Environmentalists and private landowners in Mexico struck an agreement last week to protect 7,000 acres of the Mexican desert, one of the largest private land conservation deals in the country, enviros say. The land on the edge of the Sierra Madre in the state of Coahuila, known as Ranch of the Blue Pools because it contains more than 70 desert springs, will be placed in a conservation easement, keeping it under private ownership while protecting it permanently. The Mexican environmental group Pronatura and the Nature Conservancy brokered the deal.