McKenzie Flats


McKenzie Flats is located within the northeastern section of the Sevilleta NWR, encompassing an area from Black Butte south to Palo Duro Canyon and east to the Los Pinos.

Site Details: 

McKenzie Flats is a broad, nearly flat grassland plain between the Los Pinos Mountains and the breaks on the east side of the Rio Grande.
Deep (20,000 ft) alluvial and aeolian deposits.
Turney Series: fine-loamy, mixed, thermic Typic Calciorthids. Berino Series: fine-loamy, mixed, thermic Typic Haplargids.
Surface water only during rain events, no arroyos. Run-on plain for Los Pinos Mountains.
The terrain is generally a mixed-species desert grassland, dominated by black grama (Bouteloua eriopoda), blue grama (B. gracilis), sand muhly (Muhlenbergia arenicola), various drop seeds and sacatons (Sporobolus spp.), purple three-awn (Aristida purpurea), and burrow grass (Scleropogon brevifolia). Shrubs are common in the area around Five Points, including creosote bush (Larrea tridentata) and snakeweed (Gutierrezia sarothrae).
Long-term mean annual precipitation is 243 mm, about 60% of which occurs during the summer. Long-term mean monthly temperatures for January and July are 1.5 degrees C and 25.1 degrees C, respectively.
McKenzie Flats encompasses an area of approximately 50 square miles and was one of the primary livestock grazing areas within what is now the Sevilleta NWR. Cattle have been excluded from the site since 1974-76. The ranch headquarters buildings and corrals were located at the junction of Legs C and D of the coyote survey.