Just outside of Tucson, Arizona in the rolling grasslands of the Sonoita Valley sits Las Ciénegas National Conservation Area. The area’s grasslands and oak-studded hills connecting several sky island mountain ranges offer important habitat for a wide range of wildlife species. Ciénega Creek, with its perennial flow and lush riparian corridor, forms the lifeblood of the area and supports a diverse plant and animal community. This high biodiversity of the area is due to the mix of Desert Grassland, Oak Savanna, Desert Scrub and Riparian Gallery Forest biotic communities, with temperate and sub-tropical influences from the Rocky Mountains and the Sierra Madre Occidental. Once facing an uncertain future that almost certainly included development, today more than 45,000 acres is protected thanks to the efforts of local governments, elected officials and the public.