Located in southwestern Arizona and northern Sonora, Mexico, the Sonoran Desert encompasses 10,000 square miles of the hottest, most fragile desert ecosystem in North America.
- With less than nine inches of rain per annum and temperatures that occasionally hit 115 degrees in the summer, the Sonoran Desert is uniquely the home of the saguaro and organ pipe cactus and the endangered Sonoran pronghorn.
- Bounded by a northerly arc that sweeps roughly through Yuma, Phoenix and Tucson, Arizona, this sparsely populated desert encompasses the Tohono O’odham Nation, Cabeza Prieta National Wildlife Refuge, Organ Pipe Cactus Nation Monument, and the Barry M. Goldwater Air Force Range.
- In Mexico it includes the threatened upper Gulf of California and Colorado River delta, as well as the United Nations’ World Heritage Site of the Pinacate Biosphere Reserve, a fragile cluster of volcanic craters abutting mountainous sand dunes.
The human dimensions of this tri-nation area present a complex set of economic and environmental issues, and the International Sonoran Desert Alliance was formed out of the conviction that inclusion of the diverse populations offers the most desirable way of solving the problems presented by the border’s demarcation.