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LCNCA Prescribed Burn

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) will conduct a multiple day prescribed burn on the Las Cienegas National Conservation Area (LCNCA), pending appropriate weather and seasonal conditions, from April through June 2021. The Airstrip Burn will cover approximately 758 acres of BLM land.  For more information about road and camping area closures on LCNCA click here.

Posted 4/4/2021

Historic Empire Ranch “Virtual Tour”

Posted 3-25-2021

Ned Vail Stories

In the 1920s Edward L. Vail, Walter Vail’s brother,  began to write reminiscences of his experiences in early Arizona, many of which were published in local newspapers.  The March 2021 issue of the ERF Newsletters features two of his stories.

A Mexican Baile is a humorous story of Empire Ranch cowboys attending a dance in the nearby mining town of Greaterville.  Dan Murphy’s Ranch on the San Pedro River tells the tale of a trip made by Edward Vail and foreman Jerry Dillon to purchase bulls for the Empire Ranch.

Click here to read the stories.

Posted 2/22/2021

New Ranch House Capital Campaign

Help us create our Western Heritage and Education Center!  The Empire Ranch Foundation has begun a capital campaign to renovate the New Ranch House to serve as conference space for education programs, a place for environmental researchers to come stay for a day or two while they study the beautiful area of the Las Cienegas National Conservation Area, and as office space where our board members, or in the future, a new administrative director can work.

Click here to find out how you can help.

Ranch House Remains Open

The historic Empire Ranch House on Las Cienegas National Conservation Area remains open for individual visitation.  Each room of the Ranch House has interpretive signage that explains the history of the room, its use, and past occupants.  Please be sure to close all doors behind you and practice social distancing if you encounter other visitors when touring the building.

Visitor Contact Center Closed

The BLM’s partner, Empire Ranch Foundation (ERF), in coordination with the BLM, has decided to close temporarily the Huachuca House visitor contact center within  Las Cienegas National Conservation Area (LCNCA).  Large group events facilitated by ERF, involving carpools or bus transport, are suspended until further notice.

Docent Tours Cancelled

The Empire Ranch Foundation docent tours, held on the 2nd and 4th Saturday of every month, are cancelled until further notice.  The Empire Ranch House will remain open for self-guided tours.  Each room of the Ranch House has signage that describes the history and function of the room.

Posted 3/17/2020

Office Interpretation

Plan to visit the Empire Ranch and view the newly interpreted Office (Room 11) in the Empire Ranch House.  Walter Vail added on the room he used to conduct his business and political affairs about 1878.  It still houses the Empire Land & Cattle Company safe in which Walter locked his whiskey when he was away from the ranch.  The Boice family also used this room as an office, and the safe was used to store the company’s books and records.  The room also contains a record/mailbox cabinet dating to the Vail era.

The room’s walls and interior woodwork were painted.  The cabinet was repaired, oiled, and cleaned.   A donated roll-top desk, rolling desk chair, and old Royal typewriter have been added to the furnishing.  Reproductions of five framed maps, which illustrate the location of the Empire Ranch and its holdings, including the Total Wreck Mine, are now mounted on the walls.

Posted 2/15/2020

Volunteer Days

Dedicated volunteers have been key to preserving the historic Empire Ranch House and Headquarters.  Stay tuned for an announcement of the next scheduled volunteer day.  To volunteer, please submit a Volunteer Opportunities Form, and we will contact you with more details!

Post updated 3/17/2020