Verde River Wildlife Area
Upper Verde River Property, known also as
the Croll Subject Property, is located approximately
eight miles north of Chino Valley in Yavapai
County, Arizona. This property was acquired
through the Department’s Heritage and
Waterfowl Conservation Fund. The property
consists of four parcels totaling approximately
796 acres located along the upper Verde River
and lower Granite Creek. The Department has
also applied for a Special Land Use Permit
(SLUP) from the Arizona State Land Department
(ASLD) for approximately 240 acres of State
Trust lands located adjacent to two of the
deeded parcels. The primary management emphasis
for the Upper Verde River property is to
manage riparian habitat and maintain native
fish diversity. Secondary management emphases
are environmental education and compatible
wildlife oriented recreation.
- View a map of this wildlife
and Vegetation Types
The Upper Verde River property has four disjunct parcels of private land
which collectively include approximately three miles of the upper Verde
River, draining easterly from the confluence with Granite Creek to the
U.S.D.A. Forest Service, Prescott National Forest (Forest Service), boundary
3.5 miles downstream. One parcel includes about 1.0 mile of Granite Creek
upstream from its confluence at the Verde River. Interspersed stretches
of the Verde River cross State Trust lands, Forest Service, and private
lands of two other owners.
The Upper Verde River Property includes the associated riparian area, floodplains,
cliffs, and adjacent uplands. The diverse topography is dissected, ranging
in elevation from 4,200 to 4,600 feet. The width of the river channel and
floodplain varies from < 0.1 to > 0.5 mile within and among parcels. Prominent
cliffs rise 100-300 feet above the river in some segments.
The riparian vegetation community at the Campbell Place parcel most closely
resembles riparian vegetation at Tract 39 (western segment), and to a lesser
extent, Granite Creek.
Riparian vegetation at the Campbell Place and Tract 39 is characterized
as mixed broadleaf deciduous, dominated by Arizona ash (Fraxinus velutina),
boxelder (Acer negundo), Arizona walnut (Juglans major) and netleaf hackberry
(Celtis reticulata). Tamarisk (Tamarisk pentandra) is occasionally interspersed
with native tree species. Gooddings willow (Salix gooddingii), red willow
(Salix laevigata) and Fremont cottonwood (Populus fremontii) are also found.
Low floodplain terraces are dominated by large stands of desert willow
(Chilopsis linearis), while highest terraces are vegetated with velvet
mesquite (Prosopis velutina). Varying from the above, the lower Granite
Creek supports a well-developed narrowleaf cottonwood (Populus acuminata)
The goals for the Upper Verde River Property are:
1. To manage, maintain, and enhance existing wildlife populations, natural
biotic communities and habitats.
2. To increase public awareness and understanding of wildlife of special
concern, of efforts devoted to conservation and enjoyment of these resources,
and of the recreation, education, aesthetic, and cultural benefits attendant
to these resources
Public Use Opportunities
and Resource Management Emphasis
The primary management emphasis for the Upper Verde River property is to
manage riparian habitat and maintain native fish diversity. Secondary management
emphases are environmental education and compatible wildlife oriented recreation.
Native fish populations in the upper Verde River, inclusive of the subject
properties, are among the most diverse in Arizona. Because native fish
diversity and abundance are valuable indicators of biotic integrity, initial
management focus will be to monitor, manage, and maintain the extant native
A secondary resource management emphasis is to increase public awareness
in the greater Prescott area about the Heritage Program, nongame wildlife
populations, and sensitive habitats.
The Upper Verde River supports a diverse fauna. Wildlife of Special Concern
(WSC) that are known to inhabit the upper Verde River Wildlife Area and
vicinity include: roundtail chub (Gila robusta), razorback sucker (Xyrauchen
texanus), and spikedace (Meda fulgida).
WSC that may occupy the upper Verde River Wildlife Area and vicinity include:
Northern leopard frog (Rana pipiens), Mexican garter snake (Thamnophis
eques), Arizona toad (Bufo microscaphus), belted kingfisher (Ceryle alcyon),
Bald eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus), common black hawk (Buteogallus anthracinus),
peregrine falcon (Falco peregrinus), southwestern willow flycatcher (Empidonax
traillii extimus), red bat (Lasiurus borealis), spotted bat (Euderma maculatum),
and southwestern river otter (Lontra canadensis sonora).
Big game species include mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus) and javelina (Tayassu
tajacu). Elk (Cervus elaphus) are rare, but have recently been observed
in the area. Pronghorn (Antilocapra americana), in low numbers, use the
pinyon-juniper uplands that adjoin the upper Verde River. It is likely
that mountain lion (Felis concolor) occupy the riparian corridor and rugged
Common furbearers that inhabit the area include striped skunk, badger (Taxidea
taxus), beaver (Castor canadensis), coyote (Canis latrans), gray fox (Urocyon
cineroargenteus), and bobcat (Felis rufus).
Comprehensive avian, mammalian, and herpetofaunal surveys have not been
conducted for the subject properties; however, healthy riparian vegetative
communities typically support diverse and abundant native faunal populations.
Special Status Species occurring on or near the Upper Verde River Wildlife
Area have been identified through the Department's Heritage Data Management
System, and are listed below. This includes the federally endangered razorback
sucker (Xyrauchen texanus), the federally threatened spikedace (Meda fulgida),
and the federally listed candidate species western yellow-billed cuckoo
(Coccyzus americanus occidentalis).
Status Species - Species
Abstracts | Status
Mountains water penny
dorrii ssp. mearnsii
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