What’s New


Steak Fry and Barn Dance

Join us for a Steak Fry and Barn Dance, Friday evening November 4th, before Roundup from 4pm-8pm in the Adobe Haybarn at the Empire Ranch Headquarters. We will be serving up steak, beans and potato salad, meeting new friends, connecting with old friends, dancing in the barn!! The Lopez Band will be our entertainment for the evening.

All proceeds benefit the Empire Ranch Foundation.  Tickets are $40/person or $70 per couple.  Click here to buy your tickets. Get them quick – they won’t last long and seating is limited!  Questions??  Call Bobbie at 831-809-4328.

Empire Ranch Roundup Poster for 2016 FINAL, cropped

Roundup & Open House

The 16th Annual Roundup and Open House will be held on Saturday, November 5, 2016. Click here to view this year’s preliminary program.   Photos of the 2015 activities are available here .

Updated 8/19/2016

National Public Lands Day

National Public Lands Day, September 24, 2016, brought 40 people out to the ranch. Many had not been out to the Historic Empire Ranch before, some were long time admirers. Click here to view photos of the day.


Boice Family Honored at Sonoita Rodeo

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.


Yes! 2016

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.

Posted 9/7/2016

Preservation Projects

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.

Posted 9/7/2016

Volunteer Days

Dedicated volunteers have been key to preserving the historic Empire Ranch House and Headquarters. Volunteer Days for hands-on preservation activities at the ranch are held generally on the third Saturday of February, April, June, August, and October.  Join us for the next Volunteer Day on  Saturday, October 22nd from 8am to 2 pm as we get ready for the Roundup on November 5th. To volunteer, please submit a Volunteer Opportunities Form, and we will contact you with more details!

Post updated 8/24/2016

Your Membership Counts

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

Updated 8/24/2016

National Day of the Cowboy

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.


No 4, Album 1, edited

Empire Ranch Founding

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.

Posted 6/24/2016
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