Plan to celebrate National Public Lands Day at the Empire Ranch on Saturday, September 24, 2016, 9 am -4 pm. Learn about nature photography from Frank Gohlke, renowned landscape photographer, and about making and caring for adobe from Chris Schrager, BLM Historic Preservationist. Click here for the complete listing of the day’s events.
The Boice Family was honored on September 3, 2016 at the 101st Annual Sonoita Labor Day Rodeo for their dedication and long term support of the Santa Cruz County Fair and Rodeo Association. The children and grandchildren of Frank and Mary Boice, who managed/owned the Empire Ranch from 1928-1969 received the crowd’s applause with their appearance in a horsedrawn wagon driven by ERF Board member Steve Boice. Faith Boice, ERF President, escorted the wagon on horseback carrying her grandfather’s American flag.
A group of eleven enthusiastic students and two interns participated in the 2016 Youth Engaged Stewardship (YES!) program at Las Cienegas NCA. The students completed a project at the Gardner Sacaton flats to help restore the status of Sacaton grasslands, which are vital to the health of the watershed, and provide protection for wildlife. They transplanted soil and 150 alkali Sacaton plants. The soil, brought from other areas on the LCNCA, includes bacteria that form a crust that protects the surface area from blowing. This project will test whether the transplanted soil will expand and stabilize the surface.
A number of preservation projects are moving forward at Empire Ranch, from a large-scale structural stabilization of the Empire Ranch House to smaller projects at each volunteer work day. The BLM is proceeding with plans to issue a contract to design and implement a large-scale effort to stabilize the historic Empire Ranch House. Other projects include rehabilitating the Grove House; installing heating and cooling in the Visitor Contact Station/Huachuca House; and improved ADA access to that building and the public restroom northeast of the ranch house.
ERF recently changed its membership renewal procedures. Rather than asking everyone to renew in May, from now on annual renewal will be based on the month in which a member joined. Expect to receive a renewal request one month before your membership expires. We hope this will lessen confusion and encourage membership renewals! There are not many historic ranches left in the west and with your help we can continue to protect and preserve the Empire Ranch for future generations to enjoy.
We hope you will renew your membership or join as new member. To join via this website, click here. Or call 888-364-2829 to process your membership by phone.
To learn more about ongoing events at the Empire Ranch, read the June 2016 Newsletter
Over thirty enthusiastic participants celebrated National Day of the Cowboy on Saturday, July 23rd at the Empire Ranch. The day started with a guided tour of the Empire Ranch House led by Doc Holliday (aka ERF docent Van Fowers). After the tour everyone grabbed a chair and enjoyed their own bag lunch and desserts provided by ERF. Post lunch presentations by Bill Schock (local ranching) and Bunker deFrance (his experiences as a stunt man) were enjoyed by all. Click here to see photos of the day.
2016 marks the 140th anniversary of the founding of the Empire Ranch. Click here to view a chronology that tells the story that led to the establishment of the Empire Ranch when Walter Lennox Vail (age 24) and Herbert R. Hislop (age 23) purchased a 160 acre homestead in Southeastern Arizona. The information recounted comes primarily from letters written by both partners during the formative years of the Empire Ranch.
On May 4th Elgin School 6th, 7th, and 8th grade students and their teachers arrived at the Empire Ranch to learn about Arizona’s rich ranching heritage. This year’s instructional sessions included horsehair braiding, roping, adobe repair, range management, and horse care. A hearty lunch of brisket, tortillas and beans was served.
Click here to view photos of Legacy Day activities.
The 6th annual Western Movies at The Loft event on August 10th featured the superb, but unusual, 1951 film Westward the Women starring Robert Taylor, Denise Darcel, and John McIntire An enthusiast audience of 125 enjoyed the film which was testament to the bravery and resilience of women determined to make a better life for themselves. Click here to see photos of the evening.