and supports endangered species such as the southwestern willow flycatcher and cactus ferruginous pygmy owl. The perennial reaches of the river support extensive areas of large trees that are important migratory "stepping stones” and important breeding sites. Beaver have returned to the river since the Conservancy's acquisition of the property. The Farm also contains numerous highly-significant archaeological sites that will be protected within the riparian management zone.
The Farm will be sold in a maximum of five parcels, encumbered with a conservation easement that restricts use of the riparian corridor to passive recreation, limits water use, and limits further development to one additional split per parcel. Each parcel is restricted to one single family residence and associated structures. Water use is restricted to 300 acre-feet per annum for the entire farm, allocated among the five parcels.