In 1988 the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) acquired for public use and preservation the lands that now form Las Cienegas National Conservation Area (LCNCA), including the intact buildings and much of the land holdings of the historic Empire Ranch whose founding dates back to the 1870’s.

In 1997, a group of private citizens formed the Empire Ranch Foundation (ERF) as a volunteer 501(c)(3) charitable organization. Working in partnership with the BLM, the mission of the Foundation is “To protect, restore and sustain the Empire Ranch historical buildings and landscape as an outstanding western heritage education center.”

The Foundation, in partnership with the BLM, provides funds and organizes volunteers to support and complete numerous preservation projects and educational activities at Empire Ranch.