The Center has been protecting the San Pedro River for more than 30 years.


Here are just some of the ways we’re fighting to save the river right now.

  • We’re fighting to stop the Vigneto development, which would transform 12,167 acres of largely undeveloped habitat into massive sprawl relying solely on groundwater, draining the San Pedro River and harming millions of migratory birds.

Check out this stunning film about the San Pedro and this megadevelopment, "Vigneto: Yes or No?" produced by San Pedro Film.

If you missed our live Q&A featuring our Saving Life on Earth Director Tierra Curry, Center cofounder Robin Silver and the film team, you can check it out here, along with our other past Saving Life on Earth webinars.


Check out actions you can take on our projects to protect the San Pedro and our other campaigns to save endangered species and habitats.

Please click on “DONATE NOW” to help us protect the San Pedro River.


The San Pedro River is the last undammed desert river in the Southwest. One of Arizona's, the nation's and the world's environmental crown jewels, the San Pedro was officially recognized by Congress in 1988 with the creation of the San Pedro Riparian National Conservation Area “in order to protect the riparian area and the aquatic, wildlife, archeological, paleontological, scientific, cultural, educational and recreational resources of the public lands surrounding the San Pedro River.” In 1993 LIFE magazine gave the San Pedro the title of one of “America's Last Great Places.”

But the San Pedro River is drying up. Hydrological modeling shows that San Pedro River base flow — the stream flow during the driest times of year — will cease within the next century. This is happening because of unsustainable pumping of the groundwater that supports the river. The population of people in the upper basin is pumping thousands of acre-feet (billions of gallons) more out of the aquifer each year than are recharged by rainwater. The burgeoning water deficit is caused by unsustainable population growth and a lack of effective water-conservation planning.

The largest individual water user near the San Pedro is Fort Huachuca, an Army base whose historical groundwater pumping deficit is approximately 300,000 acre-feet. Fort Huachuca’s groundwater pumping started damaging the San Pedro River in 2003. If nothing changes, the damage won’t peak until 2050.



San Pedro River photo © Robin Silver