What’s New

Empire Ranch Celebration Video

Click here to view the video of the Celebration of of Western Culture at the 140 year old Empire Ranch in Southeastern Arizona created by Tony Heath of the Birdland Ranch and Madrean Archipelago Wildlife Center (MAWC).

Volunteer Days

Dedicated volunteers have been key to preserving the historic Empire Ranch House and Headquarters.  Please join us on Saturday, May 6, 2023.

To volunteer, please submit a Volunteer Opportunities Form, and we will contact you with more details!

Post updated 2/7/2023

LCNCA Prescribed Burn

The Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) Tucson Field Office and Gila District Fire Management Office will conduct a multiple day prescribed fire on Las Cienegas National Conservation Area (LCNCA), pending appropriate weather and seasonal conditions, from mid-March to early May, 2023. The Airstrip Prescribed Fire will cover approximately 758 acres of BLM-managed land on the LCNCA.    For more information about road and camping area closures on LCNCA click here.

Posted 3/2/2023

History of the 1870 Ranch House

When Walter Vail and Herbert Hislop established the Empire Ranch in 1876 two important features of the 160-acre
homestead they purchased was a building with an attached corral which were constructed circa 1870 by Tucson businessman, Edward Nye Fish.  Read more about the history and configuration of the original Ranch House on p. 3 of the March 2023 ERF Newsletter.

Posted 2/21/2023

Volunteer Appreciation Dinner

On Saturday, January 21st, 2023, the ERF Board of Directors welcomed ERF volunteers and their families to an
evening of dinner and dancing to music by Jay Faircloth, a local Tucson musician/song writer.

Board Members served a delicious meal featuring beef prepared by Steve Boice and raised on his Single Star Ranch. Faith-Boice McCabe expressed appreciation for the volunteers’ contributions to preservation of the Empire Ranch.

Posted 2/21/2023

Spring Trail Ride, April 1, 2023

Come Ride with Us!

Join us for our Spring Trail Ride on Saturday, April 1, 2023. This year we have two 1.5 hour guided horseback rides, at 9:30 am and 1 pm, through the beautiful rolling grasslands of Las Cienegas National Conservation Area. A catered chuck wagon lunch can be purchased separately.  Lunch will be served from 11 am to 12:30 pm.  Docent tours will be available.

 Registration is now closed.. Day of event registration will NOT be available.

Updated 3-25-2023

Christmas at the Empire Ranch

Over 350 visitors enjoyed a beautiful day at  the 2022 Christmas at the Empire Ranch event on Saturday, December 10th from 10am to 2pm.  The Empire Ranch House was decorated for Christmas, and we have lots of fun activities planned for the day.

Click here to see the program.

Click here to see photos of the day.

Updated 12-11-2022

Search for A Star is Born Honeymoon House

Read about Garry Rollins’ search on Las Cienegas National Conservation Area  for the location of the honeymoon house constructed for filming of the 1976 film, “A Star is Born.”  The story is on p. 3 of the September 2022 ERF Newsletter.

Posted 8/26/2022


Exploring the County Line: Empire Ranch

Pima County recently posted a YouTube video about the Empire Ranch as part of their Exploring the County Line series.  Click here to view the video.

Posted 8-14-

2022 Cowboy Festival

Almost 2.000 excited visitors enjoyed the 21st annual Cowboy Festival on November 5-6, 2022.  It was a fun-filled two days for the whole family featuring western music & entertainment, history & culture demonstrations, ranch life exhibits, 45 minute trail rides, kids activities, skilled artisans and speakers, silent auction and food.

Special thanks to the sponsors who provided financial support for the Festival and to the 200+ volunteers who made the day possible.

Click here to view the day’s program.

Updated 11/9/22